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About raleedy

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  • Lexus Model
    RX400h AWD
  1. I voted "no" -- not because of anything having to do with the hybrid drive. I don't like SUV's and wouldn't need one next time.
  2. 1. There are a lot of RX's running around with a bolt or a socket fallen down in the center console (including mine). 2. The quickest way to eliminate the mystique of an expensive car is to take off the trim!
  3. My RX400h is a 2006, new in December 2005. I bought the Vais iPod adapter right away and installed it myself. It worked fine, but the nav system stopped working. The dealer's service department identified the Vais unit as interfering with reception of GPS signals. Vais confessed that some early units had this problem. I removed the unit, shipped it to Vais for reprogramming and re-installed it. Now both the adapter and the Nav system work fine. Nobody "voided" any warranties, no drama. My only complaint is that the Vais adapter requires you to create playlists on iTunes and limits iPod access to the playlists, and these are displayed (at least in the generation of electronics I have) only on the LCD display in the head unit. An ideal iPod integration would include a dock for the iPod and a display giving you the kind of information and control offered by the iPod itself. I have yet to see anything that good for any car.
  4. Both solutions have disadvantages. I have Yakima towers that attach to the factory roof rails; Yakima cross-bars and bike trays. If you have a garage, as you noted, you're at risk of forgetting about the bikes on top, with potential damage to the bikes, the rack, the car and the garage. On the other hand, bikes mounted on the back get dirty, add to vehicle length, restrict hatch access and are exposed to damage from other vehicles. One more note on roof racks: The RX is tall enough that roof-mounted racks are not so easy to reach, especially with a heavy bike. One more note on hitch-mounted racks: while the hitch solution is more expensive in the aggregate, it's a lot easier to install, use and uninstall the hitch-mounted rack than a roof rack.
  5. I never use it. In a car without regenerative braking, engine braking spares the brakes. In the hybrid, it seems like it just reduces the regeneration. So why do it?
  6. I have the Vaistech unit and I'm pretty happy with it. As delivered, it interfered with the Nav system, so I had to pull the unit out and send it back to Vais for a flash update. Now it works fine. There are some limitations: it requires playlists on the iPod, and on the '06 head unit the display is just the radio display. But the head unit controls work and the sound seems fine.
  7. Using dental floss, you could scrape one off a Prius.
  8. I think you'll find the stopping distances a bit longer than on the other cars you mention you've driven. My 400h replaces a 5 series (E39) BMW. I've just had to adjust my driving habits to accommodate. Think of the 400h as a truck. The latest Consumer Reports (came in the mail yesterday) compares the Camry hybrid with other Camries and other mid-size sedans. The Camry hybrid had noticeably longer stopping distances than the other Camry models. I assume this is at least in part because of the regenerative braking system and the complex integration with regular binders. It'll be interesting to see how Toyota deals with this aspect of the GS450h and the LS600h, which are really supposed to be sporty cars.
  9. As I (imagine that I) understand how the hybrid system works, reverse is electric only. If the ICE comes on while you are reversing, it is either because the car is cold or because the battery needs charging. In either case, the ICE is not engaged with or driving the wheels, and the 'thump' felt or heard should be relatively small. I notice it in these circumstances and when it happens it seems to me that the disengaged ICE causes a very small 'lurch', probably as it strains against the engine mounts, with no drive-train resistance to damp the torque action of the ICE.
  10. When I bought my 400h, the salesman said that I would run the risk of voiding my warranty if I installed an aftermarket Ipod hook-up. He actually told me that my warranty could be voided, even if I had the dealership install it. Any truth to this? I guess I wouldn't worry about that. I have the Vaistech adapter -- had it installed by a car audio specialist who was very clear about what responsibility they and the car's manufacturer retained. It's a very satisfactory adaptor and allows the ipod to be run through the ML sound system with digital readouts. (It is necessary to use playlists, though.)
  11. any problem taking this baby through a car wash? (other than, per the user manual, having to remove the antenna) In my experience, antenna removal is unnecessary. Of course, that's just my carwash!
  12. One more suggestion: a handy Lexus accessory is a tray insert for the luggage area -- it has a high enough lip to contain a reasonable amount of liquid spillage or leakage, so it's a reasonable insurance policy at $95 or so.
  13. I don't see how you're going to get an ICE-on (orange) state while braking unless you're pushing both pedals at once, or something is mechanically wrong.