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Lexus RX 300



  • jiaminjiamin Posts: 556
    I don't understand why darlington transistor is used here, especially the emitter follower configuration, as LED draws much less current. Will a resistor in series with LED work?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    For "repeating" the fade function. The 3 watt Luxeon LEDs ( need 1 amp at ~4 volts to produce ~80 lumens of light, 9.1 ohm 10 watt series resistor.

    The factory dome bulb draws ~1 amp and I didn't want to possibly compromise the "fade" device by drawing ~3 amps directly from it.
  • jiaminjiamin Posts: 556
    1. so an LED with a proper value resistor in series connected to the "fading" signal/terminal will not work well?
    2. will it be better to have two LEDs in series and reduce the 9.1 Ohm value. to have less heat and more light? Maybe your Darlinton base juction has dropped enough voltage and won't allow the 2nd LED in?

    Yesterday I went to Pep Boys. They only have color LED bulbs (red and blue) for direct replacement. I want the same yellowish color, or white. Yours are custom designed.

    Thanks again for all your answers.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I don't know what the "rating" is for whatever device Lexus uses for driving the dome light and the fade-out effect. So the best thing to do was provide an emitter follower "repeater".

    In my case both Luxeon LEDs would need a good size heat sink and there is very little room for the first one, let alone a second.

    I do have applications where I use three Luxeons in series with a 3 ohm resistor. RV dometec refrigerator, RV door light (two strings of three), and RV step lights.
  • phil35phil35 Posts: 1
    My VSC alarm has gone off about five times always at the same curve on a local road. Scares the #$??# out of me!!!
    The dealer said it was tire pressure. This fixed the problem for about a year. Guess what, same problem, same curve!!
    Any ideas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Do you always "push", accelerate, through that curve...?

    Sand or fine gravel on the curving roadbed left over from winter...?

    The VSC/Trac system is already handicapped in that in a turn/curve the outside wheel will be rotating faster than the other making it seem as if that outside wheel is slipping.
  • I'm new here, so maybe I just missed this in my search, but how does one remove the radio? I'd like to thoroughly clean the cassette player and modify the AM section for better fidelity.
  • ddkimuraddkimura Posts: 1
    If you still have the instructions in pdf format it would be much appreciated. I cannot find it in the archives. Thank you.
  • pschiffepschiffe Posts: 373
    Give me your eMail address and I'll send you a pdf.

  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Ddkimura has a CarSpace account so that email should work, and there's a place to attach files.

    Maybe you can convert the pdf to a jpg or gif file and put it in your Album (or make a Guide)? Who knows when we'll get the archives uncovered.
  • pschiffepschiffe Posts: 373
    How do I access his CarSpace account? Would I just send an eMail to using my own eMail client?

  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Yep, that will do it. Most people forward their CarSpace accounts I think, so hopefully it'll get there easily enough, unless the Allowed Correspondents option makes it bounce. In which case you'll find out soon enough and can try Plan B.
  • pschiffepschiffe Posts: 373
    David eMailed me directly and I sent him a copy of the pdf. Apparently my email addy is in here someplace.

    Pete :)
  • dstardstar Posts: 2
    Hi - I saw your post about the fogging of the head lights. I have read were people had gotten new lenses per the warranty. When I spoke with my dealorship I am getting the run arround. What did you end up doing to correct this?


  • jjpcatjjpcat Posts: 122
    Recently, I have problems in starting my 2000 RX300. After parking over-night, I have to keep my foot on the gas for about 2 minutes (engine at 1500-2000 rpm) before driving it. Otherwise the engine would shut down immediately.

    My mechanics said it's due to a bad idle control module which is a known issue for Lexus. He quoted me $350 to fix it. I am wondering if idle control module is the same thing as throttle control module? Is $350 reasonable?
  • mikey00mikey00 Posts: 462
    Very common problem. It's your Idle Air Control Valve (IACV). Cleaning almost always fixes the problem. Do a search in this forum for "idle air control valve" for info and procedure for cleaning. There is also a procedure on the net complete with pictures.
  • jiaminjiamin Posts: 556
    Today, I have got a worse symptom: Engine cranks but dies right after. I had my foot on the gas pedal a little, engine kept runing, until I released it.

    MAF sensor was cleaned well a few months ago, and my scanner showed no error code. I was told to look for some hanging loose vacuum hose, etc. I need you experts' suggestion what the most common areas are to look for.

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Not really OT, read on...

    Four years ago we purchased a used 27" Four Winds MH on a Ford E350 V10 powered chasis. Our primary criteria insofar as MH vs TT was for my wife to be able to get up and move about while traveling as I am the primary (only?) driver. I can drive about 500 miles a day if it's in daylight. But at 60+ I knew I Needed food, coke, or whatnot after that first 300 miles to avoid getting drowsy enough that I yawned almost continuously.

    Part of the problem, equation, was that all of our other vehicles, at least the viable ones, are AWD, so if towed they had to be on a trailer, all wheels "up".

