2013 Lexus GS 350 Long-Term Road Test - Maintenance

2013 Lexus GS 350 Long-Term Road Test

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2013 Lexus GS350: 20,000-Mile Service

August 13, 2013

2013 Lexus GS350

The "Service Engine Soon" light was flashing on our long-term 2013 Lexus GS350. This meant that it was time for its 20,000-mile service.

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Plastic Engine Bay

July 16, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

Is the engine ugly because Lexus uses an engine cover or does Lexus use an engine cover because the engine is ugly?

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Paint Protection Film

July 12, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

Our 2013 Lexus GS 350 came with the optional $429 paint protection film. It covers portions of the hood, front quarter panels and front and rear bumpers. It's invisible except at the edges and its installation is perfect.

But is it worth $429?

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2013 Lexus GS 350: The Windshield Wiper Trick

June 14, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

Last February, during what passes for winter here in southern California, an alert reader noticed that the windshield wipers on our 2013 Lexus GS 350 were in the winter park position.

He was right of course, but several of us hadn't noticed. Snow is something we generally keep at arm's length in these parts unless we choose to ski on it.

The so-called "Snow/Service" position reduces the chance that light to moderate snow accumulation will bury the wipers. It keeps them out from under the edge of the hood so they can be lifted and unstuck.

But it's more than that, and GS owners in warm climates like ours should know what's up. That's because this raised position improves access to the wiper blades when they need changing.

During my road trip to the Circuit of the Americas, I put the wipers back in the summer position after reading the manual while I sat munching enchiladas in a café in Grants, New Mexico. I took pictures, filed them on my laptop, then promptly forgot all about them.

So here they are. Better late than never, right?

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2013 Lexus GS 350: 15,000-Mile Service Complete

May 10, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

I'm late in bringing you this update, but on the last day of April, our long-term 2013 Lexus GS 350 and I strolled into Santa Monica Lexus unannounced.

"I'd like to get a 15,000-mile service for the car," I told the porter.

After a five-minute wait, a service advisor came to help me. I'd already consulted the GS 350's separate maintenance booklet, so I knew the action items for this maintenance visit, or at least I thought I did. I pointed to the booklet and told the advisor I wanted all these services performed.

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2013 Lexus GS 350: 15,000 Miles

April 29, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

We've hit the 15,000-mile mark in our long-term 2013 Lexus GS 350. As Mark mentioned before, this car is due for service at 15K miles.

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Time for Maintenance

April 18, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

As our long-term Lexus GS 350 nears the 15,000-mile mark, it's time for some scheduled maintenance. At least, that's what the computer is telling us. The good thing is, there's a dealer right down the street from us so we'll let you know how it all goes.

Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 14,380 miles

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2013 Lexus GS 350: 10,000-Mile Service

February 19, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

Yesterday we called Lexus Santa Monica to schedule a service appointment for our 2013 Lexus GS 350. We asked for the earliest possible opening. The advisor scheduled us in for 7 o'clock this morning. It was easy.

We showed up on time and were met by our service writer, Mario, promptly. He processed our car quickly, explained the details of the work to be completed, and had us on our way before we knew it. We'll ask for him by name next time.

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Mystery Body Damage

February 15, 2013

 Lexus GS 350

Look at what I saw on our 2013 Lexus GS 350 this morning. I remember as a kid that surprises were good things. Then I grew up and learned they could be really bad things too. This is one of the latter, of course.

I can't tell you how it happened, or when. That's the mystery. But it's there and now we have to deal with it. It looks like the tabs may still be intact. So there is a chance the grille will pop right back into place. I'm not holding my breath, but we'll try.

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Rain and the Rearview Camera

February 14, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

The position of the rearview camera on our 2013 Lexus GS 350 is such that even a light rain can lead to water build-up on the camera lens. A car wash has the same effect. It isn't something I expected, being that the lens is positioned on the underside of the trunk lid. But it happened, nonetheless.

