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Lexus RX 350



  • Ever since I got my '07 RX350 back from 15K service late last year, it developed a vibration at the steering wheel that felt terrible and at times unsafe when traveling at freeway speed. I can't recall having the vibration before 15K service.

    The dealer looked at the problem 4 times now. They re-balanced the tires twice, changed to a new set of 4 tires, checked suspension and brake but the vibration is still there. Above 55 mph, you can feel a slight vibration. When I get an incline or decline and over 70+mph, it gets unbearable. Of course, the last time, they claim they can't reproduce it even after my specific instruction. They only drove 5 miles for the entire service; doubt they try too hard.

    I am tired of not able to get to the root. I even think there might be a loose screw or some engine or transmission mounts or CV boots that are loose or something. But, dealer said they are all fine.

    Does anyone has any similar experience or suggestion?
  • Carlo, I picked the same options for a 2008 RX350 and a 2009 RX350 and I was going by the Edmunds True Market Value as to what the cost difference would be for my area. The 2009 model TMV is $41,027 and the 2008 is $39,402. Actually a $1625 difference. This is what the real world cost is when buying. I was just pointing out that there is no difference between the two model years and it makes more sense to get a 2008 model while you can, other wise expect to pay about $1500 more for the 2009 for the same options.
  • For those who have bought after market all weather floor mats and cargo mats to protect the carpet what brands did you buy. I have seen the Husky liners and the Weather Tech and have not made up my mind as to which one to go with. Are there some other brands that you have found to be better and if you bought one of the two fore mentioned mats were you aware of the other and what persuaded you to buy one over the other ?
  • rpacrpac Posts: 83
    Hello Catdaddylong - Interesting post. Maybe I can help. Forr years I have fooled around with cheap smelly plastic mats, until one day I discovered a company called Exact Mats in Katy, Texas. So far I have used them in a RX330 and two RX350's. They are very strong and do not smell and they hold their shape very well. The mats are made to each vehicles specifications. Some Lexus dealers are now selling them at a mark up of course. I live in L.A. and I have been up in the snow etc and the mats exceed their expectations. If you wish I can give you exact details on who to contact in Texas to get a good deal. They know me quite well as I have purchased many mats from them. And no, I do not get a comission from recomending them. If your local Lexus dealer carries them get the price and then compare with the factory prices. They ship right to your door. Good people I would say. Hope this helps. Happy driving! Incidentaly they are clear mats so the beauty of your Lexus mats are always visable. :)
  • Hi catdaddylong,

    Thanks for the claification, I thought you were talking about MSRP in your original post, not TMV.
  • erik_herik_h Posts: 77
    There are a couple of things to look at.

    1) Did you rotate your tires, try rotating them back.
    2) Did the dealer over torque the lug nuts ?
    3) Did you have your brakes worked on.
    4) Did you have any flats, especially on rear tires, your rim could get bent slightly.
    5) Does your dealer use a road force balancing machine like the Hunter 9700 ?

    I had a similiar issue with my RX and it went away after I replaced the brake rotors. I don't know if it #2 or #3 on the list but it got much better with new rotors.
  • Thanks for the info. PM on the way.
  • My RX350 does the same thing, jav08, and, yes, it's usually a little more pronounced on a colder morning, although I do live in
    Florida, so it wouldn't be as cold as it is up north. But I do have a
    little noise factor going on that goes away once the car has warmed up and then the car is super quiet. None of my other cars, i.e., Nissans that I've had in the past have done this. I think
    this is a trait in the 3.5 liter Toyota engines.
  • Praz, yes, I am considering buying my RX at the end of its lease.
    I still have a few more years left to go on the lease, but right now,
    although I am interested in some new vehicles out there, i.e., Mazda CX-9, or the Infiniti FX, these vehicles are still missing a few little extra accoutriments that I have on the RX, plus the Mazda has a shorter warranty and the RX does better on gas mileage than these vehicles.
    So right now there's not a vehicle out there that I would want to switch from the RX to yet. Of course, there is the Infiniti G37 Coupe, which I am in love with, but am a little too chicken about going back into a two-door car - a totally different car from a crossover SUV!! :blush:
  • jav08jav08 Posts: 3
    Hey rpac, Thanks for the feedback. Everything else about the car is great, so it was strange when they said that this was normal. As I said, I was not expecting this with a Lexus, but now that I know that I am not the only one, then it must be normal for these engines. I will keep an eye out on the 1K RPM too.