    So for that 4 years we have vacilated between buying a trailer for wheels up, and/or a TOAD, a new vehicle that could be towed all wheels down. Meantime we have settled for renting a vehicle at our destination. More recently we have considered the RAV4 initially but then the '08 came out without a stick shift. Have had my eye on the Suzuki SX4 stick shift of late.

    But on our last return trip, central MT and back, the discussion came up about the safety of my DW, VERY DW, being up and around while underway.

    Bottom line is we are now seriously considering selling the MH and buying a small, ~16', Travel trailer. The "usefull" portion of our MH is only 16' long.

    And now this is where our 2001 AWD RX300 comes into the discussion. There are a myriad of used (it is NEVER cost effective to purchase a new RV!) TT's out there in the maretplace wherein I can stay below the 3500 pound (supposed) towing capacity of the RX.

    The tow hitch from my RX was removed the first week of purchase and it has never endured anything close to rough service. Yet at 40,000 miles the ATF smelled and looked burned. I flushed it twice within 5,000 miles and am watching it carefully at each oil change. I strongly suspect the burned ATF is due to the same shift pattern change that was made for the initial RX production and it is that change that resulted in premature transaxle failures of many '99 RXes.

    So I am fully prepared, expect, for a DIY transaxle rebuild at 80-100,000 miles. At the same time I will be locking the transaxle's center diff'l in a way that the drive to the rear will be a solid mechanical connection and the VC will become the only drive to the front wheels.

    Should I go forward with this TT purchase plan the first thing I will do after mounting the tow hitch is add cooling fans for the auxillary ATF cooling heat exchanger.

    Now, the QUESTION.

    Does anyone out there have a substantial enough level of experience towing with any RX. 300, 330, 350, to be able to say if I am on the right track or not?

    We have put ~10,000 miles on the MH in those 4 years.

    65,000 miles on the RX, daily driver, since purchasing it new in '01.

    Any other options, modifications, to the RX that I should consider to make it more robust for towing a 3500lb TT?
  • pschiffepschiffe Posts: 373
    Make sure that your hitch is Class III - 3,500 lbs. GTW 2" Square. Some were Class I or Class II - 2,000 lbs. GTW 1-1/4" Square.

    Pete :)
  • la4meadla4mead Posts: 347
    We need to talk about the cooling fans on the tranny coolers again. I've been all ready to do this (remember mine is an early '99 with a late '04 Kyushu factory-updated tranny, and I added an additional cooler behind the aux cooler that came with the "tow package").

    Because of the limited space, I wanted to add a couple high-flow 12 volt computer fans to the ATF coolers in the fender(like the ones I use to cool the back of the refrigerator on the motorhome) and you reminded me of the project last time we discussed towing with the RX. I have two RX's to do. Mine and a friend's 2000 AWD.

    My question to you (or anyone else in the know) is about the engine fan relay. If I try to piggyback the power to run the computer (sorry, ATF Cooler Fan) from the engine fan relay, isn't the engine fan of "variable speed" design? Where do I go to get 12 volt output when the engine temp starts getting warm to power the ATF Cooler (computer) fans?

    Otherwise, I guess I need to make a trip to Pep Boys and buy a Hayden fan relay kit, one with a temp probe I can insert into the ATF cooler. One problem with that is there may be a minimum power draw requirement that the very efficient computer fans may not pull enough juice to engage the Hayden relay. I'll just have to hook up a big, bright TRANS TEMP light to it, if that's the case. So that's $100 bucks worth I'd rather not spend, if I can just piggyback from the engine fan relay without somewhere before the "variable speed" controller (or whatever the controller is called, if I can.

    P.S. Sorry to hear that you're still having troubles with your '02 showing burned fluid. And no amount of pleading with the dealer has helped with them accommodating with an updated transmission... I suppose you've already tried multiple dealers? You still barely have some powertrain warrantee, don't you?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    As a rule the radiator cooling fans are run at low speed by connecting them in series so each only gets 6 volts. In high speed they are connected in parallel.

    My RX shop/repair manuals are at the office and I will check to see if the RX uses this method on Monday.

    In the alternative the RX has a thermistor within the transaxle for sensing/triggering the ATF overheat dash WARNING Icon. So you could always tap into that signal wire to sense linear ATF temperature and design your own circuit to run two fans in series if the ATF temperature is at some medium/intermediate level and in parallel if it starts to rise above that and/or begins to approach the overheat level.

    Mine is an '01 and assuming I'm correct on the overheat cause thre is as yet no viable solution offered by Lexus, even in later Rx models.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The MY2000 RX300 runs the two fans in series for low speed and both across the 12 VDC supply for high speed.

