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Lexus RX 330 Maintenance and Repair



  • Yes I have the AWD and I hate it at this point I am ready to turn my car in for a Subaru!! I just read the posts about turing the ECT button off and I will do that and see if it works any better.


    I didnt see any problems with driving but when you need to stop at a light or a stop sign watch out because its not gonna stop!


    To be continued.....
  • I am glad I am not the only one, I swear my family thinks I am bonkers for talking about it but in truth its a really terrible car in the winter and seeing as I live in the snow belt I need a car that will get me through the snow. I will try the suggestions of turning the ECT button off and see if that helps any, otherwise I am trading it in, its unsafe in my book and I have a 4 yr old in my car at all times and I am not willing to risk her life or mine
  • Let me tell you how lucky you are to not have problems. I am not scared to drive in any weather but after the last two experiences I have had I will tell you that if the roads are not completely clear I will not drive this car, its that bad......
  • I have about 100 mi. on an '05 and all of a sudden, it's making a rattling/clunking in the left front wheel-well like something's loose. Has anyone had this issue? It's going into the shop Friday, but I'd like to be prepared with any known issue/fix for this.


    I do see a TSB for a front suspension rattle, hopefully this is the issue.


  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    As anyone on this forum will tell you I am clearly not a champion of the Toyota/Lexus AWD system. But that being said my 01 AWD RX300 has not had any real problems handling our snow covered roads.


    Last year during our snow and ice storm I did use rear snowchains but the circumstances were such that no one should have been out on our roads absent a set of tire chains.


    Over-confidence in just what an AWD system will do, maybe?
  • We have had two big ice storms in the past week. I have had no problems driving my RX on the ice. My ABS brakes have only engaged one time in the past week and that was when someone pulled out in front of me. And I have had ZERO problems with slipping, sliding or stopping. But, as I mentioned in previous posts I do keep the ECT button off.


    My RX is the best vehicle I have ever driven in winter weather and I now know I will only buy AWD vehicles in the future.
  • pilot130pilot130 Posts: 319
    Response to those who say their SUV's aren't coping as expected in snow.

    I've lived in Snow Country in the North (Yellowknife), West (BC Interior), Northern and Southern Ontario Snow Belt, and Labrador (Happy Valley Goose Bay).

    I can honestly say I have as much or more snow driving experiences in 4 x 4 mode than most.

    Have owned Land Rovers, Fords, Chevs, Dodges, (including the venerable 3/4 ton Powerwagon), and now Toyota Highlander.

    I've also had problems, including getting properly stuck with 4 x 4s many times, much to my embarrassment.

    In just about every case it wasn't the fault of the vehicle.

    I've even got nicely stuck in tracked vehicles occasionally, and again, it wasn't the fault of the machine.

    The most common problem 4 x 4 drivers experience

    in snow conditions is *dealing effectively with snow conditions at the time*

    No 4 x 4 will get you out of trouble if snow conditions prevents it from doing so, because they are beyond its capabilities.

    In fact, misjudging capabilities of a 4 x4 in any snow condition will often get you into more trouble than you bargained for.

    Loosely packed, light, dry snow is easiest to keep going in--as long as it doesn't get drifting or too deep--over 12 inches will challenge your vehicle, 18 inches will stop you.

    Heavy wet snow will cause you the most problems. Depths as little as 6 inches can bog your 4 x 4 down easily, and then when that happens, only tire chains or a tow truck will get you moving again.

    Anything in between those extremes has to be experienced to know the capabilities of your vehicle.

    The other day, we had a dump of around 8 inches overnight--wet heavy snow on top of a couple of hours of freezing rain. Our driveway is 300 yards long (concrete), with a good sized parking area at one end. We have a good sized, diesel Kubota 4 x 4 tractor with a plow which I used to clear snow. It wouldn't even move a shovelful because of icy pavement underneath that little bit of wet soggy snow. Got totally stuck and went sideways many times on ice covered pavement under that snow.

    Had to put on tire chains and wheel weights to get the job done, and even then, wheels were often spinning, and it took 3 hours instead of 1 to clear that soggy mess.

