How to Perform Lexus Gx 470 Air Suspension Reset
In 2003, Lexus introduced the Gx470, a full-size luxury SUV that was discontinued in 2009. Obviously, a luxury vehicle with such a sleek design would be appreciated for its great off-road capabilities, but that's not all the Lexus Gx470 has to offer. In addition to its off-road capabilities and four-wheel drive system, this vehicle has air suspension for excellent ride quality. You would love to drive often if you had a reliable air suspension like that.
But as effective as the air suspension system is, as opposed to coil springs, they are not trouble-free. In this regard, the air suspension system of your Lexus Gx470 could malfunction at any time due to leaks, accumulated mileage, and bad suspension components. This is why you should read this article to the end to know how to reset your Lexus Gx470’s air suspension and solve other suspension problems.
These are the other things discussed in this article:
- How does Lexus air suspension work?
- How to troubleshoot Lexus Gx 470 air suspension?
- Common 2009 Lexus Gx 470 air suspension problems
- Where is the Air Suspension Air Compressor Located in Lexus Gx470?
Resetting Lexus Gx 470 Air Suspension
When the air suspension system of your Lexus Gx 470 is failing, the only way to fix it might be by resetting it. So, here is how to correctly reset your air suspension system.
Method One – Disconnecting Battery
- Turn Off the Ignition
It is always advisable to turn your vehicle off before disconnecting the battery.
- Locate your Battery
Your car’s battery is a huge block-like structure that has two large cables attached to it. In the Lexus Gx 470, the battery is located in the hood. So, check the hood of the vehicle or read through your vehicle’s owner's manual to get a grip on things.
- Locate the Battery’s Negative Terminal
Your battery has a positive and negative terminal. To disconnect your battery for air suspension reset purposes, you would have to work with the negative terminal. The negative terminal is black and has a dash (-) sign on it. It also has a black plastic cap on it for labeling purposes. Carefully remove the plastic cap and proceed to the next step.
- Unbolt the Cables with the Right Wrenches
Find the right wrenches to fit the bolts and nuts. Using the wrenches, loosen the nuts and bolts attached to the negative terminal of the battery by turning counterclockwise.
- Remove the Negative Connector
Once you are done loosening the nuts/bolts, remove the negative connector completely. Then leave the car this way for a few minutes.
- Reconnect the Battery
- Drive Around
While on this drive, take note of the air suspension system to see if it has been reset.
Method Two – Turn off the Air Suspension
- Turn off the Engine
After turning off the engine, ensure that you keep the ignition on.
- Switch off the Air Suspension
- Check that the Suspension Switch is off
Once you have confirmed that the air suspension switch is off, leave the vehicle for about ten minutes before proceeding.
- Turn the Suspension Switch to the ON Position
- Go for a Drive
Turn on the engine and go for a drive. Ensure that you monitor the vehicle for weird sounds, ride height, and ride quality while driving.
How does Lexus Air Suspension Work?
The air suspension system is made up of a host of components that work in ensuring that the ride height is adequately optimized, ride quality is on point, and the handling is firm. Some of these vital components include the air compressor, the air tank, the airbags/air springs, the air dryer, the airlines, and the height sensors.
The Lexus air suspension works by using the pressurized air produced by the air compressor to raise or lower the vehicle. This is why the air compressor is regarded as the heart of the air suspension because all major activities begin with it. The air compressor pumps air into the airbags or air springs via the airlines attached. These airlines serve as passages for the air which ultimately goes into the airbags. Then the pressurized air produced by the compressor is stored in the air tank and used on demand to either lower or raise the car.
However, before the vehicle is raised or lowered, the height sensor, which is attached to the vehicle’s chassis, sends information to the ECU. The Electronic Control Unit (ECU) receives this signal and then acts in accordance.
While all of these activities are happening, the air dryer protects the air suspension system. Since moisture can damage or rust the suspension parts, the air dryer actively prevents moisture from getting into the air suspension. This further prevents malfunctioning and helps you save money on replacement kits.
How to Troubleshoot Lexus Gx 470 Air Suspension
Before you spend money on mechanic visits or in replacing parts—which may not be the problem—you need to inspect the suspension system. So, here is how to troubleshoot the Lexus Gx470 air suspension.
