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Lexus RX 330 Maintenance and Repair



  • r1_97r1_97 Posts: 181
    Our '04 RX330 has a bad smell from the front vents which lasts for about 5-10 minutes after the car starts up in the morning. The dealer says it could be the cabin filter ($80) but it seems to me that with only 17K miles and driving only on paved roads that there is some other cause.


    Has anyone else had this problem?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706



    Google search for


    wwest & defog




    wwest & odor
  • windy6windy6 Posts: 57
    Our rear wiper didn't do the top 2-3 inches from day one, at the 30 day they "said" they replaced the blade, but we didn't have any rain for awhile and we don't drive the car all that much. I have seen other posts here about the rear wiper.


    At the 5,000 mile we complained again as we had had some rain and they replaced the assembly. I noticed the other day that it seems to be doing the same thing. I'll find out next we as we're heading to Santa Fe, 950 miles each way, for Christmas. I'm sure we'll have some weather on that trip.
  • Has anyone noticed that the 2005 RX's driver's right side and the passenger's left side arm rest seems to be a bit high and uneven with the door arm rest? I thought it was just me, but my wife noticed it too.
  • Yep. It takes about 20 minutes and my arm goes to sleep.


    My RX300 didn't do that to me.
  • Haven't had the smell but you could try taking the filter out to see if it goes away. It's in the glove box.


    I think it might be caused by the AC. I have heard of odor problems in that area.
  • There might be wax on the windshield. Try to clean the windshield with dishwash.
  • luapluap Posts: 21
    You can try one more cleaner: Many years ago I bought a GM (sorry) windshield cleaner (powder) from a Cadillac (sorry again) dealer. The container said it was made by BonAmi. Turned out to be the same product. Sprinkle it on a wet sponge and use circular motion "OUTSIDE ONLY", rinse very well.
  • Does anyone notice that the maximum speed for RX330 is @ 110 miles per hour, after that the car will cut off the gas and wouldnt go further than 110. Is there a by-pass related to the cut off limit @110??
  • scoti1scoti1 Posts: 676
    Thought some of you would be interested in this article regarding the transmission hesitation issue.

  • caryncaryn Posts: 5
    I've had my 2004 RX330 since Aug 03 and I have to admit, I live on my CD player. Has anyone had any issues w/theirs?? What's happening w/mine is that I can't eject my CDs and they will not play. To top it off, the display has been reading "ERROR 3" and in the manual, it says to try to eject the CDs but they won't come out. Needless to say, the car is going in the shop for a 20K service, the CD player and I think for the TSB corrections for the driver's side window molding (I get the road noise), the power back door and maybe the brakes. I have a sneaking suspicion I won't see my car until Valentine's Day again.


  • Caryn,


    Do the CDs in your CD player have paper or gum labels on them (you made the CDs and the labels yourself versus buying music store CDs)?


    If the answer is yes, then I suspect the label(s) have jammed up the changer. As a radio producer, I too live with my CD player but I learned the hard way with my old Honda Accord that I CANNOT use paper labels. I had an entire changer full of CDs with paper labels kill my steroe system in the Accord. My error message was also similar to the one you describe.


    If the answer is no, then I don't have any suggestions to offer. But in either case, don't expect to get your CDs back.


    On a related note, my last regular service took 3 days and it covered all of the TSB's you listed and more. It also included a digishield application to the front bumper. So, I can't imagine you will be without your RX for weeks.


    Good luck.
  • caryncaryn Posts: 5
    The CDs are store bought so no stick-on labels. I think it's due to the fact that all I use about 98% of the time is the CD player and that's the reason why it went so quickly. I was lucky the last time when my CD player went in my old 4-Runner because it was an after-market installed CD player that was a separate unit for the radio that was mounted in my trunk area. This time, not sure how lucky I'll be about getting my CDs back. :-(


    My Lexus will be dropped off the Monday after New year's and w/everything that needs to be done to it, I don't expect it back before Thursday but it's going to feel like a much longer period of time w/o it.


  • I have the RX 330 and its less than a year old. We live in a very snowy climate and my Lexus is AWFUL in the snow. I have the all season tires, 17 inch and LITERALLY if I go to stop and there is a tad bit of ice the car does not stop. I have tried driving in 1,2,3 gear and still the same problem happens. Anyone else experience slipping problems?? I am scared to death to go out in the snow and ice now! HELP!

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    If you could be certain the surface that you wish to next stop on was quite slippery, beyond the capability of the ABS to help, you could pull the ABS pumpmotor fuse.


    But then that would also disable your AWD system, your VSC, Trac, BA, etc. Not a good idea I guess.


    Somewhere in the near future the VSC will get coupled to the ABS so that the Anti-lock braking function does not activate unless the vehicle is deviating from the desired path during severe braking.


    In the meantime put some spacers on the rear so that snowchains can be installed, on the rear only, first, and then also on the front if conditions are that severe.


    The only answer to your problem at the moment is additional roadbed traction, snowchains or studded tires.
  • You didn't mention if you have AWD or FWD on your RX330. I assume since you live in a snowy climate that you have AWD but I thought I would ask anyway.


    I also have 17 inch rims and I haven't had any problems at all with our AWD in the snow. In fact, I LOVE my RX in the winter (and I don't like much else in the winter months).


    I suspect your problem is the ECT Snow Button near your transmission shifter. I do not understand all of the technical aspects of this mode but the button basically allows your tires to spin when plowing through deep snow.


    You do NOT want this button engaged when you are trying to brake in snow and ice. You will lose control every time in a manner similar to the description in your message.


    The button is a bit deceiving. Until I read the manual, I thought I wanted to have that button engaged ALL OF THE TIME in the winter. Basically, I only press the ECT Snow button when I am trying to get out of our subdivision before the snow plow makes its first pass after a major snow.


    If your ECT Snow button is OFF and you continue to experience the driving conditions outlined in your message, I suggest you call your nearest Lexus service department and have them check out your vehicle


    Hope this helps....
  • nw1997nw1997 Posts: 227
    Yes that is true, even with the RX300 it would not pass the 112 MPH mark, the tranny downshifts, (this was the four speed tranny). It can be by-passed, but the computer programing would have to be altered. There are many reasons why manufacturers do this, don't forget your in a vehicle that the center of gravity is much higher. Also, when I had contacted LEXUS about this they had said it was for safety and emission reasons. In a way we hardly took the vehicle up to 100 MPH, but I guess in the back of our minds if we spent nearly $40K for a vehicle it should at least do what is on the speedometer. We now own a near luxury vehicle that, to us has surpassed our expectations at a lot less $$$.
  • nw1997nw1997 Posts: 227
    Actually, the ECT button should be used in snow/icy conditions. When selected it reduces the throttle response, e.g. if you floored it with the ECT button pressed the vehicle should not take-off as usually. It helps to prevent wheel spin. Plowing through deep snow, I am not to sure about that, I tried that with about 8-12 inches of wet snow and got about 12 feet into my driveway before the vehicle would not go further, and yes it was the AWD with the Limited Slip Differential rear end.
  • windy6windy6 Posts: 57
    We just got back from Christmas trip to Santa Fe and encountered a bit of snow/slush etc while there and on the way back. The back wiper still is crappy for the top 3 inches. And this after we had the unit replaced a few months ago. Back to the dealer sometime soon I guess.
  • As I said, I don't understand the science of this. But, my experience with the ECT is the exact opposite of what you describe. For me, having the ECT mode engaged when driving on ice and snow is much, much more dangerous than leaving it off. It helps when plowing through snow piles but makes ice even slicker than glass when engaged.
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