TammyR

Time for new RX330? 199K miles needs rear struts

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I have a 2005 RX330 with 199,000 miles on it.  I am replacing the tires in two days (under the Goodyear mileage warranty, so 40% off new set), and I need new rear struts and springs.  Multiple mechanics have said it's a great vehicle - solid and in great mechanical condition.  It will need a new timing belt in 15,000 miles (100k miles after the first one was replaced), and it hasn't required any major repairs since I've had it for 6 years - just the regular required maintenance.  I was quoted after-market strut/springs for $777 and OEM springs/struts for $1770.  I somewhat cringe at after-market struts.  The dashboard has multiple cracks on it and Lexus won't fix it since the cracks occurred after the recall ended.  It's rather unsightly.  I'm just wondering if the vehicle is worth putting that money into it or if it's time to get a new one... (I'm considering around a 2009 RX330 AWD).  I'd rather keep mine as long as possible, but not sure if I would be better off trading it for another one around $13K - especially with the dashboard cracks (one is a 10' vertical crack on the passenger side).  Thoughts, experiences?

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I think U might as well keep the one U have, as 13k will not buy U one any better than yours, just with new problems. A low mileage RX 350 is hard to find, but if U would happen to find one make sure to research the service records.

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5 minutes ago, zieke said:

I think U might as well keep the one U have, as 13k will not buy U one any better than yours, just with new problems. A low mileage RX 350 is hard to find, but if U would happen to find one make sure to research the service records.

Thank you, Zieke. You make a great point.  I'll just keep mine and make the repairs since it's mechanically sound.  But since I have to replace the springs and maybe struts (I'll find out for sure tomorrow), I want to lower it a little - not for performance, but so my dog, who has had three major orthopedic surgeries, can more easily jump into it as she's aging.  Might you have any knowledge of lowering an RX330?  I really don't like how tall the vehicle is (I'm 5'), but I love everything else, including the ride.  Just don't want to mess anything up...

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Tammy, I would not try & lower the RX, (too much money) instead buy some sort of step or etc. so the dog can get in the rear. My dog got so old she can't get in any more unless I lift her in, which may happen to yours also. Just  spend the money on the stuff the car needs to be safe and reliable.

 

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, zieke said:

Tammy, I would not try & lower the RX, (too much money) instead buy some sort of step or etc. so the dog can get in the rear. My dog got so old she can't get in any more unless I lift her in, which may happen to yours also. Just  spend the money on the stuff the car needs to be safe and reliable.

 

 

 

 

Zieke, thank you for your insight.  I will heed your advice.  Which step did you get for your dog?  (My girl is 60 lbs with steel in three of her legs due to orthopedic surgeries)

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I bot a two step plastic unit with a small carpet piece on each step (I think in housewares or etc. I'm getting old and can't remember.) My dog is 65lbs. and I had to work with her to get her to go up the steps, but she finally got the hang of it.

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5 minutes ago, zieke said:

Tammy, I would not try & lower the RX, (too much money) instead buy some sort of step or etc. so the dog can get in the rear. My dog got so old she can't get in any more unless I lift her in, which may happen to yours also. Just  spend the money on the stuff the car needs to be safe and reliable.

 

 

 

 

Zieke, one last thing... the garage is telling me to consider replacing everything at once "while they're in there."   They said the struts definitely need replacing, as I can see where the plastic bits covering it and inside it are kind of shredded, but the car is not bouncy.  It only creaks while cornering.

The Options are 1) aftermarket strut assembly for $770 which includes springs and mounts, or 2) OE struts for $1077 which is only struts, or 3) OE struts with springs is $1799.  They said the aftermarket option might change the ride, but only 1 person has complained about the after-market item.  And they said I might just consider replacing the springs while they're in there... is that really necessary to replace everything just for the sake of  "while they're in there?"

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I assume your "garage" is not a Lexus dealer, which is fine. I would go aftermarket if they are a quality piece, not made in China. I guess I would ask the garage folks for a good aftermarket unit with good reliability, and I don't think the ride would change appreciably. A Lexus unit seems to be quite overpriced, given your price differences, and $700 plus doesn't seem too bad for both units. With 200k I'm surprised the front ones are good.

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Have you looked at tirerack.com?

https://www.tirerack.com/suspension/Susptabl.jsp?autoMake=Lexus&autoModel=RX330&autoYear=2005&autoModClar=

They typically have some decent aftermarket parts at good prices. Springs rarely fail due to age. Most likely, you don't need new ones.

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3 hours ago, RX400h said:

Have you looked at tirerack.com?

https://www.tirerack.com/suspension/Susptabl.jsp?autoMake=Lexus&autoModel=RX330&autoYear=2005&autoModClar=

They typically have some decent aftermarket parts at good prices. Springs rarely fail due to age. Most likely, you don't need new ones.

