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High-mileage Issues With The Rx300


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the RX is just too much of a "girlie car" for me. Not to mention that I really despise its lousy failure history with us. I prefer pick-ups. But thanks for contributing anyway.

Its true , once something has failed you its going to be tainted permanently in your mind.

As for being a "girlie" car I'd say the RX is pretty neutral. It certainly isn't particularly "macho" but then again, the average Lexus owner is a bit more sophisticated than the average Pick-Up driver.

Are you saying my NRA sticker is spoiling my RX image? I sure don't want my neighbors to look upon me as unsophisticated.

No, it was the gun rack that was a dead giveaway...

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Are you saying my NRA sticker is spoiling my RX image? I sure don't want my neighbors to look upon me as unsophisticated.

If it were a CCRKBA. GOA or ALARM sticker, I'd say you still had a chance but, NRA? Nope, too late. Might as well just add 33 inch mudders and 12 inch lift kit. Oh dont forget to lash a dead deer to the hood. :D

And yes yes I know I've hi-jacked this thread so I'll shamefully accede and move on.

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Well lets get back on track, I changed my plugs last night, the job should have taken 1.5 hours, but I guess I am loosing it, took me 2.5 hours, I had a heck of a time with my extensions, they kept coming undone while in the spark plug hole, I found a 4inch extension would probably be just perfect, But all I had was a 3 and 6 inch extension. I used adapters and whatever to get in there. The rear plugs truely are a challenge. I did as the tutural said and removed the speed control bracket and pcv hose, but it is still tight. After you remove the coils leave them off until you get all the plugs changed. My car has 125k on it and the plugs looked good, but the ground electrode looked a little deteriated. The threads were very dry on all plugs so when I installed the new ones I used NeverSeize and they screwed in very easily by hand. Torqueing the rear plugs is impossible with a torque wrench so it is by feel. The fronts are a piece of cake. The dust shields were in very good shape, they new ones which I bought and did not use because they were different. My wifes car is running smoothly, but seems to me to lack its old power. I am looking for tips on this, my thoughts are the IAC and Map sensors (cleaning them) but I am looking for suggestions. by the way the plugs were very clean, and no indications of oil, carbon, etc. They were a light tan which in my day meant very good burning. I will admit the plug change was no cup of tea and for large handed folks could be a nightmare. I am 56 years old and guess my dexterity is not what it used to be, but I did it and the car ran afterwards. Happy Memorial day to all Veterans out their, and thankyou for your service to our country.

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Glad to learn that you managed to get to those rear plugs, Tom. I've been dreading that task for quite some time now. I may attempt to change the plugs at 120,000 miles (the vehicle currently shows about 110,500 miles). I've pulled the front three plugs several times over the past couple of years just to check their condition, and they've always been in great shape with just a touch of tan residue like yours. I assume that the three rear plugs look just as good but I don't know for sure.

I have huge hands so I know that getting those rear plugs out and getting new ones in will be very, very difficult. I have a few socket wrench extensions and universals so maybe I'll be able to manage somehow. But I'd still like to strangle the engineer who decided the placement of those three rear plugs.

If you have any further tips on this task, please let us know. If and when I decide to tackle this job I'll let you guys know as well so you can offer suggestions. Anyone in central North Carolina will probably be able to tell when I'm attempting this because they'll hear more than a few choice swear words coming from my driveway....

By the way, did you go with Denso or NGK?

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I shopped for the plugs and was shocked to find the Lexus Dealership (Sacramento) was cheaper than online. I went down to pick them up and they were Denso, The ones that came out were NGK, I admit I have no experience with either good or bad. But that is what lexus gave me. They looked identical as far as the design. Just different brands. Is one better than the other? By the way the rear does not give you any room to pull the plugs out of the hole, you hit the firewall very fast. Hey RX I am doing a tile job around my pool, gettting everything for a new liner. I built this pool 17 years ago and I still marvel that I did that. I mean I did everything. Concrete walls with pool base agregate on the bottom. I thought you would enjoy that Now I am tileing and not you. Tom

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New to this site, just found yesterday :( but I have owned my 2001 RX300 since day one Sep 20, 2000! I turned 161,000 miles this morning and this has been the best car, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!! This is what I have done to my car since buying:

new tires Michelin March 2002 36,600 miles

replaced window run Oct 2003 68000 miles

replaced brakes April 2004 84,000 miles

replaced antenna motor, peeling roof rack, timing belt and some other belts Sep 2004 97,900 miles

replaced headlight and rear side marker light bulb Dec 2004 107,400 miles

new tires Michelin August 2005 127, 000 miles

replaced brakes, rear brake light, replace seal, crankshaft - rear main, reseal leaking oil pan gasket,

April 20, 2006 155, 000 miles

I have never owned a car for this long or with this many miles. Thought about trading for a new one, but I think the 330's are terrible, I hate getting one as a loner car.

