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What Kind Of Awd System Does The Rx330 Have?


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Hello folks. I'm new to this forum, as well to Lexus ownership. Last Thursday my wife and I picked up a white 2005 RX330 AWD with nav and towing prep package. Other vehicles we considered before making our purchase were the Murano, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Acura MDX. In the end, it really came down to my wife's preference, since this will be her car.

In any case, I was wondering what kind of AWD system Lexus uses. I've got an Audi, so I'm familiar with the Torsen and Haldex system that Audi and VW uses, but I haven't seen any references to the specifics regarding Lexus's AWD system. Is it primarily FWD, until slip occurs? Or does it constantly send some proportion of power to the rear wheels?

In a related question, how difficult/involved is it to change the rear differential oil? I was looking through the maintenance manual and noticed that it needs be changed periodically, and I intend to do most of the fairly simple things myself. I wouldn't imagine that it's *that* difficult, but I haven't had a chance to climb under the car to see what's under there.

Thanks in advance for any advice/insight.

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Thanks, TunedRX300...I noticed that thread when I was trying to search around. In any case, a guy I know came up with this about the RX330 AWD system. I don't know where it's from; it sounds like some sort of magazine review:

"What we did find of real value, especially for those driving in the snow belt states, is the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) that comes standard on all the RX330s. VSC uses sensors on the wheels to monitor front or rear wheel slide and compensates by using engine power and or braking to keep the vehicle on a steady course.

The all-wheel-drive RX330 adds to the control and traction equation with a new all-wheel-drive system that is simpler and lighter than the one used in the now outdated RX300.

Lexus engineers still employ a center differential to split engine power evenly front and rear during normal driving. But when wheel slip does occur, the RX330 uses the VSC system to divert power front/rear, or side-to-side instead of a viscous coupling, which is a bit slower and uneven in operation."

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