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2001 Rx 300


Chris_Cincy
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Hi,

I am looking at a 2001 RX 300 with 69,000 miles that is being listed at 17K. It is white and loaded (minus spoiler). All maintenance has been performed at local Lexus dealer and the oil changed every 4,500-5000 miles. It is also a one-owner that has been garaged.

Does anyone here think that this is a good deal? The tires have about 10k more miles and the breaks were done at about 40K miles.

This would be my first Lexus purchase and my first used car purchase.

Any input, comments, etc would be very appreciated.

Thanks,

cswatson98

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I'm no expert as I purchased mine fairly recently. But, there are 2 trouble areas to watch out for:

1. If it is an AWD model then the transmissions are problematic. Search this forums. From what I've seen, there is no such problem with the 2wd models.

2. There is an oil sludge problem with the engines. Some have the problem, others don't. If you decide to move forward with the purchase, I'd advise paying a mechanic to pull a valve cover to see if there is any sludge. If not, then you should have no trouble if you change the oil regularly. I'd change every 3K with regular oil or 5K with synthetic. Personally, I prefer to use synthetic.

Brakes are not a problem but I'm surprised to see they needed service after only 40K.

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Hi,

I am looking at a 2001 RX 300 with 69,000 miles that is being listed at 17K. It is white and loaded (minus spoiler). All maintenance has been performed at local Lexus dealer and the oil changed every 4,500-5000 miles. It is also a one-owner that has been garaged.

Does anyone here think that this is a good deal? The tires have about 10k more miles and the breaks were done at about 40K miles.

This would be my first Lexus purchase and my first used car purchase.

Any input, comments, etc would be very appreciated.

Thanks,

cswatson98

A quick scan of recent topics here will give you loads of info re the RX 300 series. As a quick summary, by 01 most trans problems were gone. In fact most of the annoying problems, that haunted the 99-00 RX were gone. I don't know if the price is good or not since I havent priced one lately.

The curious thing for me is that I've never seen an RX 300 (other than the 99's) without a spoiler, does it look like it was removed? Maybe it a regional thing, but be sure its actually an 01.

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Chris, for what its worth, I bought my 2001 RX 300 for $19,000 in September 06. It had 32,700 miles on it. I love it. Most of the issues appear to be corrected by 2001 but i do pay close attention to the tranny and cha nge the fluid every 15,000. I also run synthetic oil because these engines are hard on oil.

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Chris, for what its worth, I bought my 2001 RX 300 for $19,000 in September 06. It had 32,700 miles on it. I love it. Most of the issues appear to be corrected by 2001 but i do pay close attention to the tranny and cha nge the fluid every 15,000. I also run synthetic oil because these engines are hard on oil.

"...most of the issues appear to be corrected by 2001...."

NOT!

At 40,000 miles the ATF in my 2001 AWD RX300 smelled burned and looked unusually dirty, dark brown.

The early RX transaxle were failing prematurely due to adopting a new shift schedule/pattern wherein the transaxle is ALWAYS upshifted upon a full lift-throttle event. The problem was that if the driver then quickly re-applied throttle there was not enough ATF oil pump capacity to quickly engage the new downshift clutches sinc ethe engine was now at idle.

The fix they used in 2001 was to increase the pumping capacity of the gear type ATF oil pump so it could supply enough pressure/flow for that second sequential gear change. That resulted in overheating the ATF even though the towing package ATF cooler was supplied as standard equipment.

So, if you wish to purchase a 2001 to 2003 RX be sure it has the extrenal ATF cooler and check the ATF condition at least every 15,000 miles.

In2004 the RX330 went back to the standard capacity ATF pump displacement but had a DBW, e-throttle, that was used to delay the onset of engine torque long enough for that second shift to be completed successfully.

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NOT!

Well, technically I said MOST and even though I believe your assesment of the 2001 + trannys to be accurate, there certainly aren't near the number of failures you see in 99/00 years.

Additionally, simply sticking to a normal (or near normal 20-30,000) trans OCI should keep someone clear of problems, whereas this wasnt true in the 99/00 versions. Sure the trans wasnt perfect but it was much better and thus made the RX a better vehicle than it had been

The context of the question was relating to whether an 01 RX is/was a worthy purchase and IMHO , it is a better choice than a 99/00.

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NOT!

Well, technically I said MOST and even though I believe your assesment of the 2001 + trannys to be accurate, there certainly aren't near the number of failures you see in 99/00 years.