I do have a few minor annoyances:

seat backs occassionally pop off

the pop up cup holder is broken again and will not pay to replace

all in all I am very pleased!

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I forgot to add:

that I have AWD, a navigation system, heated front seats

I bought all new mats in April 2006 and the car looks like new inside again, they also replaced the spark plugs at this time

at some point I replaced the battery maybe Dec 2003

I have only gone to the Lexus dealership for two maintenance services. First two years I went to a car dealership that offered something like a quick lube, then went to Wal Mart, and now I go to The Lube Center in Frederick for oil changes. I am sure there are those who will disagree with this, my husband does. However, I have not had any issues with them and to be honest I like the service I have been given. I get the oil changed every 5,000 miles and frankly do not have the time to go to the nearest Lexus dealer 40mins away.

The car has been driven hard, fast, through a 3ft snow fall, and a new teenager driver. Which is how I came across this site. We are planning to buy her a 2002-2004 Lexus IS300 for her first car. :)

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I have owned my 2001 RX300 [AWD] since day one Sep 20, 2000! I turned 161,000 miles this morning and this has been the best car, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!! all in all I am very pleased!
LexiQueen, do you recall how often the transmission fluid was changed on your 161,000 mile 2001 AWD RX300?
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I shopped for the plugs and was shocked to find the Lexus Dealership (Sacramento) was cheaper than online. I went down to pick them up and they were Denso, The ones that came out were NGK, I admit I have no experience with either good or bad. But that is what lexus gave me. They looked identical as far as the design. Just different brands. Is one better than the other? By the way the rear does not give you any room to pull the plugs out of the hole, you hit the firewall very fast. Hey RX I am doing a tile job around my pool, gettting everything for a new liner. I built this pool 17 years ago and I still marvel that I did that. I mean I did everything. Concrete walls with pool base agregate on the bottom. I thought you would enjoy that Now I am tileing and not you. Tom

Tom,

I think that both Denso and NGK plugs would be fine in this application.

Good luck with the pool tile project - I'm sure it will turn out well.

I'm not tiling right now, but I am in the process of resurfacing a 1,600-square-foot concrete patio out back by pressure-washing it, cleaning and neutralizing it with muriatic acid and ammonia, pressure-washing it again, applying a thin polymer-based overlay to it to smooth it out and make it look like an indoor floor, pressure-washing it again, then color-staining it and cutting fake grout lines into the surface to make it LOOK like 2-foot-by-2-foot tiles laid on the diagonal. Then I'll finish up with two or three coats of UV-protectant acrylic sealant. I'm a week into the project now and what a load of work it's been. Hope to finish up tomorrow if the weather stays clear. As usual, my wife saw the idea somewhere (probably on HGTV) and talked to some concrete-refinishing contractors. They all wanted $4,000 to $6,000 for a turn-key job. I did some research on the various processes and chemicals required and decided that I could rent the equipment and buy the materials required for about $1,800. So far it's looking just like the portfolio photos on the websites of the companies who specialize in this process so I must be doing something right. We'll know for sure once the multiple sealant coats are down and cured whether I'm going to get that final "wet glossy tile floor" look that she's after....

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I have owned my 2001 RX300 [AWD] since day one Sep 20, 2000! I turned 161,000 miles this morning and this has been the best car, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!! all in all I am very pleased!
LexiQueen, do you recall how often the transmission fluid was changed on your 161,000 mile 2001 AWD RX300?

The only info I could find for changing transmission fluid was

Sep 2004 97,900 miles

Apr 2006 155,400 miles

I am sure it was changed at other time especially if it was recommended. I have always considered my SUV to be low maintenance. My husband has a SAAB 93 turbo and his maintenance is ridiculous! By no means has mind been neglected, but the last thing I enjoy doing is going to Lexus/or anywhere else for servicing. The engine runs beautifully, the exterior and interior are beautiful, and I cant wait to see how many more years/miles I get to enjoy driving my RX300!

