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Lexus has produced some of the most comfortable and smooth-driving luxury vehicles on the market. The Lexus LS430 is no exception. This third-generation flagship sedan had a larger engine, nicer interiors, and better safety technology than its predecessors. Despite being discontinued in 2006, the LS430 has remained popular with buyers. According to CarGurus, the average price of a used 2006 Lexus LS430 is around $11,540. The same source has reported that LS430 prices have increased by 11.53% year over year. This makes the Lexus LS430 a great investment for buyers who want to experience high-end driving without paying luxury prices.

Is the Lexus LS430 Reliable?

The Lexus LS430 has received mixed reliability scores across multiple sites. RepairPal experts gave it a 2.5 out of 5.0 rating due to its high ownership costs and repair frequency, while customer review scores averaged 4.8. Most owners on the site were satisfied with the LS430’s smooth ride and solid performance. With proper maintenance, you can keep your LS430 on the road for a long time.

2022 lexus ls430
The Lexus LS430 is a third-generation flagship sedan that had a larger engine, nicer interiors, and better safety technology than its predecessors. Image source: Lexus

Top Lexus LS430 Problems

Many consider the Lexus LS430 to be quite reliable. However, some models have their share of problems. Here are some of the most common Lexus LS430 issues.

Bad Transmission Results in Poor Shift Quality

Transmission problems are causing certain LS430 models from 2001 to 2006 to hesitate, jerk, or idle at lower speeds. Affected sedans may exhibit erratic or hard shifting when slowing down to a stop. Owners who’ve encountered this problem have either replaced their transmission or updated their transmission software to the latest version. There might be other factors causing the poor shift quality. A faulty downshift solenoid, for example, can cause the transmission to remain in high gear when it should be downshifting. Excessive revving might also put undue strain on the engine and transmission. If the computer detects a problem with the solenoid, it will trigger the check engine light. It’s best to have your transmission checked if your LS430 shows any of these symptoms.

Faulty Air bag Inflator

Lexus has issued a recall for LS430 cars manufactured in 2004, 2005, and 2006 due to air bag assembly problems. According to the recall, the inflators used in the curtain, side, and knee air bags didn’t have sufficient heating agents to properly deploy the air bags in the event of a crash. This increases the risk of injury to occupants seated in front. Lexus has offered to replace faulty SRS air bags for free.

Aside from the inflator, stock air bags can also fail. We suggest keeping a checklist when performing maintenance on your LS430. If your airbag light starts blinking, it can indicate a problem with the air bag system. Either your air bag battery may be drained or your module may have corroded. If you’re worried that your air bags are faulty, you should take your car to a mechanic for a complete diagnosis.

third gen lexus ls430 interior
Faulty airbags and stereo are a few of the common issues of some LS430s. Image source: Lexus

No Sound Coming From Stereo

The Mark Levinson stereo system built into LS430s from 2001 to 2006 is known to be defective. Many owners have complained about their stereos producing no sound or adjusting the volume on their own. While not as serious as a faulty inflator, a bad sound system can affect your driving experience. RepairPal specialists believe this issue can be resolved by installing a new amplifier. The average replacement cost of a Mark Levinson stereo system is around $500. Unfortunately, there are no cheap aftermarket solutions available. If you have a problem with your LS430’s stereo system, you may have to spend a lot of money to fix it.

Vehicle Accelerates on Its Own

2005 Lexus LS430 owners have complained about erratic, sudden, or delayed acceleration when stepping on the gas. One possible reason is a bad throttle body. The butterfly valve of the throttle body can become stuck with dirt and carbon deposits, which can cause surging or stalling. The latter can occur when there’s too much air inside the manifold. A thorough cleaning of the throttle body may solve this issue. However, if the part is beyond repair, it’s best to replace it. There are plenty of high-quality throttle body replacements available on the aftermarket, but we recommend visiting a mechanic first to determine the exact cause of the issue. It’s important to fix this issue as quickly as possible, as a faulty throttle body might result in accidents and injuries.

Trunk Lid Closes Due to Bad Lift Support Shocks

Lift support shocks are gas-filled springs that keep the trunk lid raised when you need to load or unload items. They can become damaged over time, causing gas to leak out of the shocks and rendering the springs unusable. Certain 2001 LS430 models are equipped with bad trunk lift support shocks that tend to close on their own. A falling trunk lid can cause severe injury. One owner suffered a lifelong disfigurement when the lid fell on their hands as they were taking groceries out of the trunk.

There are a couple of ways to identify whether your trunk lift support shocks have failed. If your trunk lid is hard to open, it can indicate excess gas inside the shock absorber, which can keep your trunk lid shut. In worst cases, the trunk lid can be jammed in the closed position due to pressure from the shock absorber. Conversely, lift support shocks with no gas won’t have enough pressure inside to keep the trunk lid open. If your LS430 exhibits any of these symptoms, you should take it to the mechanic for repairs.

Despite its flaws, the Lexus LS430 can still hold its own against its high-end contemporaries. Its powerful V8 engine, luxury features, and smooth ride make it a favorite among Lexus fans. The fact that you can still see restored Lexus LS430s on the road speaks to the car’s enduring legacy. In hindsight, the initial $11,540 investment is a small price to pay for this iconic vehicle. If you don’t mind the high ownership cost and repair frequency, you’ll be rewarded with a satisfying driving experience.

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