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About VGR

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  • Lexus Model
    1991 LS400
  1. Toyota has a 40 year track record of building overhead cam engines with long timing chains that don't break. Long before a Toyota chain breaks it will rattle loudly which warns the driver the chain tensioner isn't working anymore and needs to be replaced. Two reasons Toyota is switching to timing chains in its newest engine designs are: 1. All it's engines now have variable valve timing which means the valves and pistons will collide and self destruct if the timing belt breaks. Since chains don't break, this catastropic potential problem can be avoided. 2. Toyota Timing chains are mainte
  2. Sounds like someone installed aftermarket brake pads at some point. Genuine Toyota brake pads are low dust, long wearing and minimize brake rotor wear. You can order them from and for FRONT PADS, RX300 99-03 $49.77 REAR PADS, RX300 99-03 $48.31 You don't pay sales tax so that offsets most of the shipping cost.
  3. I'd use the 90915-YZZB9 Denso's because they are factory quality filters. The latest Denso filter for the ES300 / 330 is the 90915-YZZD1 Horror stories abound on the internet of owners who took risks by using aftermarket oil filters. Here are two examples: Posted by Scotty on June 11, 2005 at 02:54:32: Aloha dudes and duddettes, My gf's 2005 SR5 4Runner V6 engine is all messed up cause I put in a wrong oil filter and she just ran it to the ground. Any case the Toyota dealer wanted $18,000.00 to replace the engine. Is there anywhere els
  4. I don't believe internet forums like this one represent a good cross section of RX owners, because of the hundreds of RX owners that have filled out the Consumer Reports owner surveys, very few have reported engine or transmission problems and most report an excellent level of ownership satisfaction. Based on Consumer Reports and JD Powers owner surveys, the RX300 is indisbutably the most reliable / durable luxury SUV on the market and the SUV with the highest level of owner satisfaction. Check out the April 2005 issue of Consumer Reports if you want to see this data.
  5. Your engine will likely keep on running for a pretty long time, but might get more noisy because the finely polished surfaces on some recriprocating metal parts like the valve lifters could have been scored due to the lack of oil for 5 seconds. It doesn't make any sense to inspect for the damage because the cost to fix it would be about the same or more than the cost of a replacement engine. I wouldn't worry unless engine noises become substantially louder than before the oil starvation incident. You have an Asian car that was designed to be exceptionally reliable and durable if maintained
  6. The RX300 engine and transmission are very durable, but more sensitive to the consquences of maintenance neglect than the LS400 engine and transmission. So when shopping for a used RX300, it is very important to review service records. Buying a "Lexus certified" model is no substitute for personally verifying that oil changes were never extended beyond 5000 miles and that the transmission fluid was changed at least every 30,000 miles. All wheel drive models need even more frequent transmission fluid changes. Some non-mechanically inclined owners wrongly assume that a Toyota that is sensi
  7. Measure the amount of old coolant drained so you'll know exactly how much new coolant is needed. If you don't measure there is a danger you will underfill the system and harm the motor. In a separate container, premix a 50/50 blend of Toyota Long Life Antifreeze and distilled water and add it to both the 17mm coolant filler nut opening above the thermostat housing and to the radiator overflow jar opening.
  8. Toyota antifreeze is red / pinkish. Havoline Dexcool and Prestone Dexcool are orange with a rather radically different chemistry. So you should get rid of all the orange by removing the block drain plugs. Also a good time to change the thermostat and thermostat gasket
  9. Depends on what coolant is currently in the system. If the factory original coolant mixture (50% Toyota Long Life Antifreeze + 50% distilled water) was used by the previous owner at replacement time, then you can just drain the radiator and refill with this same mixture. However, if an aftermarket brand of coolant has been used in the system then yes the two engine block drain plugs must be removed as different brands are not compatible with one another and also aren't compatible with the factory original coolant mixture. Owner failure to use the factory original coolant mixture at repla
  10. There's a long list of OEM stuff that can increase power, gas mileage, engine reliability, durability, smoothness and quietness: 1. New factory original spark plugs, plug wires, distributor rotors and distributor caps. 2. New factory original oxygen sensors. 3. Check and adjust the clearances on the engine's 32 valves 4. Clean the engine's throttle plate(s) 5. New factory original air filter With regard to aftermarket mods, first ask yourself if you really can afford them? Example: Do you have $1000 already set aside to cover items 1 -5 above? $1000 already set aside for when your starte
  11. Any AC Schraeder valve with a BLACK colored cap can be used to charge the refrigerant. Example from an early 1990's LS400 Black colored caps are always low pressure valves. Red colored caps are high pressure valves.
  12. I've only seen 1 in about 20 OEM thermostats that were defective. Most of the time the problem is that owners and their mechanics fail to use the correct factory original replacement thermostat, thermostat gasket and fail to install the thermostat correctly because they jump into do-it-yourself work without consulting the factory repair manual. The early 1990's 3VZ-FE engine takes the Toyota part# 90916-03075 thermostat and #16325-62010 thermostat gasket. The factory manual tells how the thermostat should be installed. Typically the "jiggle" valve on the thermostat needs to be aligned in
  13. You can buy and charge R12 yourself for mere pocket change. Takes about 5 minutes if you know what your're doing because it just like filling a tire with air. Search the AC archives for more details
  14. The ES300 forum is full of early 1990's owner reports of overheating and cooling system related engine failures. Not one report has involved an owner that had used the factory original coolant mixture at replacement time (50% Toyota Long Life Coolant + 50% distilled water). The reason for that is the factory coolant mixture has the capability of keeping the cooling system immaculately clean, free of corrosion and performing like new for many decades. Green coolant cannot do that, not even when mixed with distilled water, although using distilled water will slow the rate of system deteriorat
  15. Different owners will have different opinions on what constitutes good service. For example, I know of one person on this forum who thought it would be great if car repair shops tried to save their customers some money on air conditioning service by: * subsitituting hardware store quality "O"-ring seals in the air conditioning system instead of using genuine Toyota seals. * Not replacing the receiver-drier of the air conditioning system when performing a R12 to R134a refrigerant conversion as is required by the Lexus Factory Repair Manual * Not evacuating the air conditioning system usi
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