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wwest

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Everything posted by wwest

  1. I would sincerely appreciate it if the "powers that be" would now go ahead and ban me, so there is no "temptation", permanently from the LOC. Please. Enough is enough. My current password is: c210 Anyone, other than moderators, who feels I should not be allowed to post at LOC.....
  2. IMNSHO the GS450h is 'WAY over-powered and a horrible prostitution of the use of the HSD concept. I am normally an advocate of RWD (as opposed to the "other" choice) but it seems to me that the absolutely STELLAR level of low-end torque provided by the GS450h's electrics would be really hard to tame absent a very quick reacting TC, Traction Control, system. So be prepared to either switch TC off or spend a lot of time "feathering" the throttle in attempting, I suspect mostly unsuccessfully, to defeat TC. I also consider the RX400h just another prostitution of the HSD concept, TOO much power, unwarranted power, for the platform. So I would recommend(***) the RX400h F/AWD model even though it is mostly FWD, and even with F/AWD remains most definitely FWD biased, be a better choice for adverse wintertime roadbed conditions. Should you go ahead with a GS450h purchase I would recommend NEVER traveling without tire chains on board in the wintertime and not hesitating even briefly to install them when encountering adverse roadbed conditions. With the GS450h's dramatically HIGH level of low end engine/drive torque, even with a good, even excellent, set of winter treads the onset of wheelspin (even considering a "snow" mode, engine/electrics "derating" activation) will often be so quick and sudden you will be forced to have TC active at all times. *** The RX400h can only have tire chains installed on the front. Raising the potential, by Lexus own admission, for loss of directional control substantially. Adding 1.5 inch wheel spacers at the rear will allow the use of most types of tire chains at the rear first, SAFELY, and a second set at the front if the need should arise. I added 1.5" wheel spacers, 17X8 wheels, and wider tread tires all around on my 2001 F/AWD RX300. Slightly wider "stance" improves stability overall.
  3. If your's is a '99 or '00 RX300 with 140,000 miles and the transaxle hasn't yet been overhauled then be prepared to shell out ~$4500.00, if not now then soon..... '01 to '03 RX300 then only "soon".
  4. Given the history, forum posting history, for the 2001 RX300 if mine had that kind of mileage I'd be overhauling the transaxle. Have you checked the ATF fill level or condition..?? ATF should be mostly clear/transparent and light pink in color. With the ignition switched on but no engine start make sure all the instrument panel diagnostic lights/icons illuminate.
  5. Personally I'm ignoring the 15k "rule" in favor of just watching out for a change in the ATF condition, appearance and odor/smell. At only ~40,000 miles mine was dark and smelled burned. I'm now at 70,000 miles and the ATF doesn't yet quite meet my drain and refill criteria.
  6. In the early models you had to use a small object, say a flat blade screwdriver and press down really hard on the shift lock release if the brake light circuit solenoid doesn't release it automatically.
  7. I my experience you seem to be describing normal, perfectly normal LS HVAC operation. The OAT, Outside Air Temperature, Sensor is in the HVAC control loop. With it already fairly warm outside the system isn't very likely to provide really warm (discomforting for many of us.) airflow. Except, as you noted, at EXTREME settings in relation to the (already warm, warmish) temperature of the incomng FRESH airflow. And then if the sun was shining brightly (it does that in the evening a lot during our long summer days) the HVAC's solar radiation sensor will even be in the act to "tone down" the level of system "heating".
  8. "without burning as much gas as a normal luxury car." Maybe my '92 LS400 isn't "normal" but with only 248HP it gets ~25 MPG hwy and has all the "luxury" appointments and conveniences I could wish or want for. I owned a MY 2000 GS300 for a year or so and found it just as luxurious and "fun" to drive as most any car in that class. Can you imagine the STELLAR FE that could be achieved by limiting the GSh's HP/torque equivalence to, say, 300..?? Or given the size/weight in relation to my 248HP LS400 why not a GS250h...?? Just what additional "thrill" do you get with a GS450h that you wouldn't have with a GS250h were it available...?? As you may have already noted "this" is a little like the "pot calling the kettle BLACK".. But my '01 911/996 C4 was "purpose purchased", and that was NOT as a daily driver. It has just reached 20,000 miles and that includes 2500 miles on the Autobahn and two trips from the east coast to Seattle. But then while it is race track "qualified" it still gets ~25 MPG. Can you tell us, would you mind telling us, the mixed and overall MPG for the GS450h..??
