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Lexus RX 330 Maintenance and Repair



  • Has anyone had this recall performed and if so what did it entail?

    Regarding the whiny transmission, this has been a problem since I purchased my RX (2004) in April 2003. It was addressed on my first dealer service visit and Lexus has not been able to fix or determine the cause. I do have the weird shifting around 35-40 where the transmission seems to want to hang on before shifting. I have been told repeatedly that this is normal operating noise. I've lived with this since Lexus has no fix for it.

  • HiAll,
    i'm first timer on this site and a lexus owner. i bought a certified RX330 about a month ago. the problem i have is i get squeak and rattle noise every once in a while. It comes and goes, i think it comes from the front doors. i went to the Dealership they kept the car For whole and told me that they can't hear any kind of sound from the car. Does any one have such kind of problem...
  • I have a whopping 21.8k miles on my 2004 Lexus RX330 and have been driving on the Goodyear tires (235/55/18) installed by my dealer...probably about 4k miles too long - the worst tires I've ever owned and yes, I keep air, balance, alignment up. Road noise started about about 15k and is getting worse.

    I'm looking to replace with either Michelin Energy MXV4 or Bridgestone Dueler H/L Alenzas. Any recommendations would be appreciated. Seems to be more research on the Michelins - looking for a quieter ride and slower wearing tire (Bridgestone's are warranted for 65k). Thanks
  • Don't know where you bought your car, but I owned a 2004 RX330 and experienced problems with rattles/clunks/etc. that appeared to originate from the area of the pedals/driver's side. I brought the car to the dealer numerous times, and first was told by them that they couldn't hear the noise. I finally was able to drive with them and have the noise reproduce. I was then told that the noise was due to "heat expansion" and that all of the RXes make the same noise. However, none of the RX330 service loaners I'd used made that noise, nor did my 2000 RX300. I have several friends with RX330s and none of their cars made the noise that I experienced, although some had other rattle issues. Ultimately, I traded it in and purchased a RX400h. I've had it for three months, and (knock on wood) no squeaks, rattles or noises thus far. Chasing down the source of rattles, squeaks and noises can be a frustrating problem for owners and dealers alike. I wish you well in locating the source of your problem.
  • carqueen, I replaced the OEM Goodyears approx 1 year ago with the Bridgestone Dueler HL Alenzas 235/55/R18. The Goodyears had become flat and noisy. I run only Bridgestones on all my vehicles so it was a no-brainer.

    Got them @ Costco (no affiliation) by special order and have been very, very pleased with them, quieter than the GY and seems to handle better as well. No regrets here.

  • 02whttrib, were the OEM Goodyears quiet for the
    first part of your ownership of the RX? I
    purchased an '07 RX350 this past August and so far, I find the Goodyears to be pretty quiet tires, or will this change as more time goes by?
  • Although I'm not 02whttrib, I currently have a 400h with the Goodyear tires. My previous vehicle, a 2004 RX330, had the Michelins. I didn't find the Michelins particularly quiet, it seems like they generated more road noise than the Goodyears. I got about 22,000 miles on the first set of Michelins, and was on my second set when I traded in the car. My 400h is so quiet any road noise from tires that you would hear is more pronounced, so unless something happens over time, I suspect that they will remain thay way. I have about 3000 miles right now. I do think that the Michelins corner and handle better at higher speeds. Hope that this helps.
  • Here are the rattles I have in my 2004 RX330.

    Rear Trunk Hatch - Seems to rattle occassionally after it was closed using the Auto Close button. Recent noise that hasn't been looked at by Lexus

    Rear Trunk Cover - Rattles excessively. Lots of attempts by Lexus, but it still occurs.

    Clunk type noise when breaking at very low speed. Driver side rear area. Recent as well, not looked at by Lexus.

    There have been lots of reports about rattles on this vehicle and some seem to never get found. I plan on having mine in soon and to have them look at the new ones that have cropped up.

    Good Luck
  • I was able to resolve my problems with the cargo area cover and the rear trunk hatch, but did experience the clunking noise you described. The dealership was never able to fix the problem with the clunk when braking at low speeds, and at first denied that it made the noise until I was able to reproduce it during one of my many service visits. After they heard it too, they told me it would be hard to diagnose . . . I was given various explanations such as "heat expansion", "the center console" (that wasn't where the noise came from), "normal" brake pedal noise, etc. My noises seemed to come from the pedal area or the area behind where the pedals are located - but it is often difficult to determine exactly where the sounds come from . . . I ultimately traded in the car for a 400h, which so far is clunk and rattle free, and a far superior vehicle in every way. Absent the noises, I liked the RX 330, but they just drove me nuts, but now that I have my new one it would be hard to go back to the regular gas model. Hope that you have success with your issues!
  • They were quiet for about the first 20k. I rotate every 6k so after the 20k mark the tires got noiser and flattened out. The ride became rough and didn't seem as though it handled as well. This vehicle isn't a handler though.

