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Lexus RX 350 Servicing question.

kutrakutra Posts: 8
edited September 2014 in Lexus

Do you service your Lexus RX350 by miles or time? I don't rack up enough miles...about 10,000 a year. So for the first year, I did the servicing at 6 months (the car had 3000 miles), then at 12 months (the car had 6000 miles). It's 18 months now and the car has 10,000 miles.

Does it make sense to go for the recommended 18 months or 15,000 miles just because my car is 18 months old or should I wait for the car to put on 15,000 miles?

Please advise since the Lexus dealer charges $200 for the servicing!



  • avery1avery1 Posts: 373
    I'm not an expert but I would think it depends on if the miles are short stop-and-go miles or freeway miles. If they were freeway miles or a mix I would tend to go with miles not time.
  • maximafanmaximafan Posts: 592
    Kutra, is that $200 for just an oil change and tire rotation? That seems kind of high. I'm not sure, but I don't think my Lexus dealership charges that much for the oil change and tire rotation. Then again, I prepaid for my maintenance at less than $500 for four years or 48,000 miles, so I feel I got a pretty good deal for my future oil changes/tire rotations.
  • I'm due for my 15,000 mile check up and not sure how much they charge in Tulsa. I don't get an air conditioning filter? same as air filter? I paid $50 for oil change. does anyone know what the air conditioning filter is on lexus and should it really be changed after only 15000 miles?
  • la4meadla4mead Posts: 347
    If you have your original air conditioning (cabin air - the stuff you breath while you drive) filter after 15,000 miles and you typically use the a/c and heat (unless you drive in a dust-free environment), chances are pretty good the filter element is dirty. I'm guessing because I don't use my a/c all the time, always park inside a garage away from trees, and my RX300's gets pretty dirty long before 15,000 miles.

    The engine also has to breathe through an air filter, so check your owners manual for intervals.

    Either filters are easy items to inspect an/or replace yourself if you are so inclined. I don't know if the RX350 is the same as the RX300, but here is a link to a helpful site from an owner, which offers his own info on the RX300. It's likely your RX350 is similar to the prior generation.

    You may save yourself a little money by buying replacement elements for the cabin filter and/or replacement engine filter and doing it yourself. They are available from various online sources (I think in addition to Lexus there is aftermarket Denso, Bosch, and other sources, or just ask for the factory part online or in person at the Lexus parts counter. Some folks get satisfaction out of doing it themselves and saving a few $, but if you're not a DIYer, you may just want to pay the dealer to do it.

    I bet if you learn to check/change it and see it yourself, you will have cleaner air to breathe.
  • moolmanmoolman Posts: 126
    I would do service based on time, if you don't drive enough miles. Thats said, the Lexus sevice is a rip off and could be done by some else or yourself for much cheaper. I do my own oil changes on my RX350. The cabin filter is redicously easy to change, it uses the same filter as a 06 Prius or 06 Camry, also the RX330 do not have the same cabin filter as the RX350s, so be careful about it. For good reason, Toyota went to a universal filter for the RX in 07, instead of a unique one, so the RX350 are in luck. The only special service that the RX needs is at about 30K when it says the replace the brake fluid in the manual.
  • I have the same issue... just took took mine in (needed state inspection as well) to Lexus of Manhattan at 8919 for 10,000 mile servicing. Yeah, they "check" a lot of stuff, but essentially it's oil and filter change, tire balance and rotation and that service cost $200, and it's infuriating. It would clearly be half as much at a local tire/service shop. But I'm also concerned that with a leased car, not doing all that "check and adjust" crap that they claim they do could ultimately hurt me at the end of lease time... any thoughts on that from the group?
  • cwaynecwayne Posts: 81
    Just go to a Toyato dealer for service and save about 50- 60%. Your new car warrantee is good regardless of where you get your oil changed as long as you keep your receipts.
  • samsmsamsm Posts: 1
    I own 07 RX350 and I am thinking about getting wheel alignment service. I've just found that it is covered by lexus basic warranty within one year. Has anyone done with the basic warranty? Just want to do before my warranty expires.
    As a separate question, if we change oil/filter at Toyota dealer, does lexus still honor warranty with the serivces done at Toyota delaer?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The online technical specifications and the sales brochures, dealer supplied and online e-brochure, for the RX350 continue to state that the AWD system is based on the VC, Viscous Clutch, across the center diff'l. The Lexus shop/repair manuals at indicate the VC is NOT used in the later models, the RX330 & RX350.

    The following was in my email archives....