    I also heard that they have a new Matador Red color for '09 - maybe time for you to upgrade again?!?
  • jav08jav08 Posts: 3
    Thanks maximafan, but the funny thing is that I live in Southern CA, so I guess that I should have named it something other than "cold" start, but it tends to occur anytime that the car has been turned off for more than 8 hours or so. Our mornings have been colder lately (for SoCal), so hopefully when the temps go up, it will be less noticeable.
  • Just bought a 2008 AWD RX 350 that has the roof rails and crossbars. I am thinking of buying the Thule Luggage bag that straps on the roof rails. My question is, do you place the bag on top of the crossbars or do you place the bag in between the cross bars and place a protective cushion between the roof and the bag so the roof does not get scratched ? I read on another forum that those rolls of foam with the waffle holes like you line shelves with or tool boxes work real good to keep the clear coat and paint from being scratched.
  • I guess I'll answer my own question. Found several web sites that have PDF installation instructions. You sit the cargo bag down betweent the cross bars and side rails and then attach the front and back of the bag to the cross bars and the sides of the bag to the side rails. I am going to buy the foam material to place between the roof and the bottom of the bag to protect the paint from being scratched. Hope this helps somebody else that has this question.
  • jav08, I live in Florida, so I know what you mean. But I still find that little bit of noise after I start the car first thing in the morning and then after it's warmed up, it goes away. I'm so used to it by now that I don't think about it much.
  • Yes. The weight capacity is 165 lbs and the center of gravity is raised with more weight on the roof but that doesn't answer my question.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Did you read the label regarding roof and/or roof rack weight limit??

    It also pertains to safety with regard to rollover susceptability.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    ...weight capacity is 165 lbs and the center of gravity is raised …

    That works out to the center of gravity being raised by about one and half inches - I wouldn't worry too much about that. :)

    However, I do not know the answer to your original question.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • I too drive an RX-350 and let me share a story regarding Mazda. In 1987 I purchased a new Mazda 323 LX with 5 speed transmission. At just over 24k miles (when the warranty expired) a main bearing in the transmission failed and the transmission had to be rebuilt - at my expense. At approximately 60k miles the same bearing problem repeated itself and I took the car to my dad's mechanic who rebuilt the transmission for the 2nd time. The mechanic was perplexed to see the bearing failure and investigated the case of the transmission carefully to find a casting defect in which one of the lubrication ports was obstructed and that was the cause of the bearing failure. I started a letter writing campaign and got to a Sr. Vice President - I don't recall her name. I argued that this was a manufacturing defect that was present when the car was new and the initial failure occurred just a few hundred miles out of warranty. She characterized this expense approaching 3,000.00 "routine maintenance" and informed me that any further action on my part would meet with strong resistance from Mazda's legal team and pointed out that Mazda has much deeper pockets than I. At that point I vowed to NEVER purchase another Mazda and have subsequently owned Hondas, a Toyota and 3 Lexii. Mazdas are cheaper to purchase but when you need manufacturer support my experience is that Mazda is in a league of its own - and I don't say this in a positive way. While a couple thousand dollars less to purchase than a similarly equipped Toyota or Honda, items like brake pads, filters, etc., are significantly more expensive (at least they were in 1987) than Honda and Toyota. Its your money but if I were you I would stick with a Toyota or Honda or even Nissan product because when that Mazda is out of warranty even by a mile if it needs a significant repair due to a manufacturer's defect you will be SOL. The CX-9 is a nice looking vehicle and I bet more fun to drive than my RX350 but I bet the RX will be rolling many more years and miles than the CX at a total cost of ownership below that of the Mazda. Truth be told I would much rather drive a reliable vehicle like the Lexus for the reasons stated above. Good luck if you ever do have dealings with Mazda executives because you will need it. Regards, Ed
  • Does anyone already own a 2009 RX? I am looking to buy in April and wonder what I can expect to pay for the AWD vehicle with the Premium Plus Pkg. My dealer already has stock in the 2009's and wants me to buy now so he can get me a "great deal".
  • My front passenger side floor mat does not have hooks to hold it in place like the driver's side or the two floor mats in the back seat. Are all the 2008 RX350's this way or do I need to get the dealer to fix this ?
  • I'm really not worried about the center of gravity either. I think some people forget that the RX is a SUV and I plan to use mine for more than going to the grocery store or Wal-Mart ;) I plan on hauling my dog to the duck lease, pulling a light boat for fishing and use it to transport me to the Elk woods. Granted these situations will probably make up about 5% of my driving, the other 95% I want to be comfortable and arrive in style so to speak. I think I answered my own question on #412 of 418. If anyone else has other idea's I would appreciate it.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    It isn't your, or anyone's normal driving style that is a problem with the rollover issue, the problem is, occurs, when you use a quick evasive maneuver to avoid an accident.
  • Pete, thanks for the confirmation. I called the Lexus dealer and had them go look at several on the lot. They said the the same thing. What is surprising they had to go look. You would think this question would have come up before.
  • pschiffepschiffe Posts: 373
    My 2007 RX has the hooks only on the driver's side, presumably the 2008 is the same!

