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Lexus RX 330 Maintenance and Repair



  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    gardencar: Thanks for the heads-up. I was wondering why the 1-touch roof button didn't open the roof all the way. Some of those automotive engineers are pretty clever! (For wwest's sake, I won't put the climate control engineers into that category.)

    For anyone who really, REALLY wants to reduce the noise levels when the roof is open, you might want to consider installing a moonroof wind deflector. They are not expensive. We had one installed on our MDX, and it worked great! We could cruise at 65mph with the roof fully open and all the windows shut, without any helicopter noise. In fact, we would carry on conversations without having to yell at all... unless we were mad at each other, that is.

    We haven't installed a deflector/shield on our RX330 because the noise doesn't seem all that bad to us, and also because of cosmetic reasons. We prefer the modern, clean lines of the RX330 without any add-ons, whereas the MDX had a "boxier" appearance.
  • mfullmermfullmer Posts: 819
    ...Lexus really didn't do well designing the wind deflector for the RX (or whomever the sunroof manufacturer is). It hardly raises above the roofline at all and is pretty much useless.
  • johngreisjohngreis Posts: 70
    I understand that the same person that designed the wind deflector also designed the rear wiper.
  • tomtomtomtomtomtom Posts: 491
    Hi Steve, I didn't know the "R" word is banned from the forum until now...anyway, I hope this is acceptable:

    go to the local "the world of Japanese spoiler/wing" store and I am sure they can find something for you. Or you can ask them to install one of those stylish spoiler/wing that they used on the Civic and have them installed it on the roof of your RX, that should take care of the noise :-)
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    I guess I should have double-checked availability before I discussed it! My apologies. According to the Lexus website, they do not make a sunroof wind deflector accessory for the RX330. From the accessory catalog PDF file I downloaded off of their website, they listed a sunroof wind deflector for only the LX470.
  • maohumaohu Posts: 7
    katherine6, (post # 439) "helicopter moon roof..." How did you get your crossbars off? I'd really like to remove mine but haven't been able been able to do so.
  • maohu - I had the dealer remove the crossbars at the 1K service, so sorry I can't be more useful on that; but I think it was very easy, like pinching some clips on the ends of the bars to release their grip on the slot in the rails where they attach.

    Many thanks to all who have made suggestions for dealing with the helicopter noise. ede31 and others have suggested using the "not open all the way" option for the moon roof. I do and it doesn't help. cotmc, mfullmer and others have suggested a wind deflector, but I guess that's not available yet. Like rx4me #454, I find the noise deafening, not a marginal irritant. The boom, boom, boom actually hurts! Since some folks here don't have this problem, maybe it's like the dash rattles where either your rx has them or it doesn't have them. I'm wondering if the severity of noise I'm having is related to the rattle I mentioned a while back from the "sunroof pan rubbing against the headliner cross bar." In that case the dealer insulated the crossbar which eliminated the rattle when the moon roof is closed, but then the rattle reappeared even louder when the moon roof is open. I can hear this rattle when travelling under 25 mph, over 25mph the helicopter sound drowns it out. I'll let everyone here know what comes of this.
    Once again, thanks to all who have made suggestions.
  • caryncaryn Posts: 5
    I have a 2004 RX330 and I just recently had a dime-sized dent/round come about in my windshield, on the passengers side, thank God. I rock hit it and luckily it hasn't spidered out or gone all the way thru the windshield but I was wondering if anyone has had theirs replaced yet and if so, how much was it??


  • maohumaohu Posts: 7
    I'm trying to change my back-up bulbs; there are panels in the cargo comparment that access one set of tail lights and the turn signals. The back-up lights and the other tail lights are in the rear door itself. Question is how to remove the large plastic panel on the inside of the rear door to get at the bulbs (without breaking it). Anybody tried to do this before?
  • tomjavatomjava Posts: 136
    If you want to replace the whole windshield, bring your RX to Lexus dealer and insist only on original parts. In all, it costs more than $1,000 plus your insurance deductible (usually $100 for windshield).

    Or special glue kit from Kragen will do it.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Are not unique to the RX series nor any "set" of the RX series. Anyone who hasn't yet experienced it will need to drive directly into a headwind at ~50MPH with just one rear window fully open.