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At some point in time over the next year we'll come to a crossroads with my wife's 2000 RX300 AWD where a decision will have to be made about replacing it or driving it into the ground. Since my brain is ruled by financial calculations and when it becomes acceptible to swallow the depreciation and get a replacement vehicle, that decision point arrives for me at around 130,000 miles as long as the vehicle continues to hold up with no additional major failures. We've had no serious problems with the vehicle since December 2004, which translates to about the last 32,000 miles or so (it's currently showing about 108,500 miles on the odometer).

The well-known RX failures that we've experienced and had Lexus fix on their dime include the transmission, the exhaust manifold, multiple oxygen sensors, the rear main oil seal, the front strut mount bushings, and probably a couple of other repairs that don't come to mind right now. My guess is that the next known failure on her vehicle may be the dogbone engine mount, but this is relatively minor and easy to replace if and when it becomes apparent that the engine is shaking a bit when idling or the transmission is shifted from drive to reverse and back.

Being the cost-oriented and ROI-driven consumer that I am (my wife would laugh and say "cost-oriented is just a businesslike term admitting he's a damn tightwad"), my preference would be for her to keep driving the thing beyond the 130,000 mile threshhold as long as my routine maintenance costs don't increase dramatically and she is still reasonably comfortable with the vehicle and doesn't lose trust in it again (as she did when the transmission failed). That's preferable to forking out $35,000 or so for her next vehicle. Preferable to me, anyway. Probably not to her. But that's another story for another day.

All of this background information builds up to my real question: Is there anybody out there with 150,000 to 200,000 miles rolled up on your RX300 AWD? If so, what have you had to do to it beyond my list of repairs checked off above to keep it roadworthy? New timing belts and water pumps would probably be expected, as would a new set of iridium spark plugs. All of those items can really be considered routine maintenance, though.

So if you're out there cruising along with a high-mileage, all-wheel-drive RX300, please jump in here with the problems you've had to resolve. I'm looking for trends that will help me decide whether or not it would be better to go ahead and get rid of this thing at around 130,000 miles or try to stretch it for another year or two assuming my wife won't kill me in my sleep for refusing to let her go ahead and obtain her next primary vehicle as originally planned. Thanks for any input offered.

P.S. - Stay out of this thread, Monarch. You have no dog in this fight, nor any credibility with me....

At some point in time over the next year we'll come to a crossroads with my wife's 2000 RX300 AWD where a decision will have to be made about replacing it or driving it into the ground. Since my brain is ruled by financial calculations and when it becomes acceptible to swallow the depreciation and get a replacement vehicle, that decision point arrives for me at around 130,000 miles as long as the vehicle continues to hold up with no additional major failures. We've had no serious problems with the vehicle since December 2004, which translates to about the last 32,000 miles or so (it's currently showing about 108,500 miles on the odometer).

The well-known RX failures that we've experienced and had Lexus fix on their dime include the transmission, the exhaust manifold, multiple oxygen sensors, the rear main oil seal, the front strut mount bushings, and probably a couple of other repairs that don't come to mind right now. My guess is that the next known failure on her vehicle may be the dogbone engine mount, but this is relatively minor and easy to replace if and when it becomes apparent that the engine is shaking a bit when idling or the transmission is shifted from drive to reverse and back.

Being the cost-oriented and ROI-driven consumer that I am (my wife would laugh and say "cost-oriented is just a businesslike term admitting he's a damn tightwad"), my preference would be for her to keep driving the thing beyond the 130,000 mile threshhold as long as my routine maintenance costs don't increase dramatically and she is still reasonably comfortable with the vehicle and doesn't lose trust in it again (as she did when the transmission failed). That's preferable to forking out $35,000 or so for her next vehicle. Preferable to me, anyway. Probably not to her. But that's another story for another day.

All of this background information builds up to my real question: Is there anybody out there with 150,000 to 200,000 miles rolled up on your RX300 AWD? If so, what have you had to do to it beyond my list of repairs checked off above to keep it roadworthy? New timing belts and water pumps would probably be expected, as would a new set of iridium spark plugs. All of those items can really be considered routine maintenance, though.

