Two Top Trip-Ups of the Lexus GS400
Lexus has a long history of successfully bridging the gap between affordable Japanese cars and European luxury vehicles. The Lexus GS 400-with a short two-year production run-manages to capture this spirit perfectly. It was a perfect balance of price and luxury that brought unparalleled comfort and performance to people who used to not be able to afford both at the same time. The GS 400 was a bridge of sorts in and of itself-paving the way for the transition from the GS300 and the superior GS430. On its own, however, it was still very capable. Two years is a short time to accrue a lot of problems; however, here are the two most common ones experienced by some users.
Non-retracting seat belts
This is a problem that is common with the 1998 Lexus GS400-the very first one of the line to roll of the assembly line. It's a simple problem by and large, and is simply an inability of the front seat belt to retract once pulled and engaged. This might seem harmless or a mild inconvenience, but that inability to go taut could potentially be dangerous when the seatbelt is broken in case there's an accident-it will be like not having any seatbelts at all.
Fortunately, this really is a rare occurrence, and it is limited to a few models here and there. An affected vehicle can simply be replaced by the dealer. An alternative is an aftermarket replacement which, in this case, will be on the level with an OE part due to the simplicity of the mechanism.
Again, this is a hiccup of the 1998 model and is more serious than the preceding gripe. For one, it is difficult to detect until they are needed-as in an accident. For another thing, when it isn't working at all, the consequences of the malfunction are readily-and immediately apparent. This one is actually pretty straight forward: do not wait for an accident before having getting the airbaGS checked.
Economical Ways to Keep Your Lexus GS400 on the Road
Your Lexus GS400 may be old, but it doesn't mean it has ran out of power to be on the road. Give it some credit. It has come a long way and the last thing it will do is go down without a fight. If you don't think that you should be spending a lot to keep it running, then by all means, don't. Because there are actually ways on how you can keep it in a good condition without having to spend a lot. Here are economical ways that will help keep your beloved Lexus on the road:
A car wash seems like a small thing to do for your ride, but if done regularly, could actually do wonders for your car in the long run. Whether your car was just released a month ago, or is already 10 years old, a thorough car wash will increase the chance of your car being protected from damage caused by rust. Because whenever a car accumulates dirt or debris, their moisture accumulates too; this in turn makes for a perfect breeding ground for rust and could lead to chassis corrosion, or worse, engine corrosion. So make sure to wash your car regularly and thoroughly. Don't just wash it just for the sake that it looks clean. Make sure that you've checked all the nooks and the hard-to-reach areas and removed all the dirt or debris that may have accumulated there. Consistency, you'll find out later, will come a long way especially with cars.
- Maintain good battery connection.
In order for batteries to function properly, the connection must be good first. Check the battery terminals for possible signs of corrosion. If rusting has already started, you can remove it using a can of soda and a battery brush. Simply pour the soda onto the terminals and wait for it to react with the rust. After the soda has completed its task, you can clean the corroded particles by brushing it off. This way, you did not just clean your battery and ensure a good battery connection, you were also able to save a few bucks by doing it yourself. You see, not all car issues have to be handled in an auto shop by a professional.
Tires don't wear out evenly. The front ones usually wear out a lot faster than the ones in the rear. This occurrence is due to the engine system's weight that rests mostly on the front tires, plus the strain the front ones suffer during turning. Because of that, tire rotation is recommended to make sure all four tires wear out evenly. Tire rotation not only ensures that all the tires can function properly, but also guarantees that the car receives a more balanced outlook. Doing this process is not just good for car performance but for the driver's safety as well. Having tires in good condition increases its traction with road, thereby giving the driver complete control over the wheels and over the car.
Lexus GS400: Award-winning Vehicle on the Road and at the Track
The history of the Lexus GS400 can be traced back to the introduction of the first-generation Lexus GS in 1993. Vehicles under this series were built to compete with the Mercedes E Class and the BMW 5 Series. As each generation was released over the years, the GS series was able to close the gap between it and its European rivals. As a matter of fact, the GS series was the recipient of several awards from notable automotive publications such as Motor Trend and Car and Driver. Despite being available for only three model years (from 1998 to 2000), the GS400 variant was one of Lexus’ most successful luxury sedans.
1997-2000: The GS400 as a more powerful S160
In 1997, the second-generation Lexus GS or S160 was introduced. The design process began in 1994 and 18 months later, the final design was approved. The finished product was introduced in January 1997 at the Detroit Auto Show. Launched as a high-performing sedan, it was equipped with a midsize platform, a rear-wheel drive layout, and a brand-new engine.
However, American consumers wanted more power. So in 1998, the GS 400 model was introduced. This version was equipped with a 4-L 1UZ-FE V8 that could produce 310 lb/ft. of torque and 300 horsepower. It also featured shift buttons for the steering wheel and a five-speed automatic transmission.
The GS 400, along with its regular, second-gen siblings, was deemed more successful than its predecessor. Sales during its first year of production reached 30,622. This number increased in the following years, stabilizing at 2000 with 28,079 units sold. To further solidify its success, the second-gen GS was included in Car and Driver’s Ten Best List from 1998 to 2000. It was also the recipient of the 1998 Import Car of the Year award from Motor Trend.
Throughout its short yet successful three model-year run, no upgrades were done. Despite this, the model was highly successful and continued to attract buyers who wanted another alternative to a BMW 5 or Mercedes Benz E-Class sedan. When the GS 400 was finally modified in 2000, it was renamed as the GS 430 and was officially launched as a 2001 model.
1998-2003: The GS 400 making waves in motorsports
In 1998, two GS 400 racing units were driven by Team Lexus as part of the Motorola Cup North American Street Stock Championship touring car series competition. In the following year, Team Lexus earned its first victory at Road Atlanta with a GS 400. Team Lexus then used the GS 400 in various competitions until 2001. The GS 400’s racing capabilities were showcased again in 2003 when German racer Ronny Melkus joined the V8Star Series touring season and competed in the V8 GS.