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A Very Sad Farewell

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I purchased my 2006 AWD RX400h about six years ago from the dealership. It was a lease return with 60,000 miles and came with the 100,000 mile certified warranty. I did have to use that warranty for several items, most expensive was the replacement of the Mark Levinson audio system.

That car has served me well. Up until recently, not a lick of problems. I took it 'everywhere'. Multiple trips to the northern Rocky Mountains. Got stuck on a steep snow-covered slope, (was able to drive out with a 'head start'). Went 'off road' while doing field work with my students in my mapping class. Traveled icy roads in the winter. Towed my Mercedes to the mechanic when it failed to start, (and over some pretty steep hills). We've done a lot together.

However, I think I've worn the thing out. Of course, I take it in to my local Toyota dealer for its 5,000 mile oil change, (I live more than 25 miles from the nearest Lexus dealer). For about 20,000 miles, his mechanics have made note of a coolant leak on the inverter. They never have to add coolent and always say, "We'll just keep an eye on it". I thought it was an ancestral leak because there are never any indications of a leak on the driveway or in the garage. Car operating temps seem normal, no matter the ambient temperature.

On a trip to Coeur d'Alene last month, my 5,000 mile oil change became due and I took it into the Toyota dealer there in CdA. They also made note of the inverter leak, so I now had indepentant verification that there is actually a leak. They also quoted me a price to install an inverter out of a doner car that had 70,000 miles on it. In addition to the oil change, they also performed the 120,000 miles service, (which should have reallly been the 90,000 mile service - they 'screwed up'), AND, replaced the radiator which had just started leaking about two weeks earlier. (I saw evidence of the radiator leak on the front bumper several times.)

Now, I believe pretty much what Clark Howard says. He is a comsumer advocate with a radio show based out of Atlanta. His little motto is, "I'm here to serve you. To help you save more, spend less . . . and avoid getting ripped off!". He talks about all types of personal financial matters and one of his beliefs is that when a car repair is half as much as a car is worth, it's time to dump the car.

In this case, my RX now has a few miles under 200,000 miles, (long out of warranty), and starting to show its age. With that amount of miles, and a leaking inverter that will cost $4,000 to repair, the car has become 'worthless'. That Toyota dealer offered me $2,750 as the trade-in value if I were to purchase something from them.

So, it has come time to resign my membership in the Lexus owner's club. It has been a great vehicle. Most comfortable that I've owned in my long life. Faithful to a fault. I would have loved to purchase another, newer RX, but they are too expensive. This one was only $25K. The only RX hybrids that I've seen sold by the dealerships are in the neighborhood of $35k. A bit more that I would want to spend this close to retirement. However, my beloved RX AWD hybrid is not lost to me forever. My lady friend wants to purchase it, even knowing its faults. I'm going to let her have it for a little less than the dealer trade-in offer. She's knows the car well and is happy to have it.

I have one more question, primarily for my lady, but will ask in a new post.

I do want to thank all the members here for sharing their experiences and wisdom about they RX hybrids with us. Your information has been very helpful in allowing me to enjoy my RX more fully. Thank you, all.

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Hey best of luck, I too own an RX400h and love the car, (169k miles). I am hoping to stretch it to 250k miles. Good luck in your search, you might look at a Highlander hybrid with low mileage.

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Thanks guys. I did love that car. All is not lost however. My lady friend really wanted to buy it, so I let her have it for a quite attractive price. I went back and forth on letting her have it, but decided that she's a 'big girl' and she knows the car, and all it faults. She's not getting an unknown. We'll keep an eye on the coolant level until she can get a good price on a used inverter. The Toyota dealer in Coeur d'Alene wanted just shy of $4,000 to install an inverter out of a doner car that had 70,000 miles on it.

lenore, with mine at 200,000 miles and only needing the inverter and just recently, a radiator, I would think that yours will last 250k easy.

I replaced the Lexus with a RAV4. And, for sure it ain't a Lexus. The ride is so different between them. Would have loved to wait until the new year when the RAV4 hybrids are available, but couldn't wait. I probably should have and just babied the RX until then. I'll miss the ol' girl. We've had some great adventures over the past six years.

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