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About RickC5

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  • Lexus Model
    RX 350
  • Lexus Year
  • Location
    Colorado (CO)
  1. 60K service

    Hey, it's your car. The car is 8 years old, so there's no factory warranty to worry about any more. I would research what service would be performed at 60K miles and decide whether it's a decent value. $600-800 is a bucket of cash to spend is all they do is "inspect" a variety of things. I'm looking at the 30K service for our 2015 and noticed that most of what is done is inspecting stuff. Likely have to get it done to keep the warranty valid though.
  2. The LX and GX are trucks, with a huge amount of ground clearance, low range transfer cases, and plenty of skid plates. The RX is essentially a car platform with AWD, and no skid plates. That said, you need to define what you mean by off-road. If all you intend to do is drive on gravel roads, the RX will perform fine. BUT, should you want to take your RX to Moab, UT and try some of the rocky trails, your RX may get seriously damaged. Lots of BIG rocks, with no undercarriage protection. That's both ends of the spectrum, but you get the idea.
  3. Everything Went Dark?

    Well, IMHO, if Lexus considers this blanking of the display to be a feature, someone in Lexus Engineering needs to be given some serious lessons in customer feedback. This is one of the dumbest things I have ever seen. Again, it should be something that can be changed via customization.
  4. Everything Went Dark?

    Yep, first trip we took using CC in our (new to us) 2010, I set the CC and the screen went dark except for the tiny "set" in the corner. Pushing down (or up?) on the "Enter" button/lever restored my previous display. Most obnoxious, distracting & stupid. Makes me wonder if Lexus engineers ever test or try their designs before releasing them to manufacturing. Seems like a minor firmware fix would correct this problem. Or, use the "customization" feature to give us the option of a dark screen or not.
  5. I would recommend visiting some tire stores that carry several well-known brands of tires and asking them what they would recommend. Also, visit some additional Lexus forms and the Tire Rack reviews. Personally, I prefer Michelins and have used them on multiple vehicles. They have always worn VERY well and have good traction in rain & snowy conditions. I also feel that a light-truck tire, like the Michelin LTX/MS-2 might be a possible option, provided it comes in the appropriate size(s).
  6. Yes, changing to a tire with a higher/taller sidewall will definitely improve the ride of your RX. However, to really get some noticeable improvement, you will need to switch to 18" wheels, or even 17" wheels, as your 19s just won't allow a large enough tire to make much of a difference. Re: the stiffer suspension. We currently own a 2008 ES350, and in a failed attempt to trade it for a 2011 RX 350 recently, we took the RX for a longish test drive. I immediately noticed that the RX suspension was much firmer/stiffer than our ES. But, the flip-side is that the RX handled pretty nicely for a SUV. Not much lean in the corners--compared to the ES--but definitely NOT car-like. It seemed more truck-like to me, but a good-handling truck.
  7. Is It Possible To Upgrade

    While I love Vaistech and their products, you really should contact them by phone to see if they may have developed something that may answer your questions. Otherwise you may be stuck going to some sort of an aftermarket stereo/sound system shop and having them assist you in finding some sort of a solution. Be sure to bring a bucket of money!
  8. I think if you make sure everything (lights, radio, HVAC System, etc.) when you have the ignition in the "on" position (as compared to the ACC position) there will still be some systems that are on, but your chances of draining the battery will be reduced. Not something I would do for very long....
  9. Same thing happens to us. If there's a cheap fix for this, I can't find it. Obviously, you could have Lexus change out the Homelink switches, but hold on to your wallet. This is a common enough failure/complaint that it has been posted on other forums, but I have yet to see a fix posted, like disassemble and lube the switch assembly or something inexpensive. At this point I simply remember that it can occur, and verify that the button has popped back out once I have pressed it. Stupid thing!
  10. UPDATE--May 5, 2012. Shipped the bad XM receiver to VAIS on May 2nd. The new receiver arrived on May 4th. Excellent service from VAIS!!! I immediately installed the new receiver in the ES and after waiting for a "ping" (initialization signal) from XM for over 40 minutes, it is now working fine. I didn't even have to re-program the station buttons in the head unit. The actual remove/replace took less than 15 minutes. XM wanted to charge me $15 to change the service from the broken receiver to the new one. I reminded the person on the phone that the broken receiver was an XM product, and that it failed, necessitating all this extra effort on my part to get a new one & install it. After "consulting with my supervisor", they decided to change the service for free. Well, whoopee! I have my fingers crossed that I won't have to do this again.
  11. To clarify the problem I had with VAIS XM, the XM would not work/play when the car was cold--ever. When the car warmed up, it would usually play fine. Must be a cold solder joint or a cracked circuit board--not my problem. VAIS agreed to replace the XM tuner (part of the VAIS Sat Kit) under warranty if I sent it back to them. The stereo store that originally installed the kit was willing to show me how to remove the head unit, which took maybe 10 minutes. It's not terribly difficult with the right tools. We removed the tuner and I mailed it to VAIS yesterday. On the way home, the radio/stereo didn't work at all. I called VAIS & was told "something got unplugged that shouldn't have been." I used my newly acquired skills to (again) remove the head unit at home & sure enough, one of the big cables was unplugged on the back of the head unit. Plugged it in & now the stereo works again. No XM of course, but I feel totally capable of removing the head unit again when the new XM tuner arrives. No, I didn't take photos. But, you can't remove the head unit without one of those plastic panel pry bars--that's almost an absolute, but I suppose you might succeed with a tape-wrapped screwdriver. Harbor Freight sells a 5-piece set of those pry bars for about $8.00--a great deal. Four panels must be removed and then you can remove the four 10mm bolts that secure the head unit in the dash. Don't drop a bolt as it will disappear into the dark side! Then the entire head unit pulls out to allow access to the cables on the back.
  12. Totally agree! Driving a (loaner) vehicle hard will stress and prematurely age the components MUCH more than the typical owner who has an investment to maintain. Buying a loaner, even a Lexus, is a total crap shoot IMHO. The only reason for doing so is a deal that is too good to believe, in which case it probably shouldn't be believed.
  13. We have the VAIS sat radio kit in our 2008. It works periodically. I've discussed the issue with VAIS tech support to no avail yet. Perhaps I'll drive over to Denver & personally pay them a visit. To be fair, I think the problem is with the XM receiver included with the VAIS box, not the VAIS box itself. Yes, the entire head unit had to be pulled out for the install--no access to the head unit connectors through the glove box. We had a local stereo store do the install due to the need to run the antenna wire all the way to the rear of the car to be mounted on the leading edge of the trunk lid & I just didn't want the aggravation. Hope you have better luck than I have had.
  14. FWIW, here in Colorado, car dealers have state-issued "dealer plates" that they use for customer test drives and loaner cars. This allows dealers to use cars for loaners without registering them. Could be that's what happened with yours--no registration = no CarFax. As a side note, whenever I'm given a loaner, I frequently "drive it like I stole it!" So much fun!!! Hope that didn't happen too many times to yours.
  15. Since I change my own oil & filter, the whole job costs me around $40, using Mobil 1 Synthetic and Wix filters. I bought the Wix filters off eBay for about $4 apiece, and I buy the Mobil 1 at Walmart. I did have to buy a filter wrench from Toyota for $25 so I could properly re-torque the filter cover, but that's a "tool cost" that I didn't include. Also, it's more of a time-consuming job with the odd filter mess, but given the horror stories I have read about over-torquing and stripped plugs, I am happy to spend the time doing it.