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Lexus RX 300



  • joanziejoanzie Posts: 51
    Has anyone out there used the plates from their old car when they purchased a lexus? I had wildlife plates on my old car that I wanted to put on my rx300, my salesman said he checked with the people doing the paperwork and I couldn't do it I had to get new plates. This was in April when I bought my car. Now some people tell me it could have been done, so I called my lexus dealer and spoke to the man who sold me the car and told him I was upset that they gave me the wrong information. He said he wants me to be happy, and I should come in on Monday morning and have a cup of coffee with him. This is a very well known dealer who is very big on customer service. Tony, I believe this is where you take your car, what are my chances of this being taken care of 3 months later? He still claims you can't do it. I feel with all the cars they process they should have known it could be done, and I wonder if it was just easier not to. Someone from the state e-mailed me and said it probably could have been done so I will bring the e-mail with me.
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    Transfer of plates is strictly governed by the state's DMV, not a car dealer. I assume you are in NJ or NY? Unless there was some kind of problem with your orginal registration or plates, there is no reason why you couldn't transfer the plates. The only reason I can think is if the State wanted to phase out your particular style of plate.

    Please don't rely on a dealer for the correct info regarding this, simply contact your state's DMV for the definitive answer. If you are in New Jersey, here's the phone numbers you need:

    NJ Motor Vehicle Services 24-Hour telephone information and assistance
    For General Customer Information
    1-888-486-3339 toll free in NJ
    1-609-292-6500 from out of state
  • mikey00mikey00 Posts: 462
    Last year I purchased a 2000RX and the dealer transfered the plates (non-wildlife) from my old Mitsubishi (8 years old) to the 2000RX. This year I traded in the 2000RX for a 2001RX, again the dealer transfered the plates. This was at DiFeo Lexus in Bound Brook, NJ. Could there be something special about the wildlife plates you have? I am making the assumption you are in NJ. This probably varies by state.
  • mlevinedcmlevinedc Posts: 45
    Has anyone purchased one of the above? If so, what do you think of it?
  • joanziejoanzie Posts: 51
    Thanks Tony , How do you think Ray Catena will handle this? They say they want me to be happy, any chance they will do it after 3 months? I'm just upset that they did this when I paid so much for the car, I 'm hopping they will fix it. I did pay extra for these plates, that"s why I wanted them transfered. the salesman said everyone at dmv gives you a different answer and you can't believe them. Did you buy your car at Ray Catena? I live in monmouth county N.J. Thanks.
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    Actually, I bought at Ray Catena in Larchmont, NY (same principal owners, they also own a MB, Jaguar, and BMW dealerships) and get my service done at the Monmouth location because my office is only about 1 mile away from their service center.

    They only thing they can do to make it right would be to handle the plate transfer/registration for you at DMV and eat the DMV cost of transfering the plates. Dealers get special treatment at the DMV because they do bulk registrations, etc., so it should be no big deal in terms of their time.

    All you have to say to them is that you'll go elsewhere for service and maintenance. Service is where most dealerships make their profits, it's not the new car sale. Threaten to take it to DiFeo Lexus which is within 35 minutes of your house.

    Remember, be respectful/nice but firm. Let us know how it goes.
  • I received 2 quotes for the 30,000 mi service on my '99 RX300. The dealer that I purchased it from wants $689.00 (Stevens Creek Lexus in Santa Clara, CA) and the other is $479.00 (Lexus of Fremont). They can't tell me a difference because they say they don't know what the other is doing. Any insights as to what's going on here? pays to shop around
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Change the engine air filter, oil/filter, mobil one/Lexus at any quick-change for $30.00. Don't spend this kind of money on maintenance until you get above 75,000 miles.

    Everything else is simply a dealer SCAM!
  • rmorin2rmorin2 Posts: 110
    Each time we use the brakes there is a popping noise from the front end. Also, when turning the steering wheel we can feel and hear a popping noise. Any advice on what it may be? Our RX is a '00 model with 25K. Thanks.
  • drummerboydrummerboy Posts: 30
    I have a 2001 RX300 w/Nav. I've added 2 12 inch subs in the back with its own amplifier. Does anyone know if it's possible to change the stock speakers and use aftermarket amps to power them, without messing up the voice guidance function of the Nav?? Is the Nav only connected to the tweeters on the dashboard??
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    Actually, the Nav voice only overrides the left (driver's) front speaker pair (door midrange and dash tweeter).