    But be prepared to have your eardrums become VERY pained!
  • george80george80 Posts: 7
    I have just replaced my front windshield, which had a long crack. I had two options, either to use a glass installer recommended by the insurance company or to do it via my Lexus dealer. I explored both options and either way, they would need your VIN to special order the right windshield, e.g. with or without the rain sensor holder. I had the Lexus dealer order the part and then had it installed by the contractor that works with the dealer, as the Lexus dealer told me it does not install windshields. The total cost is $700, including $100 deductible.
  • twm01twm01 Posts: 12
    It is my understanding that most insurance companies replace winshields for free (usu with no deductible) as it is unsafe to drive a car with a broken (or no) winshield... did anyone contact their insurance company???

    I had my winshield replaced for free a few years back (I use GEICO)...

    Good luck!

  • twm01, I noticed that you are from Florida. I have lived in several states, and I currently live in Florida. Only in Florida has windshield replacement been free. It is a quirk with Florida insurance laws. There may be other states that have the same type of law, but it is not universal.
  • mfullmermfullmer Posts: 819 and live in Georgia. It is not an "insurance law" mandated by States that replaces windscreens waiving the deductible, it is common insurance practice.

    It has become increasingly apparent in recent years that windscreens with only a small crack in them can shatter in a minor accident, or worse, no accident at all. Replacing a damaged windshield before it injures someone is far more cost effective than paying injury claims as well.

    Regarding going to the dealer. This is usually not necessary. Most reputable glass companies will get the factory OEM glass if you ask (most of the time they get OEM regardless). In fact, in both of my cases my dealer referred me to a glass company.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Non-OEM glass might be of better quality....
  • donnadonna Posts: 23
    I knew I wouldn't get 20 m/g mileage in town nor 26 m/g on highway driving but I have 816 miles on my RX 330 and my mileage is a little less than 19 m/g. I use regular gas. This is around town and highway driving. I am going in Monday to have the 1000 mi. checkup and hope they can help.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Most people don't see predicted gas mileage until their engine breaks in. Mine continued to improve even after 10,000 miles. I bet yours will get better with some more miles on it.

    Steve, Host
  • Found this same info on several websites:

    Windshield Replacement - No Extra Cost to the Insured!

    If you have Florida-based comprehensive, state law provides that your insurance company waive the deductible for windshield repair or replacement, which means no extra out-of-pocket expense for you. In Georgia, the deductible will apply on replacements, but many insurance companies will waive the deductible amount on windshield repairs.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Strictly highway driving, average 67MPH. 87 octane, A/C off (C-Best)

    City or combined highway/city is such a large variation, 15-19MPG, I stopped calculating.

    01 AWD RX300.
  • bachfirebachfire Posts: 19
    Now that you have your paint chips repaired, you should definitely look into having a "clear bra" installed. I had a few chips on my "Savannah Gold Metallic" RX330 about a week after I had taken delivery. Was very upset and my dealer had the chips repaired to a point that the you could not tell where the repairs were made. They did this for me at no charge!

    I immediately researched the "clear bra" products on the internet. I found a site that listed a professional installer in my area. They have two different types of film available. One is made by 3M with a 2-year warranty and the other is made by Llumar that has a lifetime warranty. The Llumar film is new to the market and is totally invisible vs. the 3M film that is slightly opaque due to the adhesive compound they use. The Llumar film is a bit more expensive but with the total invisibility and lifetime warranty it was a no brainer to have this brand installed. I had the film installed on the front bumper, around the front grill, the side view mirrors and small strips placed on the edges of all four doors for door edge guards. I paid $450 for the entire installation and am totally thrilled with the results. You cannot see this film on my RX330 unless you are standing within a couple of feet of the vehicle and then you have to really look very close. An amazing product. The installer was very professional and took his time to make sure everything was right. The installation took about 5 hours total and he even came to my home and performed the installation in my garage!
  • bachfirebachfire Posts: 19
    Just had my RX330 in for the 5K service at which time my Lexus dealer performed the TSIB to replace the transmission cooler line assembly. This has totally eliminated both the clunking noise and the whining noise I was previously experiencing. The notation on my invoice for this TSIB is "Installed Updated Transmission Cooler Line Per Bulletin TC002-04". If anyone is experiencing these problems have your dealer perform this TSIB. Your problems will be gone!
  • bachfirebachfire Posts: 19
    I am also experiencing the "clicking" noise from the engine. I was told by my service representative that this was being caused by the "fuel injector" and that Lexus engineering was aware of the problem but has not as yet come up with a solution or TSIB to correct it. Does anyone know if Lexus has posted a TSIB to correct this problem? If so, please post the TSIB number as it would be very useful to many of us who have reported the same problem.
  • rycaryca Posts: 17
    I just talked to my Lexus dealership about what they include in their 15,000 mile service. They recommend changing the transmission fluid and air filter in addition to the regular things done (oil change, rotation and inspection of the engine). I do not tow any vehicle or drive in an extremely dusty area. The owner's manual does not recommend any of these services. In fact, I can not tell from the owner's manual when to change the transmission fluid if you don't tow a vehicle. Any comments would be helpful and I would like to know what people who already had a 15000 mile service had done and an estimate of the cost. Thanks
  • 307web307web Posts: 1,033
    Some cars have a 100K service interval for transmission fluid changes, but most are around 30K.
    Changing the fluid every 15K miles sounds really excessive.
  • 02whttrib02whttrib Posts: 39
    Just had this done, here's the list
    1. R/R cabin air filter
    2. R/R engine air filter
    3. Clean throttle body and adjust idle Can
    4. Inspect ball joints, dust covers, brakes f/r,drive shaft boots, exhaust pipes and mountings, top off fluid levels, fuel systems,hoses, nuts and bolts on chasis and body, steering linkage, tires, oil and filter change, courtesy car wash.