    Pete :)
  • pschiffepschiffe Posts: 373
    Just looked under the hood of my 2007 RX350 to examine the air cleaner filter after 20K miles. I believe my 1999 RX300 had metal clips to release the cover but this apparently requires the removal of several hex head bolts. Embossed in the plastic is FOR AIR CLEANER SERVICE SEE OWNER'S MANUAL. Unfortunately not a word to be found therein on this subject. Is the filter indeed accessed by removing the several bolts and is this a DIY project? Any cautions or caveats to be observed? TIA

    Pete :(
  • I have had my new RX for a week and it has had a viberating rattle coming from the middle dashboard area where the Radio, CD player and Outside Temp, etc are located. I plan on having the dealer fix this when I take it back in after a month for the personalized settings appointment. Has anybody else had a rattle in this area and was it corrected to your satisfaction ?
  • maximafanmaximafan Posts: 592
    Edscherer, I will agree with you that right now, in my opinion, there isn't any CUV out right now that does everything as nicely as the Lexus RX. I also drove a 1988 Mazda RX-7 back in the late eighties. I drove it for almost seven years with no major problems except new clutch and tires and A/C compressor that occurred just before I decided to trade it in on a 4-door car. So I must say my experience with Mazda was the opposite of your experience. But everyday is a delight in my RX350, expecially with the satellite radio on or a great CD!! (By the way, I've noticed that the base sound system on the Lexus RX sounds very good when playing CD's!
  • pschiffepschiffe Posts: 373
    #423 of Feb 26, 08; anybody?
    Just looked under the hood of my 2007 RX350 to examine the air cleaner filter after 20K miles. I believe my 1999 RX300 had metal clips to release the cover but this apparently requires the removal of several hex head bolts. Embossed in the plastic is FOR AIR CLEANER SERVICE SEE OWNER'S MANUAL. Unfortunately not a word to be found therein on this subject. Is the filter indeed accessed by removing the several bolts and is this a DIY project? Any cautions or caveats to be observed? TIA

    Pete :(
  • I called the dealer and told him about my dashboard rattle and he suggested that I drive the vehicle until I get 5000 miles on it and bring it in for the free oil change and if I still have the rattle they will address it then. He said a lot of times these rattles will work themselves out but this subtle vibrating rattle is starting to drive me crazy and I only have a 175 miles on the RX so far. I don't know if I can last that long. I also was reading on the RX330 maintenance and repair and a lot of people had this same rattle in their Lexus. Some mentioned an anti rattle kit that can be installed for the dash. Anybody ever heard of this ?
  • chucko3chucko3 Posts: 793
    Looks like the lower pin location matches for your RX.

    Lexus quality begins to go down the tube.
    I can't believe they carry this issue over many years and for
    many models.
    I wished I saw this TSIB before I purchased my GS350.
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