    The transaxle's internal thermistor (term THO) output signal, used to sense ATF temperature is on pin #1 of the connector into the transaxle, Green wire w/yellow stripe.
  • lefty7lefty7 Posts: 1
    I am new to this board. I just discovered that I have a sludge problem with my 2002 rx300. (60000miles). The dealer is asking me for my service records for the last year. I do not live near a lexus dealer and have been getting oil changes at different garages. Do not have all the receipts, Is this going to cause me a problem with getting my engine replaced.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I don't think the dealer has "grounds"(***) to make this request but better to avoid a confrontation so do your best, best efforts, to provide the documentation requested.

    *** Under the sludge recall letter I recieved there was no indication that the sludge problem was related to owner maintenance. On the other hand I seem to remember that an engine design change was made to alleviate the problem prior to the 2002 RX300 MY.

    If so the dealer request is quite valid.

    "...oil changes at different garages..."

    Were I a dealer I would much rather have a DIY'er come in with this problem/explanation. I always buy my oil filters from Lexus and keep those reciepts.
  • avery1avery1 Posts: 373
    I have a 99RX and live in CA. My last couple of registration renewals have said that I needed to take my car to a test only center. There is an extra $10 charge if it has this requirement. I finally asked the guy at the test center why the extra charge and he said it is because cars that pollute more are referred to these test only centers. My RX has always passed with flying colors and my recollection is that the RX was sold as an ultra low polluter to begin with. Anyone know anything about this? $10 every two years isn't that big of a deal but my curiosity is aroused now.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "....take my car to a test only center..."

    "test only center"..??

    As opposed to what, a test and/or repair center??

    I would think the opposite would be true...

    "Cars that pollute more should go to a test/repair center."

    And it seems to me that a test only center would be the ones to charge more since they don't have the opportunity to gouge the customer by charging for un-needed "repairs".

    I would assume most test and repair centers are run by either GoodYear or FireStone...seeing as how they seem to be the best at up-selling and thereby doing un-necessary repairs.
  • mikey00mikey00 Posts: 462
    I received 3 seperate mailings about the "oil gelling" issue. The first one but the blame on lack of owner maintenance. It stated "Oil gelling is solely a maintenance issue, and we are not aware of any situation in which a properly maintained vehicle has experienced mechanical problems associated with this issue". They offered a 12 month good will program and went on to say "you must be able to prove proper maintenance through copies of your work orders, receipts, or other appropiate service records".
    The second letter back peddled away from totaly blaming the owner but still stressed proper maintenance. This letter offered the 8 year unlimited mileage warranty and stated "all we ask is that you show a reasonable effort to regulary maintain your vehicle". No actual mention of what you need to "show".
    The third mailing was the legal notice of the results of the class action action suit.It stated "If this vehicle is covered by the program and has an oil gell problem, and it has been resonably maintained , it will be repaired" No mention of what proof is needed. It did go on to mention "normal" and "severe" maintenance schedules.
  • avery1avery1 Posts: 373
    It's just an idiosyncrasy of California law which I'm sure was written by lobbyists for the test machines. But wasn't the 99 RX supposed to be a very low emission car? I don't know if it was an ULEV but I thought I remembered something like that when I bought it. Now that I'm thinking about it I guess I will just have to spend a couple of hours trying to reach someone who might have a clue at the DMV.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    My wife complained yesterday that she thought she could smell anti-freeze in our 2001 AWD RX300.

    So when we got home I checked the coolant level in the expansion tank/reservoir. It was a tad above the "hot" full mark but the interesting thing was that there was moisture visible around the reservoir fill cap, just a little, but enough to be a bit worrisome. Additionally there was a "crusty" surround on the top of the reservoir all the way around the fill cap but at a distance of 1" or so.

    IMMHO the "crust" buildup is obviously an indication of a (recent?) "history" of coolant overflow

    Just went out this morning to check after the engine has cooled all night and the coolant level in the reservoir is still above the "hot" fill mark...

    Took the radiator cap off and the coolant level is right at the top in there too.

    In 65k miles I have NEVER had/seen any indication of the engine overheating and insofar as I know the coolant system, other than just now, has not been "opened" for even refilling since leaving the factory in ~2000.

    What gives...?

  • la4meadla4mead Posts: 347
    I'm probably going to try this this week. However mine is a 2WD, and doesn't have a dash warning light. I doubt if mine ever gets hot enough to trigger a warning, even if the thermistor was there. Even in traffic. I have extra coolers on mine, and shift it manually if need be. Since the 2004 transmission upgrade, I haven't noticed any fluid burning, either.

    If you think there might be an easy way I can piggy back from the engine fan relay to get 12 volts when the first step (6 volts?) comes on, such as just to trigger another relay that will turn on a full 12 volts to the (computer) tranny cooler fan, I'd like to try that and save $100 bucks otherwise I'd have to buy a Hayden fan relay kit.

    I guess my question is... Do you know what wire I can use to tap into for such a trigger? Where might I find it?

    Thanks a bunch if you can help. You are a great help, even if you don't know, but I appreciate your input, and I'm doing this for a friend as well. This might help others who want to cool their RX's, too. :shades:
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