Dave, unbelievable... a new garage looked at the car and said I don't need new struts nor springs - only the plastic boot around the strut has dry-rotted a bit, but the struts are fine and suspension isn't bouncy.  He said there's no point to replace a strut just for the boot.  WOW!!!

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Tammy,

 Sorry I did not think to question your garage's bad strut diagnosis, as I figured after 200k they would need replacing. I have 103k on mine, and have never driven a car over 130k. My rr boot has also has splits in it, but since replacing the boots require removing the strut, I just got busy with some super glue and went after it. It is somewhat tedious, but  has held up and much cheaper than having struts removed. I, like another poster, mostly stay on paved roads, so am not worried about much dust or dirt. Glad U got a second opinion.

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3 hours ago, zieke said:

Tammy,

 Sorry I did not think to question your garage's bad strut diagnosis, as I figured after 200k they would need replacing. I have 103k on mine, and have never driven a car over 130k. My rr boot has also has splits in it, but since replacing the boots require removing the strut, I just got busy with some super glue and went after it. It is somewhat tedious, but  has held up and much cheaper than having struts removed. I, like another poster, mostly stay on paved roads, so am not worried about much dust or dirt. Glad U got a second opinion.

Steve,

No worries.  This is actually my 4th opinion.  A garage told me two years ago that I needed struts while getting an oil change.  I changed jobs across a mountain and started going to a Lexus garage.  They told me last year after an oil change and brake inspection that I needed $6K in repairs.  Went to another garage for a "2nd" opinion and they said I needed rear brakes.  WWWHHHAAATTTT!!!  I just had a brake inspection and they didn't say I need new rear pads, but told me I needed $6K in repairs.  Never went back to them again, as they now had three strikes 1) after they failed to put all lugs in wheels with new tires and rear wheel nearly fell off going over the mountain home, 2) failed to put oil plug in after oil change and oil leaked all over my garage floor!, 3) didn't do brake inspection that they said they did.  Done - never went back to them again.  The place I went to for the 2nd opinion... had an appointment for my annual inspection for tag renewal and the lady behind the counter didn't even know about it... couldn't pronounce my last name and greeted me with "Tammy Whatever."  I said, "Tammy R would be nice if you can't pronounce it."  Come to find out she was the owner (gasp!).  Had the inspection, heard one of the guys state that a license plate light was out.  Paid and was greeted with a car with a license plate out.  WTF?  Done with that place.  I'm hoping that this new place will be good.  As you see, I've not had the best luck with garages.    Seems three garages saw dry-rotted boot on strut and said I needed new struts.  That's just horrible.  

I drive mainly on smooth, paved roads, too, but I'm on the occasional gravel road, so I'll try your gluing approach to keep dust or dirt out as best as I can.  The car rides smooth.  It's a great car!  I'm hoping to get three more years out of it.  {crossed fingers}  

 

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Some of these garages seem to be like politicians, no scruples at all. Too bad. I used super glue with a brush, and had to hold each part for a minute or so until glue set up. Of course U know the timing belt is most important when it's due. 100k I believe at the most, possibly with a water pump, (while they're in there) All the luck.

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There is another (potential) side to these types of stories, Tammy. Sometimes when I am waiting for a tire rotation at Discount Tire, a customer is told that he or she needs new tires. If it is Spring season here, I have at times told the customer that since it will not likely rain until November or December, a tire set purchase could be put off until a short time before then. Discount Tire does not want to be liable for NOT suggesting new tires if the tread depth is shorter than what is considered to be safe while driving in the rain (or snow for customers who drive to the mountains). It is sad that so many people are sue-happy but this is one reason why garages suggest replacing safety-related components. Of course, they make money, as well. 

 You do have the right to look at brake pads and other "discoveries" which I have no problem doing. 🙂

 

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15 hours ago, RX400h said:

There is another (potential) side to these types of stories, Tammy. Sometimes when I am waiting for a tire rotation at Discount Tire, a customer is told that he or she needs new tires. If it is Spring season here, I have at times told the customer that since it will not likely rain until November or December, a tire set purchase could be put off until a short time before then. Discount Tire does not want to be liable for NOT suggesting new tires if the tread depth is shorter than what is considered to be safe while driving in the rain (or snow for customers who drive to the mountains). It is sad that so many people are sue-happy but this is one reason why garages suggest replacing safety-related components. Of course, they make money, as well. 

 You do have the right to look at brake pads and other "discoveries" which I have no problem doing. 🙂

 

HI Dave, I meant that the one garage told me they did a brake inspection but they did not, otherwise, they would have seen that I needed rear brake pads.  The next garage showed me the mm measurement while the car was lifted.  I did, in fact, need the pads.  Anyway, I'm keeping the car and I hope I can get three more years out of it.

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That looks like a good plan, Tammy. 👌

 

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Tammy, Glad U have resolved some of your RX issues. If U would like, keep me posted of anything that crops up in the future. (email servison@mchsi.com)

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