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- - ----------------------------------------

    ...Recently you submitted a question to the Lexus Customer Satisfaction

    We will assume your issue has been resolved if we do not hear from you
    within 120 hours.
    Thank you for allowing us to be of service to you.

    You may also update this question by replying to this message. Because
    your reply will be automatically processed, you MUST enter your reply
    in the space below. Text entered into any other part of this message
    will be discarded.
    [===> Please enter your reply below this line Please enter your reply above this line - [email protected]&p_next_page=myq_upd.php&p_refno=041026-000006&p_created=1098- - 835191

    No Summary

    Discussion Thread
    Response (Richard Hollingsworth) - 10/27/2004 09:41 AM
    Dear Mr. West,

    Thank you for contacting Lexus Customer Satisfaction regarding the 2005 RX 330. We appreciate your interest in this vehicle.

    Per our technical department, the 2005 RX 330 does not have a viscous coupling LSD. The vehicle has adopted a full-time all-wheel drive system. We are sorry for the misinformation.

    If you would like to discuss your concerns further, you can also reach the Lexus Customer Satisfaction Department at 1-800-255-3987, Monday through Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Pacific Time.

    Richard Hollingsworth
    Lexus Customer Satisfaction

    Customer (Willard West) - 10/26/2004 04:59 PM
    The current 2005 RX330 e-brochure indicates that the 2005 AWD RX330 has the viscous coupling again.

    Is this actually true or is this a typo?

    Willard West
  • lovecdlovecd Posts: 50
    Hi there,

    I used to do oil change by my own for my 97 camry and plan to do the samething to my 07 RX350. I checked both underneath and upper part on my RX350 the other day and unable to find the location of oil filter. Can you give some advice here? Many thanks!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Lexus designed the RX series modelled after Wonder Woman's car.

    The filter is practically invisible mounted immediately under the front side exhaust manifold.
  • lovecdlovecd Posts: 50
    Thanks for your response! Is there any trick to do this oil/filter change? I would appreciate if you can share your experience on doing this job.

    Thanks again!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Buy the CORRECT filter wrench and on mine I remove the horn mounting bracket for a little easier access. While it's a good idea to drain the crankcase oil with the engine warm (HOT!) it doesn't hurt to let it cool, the exhaust manifold anyway, before tackling the filter.
  • lovecdlovecd Posts: 50
    Got the oil change done on my RX350 myself a week ago, quite straight forward and no leak at all. However, I found the maint required light does not go off after the engine is started. Does anybody know what is the reason for this? Many thanks!
  • You have to reset it.Procedure is in your owners manual. You put in key and turn it but do not start engine and then push in trip/odometer and reset it back to zero it seems or something similar. I have done this on my ES330 but I have to look in the manual everytime.
  • eortizeortiz Posts: 1
    I was wondering....I have a 2005 Lexus Rx330 and I did not get the 30,000 mile maintenance service I was suppose to have done to it. My car is now at 33,230 miles. Should I still take it to get the services maintenance done?
  • Hey eortiz,
    Yeah, you need to get some maintenance done pretty soon, assuming you've been following some standard maintenance intervals thus far. At a minimum, get an oil change. You don't need to get everything listed for the 30,000 mile check in the owner's manual, and Lexus will charge you a lot for that service (figure between $500 and $1000 depending on the dealer). But you can get by with just the oil change, tire rotation, new air filter and maybe a coolant flush and a brake pad/rotor check and save yourself a lot of money. And you don't need to use a Lexus dealer for this, any reputable car service business can perform the work. If you feel like you must use a car dealer, consider a Toyota dealership - they'll know your engine very well and they'll cost less than Lexus. Of course they may not provide a loaner car or wash your car or serve you Starbucks coffee like Lexus will. Good luck.

  • la4meadla4mead Posts: 347
    Also, regardless of the recommended factory interval, make sure you change the transmission fluid or have done so recently.

    Not a "flush" or "drain & refill", but a regular transmission fluid service where they "drop the transmission pan and inspect". They will look for indications of wear based on the amount of fine debris they find on the magnetic pan. Hopefully there will be little smudge on it. Good to know on any transmission, especially like the slushboxes used on an RX.

    This will change 50-60ish percent of the fluid in the system, because some parts of the system hold fluid, and that's good for another year. I wouldn't wait more than two years in between transmission fluid changes. Low mileage is usually from short trips causing more wear. However your trips might be easy on it, and maybe not. It's always better to change transmission fluid much more often than than the service interval, especially on a FWD Lexus.

