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Lexus RX 300



  • My idea of a warmup is to let the engine run for about 20secs. I do wait a little longer in the winter sometimes 2mins, if the temp is below 20. The only reason I wait for a warmup is to allow the oil circulate before starting to drive. This has never cause a problem on any of my cars, that I was aware of.

    On tire rotation, maybe I am just fooling myself, but I just have the fronts rotated to the rear. I don't ever rotate the spare, nor use it unless I have a flat. It seems less expensive to just deal with 2 or 4 tires when obtaining new ones then rather than 3 or 5 tires.
  • To the person who was off for 3 days only to see the Lexus trashed, and the resale values plummet... Not to worry, there is no better car for its purpose than the Lexus RX300, (or else why would all of us astute folks have bought one)!

    But, one has to complain just to keep the dealers honest, and on their toes. The Caddy dealers always acted like I was made of money when I came in for service. Believe or not the Infiniti dealer was not too bad for the cost of service.

    Now for the Lexus dealer, I should not be getting gouged for at least 4 years, unless they get me at the scheduled checkups.

    But, the reason I bought a new Lexus versus a used one was the cost of a used Lexus was so high that a new one seemed a better value. There are people getting $28k for a 1999 RX300 in excellent condition. That is outrageous, unless you are the seller!
  • My wife's 1999 Lexus RX 300 had an "oil turning to gel" problem at 67.000 miles. Lexus said it was "failure to maintain problem", denied warranty coverage and said the solution was a new engine, $14,000. After much complaining by me up the chain to Lexus national they said that they would try to clean it, and finally did for $1,300 out of my pocket.

    Three weeks ago, at 85,000 miles the engine seized while I was driving. At the dealer they laughed when I suggested it that the "gel" problem was a an engine design error and told me to have my rx300 dead hulk towed off of their lot.

    Today the dealer called and said, as matter of good will, they would replace the engine for free. He said a lot of rx300 owners were having a gel problem. It will take 3 to 7 weeks to get the new engine because the demand for replacement rx300 engines is so high.

    They did not know I am in the process of preparing a class action law suit for similarly situated Lexus and Toyota owners. The advantage of being a lawyer is that you do not get taken as often.
  • I can't believe this, I picked up my new Lexus RX300 today, because I am so wealthy and all, I was driving home and noticed the stiching on the leather wrapped wheel was uneven in one spot. Oh My Gosh.What should I do?
  • tariktarik Posts: 344
    Interesting behavior on Lexus' part, but every other manufacturer would most likely have acted in a similar way. Please keep the board posted as to the further goings.

    As I dropped my Rex off for the 30k service today, the SM explained to me that oil gelling is a result of oil changes being done every 7500 miles. He said that Lexus only shows that much good will because this interval is what they suggest in their manual - they better recognize it as their fault. It also seems that this particular engine design is somewhat sensitive to heat accumulation and therefore prone to sludging.

  • tariktarik Posts: 344
    The big pricing guide in my dealer's service hall suggests that a regular 30k service costs $560. When I got the car new, they had supplied me with a dealer-specific booklet listing all necessary services (incl. work done) and their cost. In it, the 30k lists at $490. Before I brought the car in, I compared the 25k ($145) and the 30k write-ups, and whaddaya know - the differences (for $345) are the replacement of:

    - transmission fluid
    - differential oil and transfer case oil
    - brake fluid
    - air / fuel filter
    - PCV valve
    - a/c filter
    and the inspection of:
    - engine drive belts (?)
    - drive shaft support bearings (?)

    I didn't even have to argue with him about this calculatory dead end before he agrred to $300 for the entire service. I picked up the loaner and off I went. Well, it's still expensive but reassuring in case my engine gives up on me.

  • ruskiruski Posts: 1,566
    Why is it bad to go synthetic and then switch back to petroleum-based?
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    Are you going to get your original $1300 back?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I still have a MY2000 GS300.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    I haven't forgotten.

    I've been busy with work and haven't had time to call on you. I did think of you a few weeks ago while I was working in Mercer Island, or should I say, "Lexus Island"?

    I'll call you before the end of the week and set something up.


  • lex, also replied over at clublexus.

    all my lawyer friends maintain that the best thing about being a lawyer is that you can sue someone for free....... ;)

    maybe medicine wasn't my best career choice after all; all of the above mentioned also seem to play a lot more golf than me, too
  • john339john339 Posts: 229
    Important information from CBS News and Automotive News that should be of interest to any family members or friends who currently own or are considering purchasing one of these affected Toyotas, RX300s are included:

    Automotive News Article:

  • mrrogersmrrogers Posts: 391
    in the way that auditing firm Arthur Anderson misled the Enron employees, and the way Consumer Reports magazine and J.D. Power and Associates misled consumers about the reliability of the Lexus/Toyota vehicles concerning oil gel? Their published reports read like ad copy for Lexus/Totota. I always found it interesting that they are "experts" on everything from can openers to autos, but the serious car magazines like Car & Driver give lukewarm reviews to many Lexus/Toyota vehicles. For example, Car and Drivers Ten Best list is not dominated by Lexus/Toyota.