    In these conditions, 4 x 4s will generally do better than 2WD vehicles, but don't expect miracles.

    Our Highlander is pretty good, but I won't use it when my experience tells me it's not a good idea. I will always carry tire chains, a come-along, some lengths of cable, and put in 400 pounds of sandbags, if I ever deem it necessary to push limits of its capabilities.


    One of the better vehicles I've used in snow was an old rear engined Volkswagen Beetle--but depths of more than 8 inches even stopped it. It got me to work in BC when most others couldn't. Occasionally we'd use it to claw our way up logging roads in the mountains--it was as good as any 4 x 4 on the steep slopes (in dry conditions).
  • nitromaxnitromax Posts: 641
    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!



    Put some snow tires on your vehicle. All-seasons are mediocre to say the least when it comes to snow.


    And read the post preceding mine.


    Trust me, driving an SUV in the snow WILL NOT be like the commercials on TV.

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    the car does not stop..."


    First, AWD and/or 4WD help ONLY to get you up and moving initially and keep you moving. It will be of absolutely NO help in stopping and sometimes a detriment in turning. This latter especially with engine compression braking on front biased AWD.


    The bad news is that it's likely the activation of your ABS that's preventing you from stopping more quickly on an icy, slippery surface.


    ABS does NOT help you stop quicker or in a shorter distance, not even on dry pavement. On an icy surface it will almost always extend your stopping distance, sometimes dramatically so.


    ABS' ONLY purpose is to allow you to mainatin directional control during severe braking!


    That's why I firmly believe that the next evolutionary change we will see in ABS design is that it will not activate unless the stability system, VSC, PSM, etc, senses that directional control is being threatened.
  • Months ago I noticed a slight rattle coming from the trunk. I was unable to find the source, even after removing the rear cover, and the tools beneath the floor (I read a post about wrenches hitting together in the tool kit). My tools were fine, so as a last resort, I had a friend ride in my trunk and he pinpointed the rattle coming from the automatic cover lock. When in the normal position, this small plastic button rattles. Pushing it down to the lock position elimnates the rattle. Has anyone else noticed this?


    I have not seen any posts recently about the dash rattle problem. I've had my car for over a year and I have not been plagued by this. Is anyone still experiencing this, and has a successful fix been found?


    To comment on recent posts about problems in the snow, my AWD RX has no problems, going or stopping , in the snow.
  • Please don't put words in my mouth that I didn't write. The quote in your message was written by "lovingmylexus" not me. I responded to the very same message you cited above with my thoughts on the ECT mode.


    I don't have a problem driving on ice and snow (as long as I leave the ECT mode off).


    As for your comment on snow tires, my husband develops tire tread for a living so I am pretty confident that I have the correct tires on my vehicle.
  • nitromaxnitromax Posts: 641
    My apologies.


    Your names are very similar and easy to get confused.


    lovingmylexus....are you reading this? I hope so, because I'm not repeating myself.

  • pilot130pilot130 Posts: 319
    Snow conditions, wet, dry, heavy, light, deep/shallow, and drifting/blowing are the main determinants on how your SUV performs in snow.

    Starting and stopping difficulties have most to do with characteristics of the snow you're in, and a lot less to do with the make or model of SUV you're in.

    Four wheel drive systems, regardless of the technology your SUV is equipped with or the tires you have, won't help you much if snow conditions exceed their capabilities. I discussed this in detail earlier.

    Assuredly, FWD's are more effective than conventional 2WD in certain snow conditions, but don't get upset if you push the limits and get stuck somewhere.

    ABS and Skid Control Systems are also affected in much the same way.

    Braking distances in certain snow conditions aren't any better than conventional braking systems, and in some cases distances may even be greater, as Wwest has stated.

    The main value in these systems is the ability to control *direction* in a skid, not control or lessen distance.

    The same goes for so called "Snow Tires".

    Tread designs can improve traction and reduce skidding or aquaplaning somewhat, but not by large increments---and not at all if slippery conditions in snow exceed their capabilities.


    Rule of thumb--Don't expect miracles.

