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Lexus RX 300

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  • I just saw your post regarding good prices in Houston. My husband and I are looking to buy in the next two weeks and wanted to know if you got your $33,500 goal. We're in San Antonio but would definetely drive to Houston for that price. Thanks!
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    Ok, since you're asking, I'll give my opinion and explain why I say what I say.

    In general, scheduled service is the biggest money maker for any brand of dealership. I know this for a fact because I got into a detailed conversation with a dealer owner once, I'm always curious about different business models work, cash flows, net profits, etc. If you do the numbers you'll see that selling a car at $1000 or less over dealer cost will not pay the bills and allow for profits unless you can generate an incredible number of sales per day.

    The service center has turned into the "lifesaver" for many dealers. What a service center can do to get more of your money in a non-illegal manner is propose "additional" services than what is necessary as deemed by the manufacturer. The problem is that most car owners don't question the proposed maintenance services. Notice I keep saying "proposed". If you question or push a Service Advisor on this issue they will eventually fess up that many of the proposed services are unecessary.

    Example: I have a GM car, it has an engine that doesn't need a "tune-up" until 100K miles. All the owner's manual calls for is an oil change and tire rotation every 7500 miles under normal conditions. Should cost $60 or less, even with inflated dealer prices. My wife takes the car in and I get a bill for >$200! It seems they also changed several fluids (including the Xmission) and made several other checks and adjustments. They actually did the work they said, so it wasn't dishonest, but was it necessary? No, according to my owners manual. And the only thing that counts is the owners manual when it comes time to honor the warranty and you need to prove that you followed the manufacturer's maintenace schedule.

    Side bar: Oil changes. This "change your oil every 3000 miles" is one of the biggest scams pulled on the public in a long time. Every new car I own has a manufacturer recommended 7500 mile interval for oil changes. Plus, most modern oils are so well formulated you could easily go 10k miles without a problem (under normal conditions0.

    Ok back to your Lexus. I'm assuming that you're asking because you don't have an owners manual. If you do have an owners manual, shame on you. You already have your answer, you don't need mine or anybody else's opinion. If you don't have an OM, then for 30K miles the following is manufacturer recommended:

    Replace brake fluid
    Replace engine air filter
    Replace engine coolant
    Replace engine oil and filter
    Re-torque drive shaft flange bolts
    Rotate tires
    And a number of items to inspect, too long to list. They will charge at least two hours labor for this, so you are looking at least $150 - 200 in labor alone. Start throwing in parts and fluids at dealer prices, and you are looking at least $250 - 300 overall.

    Only if the vehicle is operated primarily while towing a trailer or carrying heavy loads, you should also:
    Replace differential oil
    Replace transfer case oil

    That's it, unless they actually find something wrong with the vehicle. And guess what? If there is something wrong outside of normal maintenance, it's under warranty! Shouldn't cost you anything additional.

    Hope this helps.
  • According to a Southern California Acura dealer, the Lexus RX300 is going to be redesigned for 2002. Anyone else heard this? I spoke with a local Lexus dealer and they said there weren't going to be any changes for 2002 (except a higher price tag so buy one now...).
  • ruskiruski Posts: 1,566
    I mean popping :)

    I have been hearing this noise too. It sounds more like a loud click and there is a pretty long time interval between the clicks.

    FWIW I live in Florida.
  • drummerboydrummerboy Posts: 30
    Tonychrys, I don't really know the answers to your questions, since I took my RX to a local audio shop (Los Angeles) to have my subs installed. The shop also installed an on/off switch right below the heated seats buttons (next to the cigarette lighter), so I can turn the sub/amp on or off. As far as I know, you can hook up any subs w/amplifier to any car, without having to alter anything to the stock system.

    I've had my subs/amps for 2 years now. It used to go in my old car. The subs improves the sound system by A LOT. I'm already very satisfied with the sound. However, I still have some leftover power in my amp that I was hoping to use on the front speakers. Since the Nav is hooked up to the left side, I don't think it'll be possible to power the front speakers with my own amp without cutting off the Nav voice.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    1. Replace brake fluid.

    Like engine oil, brake fluid doesn't wear out, but just like engine oil, again, it does become "contaminated". Brake fluid is hygroscopic, basically meaning it will suck moisture right out of the atmosphere, and as the moisture content grows over time, the boiling point of the fluid becomes lower. Brake systems, Pads, metal backing, caliper pistons can get EXTREMELY HOT!

    If the boiling point of the fluid is low enough it will start to boil and gas bubbles in your brake lines is not something you ever want to experience.

    But now a reality check...

