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16 Common Problems Of A Lexus IS 350

16 Common Problems Of A Lexus IS 350

Lexus is a brand known for making some of the most reliable cars on the market, an IS 350 will go past the 200,000 miles mark without much hassle, but we know that no car is perfect. In this blog, we will tell you what to look for if you are in the market for a Lexus IS 350 (2014 – present day). Before going in-depth about all the problems with the Lexus IS 350, we will first give a short and simple answer.

Lexus IS 350, made from 2014 onwards, suffer from fuel system issues such as fuel odors, fuel leaks, or a failed fuel pump. Airbag issues, problems with the brakes emitting grinding noises, brake rotor warping, brake slide pin failures, or issues with the brake actuator are also common.

That was the most straightforward answer we could give you. However, these do not portray the whole picture, as you also need to know how these issues came to be, what to do to spot them, and how to fix them. Read on!

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Fuel System Issues

The Lexus IS 350 seems to be one of the most reliable luxury sedans on the market, so finding faults may not be as easy as it is with some other luxury brands. Either way, the Lexus IS 350 is not perfect, and fuel system-related issues are one of the most common issues you can experience with a Lexus IS 350. These include fuel smells, fuel leaks, and a failed fuel pump.

Fuel Smell Inside and Outside the Vehicle

A few owners complained that the Lexus IS 350 emits strong gasoline odors inside and outside the car. These can also often point toward fuel leaks on either the car’s engine bay or somewhere in the undercarriage. The problem here is that fuel tends to evaporate quickly, which means that you will sometimes not be able to notice any fuel puddles on the ground.

As far as the reason why that happens, there are a few. First of all, always be sure to check if you have closed the fuel cap completely. These can also be due to a clogged fuel filter, a failed EVAP system, and even issues with the catalytic converter. All these components can emit fuel odors if faulty or clogged.

Fuel Leaks

We are not yet done with fuel leaks, as these can be caused by many other problems. First, the diaphragm in the pulsation fuel dampers can deteriorate over time and potentially develop cracks that will lead to fuel leaks. This is precisely why Lexus recalled particular IS 350 models in June 2016 (18V432000).

 It is also worth mentioning that these leaks can lead to fire hazards which is why you should always act swiftly if you sense any fuel odors in and around your car.

Failed Fuel Pump

The Lexus IS 350 isn’t immune to fuel pump issues either, especially the low-pressure fuel pump, which is prone to failing. If you notice any whining noises coming from your fuel tank, your car being hesitant to fire up, your engine sputtering, losing power, or even surging, chances are that your fuel pump is to blame.

As these were known to fail even while driving, they could potentially throw off the driver and cause an accident. Because of this, Lexus decided to recall certain Lexus IS 350 models back in January 2020 (20V012000) and in November 2020 (20V682000).

Also read: Types Of Gas A Lexus IS 350 Takes (Explained)

Airbag Issues

Airbags are likely one of the most critical safety features on modern-day cars, which means that any airbag-related issues need to be dealt with as soon as possible. The Lexus IS 350, sadly, isn’t resistant to airbag issues. Most airbag-related problems are associated with the driver and the passenger inflates modules and potential inflator ruptures.

These have also prompted Lexus to recall the IS 350 several times:

  • 16V340000: Lexus recalled certain Lexus IS 350 models in May 2016 due to potential airbag inflator explosions, which could cause metal fragments to fly toward the occupants and cause injuries or even death.
  • 17V006000: Lexus recalled certain Lexus IS 350 models in January 2017 due to potential airbag inflator explosions, which could cause metal fragments to fly toward the occupants and cause injuries or even death.
  • 18V024000: Lexus recalled certain Lexus IS 350 models in January 2018 due to potential airbag inflator explosions, which could cause metal fragments to fly toward the occupants and cause injuries or even death.
  • 19V005000: Lexus recalled certain Lexus IS 350 models in January 2019 due to faulty front passenger airbag inflators, which could explode due to propellant degradation caused by excessive humidity and intense temperature cycles.
  • 19V741000: Lexus recalled certain Lexus IS 350 models in October 2019 due to faulty driver airbag inflators, which could explode due to propellant degradation caused by excessive humidity and intense temperature cycles.

Brakes Issues

Specific problems that can occur on newer and older Lexus IS 350 models are those associated with the car’s brakes. These include grinding noises while driving, issues with the brake actuator, brake rotor warping, and issues with the slide pins.