I categorize this one in the good-to-know but certainly not a deal breaker file.

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 9,828 miles

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Officially Due for Service

February 13, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

The maintenance light on our 2013 Lexus GS 350 began as a polite warning. The service prompt suggested we see a dealer "soon" for service. At that time the supporting exclamation point shut off shortly after start-up. But now it's serious.

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22013 Lexus GS 350 F Sport: Maintenance Warning Light

February 5, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350 F Sport

A maintenance light on the instrument panel of our 2013 Lexus GS 350 F Sport tells us a trip to the dealer is coming soon. At 10,000 miles, to be exact. We're at 9,406 at the moment, so it's giving us plenty of service warning.

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Marketing Manager Wanted

November 15, 2012


This post has less to do with our 2013 Lexus GS 350 driving experience and more with the ownership experience. I was looking up another local deaelership on Google Maps when I saw this bubble over Lexus of Santa Monica. Looks like they need to hire a new marketing manager.

It turns out that this dissatisfied customer was the only to post a comment, so it pops up as the default. Well, it made me laugh. But just when I thought this dealer had lost its way, it did this...

We received a mailer with a coupon for $30 off our next visit. Thirty bucks isn't much, but it is something. It shows the dealership is at least making an effort. Not all of them do this nowadays.

Of course, maintenance at 5,000 and 10,000 miles is covered by Lexus already. So we'll have to hold on to this coupon for another 10,000 miles before using it.

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 6,000 miles

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2013 Lexus GS 350: Resetting the Maintenance Reminder

October 16, 2012


I started up the 2013 Lexus GS 350 last night, and what do you know, time for service. Wait, didn't we have that done last week? Ah, yes we did.

But in the midst of rotating the tires and doing the mandatory checks, our Santa Monica Lexus service tech apparently forgot to reset the maintenance reminder.

Well, that'll be easy to take care of myself, right?

It is, if you where to look. Initially, I looked up "Maintenance" in the index of the GS 350's main owner's manual (it's still paper and pretty much a set of encyclopedias) and couldn't find any relevant topics. Forget that, I thought, I'll be able to figure out how to do in the navigation system's settings menu.

So I clicked Settings, then Vehicle, then Maintenance and that brought me here (see above photo). And then I tried to plug in the date (10/10/2012) that we had the oil changed and tires rotated. Nope. This area is apparently only for setting future reminders. You're supposed to swap the oil and filter every 10,000 miles or every 12 months, whichever comes first (tire rotations are every 5K miles). We'll hit the mileage first, but just for the heck of it, I put in 4/10/2013 while I was here. Obviously, I still need to change the interval from 5,000 to 10,000... there's no telling how many settings I screwed up while fumbling around here. I'll be fortunate if the radio still works.  

The next time I started the engine I realized I still hadn't solved the maintenance reminder puzzle. So I went back to the index, this time searching under "Reset..." instead of "Maintenance" and, sure enough, there's an entry just for that.

And here's how you reset the maintenance reminder in the 2013 Lexus GS 350, though evidently only if it's a U.S.-spec car. Any Canadian readers out there with a new-gen GS 350... is it actually a different process?

So yeah, I'd call the reset process a bit complicated (but then, midsize luxury sedans are supposed to be complicated) and I can kinda understand why the service tech didn't bother, but there's no question, that yes, he/she should have bothered because it's his/her job to bother with such details.

Regardless, the reminder is now reset, so we shouldn't see it again for another 5,000 miles or so.

Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 4,652 miles

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2013 Lexus GS 350: 5,000-Mile Service

October 10, 2012

2013 Lexus GS 350

We dropped off our 2013 GS 350 at Lexus Santa Monica today for its free 5,000-mile service appointment.

They have the most beautiful service department I've ever seen. It's like a big fancy hotel, all marble and dark wood. Very pleasant.

Four hours later, it's back at our office. And boy do they bring the car around fast. You step outside and it's there in seconds.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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