    Perhaps it is like the mutual fund ads where they say that past performance does not guarantee future returns?

    Could it be that their surveys ask the wrong questions, and they ask the wrong people? I feel many people that fill out these surveys would probably try to put another CD in the CD changer if their car would not start. They also may take the key out of the ignition, and look at it for awhile.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Kill the messenger, ignore the bad news..
  • rlui1rlui1 Posts: 93
    All this talk of engine sludge is making me worry. Is the sludge problem a concern for the 2002 RX?

    Another question - The shifting into Reverse and Park with a cold engine seems a little rough. Is this normal? Seems to me an expensive luxury SUV should be much smoother. My 2002 Jetta 1.8T doesn't do that!
  • outrunoutrun Posts: 539
    I get a little "jolt" when shifting from P to R, from R to D, etc. when the engine is cold (warmed up less than 2 minutes when it's below 30 degrees outside). The RPMs are up around 2k, so the engine is making a bit of torque at that speed.

    They COULD have put in some electronics to supress the power sent to all 4 wheels (in AWD models), but didn't.

    Maybe the '03 redesign will incorporate that.

  • Does anybody know whether they are going to remodel the 2003 RX300?
  • rlui1rlui1 Posts: 93

    Thanks for your response. Nice to know I'm not the only one experiencing the "jolt".

  • hzhaohzhao Posts: 28
    There are several posts who asked about 2003 RX300. I have posted some info about 2003 RX300 in early this month, here is some of the recap:

    2003 RX300 will be using a new 3.3V6 and overall length will be 11 inches longer than current model, but will NOT have third row seats. Although the length is close to LX and even a bit more than GX, but the width and height will be less than LX & GX. Just take a look the Toyota highlander, which is 11 inches longer than current RX, you will have an idea why "overall length" is not the only fact to make a car "bigger"......
  • ravlravl Posts: 129
    What is this GX model you keep talking about? Is there a link to pictures and description?
  • kmhkmh Posts: 143
    The GX 470 is a new model that was introduced at the Detroit Autoshow this past month. It has a V8 engine and fits in between the RX and the LX. Third row jump seats and a horizontal opening full rear door are amongst some of the features. I think Lexus has some information on this model and a search for the GX470 on any search engine should turn up some photos and info, too.
  • hzhao - you talk about the Highlander being 11 inches longer than the RX...Edmunds lists the 2002 HL length at 184.4 inches, wheelbase 106.9 and the 2002 RX is 180.3 and 103 inches respectively. I have a 2000 RX 300 and have driven a Highlander....the HL is not nearly a foot longer than the RX.
    I assume there to be at least a significant change to the '03 RX since production is moving from Japan to Canada. It just makes sense that if they are re-tooling the Canadian factory (which currently produces Sienna's I think) they would incorporate the new model then have to switch everything again a year later........Steve
  • hlronhlron Posts: 113
    mrrogers, regarding your statement in posting number 4489: "For example, Car and Drivers Ten Best list is not dominated by Lexus/Toyota"... you left off the Car and Driver 2001 5 Best Trucks in your posting: the Toyota Highlander was rated by Car and Driver as the best large SUV (they rated the SUVs as only small and large, no mid-size; the SUVs with a length no greater than 178" went into the small size, the rest large, thus the Highlander is in their large category).
  • mrrogersmrrogers Posts: 391
    has the Highlander as one of their Five Best Trucks. I still feel in general, their coverage is more balanced. For example, in their long term test of the RX300, they recommended the GS and the LX470 even though they were not crazy about the RX.
  • outrunoutrun Posts: 539
    Had the oil change/tire rotation appointment last night at my local Toyota dealership for the '01 RX300.

    Upon driving in, I was greeted by a friendly gentleman, who guided me into the "service" area. He ask me if I was in for the oil change/tire rotation (guess he memorized the appointment book). I acknowledged, he went out and got the VIN number, mileage, etc.

    Upon returning, I asked him a few questions. First, I asked if they use the spare tire in the tire rotation. He said no, that they prefer to not use the spare, especially on AWD vechicles since the tread difference between a "fresh" tire, and one with 10k miles on it might cause an imbalance of tire rotation speed. Personally, I thought it was a bunch of malarky, but hey, whatever.

    Then I asked if they do a front to rear, or criss-cross rotation. He said front to rear, because of something to do with the steel belts, and criss-cross may cause a vibration or something. Whatever.

    Then I asked about the gelling/sludge issue. He's like "You've heard of that, too?". So I told him that the news agencies have reported it, it's all over the news groups and car sites, etc. So he said that they've had "some" sludge engines in their bay (mostly Siennas), took them apart, confirmed the sludge, asked the customers for proof of "normal" oil changes, and none of them could come up with any. It sounds a little odd that NONE of the customers could come up with oil change receipts, but hey, who am I to argue.

