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2000 Rx300 Oil Sludge Engine Seizure


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I wanted to thank all of you who have shared their information on the oil gel issue. Here is my experience:

I had a oil leak repaired by my local shop and they discovered tons of sludge in the engine. I declined to have the engine desludged (not sure if that is a word). I got on here and read about dealing with this issue. I called Lexus customer service and opened a file. The coverage of the suit was for 8 years & 2 Months regardless of mileage. My time frame ended at the end of April 08. I was told to gather oil change receipts, title and have a Lexus dealer look at the vehicle to verify oil gel. I gathered the last two years of oil changes along with everything else. The day I sent in the reciepts my wife called and said the RX was dead on the side of the highway. I called Park Place Lexus Grapvine, TX and they sent a tow truck and gave my wife an ES350 loaner on the spot. I thought this was excellent service. They had know idea if Lexus was going to pay for the repair but, took care of us anyway. I got a call a few days later from my service advisor at Park Place. Brian Pitts of Lexus corporate gave the OK to repair the RX at their expense. It may take 2 weeks but, what a great deal. Know I will have a RX300 with a brand new engine. The truck is in great shape and had 102K miles on it. Thanks again for the information that was shared here.

My advice:

If you think you have this issue call Lexus customer service direct 1-800-255-3987. Do not go through a dealer. As great as Park Place has been, when my wife brought in the truck to be diagnosed they tried to get her to trade it in etc... No such problem with Lexus corporate. BTW- The guy that handles all of these cases for Lexus is Brian Pitts.

Because the service and experience with this issue was so good I just bought my wife a fully loaded 2008 ES350 from Park Place Lexus in Grapevine.

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  • 7 months later...

I have a 2000 RX300 and my engine seized last week on the way to Lexus of Austin dealership in Austin, TX. I was taking it there to diagnose my check engine light problem. The oil light came on and the vehicle froze. about 200 yards from the dealership. The dealership gave me a loaner car and later called me to tell me that it was a sludge problem and the engine would cost $14500 to replace. With all the good information from this site, I called Lexus corporate and was eventually connected with a Gerri Ricci who took over my case. He said that my sludge lawsuit warranty (8+ years) had expired and they would only be willing to pay half of the expenses, irrespective of who fixed it.

I had already been to the dealership in Feb 08 to replace a blown A/F Sensor and in Oct 08 to replace oil and finally in Jan 09 to fix engine coil pack failure. I am not willing to pay the steep $7000 price to fix the engine. Does anyone have any suggestions?

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I would lean on them harder and let them know that you are aware that they have covered the costs of replacement in the past for folks out of warranty, do you have oil change reciepts?

$14,500 is crazy to replace the engine, it shouldn't cost that much...The truck is probably worth half that, if even.

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I would lean on them harder and let them know that you are aware that they have covered the costs of replacement in the past for folks out of warranty, do you have oil change reciepts?

$14,500 is crazy to replace the engine, it shouldn't cost that much...The truck is probably worth half that, if even.

I agree. I have oil change receipts for all of 2008 and part of 2007 which includes 100K maintenance service. I am missing couple of receipts one for 2006 and one in 2007 but should that be a big inhibitor? If it is, I will have to hunt them down by making some phone calls. Also, what should a reasonable price be to get it fixed? The dealer says up to 2 blocks may be damaged.

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I think the guideline as per Lexus is that you need to be able to show one oil change per year every year the vehicle has been in service. If they were done at Lexus they will have a record of them.

You'd have to do a little digging, for the price. The wholesale cost of the engine, brand new, is $9,520.10. So that leaves $4,000 for labor, installation, oil, fluids etc. So lets say we have $0 in extraneous parts and fluids, that leaves $3,500 which at $100 per hour is 35 hours labor...thats a lot. On a 10 year old car my feeling would be a remanufactured engine would be a more economical cost.

At $14,000 I would tell you to sell if for scrap and buy something else.

If you ever want to know wholesale part cost check out www.lexuspartsonline.com, they have a good drill down.

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I think the guideline as per Lexus is that you need to be able to show one oil change per year every year the vehicle has been in service. If they were done at Lexus they will have a record of them.

You'd have to do a little digging, for the price. The wholesale cost of the engine, brand new, is $9,520.10. So that leaves $4,000 for labor, installation, oil, fluids etc. So lets say we have $0 in extraneous parts and fluids, that leaves $3,500 which at $100 per hour is 35 hours labor...thats a lot. On a 10 year old car my feeling would be a remanufactured engine would be a more economical cost.

At $14,000 I would tell you to sell if for scrap and buy something else.

If you ever want to know wholesale part cost check out www.lexuspartsonline.com, they have a good drill down.

As you indicated, Lexus is also recommending that I go with a remanufactured engine. A local auto shop is willing to do it for $5000+. I am hoping for Lexus to pay for most of it since they were willing to pay 1/2 of $14000 in the first place. Let's see how this goes.

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When exactly was your car manufactured? If it was late 2002 than the warranty may still be in effect. I would lean on them also. I bet with a court appearance you might win...if necessary....

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You Know, my neighbor had all of his done at Roseville Toyota, and at 50k miles the engine was sludged. I believe there are a lot of variables, such as climate, commute distance, and frequency as well as type of oil used. In my neigbors case the commute was extremely short, and the oil was regular dino oil at the toyota recommended change of 5k miles.

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Agreed, lots of different variables. Its rare to find one with regular 5k oil changes that has sludge, although in Lenore's case obviously it isn't impossible.

If the shop will do it for $5k (sounds much more reasonable) I would ask Lexus to pay for the whole thing. Best case scenario is Lexus does the work and covers the cost, because with them you know if you have problems down the line with the new or remanufactured engine you'll be able to hold them accountable. What kind of warranty does the other shop offer?

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Agreed, lots of different variables. Its rare to find one with regular 5k oil changes that has sludge, although in Lenore's case obviously it isn't impossible.

If the shop will do it for $5k (sounds much more reasonable) I would ask Lexus to pay for the whole thing. Best case scenario is Lexus does the work and covers the cost, because with them you know if you have problems down the line with the new or remanufactured engine you'll be able to hold them accountable. What kind of warranty does the other shop offer?

Actually, I found that the $5K quoted by a local shop was for an old used engine. It is not refurbished and would need thorough inspection. I was also quoted $8K for a refurbished Jasper engine (www.jasperengines.com) installed. The Jasper engine route has been highly recommended since they guarantee it for 3 years 100K miles. Also, they will cover full warranty if the engine is installed by one of their recommended local workshops.

Lexus Corporate has agreed to pay me 50% of whatever it costs me to replace the engine (old, new or refurbished). That is the max they will do.

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