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Everything posted by chimchim

  1. I made the DIY because I couldn't find one specifically for the RX330. Lexus also apparently think no RX330 owner would ever change their own oil because they don't tell you how to locate the oil dilter and drain plug in the owner's manual. I hope others find this useful. Please comment. I have a 2004 RX330 and after 23,000 miles, I've decided I'm going to do minor maintenance myself. You'll need: - 5qts of 5w-30 oil - oil filter (see info below) - drain plug gasket (see info below) - 10mm socket wrench - 14mm socket wrench - oil catch container - oil filter wrench (I used the nylon strap which seems pretty versitile) - either jack stands or ramps - funnel - rags to soak up dripping oil Part numbers: Lexus parts: 90430-12031 - Gasket Oil Drain Plug 90915-YZZD1-01 - Oil Filter - 6 Cylinder Toyota equivalent: 904-3012028 or 3012031 drain plug gasket $1.04 089-2202011 oil filter $4.99 1) Jack up the front of your car on stands or use ramps. The RX330 weighs 3850 lbs so make sure your ramps/stands can handle it. You might be able to get away without raising it if you slide on the floor, but it's tight. 2) Pop your hood and unscrew off the oil cap. I stuck a yellow funnel in mine. Notice the yellow dip stick on the left. 3) Lexus put some cosmetic plastic panels to make the "less car savy" believe the car is a magic transportation pod with no ugly mechanical internals. You'll need to remove two of them to access the filter and drain plug. The orange highlight is the panel that hides the filter, and the purple arrow shows where the panel that hides the drain plug is. 4) Get under the car to look for the drain plug panel (purple arrow in above picture). The panel will look like this. Remove all the 10mm bolts. 5) With the panel removed, the drain plug is revealed. Get a 14mm socket wrench and loosen the bolt. Position your oil catch container and remove the bolt. Lexus engineers did good.. they designed the bolt angle so the oil shoots down instead of to the side. Very nice. Remove the drain plug bolt AND its gasket. If the gasket is not on the bolt, it's probably still stuck to the oil pan. Remove the gasket and discard. 6) As the oil is draining, work on removing the panel to the oil filter (orange). Remove all the 10mm bolts (red arrows). 7) There are two plastic clips (green arrows) also holding this panel on. Using a flathead screwdriver, carefully pry up the center part of the clip just a little. This will loosen the clip and the whole clip can be pulled out. 8) Pull off the panel. The other panels will be overlapped over it, but they flex enough to allow you to remove it. This is what it looks like without the panel. 9) After the oil is done draining, put the new gasket on the bolt and replace the bolt. Tighten the bolt for a good seal but don't over tighten. I don't know the official torque yet. Wipe up the oily bolt. UPDATE: I got the Lexus service info... Torque the drain plug to 33ft-lbs (45Nm, 459 kgf-cm) 10) With the panel off, you can now see the oil filter (orange) and a nice gift from the Lexus engineers: an oil catch (green). Loosen the filter, and residual oil will drip out. The oil catch will guide the dripping oil out the oilpan/drainplug panel so position your oil catch below the catch. 11) On the new filter, dab a layer of fresh oil on the O-ring (the rubber ring around the outer lip of the open end of the filter). Align the threads of the new filter and spin it by hand onto the engine where the old filter was. When it makes contact, tighten by hand another 3/4 turn. Don't over tighten. 12) Wipe up oil drips. For me, even though the catch was there, some oil still dripped all over the exhaust pipe and panels. Wipe this up. 13) Fill the engine with 5w-30 oil, 5 qts. A funnel is helpful here. 14) Replace oil cap. 15) Replace both plastic panels. 16) Shut hood and drive around the block. Park the car on level ground and wait 15 minutes. Check for leaks and oil level. I hope this is helpful to someone. ...
  2. For sale (sf bay area, CA) local pick up only I have a used but in great shape (no rips) tonneau cover that came from our 2004 RX330. Color is the "tan" interior that came in the bamboo pearl RX asking $90 obo local pickup in mountain view, CA weekdays or west san jose ca weekends
  3. Really? I like CVTs for their smoothness (no more hurky jerky toyota automatic shifting program which drove me NUTS on the RX330 we had previously) but I find the CVT to be noisier than the standard auto trans which contributes to "audible roughness" instead of "seat of pants roughness". I'm not hating the RX400h at all, I'm just unfamiliar with a "luxury hybrid".
