Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Lexus RX 330



  • jbl85jbl85 Posts: 49
    I didn't realize there was a sludging problem with the 3.3L?? I wonder if there is a real problem with the first generation at all??
  • erik_herik_h Posts: 77
    As an owner of a '99 RX and someone who has multiple co-workers/friends with various RX and highlanders models, I only know of 1 which has had the sludging issue. It was on a HL and it was overhauled under warranty and has been fine since.

    My '99 has not had this issue and my mechanic, a former Lexus mechanic, watches for any signs of problems. I think the issue was overblown and it only affected a relatively small number of vehicles.
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    "I think the issue was overblown and it only affected a relatively small number of vehicles."

    This was certainly the case, only a small number of vehicles were affected and I remember reading that it was questionable as to how some of these were maintained, or more accurately not maintained.

    Ours is a 2004 RX330 with about 68,000 miles, and every time I check the oil level I'm amazed at how clean the oil stays, plus I've never had to add any in between changes.
  • My son is a Certified Toyota Mechanic and states that it is oil turns to gel for several reasons, most common on the Lexus because when it sits on top of the valves gets really hot, once oil cools down should liquefy again, however you have to make sure that you change your oil on time this gel can cause engine sludge.
  • vizviz Posts: 58
    I am planning to buy 2004 Rx 330 with 50k miles on it for $18k. Thoughts on any know technical issues / price? Which company is the best for extended warranty?

    Thanks in advance.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Just be aware of the randomness of the 1-2 second downshift re-acceleration delay, and the propensity for sudden unexpected windshield fogging subsequent to A/C compressor use.
  • IF you still ahve the list of cbest settings could you please email them to me. my email is
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Please don't include your email address in postings to the Forums. Thanks!

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • I have a clunking noise in my FWD RX (80K miles) when warmed up (does not happen when cold). I happens when I feather the accelerator at most speeds and does not happen when I just accelerate either rapidly or smoothly (in other words keep my foot on the gas for a period as opposed to feathering it). It also happens sporadically when slowing down for a stop. It is a clunk and but does not occur when the car is initially driven in the first mile or so. There are no problems other than that and my mechanic sees no obvious problems from his underside inspection. Any ideas
  • easypareasypar ColoradoPosts: 192
    It finally happened, my first "accident" since 1975. I hit a deer this morning on a road where I know they're active (several of my friends have hit them) but I was going about 40 in a 55 zone and he just ran out of the woods and "bazinga" right into my front end. Fortunatelyh these Texas deer are not very big.

    Here's what's damaged; the plastic body piece below the hood that extends around to the wheel wells, the black air dam that is below that that has to be dropped to change the oil. There is a crack around the parking light on the painted piece, extends about 1/2 way around the parking light.

    I told my wife that even with the $1,000 deductibe that we've got that it'll more than clear that amount. That front painted piece has got to be dealer only and then painted to match. Any ideas on how much I'm looking at? The turn signal didn't break and it still works.

    Thanks in advance.
  • la4meadla4mead Posts: 347
    If all you hit was an animal and nothing else, it's usually handled as a comp (comprehensive) claim, not collision. Comp claims count as claims without fault.

    I hope that helps.
  • easypareasypar ColoradoPosts: 192
    We have an 04 RX with just a shade under 70,000 miles on it. We've always been very religious about doing our oil changes at 5K,10K,15K etc. Makes it easy to remember and when we were still working the time between changes was shorter. Now that we're retired we still use the mileage but the time has lengthened, particularly on this almost 7 year old unit.

    I was out of town for 6 weeks and working crazy hours and didn't get the oil changed until 7500 miles (also doing a couple of miles a day on dirt roads). When I took it in for the change I was amazed at how clean the oil was, looked like it had been changed within the week.

    I recall someone on an earlier post writing something similar but IIRC he was using synthetic, whereas I'm using pure dino oil. Has anyone else noticed this?
  • jbl85jbl85 Posts: 49
    What you are experiencing is normal. You will see a lot of whining about engine sludge and transmission problems on this board, though most of that sort of discussion is on the first generation RX.