    I concur on checking the intervals yourself from your manual, and getting a quote at a trustworthy (if you can find one) ;) Toyota dealer for the items you want done, first. It always seems less expensive if you pull your manual, do your homework, and get quotes first. I've found the Toyota dealer in the north San Fernando Valley to qualify; they always treat me well as long as I call the same service writer I've always dealt with and get the quote first.

    Toyota dealers can't help you with warrantee service, except to let you know something needs attention that could be covered under warrantee (mine was a common premature transmission problem).
  • Just had this service done on my 2007 RX350 at a local Toyota store for $59.95. Lexus dealer quote $109.95. Saved $50 with same parts and level of expertise but no quick and dirty car wash, free loaner or gourmet breakfast!

    Pete :)
  • ADKersADKers Posts: 1
    Changing the oil filter on the RX350 is much easier than on the RX330. The 330 required removal of a relatively large piece of the underside plastic to access the spin-off filter. The 350 has a small plastic door (underside, front, approx directly below the washer fluid filler cap, remove two screws holding it in place and it swings down & off) which provides access to the filter. I'm not pushing Fram, but I used a CH9972 filter element and the directions were excellent ... pictures included !! Use a 3/8" square drive to unscrew the filter housing (careful, oil may be hot or spill), you'll need a pan underneath while unscrewing the filter housing. Inside the housing is the replaceable filter element. Quick & easy, very nice design.
  • I could have driven 12,000 miles in 6 months... is that OK?

    5,000-Mile Or 6-Month Intervals
    Use 5,000-mile or 6-month intervals if you primarily drive your Lexus under any of the following conditions:
    - Driving on unpaved or dusty roads
    - Towing a trailer or using a camper or cartop carrier
    - Repeated trips of less than five miles in temperatures below freezing

    6-Month Intervals
    Use 6-month intervals if you primarily drive your Lexus under conditions less strenuous than those listed above.
  • pschiffepschiffe Posts: 373
    Lexus recommends replacement of the oil plug gasket whenever changing the oil. Don't know if an aftermarket replacement is available but OEMs can be sourced from Toyota dealers.

    Pete :)
  • jpzy3jpzy3 Posts: 11
    Does maintenance come with new lexus purchase?

    I'm more familiar with BMWs and maintenance is included for first 4yrs/50,000. I thought it was included with a Lexus purchase as well, but from what I'm gathering from this forum it isn't. Someone mentioned they pre-paid for maintenance... anyone recommend what a good price is and for how long are the contracts?
  • pschiffepschiffe Posts: 373
    Only 5K service was gratis on my 2007 RX350, presume it is still the same. My 99 RX300 included both 5K and 10K free service as I recall. I generally go to a Toyota dealer for routine maintenance, about half the price of the Lexus store but no gourmet breakfast, free loaner or quick and dirty car wash. Same parts and level of competence, no problem whatever unless you have warranty issues; which are few.

    Pete :)
  • jpzy3jpzy3 Posts: 11
    wow really - almost half off? good to know!
  • mbminermbminer Posts: 2
    I've canged the air filter on other cars but I can't find its location on a 2008 RX350. Can anyone direct me please?
  • I see this has gone unanswered for more than 7 months - sorry, just saw it today.
    The air filter housing is located next to the battery, kind of between the brake fluid reservior and the big engine cover. Just went to change mine (for the first time) today - found absolutely nothing in the owner's manual. It's a little bit of a pain to get the filter out - need to loosen a couple of bolts, and remove a sensor connector, and then you have to wiggle the top cover (measures about 12" x 6" x 6") to gain access to the filter element. Then you have just a little bit of room to get the filter element out.
    Putting in a new element and putting it all back together is a little bit of a pain too.
    Been working on my own cars for 35 years - this is the most "inconvenient" air filter I've come across. Not impossibe though - it helps to cuss a couple of times.
  • Thanks very much for the helpful description. I watched my oil change guy remove it a few months ago and was amazed how complicated it is compared to most cars. Appreciate the response.
  • lovecdlovecd Posts: 50
    I have done the oil change on my 07 RX350 for quite a few times. However, everytime when removing the oil filter housing, I had problems to lose the underneath screw, so it ended up that I need to remove the housing completely before draining out oil left in it, and no way to put the new plastic tube, etc.

    Anybody has the similar problems or know solutions for this?

  • ac2000ac2000 Posts: 36
    would you be able to post some pictures of how you change the air filters? i am not very handy. also, could you please describe how to change cabin filter? thanks a lot
  • robert1958robert1958 Posts: 1
    Hey Flowman,
    I was happy to read someone else has been through this.
    I am just going through this with my 2008 RX 350 now.

