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Failing Exhaust Gasket

RX in NC

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Anyone else out there had a problem with the gasket failing between the exhaust manifold piping and the catalytic converter? My wife's RX300 began sounding like a go-cart this week and that's where we traced the problem to with some help from an exhaust-experienced Toyota shop foreman. The gasket is located in the area where the exhaust assembly is actually spring-loaded and can be slightly separated just by prying a screwdriver in there. We'll need a new gasket (supplied by Toyota) as well as four new bolts and nuts (which unfortunately must come from Lexus due to their custom shape and size) that hold the spring-loaded assembly in place. I'm probably looking at $200 or so once the parts arrive and the labor is done (sorry, I don't do exhaust work). The vehicle is now approaching 122,000 miles so any chance of getting this fixed through still another "goodwill" warranty is ancient history now....

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The local Toyota dealership had the necessary exhaust gasket in stock and the specialty bolts arrived from Lexus on Monday so the vehicle went in for repairs yesterday morning. The gasket was about $25, the bolts were about $10, and labor/shop materials came to about $145 for a total repair bill just under $180. Nothing but good things to say about the exhaust knowledge and quality of work exhibited by the Toyota shop foreman who performed the work. No loaner vehicle was provided, but they did pick me up at home and brought me to the dealership after notifying me that the vehicle was repaired and ready to go. For those of you in the Raleigh area, the dealership is Fred Anderson Toyota. I've used their parts department as long as we've owned the RX300 and I'm equally impressed with their service department after this initial experience with them. My guess is that the local Lexus dealership would have charged at least twice as much for this repair, although I must admit that I didn't bother to check with them.

The vehicle is quiet once again and I intend to use this Toyota dealership in the future for other repairs that may be beyond my scope. They were happy to have our Lexus business and treated us just as well as the local Lexus dealership always does, minus a loaner vehicle....

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Tom -

Look for black exhaust/carbon stains around the spring-loaded assembly where the manifold pipe feeds into the catalytic converter. That's what tipped off the Toyota shop foreman that the gasket was failing and causing the noise. He found it by putting the vehicle up on a hydraulic lift and inspecting that area closely. I had put the car up on jacks and crawled around looking for holes in the exhaust system but missed this because I wasn't aware of the fact that a gasket was even located in that area due to the unibody construction. Live and learn....

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  • 9 years later...

I have a small oil leak in front at the gasket, intermittent, but when it does drop a drip of oil on the manifold, it's pretty stinky.  I'll post more details in a new thread, as this is 2006 and I'm posting now in 2016.  Thanks for the great history of these cars.


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