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Lexus RX 300



  • I was just informed by my sercice department that my 1999 RX300 requires a new engine because of major sludge. Milage is 16,000. Not covered by warranty - Absurd. Has anyone heard of a 16,000 mile engine bust?
  • johnr17-

    The only way that I know of that this can become a problem is if you don't change your oil regularly. How often did you change your oil/filter?
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    I got the RX brochure and it lists the drivetrain as "full-time 4Wd". Well, this could mean many things like:

    a) Normal FWD that automatically distributes torque to rear as the wheels slip.

    b) FWD and RWD with a 80/20 (or something similar) split between the axels under normal conditions, with progressive redistribution as needed.

    c) All wheels actually being driven at the same, with near equal torque under normal conditions, redistribution to any wheel as needed.

    d) something else I'm missing.

    Can anybody provide a link to how the system ACTUALLY works?

  • pschiffepschiffe Posts: 373
    Six-year/70,000-mile limited powertrain warranty includes ENGINE: cylinder block, head and all internal parts, intake manifold, timing gears and gaskets, timing gear chain or belt and cover, flywheel, valve covers, oil pan, oil pump, water pump, fuel pump, engine mounts, seals and gaskets, and engine control computer. **IF** you followed the "Scheduled Service Maintenance" there should be no question whatever about warranty coverage!

  • inkyinky Posts: 370
    Good gobs of crap who is coming up with this stuff. I have suffered through it on Camry page, Sienna page and not here. What a bunch of crap.
    First of all anyone told this must have not changed oil according to recommendations (7500 mile OK). Secondly, I do not believe the sludge stories. This basic engine has been around since 1994 in Camry V-6. The 3.0 VVTI is used now by ES 300, RX 300, Sienna, and Avalon. Give me a break.
    If anyone has concrete information, please share. Why have I seen 99 RX 300's with 50,000 miles and no problems. Why have I seen Carmy V-6's with over 100,000 miles and no problems. This is fishy.
  • rleverrlever Posts: 1
    1999 loaded all except Nakamichi. 12500 miles, desert bronz metallic, ivory leather. great car, pristine condition. wife left, no longer need. email for details.
  • To Paulsmiley (#242)
    What services are provided for $276.00? Did you feel the cost was worth it? Does Lexus allow you to have this done by an independent mechanic or does that adversely affect the warranty?
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    Is it a true GPS system?
  • Can anyone tell me the difference between a Value Package and the Premium Package Plus? It seems as many of the dealers around here (in California) have cars with the value package, but I would like to know what it has on it. Thanks for your help! Have a great 2001!
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    I went through the same thing at the dealer (New York), I'm pretty sure they are exactly the same thing.

  • RX300 NAV is a GPS updates the cars position constantly via satilites....I think it is probably the best and easiest to use of any Nav on the market. If you have not seen one in person yet I recommend a trip to the dealer and spend some time playing with does alot!
  • tonychrystonychrys Posts: 1,310
    Thanks! I appreciate the feedback.
  • levyroblevyrob Posts: 22
    I have a 2000 RX300 and hear the same clicking sound! It seems to occur when the vehicle is at highway speeds and sounds for all the world like a relay switching on and off. In my attempts to isolate it, I have learned that it happens whether the Ventilation system is on or off, in any weather, and most frequently when accelerating. Sometimes the clicking is louder than at other times. As for location, it is definitely under the dashboard somewhere, but seems to be more towards the firewall on the lower left side.

