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Lexus RX 330 Maintenance and Repair

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  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362
    "The Toyota hybrid design concept REQUIRES a certain type of CVT, continuously variable ratio transmission"

    For those of us unfamiliar with the various transmission types, can you elaborate whether this "CVT" transmission is different than that which is in the current non-hybrid models? I can only infer that you are saying that it is a different transmission, but would like to know for certain.

    Also do you or anybody have info about cabin noise in the new RX400h?
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,009
    Here's a brief intro:

    CVT Enters the Mainstream

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • condadocondado Posts: 2
    I have been reading all of the disgruntled comments about the RX 330. I have a 99 RX 300, and recently felt it was time to update. I just purchased a new 2005 RX 330, and unlike the experience of legendman, I don't have enough good things to say about my new car. I now have 1100 miles on it, have not heard one rattle, the road noise is as non-existent as it is in my RX 300, no engine noise, and I've had no slipping transmission problems. I'm very sorry that everyone's experience with the RX 330 is not the same, but I wonder if the people happy with the car are just not as vocal as the unhappy ones. I would strongly recommend the RX 330, it has more cabin room, feels more luxurious, and has a lot more toys on it than the 300. I hope that people who read this forum don't think that the majority of RX 330's are a "bucket of bolts".
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The "CVT" in the Toyota hybrids is really a planetary gear type open differential, the output, driving shaft's speed being determined by the "sum" of the two input shafts, the ICE on one side and the A/C motor on the other.
  • ajs122ajs122 Posts: 8
    At about 40 mph I'm getting a little simmy in what appears to be the left front. No crashs, no running the curbs, all of 9K on Bubba RX330. Haven't brought Bubba in yet, anyone else have similiar problems? TIA
  • gottlsgottls Posts: 21
    I agree with condado in post 1152. I purchased the car three months ago and have close to 6,000 miles on the odometer. My complaints are few. Rattle right side of dash that worked itself out around 4,000 miles. Other rattles included a passenger sun visor not properly secured and a passenger harness belt that will rattle if not in a straight line. Gas mileage could be better, Lexus states 18/24 (AWD) and I'm getting 16 in town with some hills, and around 21 & 22 fwy. with the car loaded. Dealer states mileage is common. Trans hesitation sometimes, helps to drive around town in 4th gear. It's my understanding that "drive by wire" technology in the new cars all have the same problem of some degree. Apparently they're still perfecting the system. That's it. Other then that the car is beautiful. Quite and smooth ride not to mention the luxurious interior. Roomy interior with a sliding back seat. Love the car. After all if your wife or girlfriend was perfect in every way, but had a couple of flaws are you going to throw her out.
  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362
    "I now have 1100 miles on it, have not heard one rattle, the road noise is as non-existent as it is in my RX 300, no engine noise, and I've had no slipping transmission problems."

    I am happy that you having no problems! Wish I could say the same. Wanna trade cars?

    By the way, are you driving on 17" or 18" tires?

    Speaking for myself, I never complained of rattles. Tire noise, road noise, wind noise -- yes. Curious whether you have the Michelins or the Goodyear tires on the car. The more aggressive tread on the Goodyears are definitely one source of noise. I am investigating the Bridgestone Dueler Alenza's, which are supposed to be a lot quieter than either tire. Unfortunately, the odd size 18" tire that's spec'd for the RX330 is not a common size, consequently there are few other choices. With the Bridgestone Alenza's, there are only a total of 3 different tires offered for the RX330 in the 235/55/HR18 size.

    As to cabin noise, lots and lots of people have reported it, and on other sites as well, such as the Consumer Reports site. Moreover, the dealerships do begrudgingly acknowledge the noise and the transmission problems, reporting that approx 3 to 5 people a week come in to complain about these concerns. Some mechanics will tell you the truth about the engine noise and where it is coming from -- the (new) plastic (instead of metal) intake manifold.
  • spring2spring2 Posts: 4
    I agree with Legendman - No rattles, but a lot of road/wind noise. The dealer acknowledged and replaced the door sealings. Very little improvement.
  • aaatttaaattt Posts: 22
    Because I Plan to buy a SUV. So I look all SUV forums !