    So I asked him what I should do with the RX. He said I should change the oil between 3,000 and 5,000 miles, and that the 7,500 mile schedule in the RX is a bit long, and is in there to show new customers that the maintenance of the vehicle isn't so bad. I don't know if I believe that, either. But I'll faithfully be changing the oil every 4,000 miles from now on. I even scheduled it in the Nav screen "Info" center to remind me (first time using that feature).

    I was going to ask him why other engines from other makes don't have this problem when they don't change their oil on a regular basis, since I find it hard to believe that only Toyota owners neglect their cars, but I didn't want to piss him off and get crappy service in the future.

    Within 40 minutes, the RX had the oil changed, tires rotated and filled to 32PSI all around, and exterior washed. Final damage: $38.95 + tax.

    When I got home, I checked the oil level. The mark on the dipstick is about 1/2" below the full mark. No oil drips on top of the engine or exhaust. Perfect.

    I will definately be visiting my local Toyota dealership for maintenance from now on. Two thumbs up.

    For those interested, it was Bernardi Toyota in Framingham, MA (on Route 9).

  • outrunoutrun Posts: 539
    While at the Toyota dealership last night, I took a long look at the Highlander they had in the showroom. There are actually a few parts of the Highlander that I liked better than the RX.

    For example, the buttons that control the butt warmers on the Highlander are of much better quality than the RX (but only one temp, not Hi and Low). I like the dark tinting of the windows better (don't like the "mirror" finish on the RX). There is an in-dash 6 cd changer, unlike the glove box cartridge of the RX. The wood in this Highlander was a dark walnut, which I liked better than the normal wood in the RX (not sure if it was fake though). The rear passenters get two huge cup holders right on the door.

    But there are things I like better on the RX. Navigation, HID lights, auto-dimming rear view mirror and side mirrors (the rear view mirror on the Highlander looks like it was pulled from a '85 Tercel), better window switch placement, wood steering wheel, two temp bun warmers, etc.

    The Highlander in the showroom stickered for $35,200. It had wood all over the interior (tastefully done though), and where the pocketbook holder is in the RX, this Highlander had it covered with a "console" type add-on, that made a bridge over this area (there was a pass through from the driver to passenger). So there was still place to put a small pocketbook (under the console), and it looked pretty slick with a continuous flow of wood from HVAC controls to the cup holders next to the driver.
    But for $35k, just spend a few more k's, and get the Lexus with better warranty.

  • kmhkmh Posts: 143
    Maybe so, however, the HL has had the advantage of a few years to "improve" some items over the RX which has never really had any significant changes since its introduction. That said, the RX was still the best selling Lexus. Hard to mess with a good thing...

    BTW, what was the Toyota service guy's response to your question regarding why it seemed only neglected Toyota engines get sludge and other makers do not???

  • outrunoutrun Posts: 539
    Read my message again. I said I wanted to ask, but didn't, since I didn't want to start a "relationship" with the dealership on a bad note. Maybe in the future I'll ask.

    The RX, for '01, had some significant improvements, including, but not limited, to:
    o Navigation
    o HID headlights
    o VSC
    o TRAC
    o Additional wood trim options (steering wheel)
    o "Shiney" door handles inside
    o Revised tail lamps (maybe not significant, but I hated the old ones)

    Some of these improvements aren't even available on the Highlander, so I don't really see an advantage of the Highlander being released later.

  • tariktarik Posts: 344
    Well, I asked this very question yesterday when I picked the Rex up from its 30k service. First, the mechanic had given me the explanation on how sludge develops, and that noone with this problem could verify correct oil changes...

    Whan I wanted to know why Toyota's 3.0 V6 is especially susceptible to this phenomenon, he went to explain to me that due to the aluminum construction of the engine, the heat dissipation is quicker, therefore the warming of the engine takes a little longer. This, in turn, would gunk up oil returns and such with gel while the remaining little bit of oil has to take care of lubricating the engine, allowing it to now run hot.

    They are basically trying to imply that all these situations are caused by an oil change interval of more than 5000 miles, which is bologna. In Europe there is no car on the market with an oil change interval <9000 miles, why should it be any different here? Is the Toyota V6 the only aluminum engine? Didn't think so. The only engine which is somewhat abused by short-distance and city driving? Reality check, please. Oil quality? Hmm, that's a possibility.

    Redundand and brainwashed is what comes to mind, but hey, we've got to deal with it.

  • outrunoutrun Posts: 539
    Honda has been making aluminum engines for eons. I don't see any sludge issue with them. And they're probably the highest revving of them all.

    I also have a '96 Honda Accord EX with the 2.3 inline 4 (aluminum). There are a TON of these engines in service. Haven't heard of any sludge in them.

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