    A. Where and how is your brake fluid exposed to the atmosphere? At the filler cap and no where else. So don't open the filler cap unless absolutely necessary. I just opened the one on my 2001 AWD RX and it is very well sealed when closed, not even an air pressure equalization vent that I could see. So, unless you have had your brake system worked on, parts opened to the atmosphere, the probability that your brake fluid needs changing out becuase it has accumulated too much moisture is very low.

    B. Replace brake fluid...

    Simple sentence, can someone out there tell me how to implement it without inadvertantly mixing the old fluid with the new? And what ratio old to new will I have when they are done? Can't say for sure, yeah, thats right.

    I know it can be done but I would never want to pay for the number of man hours it would take. First all the old fluid would have to be removed...ask the dealer how he plans to do that without disassembling the brake calipers on all four wheels, the master cylinder and the ABS pump and accumulator, and exposing all of those parts to the moisture laden atmosphere in the process.

    2. Replace engine coolant.

    MY 92 LS, 75,000 miles, is still running with the factory coolant plus maybe a quart or so of coolant I have added over the years when I did my own routine maintenance. I never add just plain water and I check it for freeze resistance on a regular basis.

    3. Rotate the tires.

    If you have a set of tires on your RX that have lasted for thirty thousand miles then yes, you should rotate them. But, be sure the rotation is both fronts to opposite rears. On the RX, even AWD, most of the engine torque is going to the front wheels and those wheels must also handle the steering loads.

    Keep in mind, lubricating oils, basically do not wear out. Before I would change any oil other than the engine oil I would send samples to a lab for analysis.

    Hydraulic fluids such as transmission and power steering are formulated to allow particles and contaminats to settle out into the bottom of the reservoir. If these fluids need to be changed due to contamination you had better find out where the contamination is coming from now, rather than discovering the gearing was chewing itself apart long after the warranty has run out.

    The same goes for any lubricating oils, including the differential, if it needs changing you should find out why, not simply change it out and go on your way.
  • jfetterjfetter Posts: 29
    Raddboy41, I checked the wiring harness today and I seem to have voltage. It is kinda' hard to give you a reading since I may not be measuring the voltage between the proper wires. What I do see is a change when the running lights or turn signal are turned on, which to me indicates everything is fine.

    I would be happy to measure the voltage across specific colors for you but it sounds like you either have a faulty harness (easy to check via continuity test on each wire) or perhaps your fuse or fuse block may be having a problem.

    What I saw when measuring mine (I made the assumption the MALE connector on the harness was ground even though the colors do not match what I always learned), was a voltage spike between it and the other pins that only lasted a second when measured. It did not remain measurable for more than an instant and I am guessing this has something to do with the newer "smart" electronics which require the proper load to be present on all pins (like a tail light that can become a flasher when the flasher goes out because it senses the open circuit).

    Let me know if you want reading, I will gladly do them today. Also, sorry for the delay but I had a wedding to attend last weekend and with a baby on the way, it seems I am always running behind trying to get things done. Oh yea, I never disconnected the ground either, I assumed as you did that this was just a safety issue...

    jfetter

    -----

    "Here's my problem. After installing the wiring harness and plugging in the 20amp fuse, I still don't have power to the harness!"
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    Depsite the supposedly good intentions of some folks here, if you don't at least follow the maintenance schedule in your owner's manual you stand a good chance of voiding the warranty if something were to happen, or at least get more of a hassle/blame when something does go wrong.

    It's not about who's right or who's wrong -- it's about what the manufacturer requires, no matter how silly that might seem to some folks. Maintenance requirements are one of the things that any prospective buyer should check out before they purchase the vehicle. If you can't live with the terms of the maintenance, then you shouldn't buy the vehicle.

    I'm done dispensing common sense, I'll let the experts take over.
  • lexrx1lexrx1 Posts: 9
    carbargain, sounds like your dealer is pressuring you into buying an RX now - By saying the price will go up so you need to buy one now. I wouldn't worry about that, it is always best to wait and get exactly what you want in a car.

    As for the changes - what I think is going to happen is in 2002 (not model year, but the actual year) the RX will be introduced as an '03 in the fall. As for the '02 model year RX, nothing much, if anything, will change. For fall of '02 Lexus is planning on introducing an all new ES. It has been REAL hush, hush so no one really knows anything about it. Just that it is going to be much more technologically advanced...more luxurious.

    Hope that helps you some,
    -LexRX
  • kmhkmh Posts: 143
    I apologize if this is off-topic, but in case you do your own detailing (I do, occassionally) I found something that will help bring some "newness" back to the black trim pieces on the RX.

    It's made by Mother's and it's called "Back to Black".