    Really!!! every car has some problem.
    Special if your car is the 1of the 100,000 defect car.

    All depand what do u love & what u don't.

    Like your lover or wife !
    " You Come to love not by finding the perfect person,
    but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly. "

    The following post is from the MB, M-class forums
    Post 351 by wannaln.

    I understand your frustration mercpaully, I have ML 430 yr 2000 and I get really mad when some parts break down... and sometimes I wish I had other cars like Lexus. Toyota, Honda, etc... but you know what!!! ...it is always greener on the other side, ... when you get there... (guess what?), ... it is probably "brown" like your side!

    Look at what the "other" guys are complaining about their cars: -

    Volvo XC90
    http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.ef21566!make=Volvo&model=XC90&ed_makeindex=.- - ef21566

    VW Touareg
    http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.ef24552/0

    Toyota 4Runner
    http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.ef19330/40

    Lexus RX 330
    http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.ef22a65!make=Lexus&model=RX%20330&ed_makeind- - ex=.ef22a65

    Honda Pilot
    http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.ef0e957/0

    My philosophy right now is to be positive, ...enjoy the car as much as possible!...
    If it is broke fix it!... period.

    Thanks and enjoy your ride!...
  • condadocondado Posts: 2
    I have the 18" Michelin's on my car, which I insisted on after reading reports about the Goodyear tires on this site. I'm sorry that you have been unhappy with the noise problems, but I will honestly say, that has not been my experience at all. Compared to the RX300, there is no difference, both are extremely quiet, which has always been a strong selling point for me.

    I can also say that my car was manufactured in Canada. I know there has been some speculation on this site about Canadian cars not being as good as those made in Japan. I'm wondering if the early Canadian cars had these bugs because of the new plant, and perhaps now things have pretty much been corrected. Just a thought. I do hope all your problems can be resolved to your satisfaction.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Maybe those that are complaining of the noise are trying to take advantage of the extra price they paid for the "high fidelity" ML sound system.

    They should know that the only way to do that is parked in a nice quiet garage with the engine off and the windows rolled up fully.
  • yyyyyy Posts: 22
    We read this forum before getting the RX 330. So I'd like to provide a data point here after we acquired the car a few weeks ago.

    In regarding to the noise, I drove the car for about ~400 miles so far with both city and highway (although this is my wife's car), I don't experience any noise problem. I've the Land Cruiser used daily, which is a very quiet car. The RX 330 is very close to that level. The car has the Michelin, which I'm not certain if it makes any difference. (The quietness of car is actually on the top priority when we shop, so we are both pay special attention to this on test drive, especially on highway.)

    In regarding to the the transmission issue, I didn't experience that yet. I do agree the overdrive in the city drive which has short distance for stop and go may cause problem as one neter indicated. It just my guess.

    The only complain I had so far is the seat is not comfort enough for long distance drive (> 100 miles), but certainly sufficient for shopping mall trip. This is why we are still taking the Land Cruiser for long drive (which interior options are very Spartan in comparing to the RX 330), but that may be because we are used to the comfortable seat on the Land Cruiser.

    By the way, the car is made in Canada based on the VIN. It is AWD with NAV+ML+DVD.

    Cheers,
  • Hi. I have a 2004 RX330 4WD. It has everything but the sport package. Recently I have been flooring this car, and whenever I get out, I get a sulfer smell. The smell is non-existent inside the car. Any suggestions?
    Thanks
    Seth
  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362
    The car has the Michelin (tires), which I'm not certain if it makes any difference.

    It makes a very big difference. The Goodyears are the main culprit. The Michelins are much quieter -- I've driven both.

    The Land Cruiser is incredibly quiet. Like a bank vault. That's one reason I went for the Lexus RX.
    Figured it would be similar.

