Maintenance Schedule: New 2023

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May 26, 2014
Austin, TX
Hi All,

I was wondering if there was a good resource for maintenance schedule. I know I can get the one from Lexus. I wanted to get you alls expert opinion on what needs to be done. Like maybe some stuff lexus tells you to do you don't need to or more stuff you should do.

It won't be driven a ton because I leave near work and commute by bike. Not driving much didn't know what I should maybe do since I'll probably only but 5-8k a year.

Excited to join the family again. I've had some FJs but this is first GX and want to keep it tip top in case I sell it in like 15 years.

Thank you.
I know that this is a controversial subject, but 10k oil changes are a joke. You'd be lucky to get an engine to 200k miles with those sorts of intervals. Lexus recommends in-between services every 5k, but the in-between checks are mostly BS that any idiot can do (inspect, rotate tires, yada yada). I don't care how good the oil was that went into it, the oil can only hold so much crap in it before it starts to become overwhelmed. I'm not talking about big stuff that gets caught in filters, it's all of the small stuff like sulfur, soot, and carbon. These little particles (especially the sulfur!) love to wreak havoc on wear items, most notably rings and timing chains where there is not a large oil film present. There are additives present in oils to trap them and contain them within the oil, but eventually the additive gets all used up and the oil gets saturated with contaminants. Oil is cheap. Engines aren't. You'll never blow an engine by doing too many oil changes.

On the flip side, air filters are something I do extend my change intervals on. It's a common misconception that a clean air filter means getting the cleanest possible air in to the engine. Paper/fiber air filters (oiled filters are a different story entirely, but I won't get into those nightmares) actually filter the most debris out when they are dirty, not when they are clean. As the filter traps dirt, that dirt and paper combination clog up the holes that the air flows through. This, in turn, actually traps smaller and smaller debris as the filter is used. Modern intake systems are designed exceptionally well. They're all true cold-air intakes now and the filters are very robust. These days the aftermarket 'Cold Air Intake Kits' are actually detrimental to performance and usually do nothing except make the intake louder by removing baffling and resonance chambers. We're actually starting to see this in the diesel world that I worked in. Instead of a published maintenance interval, engine OEMs were just saying to run them until, "a noticeable loss in performance is observed. I kid you not, we'd see filters that caused 18-20 inHg of restriction come in that barely hurt their performance, but their turbocharged engines let them run that much restriction without affecting power too much. We would notice a performance drop well before that with our NA engines, and nobody should really let a filter get that bad before changing them out. However as far as filtration goes, the filter doesn't care what's sucking in air. It'll trap more as it ages, so the same rule applies to us.

If you plan on towing or off-roading, plan on upgrading the trans cooler. Change the trans fluid at the latest every 100k miles, sooner if you're really leaning on it. It may be best to have the dealer do it because fluid changes on these are finicky at best. Better to have the dealer swap a trans on their dime than yours if the change isn't done correctly.

Otherwise I'm pretty OK with the rest of the maintenance manual. I'm of firm belief that these maintenance manuals were written by marketers and not engineers, to use them as a selling feature for new cars. "Look at how little you have to spend on maintenance while you own this!" as you're burning a quart of oil every thousand miles.

I'm sure that everyone's going to have their own opinion on this, and there's probably going to be people that think I'm full of crap. However with all of my vehicles I've never lost a major component, save for the POS trans that was put in my Miata (don't buy a first model year vehicle, almost all of the rev 1 ND manuals have exploded at this point).
Some good advice up there from @Thed351W . The oil maint light in my GX goes off every 5K and that's when I change it. Definitely do the tranny AT LEAST every 100K. I just had it done and it was only $250. Drain and fill is not the same as a flush with the machine that monitors pressure and uses the tranny pump. I didn't realize mine had not been done in the first 150K and I wheel a bit so I plan on doing it every 50K or so going forward, probably sooner before the next one. Tranny issues and coolant leaks (valley plate) seem to pop up more than any other problems on the forums so make sure you are very attentive to those fluid changes.

Here's my log in case it gives you some insight (I think I forgot to put the second to last oil change in)
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I'm personally on drain and fill every 30k miles now after (4) drain and fills of my '12 @ 58K miles (currently at 78K miles). I plan do another one this summer. This is usually around 4 quarts.

Transmission services are comparably cheap and transmissions are not... regardless these ATs are on backorder right now so IMO... take care of it.

These are actually easy transmissions to drain and fill IMO. Overfill by half a quart what you drain, heat to check temp, remove check valve, solid flow goes to a trickle..accurate level and put check valve back in. The lack of a dipstick hasn't been an issue for me.

••Heavily loaded, some kind of cargo carrier on top like Thule, or idle or drive slowly in the city.

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I change the engine oil and rotate the tires every 5k. Clean the engine air filter and replace the cabin air filter every 10k. Planning on doing the diffs, transfer case, and greasing the drive shaft at 30k. Spark plugs and tranny will be at 60k.
I agree on the OCI, at least after your dealer covered maintenance is up, 24mo/25K. Not sure I'd bother with tranny fluid prior to 100K, varying opinions on that all around. I never realized they call for new plugs at 60K, that seems extremely early IMHO given current spark plug tech, especially if you stack 30K+ in a year like I do. I wouldn't bother until they were at least 5-6 years old and then I'd pull them and check before replacing.
Just be aware that, as per the manual, towing or off road use triggers additional service compared to regular road use.
Very few here qualify for “regular off-road use or heavy towing.”
  • Haha
Reactions: r2m
Bear in mind the other criteria for severe use according to Lexus Warranty And Service Guide.

Primarily City driving or anyone who just uses a basic rooftop cargo carrier

What about a fully packed GX with bodies and gear? That would likely be considered heavy vehicle loading.

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I'm gonna change spark plugs this year on my '12 @ 79k miles but Lexus maintenance guide for '10-'23 says 12 years or 120k miles

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LOL I'm a little overdue at 163k eh? In all
seriousness I don't think they were changed by the previous owner unless it wasn't done at a dealer or it was unreported or I missed it in the maintenance history oh Lexus drivers (which could be the case). I bought it with 134k and it's running perfect so I didn't feel like it was urgent. I am going to do mine this year though so I'm curious to see the age and wear when they get pulled out.
Bear in mind the other criteria for severe use according to Lexus Warranty And Service Guide.

Primarily City driving or anyone who just uses a basic rooftop cargo carrier

What about a fully packed GX with bodies and gear? That would likely be considered heavy vehicle loading.

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Wow, this post hit home!
  • Off-road, dusty roads
  • Roof top tent
  • Low speed, low 4 cruising
Good thing I stay on top of my maintenance!

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