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Lexus RX 300



  • erik_herik_h Posts: 77
    Given your scenario above, I'd go for the Camry. I love my 99 rx, but you are more likely to incur an expensive repair on the older vehicle. The 2 share a few components, but you get a 5sp auto on the camry and better gas milage. You can extend the warranty on the camry pretty cheap. If you don't need the extra space in back, the AWD or the extra features in the Lexus, and the dealer service isn't a big deal, go for the Camry.

    Something must be wrong with your old camry, 12MPG is awfully low. My '99 RX gets better than that on frequent short (1-3 mile) trips.
  • kthankthan Posts: 30
    Thank you for your reply.

    How much does it cost for extended warranty (either 7yr or 10 yr)?
    Also, how much more expensive in maintenance (brake pads, tune up, if needed, tire, battery, fluide & filters, etc.)? Would I expect a lot up to around 50000 miles?

    I sometimes need extra space and AWD. I might go with RX300 if I can minimize the maintenance/repair and the resale value didn't decrease dramatically in next 2-3 years with average 10000-12000 miles per year.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    You need to be sure, certain sure, the potential for incurring the engine hesitation problem concerning any Toyota or Lexus V6/5-speed transaxle (FWD, AWD)vehicle has been fixed before considering any purchase of that type.

    The 2000 AWD RX300 does not have Trac nor VSC, Trac was standard only on the FWD for that year. But the good news is that the premature transaxle failures seem to occur in the range of 70,000 miles and up. My 2001 AWD RX300's ATF was burned and brownish colored at 40,000 miles which indicates that something it wrong.

    Additionally I have begun to suspect that Lexus is fully aware of the problem and cause of the transaxle's premature failures and has a "secret" warranty in place for those that encounter the problem and the wheel sqeaks loud enough.
  • kthankthan Posts: 30
    How about I4 (not V6) 5-speed transaxle? Still are they subject to engine hesitation problem?

    How much would be the extended warranty for RX300?
  • erik_herik_h Posts: 77
    I would think it would be tough getting a good warranty at a good price on a 2000 vehicle. You could have added it while under bumper to bumper for a little over a grand, but after the bumper to bumper warranty has expired, its more expensive to add one and there are ususally more limitations. I'm not sure I'd go near warranty gold after their fiasco a few years ago. Warranty by net doesn't do vehicles like that anymore. I'm sure there is a thread on edmunds for other warranty companies.

    The only major issue I've had was a premature transmission failure around 56K Miles. It was coverend under the original warranty. A few minor issues, I did the brakes a few years ago, overall its been a great vehicle from ownership costs.

    The AWD works well, but the pre 2001models have the smaller gas tank, no zeon headlighs, and no VSC (keeps the back from kicking out on slick roads). There was something weird with the heated seats (one control for both or something) so I didn't get them. I added my heated seats aftermarket to get around that.
  • glenfordglenford Posts: 138
    I have a 2000 RX300 AWD, that I bought with 39K miles a few years ago and now have 70K+ - no problems (knock on wood). It is nice, and loaded, but I prefer the handling of a sedan, and may be switching to an IS250 AWD when they come out.
    The only seat heater thing I can think of is that they are not variable temps - definitely 2 switches. They work well.

    If you are comparing Camry to RX because you like Toyota brand reliability, but want better gas mileage, would you consider a Corolla ? They are nicer than they used to be. It seems like an odd "final two" since they are so different.

    My life-to-date mileage is right at 19mpg - most of my travel is light traffic moderately short distances (10-20 miles), with some distnace driving thrown in.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    I'm sure there is a thread on edmunds for other warranty companies.

    Here's a good general discussion you may be interested in: Extended Warranties

    Also, BTW, it's xenon! :)

    tidester, host
  • mnfmnf Spokane WaPosts: 405
    My wifes's 200 RX 300 ( 55 K) gets 17-18 in town and 19-20 on the highway I drive it at times and it is a joy in the summer and the winter in the snow. The heated seats work just fine and they do have separate buttons. For the savings on the price I would get the warranty (Just for peace of mind). Her last toyota 1990 4runnner we had for over 200,000 miles without any major problems. On the traction not sure if it is traction control but there is the switch that says TRAC next to the shifter. After driving her AWD RX I sold my very loved 2000accord and bought a AWD Subaru for the winter AND summer traction. At that price $20,000-21,000 and those miles if it is in good shape buy it... Good Luck M/F
  • I have some strange things going on with my 2001 Lexus RX-300. Before I visit lexus, I thought these problems must not be unique. The car sat, undriven for about 2 months, killing the battery. Not sure it is related, but about 100 miles afterward, the Check Engine, then TRAC, then VSC light just came on while driving. OBD II code 00174, "system too lean". I have the Lexus Factory Service Manual set, and the code describes a short-term/long term fuel trim problem. I can reset the code, and with increasing regularity it will reappear within 200 miles. With or without the code, there are times the motor seems to idle at about 1/2 speed, very smoothly but barely running while in gear, or stalling. As soon as I throttle up, the problem is gone, and reappears mostly after a trip under 10 miles.

