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Lexus RX 300



  • gteach26gteach26 Posts: 576
    What happens if early one morning you try to make a left turn and the car hesitates a bit and "SMASH!!" -- Just explain to the police officer that a cold RX tends to hesitate a bit and send the insurance bill to your service advisor at Lexus. Not normal -- can't be, they'll fix it. Let us know peggylou.
  • avery1avery1 Posts: 373
    There is no rough idle just a little change in shift points
  • jodar96jodar96 Posts: 400
    I believe it is true that the transmission will not upshift when the temp gage reads cold. My wife's 2001 RX does it, so does my 96 Camry V-6.

    Cold engine uses richer mixture creating more emission. They try to get engine warm up faster by engine rev up by not letting the transmission to upshift.

    High reving cold engine also is not good for transmission clutch when you shift from park to reverse, or from reverse to drive.

    Just let the engine warm up before driving off if you can help it.
  • I am printed out the posts and am going to take them with me to dealers on Monday. I probably have a long battle ahead of me, but I want documentation that I am complaining from day 1, so if tranny falls on the ground 6 mo's after warranty expires, then I will have a basis to ask Lexus to step up and take care of it. Still am losing sleep over this, and can't really enjoy my new car as I keep thinking I screwed up majorly, which I couldn't afford to do after giving hte lease compay $3500 to take back my Ford Windstar early before it fell apart in my garage and I had to fix it (again).

    BTW, have named new car "Bronc Lady" because she bucks like a bronc, but when shes done, she acts as sweet as any lady could.

    Those of you who don't have hard shift problems, do you warm your car up for several minutes in the am? I am used to just getting in, turning the key and going. When I have to get kids to school on time, I just don't have 5 min to spare most of the time. When I do warm it up, it is usually fine.

    Thanks again
  • jiaminjiamin Posts: 556
    I can feel slightly different shift with my 00 RX300 when it just starts and go, but not "rough" at all. I think most cars when cold will not shift into overdrive. I usually warm up the car like 30 seconds then drive gentlly in the first 2 or 3 minutes. When temp needle comes up but not necessarily points at the middle, I will drive normally if I am in a hurry.
  • I experienced a "hesitation" in upshifting while the engine is cold on my '99RX. It shifted smoothly, but the engine would rev to 3000rpm before shifting from 1-2 and 2-3 for the first couple of minutes. Was told by the L dealer that it was "normal" and to do with the emission equipment. My wife has a '01RX which doesn't do that at all. Just smooth shifting with low rpm from the start, no matter whether engine is cold or warm. They changed something by the '01 model year to effect this.
    (p.s. Don't have the '99 anymore - traded for other reasons)
  • Curious if anyone out there will admit to more than 150,000 miles on an early model RX ???
  • jiaminjiamin Posts: 556
    I have 00 RX300 FWD and 02 QX4 AWD. I like both although they are different. RX is noticeably quieter (especially when accelerating hard, at high speed), smoother, softer, and its overall attention to details is at least a full notch above QX4. QX4 looks stronger, give me more feel of the road.

    If I can only have one of those, I'd probablly pick RX300.
  • ke2feke2fe Posts: 37
    I have 120k on my 2000 rx300. I plan to go at least another 100k before I plan to dump it.
  • My '01 has 61k on it. The 60k service bill was over $800 at the Lexus dealer (seems high for fluid changes, tire balance/rot and inspections of everything). I love the car, and want to keep it going to at least 150K before trading.

     Curious if RX OWNERS WITH HIGH MILEAGE value the extra cost of the Lexus dealer service, or if you use Toyota dealer service or some other ??
  • avery1avery1 Posts: 373
    You can save by doing only what Lexus recommends in the manual. The dealer adds on unnecessary, expensive items onto the service.

    I just took my '99 to an independent for the 90,000 mile service. He specializes in Japanese cars and uses Toyota parts. With his special I paid $318. Dealer wanted $1299 which included the timing belt which Lexus does not show as a recommended job at 90,000. Dealer was going to charge $599 for the Lexus recommended items. So far, so good. That was a couple of months ago. No car wash, loaner or coffee though he did offer a shuttle.
  • pschiffepschiffe Posts: 373
    I believe Lexus does recommend replacement of the timing belt at 90K miles! BTW, just had 70,000 service on my 99RX at a Toyota dealer for about $30.00, a hundred bucks cheaper than the Lexus store.