Additionally, simply sticking to a normal (or near normal 20-30,000) trans OCI should keep someone clear of problems, whereas this wasnt true in the 99/00 versions. Sure the trans wasnt perfect but it was much better and thus made the RX a better vehicle than it had been

The context of the question was relating to whether an 01 RX is/was a worthy purchase and IMHO , it is a better choice than a 99/00.

'...normal (or near normal 20-30,000) trans OCI..."

For those of us with almost 50 years of driving experience with automatic transmissions, "normal" means NEVER. Even as verified in the owners manual of my 2001 AWD RX300.

Of course DEALERS have a completely different story, always have, always will. "The 90 weight gear oil in your non-LSD rear diff'l needs to be drained and refilled every..." Right, sure.

When Lexus first sent me to the dealer to discuss my dirty and smelly ATF and the dealer told me that the schedule had been revised to every 15,000 miles my response was "yeah, right, and pigs can fly." But then Lexus corporate verified what the dealer had told me.

As a small sample, by no means intended to be all inclusive, I drove two Ford V8/auto(C6) Country Squire station wagons for well over 200,000 miles and it never occurred to me to service the ATF, except at the expected 125-150,00)- mile DIY preventative overhauls.

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Well you know the saying, "They don't make em like they used to" A lot of things were made more durably back in the old days :D

Now I've only got 25 years of driving experience under my belt (just a Noob by some standards) but I''ve serviced (changed the fluid) in evey auto trans vehicle I've ever been in charge or maintaining. It just doesnt seem realistic to expect something to last indefinitely under those kinds of conditions.

Its kind of a moot point though ,really, because if you have and RX, you have to do it whether you "should " have to or not.

Anyhow, I think Chris gets the point,

Hey Chris , if you get this car you'll have to change the trans fluid regularly. Capiche?

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Well you know the saying, "They don't make em like they used to" A lot of things were made more durably back in the old days :D

Now I've only got 25 years of driving experience under my belt (just a Noob by some standards) but I''ve serviced (changed the fluid) in evey auto trans vehicle I've ever been in charge or maintaining. It just doesnt seem realistic to expect something to last indefinitely under those kinds of conditions.

Its kind of a moot point though ,really, because if you have and RX, you have to do it whether you "should " have to or not.

Anyhow, I think Chris gets the point,

Hey Chris , if you get this car you'll have to change the trans fluid regularly. Capiche?

tmastres and others,

Thanks so much for the feedback. Just curious, how much should I expect to spend to get the trans fluid changed at a Lexus service center? Would you recommed that this be completed every 15K miles?

Thanks!

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After my inspection of the vehicle, I noticed that I will be needing new tires right away. I have seen a few postings regarding tires and thought I would see if anyone has used the Toyo Open Country H/T tires?

I talked with a tires salesman at a local tire shop and he mentioned that he has had good luck with them so far and no customers have returned them. I also asked him about the Bridgestone Alenza tires and he said that they were good as well, just a bit more expensive. If the Toyo tires are just as good, I would rather get them since they are less expensive.

Has anyone had experience with either of them?

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Thanks so much for the feedback. Just curious, how much should I expect to spend to get the trans fluid changed at a Lexus service center? Would you recommed that this be completed every 15K miles?

Thanks!

I'm a little PO'd about the cost of changing the tranny fluid at my dealer (Sewell). I asked for a flush which on my Lincoln was an actual flush by circulating the fluid through the tranny *and* the torque converter until clean, took 15 quarts to do it.

That's what I was expecting at Lexus but come to find out, all they do is pop the plug, drain 3.7 qts, put the plug back in and refill with 3.7 qts and they charged me 129 dollars for it. The fluid was contaminated by the TC within 1 mile.

That is actually less work than changing the oil for three times the cost, I am not pleased.

When I go back for an oil change I'm going to let them know what a rip it is and ask for the three drains in 500 mile trick for the cost of the fluid, I figure I've already paid the labor.

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Chris Cincy,

I just put a set of Alenzas on my wife's 2004 RX330 AWD a week ago. Having 18-inch wheels, the tire choices in her 235/55R18 size requirement are quite limited. But after doing my research, the Alenzas were by far the best bang for the buck in terms of treadwear warranty, wet traction, light snow traction, and comfort. Even she has noticed the difference (especially in the rain) compared to the brand-new Michelin MXV4 S8 tires that had been installed on the vehicle about two weeks before we purchased it.