    I have checked all vaccuum and throttle body leak issues, to no avail. This machine is extrememly babied and well maintained, and I just passed 100k miles.

    I own a mobile electronics chain, so I can return all kinds of databus, security, sound, or navigation interfacing information. Help please.
  • mikey00mikey00 Posts: 462
    I know you said you checked all vaccuum leak issues, but did you check the hose behind the air filter box directly under the brake fluid container? This one easily comes off the metal tube below it and is a common cause of CEL.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    inside the idle air bypass module.
  • Yes, I saw a post discussing this already (might have been you) and checked it right away. Is the hose you describe not directly connected to the air cleaner?
  • mikey00mikey00 Posts: 462
    I think it is connected to the top. That's why when you lift up on the top to check the filter it pulls the hose off the metal tube below. I will double check when my wife comes home with the car tonight.
  • kmc4kmc4 Posts: 1
    My RX is at the dealer now waiting to be picked up. I took it in to check on the following 4 issues and the dealer is blowing them all off...

    1) Q. When the key is in the ignition but not engaged there is a sizzling sound under the hood that is clearly heard on the driver side. A. They tell me it is a perfectly normal sound made by a solenoid blah, blah, blah and that most owners don't just stick the key in so they don't hear it. It literally sounds like something is frying under there. I see nothing posted here about this, has anyone else experienced it?

    2) Q. Window washer fluid is leaking (I have the proof on the floor of my garage and on the two towels I placed there to collect it). A. Maintenance filled the reservoir and found no leaks anywhere in the line. WZUP with that, it's obviously leaking.

    3) Q. Gas mileage seems to have decreased. A. They have no test for mileage...

    4) Black streaks on my rims. A. Brake dust, but nothing wrong with the brakes.

    I did find postings on this forum re Gas mileage and brake dust, but no answers (maybe you can give me a posting number on the answer to the mileage question) re brake dust, all I could find is how to remove it. Is the accumulation of brake dust just normal then?

    I just can't imagine that all of this is "normal" and that I just have to live with it. Since I have a somewhat negative view of car dealers and mechanics, my instincts tell me that they're just blowing me off (until warranty expires maybe???). I want to be able to give them an informed response rather than just accepting what they tell me.

    Thanks, in advance, for your input.
  • mikey00mikey00 Posts: 462
    The hose is connected to the back of the air filter housing top. It makes a 90 degree turn directly under the brake fluid container and connects to a metal tube below. When the top of the air filter housing is opened, the hose can easily get disconnected from the metal tube which causes a check engine light. Don't confuse this with the hose connected to the side of the brake fluid container which also connects to a metal tube below.
  • mikey00mikey00 Posts: 462
    1) The noise you describe when the key is inserted is normal.

    2) This is not normal and may take some investagation by you before returning to the dealer. At what point of the car is it dripping from to the garage floor, how fast/slow, does it only leak when used or will it leak when just sitting, I would fill it to the fill line and monitor.

    3) This is a tough one. What does "seems" to have decreased mean. You have a computer that displays MPG. Did it decrease or not? What type of driving do you do and what is your mpg. Do you have FWD or AWD? You may want to do a search and see what type of mileage others are getting or at least post yours. Mine is 19.7 for AWD on 80% rural country roads, 10% city, 10% highway.

    4) The black streaks are most likely brake dust. The RX stock pads are quite good and have very little dusting but you do have to clean the wheels once in a while. Did you get the RX used? Did someone before you possibly do a brake job and use aftermarket pads that dust a little more? As long as the dealer checked the brakes I wouldn't worry about it. Just clean the wheels a little more often.
  • Thanks Mikey00,
    The hose is indeed connected properly. If anyone has advice before I begin diagnosing the A/F sensor, MAF, and VSC codes let me know. I will post my findings otherwise.
  • 1) Normal noise. Mine is a kind of hum, and I can describe the active circuit from wiring diagrams if you would like.
    2) A leak is a leak. It might be so slow they could not see it.
    3) I get 21.9 with AMZOIL 10/30, and 24.7 with the new AMZOIL 0/30, 2WD with a little over 100k miles. I have some exotic 20" rims that add rotational wieght, but I adjust my mileage for the 5.49% tire circumference increase. I also drive like a little old lady, gentle enough that I am still on my original brake pads.
    4) When I replace my brake pads, I will look for some ceramic pads which eliminate this problem.
  • pschiffepschiffe Posts: 373
    Duh, first I've heard of this synthetic product.

