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04 Rx 330 Radiator Leak Again !


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Hi all,

we have a 04 RX330 with 78k on it and I noticed a puddle of pink fluid under it this morning.When I looked under the hood,sure enough the radiator was leaking at core junction to the side tank.It was replaced ,under warranty @43,000 for the same thing (I think Lexus even sent a $50.00 gas card for our inconvenience).I am bringing it down next week,it should still be covered as they extended the Warranty ("Warranty Enhancement Notification") but wonder what is the deal with Radiator's and thses RX 330's?

Any one else gone throught 2? One has wonder if this next one will last past 35K.

thanks in advance

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Yea that is weird, I have a 99RX with the original radiator..... I wonder if the hoses are too tight and pulling on the tank....

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Hi all,

we have a 04 RX330 with 78k on it and I noticed a puddle of pink fluid under it this morning.When I looked under the hood,sure enough the radiator was leaking at core junction to the side tank.It was replaced ,under warranty @43,000 for the same thing (I think Lexus even sent a $50.00 gas card for our inconvenience).I am bringing it down next week,it should still be covered as they extended the Warranty ("Warranty Enhancement Notification") but wonder what is the deal with Radiator's and thses RX 330's?

Any one else gone throught 2? One has wonder if this next one will last past 35K.

thanks in advance

I seem to remember a problem with the radiators in a certain period of time along in the early to middle of this decade. I think your car fits in the period of time when they were having the problem, but surely they would have corrected the problem since yours has already been replaced once under warrantee. Very strange. A little more digging is in order.

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When I looked back it was the Canada built ones,04 and I think early 05.What has me concered is that Lexus,it would seem either used up old parts (which I doubt as they would have to gamble that they wouldn't fail again) or they still did not adress the issue of the seem leak at the supplier.

That and the brake issues have been the only problems so far but its a bit strange that they would have this recurring issue.

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When I looked back it was the Canada built ones,04 and I think early 05.What has me concered is that Lexus,it would seem either used up old parts (which I doubt as they would have to gamble that they wouldn't fail again) or they still did not adress the issue of the seem leak at the supplier.

That and the brake issues have been the only problems so far but its a bit strange that they would have this recurring issue.

Dandg- sure hope you're able to get to the bottom of this. You're pretty close to Canada aren't you, but then you could easily tell if it was Canadian built. That still wouldn't explain why the replacement failed in that short a time. When 2&2 don't add up to 4 I want to know why. Somehow I still think there is a chance they replaced it with the same thing from the same manufacturer that failed the 1st time. And I wouldn't doubt there's a chance it wasn't limited to Canada any more than the sludge problem was limited to the first couple of years of RX's. Auto Manufacturers DO DO THAT from time to time. As Lenore said, our DIL's 99RX still has the original radiator with 0 problems at 130K mi. and 11 years.

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Only the Canadian-built 2004 RX330s were recalled. I looked into this situation shortly after we purchased ours in late January 2007 and learned the details. The Canadian factory was using substandard radiators from a different supplier than the Japanese factories were, so the Japanese-built vehicles were never in jeopardy of having the substandard radiators built into them. Since our RX330 was built in Japan, we did not qualify for a new radiator. I would gladly have taken one under the recall, though....

We've had no problems with our Japanese factory radiator. The vehicle now has 88,400 miles on it....

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Thats the way I understood it.And sure enough that first one was leaking after 43K on it.Maybe they just could not tell the old stock from the "new improved" stock of replacment radiators or maybe it was just a gamble.Will keep the board posted after it gets done,my appointment is next Wed (only one dealer here in NH and he is 1.5hrs away).Hopfully things go smoothly,my call to Lexus CS was not very helpfull (had no knowledge of any radiator problem ever !),but the service writer frounf my records and seemed to think as long as I am under the 90K mark its warranty.

Even thou its all paid off and wife likes it maybe its time to try some thing else.