    I have a '99 and an '05 RX and both of them perform flawlessly and when I change the oil after 6 months, the oil is only slightly discolored.

    Take care of your car and it will take care of you.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    edited December 2010
    You can check over in the Engine Oil - A slippery subject Part 2 discussion, but I always heard that oil turns dark almost as soon as you put it in the crankcase. If your oil isn't getting dark, I'd be wondering if it's working right, since it's supposed to take the dirt and soot and combustion byproducts and hold it in suspension.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Old information, OLD..!!

    New engine piston compression and oil rings are now so well fitted that products of combustion do not reach the crankcase as readily as in yesteryear. About the third time my older brother changed the oil in his '91 LS400, at eevry 3000 mile inteval, he called to ask me if these was a problem because the oil he was draining was TOO clean.

    I advised him to switch to 5-6000 mile intervals and not to worry if the oil still looked fairly clean.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Mine was dark last week when I changed it. I should go check the odometer - I'm bad to wait 8 or 10,000 miles between changes. ;)
  • My 2006 RX 330 shifts rough. also downshifts and at wrong times and speeds. also speeds up quickly. I can stop the speed up with braking. s this a defect, or a maintanace problem? 57,800 miles. Please advise
  • marta3marta3 Posts: 3
    Took car to dealer (Manhattan Lexus) for 60,000m checkup. Agent urged me to replace timing belt and water pump-$1,000. Need advice on whether or not this job is really needed now, or overly cautious. Also recommended rear brakes/pads $695. Usually have my own mechanic handle brake, tire and regular service issues. Any reason to let Lexus handle this one, despite high price, this one time? Told dealer I'd get back to him today. Really appreciate hearing from you.
  • jbl85jbl85 Posts: 49
    This is from the following website...unless you have very unusual circumstances as to how you drive your RX, then your dealership is trying to make up for lost revenues.
    Then click on the Timing Belt replacement statement, which reads as follows:

    Our timing belts have been very reliable. However, the timing belt is subjected to severe stress if the vehicle is operated under extensive idling or low speed driving for long distances, such as in heavy commercial use such as delivery, taxi or patrol car. If the timing belt breaks, the engine will stop running and will not restart until it is repaired. While it is possible that the original timing belt may last the life of the above engines, for peace-of-mind, the timing belt may be replaced every 90,000 miles. Also, if major engine work is performed, such as a valve job or engine rebuild, the timing belt should be replaced.
  • I bought this 2004 RX330 new and have maintained it well. New timing belt/water pump and tires six months ago. I love the car but am concerned that it might cost me more to maintain it than buying/leasing another car (probably less expensive car than Lexus). I put on about 15k/year now almost all highway driving. Can anyone tell me what costly repairs I might expect in the next 1 to 4 years?
  • skeeter281skeeter281 Posts: 3
    edited July 2011
    Hi, I have a similar issue with the moisture in the passenger side headlight. I took it to the dealer when there was moisture but the headlight was still working. The service advisor told me that it was $1500 to replace the headlight and since it was still working, I should just wait til it blows out before I change it. Fair enough. Well, it's a year later and the headlight isn't working but the daytime running light and the high beam is working. I've since moved to a different state and when I took it to my new local dealer to get the headlight fixed, they said is $3000 to fix it and that it's not the bulb, its the ECU in the headlight. I asked them if this can be caused by moisture in the headlight and they said yes. I told them about the previous service visit regarding the moisture and they had it in my maintenance records that I brought it in to deal with the moisture. I called Lexus HQ and told them the situation and they're supposed to get back to me on whether they'll cover all/some/none of the repair.

