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Just to clarify that the car has niggles rather than its owner! Although the case is arguable, i'm sure...

Good evening,

My partner and I have very recently changed our daily car to a 2007 RX 400h SE, it has 105000 miles and almost a full service history, with the 100k service done at a Lexus dealer at the end of 2018. It's great! It's quiet, comfortable and quick when required - a very welcome change from the previous Kia Venga 1,4CRDI, and although it is an older and higher mileage car, it is pretty much better in every way (except fuel consumption, i'm sure!).

The car is in very good condition, it was on the cheaper end of the market and the test drive went beautifully. hence we bought it. However, there are a couple of niggles i'd like to sort, and hopefully get some advice on from the resident sages on here! I'm by no means a mechanic but have fiddled with classics and usually service our vehicles, so if the work is DIYable to the lazy and questionably capable then i'd have a go!

Firstly, there is a definitely audible whine at light throttle that increases pitch with speed, it goes away when coasting and I don't think it's present at medium/full throttle. It also disappears in neutral, (but that is effectively coasting). Im quite sure it can be felt through the steering wheel and souynds/feels like it's from the front (but I know these things can be deceptive), here's hoping it's a wheel bearing and not a gearbox issue! I think the gearbox was serviced with the 100k service back in 2018, but haven't checked for leaks or fluid levels. At first I thought it was just a hybrid noise, but I think it is too intrusive.

Secondly, and I haven't experienced this as it seems to only occur from cold, there is a jerking feel to the car in the first couple of minutes of driving, not a vibration, more like a rythmic jerk, or clunk. There was an advisory on the last 2 MOTs that the offside rear ARB pin/bush was worn but not resulting in excessive movement, I plan to resolve this advisory anyway but could this be releated? Or perhaps a more sinister drivetrain/gearbox issue.

Perhaps worth noting, one of the rear tyres is new and the bordering illegal, heavens knows why they weren't replaced as a pair! At the beginning of 2019 it also had a hybrid health check, which it passed.

I would very much appreciate your thoughts on these points, and general 400h comments! Being new to the fold it will take a little while to get to know the car, it's features and foibles, there are many after all! I thought the car was an SE-L, however this is registered as an SE, but has DVD screens in the seats and a sunroof. I will see if I can get a photo of it, the advert ones were not great and it's so dark all the time just now.

Tom.

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If you bought from a dealer take it back under warranty for them to sort!

I would say get the gearbox oil changed and go from there, also check the gearbox mount. Then get it on a ramp and check for play in bushes etc.

I doubt unless asked for a gearbox drain/refill, if Lexus would of done it. Also check brakes for sticking.

James.

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The oddly worn tyres could be a factor. Not having 4 even tyres can have wheels rotating at slightly different speeds and wind up parts of the drivetrain enough to push gears into each other and cause mild vibration or gear noise like a sight whine. Not an easy thing to check though unless you're prepared to go to the expense of fitting 4 identical tyres. .

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1 hour ago, JamesIS220 said:

If you bought from a dealer take it back under warranty for them to sort!

I would say get the gearbox oil changed and go from there, also check the gearbox mount. Then get it on a ramp and check for play in bushes etc.

I doubt unless asked for a gearbox drain/refill, if Lexus would of done it. Also check brakes for sticking.

James.

Welcome Tom.

I agree with the first line of James` response to you.

If you did buy from a Dealer , Do not however, follow his advice in his next paragraph,,,,,,, lest the Dealer  disowns the car claiming that you have done something that has caused your niggle(s).

If you bought the car privately, then take it to your Lexus Dealer and obtain a quotation for remedying such problems as they find. Then report back to the Forum with the findings so that we can advise you further.

Good luck.

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Regarding tyres, my first RX suffered from a worn wheel bearing type noise. Dunlop  Sport Maxx tyres wear in a strange way and are known to cause this sort of whine. They were on the rear of my car and changing them cured the noise. 

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I would be thinking gearbox or diff if you can feel something and you have 'jerking', and the whine goes away in neutral.

On the other hand the feeling could be just tyre wear.

Wondering if it could be water pump whining away?

 

My experience of Gearbox Oil is that it can get pretty dirty, and smelly and the transmission does not whine, but it you have low oil in the gear box, that is not a good thing.

 

I used Automatic Transmissions of Gloucester to do a proper oil replace at 130,000 miles, and they seem to know their Lexus and Jag gearboxes.   (their Google Reviews are variable), but I found them to be professional.

