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Lexus RX 300



  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The only times either of my two Jeeps ever went off-road was to get around so many vehicles that were sideways and otherwise all over the normal ice and snow covered roadbed.


    Some of us live in areas where AWD should truly MEAN AWD!

    I'm am very glad some of you are perfectly pleased with what Lexus choses to market as AWD, but for some of us the RX just doesn't cut the mustard.

    The RX should really be marketed as "partial", or "maybe" AWD.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I wonder what would be Lexus/Toyota's position on lowering the thermostat temperature say 20F to help prevent coking the oil?

    Lower gas mileage for sure and maybe too much polution?
  • outrunoutrun Posts: 539
    These two terms have been tossed around so many times that they're interchangable nowadays.

    I thought 4WD used to mean a simple, mechanical, 4 wheel drive system that requires the pull of a lever and possibly manually locking the front hubs. While AWD was not mechanical per say, driven by fluid viscosity. One axel slips, heats the fluid, and the other axel would get more power.

    Today, just toss those terms out the window. The Ford Explorer/Mountaineer offers full time AWD, but as far as I know, it's mechanical (along with electronics).

    Now, Willy, have you ever gotten stuck on pavement with your RX? If so, what were the conditions? Did you call up Lexus to pull you out?

  • This past Saturday I went to a Dallas Lexus dealership checking out RX's. I asked the salesman about any changes for the 2003 model. He did confirm that the RX will have a 3.3 liter engine. He was uninformed on any body changes.
    He further stated that Corporate Lexus doesn't reveal much new model info to them until about two months before it's debut.
  • Thanks to everyone that responded to my post about Sludge Worries in a '00 CPO RX-300

    I suppose I'm just being nuts - so I'll just jump off that (sludge greased) bridge if I ever get to it. I'm going to have the oil changed some time this week (after 3k since last one) and I'm gonna be real intent on grilling them about the sludge problems. Hopefully they will give me enough info to calm my fears. I guess I am also very concerned about the potential "bad name" that could be associated with the RX and other Toyota vehicles now that this problem is out in the open.

    If they offer anything interesting - I'll post it here. But, they probably won't tell me anything that hasn't already been discussed.

    Just hope they find a solution to this sludge problem. They're hopefully working feverishly because of the damage this could do to it's core client base.

    WWEST: Not too sure if lowering the temp is going to be a viable solution. There will most certainly be a pollution problem if they increase it. Sounds like the temp was raised in the first place to get the emmisions into compliance to start with!

    Thanks Again!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Not a viable solution as a "Corporation" but as a personal solution?
  • Aren't you concerned that a "personal solution" ends up equaling a "personal liabilty" in the eyes of Lexus?

    After all, its seems like they tried to ignore a bunch of sludge effected owners already! I don't think I'll play that game with them right now!

    But - might be a good choice if they don't come up with something.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Anyone know of an aftermarket oil cooler that can be added to the RX?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Why don't we get together and fund the developement of an aftermarket oil cooler that taps into the current oil filter mount "access" and includes a better place to mount the filter too?
  • That would probably be a good idea! Not just for Lexus but for the many cars out here that have incredibly bad placement of the oil filter. My '99 Toyota 4 Runner comes to mind right away (yeah - another Toyota product!) You need to be contortionist to get the filter changed out! How many more of these are there? And why doesn't Toyota ever follow the ideas of Honda who makes everything so simple!

    How far do you think we would get before the idea is ripped off by one of the big players?
  • The fear of sludging is affecting all of us RX300 owners. The newsgroup has a lot of info about this issue, with comments from several "Toyota" techs. They feel that the sludging problem can be caused by both over-heating, and under-heating. In fact short drives in cold climates cause a lot of the sludge issues.

    Since none of this helps us owners, I have one suggestion that does not required pulling the heads. Just stick a long rod into the oil dipstick tube that will reach to the bottom of the oil pan. Touch the bottom of the pan, and pull it out. If there is sludge on the end of the stick, one would have a problem.

    On my other cars I could just look into the oil filler cap to see the inside of the valve case, but the Lexus RX300 has some type of a device that blocks the view of the valve area by looking down the oil cap hole.
  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    I have an 01 ES300 and had an 01 Sienna (had.... I just couldn't do a minivan for more than 16 months) so I have followed this issue many months. Lexus (Toyota) has pushed this fairly small engine to the limit. Very smooth, plenty powerful, and amazingly quiet, this engine ought to be treated to an oil change every 3-4k miles or 3 times a year if you drive less. Best I can tell, the only people having problems are pushing the oil changes to the max in the book (they really ought to change that 7500 oil change). I can't imagine buying a car this fine and then trying to save money on oil changes. After all, if you make an appointment you get a car to drive while they change the oil. CHANGE YOUR OIL OFTEN AND LET THE DEALER DO IT.
  • So, since the only sure method of insuring the Lexus warranty is honored is to have the oil & filters changed by Lexus. What are the going rates for giving Lexus the honor of changing our oil?

