Last post on Oct 08, 2013 at 2:43 PM
You are in the Lexus RX 300/330/350
What is this discussion about?
Lexus RX 330
Go to NHTSA to file a safety complaint.
Or call Monday-Friday (8 am to 8 pm ET) (888) 327-4236 TTY: (800)424-9153
#1614 of 1867 Re: Advice on 94 RX 330 [jyj]
Nov 18, 2008 (10:24 pm)
It's not likely you found a 1994 model. The first year for RX was 1999, starting in 1998. Those were RX300's. Redesigned for 2004 they were called RX330. The first year models (1999 or 2004) had a few quirks, but were generally good cars when well maintained with a few exceptions.
The 1999-2001 models came with "under designed" transmissions (compared to the expectations of buying an expensive automobile with a rep for durability). Many but not all of those transmissions were replaced with more modern designed units, many times Lexus paid for it under warrantee. 1999-2000 also had some models show up with engine oil-gelling, although the problem did not seem to be prevelant in models that were well maintained, and perhaps city/low mileage/extended idling played a significant role. Those issues were not common in later models at all. 2004 had a completely modern drivetrain, but suffered from a few rattles and windshield issues during the first model run, from what I've understood on this forum.
Usually RX's with high highway mileage make the best used car buys for a couple reasons. I'd steer clear of models with low mileage because they tend to have more problems and the higher perceived resale value means you aren't really getting a great "deal" by looking for a low-mileage model. For some, extended idling and/or short trips seemed to leave a pattern of poor durability.
Make sure you have records of maintainence, there wasn't a lot of city "stop and go" (sounds like you already recognized that) and keep the engine oil and specifically transmission service more often than the manual recommends. And of course, bargain the price down because of the mileage. Eventually, you will need to repair something on a used car. Make sure you budget for it, then the likelihood of a satisfying experience will be on your side, and you have a good used car buy.
#1615 of 1867 Re: Advice on 94 RX 330 [la4mead]
Nov 18, 2008 (11:38 pm)
How does one tell the miles were mostly highway miles?
#1616 of 1867 Re: Advice on 94 RX 330 [jyj]
Nov 20, 2008 (3:07 pm)
hesitation abolition delay
ALL Toyota FWD and F/AWD vehicles with E-throttles, DBW (Drive By Wire), will oftentimes exhibit a downshift delay of 1-2 seconds, sometimes in quite DIRE situations.
#1617 of 1867 Re: Advice on 94 RX 330 [avery1]
Nov 20, 2008 (6:08 pm)
A few easy indicators that the vehicle was used for "highway" miles I've used are:
Lack of wear on the edges of the seats (where you slide in and out), door panels, brake pedal, "door dings", etc. The type of brake wear may also help verify a sellers claim.
These are just some indicators I know of... Does anyone have other ideas?
#1618 of 1867 Re: Rattle from spare tire cover [lon7]
Nov 24, 2008 (12:08 pm)
This rattle was so annoying that I could no longer stand it so I really went all out to find it and low and behold I finally found what it was. It was not the spare tire holder but the holder was lose so I tightened it and the rattle continued. I finally found that it was a small piece of rubber guard in front of the right rear wheel well that is held in place by two screws. Some how it came lose and was rattling. I tightened the two screws and the rattling is gone. Surprising how such a small item can cause so much noise.
#1619 of 1867 Buying a 2004 RX330 AWD
Nov 24, 2008 (6:30 pm)
We will be picking up a used one owner RX330 AWD with 35K miles from a private owner in a few days for my wife.
Any pointers any one can give me about what to watch for, and what goes wrong with 2004 RX330 will be appreciated. My wife did have a 2001 RX300 that we sold for a 2008 Accord EX, now we are back to Lexus again.
The RX300 oil filter was in a tough spot to get to, didn't Lexus/Toyota go to a vertical position for the oil filter with the 3.3L engine? Are there any issues with RX330 AWD system? Does it use 87 or 91 octane gas?
#1621 of 1867 Re: Buying a 2004 RX330 AWD [steve_]
Nov 24, 2008 (7:42 pm)
I have looked at used cars for years. I have pretty good idea what to stay away from and what is a good buy. I can tell a clean car from a car that scrubbed for sale. So far so good
My specific question was to RX330 owners, people that own these and know ins and outs. I was not looking for a check list.
#1622 of 1867 Re: Buying a 2004 RX330 AWD [jodar96]
by Stever@Edmunds HOST
Nov 24, 2008 (8:18 pm)
fwiw, I haven't heard of any recurring issues with Toyota/Lexus since the gel days, and that didn't affect the V6 in the RX's. You may want to track down Kdhspyder too; he's at a dealership and keeps track of issues and talks straight. You can find him at the Toyota Prius discussions lately.
#1623 of 1867 Re: Buying a 2004 RX330 AWD [jodar96]
Nov 25, 2008 (10:43 am)
While there are many very sound reasons for the RX330 series to have adopted DBW, E-throttle, the primary one seems to be that is was to "protect" the drive train.
When the RX was in the design stages they had to find a way to "beef-up" the Camry transaxle so it could be used in a heavier vehicle AND have decent towing capacity. As you may have noted there is not a lot of spare space left over in the engine compartment for a sideways mounted engine and transaxle and now with the RX a center diff'l and PTO, Power Take Off.
So something HAD to go/give.
So the traditional ATF gear type pump with fixed spring pressure relief/regulator and pressure holding accumulator was abandoned in favor of real time pressure control used a PWM (Pulse Width Modulated) electric solenoid. Substantial space/weight saving plus significant improved FE.
But there proved to be a "hitch" in the "get-a-long".
If the engine happened to be at idle, no substantial ATF pump flow capacity, and the real time ATF pressure control suddenly called for high pressure it simply could NOT happen.
A few of the conditions under which that would soon prove to happen are spelled out quite clearly in a TSB issued for the '92 Camry in the spring of '93.
Toyota, CLEARLY, did not foresee those happenings.
So the '99 and '00 RX300's had horribly premature transaxle, 70-80,000 miles, failures as a result.
By the time the '01 RX300 rolled off the production line Toyota had recognized the problem and came up with a quick, and what proved to be a "dirty" fix. They reprogrammed the Real time pressure control solenoid to sustain the ATF pressure for longer durations. When I purchased my '01 AWD RX300 it came with the towing package which includes an external ATF oil cooler.
But even that, apparently, was not enough to provide the extra cooling my ATF required due to the extra ATF pumping capacity required under the new pressure control design.
At ~40,000 miles the ATF in my transaxle looked dirty and smelled burned so I did a drain and fill, twice.
It turned out that while the owners manual had no requirement of ATF scheduled maintenance for the life of the vehicle, Lexus (actually LEXUS, not just the dealer) was now recommending ATF FLUSH and refill every 15,000 miles.
So as of the RX330 DBW was used to allow the original ATF pressure control firmware to be used by still have a transaxle and ATF life within reason.
As a result the driver of RX330 and RX350 might encounter a downshift delay of 1-2 seconds in the conditions, sometime DIRE circumstances, defined in the Camry TSB.
And I would advise you to Google for..
wwest "two-layer" defrost/defog/demist
The entire Toyota/lexus product line is subject to instances of sudden windshield fogging, sometimes fogging so complete that all forward visibility is lost, as a result of thoughtless design on the part of NipponDenso, Denso US.
Not to mention the problems of "dirty gym socks" odor emanating from the HVAC system.