Last post on Apr 27, 2013 at 1:00 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.
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#1852 of 1861 Re: RX 330 timing belt cost and schedule? [jtmyob21]
by Stever@Edmunds HOST
Jul 27, 2012 (2:33 pm)
I then pointed him to the pages in the book that said 90,000 miles and 108 months.
Please visit our Dealer Ratings and Reviews page and write a review about your experience.
For future reference when you're at your office, you can get the maintenance schedules here:
Edmunds Car Maintenance Guide
#1854 of 1861 Buying a used RX and other ideas
Aug 05, 2012 (7:08 pm)
Having just gone through the bulk of this blog, and looking at a 2005 RX 330 to buy I thought I'd add some two cents.
I have a '98 GS 400, bought in 2001 with 24,000 miles, a lease turn-in. It now has over 165,000 miles and I expect it to run for quite some time. It gets regular dealer maintenance at the scheduled time. While I did my own maintenance when I was much younger, cars have gotten much more complex since then. Except for tires and the odd battery, very little "repair" maintenance has been required. I'd be surprised if it won't run 300,000 miles, though it will probably become classified as an antique before then. I'd expect the same out of any Lexus that has gotten regular periodic maintenance at the proper intervals and has had regular oil changes on schedule. Maintenance equals insurance; don't neglect it.
The 2004 RX was a new model, and on the web there is a lot of discussion of problems in the earlier-built vehicles. New models are always new engineering that does not have millions of miles in service to back up its efficacy; that engineering is being tested on the early-adopters of the technology, as in any new technology. Personally, I'll avoid 2004 RXs just on principal, given a choice on a 2005 or a 2003 (without air shocks, please).
Lexus maintenance isn't cheap; but then, no one's maintenance is cheap unless you do all your own work. it's generally preventive maintenance, and I've owned Honda's that needed timing belt and water pump replacement at 90,000 miles, and it isn't that much cheaper. You're buying insurance which factors in to the cost of ownership.
When a writer says they have a bad CD player and "they're never going to buy another Lexus" I get a chuckle. For fun you should research any other manufacturer on this site and see what kinds of problems users are experiencing. I researched the Hyundai SUV and the complaints are amazing in their severity, and the term dealer service is an oxymoron. I've had good and bad service by Lexus dealers, and I go to the best service center, not the worst. I've never had anyone try to talk me into service that wasn't needed. If I ever have any doubts or questions I ask to talk directly to the mechanic who in every case has been very helpful, courteous, and willing to share all the particulars of the problem. Sometimes I even understand most of what they're saying, but I'm engaged and they're flattered to think someone is interested in what they do and in their opinion. Most helpful. Always be your first source of knowledge as the owner above who checked the service manual (RTFM) as their own source of information. Yes, as Frank Burns once noted, "You have to aggle-ha or they won't espect-ra oo-ya." But be respectful and knowledgeable and you get a lot further.
I noted "cost of ownership" above. I Had two Mercedes SC-560's, sequentially over a ten year period before I bought my Lexus GS-400. Average cost of ownership, to include service and maintenance, tires and batteries averaged out at $500/mo, something I didn't realize at the time. When I did realize it I drove to the Lexus dealer next door and started looking.
Some of my experiences: Tires - forget what the manual says for tire pressure. At best that applies only to the factory tires and even then it's probably too low (to give a more comfortable ride supposedly, at the cost of premature tire wear). I use the "85% of maximum inflation pressure" rule. The Michelin tires on my GS have a max pressure rating of 50 PSI; they're inflated to 42 PSI for regular drive, 44 PSI for road trips. The Bridgestone tires before the had a max pressure of 40, so I kept them at 34, and 36 respectively. If you can look across the tire tread from the side of the car and see any cupping in the middle of the tread you're going to have poor handling, and you might get 12,000 miles on the tires before the outsides of the tires are worn while the centers still have good tread. And under-inflated tires get terrible gas mileage while "properly-inflated" tires (using my 85% rule) get great mileage. And the ride is no rougher for it either, assuming your shocks are doing their job.
