Like many of you I am frustrated and turned off by the prices and practices of the Lexus dealership service departments. Before my next scheduled maintenance appointment I've made it a point to seek out reputable garages in NYC who can reliably service my 2008 RX 400h.
Any good referrals out there?
By Lexus Luddite
I obviously have a low mileage RX300 since it's a 2003. I'm the second owner having bought it certified from a Lexus dealership back in 2006.
I recently moved and found an independent shop with fantastic reviews that specializes in Japanese cars. They've quoted $950 for the 90k service including changing the timing belt.
I'm definitely doing the timing belt because mine is 5 or 6 years older than most who were doing their 90k service on this forum. I don't want to risk major engine damage and the car is still in great shape. Aside from regular oil checks (use synthetic oil BTW), my only maintenance costs in nearly 10 years have been exhaust related, ball joints & sway bars, tires, brake pads and a battery. Not sure if it's been a major contributing factor but I'm someone who lets the engine warm up in every season - especially winter - so maybe that's helped reduce engine damage.
My question is if I plan to keep the car for another several years should I replace the water pump and thermostat too as a preventative measure and since my car is 12 years old and I probably wont put more than 5 to 8k miles on the car per year. Are there other items you would consider too?
I purchased a new key shell and a used electronic remote head transmitter (key fob) on ebay for my 2002 LS, I had the key cut locally, copying my existing key.
Long story short, I returned the remote because the transponder would not pair with my car using any online instructions or the locksmith's programmer. No good if you can't get past security. Good thing I verified that it could be returned if it didn't work.
Before returning it, I noted that the remote electronics unit didn't have the same number imprinted on it as my existing remote (50111). I bought a second key fob on ebay after verifying it had the same remote identification number. To my great relief, I successfully programmed the transponder and remote function (lock, unlock, open trunk) using the following procedures:
You have 35 seconds to complete steps 1-5 and 10 seconds to complete step 6. If not performed quickly enough, the car will not go into programming mode and the key transponder will not pair with your car.
Close all doors. Insert an already programmed master key into the ignition. Turn the key from the OFF to On and back OFF FIVE (5) times. Open and close the driver's door SIX (6) times. Remove the key from the ignition. Insert the new key to be programmed into the ignition. Leave it in the OFF position. Wait 1 to 2 minutes. The security light will be blinking. When it stops blinking your key is programmed. To end programming step on the brake one time.
If the blinking security light does not go off within 2 minutes, the procedure must be repeated from the beginning.
Verify success by starting the engine. ________________________________________
Close and lock all doors. Unlock and open driver's door. Insert key into ignition and remove TWO TIMES. Close and open the driver's door TWO TIMES. Insert key into the ignition and remove ONE TIME. Close and open the driver's door TWO TIMES. Insert key into the ignition. Close the driver's door. Turn ignition ON then OFF ONE TIME.
(Do not start engine)
This will place the car in ADD mode for your remote.
Note: Turning the ignition ON then OFF TWO TIMES will ADD the remote AND will erase all existing remotes. Remove the key from the ignition.
The door locks will cycle one time (or two if set to erase existing remotes). On the REMOTE press and hold both the LOCK and UNLOCK button for 2 to 5 seconds and release.
Hold the remote higher for better reception. On the REMOTE press and hold the LOCK button for 1 to 3 seconds and release.
If the door locks cycle once, the procedure was accepted.
If the door locks cycle twice it has failed and the procedure must be repeated from the beginning. To end programming, open and close the driver's door then insert key in ignition and remove it. Verify success by pressing any button on the remote. ________________________________________
I make no claims to be an expert with respect to this process or anything for that matter. I was happy that I was able to get my key / remote to function and pass on what worked for me in case it might help someone in the same situation. These instructions are refined from a source which I found online, but I have since lost the original source info.
Have been going to a community shop here for a while, they do pretty good work but I think I need someone who specializes in Lexus given some experiences I have had of late.
Also I need to find someone strong in Lexus electrical as I'm having a persistent problem that we can't seem to solve on my RX330.
Any advice on a good Lexus service shop here around Washington, DC? I saw someone post about Lxt Automotive in Rockville a few years ago. Any others that you can recommend?
I have had my 07 Lexus IS350 for about 3 months now and am looking for some advice on the regular maintenance schedule for the car and haven't found much.
I know regular oil changes, tire rotations, and brake checks are essential and simple rather through the dealership or other service stations but as for other vehicle check ups etc. are they necessary, and if so how often and do you suggest going to the dealer or other reliable service stations.
Also for simple services such as oil changes, tire rotation, etc is it better going to the dealer or is it just as good going somewhere else for less than half the price?