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Its at the dealer,and yes the Rad is leaking again.I asked the writer if they had the "new improved" ones when they did it the first time and he said they did so I guess its something I will have to keep an eye on in another 30k or so.Also mentioned it needs brakes,again! I am going to see about another brand of pads/rotors and find a independant shop to to them this round.

Should be picking it up later today or tomorrow.I guess if you have a Canada built one be sure you check that fluid/rad as it seem to be a weak point.

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Its at the dealer,and yes the Rad is leaking again.I asked the writer if they had the "new improved" ones when they did it the first time and he said they did so I guess its something I will have to keep an eye on in another 30k or so.Also mentioned it needs brakes,again! I am going to see about another brand of pads/rotors and find a independant shop to to them this round.

Should be picking it up later today or tomorrow.I guess if you have a Canada built one be sure you check that fluid/rad as it seem to be a weak point.

dandg- was the leak actually a break in the aluminum or the plastic? or was it the rubber seal that goes between the two? Most rad. shops don't have the equipment to replace those or don't want to be bothered with it, they just want to sell you a new radiator. I have had the seal (looks like an "O" ring but fits the groove around the header in the radiator) replaced by a shop that did have the equipment and did that kind of work. I couldn't see replacing a radiator that looked like new except for a tiny seep. MOST radiators in cars that have GOOD maintianance (antifreeze changed regularly, not when it gets dirty) will last the life of the car. Your case is clearly not normal.

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Hi Code58.

the leak was at the juction of the core and the side tank in the radiator,up by the cap area.The writer said the old ones would vibrate and seal would be compromised.The "new improved" ones had addional support in the tank area.He did say it was the first new type he saw fail.I paid 0 so I am just out some gas and my time.The antifreeze has now been changed for the second time (on them both times) so I guess I did ok.They even gave me a brand new Volvo V70 (what a dog) for a two day loaner.

Now to deal with brakes,again,they quoted 475 per axle if they can cut the rotors and a lot more if rotors need replacement.

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Hi Code58.

the leak was at the juction of the core and the side tank in the radiator,up by the cap area.The writer said the old ones would vibrate and seal would be compromised.The "new improved" ones had addional support in the tank area.He did say it was the first new type he saw fail.I paid 0 so I am just out some gas and my time.The antifreeze has now been changed for the second time (on them both times) so I guess I did ok.They even gave me a brand new Volvo V70 (what a dog) for a two day loaner.

Now to deal with brakes,again,they quoted 475 per axle if they can cut the rotors and a lot more if rotors need replacement.

That is a lot of money for a simple brake job. (Replace pads front and rear and turn rotors Is a simple job! For $950.?) I would NOT turn the rotors unless they are fairly heavily grooved. It will only take metal off and lead to sooner replacement of said rotors, not improved braking! The pads will conform quickly to MINOR wear lines. Toyota/ Lexus puts some very fine rotors on their cars (like a lot of the rest of the parts) and will possibly last the life of the car if not turned. (I am not opposed to turning what needs turning, just that minor wear lines and such DO NOT require turning. I'm sure whoever you have do it will disagree with me because it affects their bottom line. THAT IS THE ONLY THING IT AFFECTS. This from someone who has always believed and practiced conservative repair. (changing things BEFORE they need it, not when it breaks) My son has always changed the pads on his wife's RX and it generally runs him a little under $100. for pads front and rear. T/L will run a little more. Good Luck with whatever the decision is!

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  • 2 years later...

I just noticed a green puddle on the left (driver) side. It appears that the vertical tube is leaking where it is mated to the radiator fins. It looks like the radiator and A/C condenser are combined into one radiator. Has anyone replaced a radiator themselves? What does it cost to have a shop or dealer replace one?

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Yep, they definitely had a problem with whoever designed or built those radiators. That shouldn't be. Aluminum/ plastic radiators are traditionally very dependable. Our DIL's '99 RX (built May,'98) has over 155K mi. on it and not a trace of problem with the radiator.

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