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Lexus RX 300

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  • Just purchased a silver sport this past summer.Called dealer for price,$680 and was informed that using outside shops may void warranty. Called 3 shops and there around$300.Even called toyota dealer and they would install at work or home for$395.Any input would be helpful.Enjoy the bickering, and helpful info.
  • tc_i_amtc_i_am Posts: 52
    You're amazing... you must not have many friends. Have you looked up bombastic yet?

    I could care less about pre '01 AWD Rex's, that's not what I own. The information I have says that the '01 is full-time 4WD. All I care about whether that is true or not. I'll let you worry about other things since you are so good at it.

    Lexus corporate is working on a response/explanation for me. The customer service folks admitted that they were not a technical resource and kicked it to corporate. The ETA I was given for a response was EOB today. When I know I'll be sure to share with others and try to be helpful. What a concept, huh?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    too big a word is.

    Something I would hardly ever use, people who try to use too many big words probably do so to feel self-important.

    Have you ever seen me dispute that the 01 is full-time AWD? I do wonder if the addition of Trac is really satisfactory to make it "full-time" AWD, my own experience indicates otherwise. But if Trac operates as the factory says it does then I wouldn't dispute the 01 RX AWD argument.

    I assume you have seen my posts regarding enquiries to Lexus. If you have a better contact then what you might want to pursue is the question regarding the 99 and 00 RXs.

    The only instance I had to test TRAC was on a muddy road and it was my impression that it quit on me fairly quickly and turned on the diagnostic light. The diagnostic light seemed to go out if I drove the straight and narrow for about 100 yds. It seemed to have "re-armed" itself at that point, maybe it took some time to replenish the hydraulic accumulator?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    doesn't stretch unless its put under tension.

    A viscous clutch doesn't "slip" if the front to rear roadbed traction isn't disparate. So what Lexus says is logically correct, "under normal conditions engine torque is delivered EQUALLY to both front and rear."

    But, didn't most of us buy these vehicles for their performance in ABNORMAL condition?

    I just went back and looked at post #3098. Tony what SUV do you own?
  • Has anyone gotten curious enough to measure the gas mileage improvement gained by removing the accessory cross bars? I've noticed that the bike carrier alone (no bike) drops my in-town MPG from 23-ish to 21-ish. (2001 FWD.) Since it's no more than a couple of minutes to install or remove, I usually take the bike carrier off if I'm not transporting bikes for several days. Got me wondering how much the cross bars alone cost in MPG. (And, interesting enough, adding a bike to the carrier only drops the MPG to around 20.)
  • psripsri Posts: 6
    After a month of trying to decide between the RX & the ML, finally we bought the white-gold RX300 (wife's choice of color of course!). In the end, the reliability, human engineering, comfort and gas-mileage (of RX) outweighed the off-road abilities, supposedly better handling, couple of extra safety features and a little larger interior (of ML) in our order of priorities. The excellent local Lexus dealership with courteus sales folks and great service (here at Central Jersey) also helped.
    I have learned quite a bit from this forum - thanks to everyone who posted.
    Question: Our sales person was suggesting we use regular gas. The User manual recommemends premium while not requiring it. What are user's experience on this - do most folks use premium. I thought I would start off with premium gas for a few thousand miles and maybe try out regular later on. Any advise?
  • tomjavatomjava Posts: 136
    Please read the lastest Car & Driver magazine issue regarding premium or regular unleaded gas. Great article.

    BTW, congratulation on your new RX300
  • jim250jim250 Posts: 23
    We bought our black '01 AWD with nav on 7/31 and now have about 2300 miles on it. We have always used regular gas with no apparent problems. On a long trip made before we hit the first 1K on the odometer, gas mileage was 24.1 while driving ~65 mph with A/C off. Only other options we got were the rear spoiler, trailer hitch, luggage area mat and net, and Ziebart rustproofing. Car is great so far. Only small annoyance is slight but frequent (for want of a better word) rustling or ticking sound coming from the area of the overhead console near the rear view mirror. Cannot yet figure just where the sound comes from. Dealer said they fixed it by loosening and reattaching the velcro supporting the headliner. This didn't work. Does anyone else have this slight but nagging sound? If radio is on, I don't hear it, so I suppose that would be a solution too. :-)
  • finch3finch3 Posts: 113
    Have used regular gas for the 20,000 miles I've had my 2000 FWD and it works fine. MPG average from 20-23.
  • pschiffepschiffe Posts: 373
    Drove my 99 RX 70 miles to Rochester yesterday for scheduled maintenance even though my neighborhood Lexus dealer is only a few miles away, see post #3123 of 10/4 above. Very gratifying experience all around and the bill was actually less than their estimate, $376 + tax. That also included new front wiper blade inserts. Had the pleasure of driving a 2001 RX loaner which included the premium package. Lots of goodies I don't have on my own - electrochromic rear view mirror w/compass, memory and heated seats, Homelink transciever, CD changer, moonroof and HID headlamps; but no NAV - sweet. Guess I'll have to go all the way next time if I can finesse it!

