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Lexus RX 350 Driving Experiences and Problems



  • cwaynecwayne Posts: 81
    Check with your dealer. My 5000 was free but I did not do the 1000 checkup.
    The service person told me this new as of last week.
    The engine noise only lasts for a short time when the engine is cold.
  • I have a three month old 2010 Lexus RX 350 and I am pleased to say that I am getting 21 mpg in town. I haven't taken a road trip with it yet to see what I would get on the road. I only have 1500 miles on it though. I am pleased with the gas mileage but not pleased with the interior road noise.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    I am a bit surprised oil still needs to be changed every 5000 miles!

    That is surprising. There were reports that the Prius interval was going to 10,000 miles, but it apparently didn't.

    Makes you wonder if Toyota is still concerned about sludge issues (they lowered the interval from 7,500 to 5,000 miles back in 2007 or so). Or maybe they just are trying to hit the EPA mpg requirements.
  • Hello, cwayne. My '07 RX also came from Lexus of Tampa Bay,
    and, yes, they do have me spoiled. A-1 treatment, definitely! :)
  • When I had my GS300 (now have RX350 - 2010) I asked about the noise. The tech guy said it was a normal thing and it had to do with the "injectors" settling in after starting. As soon as the engine was warmed up, about 2-3 blocks of driving it stops. I have the same situation in the RX.

    Whether this explanations is true or not, I don't know but mine is just the sound of ticking/clicking which goes away.
  • bsg1bsg1 Posts: 1
    Did the dealer tell what causes the engine noise when the 2010 RX 350 is cold. I have the same problem on mine.
  • No, had no good answer. Lexus stated that is normal noise in the 3.5 motor. DON'T THINKS SO!
  • rxersrxers Posts: 9
    Hi Guys,

    I have a baby due later this month and I haven't put the car seat in yet. Should this be done in the middle seat or side seat? Any experiences?
  • I have the same problem on a brand new RX350. A ticking noise with a (garaged) cold motor that goes away after a couple of minutes of running. I probably won't be able to get to the dealer for another month, but I'm going to call the to see what they say. I don't think I'm going to accept 'it's normal' unless they can show me that all the other cars do it.
  • bv2000bv2000 Posts: 15
    My daughter had her seat checked out by NYS. They said the seat should be on the passenger side on the 2010 RX
  • My dealer said that the noise is from a solenoid that I think he said deals with the fuel mixture or pressure when cold. He said it started with the 2007 models and is actually always occurring but that the control pulse width gets longer after the engine heats up so that it doesn't create the same short repeated sound; and that it can occur when the whether is warmer as the engine is still relatively 'cold' compared to a hot running engine.
  • I don't accept it as normal either. The dealership requested a regional rep.(on my behalf) to come and listen to the noise. He came and measured the decimals on the noise in my cold vehicle and then in cold exact other cars on the dealership property, as well as loaners with similar mileage on them. They mostly all have the noise, but the Piston Slap noise was a full 2 points louder on my car. Lexus still calls it normal. The regional rep, stated he agreed the noise is loud and "suggested" Lexus would take care of us. They have not as of yet! I am still in communication with Corporate Lexus about it.
  • Could you please clarify authura2: Are you saying you had 2 objectionably audible noises - one being the pistons? OR are you saying that the noise in all the cars was all from the pistons, and that it went away after warming up, but yours was louder?

    What I hear is a tapping that seems by my count to be about 6 times a second. I've stopped the car in neutral to rev it, to see if it speeds up, but to be honest i don't recall if the tapping got faster. My feeing is that it didn't, but I'll have to re-check it.
  • I just re-listened and the tapping or clicking sound is actually faster, maybe 12 times a second and it does slow to much lower (after the car warms) so that's it's relatively un-noticeable.

    I think I found it objectionable because the car motor in general, that chatty engine sound, seems much louder than my 2000 RX. It reminds me of how the 2000 sounded after about 7 years of use. People use to remark how quite the car sounded. I never thought much of it as I was used to it. But this 2010 sounds way louder to me, enough to make me think, wow this car is noisy - even after it's warmed up.