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Thanks for the replies and thoughts everyone, I will look into the diff and CVT oil at the weekend. As mentioned, I have a feeling it had a lot of servicing done in 2018 for the 10 year/100k main dealer service - including the gearbox oil, but will check. It's a shame there isn't a gearbox dipstick like conventional automatics.

I have read around about the gearbox oil, am I right in thinking that the dealers put more in than the position of the fill hole allows, necessitating ramps at the front to get the extra bit in?

Could the issues be brake related? Again in 2018, it had both rear calipers replaced with reconditioned units due to binding/sticking sliders. I noticed that moving off after releasing the handbrake yesterday, the rear brakes stuck on, and disengaged with a thunk at about 10 mph. perhaps i'll have the rear wheels off and see if there is an issue here too. Is 18 months a realistic time frame (with city and/or little use) for the rear calipers to start seizing again? The OH didn't notice the jerking this morning, I didn't apply the handbrake when I parked it last night - but it could mean the OH wasn't paying attention rather than it not happening!

Thanks,

Tom

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Could the whine be anything to do with the hybrid regen motors or the like, and therefore normal? I believe I have read other RX400h members on here mention just such a thing. I went to view and test drove a handful of RX400h's a couple of years ago, and I certainly noticed a slight whine which was more noticeable on on some more than on others... perhaps down to state of charge of the hybrid Battery or other variable? 

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Sticking slide pins on the rear callipers are a common problem. Not normally a need to replace the entire callipers  at a not inconsiderable cost---just remove the slide pins, clean and apply some new grease..

If the slide pins are too far gone you can but them off Ebay for a very reasonable price  https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Genuine-Rear-Brake-Caliper-Slide-Pin-47814-48050-Fits-Lexus-RX330-RX350-RX400/273945308834?fits=Car+Make%3ALexus%7CModel%3ARX&epid=1216788949&hash=item3fc869aea2:g:dD0AAOSwD~Fbt3MS

Whilst you are at it probably worthwhile fitting new rubber end caps as well https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/GENUINE-BRAKE-CALIPER-SLIDE-PIN-DUST-BOOT-COVER-TOYOTA-CAMRY-LEXUS-RX-4777541030/293040972438?fits=Car+Make%3ALexus%7CModel%3ARX&epid=1516739201&hash=item443a9a6296:g:Of4AAOSwT6pVoSQS

Hope this helps 

 

 

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Many thanks everyone for your reples, I've had a mooch through the service history and there is no evidence that the gearbox oil has been changed, so i will make that a priority, hopefully this weekend.

I must say, i drove it yesterday and the whine seemed less intrusive than i remember, and also does sound a little like the faint electric motor sound.

I've still yet to drive it from cold, so not sure about this juddering.

How easy is it to replace keys on these? I imagine they need to be registered with the cars electric wizardry? The valet and the spare (now my key apparently!) are both falling to bits which i imagine is quite common.

If the weather is any good this weekend, i may even clean it. Will be good to get acquainted with any imperfections so they can be monitored.

Tom.

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1 hour ago, TomSaintJames said:

How easy is it to replace keys on these? I imagine they need to be registered with the cars electric wizardry? The valet and the spare (now my key apparently!) are both falling to bits which i imagine is quite common.

Lexus will charge you the earth. I bought one of these blanks off ebay (£2.25) and got a local key cutter (they must have a lazer cutting machine) to cut the blade from the old one (£10) You just pop the transponder in from the old key and job done.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3-BUTTON-KEY-FOB-CASE-for-LEXUS-RX400H-SC430-RX300-IS200-300-GS300-short-Blade/283544136765?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

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No offence to Stu above but I wouldn't go with his suggestion because when I did, I couldn't find any local locksmiths and/or key cutters to cut it. They all refused saying their machines had been damaged in the past by these very hard "eBay specials" as they called them.

So I used this guy instead and can highly recommend him.

Still an eBay trader, but he cuts the blank himself from either your key code if you have it, or a photo if you haven't.

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Thanks for the recommendation Herbie, I may well use that seller. It all looks good.

We've been out to walk the dog this morning, there was no juddering that the OH reported, but perhaps a slight wheel bearing rumble. We haven't used the parking brake so perhaps will use it one evening to test the following morning.

What beautiful weather today! Perfect for car cleaning. Unfortunately I have 3 to do if that's the case...