  4. Ahhh... that answers a lot of my questions. Thanks for the reply! My experience with the car does jive that the car is erring on the side of making sure all systems are fully ready to keep luxury up in sacrifice of hybrid optimization I'll check on the TSB for the ISC learning As for the accessories, I noted similar behavior when our return trip was at night (so no A/C), windows up, heater off, and even the stereo off, cruise on. I understand that city better utilizes hybrid technology I wish there was a "advanced user" hybrid selection control deep in the menu screen or something that would allow me to say "no matter what I do, go aggressive on electric use", and if that means I get a warning bell saying "I can't give you A/C", etc.
  5. I'm interested in finding an understanding for my situation and an appropriate solution. I read the responses 2-3 times and tried to consolidate it with what I knew of my situation and what I had posted, and there seemed to be a disconnect, hence my reply. And even with your latest reply, there are things that don't seem to jive... maybe it's me, but it's still not consolidating. The car may not "know" I'm on "hilly" roads, but it *does* know that the load has suddenly gone up without additional throttle application. In fact, I was on cruise control much of the time to try and let the car sort it out. From what I can see it would seem that with the increase in load and above the "full" threshold charge, the most efficient use of the the stored electric power would be to do electric assist of the combustion engine, not further weigh down the combustion engine by trickle charging the batteries.
  6. Yeah, I understand that. But why isn't there electric assist during cruising, even at 70 mph? Especially if the charge reaches the 80% level and really isn't going to charge more, then why not use the stored power to help with the cruise? Particularly in this trip, I'm going over large hilly freeways, which means several opportunities to recover some downhill energy to assist with the uphill.
  7. We are a 3 week old owner of a used 2006 rx400h (39k miles). We just took our first 4 hr round trip drive with the car (freeway) and I feel like the car is in "engine recharging batteries" mode way too often. We are on the freeways (speed limits 65 or 70) for the entire trip going about that speed. The battery indicators shows that it's 8/10 full and NEVER shows the top 2 bars charged EVER. I understand that the batteries are charged/drained only between 20%-80% levels or something like that for longevity. Fine. But during the whole trip, unless it was downhill, the engine was always charging the batteries. This did not make sense to me since it would seem that the efficient use of the hybrid technology for this trip would be to use the batteries to do electric motor assist to the engine to drive the wheels... until the batteries drained to a certain level then let the downhill charge the batteries. Instead, it's using extra fuel to keep the batteries topped off! This seems stupid! And the indicator showed average mpg of 22-23mpg for the trip. For the SAME trip, when we used our previous car (2004 RX330) we would get 24mph!!! That means the hybrid did WORSE! Does this seem right? Is there something wrong with our car?
  8. You're right, preference is to not drain while on ramps. However, I can't reach it otherwise. Plus I don't think it's that bad because the plug points to the rear.
  9. I stupidly left the key in on and forgot. Battery died. So the next morning I jumped the car and it was fine. However, the SRS airbag indicator light is on, and the other light on the console says passenger airbag off. The braindead manual says "check with dealer" (no help there). Anyone have this issue? It seems strange to have to go to the dealer just because the battery died.
  10. +1. bciesq seems to be the only one who knows how different octanes are used. It's my guess as well that the knock protection mechanism of retarding timing (etc) which reduces torque/power would have the side effect of "smoothing" the transmission. It's smooth because it's like babying the accelerator more than normal. I got the reflash and the jolt, while reduced, is still there, is still annoying, and I can't stand it.
  11. I couldn't stand the acceleration jolt on our 2004 RX330, so I had the dealer do the reflash. It helped... a little. But it's still there and ANNOYING, especially when I know it's wearing on the tranny. So I was practicing left foot braking on the RX330 automatic, and I found that with left foot braking, you can trail brake into the turn and do a super smooth transition to gas... WITH NO JOLT. So it looks like left foot braking is great for more than making Michael Shumacher fast.