    Does anyone have an opinion of how a 2010 RX sounds (in terms of loudness) compared to 2000 era RX?
  • I have an '07 RX350 that I've been driving for three-and-a-half years, and it has always had the "noise'' at cold start, particularly on a cold morning. But it does go back to being a very quiet and smooth car after it's warmed up.

    It is correct that this started with the '07 models when Lexus upgraded to the 3.5 liter engine. I believe the RX330, which has the 3.3 liter engine, is a more quiet engine.
  • cwaynecwayne Posts: 81
    My 06 was quieter at low speeds but at highway speeds the 2010 has less wind noise and overall is quieter. My noise at low speeds only happens when I accelerate. I have put the 2010 in park and revved the engine and hear no unusual noise. Overall I am very happy with the 2010 and also was happy with the 06 and the 04.
  • My 1999, 2000, 2003, and 2005 RX's did not have the noise. My 2008 had the noise. Left the car over night for the dealer to hear it in the morning. Mechanic said it was normal for this engine. I know have a 2010 and it has the noise and it goes away as the car warms up. I have accepted that it is normal. I love the 2010 and the way Lexus keeps improving the RX while keeping the lease payment the same as it was in 1999.
  • denuxdenux Posts: 1
    I have purchased a brand new 2010 RX 350 last Nov. of 2009. From the same day I brought the car from dealer, I noticed a jerking motion when gear shifts from 1st to 2nd and some empty engine rev. between 2nd and 3rd. I thought I was just not used to the new car's acceleration.
    So comes the first complimentary 1000 mile service, I have informed the dealer about the symptoms. The technician noticed the problem as well and the dealer's service dept. wanted to keep the car for few more days for testing. A few more days went by and found out that lexus headquarter is recommending transmission & torque box replacement.

    I am asking for a whole car replacement. Don't know if that will fly but will try.

    Has anyone had a similar/same problem?
  • RxRx, right now I'm driving a loaner 2010 RX350. I have noticed that the engine or exhaust note seems louder and less refined than
    on my '07 RX. It's also noticeable when sitting at a stop light, this sort of annoying humming that I'm not recalling having this on my
    '07. Gosh, I wanted to like the 2010, but it's not happening for me so far.
  • No doubt about it. The 2010 is MUCH louder than previous models and the fuel mileage is worse. I chose the 350 over the MDX because the Acura was louder and had slightly lower MPGs. Not any more. The only thing I can put my finger on is that most of the 350s in the US are made in Canada, My 2007 and 2004 were made in Japan.

    So I'm stuck with this cement mixer for 2.8 more years. Then it's GOD BYE Lexus, hello Acura!
  • maximafanmaximafan Posts: 592
    edited February 2010
    Actually, my '07 RX was made in Canada. I have the non-navi model, and I've had no problems with it.

    I'm wondering if Lexus was trying to make the 2010 RX sound more sportier?? I mean, it sounds nice when you first hit the push button start, but after that it gets annoying. I've been playing my iPod on the stereo, which helps to drown out the exhaust note.
    It definitely has a different exhaust sound than my '07 RX. Ironically, the exhaust tip on the outside I felt was another disappointment in the 2010. I thought Lexus would follow suit like they did with the other models; IS, ES, GS, and put the split dual
    exhaust tips on the RX to give it a little sportier flair. But you can't even see the exhaust tip on the 2010. It's kind of hidden under the

    Now, I did drive it at night tonight, and the interior lighting is nice for nighttime driving. I got to play with the nav on this model a little
    bit. After a little fumbling, I was able to input my home address and it took me right to my doorstep. The controls are so different and the interior design is so different from my '07. I believe it would take a little more time to get to know this vehicle. Also, I
    discovered there's no sunglass holder. As I've said in previous posts, I'm having a hard time justifying paying more money for any crossover SUV out right now that would be worth turning in my '07 RX for.
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    I'm just curious maximafan, do you have a maxima, I have a 2010 Maxima SV and I am loving the car so far in almost every regard! we looked at the 2010 RX350 before getting the Max, we liked the testdrive but we could not get the vehicle how we wanted it with out getting the expensively priced nav package and audio package which both we didn't need; I just feel for a vehicle over $40k I would expect HID Xenon's to come standard without having to get a nav and audio package but you can't and I couldn't wait 4 months to get one ordered how I wanted from Japan so we went with the new Max!