    If anyone has a clue as to what might be causing the noise, I'd sure like to know since I'm about to bring the car in for service, and most of the time when you report a strange sound, you get "could not duplicate" on the work order and a funny look from the service manager.
  • jtusojtuso Posts: 4
    From what I've seen on this forum, RX prices new are about l-2 K lower this January than last year. I bought my FWD 2000 RX for 36K plus tax in Jan 2000. It had the Premium package--leather, spoiler, 6 CD player in-dash, moonroof, etc., and my wife and I love the car--we have l5k miles on it now with no problems. We use 87 gas and even like the Goodyear tires. What has caused the price decline? Is Lexus producing more RXs? Is it competition from the MDX, the X-5, and soon from the Audi allroad and Porsche? But I have NO regrets. It may have cost me $1500. more or so to buy my RX a year ago, but that way I got to enjoy it a year sooner. Still, I hate to see the value drop. Buy RX--enjoy! enjoy!
  • pilot13pilot13 Posts: 283
    If you have only 16000 miles on the clock, your 99 RX300 is within warranty limits mileage wise.
    If, in fact, your dealer is telling you a new engine is needed, then it would appear to be no question as to who picks up the tab.
    Provided you have followed the recommended maintenance schedules for the car, and have proof of this, you should have no problem.
    Unless, of course, there is more to this than we're being told---like damage history, driving conditions, abuse, and so on.
    If you've followed the rules, you should have nothing to fear.
    Just about the only ways sludge can occur are (1) Short runs with insufficient warmup, and (2) Neglecting regular oil and filter changes.
    Do you fall into either or both of these categories?
  • inkyinky Posts: 370
    I should have seen this coming with the MDX in the chute and 80-90,000 RX sales per year. The 2001 is a vastly better deal than a 2000 RX. Once the $1,500 discount hit with the 2001 improvements us 2000 owners were hosed. Of course that is pure business. Resale will still be strong but I wish I had waited for a 2001. It would have been less with more equipment. Financially I am not happy about that. Lexus is way overproducing these things and now the price is $3,000 to $4500 off with little negotiation.
    The MDX has an effect also as production increases. I do recall the Acura 3.2 TL had a similiar effect two years ago.
  • Someone please help me out, I went to the dealership last thursday for an alignment. Ever since i purchased my rx, it has been pulling to the right constantly. so I went back there for the 3rd time now to hopefully get it fixed. the service guy tells me that if they find out something is wrong with the car then they will not charge me for an alignment. but if it's just he alignment then they have to charge me. anyhow, he ended up charging me $119.99 for the alignment because he says that it is not the car it is just because the alignment is off. I don't get it, I only have 8600 miles on the car and it keeps on pulling. After fixing it, it doesn't do that anymore. so is it just me?
  • What I don't like about our RX (I posted this before in another forum but thought I would do so here so others who are considering this car can consider how important these issues are to them):

    1. The stupid parking brake that in not a center console lever but a lower foot pedal. I thought only American cars used them still.
    2. The Audio, AC, and trip computer are all on the center display. You have to go through several windows to change radio stations, or to see outside temps or setting on the AC. Too much distractions from the road. (However, I do love the Nav system - it is quite excellent and we have used it in Denver and Boulder with success - screen has not washed out for us in sunlight as some have reported.)
    3. Memory is for the seats (and only limited movements) only not the mirrors or other functions. Also could be programed into the key like the MDX.
    4. Horrid turning radius. I have grown to really be offended by this poor performance.
    5. Sound system is not as good as the Bose System in my 98 Audi
    6. The fold down arm rest interferes with fasting the seat belt on the driver seat.
    7. Only a four speed automatic transmission.
    8. Wind and road noise (tires) is more than I thought acceptable for a luxury vehicle.

    Here are the reasons she did not consider the other cars:
    Jeep GC Ltd - Horrid safety testing (two catagories below the X5, MB, RX-300)
    X5 - price and poor fuel economy and first year production
    MDX - First year production car, Not as light as the RX-300, No Xenons.
    Allroad - First year production, not high enough for her.

    If it were up to me alone, I would have gotten the MDX

    Hope this helps with your decisions, and I certainly did not mean to offend anyone who has made a purchase of the RX-300. The dealer service is fantastic and the build quality is one of the best I have seen.

  • canadianclcanadiancl Posts: 1,078
    I had almost decided that my next vehicle would be a SUV and likely the MDX. However, I'm somewhat put off by the width of the beast, and the RX has more reasonable proportions. I have the following questions for '01 model owners:
    - is the alignment problem still an issue?
    - is the RX due for a styling change soon?
    - is rattles a major issue?
    - what are the features of the keyless entry/security system? ie. does it have passive arming, auto-rearm, beeps/light-flash for arm and disarm, flashing LED indicator light in an easy-to-see location, etc.?