    My 99RX 2WD has 90K+ miles, can I safely switch to Amzoil at this late date?
    Can oil now be changed at 25K intervals rather than the 5K I've been diligent about since the vehicle was new?
    Should I stick with 5W30 Amzoil which is the grade of conventional oil recommended by Lexus that I've been using all along? Don't see anything about "0/30" grade on their website.
    Any additional comments, suggestions or URLs for more info?

    Many thanks,
    Pete :confuse:
  • mikey00mikey00 Posts: 462
    1) My 2000 RX had the hum and my 2001 RX has the same hum and I did read posts by others who also have the hum so I assume it is normal.
    2) ?
    3) Your mpg sounds very good to me in comparision with others. When you say you have oversize tires and are compensating for the larger size in your mpg calculations, I can see why the dealer would not even want to be involved in that conversation. It's just not their thing. It's more like no check engine light, no problem.
    4) I always viewed the stock pads as good long lasting low dusting pads. Ceramics should help some with the dusting.
  • mikey00mikey00 Posts: 462
    I think you really meant this question for sexilexi300. I made not mention of Amzoil. All I can tell you is I have read many negative comments about it and using longer drain intervals and using other than recommended weights. Do a search here and/or other RX300 forums using the correct spelling "amsoil".
  • mnfmnf Spokane WaPosts: 405
    FYI just in case if anyone else runs across a rear hatch gas strut issue on there RX300 after a long search I found a site that you send them in and he re builds them and sends them back. $70.00 a pair not bad since the dealer wanted $185.00 each. You may want to do a inspection where they fail is at the little rubber ring it wears out and then the gas leaks out. He carry's some on hand but can do all makes and models...

  • pschiffepschiffe Posts: 373
    Many thanks for that link, I think I'll stick with Lexus' lubricant recommendations! Please see if you can help me out on one other issue:

    Every time my browser (Mozilla Firefox 1.0.7) opens I get this dialog box:

    Security Error: Domain Name Mismatch [X]

    You have attempted to establish a connection with
    "". However, the security certificate presented
    belongs to "". It is possible, though unlikely,
    that someone may be trying to intercept your communication with
    this web site.

    If you suspect the certificate shown does not belong to
    "", please cancel the connection and notify the
    site administrator.

    I have sent a screen print of the above to with a copy to at least five times, Oct. 3rd, Sept. 10th, Aug. 19th, July 25th and July 14th.

    Unfortunately, the only reply received was from "Chris, Quality Assurance" back on July 15th suggesting I clear cache and cookies and try a different browser (BTW that didn't work and told them so).

    All my subsequent eMails have apparently been ignored, can you please intervene on my behalf? I know this is not the proper place for this complaint but I don't know where else to turn. Perhaps you can get your techies to address this issue in a timely manner. O/S in Win98SE if that makes any difference.

    Pete :mad:
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Hmm, that bug popped up last July for a few people (Sylvia, "Forums Software! Your Questions Answered..." #2042, 14 Jul 2005 10:29 am) and I thought it was mostly swatted, although someone had the issue back on September 1st.

    Please try this:

    Log out from Edmunds.
    Clear your cookies and cache.
    Then log back in without clicking the Auto Login option and see what happens.

    You can ask over in the above Forum Software discussion if that didn't fix it; the problem relates to something involving an outside vendor and I know it's frustrated some of the techs.

    Here's yet another link for you. :)

    Synthetic motor oil

    Steve, Host
  • pschiffepschiffe Posts: 373
    Thanks for the suggestion, unfortunately that didn't work; still getting the same Security Error: Domain Name Mismatch message!

    I'll try as you suggested.

    Pete :sick:
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Guess you'll just have to buy a whole new computer, LOL.

    On the bright side, there may be 8 speeds in your future!

    Steve, Host
  • Hi all,

    I am looking at buying a 2000 RX300 from a family member. It has been serviced regularly, and has appx 75000 miles. Looks good, rides well. The last service was a week ago, and I noticed the paperwork from the dealer says it will need a new timing belt soon. Can anyone tell me what this may cost me?

    I am a little slow when it comes to cars, and want something that isn't going to fall apart on me. I love this car, and like the terms of buying from a family member. They loved the car, their new one is a 2005 RX330. Any other things I should be looking for or asking?

  • pschiffepschiffe Posts: 373
    Timing belt should be replaced at 90K, about $400.00 at a Lexus dealer, somewhat less at a Toyota shop. You may wish to consider having the water pump replaced at the same time, add about $150.00 if done with the timing belt. The Edmunds Maintenance Guide can tell you the factory recommended service and cost at various intervals:
    Edmunds Maintenance Guide

    Pete :)
  • Did you ever get an answer or figure out how to get the door panel off? I ran into the same problem today. Not finding much on the net.

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