    sorry I went off on a little bit of a tangent but I'm curious that you mentioned how loud the vehicle is; I test drove a base AWD version twice and found the vehicle to be extremely quiet; what version do you have? I have read that the sport package and hybrid models tend to have more wind, road, and exhaust noise then the regular FWD and AWD options without the sport package?
  • maximafanmaximafan Posts: 592
    edited February 2010
    Hey, Smarty666. When I first joined Carspace back in 2005 or 2006, I believe it was, I was leasing a 2002 Nissan Maxima. It was
    a great car, but got totalled in an accident back in July of 2006.
    Thus, this is how I ended up leasing a 2007 Lexus RX350 in August of 2006. So while I enjoyed driving the Maxima, I have to
    say I have enjoyed the Lexus even more. The treatment at Lexus for my service intervals has been great; first class.

    But I have to agree with you regarding the 2010 Lexus. It's going to cost more money to get the things that I would want on it. I mean, admittedly, there's things on the 2010 that aren't on my '07, and there's things that I'll have to pay extra for that I've got on my
    '07 that cost quite a bit less than the 2010.

    The noisiness that I was referring to while driving the 2010 loaner that I drove was mainly the exhaust note. The car was quiet in most respects, but I didn't care for the sound of the exhaust note.
    I will say that I was impressed by the pickup that the car had. Man, I thought my '07 was quick, but the 2010 feels even quicker, which is remarkable since it only has 5 more horsepower and weighs over 400 pounds more. I guess that 6 speed tranny really does make a difference!

    Oh, and speaking of noise, I also opened the sunroof on the 2010 and had to crack a back window open because of too much buffeting or helicopter-like sound coming through. I don't have this problem on the '07.
  • I thought I would list some of my likes and dislikes after driving a 2010 RX350 loaner vehicle for a day-and-a-half.

    Likes: 1.) Impressive power and pickup. Even feels more powerful than my '07 RX.
    2.) Once I got used to the Navigation system, I thought it was very nice with nice features.
    3.) Love the push button start and the smart access to the vehicle. It was convenient not having to hunt for my keys.
    4. The 2010 doesn't seem to exhibit some of the quirks of a FWD
    vehicle. My '07 probably drives more like a FWD vehicle.
    5.) The 2010 model feels a little more planted on the road than my '07, and the steering is a little less numb and a little more firm than my RX. I've always felt the steering was a little overboosted on my RX at low speeds, although it's pretty good on the highway, especially on longer trips.
    6.) The 6-speed tranny is definitely a smooth operator, very smooth shifts.

    Dislikes: 1.)Exhaust note has a cheapy sound to it. I like the more quiet and smooth exhaust note on my '07 better.
    2.) I was not able to warm up to the middle dash design. I felt it was overdone by Lexus, maybe just too large?? And to me, the middle part kind of looks cheap for a $40,000-plus vehicle. The instrument panel behind the steering wheel is nice, although, again, I like the one on my '07 better.
    3.) I noticed this 2010 model that I drove didn't have the lighted aluminum kickplates on the door sill. I understand you have to go all the way to the Luxury package to get this now. I have these on my '07 non-navi model that only has the premium package.
    4.) There was a loud buffeting or helicopter-like noise when I opened the sunroof with all the windows closed. I had to crack a back window to get it to stop. I do not need to do this in the '07 RX.
    5.) There is now no sunglasses holder on the upper console thanks to Enform.
    6.) Really bad layout of the iPod jacks and the power jacks way down in the bowels of the middle console that the armrest also doesn't open all the way up, making it even more difficult to reach down into the dark pit to plug in everything.(Unbelievable!)

    So to conclude, it's about even with the likes and dislikes, but right now, when you factor in the price increase, I would say I'm leaning towards buying my '07 RX at the end of the lease. I never thought I would consider this, as I like to drive a new car every three or four years. But who knows how this is going to go??
  • smarty666smarty666 Posts: 1,503
    edited February 2010
    very nice analysis man on the RX; sorry to hear about your 2002 Maxima! what a bummer :cry:

    anyway, I hear you about Lexus customer service, besides my 2010 Max, I have a 05 FX35 and a 08 TL and the customer service and dealership experience at Infiniti and Acura is ten times better then the mediocre treatment I get at Nissan but that was to be expected!!