    Sounds like you got a good one. Maybe the Canadian built are better after all. Want to trade?

    ;)
  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362
    I agree with Legendman - No rattles, but a lot of road/wind noise. The dealer acknowledged and replaced the door sealings. Very little improvement.

    Yes, I had the door sealings replaced too. I concur, very little improvement.

    I'm beginning to think that the side mirrors are part of the problem. Drive with them folded in for a few blocks and you may notice that it's quieter inside the car.
  • jym626jym626 Posts: 21
    This may seem like a silly question, but what's with the absence of a place to put trash in the '05 RX330? I am OK with the lack of a cigarette lighter as I don't smoke, but when my son recently looked for a place to throw a candy wrapper, he couldn't find an ashtray or any place designated for trash. He ended up putting it in the storage area behind the front cupholders. We've only had the car for a week. Are we overlooking something obvious?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    So when, what car, have you bought in the past that had an OEM trashbasket?
  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362
    Maybe those that are complaining of the noise are trying to take advantage of the extra price they paid for the "high fidelity" ML sound system.

    They should know that the only way to do that is parked in a nice quiet garage with the engine off and the windows rolled up fully.


    'Ya got that right! I was driving on the highway this evening and hand to crank up the Mark Lev stereo up to volume 50 just to hear it over the road noise!

    Yeah, the ML system is w-a-y over rated! Nothing beats a Bose, although Infinity comes close.
  • smartgazzsmartgazz Posts: 6
    Is there anyone facing a problem of a Clunk when you make a right turn uphill. It will create a very loud noise in the rear. It will not happen in flat road or making a left turn. If someone has experience with this, I will be very appriciated if you can give me more info or any solution. My RX330 (2005) is 2 week with only 600 miles.
    Thanks
  • yyyyyy Posts: 22
    When we're test-driving the RX, I basically asked the salesman to shut up and turn-off radio, in order to listen and feel the noisy level. We are paying attention to when the car is "static" waiting for the traffic light as well as when the car is "moving" at high speed (>60). When car stops for traffic, the noise level should be very low. When the car is in high speed, you should only hear some noise from the road (it veries on road conditions) and sometimes a little bit from the side wind. The car should sound like air-tight literally (if it's not, then the seal somewhere is not hold up). Of cause, this is all quite subjective, but a car has that much noise (to froce you to turn stereo up) is not acceptable.

    I wonder if you can have the dealership to put the noise measurement equipment in the car for a test drive. It should at least tell how much differences between the noise level in your car and the Toyota specification for the car's noise level. The measurement would tell you where the noise leaks in (I am not sure if toyota would fix anything beyond the window/door seals such as beefing up the noise reduction materials on the frame itself). If that is not helping, I guess the LX 470/Land Cruiser is the toyota SUV solution for you. Cheers,
  • aaatttaaattt Posts: 22
    Yes ! the noise level everyone's feeling is different !
    Like the same wheather someone feel cold, someone will feel hot!
    Better to test by the equipment ! so it will give this car a fair judgement!
  • tomjavatomjava Posts: 136
    There is a Technical Service Information Bulletin (TSIB) for the Thump/Clunk & Whine/Hum problem. The Number is TC002-04 and was issued on 2/26/04.

    Good Luck.
  • smartgazzsmartgazz Posts: 6
    Tomjava, thanks for your info. But my local dealer said the TSIB already applied to all 2005 version so do not know waht to do next. They can duplicate the problem but they just can not figure it out and solve it.
  • yyyyyy Posts: 22
    That is not exactly my point regarding your post of "the noise level everyone's feeling is different". It is not like the color of car, which everyone's preference is quite subjective.