    For the folks having all the rattle and squeak issues, go to your local hardware store, buy some weather proofing foam strips with the adhesive backing and place it anywhere metal to metal contact is, door latches, etc. I took my RX back to the dealer x 4 for dash rattles. They took the dash out and performed the TSB to fix one rattle, after that the defrost vent started rattling, they replaced that and it continued to rattle. I took this defrost vent housing out and covered the back of it with small strips of weather stripping, snapped it back in and guess what, no more rattles. I also did the weather stripping on my 02 Mazda Tribute (latches,rear hatch) that thing rattled like coins in the dryer. Lithium lubricant is also a good remedy for squeaks and rattles.
  • Have the same model with about 8k miles and had the same problem. Took to the dealership and they treated the leather with their own leather liquid treatment and noise went away (they gave me a bottle for me to apply whenever I experience the problem again).
  • Thanks for the input. I am also looking at upgrading.

    What did they do to resolve the cover and rear hatch on your vehicle?
  • If you drive the 400h, you will never want to go back to the 330. I didn't think that the 350 was too much different, despite the increased horsepower, from my 330, but the 400h is a completely different car. It is smooth, whisper quiet, and powerful. Passing and acceleration is effortless - better than our other car which has a powerful V-8. I tell the people who talk to me about the vehicle to not drive it unless they want to buy it - it is that much better. The insurance is a bit more for a hybrid because of the extra/costly parts, but the up side is that I get about 500 miles on a tank of gas. The fuel capacity is smaller than with the 330 - only about 17 gallons, but I drive 270 miles on 8 gallons with about a 50/50 mix of highway (mountain) and city driving.

    On the cover and rear hatch on the 330, they put in some foam padding around the clip area, and did something with the rear hatch - don't know exactly what, but it worked. It is my understanding that there is a service bulletin on each that provided the fix.
  • Hi, I have a 2001 RX300 with about 47K miles on it. It looks like the battery has died and I need to get a new one. Can you please suggest recommendations on places I could go? Also, what brand should I be looking for? I am in the Seattle area.

    Thank you.
  • la4meadla4mead Posts: 347
    I always like to "upgrade" when I have to replace things like the battery, however you have to get something that fits the physical space. I read somewhere Consumer Reports said look for a high "reserve capacity" and a longer free replacement warrantee battery. I always have good luck with a high reserve capacity (reserve minutes) rather than just cold cranking amps (CCA).

    What I found when I measured the physical space when mine died (at just about 6 years) was that I could get a higher reserve capacity battery right off the shelf by getting a different size "group". I found a group 36R fit right in mine to replace the factory battery, and had a higher reserve capacity. At the time, I found one on short notice at Pep Boys with a 130 reserve minute rating. I'm sure you might be able to do at least as well.

    The reserve amp rating tells you how well the battery will hold up running power accessories under load (like after you've switched off the engine and the lights are on) :surprise: and also the higher this rating is, the longer the life of the battery, in general.
  • maximafanmaximafan Posts: 592
    Hi, sltpigsfly.

    I've had my RX350 a little over a month and a half and I've just started noticing the rattling coming from the rear. At first I thought it was the tonneau cover and I removed
    that and put in the understorage compartment.
    I still have the rattling noise appearing, so
    I'm beginning to think it's the rear hatch
    also. I checked the outside and pressed on the
    hatch to see if I noticed if it was loose or
    something, but it seems like it's sealed tight.

    Is there a TSB for the rear hatch door? If so,
    please let me know. I'll also be calling
    Lexus next week to find out about it, as I'm
    getting ready to take the car on a trip at the
    end of October and would like to get it resolved. Thanks.
  • la4meadla4mead Posts: 347
    Costco is an easy bet for some things, of course you have to get rid of the old battery, too.

    I'd still look at those reserve minute ratings. They do post them at Costco for each battery size group. Each time I shopped batteries at Costco, when I had to buy for the RX, the motorhome truck battery, as well as for the boat, none were very high, not even close to what I found elsewhere for similar $.

    Perhaps I just like things "heavy-duty" when I can control my choices.

    Kurtnew, please let us know how it goes.
  • I believe so - I think that I found it through the NTHSA website.
  • I have a 2002 RX300. Miles 48K. During heavy stop and go traffic I sometimes get a "grinding" noise when I start to go. It sounds like the noise ABS brakes make. I also feel there is some hesitation in shifting gears esp. when cold.
    Any recommendations or advise.
  • I am planning to replace Starter contacts for my 99 RX 300 and i am having difficulty locating Starter, please provide any pictures or directions to locate the Starter and is it okay and easy to do it ourselves?
    Really appreciate your feedback

  • Has anyone installed reverse sensors on their RX? Any experience to share? What was the installation experience? How much you paid and brand used?