  9. The only "light" you should be interested in, focussed on, initially, is the CEL, all the others are simply defaults with the CEL on. The VSC "alone" could very well be the result of a stearing system misalignment from the manhole cover. If the stearing wheel isn't centered when the vehicle is going straight forward..... And a "weak" battery can/will most definitely result in random faults "popping" up, sometimes many all simultaneously. With the first sign of that kind I almost always swap in a battery from one of our other vehicles and if that solves the problem it time for a trip to Costco....
  10. Was this intended to be "addressing" me...?? "evap is the reciever drier..." This statement "loses" me completely.
  11. According to EPRI the OVERALL efficiency of the US commercial power grid is only about 40% The availability of nuclear power generation will not change that aspect, only a reduction in the emissions level. More accurately stated, a reduction in atmospheric emissions in trade for an increase in radioactive material storage and disposal problems. I think we'll see a move to CNG powered vehicles long before electric only.
  12. While the Toyota HSD system is fully optimized, FULLY optimized, for use/driving in city stop and go traffic, that is often not the case for freeway use/driving. Absent the ability for the use of regen capability to recover energy otherwise lost to heat there is little reason to optimize the HSD system for freeway use, it will always come out slightly on the negative side when compared to non-hybrid vehicles of roughly overall equivalence. Even simply cruisng along on a level roadbed at a relatively constant speed the CVT's electric motor(s) must remain powered, consuming power, althought the ICE is running continuously and IS the main driving force. Absent this uniqueness of the CVT the ICE could be the ONLY driving force for freeway use and therefore the hybrid battery would not have need to be recharged at all. It appears that our prius "waits", intentionally waits (in hopes a regen capability/opportunity arises..??), to begin using the ICE to recharge the hybrid battery until the charge level gets fairly low. About 5 charge cycles between Seattle and Portland, 175 miles or so, seems to be the norm. IMMHO the HSD system should have a mode switch so I can "tell" it that for the next "n" miles there will be no likelihood of/for regen opportunity. Only then could the system be more fully optimized for freeway use.
  13. No, the GS450h, as is the LS600h, and to a lesser extend the RXh and HH, or an absolute ABUSE of hybrid technology insofar as global warming consciousness is concerned. "..Ultimate in cool.." Not by my standards.
  14. Absent having accured in excess of 150,000 I will not consider replacing the timing belt in my '01 AWD RX300. The timing belt that was removed from my '92 LS at 153,000 miles looked as if it was ready for the NEXT 150,000 miles. And the issue of replacing the water pump is nothing more than an "old wives tale". Long ago water pumps often failed due to failure of the internal seal protecting the "nose" bearing, the ONLY bearing, from failure due to coolant getting into it. To help prevent that all water pumps have a "weep" hole/opening so the small amounts of coolant getting past the seal can simply drain away onto the street. Basically the improvement in those seals over the years has resulted in such a low water pump failure rate that replacing them as a preventative maintainance measure is a waste. I have to agree with you on both counts. I am sure my timing belt would have gone at least double what I had it replaced at. But Toyota had a coupon for about $320 and it was in the Lexus manual as required maintenance , so I caved in. But then again torqueing drive shaft bolts are also in the manual and who does that. At least Toyota was up front with me when I enquired about water pump and idler. I pretty much got the same answer from 2 Toyota service writers and 2 Toyota techs: "We see a lot of these engines and the WP and idler do not fail". They do however check them when replacing the TB. I bet a Lexus tech would have a different answer. Lexus techs are most likely on a more agressive comp plan. Maybe not. The Lexus fleet, "installed base", is a lot lower that that of Toyota, a whole LOT lower, and the FLEET is undoubtedly a lot more reliable. So getting a broken Lexus into the shop at a dealer is like getting candy on an ordinary, non-special, day.
  15. " i dumped a bunch of injector cleaner.." A BUNCH...??!! At 178,000 miles the catalyst might have very well been on its last "legs" and the BUNCH of injector cleaner may have very well pushed it over the edge. It is not at all unusual at high mileage for the honeycomb structure of the catalyst to break apart and and begin clogging the exhaust outflow. It is HOWEVER pretty unusual for both to fail simultaneously. What do the directions on the injector cleaner container say about this possibility...??
