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Inna Dilema

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Hi guys, I need some advice on what to do with the rx I just bought a couple of days ago. It is a 99 with 136k , fanstastic paint with the exception of some fenderwell rust. The leather seats are to be expected for thier age and then a tiny more some. All the plastic is top notch. Only thing missing is the Nackamichi or however you spell it as well as no nav. Brand new higher end Michelins and the rims are in excellent shape. I am the 4th owner of the car and it appears that it was a Florida car up until a couple of days ago. I am assuming (and hoping) that the fact that I am the 4th owner was due to the economy as it appears on the car check. If there are any other recent owners who were hawking ebay, it was the one from Indiana. I ended paying $5,200.00 for it.

Now heres the question I have for ya. When I arrived to pick it up yesterday, I met the seller on the street and he was a broker so dont imagine a car lot. Shook his hand and we started walking down the street to his office. While we were going towards his office, I saw this rx300 sitting on the street and thought to myself that it could not be mine. Set aside the fenderwell rust, it looked like it rolled off the showroom floor. I had checked out several 300's and the finish on those cars would not even compare. We were both in a rush and I had a buy back guarentee so I told him I would make up my mind today wheither I am gonna keep it or not.

It fires right up and all is good. I take off and notice an immediate pull to the left. I pulled into a gas station and noticed the tires were all low. I thought that would have done the trick. No sir. It needs and allignment. No biggie, $70.00 is the cost and seller is splittting it with me. Other than the pull to the left, the comfort and ride was thru the roof. Did not shake or shimmey at 35mph nor 80+mph. I had test drove similiar types of suvs in this class like the mdx and the x5. X5 was my first choice but out of my budget. Not a fan of the MDX at all. I think it looks unattrative and plain on the outside. I believe you are paying for the inside and the name.

All was good until I went to deliver it to my wife at her work, a hand massaging virbration when I was at idle with blower on full and the other gadgets I was overlooking. I was so excited to see her face when she came out and saw her Lexus because the paint was so nice. She slowly started picking this and that and this and that out. The seller didnt detail or even attempt to clean it to the best of his abilities (which still urks me) and left the damn thing on fumes in freezing weather.

My biggest concern is the seatbelts that not a single one retracts itself, the tranny issues I am in fear of but hopefully get. Wife always wanted a rx300 and she finally got one. What sold me on it is that my nextdoor neighbor has the exact same year ,model and color and all the same options has 258k miles on it and not a single complaint.

From reading some of the diy on here, I find it very informational

After doing some research on the vibrations , I am gonna take a shot and say it is IAC and hope its not the tranny. It is getting its first oil change tomorrow and I am now going to add the transmission filter kit and transfer case flushed and refilled. Would Royal Purple oils and lubes be ok for it??? Also I got quoted to do body work repaired (sheet metal, not bondo)and painted for $250.00 . I saw the DIY on the IAC and how to clean which dont seemt too bad. Here in Indy I could probably sell the car the way it sits and make a grand or two. If I get the body work done, I am sure it would bring atleast $800. If the cleaning of the IAC does the trick and the tranny fluid isnt filled with shavings along with the alllignment and all is well, Should it stay or should I sell it??

I forgot one last thing. Where can I purchase the plastic plenum over the intake ? Seller har knock rod sensor replaced and apparently forgot to put the plastic cover back on? Also , what is up with the radio connected to EVERYTHING??? I cannot find a indash dvd , nav + all the rest of the goodies. They dont seem to exist.

IF you have made it this far, Thank you for your time.


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I don't want to spoil the party, but...

What sold me on it is that my nextdoor neighbor has the exact same year ,model and color and all the same options has 258k miles on it and not a single complaint.

That would be a wrong advisor, as maintenance history is far more important. I couldn't trace that part in your story. If there's no maintenance record available, steer clear, unless you have some mechanical skills at hand or have the car thoroughly examined, before buying that is.

Things you may need to inspect, clean or service:

- plugs and all (air)filters

- ATF (only use Toyota IV ATF and do it multiple times, to get as much of the old stuff out)

- V- and S-belts / tensioners / waterpump

- brakes/pads/callipers, balljoints, bushings

- other fluids: coolant-, differential-, powersteering-, brakefluid, engine-oil (any good brand will do, keep up to the scheduled intervals)

- throttlebody/IAC/MAF

- exhaustsystem/sensors, etc.

- leakage under/in car

Vibration can also be caused by worn engine or transmission mounts. Usually, when the throttlebody/IAC/MAF is dirty, a rough idle occurs. It's 'urking' indeed that the seller didn't clean the interior. Although it doesn't necessarily mean something, it can be a sign of neglecting the car in other areas as well.

If some or all above was not serviced in the past, be prepared to pay a lot of dineros. Hopefully I'm completely wrong and all was taken care for, but if not...

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Return the car to your broker as soon as you possibly can and get your money back. If you did the research, you would already know that the 1999 and 2000 RX300 models are by far the most problematic of the RX series. Too many weaknesses to list here, but I have first-hand knowledge because my wife's previous 2000 RX300 AWD was the worst vehicle I've ever had in more than 40 years of driving. More than $9,000 in warranty work done to that pig while we owned it. The 2004-and-newer RX330 is a much better vehicle. Lexus apparently learned from their mistakes and ponied up to improve everything from the transmission to the exhaust manifold to the strut system to the various sensors that were so prone to early failure....

Don't waste any more time or money. Get a full refund, learn from your mistake, and move on....

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I had the transmission flushed and filter replaced. I asked the mech to check and see if there were any metal shavings in the pan when he was doing the job. He said that there was very little debris. I cleaned the iac and the throttle body via the diy. Car is running better. Also had the oil changed. Did not want to take the sellers word for it. I was on the bmw forum for my car looking to replace my windshield and ran across a guy who had one. He was a broker in Florida. I asked him if he would be interested in buying the lexus and he was all about it. Claiming he could turn it for $8,500.00 for the way it sits and 10k repaired. I shot $7400 at him and he didnt flinch. He allegidly will be in Louisville , KY looking at a car there and I told him I live about an hour north of there and would meet him half way to take a look at it. We will see.... I like the looks of the 330 and 350 a helluva lot better but out of my budget.

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