I own a 2000 RX300. A few days ago I got a letter from Lexus stating that a small number of owners have reported engine damage from a condition know as oil gelling or sludge. While I don't think my rx300 has this condition, I would like hear feed back from other owners. The letter says it's because the oil isn't changed often enough. The letter further states that Lexus is confident of the reliability and durability of its engine and will therefore cover the costs of repairs to the engine in your 2000 RX 300 for 8 years from the date of purchase provided you regularly maintain your vehicle. In one sentence they blame it on the owner because the oil hasn't been changed often enough and in the next sentence they say they will pick up the cost of for repairs. Why is Lexus picking up the cost of repairs for this condition if it is truly due to the owner not changing the oil often enough? Is some one trying to hide something here? Does the vehicle have an engine defect?
You are right though. There seems to be an engine problem that Toyota knows about but won't admit for fear of losing face, reputation or sales I guess. They even claim they made an engine design change mid 2002 model year production that will lessen the propensity for this to happen.
See the board titled, "MB M-Class vs Acura MDX vs Lexus RX300 vs BMW X5". Messages #214 and #215 have links to articles.
I also saw somewhere else on Edmunds discussions regarding this sludge problem. It evidently was people getting together sharing their problems on these Edmunds boards that led Toyota Motor to own-up to the problems with their 3 litre motors.
In the letter Toyota sent to customers it said that the 3 litre motor is a great motor and they stand behind it 100%. Near the end of the letter they state that the production of the motor will end this year with a new 3.3 litre to be introduced for 2003.
Anyway, from what I've read so far, it seems the problem of sludge occurs primarilly in those driven very short distances in very cold climates. The engine temperature never fully reaches optimum heat.
The eight year guarantee seems pretty good. It seems to me it could be used to bargain a darn good deal in these last months of 3 litre production. The engine isn't that bad but a lot of times the publicity is greater than the actual threat. I wonder . . . what does anybody else think about that?
You've piqued my interest again with mention of the Pirelli tires. I know this is asking a bunch and all, but I'd *love* it if you would shoot a pic and post it here. I have a feeling you've got the capability to pull this off. Pretty please?! *_*.
I'm really wanting new tires on my RX. The Michelin CT doesn't offer the look I'm going for. I'm hoping the Scorpions are closer to my thinking.
What size did you mount?
I need to try to dig out the original Silversport brochure as the car they show definitely has aftermarket tires. They have a much wider footprint.
Lexus/Toyota have the only engines where the dual overhead cams are gear driven. Some other designs include belt driven cams, and chain driven cams. The theory is that the extreme pressure of the gears is shearing the oil. On the Edmund's Oil Gel site, one 3.0 V6 owner had his oil analyzed at 2,400 miles, and the viscosity of the 5W-30 oil was already down to 20 weight. I wonder if owners in mild climates would be better off using 15W-50 weight oil for nine months of the year. I realize it would not work in the wintertime.
Thanks, Bill. I don't know if the tires guys would tolerate me asking if I could 'try on' some tires to 'see how they look'. This way, I'll know how they affect the look of the vehicle. Tires can make such a huge difference in looks. Because we all know it is better to look good than to feel good, now dahling.