So if you're out there cruising along with a high-mileage, all-wheel-drive RX300, please jump in here with the problems you've had to resolve. I'm looking for trends that will help me decide whether or not it would be better to go ahead and get rid of this thing at around 130,000 miles or try to stretch it for another year or two assuming my wife won't kill me in my sleep for refusing to let her go ahead and obtain her next primary vehicle as originally planned. Thanks for any input offered.

P.S. - Stay out of this thread, Monarch. You have no dog in this fight, nor any credibility with me....

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At some point in time over the next year we'll come to a crossroads with my wife's 2000 RX300 AWD where a decision will have to be made about replacing it or driving it into the ground. Since my brain is ruled by financial calculations and when it becomes acceptible to swallow the depreciation and get a replacement vehicle, that decision point arrives for me at around 130,000 miles as long as the vehicle continues to hold up with no additional major failures. We've had no serious problems with the vehicle since December 2004, which translates to about the last 32,000 miles or so (it's currently showing about 108,500 miles on the odometer).

The well-known RX failures that we've experienced and had Lexus fix on their dime include the transmission, the exhaust manifold, multiple oxygen sensors, the rear main oil seal, the front strut mount bushings, and probably a couple of other repairs that don't come to mind right now. My guess is that the next known failure on her vehicle may be the dogbone engine mount, but this is relatively minor and easy to replace if and when it becomes apparent that the engine is shaking a bit when idling or the transmission is shifted from drive to reverse and back.

Being the cost-oriented and ROI-driven consumer that I am (my wife would laugh and say "cost-oriented is just a businesslike term admitting he's a damn tightwad"), my preference would be for her to keep driving the thing beyond the 130,000 mile threshhold as long as my routine maintenance costs don't increase dramatically and she is still reasonably comfortable with the vehicle and doesn't lose trust in it again (as she did when the transmission failed). That's preferable to forking out $35,000 or so for her next vehicle. Preferable to me, anyway. Probably not to her. But that's another story for another day.

All of this background information builds up to my real question: Is there anybody out there with 150,000 to 200,000 miles rolled up on your RX300 AWD? If so, what have you had to do to it beyond my list of repairs checked off above to keep it roadworthy? New timing belts and water pumps would probably be expected, as would a new set of iridium spark plugs. All of those items can really be considered routine maintenance, though.

So if you're out there cruising along with a high-mileage, all-wheel-drive RX300, please jump in here with the problems you've had to resolve. I'm looking for trends that will help me decide whether or not it would be better to go ahead and get rid of this thing at around 130,000 miles or try to stretch it for another year or two assuming my wife won't kill me in my sleep for refusing to let her go ahead and obtain her next primary vehicle as originally planned. Thanks for any input offered.

P.S. - Stay out of this thread, Monarch. You have no dog in this fight, nor any credibility with me....

At some point in time over the next year we'll come to a crossroads with my wife's 2000 RX300 AWD where a decision will have to be made about replacing it or driving it into the ground. Since my brain is ruled by financial calculations and when it becomes acceptible to swallow the depreciation and get a replacement vehicle, that decision point arrives for me at around 130,000 miles as long as the vehicle continues to hold up with no additional major failures. We've had no serious problems with the vehicle since December 2004, which translates to about the last 32,000 miles or so (it's currently showing about 108,500 miles on the odometer).

The well-known RX failures that we've experienced and had Lexus fix on their dime include the transmission, the exhaust manifold, multiple oxygen sensors, the rear main oil seal, the front strut mount bushings, and probably a couple of other repairs that don't come to mind right now. My guess is that the next known failure on her vehicle may be the dogbone engine mount, but this is relatively minor and easy to replace if and when it becomes apparent that the engine is shaking a bit when idling or the transmission is shifted from drive to reverse and back.

Being the cost-oriented and ROI-driven consumer that I am (my wife would laugh and say "cost-oriented is just a businesslike term admitting he's a damn tightwad"), my preference would be for her to keep driving the thing beyond the 130,000 mile threshhold as long as my routine maintenance costs don't increase dramatically and she is still reasonably comfortable with the vehicle and doesn't lose trust in it again (as she did when the transmission failed). That's preferable to forking out $35,000 or so for her next vehicle. Preferable to me, anyway. Probably not to her. But that's another story for another day.

All of this background information builds up to my real question: Is there anybody out there with 150,000 to 200,000 miles rolled up on your RX300 AWD? If so, what have you had to do to it beyond my list of repairs checked off above to keep it roadworthy? New timing belts and water pumps would probably be expected, as would a new set of iridium spark plugs. All of those items can really be considered routine maintenance, though.

