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2002 RX300 BAD OIL BURN THAT'S GOTTEN MUCH WORSE!
Last week as I'm driving home from a road trip around 300 miles, the oil light comes on. I just changed the oil a few days before going on vacation....I pull into a gas station and the dip stick is dry! I have to add 3 full qts to get it back in range. I got home and noticed it was low again...I decided to take it into Lexus at that point and not drive it.
They open it up, run compression tests...and tell me the #2 cylinder is jacked up and the spark plug fouled with oil all over it. In the last 500 miles I burned approximately 6+ quarts of oil. I remember getting something in mail regarding an extended 8 year warranty for oil gel or sludge problems with severe oil burn or oil consumption listed. With great maintenance and at 83000 miles....Lexus tells me I need a short block assembly replacement...to the tune of $7,800 with part/labor. I was floored...I showed all of my maintenance records, receipts...the stamped book...and they offered me 25% off as a "good will" assistance. With $5,800 the new price tag...I figure (since the vehicle is the prem pkg and in good shape otherwise) that the car is worth around 13k or so...I spent 30 minutes trying to get them to give me other options and the sales mgr says he'll give me $9,000 off a newer model for a trade in...they won't even fix the RX, just auction it off and pass the problem onto the next guy. Sheesh. Anyways, I pulled the RX (it drives fine, no noise...just burning oil like crazy) over to another mechanic I know..and I'm waiting to see if he can prove it's the same issue that the class action suit was all about. He thinks it is based on what he's seen...and has actually worked on a couple 2002 toyota engines with similar problems. (PCV was chg after 02')
They have a really nice 2005 RX330 with 40k miles on it on the lot and he'd knock the price tag from $27k (before taxes) down to around $17500 or so after my trade. My dilemma is whether or not to go with this....I liked the RX alot for the last four years...until this costly problem. What do you guys think? I'm 30 years old and make a decent living as a financial analyst....but man, I don't have six grand sitting around to throw at a 2002. What if it happens again! DOH. I feel kinda stuck...The RX was so great b/c I'm married with a 14 month old girl. Four door and really nice ride...I'd like another one, but man....any guideance or advice is appreciated. I've test driven other cars...I like the Infinity FX....but I really like the RX 330's and 350's alot. And I can't see trying to get another dealer to pay me more for it...even though they wouldn't know of the oil burn issue unless they opened up the engine...and I doubt in trade they'd do that. Any thoughts? Tanks!