April 1

2011 Lexus GX460, Gear Shifter

Lexus

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Mark: Hi, it's Mark Bossert. I'm here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Vancouver's best auto service experience. Best, well, hey, only 25 times they've won best auto repair in Vancouver is voted by their customers and we're talking cars. How you doing, Bernie? 

Bernie: Doing very well. 

Mark: So today we're talking about a Lexus GX460, a pretty high end SUV vehicle that had a gear shifter issue. What was going on with this vehicle? 

Bernie: The client's concern was that sometimes he couldn't shift the gear shifter properly or there would be some strange goings on with the indicator on the dash. That was basically the concern. So, of course, if you can't get out of gear or you can't shift it back and forth, that's the problem because you can't go anywhere.

Mark: So how do you test and diagnose what's going on? 

Bernie: One thing I will add is this was an intermittent issue. So, I mean, the first thing we do is attempt to verify the client's concern. We weren't able to do that. So the intermittency, the issue was not showing up with us. But our next step is to hook a scan tool up. Scan the vehicle computers and see what sort of trouble codes might be stored there that might give us some information to address the problem. So we did that and we did find a code a P0705. I'm looking at my notes here and that basically indicates an issue with the gear shift system. 

Mark: So it doesn't really tell you much in other words. 

Bernie: No, it just tells us there was a problem in that circuit. That's actually a circuit fault code. So it tells us there was a problem in that circuit fault. Or a fault in that circuit, I should say. And so from there we can go, okay, what are the repair procedures? Lexus will actually have a diagram of repair tree of what to check and test.

So we can follow that. That's one way we can do it. We also have other resources that sometimes speed the procedure up. Looking at common issues like known faults with this vehicle and previous repairs. And so we consult that as well. 

Mark: So, if we follow that chain down, having gone through this with one of my vehicles and you repairing it, it could be the computer. It could be the wiring. It could be a whole host of things. You really don't know for sure, it's narrowed down to the gear shift. 

Bernie: Yeah, it's narrowed down to that circuit in that area. So this is where trouble codes are useful. People are under the misconception that, oh, you just plug the computer in and tells you what to replace.

Well, it doesn't do that. It just tells you where the fault lies. There are sometimes when you have a code where it's pretty obvious that it's the actual unit, but there's still testing and verification that needs to be done to find out whether that is in fact the item. I mean, you can throw parts in there, but a lot of these are expensive and why waste money?

It's better to spend the money to diagnose it properly. So from there, we do an inspection on the range sensor, a visual inspection and look at the wiring, any areas we can see. So we did that, found no faults in that area. We have databases, as I mentioned, that have known repairs for these particular faults. Looked at that and found there was a fault with a wiring corrosion issue under the kick panel on the driver's side.

So the kick panel is that if you if you're sitting in the driver's seat, you kick your left foot, That front part to the left of the pedals. That's where the kick panel is. And behind there, there's some computers and modules and a number of wiring connectors. And there's a known fault in that area for corrosion. So that's what we sought out to as our next step in the repair. 

Mark: So should we go to some pictures? 

Bernie: Let's do it. So there's our vehicle. It's a little on an age now, but still looks practically brand new and good shape. 

2011 Lexus GX460, Gear Shifter

So we moved to our next picture, and this is what we found under the kick panel. Just like our bit of information led us to. We found corrosion on this particular wiring connector here. You can see where the arrow's pointing. It's rusty. There's corrosion in there. 

2011 Lexus GX460, Gear Shifter

As far as we knew that's a problem found and most likely the entire concern. But sometimes you don't know when the problem is intermittent, it's better when it's happening all the time, we fix it, plug it back together and then it works. So we're basically fixing on, you know, what known good information, which is sometimes all we have to go on. 

Mark: So did you find out where the water leak was coming from? 

Bernie: When we looked at it, it was no evidence of any water. And it's been pretty rainy in Vancouver lately. So it may have been a leak from the past that had been fixed or something had happened. But you know, we didn't find anything. So we basically went to just do repairs on these connectors. And there's a couple of ways we repair these things. Sometimes you actually have to take the connector apart.

Sometimes the pins are so badly corroded or the wire is so badly corroded. You have to change it. But in this case, we're able to actually clean the pins. And we clean the pins on the module as well as the connector plug. 

We have a pretty neat stuff, it's called Stabilant 22a, it's a contact enhancer. It's a liquid, you just put a little tiny drop on, very expensive, but he put a little drop on, it's supposed to ensure the connection is as good as a soldered connection. So it works pretty well for situations like this. 

Mark: And so once everything's fixed, how was the vehicle? 

Bernie: Worked great. Of course, as I mentioned, it wasn't actually acting up when we had it, but it's been a couple of weeks since we did the repair. And haven't heard back from the client yet, so I think that's a good sign. And the fact that we actually found this to be a problem is a, you know, and it's a known common cause problem. You know, that's a pretty good indication we may have solved it. But if it were to come back, probably the module may actually have, you know, received some damage from the corrosion, but so far seems good.

Mark: And how are Lexus GX460s for reliability?

Bernie: Excellent vehicle. It's a Toyota product. Generally very reliable, very few problems, good vehicle. I mean, it's a luxury car, so there's more to go wrong than there is in say a more basic Toyota. But yeah, great vehicle, highly recommended.

Mark: If you're looking for service for your Toyota or Lexus in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them online and book online at pawlikautomotive.com. You'll see somewhere over 190 reviews from customers so far. As far as other ways to connect with them. You can call them at (604) 327-7112 to book your appointment. You have to book ahead. They're always busy. Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Thanks for watching and listening. Thanks Bernie. 

Bernie: Thank you Mark. Thanks for watching.

About the author 

Bernie Pawlik

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