    Just out of curiousity, how did you feed the rear subs? Did you take speaker level from the two rear door speakers? Did the amp you use do the level conversion? What did you use to auto-on the sub amp?

    With the separately powered subs now, I'm not sure it's worth it to separately power the other speakers. It is a pretty decent system for oem/stock. The best/easiest thing you could do would be to swap out the door midrange's and dash tweeters. Many brands should fit, though I have yet to hear someone confirm the diameter/mounting size of the dash tweeters. If they are not a popular 3/4 or 1" size, there could be a little custom dash work necessary.
  • jimxojimxo Posts: 423
    Are there any color changes next year?

    Is $700.00 over invoice on a 2001 4x2 a good deal?
  • joanziejoanzie Posts: 51
    Tony, everything will be taken care of by Thursday.He knew I was right so I just sat there and listened. He said someone gave him the wrong info. and I said it didn't matter who made the mistake as long as it was corrected!Then I gave him a compliment, and said most salesmen do not want to see you after the car is purchased, and I appreciated his calling me back and taking care of everything for me. It is always nice to leave with good feelings,and it is not necessary to rub it in but I know he knew it could have been done since he is a Master salesman for lexus! I was home in 15 minutes and probably drove right by your office since I travel on Industrial way.
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    Glad to hear it went well! I had no doubt, they really are a good dealership overall.

    Yup, you past by my office, only you wouldn't find me since I don't have the Black Rex today. I guess that's the price you pay for having a spouse, i.e., having to share your toys.
  • joanziejoanzie Posts: 51
    My husband was teasing me, he knew this plate transfer was bothering me but he couldn't believe I would call them after 4 months! He said a woman never forgets!
  • blabla1blabla1 Posts: 3
    Does anyone know when 2002 RX300 will be in
    market? What will be new features ? Are they ever going to
    raise back seats?

  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    I'm raising a couple of back seaters right now. They are a handful, I tell you.
  • tariktarik Posts: 344
    ...TC, you just made my day... ...still ROFL...

  • rxcitedrxcited Posts: 7
    Do others agree with WWEST that anything other than an oil change until 75k checkup is a dealer scam? I took my Volvo 850 for service every 5k miles as recommended by the dealer and manual, and it was trouble free for 8 years. I plan to do the same with the RX300.

    Just curious what others (tonychrys?) think about regular service intervals.

    BTW, my dealer does quote $438 for the 30k checkup.
  • You got a great deal! My husband and I are trying to do as well as you did, so we want to get some more of your fabulous negotiating secrets! Could you let us know what dealership you dealt with to get this deal? We're in San Antonio, TX but are willing to drive if need be. Thanks so much! Also, if anyone in Texas reads this and got as good of a deal as "gatortwins" (or even close for that matter), please, please post a message!
  • I just saw your post regarding good prices in Houston. My husband and I are looking to buy in the next two weeks and wanted to know if you got your $33,500 goal. We're in San Antonio but would definetely drive to Houston for that price. Thanks!
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    Ok, since you're asking, I'll give my opinion and explain why I say what I say.

    In general, scheduled service is the biggest money maker for any brand of dealership. I know this for a fact because I got into a detailed conversation with a dealer owner once, I'm always curious about different business models work, cash flows, net profits, etc. If you do the numbers you'll see that selling a car at $1000 or less over dealer cost will not pay the bills and allow for profits unless you can generate an incredible number of sales per day.

    The service center has turned into the "lifesaver" for many dealers. What a service center can do to get more of your money in a non-illegal manner is propose "additional" services than what is necessary as deemed by the manufacturer. The problem is that most car owners don't question the proposed maintenance services. Notice I keep saying "proposed". If you question or push a Service Advisor on this issue they will eventually fess up that many of the proposed services are unecessary.