    Never ran into one I couldn't figure out !

    Looks simple. but......

    Bolts dont seem to loosen at all. Is there a trick to them? Do they come right out ?

    Looks like lift end closest to drivers side first after bolt issue.

    Is there a safe place to put a small screwdriver to pry open the lid?

    Please and thank you. :confuse:
  • flowmanflowman Posts: 2
    I'm going from memory here.......
    I'm pretty sure the bolts were captive - they don't come all the way out. No special trick to loosening them, but they might need a little snap to get them to break free.
    You are right about lifting the right (driver's) side first, then the left side has a tab that fits into a groove. I did not need to use anything to pry the cover open, and I would try to discourage that unless there is no other choice.
    The whole thing is not especially complicated, but there is not very much room to get the filter element out.
    I took some photos in response to ac2000's request back in January, but I couldn't figure out how to post them. They would have shown that it's not all that complicated. Just need to be really careful about disconnecting the sensor. Good Luck!
  • Hi. Had to change oil today and mechanic couldn't unscrew the oil filter housing. He is afraid to break it. It is supposed to be just handtighted but I guess at the last place I went to, they didn't know what they were doing. Any advice?
  • pschiffepschiffe Posts: 373
    This won't help and no disrespect intended, but avoid oil change joints. Use only genuine Lexus or Toyota parts and service. I usually have my RX350 oil changes done at a Toyota facility, same parts and level of competence at about half the price of Lexus. No quick and dirty car wash or gourmet breakfast but I can live without those. My 2¢.

    Pete :)
  • me21379me21379 Posts: 18
    on the bottom left side of the MSRP sticker of my 2010 RX are several boxes with text. One of the sentences in one of these boxes states "complementary 1st and 2nd scheduled maintenance services"
  • gladiator99gladiator99 Posts: 104
    edited October 2010
    Hi all!
    I certainly think that it is wise to avoid those fast oil change places. Many of them have been charged with fraud after investigations revealed some service work was charged for but never done on many vehicles. They try to sell you everything from filters to tranny flush, to differential fluid changes. I would recommend either a Lexus or Toyota dealer for all your service. Oh Yes, I believe that in your warranty or owners manuals there are coupons for one or two free oil and filter services.
    Check with your dealer about these.
  • la4meadla4mead Posts: 347
    edited October 2010
    Yes, that is if you can find a Toyota or Lexus dealer which will perform tranny service, regardless of oil changes and/or high-profit service "packages". It seems to be a rarity. Apparently, they usually prefer to "flush", or replace the transmission as a component.

    If you can make an appointment and wait while they drain and drop the pan, a good tranny shop will show you any sludge accumulated on the pan/magnet and any debris in the filter or screen. Type IV fluid usually has to be ordered ahead, they usually use Dex/Merc.

    Or maybe I'm too picky.
  • Hi, I was wandering if any of you are earing some cracking noise from your RX350. I've own mine since almost two years now and it's getting worst. I have some noise coming from the dash. I had to remove the vinyl trunk cover, "SORRY don't know the english word for that one" it was making such noise.
  • pschiffepschiffe Posts: 373
    Anybody ever heard of fuel injector service on an RX350? I often take my RX350 to a Toyota shop for oil changes and last time the service adviser stated that they recommend that this be done every 25,000 miles @ $99.95. They claim it is necessary due to the high sulfur content of fuel in this area (Buffalo-Niagara Falls region). No mention of this in the owner manual or by my Lexus dealer nor was this ever done on my previous RX300. I suspect there is no necessity for this and it frankly damaged my opinion of an otherwise very satisfactory Toyota shop. I declined the service, any comments? TIA

    Pete :(
  • Just before I got my 2010 RX, my lexus dealership on an oil change visit recommended a "fuel induction" service on my '07 RX. It was to clean up any carbon build up. Maybe this is what they meant?? Needless to say, I declined to have that done.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Pure snake oil...

    $3 can of "cleaner", run the engine for 10-15 minutes on YOUR gas, $97 profit.
  • I save money by going to Sam's Club to do tire rotation and balancing. Sam's Club charges only $16 for this service which includes all 4 tires. If you bought the tires from Sam's they do it for free. Also, Sam's Club fixes flat tires for free no matter where the tires were bought and they balance it when they're finished fixing the puncture. When going to the Lexus dealer for service you must ask that they delete the tire rotation and brakes inspection from the service. If you just ask to delete the tire rotation they will still remove all 4 tires to inspect the brake pads and charge you the same as if they rotated the tires. You can easily inspect brake pads yourself.
This discussion has been closed.