Diagnosing Air Compressor Issues
An air suspension system with a faulty air compressor is as good as useless. This is because there is nothing to pump air into the airbags. Here are ways to troubleshoot this.
- Check if there is Power in the Air Compressor
- Check the Air Compressor Relay
- Check if the Fuse is Bad or Blown
- Replace the Air Compressor
Consider replacing the air compressor if it has no power, if the relay doesn’t work, and if the fuse is blown.
Solving Air Leakage Problem
Air leaks could occur anywhere but usually, the air springs or airbags are the ones with the leakage problem. This is how to inspect and solve the problem.
- Add Soap and Water to a Bottle
- Spray the Soapy Water on the Airbags or Air Springs
- Check for Bubbles
If there are bubbles on the surface then you would have to either tighten the air fittings with a wrench or reinstall it with a thread sealant.
- Test Again with the Soapy Water
- Replace the Air Springs or Airbags
When there are still bubbles after reinstalling with a thread sealant or after tightening it with a fitting wrench, replace the airbags.
Solving Height Sensor Problems
The height sensor is the part of the air suspension that sends height attitude signals to the Electronic Control Unit. If the height sensors are not working properly, the air suspension control would be in jeopardy. Here is how to fix it.
- Inspect the Height Control Sensor
- Check for Broken Parts
- Replace the Sensor
If the attachment pivot arm is broken or if there are other broken parts, replace the sensor as soon as you can.
Common 2009 Lexus Gx 470 Air Suspension Problems
The last model year of the Gx470 before it was replaced by the Lexus Gx460 was 2009 and it was not without some air suspension problems. Here are some of the common 2009 Lexus Gx470 air suspension problems.
- Service Ride Control Warning Message
When the service ride control keeps flashing a warning message, it means that there is something wrong with the air suspension. However, if after resolving certain issues this light (or message) keeps flashing, then that’s a problem that needs fixing.
- Bumpy Rides and Vibrations
One vital function of a working air suspension is to guarantee bump-free rides without vibrations. Air shocks, which are a type of shock absorber, help absorb or dampen road impacts. So, if your air shocks are working properly, you would have a bump-free drive. However, when the contrary is the case, you can either check the air shocks or check that the compressor is working well.
- Rear-end Sag
Sagging rear ends are one of the first symptoms of a failing air suspension in most vehicles. If your rear is sagging, then you could have issues with the ride height sensor, air spring, air shocks, or air compressor. When the height sensor is broken or faulty, the ride height of your vehicle is often compromised. Also, if there are leaks in the air springs or air shocks, the ability to hold the weight of the vehicle is equally compromised. And this leads to sagging rear ends.
- Rusty Suspension Parts
Over time, the air suspension parts like the struts can get rusty. Rust is always associated with a moisture problem. Thus, rust on air suspension components could indicate that there is a problem with the air dryer. It is the air dryer's duty to prevent moisture from getting into the air suspension system. So, once there is rust, prepare to fix your air dryer.
- Noisy Drives
Most users of the 2009 Lexus Gx470 complain about the noise coming from the air suspension. Now, there are a variety of reasons why your drive could be noisy. The noise, for one, can be linked, predominantly, to a faulty air compressor. However, there are still chances that the noisy drive could be caused by air leaks. So, walk around your vehicle to determine where the noise is emanating from.
Where is the Air Suspension Air Compressor Located in Lexus Gx470?
The air compressor is located beneath the driver's side rear wheel and is firmly attached to the frame rail. To access it, you will have to raise the vehicle with a jack and securely place it on jack stands. Once that is done, the mud flaps will have to be taken off to access the under-car shield. The compressor lies under the shield and you would have to take the shield off to access the air compressor.
Resetting your Lexus Gx470 does not require technical expertise. Hence, we trust that you should be able to do it on your own. Nonetheless, note that air suspension problems are not to be treated with levity. So, after inspecting the suspension system, replace whatever needs replacement, or visit the nearest mechanic. Also, practicing proper and regular maintenance will save you a lot of stress and money.
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