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Lexus RX 300



  • I did the same comparison before deciding on the RX300. The highlander is by far a better value if it is bought without leather, and without the 6 cylinder engine.

    Unfortunately for me, my wife had to have the leather, of course if she is getting leather, I had to have the nav system. Before long we had to sell the house, and send the kids to the poor farm. But, whatever it takes to keep food on the Lexus dealers table!!
  • OK - had the oil changed on my '00 RX. Was especially insistent on discussing the sludge issue. Started right off with this query.

    The "Service Expert" was real quick with me and started a very good dodge / weave. "Look, some of the people out there don't even change their oil for 12,000 miles! I mean the fact that Toyota / Lexus even made this amazing offer to repair damage from poor maitenance just shows you how loyal they are and what a great company they are"! I fired back: "Then why is there a "sudden" spike in sludge problems with the very same V6 3.0 liter motor in both Toyota and Lexus and not showing up on any other cars (to this degree)? If what you're saying is true, then there would also be an equal number of sludging problems with the other motors made by Toyota, right? I mean I don't read about ludged motor problems from Ford, Honda, Chryster, BMW (etc.) If all cars have the same problems - people would never go without an oil change for fear of the inevitable $15k new engine bill! There just something wrong with this story!! (I barked)"

    Anyhow, he kept trying to pacify me and did say that the people there (at the dealer) thought that this particular motor does work real "hard" all the time and that it probably just requires that the oil be changed regularly and religuosly. (gee - I've had cars with much smaller motors that really worked hard and I've never even heard of this problem before! Take a Saab 9000 turbo for a hard, fast drive and tell me which motor is working harder! Not buying it!) But - he is a very good service guy and a very loyal fan and employee of Toy/Lex so I've got to give him that!

    Longe story short(ened) - the motor is fine. He did say that the volume of oil that came out - and the volume that went in were equal which is one thing where sludged engines will show differences in the ones they've seen / heard about.

    Still don't have any idea about where this is all going to lead. But I wouldn't be surprised to see something about a "fix" from Toyota soon. Let's hope.

    In the mean time - I'm dedicated to changing out the oil and filter every 4k miles. At least I'll know that I've done my part!

    And so it goes
  • tariktarik Posts: 344
    But - he is a very good service guy and a very loyal fan and employee of Toy/Lex so I've got to give him that!

    Which is a very important part of the relationship with your dealer. By shutting up you basically pick the lesser of the evils (having to take the "line" and making him feel he "got you"), but it's just a little concession to make to keep the peace for future dealings (can you say marital politics?). I did the same thing after my tech was done, as any further scrutiny won't have done anything but aggravate him - the opinion about him is formed though, and it ain't good.

    Longe story short(ened) - the motor is fine. He did say that the volume of oil that came out - and the volume that went in were equal which is one thing where sludged engines will show differences in the ones they've seen / heard about.

    Makes you wonder whether he really measured how much came out...could ya call and ask...? image image

  • rlui1rlui1 Posts: 93
    It's not fair to compare the HL to the RX. Although they're built on a similar Camry frame, they are in two different leagues. The fit and finish of the RX is superior to the HL. For example, I rode in a 2002 HL today and it just feels cheaper (not to mention the looks). The doors are so much lighter than my RX which feels so much more solid an luxurious. For the most part, the RX is made from higher quality materials. I've also driven the HL and it's just not the same.
  • tpricetprice Posts: 46
    We purchased 2002 RX 3 weeks ago. Prior to going to Lexus dealer to complete the purchase, we stopped in at a nearby Toyota dealer to test drive an HL, etc.. We were trading a 2000 Camry XLE (purchased from this dealer). For curiosity we asked them give us their best deal (with full knowledge of our Lexus deal and our intent to complete the deal that evening). Anyway, RX MSRP was $39,400 and HL was $35,300. "Best" net deal was $500 more for the HL than RX. So much for trying to retain existing customers, build customer loyalty, etc.. Admittedly, we were already pretty determined to go for the RX beofre we stopped at Toyota but this settled the question for good. Perhaps it's supply and demand but I think it's crazy (and arrogant) for them to present a deal that's $500+ on a vehicle with an MSRP that's $4,000 less - with a straight face to boot. This whole sludge discussion is something that I plan to keep close tabs on. Same engine as in the Camry we traded so guess we would be needing to keep our awareness up in either event (i.e., keeping or trading).
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Life's NOT FAIR...