So if you're out there cruising along with a high-mileage, all-wheel-drive RX300, please jump in here with the problems you've had to resolve. I'm looking for trends that will help me decide whether or not it would be better to go ahead and get rid of this thing at around 130,000 miles or try to stretch it for another year or two assuming my wife won't kill me in my sleep for refusing to let her go ahead and obtain her next primary vehicle as originally planned. Thanks for any input offered.

P.S. - Stay out of this thread, Monarch. You have no dog in this fight, nor any credibility with me....

Sorry, But I seem to be having a hard time with the format here...

I just wanted to put ion my 2 cents, I have a '99 Rx300 with 182K+ miles.

I am located in upstate NY and drive the vehicle year round. My rear wiper has stopped working and my power antenna is not working. Other than thos things everything is fine. I have not done anything with the trans, or any other major componants. I bought in 2003 with 100k on it and have changed all fluids once, changed one O2 sensor, changed one front strut, and a mass air flow sensor, timing belt and brakes. Other than that I would say I am pleased. I am a sales rep and depend on my RX everyday to get my work done and I have not been let down yet. If I was in any other vehicle, I probably would not be able to say the same. I challage a chevy, ford, dodge etc to accomplish the same!

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RX,

Responding to your initial post, I'll base my input one 1) having from new, a '95 Camry V6 with 190K on it, and 2) having just purchased its replacement, a '01 RX 300 with 88K on it...

The Camry has been a delight in terms of reliability and value. I'd vote to keep it, however elderly parents dictate we drive something that is at a more favorable seating height for orthopedically impared adults.

I purchased both vehicles with the intent of driving them to 200K or better, so I've not scrimped on maintenance. I kept the Camry under dealer maintenance until 120K, when I found a local independent that was better and less expensive... by about 60%. Being a former military pilot, I'm of the mind to replace things BEFORE they fail.

Items I think you can expect to need between 130-180K:

CV joints/boots (if you're changing the boot do the CV, too. The labor is sunk cost. Did mine at 140K.

Struts. Did all four at 175K. Turned it into a new car. KYB vs OEM. Wifely driver is usually mechanically oblivious unless the car won't go or is shaking to pieces, but called me on the way home from the re-strut/rotate/balance to exclaim what a difference it made. Well spent $1000.

Engine mounts/dogbone replaced ~120K as a collateral premptive repair whilst doing the timing belt and replacing (yet again) the valve cover gaskets.

PS pump and rack @ 150-160K. High pressure hose anytime after 80K... may go to eternity, though.

I'm of the opinion that almost any TMC product is easily capable of going 250-300K if routine maintenance is done and worn consumable parts are replaced in a timely manner that prevents collateral or cascade failures. It's the little 'penny wise' items that will clobber you... e.g. worn/bad dogbone will stress the manifolds, exhaust headers, engine mounts, half shafts and seals, and steering components.

I share your concern about the basic V6 Camry chassis hauling around an extra 850-900 pounds under the RX300 and intend to pay particular attention to the transmission and the brakes.

I'm a tightwad, too, and receive a lot of skeptical comments from my coworkers and family who can't see why I'd put $1000-1500 in maintenance into a 10-12 year old car to keep it highly servicable.... Simple, $1000 is something like two car payments if you include the increased insurance and taxes. So, if I can avoid a $30+K purchase for six months on that grand, I think I'm money ahead. Depreciation is no longer a relevant factor after 125-130K anyway. Now you're running on utility value. I'd vote on spending $4-6K in manintenance over 3-4 years to keep a car you're happy with.

Cheers,

JMC

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If it is a AWD RX300 I would suggest changing the transmission fluid quite often. Something was changed between the Camry and The developement of the transmission and the failures are quite costly ($4300 and up) MY 99 RX300 has the unusual ability to go into overdrive at exactly 30 miles per hour which is rediculous considering city driving is usually close to or above this speed. I now instruct my wife to defeat overdrive unless on the highway. I don't want the tranny to constantly search for overdrive while going down the city streets, causing undue strain on the driveline. I am on my third transmission and am very unhappy with Lexus of AMerica. They continue to ignore this high failure on a very expensive vehicle and are just dodging the bullet. At least HOnda/Accura stood behind their product and supported the tranny failures on their vehicles. Good luck my friend and I hope you dont join the growing ranks of RX300 owners that shell out big bucks to keep their albatrous running. Shoot, Hyundai guarantees their cars for 10 years or 100k. What a joke Lexus is when it comes to the RX300.