  • avery1avery1 Posts: 373
    I looked in the manual for the RX and it isn't listed at 90,000
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    fwiw, we say it's due at 90k:


    Steve, Host
  • avery1avery1 Posts: 373
    Why would I take Edmund's advice of the advice in the manual?
  • quaziquazi Posts: 5
    The ETC tranny is programmed to warm the engine and the tranny ASAP. So, the unwillingness of the tranny to up shift when cold IS normal and is a good thing for the vehicle. It takes some getting used to, but it is only for the first couple of minutes.

    I thought the timing belt was a 90k item. I paid the $1,200 for the Lexus job. I got to drive a RX 330 for a week, after they cracked a pulley and had to order the part and replace it, on them ;)

    I do not like the new 330 as much as the old 300. Weird looking, and the ergonomic design is not as good. Of course I love the 300, so I am prejudiced.
  • "tranny programmed to warm the engine... is normal and good for the vehicle". If so, why would this "behavior" be peculiar to only the early model RX, that was corrected by the 2001 model. My '01 shifts the same when the engine is cold as it does when warm. My previous '99 had the problem.
    I'm not suggesting that it means that the transmission is faulty, only that Lexus corrected this annoying performance issue by the later RX300
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    My 01 AWD RX will not shift into overdrive until I get at least 2 miles toward work in the morning.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    I'd go with what's in my manual. I'd also be curious to see what Pschiffe's manual says. Could be some VIN differences going on.

    Steve, Host
  • Well, do you know when your '01 was manufactured?
    I didn't notice it on "loaner" '01's and '02's and as I said before, it hasn't ever happened on my FWD '01 which was manufactured later in 2001.
    I've discussed this with the Lexus service guy who says that something was changed for the later model RXs to allow "cold-shifting" into overdrive.
  • Thanks again to all who replied to me. Just wanted to give a quick update, service manager drove car and verified a "problem" although not what I described. I put that down to differences in driving habits. He mashed the gas and revved it right up, I take it up a little more slowly. Anyway, so they decided to flush tranny fluid and retest with a cold am drive. He still felt a little jerk so has decided to change the "valve body". Also, they saw debris when they changed teh tranny fluid. He did say that if the valve body doesn't fix it, it will get a whole new tranny. But... my question to the group is, if there was debris in the fluid, could anything outside hte valve body have been damaged? Service advisor is trying to tell me that because of the design of the valve body, most of the debris gets caught in it and doesn't go into the rest of the system.

    Just for reference, they gave me an RX330 loaner. My personal opinion if they where side by side and same price, miles, etc, I would buy the 300. While some of the features in the 330 are nice, it is just too big. REally like the 300 because for ME, it is just hte right size. Only thing I would change is the turning radius.
  • pschiffepschiffe Posts: 373
    Here's what my manual says for 90,000 mile scheduled maintenance:

    Additional Maintenance Items for Special Operating Conditions: (itallics are mine)
    [ ] Replace Timing Belt

    Special Operating Conditions: (from page 53)
    1. Towing a trailer or using a camper or cartop carrier.
    2. Repeated short trips of less than 5 miles in temperatures below freezing.
    3. Extensive idling or low-speed driving for long distances as in heavy commercial use such as delivery, taxi, or patrol car.
    4. Operating on rough, muddy, or salt-covered roads.
    5. Operating on unpaved or dusty roads.

    At least a couple of the above apply and also since I've been using the 5,000 mile oil change intervals suggested for "most driving conditions", I will probably opt for timing belt replacement at 90K.