    I noticed the black trim pieces on my '99 RX showed some signs of fading thru whatever reason (oxidation?).

    I recalled reading about this stuff and headed to a Pep Boys and picked up a bottle of the B2B.

    Well, the results are really great and makes the black trim pieces look new again. I'm really impressed. The bottle costs about $5 (not cheap). but it's worth it, IMHO.

    I applied it to the black door sill trim pieces as well as the front and rear wiper arms. They look they're practically "new" off the dealer lot...

    Anyway, I was just so ecstatic about the results, I wanted others to know about it. :-)
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    If you feel you can't afford the cost of repairs if the manufacturer will not honor the warranty without full compliance with the maintenance schedule then you should adhere to it very strictly.

    But for me personally...

    I truly believe in the overall reliability and build quality of Lexus vehicles.

    I have enough experience maintaining and repairing all the vehicles I have owned over the years that I don't question my own ability.

    I am more than willing to stand up to any argument the dealer/manfacturer wants to put up that "warranty coverage doesn't apply because...".

    I had had too many instances wherein the vehicle came back from Maintenance in worse shape than it went in, Yes, even Lexus. When I bought my 92 LS it was a new experience, adventure, for me, (virtually all Fords previously) I was so impressed I decided that I could trust them to do my maintenance.

    The next (free) oil change I got the car back with a deep scrape on the right front bumper. The area were the gofer washed and vacuumed the car was too narrow and he struck the wall with my car.

    The next time around someone forgot to drain the old oil before putting the new in. After that one I decided never again.

    So..

    If it aren't broke don't fix it !!!

    Remember, those are not all master mechanics or technicians that work on your car at the Lexus dealer, some of them would be better at flipping hamburgers at MC's.
  • We are considering buying a RX300. Looked at
    a used one with Goodyear tires (21,000 miles).
    They looked worn out. Are these SUVs rough
    on tires. I have a Nissan van that chews them
    up.
  • clee4clee4 Posts: 103
    I do not think that this SUV is rough on tires, rather the Goodyear tires are not well suited for this SUV. The Goodyears are basic sedan tires installed on a SUV. Most people are happy with Bridgestones or Michs. Thanks for the insight on the Goodyear tire as for how long one might have to put up with them.
  • ranjithwranjithw Posts: 9
    Could somebody advice me on how I should drive first 1000 miles on my RX300. Somebody told me that I should not drive it on the highway at a constant speed. Is that correct?

    Thanks
  • melvinshmelvinsh Posts: 19
    I had those stock tires for almost 40,000 miles (38,800 to be exact). They seemed to last another 5,000 or 10,000 miles more! Perhaps, I did the rotation every 5,000 miles.

    Couple weeks back, Costco had $50 off on tires. I took advantage of that though I did not want to get rid of those "still good" Goodyears. Guess what, I have no regret. The new Michelin LTX M/S tires run like a brand new RX. Better traction, handling, no more viberations around 40 mph, quieter, and they looks great.
  • malhokcmalhokc Posts: 83
    I agree with posts regarding sticking with the MFG recommended schedule for maintenance. It probably would not even be an issue, if the prices were not so ridiculously inflated. Has anyone considered (or have experience) doing the 15K, 30K, etc service (excluding oil change service) at a Toyota dealer.

    One other thing to note is that the prices for the maintenance varies significantly from Lexus dealers to dealers. I took my 00RX for 15K service. I was quoted $425 and $285 from two different dealers.
  • ritzpmacritzpmac Posts: 2
    Who can I reach in Lexus regarding the lemon law. My 2k1 rx does not start when left out in the heat all until 3pm. It wont start until it gets cooler. i brought it to 2 different dealers already. Lexus of Manhattan replaced the battery but it still didn't work. I am very dissapointed about the reliability and service of Lexus. They do not want to replace the car.
  • drummerboydrummerboy Posts: 30
    I agree with Lexrx1...
    The 2002 RX will be exactly the same as this year's. The 2001 RX just got a face-lift, so don't expect it to change for 2 years. Fall of 2002 seems like the right time for Lexus to roll out a completely new 2003 RX.
    I heard about a new Toyota Camry coming this year. The ES300 should come out around the same time... maybe fall of 2001?? The new RX will most likely share platform with those two cars.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Ten to one says the ES300 will be going to rear wheel drive. FWD has no place in the luxury segment of the market, just as Cadillac and Lincohn have now learned.
  • outrunoutrun Posts: 539
    My guess is that the ES300 will follow whatever the Camry has, which will 99.9% be FWD. Not sure how easy it is to modify the "platform" to be FWD and RWD.

    Then again, the RX is a Camry platform and has AWD...

    -Craig
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