Grinding Noises While Driving

If you notice your Lexus IS 350 emitting grinding noises while driving, you should inspect your brakes immediately. A few owners complained about both grinding noises and excessive vibrations when braking, which are signs of high friction Textar brake pads that produce a slightly louder noise when releasing the brakes.

You should also check if you have enough brake pad life left or if there is something possibly lodged between your brake pads and calipers.

Brake Actuator Issues

Brake actuator issues are shared across multiple newer Lexus models, and these can easily be noticed if you sense your brake pedal pressure is increasing, there is a delay in braking response, you hear popping/clicking sounds, your brake warning lights come on, or you potential even a complete loss of braking power.

As the brake actuator is a vital relay that controls the hydraulics of your brakes, you ought to replace it if you want to maintain the highest level of safety while on the road.

Warping Brake Rotors

Brake rotor warping is common on high-performance cars as many drivers tend to brake aggressively while driving such cars. Some IS 350 models are high-performance, but all IS 350 models can suffer from brake rotor warping. This issue seems to be due to improper installation and lack of bed-in procedure.

Brake Slide Pin Issues

Older Lexus IS 350 models sometimes suffer from the front and rear brake slide pins failing and thus needing to be replaced. These issues were nt across the early and mid-2000s IS 350 models, but it seems like some newer IS 350 models suffalso suffer from this issue sure to check if your slide pins are corroded or not adequately lubricated, as that tends to lead to them failing.

Electrical Issues

Luxury cars are usually packed with all sorts of high-end technologies designed to keep us safe and entertained while on the road. The Lexus IS 350 is no different, but with such a vast number of features, something is bound to break eventually. These electric issues include problems with Destination Assist and Safety Connect, two systems intended to alert emergency authorities if your car is in a crash.

Other issues include problems with central locking, where particular doors might refuse to unlock or lock remotely. These issues are typically down to low key fob battery, a faulty solenoid, a blown fuse, or an issue with the wiring. We also need to mention problems with the airbag light illuminating for no apparent reason.

Equipment Issues

Equipment-related issues tend to be sporadic but common enough for them to be mentioned here. A few owners complained that the dashboard material is way too prone to scuffing, which is why you should always use a fine cloth when you want to clean it. Others have reported issues with the wipers, which can either become way too slow to operate or fail altogether. It seems like this issue is down to the wiper relays shorting and thus failing.

Probably the most difficult equipment-related issue is one where the sunroof shatters for no apparent reason. These issues are happening across the entire car industry, and it seems like the IS 350 is also one of those cars that experiences these issues. This may not be as common as many other problems on this list, but it is a major one.

Steering Issues

Regarding steering issues, the IS 350 has some of those too. A few owners have complained about the steering pulling to one side while feeling notchy and grabby, especially mid-corner. Others have complained about the steering wheel becoming heavy for a few seconds and then returning to normal.

Both of these issues seem to be due to the power steering system. The power steering pump is a known failure point on many cars, and these two complaints were directly associated with the pump. However, we need to point out that the entire power steering assembly can also be the culprit, which means that you will have to replace everything to regain complete control of your steering.

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems Issues

ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) is one of the most essential additions to the modern-day auto industry as these systems work in tandem to keep a conscious eye on everything that goes around the car and even intervene if the system believes it’s necessary. Be that as it may, some of these can sometimes be overly assertive and sometimes interfere for no apparent reason.

Lane Keep Assist Issues

The lane-keep assist feature has become concurrent across all modern-day vehicles as it helps the car stay at the center of its lane. However, some IS 350 owners complained that this system could disengage on its own, or it can sometimes tug the car towards the center of the lane even while trying to make a lane change. Thankfully, these systems can be repaired by updating or resetting them.

Adaptive Cruise Control Issues

The adaptive cruise control system is also really important for those living in urban city areas that often drive on the highway and find themselves stuck in stop-and-go traffic. However, the IS 350 can also experience issues with the adaptive cruise control system. The most common ones are when the system disengages or cannot turn on. These can usually be fixed by resetting or updating them.


Even luxury vehicles have their common problems and the Lexus IS 350 is no exception. From air bags to brakes, issues are going to arise but now you should be more prepared for what’s coming your way.

If you’re on the market for a Lexus car you might want to consider checking our other articles showcasing issues with other models like the Lexus RX450h Hybrid, and many more.

In conclusion, while Lexus IS 350 has its fair share of problems, being informed and proactive can save you a lot of headaches down the road. Happy driving!

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