But if her vehicle had 16-inch or 17-inch wheels instead, I would have put a set of Firestone Destination LE tires on it in a heartbeat. The Destination LE is Firestone's slightly scaled-down version of the Alenza with almost as good a treadwear warranty, great wet traction and snow traction, comfortable ride, and long-lasting with proper care (meaning check your psi weekly and rotate at every oil change). And they are about half the price of the Alenzas. I ran a set of Destination LE tires on my wife's previous 2000 RX300 AWD that had over 52,000 miles on the tires and they were still going strong when we sold the vehicle last month. These tires were the best SUV/light truck tire value I've found in 22 years of owning SUVs and pickups. If you have 16-inch or 17-inch wheels on your RX300 I'd recommend that you research them at tirerack.com and draw your own conclusions.

If the Destinations had been available to fit an 18-inch wheel, my wife's RX330 would be riding around on them right now....

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Ok, here's where I am at this point on the 01 RX 300

1.) I test drove the car and liked what I saw. It is a one-owner, garaged, all maintenance done at dealer.

2.) After my test drive, the seller agreed to let me pay for a used car inspection at the local lexus dealer. The inspection noted that the vehicle will be needing new brakes soon, the front and back were at about 3mm. Also, the owner did not get the full 60k service done..only part of it. The fluids still need to be changd and some of the belts are getting close.

3.) The antenna needs to be replaced (not motor, just assembly)...thanks to a recent car wash by the owner.

4.) The front tires are ok for now, the back will need to be replaced soon.

My question is this....

I can buy from the seller for $16,500...knowing that I have to get the vehicle up to par on the items mentioned above. IS THIS A GOOD DEAL OR NOT? Everything else checked out at the dealer.

Thanks!

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Without putting our eyes and hands on the vehicle, none of us can properly advise you, and we certainly won't make your decision for you. What is the Kelley Blue Book value? Is the vehicle in good condition or perhaps only fair condition? Can you lay your hands on the complete service history for this vehicle? If not, then your chances of making a mistake by purchasing this vehicle go up significantly.

Service history is key. If the vehicle hasn't had its fluids changed at proper intervals, most of us who know the RX series would stay away from it. Have you looked at every single service ticket to insure that what your seller is telling you is true? I sit down with every potential buyer of my vehicles and explain every single service ticket to them. I also give them copies of every single maintenance item that I've performed myself and show them the mileage and the date when it was performed. Has this guy done that for you?

You said in your original post that the brakes were done at 40,000 miles and now at about 70,000 miles they will soon need to be done again. Most of us who drive "normally" (whatever that means) have been able to get anywhere from 70,000 miles to sometimes close to 100,000 miles out of our original RX300 brake pads and rotors. Perhaps the one you're looking at has been "ridden hard and put up wet". I think a thorough independent inspection is indeed in order if you are serious about purchasing this vehicle. Sounds like you have more research to do....

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Are you really sure this rx300 is AWD? I have never heard of a 2001+ AWD without a spoiler.

Usually the AWD's come with heated seats & the spoiler. On occasion you will see a FWD with a spoiler, but it usually has the heated seats...they seem to go together.

The spoilers were first available on the 2000 models BTW.

And i have experienced the failure on my 99 rx300 AWD. Dealer didn't do a thing for me! $4400 out of my pocket... Then on my 2002 AWD It was showing the signs of failure so i got rid of it before i had the same bill..

My 2003 AWD has been fine though so far. Pushin 75k miles too. The rx300 is my favorite car. That's why i've had 3 of them!

good luck.

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Are you really sure this rx300 is AWD? I have never heard of a 2001+ AWD without a spoiler.

Usually the AWD's come with heated seats & the spoiler. On occasion you will see a FWD with a spoiler, but it usually has the heated seats...they seem to go together.

The spoilers were first available on the 2000 models BTW.

I wondered about the spoiler too , seems odd if theres no sign that there ever was one. As fo rthe seats, I think its regional , none of the RX's I looked at when I bought mine (00) had heated seats but thay all had spoilers. I guess they figure it never gets cold in So Cal. (yeah right!)

I've always wondered if the heater elements are actually in the seats anyway and all I need to do is install some switches?????

PS if yo check the VIN you can determine if its AWD. do a search I cant remember off hand the letter that designates it but I'm sure someone else does

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