    Now, I know that Jiffy Lube does not include free cookies, but they do have free (but sometimes old) coffee. So let's give Lexus a $2 credit for the extra food. Since I have never had the honor of a Lexus oil change, I don't have the slightest idea what it may cost, but I have heard rumours of $30 to $60, which seems a little high even for us deep-pocketed folks.
  • danrxdanrx Posts: 13
    What the heck is going on here, I go away for 3 days, I come back and my wonderful truck is being dragged in the mud with all this negative talk. Sounds like my resale value has plumetted in 3 days. Back to nice RX talk, please.

    "They feel that the sludging problem can be caused by both over-heating, and under-heating. In fact short drives in cold climates cause a lot of the sludge issues."

    This brings the question of "Warm-up or no Warm" up to my mind.

    Should we be warming up our cars in these cold mornings. I have heard negative things about "idleing" and warming up. Are those old wives tales or old evil wives tales for some on this forum ???.

    With regards to Oil Changes, does anyone know if Lexus accepts Oil Changes @ Toyota service acceptable with regards to the Sludge Argument or will they only accept Lexus service for re-imbursement cases ? No Sludge problems here, yet, gulp !!!
  • outrunoutrun Posts: 539
    Since Lexus IS Toyota, I don't see how they could refuse service done at one of their company-owned facilities.

    I will NOT be going to Lexus for service from now on. Lexus of Norwood (MA) charges, I believe, over $200 for the 10k service. Now, looking in the little Lexus service book, the only service that should be performed is an oil change, tire rotation, and test drive.

    $200+ for THAT? Puleeze. I just called up Toyota and they want $23.95 for oil change, and $15 for tire rotation.

    The answer is simple.

  • mikey00mikey00 Posts: 462
    Did anyone see anything in print yet that says the dealer must perform oil changes for the warranty to be honered? I stopped using the dealer a while ago because the quality of the work did not justify the high price. In fact the dealer is the only place where I had a service problem, the quick lubes have been fine. I had to return twice after an oil change for a leak in the filter area. I also noticed last time they rotated the tires they only moved them front to back (no chris cross) as in the manual.
    I found a Mr. Good Lube where I pay less than $20. (after discounts} for oil and filter plus check and top off everything else. They use Castrol GTX 5W30 oil from the small plastic bottles, not bulk oil like the dealer and everyone else. Somehow I have trouble trusting bulk oil. I would switch to synthetic if Toyota would state that it was recommended due to recent sludge reports, but Toyota still recommends natural petroleum based oil with a warning not to switch back if you do use synthetic.
    Of course I always check the work at both the dealer and quick lubes by marking the filter and writing done the wheel weight values at each wheel to check if/how tires were rotated.
  • outrunoutrun Posts: 539

    That's a good idea about marking the oil filter and keeping track of which tires are where on the vehicle before bringing it in. These $2/hour techies show very little interest in doing things properly. I think I'll do the same before bringing in the RX tomorrow evening.

    This is going to be my first trip to the local Toyota dealership (only 3 miles from my house). If their service is good (doesn't even have to be "great"), I'm going to bringing the RX there from now on.

  • gsenthilgsenthil Posts: 154
    See if you have any Toyota Express service stations. I went to one near mine (less than a mile from my home) and labor for oil change was $10 and another $10 for tire rotation. I forgot to tell them the order of tire rotation and saw the service guy just swapping the front and rear tires (no criss cross nor using the spare). Make sure you tell them in advance the order you want your tires rotated. And instead of reading the magazines there, I watched them working on my RX through the glass window.

  • ctk1ctk1 Posts: 79
    Oil change at 5000 miles at no cost, but when I bring the RX home and check the oil dip stick, it over fill. I drain it out about 1 Qt of oil in order to low the oil level at high mark (car is parking in leveling garage).
    I will not bring it in for 10,000 miles service.I will do it by myself with Mobil 1 synthetic oil 5w-30 and the Lexus OEM filter. Total cost 25 bucks without my 15 min labor.
  • outrunoutrun Posts: 539
    I didn't check the dipstick afterwards. Maybe we've been driving with an over-filled crankcase for 5000 miles. OOps. On the brighter side, maybe there wasn't any room for the sludge to build up. Hey, there's a solution!

    Should I tell Toyota to include the spare tire in the rotation? I don't even know if Lexus did that at the 5000 checkup. We now have 9985 on odometer. Would it be "bad" to start including the spare in the rotation at this point? My wife primarily drives the car, so the tires are just about new in appearance.

    ctk1, have you changed the oil yet on your RX? I've heard it's a pain to get to the oil filter. Mobil 1 at BJ's or Costo is pretty cheap, so if it's not too much of a pain, I could do it myself as well (except for maybe in the dead of winter).