  16. Are you by any chance "coming" from a FWD or F/AWD "previous" car..?? Because of the additional safety aspects(***) of RWD or R/AWD it is not at all unusual for these to have a much more pronounced level of engine braking. ***If road conditions are such (snow..., ICE...!!) that a given level of engine compression braking would/might result in wheel lockup this can potentially be more life threatening in a FWD or F/AWD as opposed to RWD or R/AWD. Whereas with RWD or R/AWD, the effects of engine compression braking occurs, or occurs primarily (R/AWD), at the rear wheels and thus you still have directional, stearing control/correction, available. So it is not at all unusual in my experience to encounter a significantly higher level of engine compression braking on a RWD platform vs FWD, given otherwise equal aspects, weight, etc. You might also want to check and make sure your brake lights are not on constantly. Your LS will ALWAYS unlock the torque converter the instant you touch the brakes (illuminate the brake lights) regardless of road speed.
  17. For some reason the factory selected/supplied/dealer parts bulbs for these corner lights have a very short life time, even the closely equivalent ones you can purchase at radio shack. My guess is that to much heat is being generated for the packaging. I finally gave up and use a LED replacement that is not quite as bright and has only a slight bluish tint.
  18. Absent having accured in excess of 150,000 I will not consider replacing the timing belt in my '01 AWD RX300. The timing belt that was removed from my '92 LS at 153,000 miles looked as if it was ready for the NEXT 150,000 miles. And the issue of replacing the water pump is nothing more than an "old wives tale". Long ago water pumps often failed due to failure of the internal seal protecting the "nose" bearing, the ONLY bearing, from failure due to coolant getting into it. To help prevent that all water pumps have a "weep" hole/opening so the small amounts of coolant getting past the seal can simply drain away onto the street. Basically the improvement in those seals over the years has resulted in such a low water pump failure rate that replacing them as a preventative maintainance measure is a waste.
  19. My '92 LS400, even when new, would end up with exhaust fumes in the cabin with just applying enough extra power for a small incline. I finally discovered that using recirc mode was the culprit. If you switch to FRESH mode you will end up FORCING airflow out of the outlet flow ducts, cabin airflow exhauster ducts, in the trunk at the bottom of the rear quarter panels. For some reason, I suspect aerodynamics, you can get reverse exhaust flow through these ducts in the circumstances you describe. My LS has a exhauster duct in each side and each has a lightweight rubber "flap" valve to prevent, mostly prevent reverse airflow. At 176,000 miles yours may have lost that ability.
  20. Your LS uses an EPR valve to more closely regulate the boiling, evaporative rate, of the refrigerant and also to "quiet" the refrigerant evaporative process, less "noise" in the passenger cabin. Most automotive A/C systems have the evaporator outlet completely open to the compressor inlet. Your LS has an EPR valve mounted right at the firewall. Be aware that with an EPR the low pressure in the compressor inlet line is often NOT at the same low pressure level as the evaporator outlet, outflow. To get these pressures close enough to equal to get the guage pressure measurement system to "work" the EPR must be FULLY OPEN. To do that the evaporator cooling load must be as high as possible, HIGH blower, LOW temperature setting, FRESH intake, windows down and/or doors wide open.
  21. Yes, I have been tempted to refer to "it" as a "lurch" forward but the best decription is a "feeling as if being bumped slightly from behind."
  22. You can see, watch, the blend door position, positioning, cycling, via watching the movement of the coolant control valve in the engine compartment at the top center of the firewall. There is a push/pull cable that comes through the firewall, non-visible end is attached to the blend vane/door servomotor. I always remove the push/pull cable from the HOT water flow control valve during the summer and tie-wrap the water flow valve TIGHTLY shut.
  23. That "surge" you get just before coming to a stop may very well one day save your life. On a FWD or F/AWD vehicle it is potentially life-threatening to have a significant level of braking, engine compression braking or regen braking, should the roadbed traction be questionable. Ford now has a US patent that addresses this issue in their hybrids. Ford reduces the level of regenerative braking significnatly as/when the OAT approaches/reaches freezing levels. Additionally regenerative braking is disabled completely the instant ABS detects impending lockup during actual braking. I wouldn't be very surprised at all if this is one of the cross-license issues and so, as a safety measure, Toyota/Lexus HSD vehicles are likely to do the same. thing
  24. I can't help you with wiring but how about some FREE towing advice..?? There is a design flaw in your transaxle that might result in premature failure if you plan to tow something over 500-1000 lbs, and even that in hilly terrain or with a heavy cabin load in addition. With the advent of the RX330 Lexus adopted DBW to "protect the drive train" due to the design flaw.
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