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John Chapman,

Thanks for your common-sense response. Yes, replacing consumables can make a big difference in extending the life of any vehicle, no question about that. I expect to replace the dogbone engine mount when I do the 120,000 mile service just to be sure - it's inexpensive and easy to do, and it just may give the transmission assembly a bit more support during shifts. Anything to better support the transmission in this vehicle is probably a good idea given its history.

But don't make the mistake of assuming that I'm "happy" with this vehicle (as you stated in your last line). Based upon its many known failures that we've experienced, it is by far the worst vehicle I've ever owned in more than 36 years of driving experience. We're at a point right now where it has performed fairly well for the past 17 months or so, but getting the vehicle to that point was a royal pain in the !Removed! with the high number of failures occuring between about 48,000 miles and about 80,000 miles. If I had not been able to force Lexus to stand up and take responsibility, I would have replaced the vehicle and initiated a lawsuit against them. Given our failure history, they knew I had a strong case and were unwilling to risk the negative publicity.

Keeping or dumping this vehicle beyond the 130,000 mile mark is a purely economic decision for me (but not for my wife since she wants her next vehicle sooner rather than later). Even if we decide to keep it, that still doesn't change the fact that I think it's an overweight, underpowered, overrated, underengineered, overhyped albatross of a vehicle that Lexus full-well knows is a potential problem in its all-wheel-drive configuration....

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  • 5 months later...

I have 99 RX300AWD with 149000 Miles with original transmission & engine.

@ 122K I replaced: starter, timing belt, drive belts, waterpump, camseals, crankseal

I change my engine oil every 8000 miles using Mobil1 5w30

and transmission oil every 15000 miles using toyota type4 by myself

Gas: Chevron-87

Never been to snow / offroad.mostly just Los Angeles traffic

Hope someone with higher mileage can share their experience on the transmission of their RX300AWD

Thanks

mek88@yahoo.com

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I have 99 RX300AWD with 149000 Miles with original transmission & engine.

@ 122K I replaced: starter, timing belt, drive belts, waterpump, camseals, crankseal

I change my engine oil every 8000 miles using Mobil1 5w30

and transmission oil every 15000 miles using toyota type4 by myself

Gas: Chevron-87

Never been to snow / offroad.mostly just Los Angeles traffic

Hope someone with higher mileage can share their experience on the transmission of their RX300AWD

Thanks

mek88@yahoo.com

I'm happy to hear someone run up a relatively high amount of miles on the original transmission! There must be more of you out there and I guess only those with tranmission problems will post. You've listed just about all the info needed regarding service/maintenance. Is there anything else you could add that would help someone like me make the car last? I have a 2001 RX 300 with 37,000 on it. Its running great and I agree with your ATF change interval. Reading about everyones tranmission problem here makes you believe that absolutley every RX 300 is doomed. Again I'll say thats probably because just those with failures have posted. At least I hope thats the case. I too would like to hear from others with high milege. Hopefully we will. Good luck with another 100,000 miles or more! :cheers:

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Well its not exactly HIGH mileage in my book but I'm getting ready to turn 100,000 mile on my 2000 RX in the next few weeks. I've only changed the transmission fluid twice in that period and the last time was at the 90k service recently. As mentioned many times in previous posts it seems that the 99's are primarily at risk for failure with a noticeable but smaller numer of 2000's having failed ( maybe just wishful thinking since I have 2000:-) The number drops of signifigantly beginning in 2001 and WWEST has provided the best explanation as to the differences in the transmissions in the two differnt years.

So far(knock wood) the only signifigant problem I've had with this rig is the damn coils going bad again and again.

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I have 107K on my 2001 AWD without any problems yet. I didn't start changing the trans fluid until 65K and have been doing a drain and fill every 15K since then. Only real problem other than normal maintenance items is that damn "D" bulb.

I guess I complain a lot about the potential for oil gelling and trans failure but so far this has been a very low maintenance car.

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Since I started this thread way back in April, I'll post an update here....

