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About gwgang

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  1. My Scangauge 2 always turns its display off after a few minutes pluged into the RX400h. So it's possible for me to change the display-off setting in Scangauge to correct this? I will try this out. My previously mentioned Interstate battery actually had a bad cell. My Interstate dealer checked it and replaced it under its 2 year warranty. I did bought a compact Lithium battery jumper starter, but the model turns out not suitable for me. It's a Gooloo brand. This model is too smart for its own good. When it detected that car battery is too low or damaged, there is a "boost" button to push so it will supply the power for 30 seconds to jump start the engine. In my case, the boost button did NOTHING! No lights light up, no beeps. Nothing happened. I had to call my boss to give me a jump so that I can drive to the Interstate battery dealer. The Gooloo was used two times previously to start my RX400h, when the car battery is not completely dead. Now that I had a new car battery, I am returning this Gooloo junk to Amazon. I will buy another model that is not so smart. I had seen demonstrations of other models that can start an engine with car battery cables detached from battery.
  2. I thank this thread and Lexus Owner's Club for saving my bacon last night. I purchased a bluetooth OBDII plug to monitor engine fuel trim due to previous intake hose leak. Being lazy, I didn't take off the plug after turning engine off. Baking under the sun and the slow drain on the battery lower the voltage enough that the error message "Shift Into Park to start" and red Brake and VSC light come on. The first time it happens, I was able to start the car after a few tries, so I chalk it up to random computer glitch or a touchy shift position sensor. Two nights later, same error. This time I can't start the car no matter how often I tried. Thank to this thread, I know to call my cousin to give me a jump instead of calling the tow truck. This is not where the story ends. After the jump from my cousin, I was able to turn the car into Ready mode, and the engine is running. I thought that's it, so I thanked my cousin and drove away. After 1/2 mile, warning lights go off, CEL, Hybrid system error. I looked at the nav screen and noted that engine is not charging the hybrid battery, and I am running on electric only. I pulled over onto the side of the highway just as the hybrid battery drain to the last bar. While my wife is panicking and begging for me to buy a new Highlander right next day, I called my cousin back to give me another jump. This time, we let the jump cable stay connected for a good 5 minutes before disconnect. I clear the CEL with that darn Bluetooth OBDII plug, and drove away without further problems. There hasn't been any problems since. My battery is a new Interstate battery installed just 4 months ago, so I know the battery is good. My old Costco brand battery showed corrosion around the positive terminal after 4 years of use. I think the RX400h computer is sensitive to the battery voltage drop. The first jump didn't hold up because it didn't charge the battery to sufficient voltage, so the computer decided not to fire up the ICE to drive or even to replenish the hybrid battery. The engine noise I heard during the first jump may just be engine tried to turn over + Air conditioner compressor running. I may just buy a compact lithium battery jump starter to keep in my car from now on. I didn't keep my old jump cable in the trunk before. Again, my thanks go out to all the people who shared on the internet so others can gain from their knowledge and experiences.
  3. I live in queens borough, NYC. I am surrounded by used car dealerships, body shops and 3 tire shops (one big, two small). The only place I saw torque wrench in use was in Costco and BJ's Club tire shop. They are 10 minute's drive out of my regular commute. I injured my lower back lifting weight back in Junior high school years. The P.E. teacher was terrible. She didn't give any instructions on correct body posture to lift. Just pointed to the bar weight and told us to lift 10 times over head to pass the exam. No training before, ever. My lower back became very stiff if I had to hunch over to do anything for more than 3 minutes. I had been very careful lifting heavy stuff ever since, and I move boxes of wine and liquor every workday without problems. It's all in the correct posture. What's your thoughts on all these big grills on the new models? They are part of the bumper now. I figure minor repair is going to be very expensive compare to the old style on our RX.
  4. My left hip had a bruise that day because I was laying on the cardboard and kept changing my prone position from side to side. I thought my lower back is bad, I didn't realize my arms were getting weak too. I drained 6 quarts, and filled 6 quarts back. My right hand was cut in two places due to that hose clamp. I usually did my own oil changes and tire rotations. I am seriously contemplating buying a cordless impact wrench to take off lug nuts, just to save my back. Local tire store employees can't be trust to rotate my tires because: 1. They support the car with 3 floor jacks, no jack stand; 2. They use the impact wrench like they hated my car. No torque wrench anywhere in the store. I suspect my local mechanic didn't use torque wrench too. They stripped the oil drain hole thread last year, and oil leaked on my driveway. That's the last time I will let them do the oil change, no more "change my oil since I am already here for the state inspection". I am only at the ripe old age of 43.
  5. Do you have a update on this problem? My steering also had noise. It's like two plastic parts are contacting each other. It only noticeable when car is stopped, and you move the steering wheel 1 inch to left. My mechanic told me that the left CV drive shaft need to be replaced due to rust. So it's a little loose play. Not yet a safety issue. If I hear a clunking noise, then I will have it replaced.
  6. License plate bumper cover is a must with the new style grill. It's made of flexible, probably strong polymer. It won't stand a chance when someone back up their car into you.
  7. My original battery on RX400h lasted 6 to 7 years. Then I got a Costco battery($65), which last 3 years with corroded positive terminal clamp. I read up Consumer Report, and bought an Interstate battery($120). Gel battery are not necessary for RX hybrid because Gel/Glass Absorption Mat batteries are good for deep discharge/recharge. Hybrid car just use the accessory battery to start the car computer and provide power to accessories. It doesn't crank the engine. Always turn the key to On position if you will be idling for more than 3 minutes. The accessory battery will run down very quick. Let the car decided how to use the battery power.