    It pays to anticipate the worst case scenario in snow.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Check out the Snow driving! discussion too.


    Steve, Host
  • fortunately total brake failure happened at low speed in post office driveway which has setback from main road, in order to miss hitting two pedestrians, i took right sharp nosedive over parking lot curb and angled a gravity stop on the grass of the setback, Worse however when i called the Lexus website customer support office, and told them my problem had been identified by dealer as the "brake booster assembly", they replied that, yes there have been problems, but "lexus policy" on this is to replace it after it fails; SO it seems lexus knows of the defect, which can easily be lethal, and instead of proactively protecting its customers, is reactively letting it happen and then fixing the part, sounds like DEFECTIVE BRAKES AND DEFECTIVE LEXUS THINKING
  • pilot130pilot130 Posts: 319
    Mildly curious as to why you didn't go to plan "B", namely use of the emergency brakes? That's one of the main reasons they're there.

    Also, sounds like your failure was a fluke--a defective booster is relatively rare. Catastrophic failure of your entire braking system is also highly unusual. Why?? Because there is a secondary backup in contemporary brake systems. If a booster fails you still have braking capability, but it isn't power assisted--sort of like the old days when power brakes weren't standard and you had to press hard on the brake pedal for brakes to engage properly. I don't think your secondary system would have failed too.

    Also unusual is the lack of feedback you would/should be entitled to under those circumstances. Lexus is one of the more customer focussed automakers in the world, and for you not to get any explanation is not a typical Lexus scenario. I wouldn't give up trying if it were me.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    You forget that were the antilock valves open no brake pressure could be applied anywhere. Rare occurance but then so was that cargo door departing from the 747.
  • hi, for sure there was no back up brake operating, my first reaction worked, but the emergency sounds right also, just went with my reaction at the moment, Lexus advertsies its customer focus, i have not experienced it, just get runaround, i think you are wrong about it being a fluke, and i have good reasons for saying that, if you know how to get Lexus to talk reasonably and acurately about this, i would love to get the phone number or email of that person, most of their contacts on web page are about buying a car and hyping their customer focus, hard to find anyone who performs on the customer side
  • pilot130pilot130 Posts: 319
    Wwest said: "You forget that were the antilock valves open no brake pressure could be applied anywhere. Rare occurance but then so was that cargo door departing from the 747."


    I doubt the antilock valves had anything to do with it, but nice try.!!


    For Taylor:..

    I get the distinct impression you wouldn't be satisfied with any consultation or explanation, but you could try the Lexus Customer Service phone no., or e-mail them at their web site. Good luck.

    Some advice: Venting your spleen at, or tearing strips off someone won't work very well.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    unlike the 747 door, you don't think the wiring insulation could have frayed resulting in 12 volts being inadvertently applied to the brake pressure release solenoid valves.....


    One seems just as farfetched as the other to me.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    think of another explanation for why two completely independent, totally isolated(***), brake systems could fail simultaneously but intermittently.


    *** except for the commonality of the anti-lock pressure relief valves.......


    Anybody know how EBD, electronic brake pressure distribution, works? Does it use the same anti-lock pressure relief valves?
  • pilot130pilot130 Posts: 319
    Wwest, keep up the good work. If nothing else, it's entertaining!!

    In the meantime, I'm getting the baggage door on my a/c checked out!!


    Think about this. Would someone with no brakes drive in for service, or have the vehicle towed?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    slowly and cautiously but with my hand firmly on the e-brake.


    And you didn't answer my question.....


    What would be your alternative suggestion for the simultaneous failure of two fully independent brake systems?
  • pilot130pilot130 Posts: 319
    Sorry Wwest, it's foolish to even attempt to address your hypothetical situation which carries odds roughly equivalent to one person winning the same lottery five times in a row.

    Regarding the "tow or not to tow" scenario, that wasn't intended as a question--just something you might want to think about.

    Meanwhile,the baggage door story...........!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    So, if your engine quits in the 210 and you go through the standard checklist and can't get it restarted I take it you would quit right there and not explore any hypothetical theories to help save your skin.