The vehicle now has a bit over 124,000 miles on the odometer. Additional maintenance requirements since my original April post include replacing the spark plugs at 120,000 miles in October as part of my 120,000 mile service interval (did it myself with the help of a good friend to get into the tight spots behind those three ridiculously-placed rear spark plugs where my big hands couldn't fit) and replacing an exhaust gasket on the front side of the catalytic converter about three weeks later (paid my local Toyota service department about $180 to find and fix this particular problem). Other than that, it's been essentially nothing but routine maintenance during 2006.

My wife will be pushing for a new vehicle once she exceeds the 130,000-mile mark because that's where I originally told her that I would be willing to swallow the depreciation and get rid of this thing. Being the ROI fanatic (i.e. cheap b*stard) that I am, I would prefer for her to keep driving this crackerbox for another year or so as long as no additional major problems occur. If I win the battle and she does wind up driving it for another year, I would wind up dumping it between 150,000 and 160,000 miles if her driving history remains consistent.

I'm secretly researching the Acura RDX right now but I obviously don't want her to know about it at this point since I'd like to postpone this dilemma as long as possible.. She's gotten used to the small size of her RX300 and may not want to return to the Grand Cherokee line-up that has served us so well with absolutely no major problems over the past decade or so. I can pick up a new RDX for less than $30,000 (without the Technology Package, which she has absolutely no need for) if I'm willing to pay cash (I am), so we'll see what happens....

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Hey RX there is a write up on the RDX in this months issue of consumers report. Nice car, but it does use premium gas. Has a four cylinder? thats interesting with over 200 hp. By the way they recommended it over the other cars in that class.

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Hey Tom,

It's a turbocharged 2.3-litre 4-cylinder that is rated at 240 hp. Whether that's enough to consistently move a vehicle that weighs 3,950 pounds remains to be seen. I haven't driven one yet, but I intend to do so over the holidays. I'll report back here after doing so. I've also asked SW03ES to file a report if he happens to drive one over the holidays as well.

Along with 91 octane fuel, it also requires Mobil 1 synthetic motor oil so there's no question that it will cost a bit more to operate and maintain the RDX. But for all I know, the new RX vehicles may be carrying those same requirements these days. I haven't researched a new RX and don't intend to. We had a 1989 Acura Legend (for over 13 years) and a 1986 Honda CRX (for over 7 years) in our family and both of those vehicles were strong, long-lasting, and only needed typical routine maintenance for as long as we had them. Having to replace a couple sets of CV joints were the only complaints I had about either of those vehicles, and many long-time Honda owners will tell you that CV joint replacement should be considered routine maintenance as well.

Obviously I'm in no hurry to replace her current vehicle and would prefer my wife to stay in her RX300 through 2007 and into 2008 as long as no additional major problems show up. But I may lose that skirmish and am doing some research now in preparation for when she fires the first salvo....

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I would think buying a first or second model year vehicle (which the RDX is) would signifigantly inrease the chances of encountering the same types of annoying (and usually costly) failures/repairs that have plagued many owneres (like yourself) of the 99/00 model RX's. Theres really no question that there are far fewer problems with the 01-03 RXs than there are with the 99-00's and the mileage doesnt seem to be a mitigating factor. The RDX seems like a great vehicle and maybe you can hold off long enough to let Acura get all the bugs worked out. Good Luck :)

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That's a good point and one that I've already spent some time pondering, believe me. This is Acura's first turbocharged 4-cylinder engine from what I've read, and only time will tell if it holds up with no problems other than routine maintenance.

I believe that Honda/Acura builds better all-wheel-drive transmission systems than Toyota/Lexus does in these small crossover SUV-type vehicles. I'm not as concerned with the RDX transmission as I would be with another RX transmission. Subaru builds the best Japanese all-wheel-drive transmission system on the market today but I don't think I'll be able to convince her to "step down" to a Subaru even though I strongly believe that an Outback would be the absolute best choice for what she wants and needs in her primary vehicle. I would also be happy to go back to a Grand Cherokee for her - we've had three in our family over the past ten years and those vehicles are rock-solid, fast, roomy, easy to work on, and well-proven. The only downside is the gas mileage and with fuel prices going nowhere but up over the next five years, that's a much more important factor in an automotive decision than it used to be (for me, anyway).

We've had great experiences with our previous Acura Legend and Honda CRX. If the RDX can come close to the troublefree performance that both of these vehicles delivered for us over more than 150,000 miles each, I'd be more than satisfied with my wife driving one.

But I'd prefer to wait until 2008. We'll see how that goes after the holidays have passed and she begins to approach 130,000 miles on her odometer....

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