    Example: I have a GM car, it has an engine that doesn't need a "tune-up" until 100K miles. All the owner's manual calls for is an oil change and tire rotation every 7500 miles under normal conditions. Should cost $60 or less, even with inflated dealer prices. My wife takes the car in and I get a bill for >$200! It seems they also changed several fluids (including the Xmission) and made several other checks and adjustments. They actually did the work they said, so it wasn't dishonest, but was it necessary? No, according to my owners manual. And the only thing that counts is the owners manual when it comes time to honor the warranty and you need to prove that you followed the manufacturer's maintenace schedule.

    Side bar: Oil changes. This "change your oil every 3000 miles" is one of the biggest scams pulled on the public in a long time. Every new car I own has a manufacturer recommended 7500 mile interval for oil changes. Plus, most modern oils are so well formulated you could easily go 10k miles without a problem (under normal conditions0.

    Ok back to your Lexus. I'm assuming that you're asking because you don't have an owners manual. If you do have an owners manual, shame on you. You already have your answer, you don't need mine or anybody else's opinion. If you don't have an OM, then for 30K miles the following is manufacturer recommended:

    Replace brake fluid
    Replace engine air filter
    Replace engine coolant
    Replace engine oil and filter
    Re-torque drive shaft flange bolts
    Rotate tires
    And a number of items to inspect, too long to list. They will charge at least two hours labor for this, so you are looking at least $150 - 200 in labor alone. Start throwing in parts and fluids at dealer prices, and you are looking at least $250 - 300 overall.

    Only if the vehicle is operated primarily while towing a trailer or carrying heavy loads, you should also:
    Replace differential oil
    Replace transfer case oil

    That's it, unless they actually find something wrong with the vehicle. And guess what? If there is something wrong outside of normal maintenance, it's under warranty! Shouldn't cost you anything additional.

    Hope this helps.
  • According to a Southern California Acura dealer, the Lexus RX300 is going to be redesigned for 2002. Anyone else heard this? I spoke with a local Lexus dealer and they said there weren't going to be any changes for 2002 (except a higher price tag so buy one now...).
  • ruskiruski Posts: 1,566
    I mean popping :)

    I have been hearing this noise too. It sounds more like a loud click and there is a pretty long time interval between the clicks.

    FWIW I live in Florida.
  • drummerboydrummerboy Posts: 30
    Tonychrys, I don't really know the answers to your questions, since I took my RX to a local audio shop (Los Angeles) to have my subs installed. The shop also installed an on/off switch right below the heated seats buttons (next to the cigarette lighter), so I can turn the sub/amp on or off. As far as I know, you can hook up any subs w/amplifier to any car, without having to alter anything to the stock system.

    I've had my subs/amps for 2 years now. It used to go in my old car. The subs improves the sound system by A LOT. I'm already very satisfied with the sound. However, I still have some leftover power in my amp that I was hoping to use on the front speakers. Since the Nav is hooked up to the left side, I don't think it'll be possible to power the front speakers with my own amp without cutting off the Nav voice.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    1. Replace brake fluid.

    Like engine oil, brake fluid doesn't wear out, but just like engine oil, again, it does become "contaminated". Brake fluid is hygroscopic, basically meaning it will suck moisture right out of the atmosphere, and as the moisture content grows over time, the boiling point of the fluid becomes lower. Brake systems, Pads, metal backing, caliper pistons can get EXTREMELY HOT!

    If the boiling point of the fluid is low enough it will start to boil and gas bubbles in your brake lines is not something you ever want to experience.

    But now a reality check...

    A. Where and how is your brake fluid exposed to the atmosphere? At the filler cap and no where else. So don't open the filler cap unless absolutely necessary. I just opened the one on my 2001 AWD RX and it is very well sealed when closed, not even an air pressure equalization vent that I could see. So, unless you have had your brake system worked on, parts opened to the atmosphere, the probability that your brake fluid needs changing out becuase it has accumulated too much moisture is very low.

    B. Replace brake fluid...

    Simple sentence, can someone out there tell me how to implement it without inadvertantly mixing the old fluid with the new? And what ratio old to new will I have when they are done? Can't say for sure, yeah, thats right.

    I know it can be done but I would never want to pay for the number of man hours it would take. First all the old fluid would have to be removed...ask the dealer how he plans to do that without disassembling the brake calipers on all four wheels, the master cylinder and the ABS pump and accumulator, and exposing all of those parts to the moisture laden atmosphere in the process.

