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Rx300 Engine Sludge

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I have a 2000 RX300 with 78K miles. A light came on (light 14 in the instrument cluster: malfunction indicator lamp).

Brought car to Lexus dealer and was told we needed new engine. With proof of at least one oil change per year since ownership, Lexus has offered to replace engine with our purchase of the 4-year maintenance package (about $900.00).

I read some background on this in Automotive News (, Feb 8, 2002) and apparently there is a sludge issue with Toyota 6-cyl engines used in the Previa and RX.

I feel that Lexus is making a good offer: basically they'll replace the engine in exchange for the $900.00 4-yr. service.

What is your experinece with this problem?

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Basically, Toyota has a policy out saying they will cover this issue, even outside the 3 year warranty. I have even seen the specifics on their web site a year and a half back, although I don't see it right now.

Here are some links on this:


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Replying to the question about the $900.00 "insurance"...

My Lexus dealer told me that I had to grant them approval to perform the scheduled 4-year maintenance work (@ $900.00) in order for them to agree to replace the engine. I have since talked with Lexus Customer Service who told me that each dealer handles these issues on a case-by-case basis.

However, Lexus said they would contact the dealer and discuss the issue. I asked that the engine be replaced without requiring the $900.00 scheduled service. I'll report back when I learn the outcome of this request....

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I have a 99 RX300 with about 71000 miles on it. I use castrol syntec and change around every 5,000 - 5,500 miles....mostly highway...probably every 2-4 months Do you think that I am safe or should I bump it down to every 3000 miles? I have heard it said that every 3-5K or 6 months, but after reading this stuff, I want to make sure I am doing ok. Thanks for all the continuted help. JP...I will probably be contacting you this week for spark plug change!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

As an update...

My Lexus Dealer, through some assistance from Lexus Customer Service has agreed to perform the engine replacement without requiring the $900.00 4-year maintainence.

Additionally, the service rep at the dealer told me that they're replacing about two engines per week. This is a large Chicago-area dealer so I'd assume from this information that a lot of people are going through this issue with their RX300's.

All in all I've been satisfied with the response from Lexus and my dealer.

Thanks for your input and information!

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