  8. This is an old thread, but I will answer for people asking the question in the future. You need to buy a wiper blade/Arm puller to get the blade off its post. I don't replace the blade. I only buy the blade insert and replace it. Less waste, and less cost. You don't necessarily need to buy the specific length insert. Get a longer insert if it's cheaper, and trim the end off.
  9. I was shocked when I found that the 5000 mile service at the dealership cost $280. I was in for a check engine light, and the computer screen on service advisor's desk is promoting 10% off on $280 oil change/inspection. I remembered that 6 years ago, it was more like $120, which is already double the price of local mechanics.
  10. I discovered Denso brand cabin filter at The filter material looks exact like the OEM one, except the foam strip around the filter is a different color. It's a more "breathable" filter compare to other cheaper filters I had tried. It's electrostatic filter material.
  11. I just done the oil change for the CVT and rear differential. Suffice to say, I am getting too old for this. I had done it years ago at around 90,000 mile, and I should have remembered what a pain in the neck it was. Problem 1: My oil pan is not big enough/or I wasn't smart enough to position it perfectly to anticipate the trajectory of the oil . 1/2 quart was spilled on the cardboard. Good thing I had plenty of old cloth right there to soak it up. Problem 2: CVT oil gushing out of the fill hole. Funny, I didn't know how I could have overfilled by 1/2 quart. My jacking technique was the same: Front tires on the Rhino ramp. Maybe last time I did it when the oil is cold? Problem 3: It's 90 degree outside, I am wearing a flight suit overall. Swear all over. Hand too oily to grab a water bottle. Problem 4: The hand pump. OOOOHHHHH the hand pump. Plews brand hand pump, 4 cc at a time. Why am I doing this again, why? The pump doesn't fit the Toyota oil bottle, the hose clamp poke at your fingers. I throw away the same pump last time, why was I expecting it to be any better? I almost had a heat stroke today. Never will I go through this again. I am getting too old for this.
  12. Did the water leak into the trunk? If not, no worry. There are molding between the light and the trunk opening. Water from up on the lift gate spoiler will drain around the trunk rubber seals, then under that plastic molding. Sometime when you manually open the lift gate too fast, some water will drip into the trunk too. Nothing you can do except to open it slowly when it's very wet outside.
  13. So I did a A/C refrigerant recharge today, and want to share some lessons learned. My A/C is blowing cool air, but it can't keep up when it's 90 degree outside. I want to add some refrigerant to see if there are any improvements. Before I go any further, I must warn you: if you didn't change oil yourself, or if you are very environmentally conscious, don't do this yourself. Take it to a mechanic and tell him about special caution for hybrid A/C system. 1. Hybrid vehicle need pure r134a refrigerant, or a refrigerant designated for hybrid vehicle use because the lubricant oil used is special hi-dielectric oil. Don't ever use oil for conventional vehicle. I bought A/C Pro HYB-134A R134a refrigerant refill, 10 oz size, containing 0.5 oz oil. If your vehicle still blow cool air, then 1 can is more than enough. 2. You need a A/C charging hose with gauge. Make sure the hose is long enough. RX400H need a 24 inch long hose. 3. Wear a latex or thin glove, ideally with long sleeve to protect your forearm from hot engine support brackets. An old long sleeve shirt works for me. 4. Turn car on, turn A/C on using the climate control, not the Auto setting button. Set temperature to Max Cool. Auto setting may or may not cut off compressor when cooling, so don't chance it. Turn the windows down. 5. Connect the hose to the low pressure port, following the instruction provided by the hose packaging. Make sure the valve for the refrigerant can side is closed. 6. Check the low pressure side pressure according to the temperature/pressure chart provided on the hose packaging. 7. If you need to add refrigerant, shake the can well, and retract the valve's piercing pin back, so that you can screw on the can to the valve tight. Turn valve clock wise all the way to pierce the seal. 8. Keep the can upright. Open the valve by turning the handle counter-clockwise. The refrigerant will turn into gas and be sucked into the A/C system. Shake the can, and every 2-3 second, turn the can to 3 o'clock position to drain some of the oil into the system. 9. Very Important: turn the valve off every 10 second to check the system pressure. Wait a few second to see the system pressure. When it's almost done, the pressure at the end will shot up very quickly, and lead to overfill. Take it slow and spend your time checking the pressure with the valve closed. 10. When the desired system pressure is achieved, turn the valve off completely. Don't try to get to the high end of the recommended pressure range. Remove the connector from low pressure port. Replace the dust cover onto the port. 11. If you overfill the system, STOP. The compressor will cycle on, then shut off due to cutoff switch in the system. You should do the right thing, turn off A/C, and drive to a mechanic to drain a little refrigerant out. There are advice on the internet on how to do this by inserting a long philips head screw driver into the port, depress the valve stem to release refrigerant. This is illegal because R134A is a greenhouse gas, even though not as bad as R12. The valve on the low pressure port is just like your tire valve stem. You depress the center to let the air out. Note: The gauge for the recharge hose is not as good as the ones used by mechanics. It also don't have a good trigger valve, so this doesn't work as easily as the all-in-one system designed for conventional vehicle that you can buy in the auto parts store. Don't ever use those kits because it will contaminate the hybrid A/C system with oils that will conduct electricity. The refrigerant I used claim to seal leaks too, and it works by conditioning the rubber seals, not by plugging up the seals with goo. People who had used it claim it worked on slow leaks over time. It's 90 degree outside today, and my car's A/C provides a cooler breeze than before. It's not super cold from the vent, but I heard that the system on RX400h always blends some warm air with the cold.
  14. It's the rear struts. Struts fail gradually, and there are different sized valves inside the strut. The small ones control small up and downs, and they fail first. Your tires are slapping the ground too hard, thus the thumping noise.