    2. Replace engine coolant.

    MY 92 LS, 75,000 miles, is still running with the factory coolant plus maybe a quart or so of coolant I have added over the years when I did my own routine maintenance. I never add just plain water and I check it for freeze resistance on a regular basis.

    3. Rotate the tires.

    If you have a set of tires on your RX that have lasted for thirty thousand miles then yes, you should rotate them. But, be sure the rotation is both fronts to opposite rears. On the RX, even AWD, most of the engine torque is going to the front wheels and those wheels must also handle the steering loads.

    Keep in mind, lubricating oils, basically do not wear out. Before I would change any oil other than the engine oil I would send samples to a lab for analysis.

    Hydraulic fluids such as transmission and power steering are formulated to allow particles and contaminats to settle out into the bottom of the reservoir. If these fluids need to be changed due to contamination you had better find out where the contamination is coming from now, rather than discovering the gearing was chewing itself apart long after the warranty has run out.

    The same goes for any lubricating oils, including the differential, if it needs changing you should find out why, not simply change it out and go on your way.
  • jfetterjfetter Posts: 29
    Raddboy41, I checked the wiring harness today and I seem to have voltage. It is kinda' hard to give you a reading since I may not be measuring the voltage between the proper wires. What I do see is a change when the running lights or turn signal are turned on, which to me indicates everything is fine.

    I would be happy to measure the voltage across specific colors for you but it sounds like you either have a faulty harness (easy to check via continuity test on each wire) or perhaps your fuse or fuse block may be having a problem.

    What I saw when measuring mine (I made the assumption the MALE connector on the harness was ground even though the colors do not match what I always learned), was a voltage spike between it and the other pins that only lasted a second when measured. It did not remain measurable for more than an instant and I am guessing this has something to do with the newer "smart" electronics which require the proper load to be present on all pins (like a tail light that can become a flasher when the flasher goes out because it senses the open circuit).

    Let me know if you want reading, I will gladly do them today. Also, sorry for the delay but I had a wedding to attend last weekend and with a baby on the way, it seems I am always running behind trying to get things done. Oh yea, I never disconnected the ground either, I assumed as you did that this was just a safety issue...



    "Here's my problem. After installing the wiring harness and plugging in the 20amp fuse, I still don't have power to the harness!"
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    Depsite the supposedly good intentions of some folks here, if you don't at least follow the maintenance schedule in your owner's manual you stand a good chance of voiding the warranty if something were to happen, or at least get more of a hassle/blame when something does go wrong.

    It's not about who's right or who's wrong -- it's about what the manufacturer requires, no matter how silly that might seem to some folks. Maintenance requirements are one of the things that any prospective buyer should check out before they purchase the vehicle. If you can't live with the terms of the maintenance, then you shouldn't buy the vehicle.

    I'm done dispensing common sense, I'll let the experts take over.
  • lexrx1lexrx1 Posts: 9
    carbargain, sounds like your dealer is pressuring you into buying an RX now - By saying the price will go up so you need to buy one now. I wouldn't worry about that, it is always best to wait and get exactly what you want in a car.

    As for the changes - what I think is going to happen is in 2002 (not model year, but the actual year) the RX will be introduced as an '03 in the fall. As for the '02 model year RX, nothing much, if anything, will change. For fall of '02 Lexus is planning on introducing an all new ES. It has been REAL hush, hush so no one really knows anything about it. Just that it is going to be much more technologically advanced...more luxurious.

    Hope that helps you some,
  • kmhkmh Posts: 143
    I apologize if this is off-topic, but in case you do your own detailing (I do, occassionally) I found something that will help bring some "newness" back to the black trim pieces on the RX.

    It's made by Mother's and it's called "Back to Black".

    I noticed the black trim pieces on my '99 RX showed some signs of fading thru whatever reason (oxidation?).

    I recalled reading about this stuff and headed to a Pep Boys and picked up a bottle of the B2B.

    Well, the results are really great and makes the black trim pieces look new again. I'm really impressed. The bottle costs about $5 (not cheap). but it's worth it, IMHO.

    I applied it to the black door sill trim pieces as well as the front and rear wiper arms. They look they're practically "new" off the dealer lot...

    Anyway, I was just so ecstatic about the results, I wanted others to know about it. :-)
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