    Pete
  • Sounds dumb, but have you tried removing any sunglasses from the overhead compartment to see if the noise persists?
  • Anyone out there know when the RX is due for a redesign? I am thinking about buying a 2002 now, but if it is going to be redesigned next year, I can wait a few more months for a totally new fresh look. Any advice?
  • jim250jim250 Posts: 23
    Yes, bcjacob1, I did check for any loose items in the overhead compartment, thanks. Nothing there. It seems that if I press on the left rear edge of the overhead console, it often will stop the sound. Now I'll just have to keep my finger pressing on that spot on the ceiling, and voila, no more annoying sound -- kind of like the Dutch boy plugging a hole in the dike with his finger to hold back the sea. I hope my arm won't get tired. :-)
  • I had to cut rear right belt (details below) in my 2001 4WD RX300.
    Is replacement of the belt under warranty?
    How much of a deal is to replace it (seems like a large back plastic panel has to be removed)?
    Will dealer be able to put panel back, so it still looks like new?

    Details. My 3-years old put a belt around himself and then released it, choking himself. I tried to release a tension in orede to pull more belt out, but I had no room to go: the belt was too tight around his belly. Belt woundn't give up, so I had to cut it.
  • alekseyp - I noticed that the belts at the back seats are very easily triggered into locking themselves. I never had a situation when I had to cut the belt but my 7-year old constantly gets stuck under the belt when she as much moves a bit more suddenly.
    Does anyone know if the tension lock sensitivity can be adjusted? Would it be safe to make it a little less sensitive?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I happen to have the shop manual for a 2000 Chrysler T&C AWD, which, like the RX, also uses a viscous clutch to "adaptively" drive the rear wheels. There are two differences between the two drive types that are notable.

    The Chrysler has an over-running clutch in-line with the rear drive shaft so that in a heavy braking situation the rear wheels can/may turn faster than the front. The Chrysler also has a "dog-clutch" around the over-running clutch so the vehicle can still route torque to the rear when in reverse.

    Why the difference?

    I was told by an industry expert that the T&C has a higher "pre-load" on the viscous clutch so the "latent" coupling front to rear would be much greater than the RX. Without the over-running clutch the T&C drive train might be damaged in severe braking situations. With less pre-load on the viscous clutch, the RX's rear wheels could easily over-run the front during heavy braking with no adverse affect to the drive train.

    Conclusion..

    The Chrysler T&C has a better AWD system than does the RX!

    No doubt that is also why my 2001 RX would not apply very much torque to the rear wheels with the fronts elevated, a lower pre-load, less native or latent torque to the rear.
  • I'm getting jealous from people getting 24 MPG on a highway and 20-23 city.

    Yestarday I only got 21.7 between Portland and Seattle and regularly get about 17 on the city.

    I have checked the tire pressure. Is there anything else I should check? Thanks in advance
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,992
    Here's some generic gas mileage tips.

    Steve
    Host
    Vans, SUVs and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Left Portland for Seattle (home) about 7PM in a 99 blue 911 coupe with the aerokit and got 27.8 MPG.
  • I don't think Kim is really concerned with the gas mileage of a small, light sports car wwest. I think she is more curious about the mileage of a RX300...you know, the topic of this forum. Maybe if she had asked a question about the viscous clutch she would have gotten a relevant answer. Or probably not...
  • jeffmust2jeffmust2 Posts: 811
    This board is already way past those concerns.