    I never, NEVER, want to fly with anyone of that mindset as PIC.


    Oh, and given the relative simplicity of even today's fairly complex automotive brake systems I would think comparing a hypothetical guess to even one lottery win would be extremely farfected.
  • pilot130pilot130 Posts: 319
    I don't see that rhetorical questions about aircraft have anything to do with SUV braking (or lack of), but I'll respond one last time, mainly because I'm a sucker for airplane questions.

    Engine failure can occur unexpectedly, but a responsible and competent PIC would have anticipated that contingency (among others),and would have rehearsed all relevant emergency procedures beforehand--quite frequently--and committed them to memory--plus have the POH very close at hand at all times..

    If not, he/she shouldn't be operating an aircraft.

    When failure occurs, immediately establish best rate of glide, go thru the complete engine failure checklist, try restarts as directed.

    It helps if PIC has these procedures memorized and practiced frequently, but it's better to follow the POH.

    Don't forget, a pressurized 210 is a complex aircraft, and checklists aren't your basic one liners.

    At this point the PIC is a very busy boy.

    If restart procedures not effective, determine the best site for emergency landing and set up for it accordingly.

    Broadcast aircraft ident,intentions,location, souls on board,on enroute and emergency frequencies; dial up emergency "Squawk" on expdr.

    Maintain proper airspeeds at all times, ie best glide rate, but adjusting aircraft attitude accordingly to ensure arrival at selected site at correct approach and landing speeds.

    Still a very busy boy--especially if passengers aboard.

    Please note there isn't much time to explore or ponder any hypothethical theories during all this.

    Land at site chosen at as safely and at slow a speed as possible---again, there's another (emergency landing) check list to go through before doing so--or might you have forgotten?


    Wwest, if you believe it's "right" to condemn PIC's who don't follow tried and true practices and wastes valuable time exploring theories in an engine failure,then so be it. I think you've been watching too much TV.

    Honestly, I'm glad I don't fly with you.


    As regard engine failures in a 210--it happened to me once (it resulted in a fuel system AD for all 210's).

    I landed quite safely in a farm field with no damage to pilot, passengers, or aircraft. I followed emergency procedures to the letter--thanks to Flight Training experience. I suggest you take their courses. They definitely don't advocate theorizing in emergency situations.
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    Has anybody else reached 25K miles with their RX330? How much tread is remaining on your tires? Our RX came equipped with the Goodyear Eagle RSA 18" tires. The tread is gone! We'll be replacing them with the Michelin MXV4's before the end of this month.


    Regarding the previous discussion on snow traction, or lack thereof, I have seen multiple consumer reviews on these OEM Goodyear tires. Basically, everyone was faulting these Goodyear tires for poor traction in rain and snow. Doesn't surprise me too much. Why? These tires are classified as all-season PERFORMANCE tires. They have a "V" speed rating. This isn't exactly the type of tire you want to use in poor weather conditions.


    On the other hand, the Michelin version of this 18" tire is an all-season TOURING tire. The reviews I've seen seem to paint a more reasonable picture for poor-weather traction.


    I decided to buy the Michelins to replace my Goodyears mainly because they have a much higher treadwear rating. (I don't recall exactly, but I think it is "440" versus "260".) I also hope they provide a little better traction when we head to the mountains.


    I wish we had attempted to find an RX with the standard 17" wheels and tires. As of last week, there are still only two tires generally available for the 18" RX330 rims (tire size 235/55R18): the OEM Goodyear Eagle RSA and the OEM Michelin MXV4. Both run close to $200/tire. has reasonable prices for the Michelins, but you still need to factor shipping and mounting.
  • jim27jim27 Posts: 3
    I haven't had any luck in getting rid of the clunk or popping sound that is coming from the rear and unfortunately, it is getting worse. The popping sounds seems to be more pronounced when the outside temperature is above 60 degrees. The clunk seems to be coming from the hatch and only God knows where the popping sound is coming from.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Thank you!


    tidester, host
  • pilot130pilot130 Posts: 319
    I'm outta here!
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