  • At least Lexus is stepping up to the plate and taking care of my car, they are now putting in a new tranny. The valve body didn't work. Unfortunately, this just makes me wonder how good the rest of the car is if the tranny goes out at 44K mi. Was talking with service manager about tran fluid drain vs flush (they only drain during normal service) and I made the comment that Ford was adament that tran fluid must be flushed and he sniffed and said "well Ford has tranny problems". Kind of wanted to say "look whos talking, Lexus out at 44K? You can't tell me they are perfect".

    Anyway, hopefully I will get it back sometime next week and can start enjoying my new ride.

    Take care everybody
  • gteach26gteach26 Posts: 576
    Glad to hear that they are making things right.. If I recall your RX was a service loaner right? I can only imagine how rough that poor baby was driven! But hey, you got yourself a new transmission included with your original purchase price. Other things might crop up so be sure you're extra courteous to your service rep.. you've got three years of CPO coverage left and a good relationship with him/her will go a long way to making your whole car experience better.

    If your service rep has gone out of his/her way to help you, you might consider writing a brief "thank you" letter and sending it to the dealer GM or service manager.. it WILL trickle down to your service rep and they'll be HAPPY to take care of you again. Plus if you take the time to write them when things go RIGHT, can you imagine what they'll think you'll do if things go WRONG!!:)

    Hopefully, it will be regular maintenance from now on...good luck peggylou!!
  • I got my 30K service done at Lexus for over $400 and the 60K done at Toyota for about $300.
  • houtexrxhoutexrx Posts: 2
    My 01 RX300 was taken to Northside Lexus in Houston over two weeks ago to have the brakes looked at (they squeal like all get out and have since I purchased the vehicle!) and to have the A/C motor checked out (they replaced it shortly b4 Christmas and now it is terribly loud with audible noises behind the glove compartment). My service consultant called me later that afternoon and informed me that I was not going to be happy - they had cracked my bumper during the service! Well, they attempted to return it to me on Friday with THE WORST body work (the bumper protruded about 3/4 in out from the fender!) and the Service Manager had a very patronizing, condescending attitude about my displeasure and refusal of the vehicle. I have yet to have a "Lexus" experience from this dealership and wonder if others have as many issues as I do. Every time I take my car in, they manage to damage it (on its 1st trip in, they backed it into something and damaged the rear bumper, in November 2003 they scratched the hood using what appeared to be a dry chamois, on the Christmas trip to the dealer they dropped a chemical on the fender that stripped the clear coat, and now this! They have corrected the hood and fender issues with an orbital buffer but there are now swirl marks all over my beautiful black RX! It spends a great deal of time at the dealership as NEVER have I taken it in and not had to return at least once with the same issue (most of the time it requires two additional trips to get something corrected!) Friends and family that were once interested in a Lexus are now looking in other directions due to my circumstances. Any advise on my recourse with the vehicle damage issues as well as all of the other problems?
  • pschiffepschiffe Posts: 373
    you go to the Lexus owner anchor website:

    Lexus Owners

    You'll need to register if you haven't done so previously. Click on "Quick Links" then "Contact Lexus". Let the Lexus Customer Assistance Center investigate your grievances. You will probably hear back directly from the dealer, but may encounter a much more conciliatory attitude!

  • houtexrxhoutexrx Posts: 2
    Thanks for the link to the site. I will register immediately and await the conclusion of this episode before I have them begin an "investigation".
  • johngreisjohngreis Posts: 70
    I have this "not shifting when cold" on my '99 Prism (Toyota Corolla). I had it on a 2000 RX300 and now have it on a RX330. I don't believe for a minute that it is good for anything except pollution. Running up the RPM's as you are required to do with a cold engine is NEVER good for the engine or transmission.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The transmission fluid probably allows easier shifting and better overall functionally once it's up to "proper" operating temperature.

    Since the torque convertor is likely a big source of the heating of the fluid, taking it off-line with the lock-up solenoid in OD would very likely delay smooth operation and maybe even adversely affect reliability/longivity of the transmission.

    If over-reving the engine when it's cold, lubricating oil like molasses, is bad the same should be said for the transmission. Life is full of "balances", compromises.

    And speaking of cold engines, putting the transmission in OD would probably result in "lugging" the engine somewhat, and that is very hard on a cold engine.
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