    So, my questions are, 1) Does this sound right?, 2) Is this something I can fix on my own? (I have no problem getting a service manual and taking the car apart assuming I know exactly what I have to change.) 3) Should I take it to a non-Lexus repair shop to save money? Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    There are only 2 components that are likely to have failed, the HID bulb itself or the bulb ballast(/ECU?). Both an easy DIY and less than $100 for both on Ebay.
  • Thanks for the info. The dealership said they swapped out the bulb and it didn't work so it's the ECU/ballast. They wanted to charge me $3k to fix it though. That's my biggest complaint about Lexus, love the car for the most part but any service from the dealership is EXTREMELY overpriced.

    Anyone know/use a reputable seller on eBay on a regular basis? Thanks again.
  • One other question, I just got a part quote or a ballast for $1138 from Lexus. How isn't that I can get one online for $100 but they charge $1100+? Should I look for a certain brand name or anything wen I buy one online? Thanks again. (I guess that's 2 questions)
  • Hi, Just nputting in my 2 cents. I have an 04 RX330 that I purchased new at the end of 2003. The vehicle has 216,000 miles and all is well. It has been the cheapest vehicle for me to maintain. The secret is to take your lexus to Toyota. It is basically a Highlander. I buy my own mobil 1 synthetic on sale at costco and the dealer just charges me for the filter and labor. My vehicle needed a new radiator a while back but other than that it has been trouble free. i only do the required maintenance. Timing belt every 105000 miles.
    Good luck
  • Just stay up on the maintenance, and there shouldn't be any costly repairs. Find a good mechanic outside of the stealer/dealer. Oxygen sensors tend to start going bad, not a biggy, just replace the defective one, not all four as mechanics will try to talk you into. If one goes bad, it could be a year or more before the next one goes bad. Flush cooling system every 3 years not 5, and replace the thermostat too. Lexus dealers are just notoriously expensive, charging 300% over the MSRP for parts, then the labor, ouch. I've owned multiple high mileage Lexus vehicles, truly amazing cars, but I'm a mechanic and do my own work and as with all Toyotas, they are easy to work on. Toyota spends more on engineering under the hood than most manufacturers spend on an entire car.
  • Can someone give me a tutorial on the which, if any, Lexus RX 330's have a 3rd row? I am looking in the 2005-2007 ish range. I'm open to other options, but need something with a luxury type driver's seat and that drives really well due to health issues. Easy acceleration and a powerful engine really help with not having to press the gas pedal so hard like I have to do in my Hyundai Veracruz. I drive my husband's '04 Acura TL sometimes, and it feels much better - the engine/gas pedal part and the way the seat is angled and adjusts as well. We have a family of 6, so we can't all fit in a regular 5 seater.
    Searching online, it appeared as though the RX 330 can come with a 3rd row, but I haven't even been able to find a picture of the 3rd row on Google images. I'm starting to wonder if it exists. I'm at the shopping online point, so I haven't had the opportunity to go look in person. Small town with no Lexus dealer as well.
    Please help. Thanks!!
  • JBaumgartJBaumgart Posts: 890
    To the best of my knowledge the RX330 never had a 3rd row.
  • la4meadla4mead Posts: 347
    Right, I think the manufacturer delineated RX series vehicles specifically as agile 5-seaters. I don't believe there ever has been a third row option for the RX. The closest related vehicle is the Highlander, which was available with a third-row option.
  • mckmemckme Posts: 1

    2005 LEXUS RX 330 - Transmission "LAG"... I bought mine new, and within 30k started noticing a hesitation in acceleration between 1st and 2nd gear? Dealership could never "find" the problem...and said I just needed a software update. Software update did nothing. On a website called RepairPal - apparently the 2004-2007 RX models ALL HAVE THIS TRANSMISSION DEFECT due to the original design and there is NO FIX FOR IT! A LEXUS dealership repair guy actually told me that! And his suggestion was to buy a 2008 model or newer. Mine now is 9 yrs. old, 105k miles - and has otherwise had no problems. I do feel LEXUS should be held accountable for poor design however!

Sign In or Register to comment.