Want the car facts on a Lexus you're looking to buy? Go to the Lexus site; Google Lexus and go to the site for Lexus owners. Put in the VIN, and look for the maintenance records and you'll see every visit to the dealer service department and what was done. If you're buying used this is a good first step; if the vehicle you're looking hasn't had any Lexus service you should factor that into your offer for the car. Your friendly used-car dealer will tell you the owner "probably got the maintenance done but Lexus forgot to post it," or "they probably had the maintenance done somewhere else." Poppycock, I say. They probably skipped it because they knew they were going to trade the vehicle in, didn't want to spend the money, and didn't give a darn. The more expensive the home, I've found, the less the owners do to maintain it, and I've largely found it to be true in cars as well.
Prices vary area by area. In Tampa, a 2005 RX can for anything between $12,500 up to over $20,000; in Venice, 100 miles away, a 2005 might cost between $15,000 and over $22,000. Do mileages vary? Sure, but mostly it's the area where the vehicles are being sold, and yes, mileage is a huge factor, especially over 100,000. But that's to your advantage as a buyer.
Honestly? Most dealers by their used cars at national online auctions, bidding online for what they want, cleaning them up and hoping for a profit when they sell. They're not likely to do much in the way of maintenance except change oil and shine up the tires, or replace them with cheap tires. Location, location, location.
A non-working headlight may be innocuous, you may think, but expensive to fix, something you're likely to only find out after you buy the car; unless you read these blogs first, for example. Make the seller fix it first, or lower your offer to cover its repair. Then seal the leaking cover to prevent further, future damage according to instructions in this blog.
Test drive on a freeway at speed-limit-plus-nine; any issues? Test drive over the roughest road surface you can find and listen for rattles, shaking, shimmying, etc. If you can't immediately locate the source, assume it will be expensive to fix (it is a Lexus afterall). Lower your offer or look elsewhere.
RTFM after you buy the car and familiarize yourself with how to reset things after the battery has been disconnected; at least know them as symptoms of a battery disconnect and remember that the remedy is in the manual. Likewise for all other user-adjustable controls. Lest you think "it's broke and will be expensive to fix," when, in fact, it's a simple procedure described in the manual. RTFM. You'll save aggravation if not time and money. RTFM.
#1855 of 1861 2004 RX330 AWD
Aug 06, 2012 (11:56 am)
Bought our in Nov 2008 with 38K miles. The original Goodyear tires were worn out. Put Bridgsetone Dueler Alenza on it. They wear great and are quiet. The RX has 82K miles now. With the exception of a leaky radiator that I replaced myself and came to to find out Lexus had a extended warranty on, The car has been decent. oil/filter changes at 5K miles, coolant every other year, one battery and one set of brake pads. I just replaced the front rotors for the first time. It drives well. Both exterior and interior have worn well. It had/has the annoying headlight condensation that I fixed with someone's suggestion here.
It has a few squeaks and occasional rattles. The car is 8 years old. I am happy with the way it has held up.
#1856 of 1861 Re: 2004 RX330 AWD [jodar96]
Aug 06, 2012 (12:19 pm)
Contact the Lexus folks directly and request reimbursement for the cost of the radiator. They won't cover the labor since you did it but they should cover the materials costs. Explain that when you bought the car the seller did not inform you of any outstanding service bulletins and that you found out after you had completed the repair.
You have nothing to lose except mailing costs. Include a copy of the invoice for the radiator.
#1857 of 1861 Re: Buying a used RX and other ideas [paul1307]
Feb 17, 2013 (2:26 am)
paul1307: I just wanted to thank you for your excellent detailed post! I am considering buying a 2006 RX330 right now & your post gave me some great info to check into for this particular vehicle. ~ appreciated the advice!
#1858 of 1861 Re: RX330 power windows [jodar96]
Feb 18, 2013 (7:52 pm)
After having my dead battery replaced on my RX330, none of the windows worked from the master control panel. After doing what you suggested, opening all doors etc., all windows can once again be controlled from the driver's side panel. Thank you so much!
#1859 of 1861 A few more points
Feb 21, 2013 (9:08 am)
Thank you kyra9ts for the kind words. I did buy the 2005 RX-330 I was looking at, and I've had it now for over six months and still like driving it, as I expected I would. It had the towing package factory-installed (transmission cooler behind the left-front bumper, high-capacity alternator, etc), all but the trailer hitch itself, which I recently added. The Draw-Tite brand hitch is available all over the web, is a Class III hitch that matches the specs on the RX, 350 lb tongue weight, and 3,500 lb towing limit, and it was an easy install, bolting right in place. Prices vary, but the hitch itself is the same everywhere (Draw-Tite P/N 75153), so search for price, reputation, and delivery fees.