    I said that we can only subjective measure the noise level when tests driving the car unless you brought the test equipment with you. However, if there is a defect on the window or door seal from assembly, the noise will be obviously noticable. If there is any defact on the noise reduction padding on the frame itself (assembly issue again?), or a set of very noisy tires, then the noise is definitly unbearable, which is not that much subjective at all, as we should all hear the same noise :-( Quietness usually associates with luxury as requiring higher cost to have. I'm really disappoint to learn that many RX having the problem. It shows these cars didn't assemble together well at all. Test drive the car before signing the deal!
    Cheers,
  • legendmanlegendman Posts: 362
    When we're test-driving the RX, I basically asked the salesman to shut up and turn-off radio, in order to listen and feel the noisy level. We are paying attention to when the car is "static" waiting for the traffic light as well as when the car is "moving" at high speed (>60). When car stops for traffic, the noise level should be very low. When the car is in high speed, you should only hear some noise from the road (it veries on road conditions) and sometimes a little bit from the side wind. The car should sound like air-tight literally (if it's not, then the seal somewhere is not hold up). Of cause, this is all quite subjective, but a car has that much noise (to froce you to turn stereo up) is not acceptable.

    I agree with your points above, but I am curious, what your experience was when you test drove the RX? Your posts don't say.

    I asked Lexus for the sound levels in the RX330 -- as designed and built -- but they declined to provide them.

    If there is any defact on the noise reduction padding on the frame itself (assembly issue again?), or a set of very noisy tires, then the noise is definitly unbearable, which is not that much subjective at all, as we should all hear the same noise

    I think noise level is somewhat subjective, but we are not comparing apples to apples. First off, the RX330 is shod in different tires -- Goodyear and Michelin 18" tires, and also in 17" tires.
    I've driven on both 18" tires and the Goodyear's are much noiser, IMO.

    Also, the car is manufactured in two different plants -- Canada and Japan. There may be differences here as well, as each Toyota owned plant must use a large percentage of locally obtained raw material content.
  • aaatttaaattt Posts: 22
    Sure ! If a defect assembly car is not acceptable !
    but even inside in one car ! two people will feel different !
    ( like recently Lexus ES330 TV ad for two zone climate control)

    Too bad ! I need wait for 3 more weeks to get my car !
    First they tell me will be in end of June. Now tell me will be in mid-July.
    Not just one dealer. I think all So-Cal. dealers in the same condition.
    Already in low inventory when I begin shopping at mid-May.
    At that time I went to the Long** Lexus, they have all other models near 200 cars on parking lot. But for RX 330 only 5-6 cars. even the sales don't reply my e-mail.
    A lot dealers they do not have car to sell !

    The demand is same, I am just wonder why Lexus won't supply as normal.
    Do they adjust the assembly line for a lot complain? (Just guess!)
    ( I will pay attention when I pick up my car !)
  • aaatttaaattt Posts: 22
    I asked Lexus for the sound levels in the RX330 -- as designed and built -- but they declined to provide them.

    I think why they do not give u this information!
    If the law did not require they do so ( like safety issue ). They don't need to do it.

    If they give to u or publish it like car Technical Specs in brochure!
    Then all the cars on the street should meet that requirement!
    That may be involve a lot of recall & lawsuit !!
  • In response to the to your stuttering problem, There should not be one!
  • spring2spring2 Posts: 4
    I am puzzled by comments of how quite RX330 is. It is like we are talking about two different cars. I am an engineer and am not unfamiliar with machine noise. But the cabin noise bothers me.

    To give you an idea of the noise level
    - when a truck passes by, I cannot hear conversation in the car
    - I can hear the road noise of other cars up to 15 feet from me
    - When the road is not smooth, the road noise level is comparable to that of the radio
    - The car is only quiet driving local
    - Wind noise starts coming at 40mph. Very significant at 70mph.

    I used to drive a Corolla. I will say my RX is not any quieter. But for 40+K?
  • alolewisalolewis Posts: 36
    I think my 2004 RX 330 has a lot of wind noise, my dealer blamed it on the roof rack and adjusted the position of the cross bars but I never heard any difference. It is quieter than my GMC Jimmy which it replaced though.
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