    Thanks for any and all info.
  • kkuetkkuet Posts: 28
    i just got back from the dealer and test drove the rx. it's bit quieter than my mdx, but slower and worse handling. however, i'm looking into the rx for my sister and she demands xenons. the salesman said that it is impossible to find cause lexus is fading it out as an option, is that true? originally, i was looking for a awd with value package plus, heated seats, and hid. but i'm willing to buy one with the nak package if it would be easier. but he said that the nak were impossible to find to. anyone have more info on this. thanks
  • djasonwdjasonw Posts: 624
    I'd have to agree with the numerous comments regarding the RX' turning radius. HELLO MACK TRUCK!! It's unacceptable!! Unfortunate thing is that it will take a massive redesign to correct this shortcoming. I'd still choose this vehicle over the MDX. The MDX does NOT have a stability control system which was a STUPID mistake on Honda's part. Regardless of AWD, these vehicles need this type of enhancement to compete the package! Also, the MDX has NO cladding and that's just asking for problems. What SUV goes around without that type of protection? I'm happy with my RX... plus the deals out there are MUCH better than the MDX. Also.... put some Michelin LTX tires on the RX and it makes it a totally different vehicle. I also think the RX is better looking than the MDX too. Honda should have made the MDX look a little more different than an Odyssey SUV.
  • I can't answer the questions regarding alignment, rattles (new owner). But the keyless entry/security system is easy...
    - Does it have passive arming (nope, all doors need to be closed before hitting lock button, long beep if a door is still open and you have to press lock again once doors are closed...service tech can disable the beep)
    - Auto-rearm? (yes, the doors re-lock if you don't open them in 30 seconds)
    - Beeps/light-flash for arm and disarm (yes, 1 nice beep and light flash on lock, 2 on open...service tech can disable the beeps)
    - Flashing LED indicator light (yes, regular LED but not clearly visible, located on the dash left of steering wheel)

    Other stuff...
    - All 3 remote buttons built into ignition key (unlock, lock, panic...very handy)
    - First unlock gets driver door, second does all doors (service tech can change to make all doors open first)
    - Holding down the unlock button opens all windows and cracks open the sunroof 30%...really neat
    - Interior light fades nicely (wish the map lights would illuminate when entering car...but they're really bright so maybe it's best)
    - Headlights stay on for a while after locking (or you can hit lock a 2nd time to turn them off sooner)

    BTW...if you're overwhelmed by the map light (same bulb for both driver and pax), try flipping the sun visor all the way down and opening the vanity mirror (nice light and doesn't distract the driver)
  • I am quoted a price of $39,400 for a loaded 2001 RX300: AWD, Navigation Package, heated seats, roof rack, spoiler, wheel lock, cargo mat. Is this a good price in the DC area?
  • canadianclcanadiancl Posts: 1,078
    Thanks for the info on the security system. To have to bring car in just to get the beeps disabled/enabled by the mechanic is a bit of bummer. Do you know if a second flashing LED can be added in a more conspicuous location? After all, you'd want the crooks to know right away that the car has an alarm.
  • jeffmust2jeffmust2 Posts: 811
    We replaced the stock RX300 Good years with Michelins; I reported on the handling improvement in a previous post.

    The Good years have about 300 miles on them and we live in the greater nos Angles area - anyone in the general area interested? Deal of a lifetime...

    mail me direct at
  • jeffmust2jeffmust2 Posts: 811
    I'm really not that much of an English idiot.

    Greater "nos" angeles area?

    Not all change is for the better, Edmunds.
  • mdx1mdx1 Posts: 63
    I agree with you on the spelling checker. But you can now edit a newly posted message within 30 minutes to make corrections. That's a better feature.
  • What accessories are available for the RX 300 and where can i buy them?

    Regarding a prior post on the Nav, the RX Nav is NOT the best out there. We also have an Acura and that nav is much easier to use and the screen display is not as cluttered.
  • ejwintejwint Posts: 9
    Shortly after I bought my 2001 RX300, I noted a regular ticking/clicking sound in idle, regardless of transmission, sound system, and climate control setting. It eminates from the engine and is the kind one would have heard in an older car with a valve out of adjustment. To do this, the engine must be warmed up.
    I brought it back to the dealer. They placed another car next to it, warmed it up, and there it was, even somewhat louder than on mine.
    A qualified appearing technician stated that these are the fuel injectors, and that this was normal, and they all did it.
    "Some degree of engine noise must be expected," I was told by the service manager. I have driven less expensive cars in my lifetime, and this "expectation" had not been met.
    I wonder if others have had similar experiences? Incidentally, this is rather subtle, and one has to listen very carefully. Thanks.
  • alafan1alafan1 Posts: 15
    Has anyone traded a 2000 in on a 2001? If so what kind of deal did you get? I have a Silver 2000 AWD with everything on it except NAK. It has 18,000 miles on it. Appreciate any input. Please respond by email if possible.

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