    Air element refi - $29.13
    Element sub assy - $15.46
    Oil filter - $ 5.41
    Gasket - $ .92
    Oil - $12.40

    Total cost - $332.05, a complete rip off!!

    They also fixed the dash rattle, turned the brake rotors due to excessive wear,addressed the paint chips but did nothing about them.

    They also received their 3rd poor rating on the survey for their service, service writer, and their filthy loaner cars. My dealership really bites the big one. They have been calling to apologize and offer me freebies in the future. I told them that if I can afford a $50k automobile I certainly can afford an oil change or tank of gas. And that my opinion can't be bought!!

  • 307web307web Posts: 1,033
    $332 for that trivial service? I only spent about $100 more for a major 30,000 mile service on another vehicle. The service included much more than the items listed in that 15K service on the Lexus.

    Suppose, you are leasing a 2004 RX330 for 3 years and 36,000 miles with no intention of keeping it at the end of the lease.

    What does the owners manual say must be done at the minimum to prevent voiding the warranty?

    Note: This is not the same as what the Lexus dealer "recommends" you do on the dealer's suggested service schedule.
    If you did only the minimum service and had it done at Jiffy Lube, Walmart, Firestone or independent mechanic etc., what should that cost over the term of a 3 year lease?

    It sounds as if the Lexus dealers do much more than required and overcharge for it too. Makes the free maintenace on a BMW look really attractive considering it includes absolutely everything including wear items such as windshield wiper blades and brake pads during the first 4 years.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    The Edmunds Maintenance Guide will tell you what Lexus says you should check/replace on your 15k service and it'll estimate what we think it should cost in your area.

    Steve, Host
  • Anybody experiencing some paint fading on their new RX330? My RX330 is Black Onynx. After I handwashed it the first time (have 800 miles), I noticed it had a few white spots all over the car. The paint looked kinda faded. It's not scratched at all. I took it to the dealer and their bodyshop guy said I either buffed it too hard with an abrasive compound or a machine car wash pressed down too hard on it. I told him I never buffed it or took it to an automatic car wash. The dealer won't do anything about it until I can prove it's due to a defective paint. Anybody experienced this paint fading?
  • gardencargardencar Posts: 293
    Cheesestate, sorry to hear about your paint problems. I have not experienced anything similar, and it is the first time I've heard of paint fading on the RX330. However, it is not the first time I've heard of dealers denying there are some problems with the RX330.

    The recurring problems I've read about are concerning paint chips, both numerous and premature. They seem to be happening to the light colored cars. Although I have been fortunate to avoid these as well, I do feel the paint on the RX330 is too soft! I have chipped the Neptune Blue paint on my RX on two occasions. One time, when loading an item into the rear foot well, I accidentally bumped the door jamb on the rear driver's side and chipped the paint. Another time, while washing the car, I accidentally let the hose nozzle bump the side of the car, below the door guard strip. This also left a paint chip. Both times I felt that the paint chipped much too easily, and that the paint has very little abrasion resistance and is much too brittle. As a precaution, I am now using a plastic nozzle, just in case, and have bought a bottle of touch up paint from Lexus, for about $5.99.

    I would monitor and document any future fading, and even photograph the car. When you take it in for the 1,000 mile check, the dealer will wash the car for you. Check it again then. Don't give up on hounding the dealer. Threatening to go to Lexus and giving the dealer a less than favorite report could also work. What the dealer said to you is ridiculous. This should not be happening to any new car, much less a $40K+ Lexus!
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