I need to do the wiring yet, which is a pain, but necessary. If you have the towing package factory-installed, you don't need to add the wiring harnesses that include a "black box" and a wire that needs to be hooked up to the battery. "Etrailer" makes an inexpensive wiring kit that simply clamps onto the existing wiring (behind the panels and under the cargo floor; installation detailed elsewhere in these logs), and their part number is 118002. Normally, this part number does not come up on most web sites. Rather, the harness/black-box arrangement does, so search for the P/N if you already have the heavy-duty alternator installed as part of the factory-installed towing package: if you have an auxiliary radiator behind the hole in the left-front bumper, you probably have the factory towing package.
Prior to buying the truck/vehicle, I didn't know about the rack steering box problems, and so didn't check under the truck/vehicle for leaks. Nor did I check the power steering fluid because it sits under the engine cover on the passenger side, and unless you remove that cover you can neither check the level nor top it off. My Lexus dealer's mechanic was very helpful. He told me it was expensive, but he could get an after-market, new rack for a lot less money than the Lexus replacement rack, and I gave him the go-ahead. I'll presume that the part he got was a Toyota or OEM part, but regardless, he saved me about $500 on the replacement.
I also had a bad ballast on the drivers side. I bought a replacement OEM ballast, and replaced it myself, saving about $1,000 over the dealer replacement process (parts and labor). It was actually pretty simple following instructions also in these pages, and anyone who knows the difference between a half-inch socket and a half-inch drive can probably accomplish the whole process fairly easily.
One point to make. My ballast was ruined not by a leaking bezel or headlight cover, but by water that splashed up from the road to the underside of the truck, judging by the sand and grit inside the ballast itself. It's not sealed, you see, and while plain, clear water normally won't hurt low-voltage electronics, in FL, near the beaches we occasionally get salt-water splashing up, which will corrode components. Anyway, corrosion was everywhere inside the ballast even though nothing else penetrated the headlight housing (or fogged the lenses).
The ballast is enclosed on five sides (fours ides and the top) by the stamped/cast case, with an aluminum cover over the remaining side, which as I noted is not sealed, and, horror of horrors, is facing downwards with nothing between it and the road except for the air-space between them, making it a magnet for anything that splashes upwards. With the new ballast, I sealed the only un-sealed portion of the case with RTV/sealant, which was right around the edge of the cover where it met the case. It looked a little rough (okay, sloppy) when I finished, but effectively made the whole thing a sealed unit, which, barring any failing components, will probably last longer than the truck itself. Also seal the area where the wires exit the case with the same goop!
You don't need to pot the entire ballast as some manufacturers claim to do, and the stamped/cast case is a sufficient heat-sink to keep it running cool forever, so sealing the case should not cause any undue heating problems.
In the process of replacing my ballast I took a ton of pictures and did a nice write-up of the process, but couldn't figure out how to get the word doc posted, so didn't. If anyone is interested, either put up a simple "how-to" and I'll post the whole thing as a word doc. The major problem with this chat is that you can't post but a few pictures, so it's not possible to put the whole thing into the chat itself (unless you're a moderator or whatever) with narrative - picture - narrative - picture, etc. which is a drag when you've got a series of steps to describe. If anyone knows a good way to post this doc, email me and I'll send it to you and you can post it! If anyone just wants a copy of the doc, email me and I'll send it directly.
Been fun sharing.
#1860 of 1861 Re: Rattle [rx330_2005]
Apr 27, 2013 (12:46 pm)
Hi, I had the same thing. My 04 Lexus RX330 had the same rattling noise. it seemed under the driver seat. I didn't know what it was in the beginning till I looked under the car and realized that there is a plastic flap that in hitting the underbody of the car when driving over 40MPH (it was gas tank under body protector/shield). I went to the dealership and they said they can modify it, what they did is just cut the tip of the flap to make it shorter, they tried to charge me $35 for cutting a piece of plastic that I could of done it myself. Just cut the tip off (modify it), or buy and new shorter gas tank under body protector for $400.