    Are jack stands necessary?

  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    that people buy these high dollar cars and then worry about an extra $20 for an oil change 2 or 3 times a year. It's cheap insurance to know the oil has been changed by the dealer and it's on file. While I agree it's too bad and ought not be something any of us have to worry about, there's just too much "smoke"(pardon the pun) for there to be no fire. At this point I won't consider anything but letting Lexus do my oil changes with whatever they care to use, be it syn, dino, or cooking oil. If there is a problem, I want it to be there's.
  • outrunoutrun Posts: 539
    Lexus of Norwood wanted over $200 for the 10k service. Bernardi Toyota wanted $38.95 for the factory recommended 10k service.

    For over $200, I would expect my oil to be changed, my tires rotated, an hour massage, a 4 course meal of my choice, and a bottle of wine. All I would get would be the first two item, some stale donuts, and a lousy cup of coffee. Oh, and I'd get to watch the news on a cheap big screen TV and surf the web with their dial-up internet connection. Joy.

    If Lexus charged, say, $50 instead of $38.95, I would go there. But over $200? No thanks.

    And if Toyota were smart, they'd link the Toyota and Lexus databases, so all the records would be available no matter where one went.

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I do my own oil changes.

    Not to save money, but to be certain its done correctly.

    I don't understand why anyone would go back to Jiffy Lube if you can't trust them. That's why I don't go to Lexus or Toyota, they hire those same "gofers", mcD "flippers" as jiffy lube.

    Also I don't like getting hasselled each time I go in and have to tell them "no, I only want done just what my Lexus owners manual says needs to be done, and my car doesn't quialify for "rough service"".
  • outrunoutrun Posts: 539
    I called up Toyota and told them what vehicle I have, and what service I wanted (oil change, tire rotation). The guy on the phone was very polite, didn't pressure me into anything, didn't mention anything about a rough service, etc.

    Hopefully they'll treat me like a human being when get there, and the service guys aren't ex cons.

  • mikey00mikey00 Posts: 462
    If Lexus was just charging an extra 20 or 30 bucks I would probably pay it. Mainly because they are the providers of the warranty and stand behind their work. I just don't think their work is any better than the quick lubes.
    10k service at my dealer is $100. It's not as much as some others charge, but it is still 5 times as much as I am currently paying. If your math still comes up with $20 difference I have a used car you may be interested in.
  • ctk1ctk1 Posts: 79
    Still wait untill car reach 10,000 miles. It's 9500 miles.
    Get the OEM oil filter at cost 5.99 each + .72 for drain plug gasket.You must asking for oil filter PART# 90915-YZZB9. Lexus Norwood charge 12.00 each after 20% discount...damn
    No need for the jack to do oil change.
    Agree with wwest, I change oil for two reasons:
    1.Save the money (Make my wife happy)
    2.Done correctly (I feel safe when wife drive alone with the baby)
  • gsenthilgsenthil Posts: 154
    If I had the knowledge/place to do an oil change, I would do so. Due to lack of a garage, I have to get it done at a dealer.

    I am willing to pay a small premium for Lexus service but not willing to pay 4-5 times the amount compared to that charged by Toyota. At my Lexus dealership, oil changes and simple jobs are not done by the service people at the the main shopfloor but some rather inexperienced people, some of which wash the cars too.

    When I didnt have a car (at all), I would often wonder at people when I saw S Class/7 Series/Lexus LS etc parked at Costco. Now that I own a Lexus, I think differently. People who own luxury nameplates dont have money to throw away, they just have money to spend on what they deem a good value for money. I spent more for my Lexus because I perceived it to be a good value for my $s. As for the $300 10k service, I dont see any justification for the additional $$$s.

    Lexus charges $12 for the oil filter, the same is available for $5 at my Toyota dealership. Go figure.

  • gsenthilgsenthil Posts: 154
    In case of a tire flat, the last thing you want to discover is to have a unusable spare. At least if you rotate them every 5/10 miles you know they are in good condition.

    All tires must be treated equally, irrrespective of their placement or position ;)

    Even if you didnt have the spare tire rotated the first few times, I guess you can start doing so from next time. I am going to do the same

  • danrxdanrx Posts: 13
    From all of this Oil-Change talk, it sounds like the Toyota Service Center will be quiet busy from now on.

    What is the deal with Warming up the Car ?
    Do you warm-up your RX ?
    I have heard that the ideling is bad, but with all this sludge talk and Short trips running cold

    What's the concensus ? Idle, no Idle ???
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The idea is this, if your "typical" trip is not long enough to allow the entire engine, oil, water jacket, etc, to fully and completely warm up to a normal operating temperature, then it would be a good idea to "pre-heat" it so it will.

    As the engine warms up any moisture ondensed on the various parts and possibly in the oil itsself will be evaporated or boiled away.
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