    If Toyota wanted/expected to sell lots of top end HLs then they might as well discontinue the RX.

    A top end HL price doesn't NEED to compete with ANY RX price, the HL is clearly aimed at the low end of the SUV market.
  • I dunno, folks. Obviously, Willard's point is valid. But sales are all about not only supply and demand but perception. Don't know how things are over in the ol' Toy pipeline for HL, but Lex dealers will obviously have a b*ttload (merely misspelled "boat", my Edmunds censor friends) of RXs around. So deals abound even though the RX is the most popular Lex.

    Over there on the Toyota lot, there might not be so many, esp of the higher end HLs. So the sales guys have more of an advantage ("better get this one NOW, cause I've got a customer on the other line WITH CASH IN HAND, BEGGING!!!! but you're here right now and I'm not gonna tell the sales manager about the other guy....") and (maybe, in theory) are a little more high pressure (oh, surely not). So I can see a scenario such as tprice describes unintentionally (from the standpoint of BIGDADDY CORPORATE TOY/LEX) coming to pass. Toyota and Lexus in the US are entirely seperate divisions. There shouldn't be any such crossover of price points, but obviously, there will be. Surely, Toy/Lex had to have forseen......or did they?

    Guess this is good news for savvy shoppers of $35k sport-utes........
  • kmhkmh Posts: 143
    Appreciate both your posts and experiences at the dealerships regarding the oil sludging. I had planned on 5,000-mile oil changes when I first bought my CPO '99 RX. I may take it in and have them confirm my RX's engine is fine and start doing changes at 4,000 miles.
  • I finally checked my AC filter today. I have had my 01 RX for since Nov 00 and it has 24K miles on it. The AC filter was filthy. Does anyone know if the Toyota Highlander has the same AC filter. I would like to get a replacement and the Toyota dealer is much closer than the Lexus dealer. And probably cheaper also.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Go to home depot and but a good furnace filter and use its "inards".
  • Make sure you ask any salesperson named "McGver" to find the right furnace filter to dissect into pieces for your $35-40k RX300's HVAC system.

    They also carry paper towels (cures Lexus' endemic windshield defrost problems) and local maps (cures Lexus RX Navigation System problems).

    Finally, you can probably find bags of sand to carry in your RX to cure the AWD shortcomings - just "Dump 'N' Drive."

    You know...better yet...just check the Home Depot parking lot for old Town & Country AWD mini-vans that are up for sale and find out if the owner will take your RX in an even trade....

    Problems Solved!
  • mikey00mikey00 Posts: 462 has the AC filter for $21.15. You have to e-mail them. It's not listed on the website. When it comes time to change mine, I will probably just make one from a furnace filter as suggested above.
    I don't think the Highlander has a A/C filter. Maybe someone on the HL forum would be kind enough to look in their owners manual and give you an accurate answer on that.
  • wcpwcp Posts: 40
    But don't know if it is the same as the RX.
  • finch3finch3 Posts: 113
    Definition of sludge=nonsense!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I think the brand I bought was filtrete, I bought the largest size available and was able to make filters for my GS, RX, and had enough left over for a third.

    $15/3 $5 each.

    It wasn't the money, it was the opportunity to best Lexus out of $100, well maybe only $85.
  • Hello!

    I wonder what people are paying for replacement wipers (inserts). Does the Highlander use the same blades? I wonder if it would be cheaper purchasing from the Toyota dealer versus Lexus dealer.

    BTW, What should one have done at the 10,000 mile service besides, oil change, tire rotation, and torque drive shaft flange bolts?

    Thanks for you help!
  • Umm..

    Go to AutoZone and buy the Bosch Micro Edge Excels.

    Kick-[non-permissible content removed] blades.

