Buying a GX

About miles

If you've owned a Toyota or Lexus (generally speaking, there are always bad apples), you know the reliability that comes with their vehicles. The GX470 is no exception. The primary consideration when purchasing a higher-mileage GX is maintenance. So to answer an FAQ question here: If you have the option between an 80,000 mile GX with no maintenance history and a 120,000 mile GX with full, consistent maintenance history, which one do you buy? The one with the better maintenance history.

Pre-purchase inspection

  • Before you take the time to look at a GX in person, look up the Lexus service history here:
  • Test the center differential lock before you buy. The vast majority of GX's are pavement queens - if the actuator is frozen up, you want to know before you buy one and have a $1k+ repair.
  • Driveshaft clunks are common. Grease band-aids it, but the proper fix is updated parts per Lexus TSB).
  • Radiators tend to leak around 100-150k (easy replacement).
  • Check for dashboard cracks. Lexus will replace cracked dashboards under warranty until May 31 2017, or 10 years after when the vehicle was first put in service (whichever is later).
  • Check the timing belt / water pump service history - the timing belt should be replaced every 90k. It’s good practice to change the water pump at the same time. (GX 460 uses a timing chain but always a good practice to check for a water pump leak)

Things you should know

  • The OEM navigation unit is generally terrible. Get a vehicle without a navigation unit if you can. This makes installing an aftermarket head unit simple.
  • OEM navigation units can only be upgraded with the Grom V-Line, which has not performed all that well but is getting better through firmware updates.
  • 2007+ navigation (5th generation) is much better than the older versions. 2007+ also gets a 3.5mm auxiliary jack for the stereo.
  • Mark Levinson speakers are not standard automotive speakers. There are a few aftermarket speakers that will match up to the ML amplifier, or you can buy surround repair kits if your speakers start to fail. Several aftermarket speaker options are below:
    • Front and rear doors (x4) - McLaren MLM6A
    • Front door and rear hatch (2 pair) - McLaren MLT2
    • Front door tweeter - (1 pair) - McLaren MLT60
    • Center speaker - none known
    • Front door speakers require 6×9 to 6.5 adapter plates
  • Rear air conditioning only came with GX's ordered with the rear seat package.
  • A transmission cooler is standard, whether or not you have the towing package. (In the US the GX 460 uses a liquid cooled AT Cooler within the radiator and not a separate air cooled cooler on the front of the radiator.)
460 Areas to check before purchase or powertrain warranty expiration More info here.