  12. Lexuses are assembled in asian where mogwai sometimes get into the dash. You apparently got one and he likes music.
  13. My wife drives our 04 RX330 and she loves it. She didn't even notice the hesitation problem until I pointed it out. I was the one who couldn't stand it and got the reflash done. Our only other problem was a stuck console cup holder door which they replaced for free under warranty. No big deal. We now have 25k miles. The stock tires SUCK! We got a slow leak and the passive tire pressure monitoring system did NOT alert us that it got down to 19 psi. Even after patching, the tire was ruined and would slow leak. We had to get a new set. I went with Bridgestone Dueller Alenzas which have more grip, and stiffer sidewalls... MUCH happier. Better grip and body doesn't roll at much. Slightly more road noise though. The FWD RX330 meets our needs well: comfy luxo family car, looks nice, has been Toyota reliable. Gets around 20-21 mpg 50/50 street/freeway driving. We've never driven in the snow. Power is adequate to move it around and merge onto freeways and climb freeway hills. Not sluggish, but not strong either. Oh... I carpooled in my friend's Nissan Murano (like an FX35) and it's a little smaller, but has a much better poise (less body roll, dive, etc). However, I trust Toyota a little more for reliaility than Nissan.
  14. Huh? Ceremic used to be only found in race applications, but that's not the case anymore. There are various types of ceramic applications. lists these pads as replacements for the RX: Akebono ProACT Ceramic Pads (Material: Ceramic) I have these pads on my other car and they are essentially OE equivalent pads: soft, smooth, comfortable, low dust, low noise pads. Clearly this is a different ceramic than the race applications. To the original poster, you have to choose what application you want the pads for. If you want to maintain the OE soft, smooth, comfortable, low dust, low noise then the above pads are good replacements. I used metallic before and they bite much harder (more stopping) and noise (grinding sound), dust, and harshness to the rotors comes with it. The RX is a passenger luxury vehicle, so I'd stick to the OE equivalents. BTW, if you do change pads, make sure ALL FOUR are equivalent. Don't switch just one set to metal and keep the other OE or whatever. This messes up the brake balance designed into the car and you will have poorer braking distance than before. I learned this the hard way with my other car which had drum rear brakes. I tried upgrading just the front disc pads and that threw off the balance. My rears were hardly doing any work and the fronts quickly activated the ABS. Although this felt like it was stopping harder because I didn't have to push the brake as far, my actually stopping distances were a little worse (I'm estimating) and worse: I got massive tire wear on the fronts. Do you perhaps weigh > 300 lbs, carry 3 other passengers also > 300 lbs and have the trunk stuffed with bricks? Just kidding. I'm surprised your brakes don't last very long. Do you commute down hill a lot?
  15. Doesn't look like there will be according to Automobile mag: "One thing that has been confirmed is that there will not be another Sportcross wagon version of the IS, but other iterations are definitely on the way. Likely candidates for IS body style #2 include a convertible hard-top coupe inspired by the LF-C show car that debuted at last year's New York auto show."
  16. YES! i brought this to him, all seven pages. And that is the reply i got, "make sure yo ureally want it cause people say it makes it worse" and some stuff about how the car will shift much faster. So i just wanted to get opinions from people who got it done. I have yet to hear anyone on this board complain about the reflash. Everyone's responses ranges from "mild improvement" to "life is perfect now".
  17. I cannot buy anything that doesn't not have 4 doors and a hatchback... I want an IS250 in SportCross... any news on if Lexus will release this?
  18. I'm really surprised people are saying they don't feel the jolt anymore. I got the reflash and it's smoother, but there's still a jolt.
  19. I finally got the reflash done (while taking the 04 rx330 in for the brake booster recall). I was warned that once I flash, there's no going back. After the reflash, the hesitation is significantly reduced. If you step on it for 50% or more throttle out the turn, you'll still feel a jolt as it downshifts into a lower gear. However, in general it seems to engage quicker AND smoother. I was never able to get any information on what the negative trade offs to this reflash would be I would think that with the smoother shifting, it's better on the transmission. Although, I don't know if more clutch slip is involved.
  20. Are you sure you really want drilled and slotted rotors? It's not gonna doing anything for a daily driver, and cheapie ones can eventually crack. Plus, drilled and slotted don't go with an SUV crossover.