  • I habe motorola razor phone. I would like to either transfer my phone book or enter numbers manually in the nav system. I was unable to do either. Any advise hot to do this?. Thanks
  • dandgdandg Posts: 91
    just got off the phone with Lexus customer service and it seems that if you have "any" (that includes oil changes ) work done at a Toyota dealer (yes they own Lexus but Lexus position is they are "seperate" and "specially" trained) you will void your warranty for that work.
    short story,had front brakes done at Toyota dealer (shorter drive and much cheaper)with parts (in Toyota boxes-exact same system as the Highlander BTW)purchased at Lexus dealer 5k ago and now brakes have spongy feel.Called Lexus dealer your RX330 is no longer under warranty for brake work as you have taken it somewhere else.
    Called Toyota (they will not talk to me as I don't own a "Toyota" (gee the plate on the door says "Made by Toyota"???),called Lexus and they can make dealer look at it but I have to pay.
    Looking to trade it tomorrow,never again with Toyota or Lexus.Good cars very poor policy !
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    " will void your warranty for that work.."

    For that(as in individual job) work...?

    Of course, what did you expect otherwise?

    First, unless an exceptional failure was involved, I doubt if even the initial brake work was covered by your warranty.

    And just why would you expect any dealer to warrant any non-warranty work done by another dealer?

    Yes, if I do my own oil/filter changes (I do) and I screw it up, the onus is on me only to FIX it. But does that void my overall warranty? NOT!

    Good luck finding another marque, or marques, that will treat you "better". What you have run up against, IMMHO, is SOP across the industry, just as it should be.

    My apologies to dandg for the poor wording of my original posting. I typed the first sentence or so thinking Lexus was at fault for (mis)informing dandg that the anufacturer's warranty was voided. That initial disparagement was intended toward Lexus, not dandg.
  • Being a first-time Lexus owner, I wasn't aware
    of this. I'm fortunate enough to have a Lexus
    dealer less than four miles from my home. But
    what about the people that live in small towns
    away from the "big city"? I would think Lexus
    would be a little more understanding for the
    peopled that don't live close by and may have
    closer access to a Toyota dealer.

    I do understand that if you have work performed
    on your vehicle other than at the dealer, it
    may void your warranty. That is a chance that
    you would be taking, especially if the work isn't done satisfactorily. But I think if you
    live so many miles per say from a Lexus dealer
    and possibly may have a Toyota dealer closer
    by, I don't think the warranty should be voided. Just my 02.
  • Okay. My computer is doing something weird.
    I just made and edit to correct an error in
    my previous post and it didn't correct it.
    Spooky!!! (For example: "peopled" should have been "people".)
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    dandg's post does not concern factory warranty work nor any issue regarding the possibility of voiding the factory warranty. I misread it the first time too, thinking it was referring to factory warranty work.

    Apparently a local Toyota did the brake work for dandg, did the brake work poorly or even improperly according to dandg.

    Dandg then took the vehicle to a more distant Lexus dealer and asked then to "correct" the work that the local Toyota dealer done improperly(??). In other words he was asking the Lexus dealer to stand behind, "warrant", the Toyota's dealer's work.
  • dandgdandg Posts: 91
    To help sort out my post which was confusing;

    Earlier this summer my Lexus had front brake issues,worn pads and rotors need to be cut.All parts where purchased from Lexus (even thou they are made and marked "Toyota Motor company")and the work was done at a closer,more convenient(open Sat) and less expensive Toyota dealer (the Manfacture of the RX330 as stated on the vin sticker in my and every other RX330).(I will also ad we purchased new tires NOT from dealer recommended as they where $250 more)

    My wife drives car and felt brakes where spongy again.Called Lexus and was told that we because we took it "somewhere else" it now has no warranty for brakes.

    At this point I am not certain what is wrong with brakes (it feels minor but its there) it could be a booster (which there is a TSB on)or could be the warped rotors that there is also a TSB on (and yes they do replace them and the pads under warranty-if you look through posts here some have had sucess at having them do it)
    Called Lexus customer service and confirmed this,if all service is not preformed by Lexus (this includes all the $175 oil changes)the warranty for that is void(if you had a engine sludge issue which is common in these that could be all they need to leave you high and dry)."Somewhere else" is anywhere else including Toyota(again the name listed on the plate as the manfacture) as Lexus techs get special training (even for oil changes I guess :confuse: )They try attempt to tell you they have nothing to do with Toyota.
    My issue is that they have this "veil of separation" that even includes the manufacture of the car in order to keep the dealers in control of ALL the work done on it.
    For instance; If you brought your Cadillac STS to the local Chevy dealer for brakes would Cadillac then void your warranty ??????????
    as I stated nice car-poor policy
    there will be no more after this one leaves
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Try a search here for "Magnuson-Moss" for posts like these:

    ray_h1, "Honda Accord Sedan" #19206, 12 Sep 2006 8:34 am

    If you are in the US, "federal law governs express written warranties ... specific prohibition of "tie-in sales provisions" in which part or all of a warranty is denied because the consumer didn't use accessories, service, or even parts from the manufacturer. You can take your tool to anyone for service or even do repair work yourself without affecting your warranty coverage under federal law as long as you don't screw it up." Tools Online (Substitute "car" for "tool").

    So if Lexus won't honor the warranty, get some advice from your local consumer protection office.
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