  • I should have asked the question on the Highlander forum. I want to use a Toyota filter. If I use a homemade "Home Depot filter" and it increases the resistance to air flow it will increase the load on the blower motor and could conceivably burn it out or make it fail prematurely. Unlikely but a risk not worth taking when you compare the savings to the cost of a replacement blower motor. Imagine going Lexus saying my blower motor quit working and they find a AC filter made for a home type AC unit installed.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Your blower motor would likely blow a fuse rather than burn out.

    That is much more likely to happen from a clogged filter than a "home brew".

    You can actually build a better, more efficient and freer flowing, "home depot" filter than a factory one by using more filter material accordian style.

    The Bosch micro excels are available at most Target stores.
  • mikey00mikey00 Posts: 462
    Do you know if Bosch Micro Edge Excel inserts will fit the RX blades or do I have to buy the whole blade.
  • I always just buy the whole blades myself... easier, and.. I figure those blade holders must be a tadworn as well, right?

  • Our 2000 RX 300 with 24000 miles just started making a rather "crunchy" sound when braking with anything other than a feather-foot. The pads were just inspected and are reported to be at only 20% wear. The sound is rather like metal-on-metal, and the pedal feel is nasty. It's almost as if they're wet, but all the time. Very disconcerting. Any thoughts on what the matter might be?

    The other concern is a "clunk" that is heard when first backing out of the driveway and taking off in drive. I know I'll never be able to get the dealer to duplicate it. If anyone knows the likely cause of this clunk (or can point me to the right message thread) I'd appreciate, because the car has got to go in anyway.

  • I have the same noise on my car. It was said to be the brakes automatically adjusting.
  • avery1avery1 Posts: 373
    I had a problem that the dealer could not duplicate on 4 visits. It occured early on cold mornings on a particular road. Same road, later no noise. Even leaving it over night. Finally the service advisor came to my house at 7 am with a loaner and we went for a ride. He heard it immediately and took my car in. Turns out it was a strut that had a TSB but they didn't want to touch it without duplicating the noise. Have them come to your house.
  • It is very possible to burn out a blower motor without blowing the fuse. You apparently do not understand the purpose of fuses. Fuses are designed to prevent wiring from over heating due to current overloads, not to protect the device they are providing power to. That said it is unlikely that a "homemade filter" would damage the blower motor. It is just a chance I do consider wise and am unwilling to take. By the way the present filter is already accordion style.
  • tariktarik Posts: 344
    Fuses are designed to prevent wiring from over heating due to current overloads, not to protect the device they are providing power to.

    I surely hope you have no saying in electrical questions within NASA, and the condescending statement regarding someone else not understanding the purpose of a fuse is a farce. Where do you suppose the possible current overload originates? Maybe it has to do with a fan motor's inability (due to external influences) to spin at its nominal speed? Geez, that's electrical engineering 101...

    Willard's right!!!

  • what do they make electric motors out of??? wires??? or do they use super high-tech stuff for blower motors nowadays? Anyone ever seen a motor melt itself...FUN!!!

    Fuses are designed to protect a whole electrical system. Blower motor/wires/computer chips/...
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    I thought they made fuses to light off firecrackers! ;-)

  • jse75jse75 Posts: 5
    Hi all,

    Discovered yesterday afternoon that some ingrate ran a key down two feet of the front passenger-side quarter panel of my SilverSport RX. What a bummer. It's only 6 months old, too.

    The scratch is deep, down to the primer in some parts and metal in others. In addition to being ugly, it ought to be repaired.

    Does anyone in the Bay Area have a good recommendation on who could do this the best? (Should I consider the dealer, or go elsewhere?) Any thoughts on how much it will cost?

  • Has anyone on this thread used the All Data ( It say's it has a complete database on servicing, and the full text of the TSBs.

    I have bought the manufacture's service manuals in the past, but the prices are getting beyond reasonable!! For example prior service manuals cost: 89 caddy $ 180, 92 nissan $200, 97 infiniti $300 (gulp!!), 2002 RX300 over $400 (and still not available).

    The Alldata database appears to be a better solution as it only costs $30, and includes the TSBs, but I have not had experience using it.
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