    Willard - how do you think that Prius would do, same trip, same time of day?
  • I bet your mileage would have been less if it was a RED 911 coupe.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Seattle to Portland, Saturday morning, not same time of day. I think the Prius mileage was hurt by the fact the system kept charging the batteries even though as far as I could see they weren't used very much. What did it do with the over-charge? Dunno.

    Ran both legs mostly on cruse control, mostly same speed settings. Prius clearly had to rely on IC engine at those speeds, doubt if battery being there was any help at all.

    Kimwipes; With regards to RX300 MPG, could the difference be becuase some are driving FWD RX300s while the rest of us are driving AWD? FWD will get slightly better MPG.

    At this very moment my 2001 AWD RX shows 16.9MPG since last fillup, 98 miles, and 18.6 average. Other than current MPG being predominatly city, I don't have any idea about the city/hiway ratio for the overall average. I do have a wider tread on my RX than OEM and the increased roadbed friction from those would also result in lower MPG.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Yes, but my time in transit would have been longer due to the time it would taken the trooper to fill out tickets.
  • rxcurerxcure Posts: 33
    In 1988 I took a bike trip from Seattle to Portland. I averaged 80 miles per day, and consumed approximately 2 gallons of water and juice per day, hence 40 miles per gallon. The bike was blue. RX would have made the journey faster, though bike would have performed better in dry conditions off-road. In wet or snowy conditions off-road the RX would undoubtedly have performed better than the bike. Rather than extend the 100 or so posts back on forth on RX AWD set-up, can't anyone find a reasonably independent group such as Car & Driver that has reviewed this?
  • Kim,

    If you have the AWD version, that could make a difference in gas mileage. FWD version not only has to power half as many wheels, but it's lighter as well.

    FWIW, although I miss the manual transmission of my Land Rover Discovery, I find that I actually drive much more conservatively with an automatic. That's contrary to what others have said. The only explanation I can think of is that when driving in 4th (or heavens, 3rd) gear, that stick was just sitting there begging me to get it into 5th. With the Lexus, I have no idea what gear it's in.

    Conservative driving, plus having a 4-year-old that long ago learned how to read speed limit signs and speedometers, does make a MPG difference.

    Stephen
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Seems to be very knowledgeable overall, touts the ML320, but not so much that it over-shadows other truths.

    I was hoping TC would get an intelligible response from Lexus Corporate, and I have made an overture to a local service advisor, but so far no luck.

    Car & Driver? Lexus buys their lunch!
  • tc_i_amtc_i_am Posts: 52
    I did receive the response from Lexus, and the MY01+ Rexs are indeed full-time 4WD with a 50/50 split. I know that's not the independent source you wanted, but thought you'd like to know. I've driven FWD cars all my life and I know what front-end torque steer feels like, my 4WD RX definitely has a neutral, stable feel to handling.

    I won't bother posting the full response since Mr. Bombastic is in full swing here. It's a free country and he can ramble on about anything. Unfortunately the side-effect might be the demise of this forum, the same way he helped destroy the SC430 forum on Town Hall.

    Take care.
  • rxcurerxcure Posts: 33
    4x4abc is maintained by an ML320 aficionado who has even published a book on the topic. While I don't question that he is trying to provide some objective advice, we've all seen that people who have a strong affinity for a particular vehicle such as the ML have difficulty keeping their bias in check. Every published source I've seen on RX has the same info that TC cites from Lexus -- namely a 50-50 split. Let's think about this for a moment. While I'm a natural skeptic, I find it highly unlikely that Lexus would put its carefully nurtured reputation (and deep pockets!) on the line by distributing fraudulent information about their product. If someone has published information from a reputable source that contradicts Lexus, I'd love to hear it and would encourage you to file suit. Meanwhile, the extended discussions of technical details and speculation that Lexus is lying don't strike me as particularly credible.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    Actually, 4x4abc.com is owned by a professional (expert) off-roader and photographer, Harold P. He has written books on both the M-class (but he doesn't own one) and the Jeep Grand Cherokee, and is so well known in the off-road and 4WD world that even vehicle manufacturers consult with him. Harold also owns The Adventures Company, which is an off-roading tour company (they teach you how to drive off-road + sideseeing at the same time).


    http://4x4abc.com/4WD101/index.html


    Drew
    Host
    Vans, SUVs, and Aftermarket & Accessories message boards
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