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About flybones

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  1. Back on topic, regarding upgrading the NavData for the GPS system, has the latest disk (Nov "08) for the Gen 4 (2006 RX400h) for $199; a previous poster has explained how to install it quite clearly. Personally, I would not use a pirate copy for this or any other purpose.
  2. I don't know how old "vinovelo" is, but I'm 64 and I'm certainly old enough to have driven before power steering was as common--nay, ubiquitous--as it is now. Since I'm the one who drove the car 45 mi. to the dealer, and back home after the failure, "how hard" is very hard. It wasn't much effort as long as the wheel was within 5-10 deg of center but beyond that, especially to the right, it really took all the strength I could muster. The difference, I believe, is that the newer cars were never intended to be driven without PS, partially because these systems are quite reliable. I still don't know what happened to the rack on our car, but it was disabled without functioning PS. I really don't see this as a "kids these days are wimps" situation at all--you know, "in my day we had to walk five miles to school, rain or snow".
  3. I just retrieved our vehicle from the Lexus dealer (Inskip in Warwick, RI). They did, indeed, replace the steering rack which is remarkable for a vehicle which, according to "ultra63" does not have a rack. They told me they did not tear down the rack assembly so they could not report the mechanism of failure. This was the first they had seen. All covered by warranty. It was annoying but the dealer did what they should and I have no complaints.
  4. Yesterday I experienced what seemed to be a sudden, complete power steering failure. The car (2006 RX400h) became very hard to steer, especially to the right. Straight ahead or a few degrees either side was no problem. I did what troubleshooting I could, but there is very little on this subject in the owner's manual. The "PS" warning light was not on, there was no evidence of fluid leakage, and there had been no collision, curb strike or other stress on the steering. I wrestled it to the dealer (45 min away) who expressed amazement that I was able to drive it at all. The technician sad it likely "needed a rack", referring apparently to the rack-and-pinion steering. This car has 22,500 mi, has never been off-road or otherwise abused. They did give me a loaner car, said they'd likely need the car for several days and would call. Thank goodness we're still under warranty. Parenthetically, if this had happened to my wife I don't think she would have been able to control it (64y.o., tiny at 61"). This car has electric power steering, so there is no belt to fail, no fluid reservoir to check, not even a fuse to replace.
  5. Is this cabin air filter what the owner's manual refers to as the "air conditioner filter" when it calls for replacement at 30K miles? I knock the leaves out of the cabin air filter once or twice a year, but is there another one I don't know about?
  6. Thanks! That's just what I needed. I'll see how it looks. Eric
  7. I am interested to know how to access the backup lights. I can see a 10mm nut on the edge of the liftgate, but the light housing seems to be held in by more than just this. Is it necessary to remove the fascia panel inside the liftgate to get at the liftgate-mounted lights? I can see the silver reflector Willi referred to, and it does seem to aim the light up. This is apparently not an LED, according to the bulb list in the owners' manual. Thanks. Eric
  8. Lightweight, portable chocks are a terrific safety item, and I wouldn't be without them. In the light aviation world we all carry them to use when we park because, among other things, you can't "leave it in gear' or Park. Try Sporty's Pilot shop ( which carries 5 different sets of chocks. I like the wood "load-spreader" suggestion as well; I've had a jack sink into my asphalt driveway on a hot day.
  9. I might well be interested. How is the upgrade installed on an "06 with the original database? No offense intended, but are you selling authentic original (i.e. non-pirated) discs?
  10. There was a brief mention of grill block early in this thread. We have used this successfully in our Prius, but only the through-bumper openings look like they can be easily (and attractively) blocked with folded pipe insulation, as we did for the Prius. Is there anyone with experience in this area to report?
  11. I'm new to the forum, but we've had our '06 RX400h since new, now with 24K miles. We had an interesting tire experience with the dealer when purchasing the car. The demo we drove had the OEM Michelins and we were fine with that, but when (some months later) our car was delivered it came with the GY Eagle RS. This tire had very poor owner reviews on Tire Rack and when we pointed this out to the dealer he actually swapped out our tires for Michelins! I thought this was uncommonly accommodating. We have had good service from them here in New England, but run them at significantly hicher pressures than recommended to prevent rounding off the outside corners--currently 40F/36R. What are others using for pressure?