    I don't remember hearing the exhaust note that your mentioning but then again I might have missed it being that I only test drove the RX for about 10 minutes and had the salesman yapping in my ear the whole time about how great the RX is so that might have had something to do with it! you would know better since you had it for a much longer period then I did!

    I have to say though, def give the new max a look at, or at the very least test drive one; it has a really nice refined exhaust note when you step on the gas which is not low but not loud either and really gives the car a sporty flair to complement the killer body style! you are right though, its hard to compare a Maxima to a RX because the material quality is going to be a little bit better in the Lexus and the dealership experience obviously as well; but like I said just to get Xenon Headlights, intelligent high-beam, rain sensing wipers, and heated front seats, which were the only features I really wanted, I had to get the nav and audio packages and which jacked the price up to almost 46k, while for 39k I could get everything I wanted and more in the maxima I have now; I love the heated steering wheel, dual panel moonroof, mood lighting, power rear sunshade, etc!!

    the only prob is the buyout on my Max lease is so ridiculous that I'll probably try and go back to Lexus to see what they are offering and I know now that if I want to get a RX the way I want with the equipment/colors I specifically want, I'll have order it from Japan, 3-4 months ahead of time!!

    Glad to hear your enjoyed your 07 RX man, best of luck with it!! :D
  • chucko3chucko3 Posts: 793
    I own a 07GS350 with a 3.5L engine. There is a TSB for 07/08 GS350
    regarding brief engine knock/rattle on cold start up.
    I read the TSB. It has to do with the intake camshaft gear assembly.
    That could be the same noise issue the with RX350.
    This repair is covered under the Lexus Powertrain Warranty for 6 yrs/70K miles.
    I will wait until then to see if the noise gets louder and longer.
    Too early to open up my car engine.
  • Hi, Chucko3. I have not received any TSB for the '07 RX350 regarding the brief engine knock/rattle on cold start up. Now,
    back in January I did take care of a Limited Campaign service bulletin for the '07 RX350 regarding an oil hose line. I got the line
    changed out, and no problems. Getting back to the engine knock on cold start, I guess I'm so used to it now, after driving the car for over three-and-a-half years, that it doesn't even bother me.
    The funny thing is, the car becomes so smooth and quiet after that fifteen minute cold start. Now, if you stand outside near the front of the car, the engine is not the quietest around.
  • I hear you on the difference in the way you are treated between Lexus and Nissan. During the ownership with my Maxima, the service guys, to me, were a bunch of grumps, kind of rude.
    The funny thing is, I had been driving several Nissans starting back in 1995. In the beginning, the group of guys in service that I dealt with at Nissan were great, very nice. But over the years, particuarly when I had the Maxima, it was a different story.

    Today, I went to get my purse to go into the garage to get into my
    RX( I had to get out of the house, got cabin fever after battling a nasty cold) I almost forgot to pull out my key, I had forgotten I wasn't driving the 2010 RX with the smart access key!(LOL) Must be the congestion in my head(Ha!Ha!) I sure did miss that nice little feature though.
  • chucko3chucko3 Posts: 793
    Unlike Campain Service TSB, customers won't be informed of regular TSB.
    I wouldn't have my engine opened up & camshafts replaced yet.
  • I'm so glad I ran across this site. I haven't bought a new car in 9 years and I'm looking to purchase in the next few months. I've always admired the Lexus brand and am interested in the RX 350 model. I'm not coming from a luxury model but considering that I spend over an hour a day in my car, I'd like it to be something I enjoy driving. This will be an upgrade.

    So, here's my question. I'd already been debating purchasing certified pre-owned versus new. I'd finally decided to go with new. I'm a technology geek so things like the entry system on the 2010 appeal to me. I then read about the issue with the volume on the NAV system and thought that I would just skip the NAV instead. But after reading through more of the posts here on engine noise, etc I'm back to strongly considering a CPO.

    If you had the choice between the 2010 and an earlier model with very low mileage, which would you choose? My local dealer has a good selection of '07-'09's with mileage in the 5K - 30K range due to people trading them in for the 2010 model. I'd love to hear your opinions. Thanks in advance.

    Note: maximafan, thanks for your posts on this topic. They've been really helpful.
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