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1 hour ago, Herbie said:

I couldn't find any local locksmiths and/or key cutters to cut it.

Agree, the very local locksmith in our town did some considerable sucking of teeth and told me I'd be lucky to find someone to cut it before pointing me in the direction of the locksmith that did, in my nearest city! So your suggestion does sound a better route.

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On 1/18/2020 at 11:28 AM, Herbie said:

No offence to Stu above but I wouldn't go with his suggestion because when I did, I couldn't find any local locksmiths and/or key cutters to cut it. They all refused saying their machines had been damaged in the past by these very hard "eBay specials" as they called them.

So I used this guy instead and can highly recommend him.

Still an eBay trader, but he cuts the blank himself from either your key code if you have it, or a photo if you haven't.

I used the same person on EBay and had x2 keys sent. All done in 48 hours so these key I use daily now has a solid casing. I just sent him a pic of my key so he cut send the correct one.

 

Jules 

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Thanks for the key recommendations folks, ordered two new ones this morning. The code was partly worn away, but the ebay man (Jim) managed to used the pictures to decipher it.

In other news, this morning was the first time i've experienced the wobbling rythmic jerk as flagged by the OH and mentioned in my first post. We only drove 5 m inutes to walk the dog, so when I got out I had a feel of all the wheels and brake disc hubs. All were cold except the rear passenger rotor, where the noise sounds like its coming from. So I think this is likely to be a sticky caliper that has cooked the wheel bearing, and will get that looked at.

The whine noise seems variable, so will get around to changing the gearbox oil when the old car has gone, and monitor it.

Loving the car after a few weeks of ownership, i've been reading the owners manual (sad, i know...) and am surprised about all the features on these cars, ours also appears to have every additional extra so far encountered, even though it is apparently an 'SE' rather than 'SE-L' model. I haven't yet cleaned it, I really should as it's covered in road salt and muck.

MPG-wise, I take it upto Bristol every Tuesday and have gotten a best journey average of 36.8 mpg (at a consistent 60ish), with mostly motorway and A road travelling, hills seem to kill the mpg way more than speed does. However, the first tank was a mere 26.9 mpg, this was all town driving with a short (3 miles) hilly dual carriagway at 70mph.

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17 minutes ago, TomSaintJames said:

Thanks for the key recommendations folks, ordered two new ones this morning. The code was partly worn away, but the ebay man (Jim) managed to used the pictures to decipher it.

In other news, this morning was the first time i've experienced the wobbling rythmic jerk as flagged by the OH and mentioned in my first post. We only drove 5 m inutes to walk the dog, so when I got out I had a feel of all the wheels and brake disc hubs. All were cold except the rear passenger rotor, where the noise sounds like its coming from. So I think this is likely to be a sticky caliper that has cooked the wheel bearing, and will get that looked at.

The whine noise seems variable, so will get around to changing the gearbox oil when the old car has gone, and monitor it.

Loving the car after a few weeks of ownership, i've been reading the owners manual (sad, i know...) and am surprised about all the features on these cars, ours also appears to have every additional extra so far encountered, even though it is apparently an 'SE' rather than 'SE-L' model. I haven't yet cleaned it, I really should as it's covered in road salt and muck.

MPG-wise, I take it upto Bristol every Tuesday and have gotten a best journey average of 36.8 mpg (at a consistent 60ish), with mostly motorway and A road travelling, hills seem to kill the mpg way more than speed does. However, the first tank was a mere 26.9 mpg, this was all town driving with a short (3 miles) hilly dual carriagway at 70mph.

In my view reading the Handbook and a copy of the current Highway Cope are essential for all owners of cars new to them.

Enjoy the RX Tom.

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Hi Tom. 

Make sure you view the Lexus video on hybrid driving. 

Some good tips for economy there. 

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Will check the video out, thanks olliesgrandad. I've been trying to be light footed in both acceleration and deceleration to maximise the electric motor usage and regen, but every now and then I do need to hear that lovely mellow V6 growl, and the very shortly following shove into the back of the seat 😁

Filled up this evening, second tank in the car done (well, just over three quarters), 309.9 miles and 48.21L. Calculated 29mpg and indicated 30.3, getting better! I'm off on the 150 mile round trip to Bristol again tomorrow so will see how parsimonious I can be on that trip. It was great on the M5 rush hour traffic last week, the batttery did go down to a red-tinged 2 bars though - the lowest i'd seen it! Apart from occasionally charging the Battery, the engine was hardly running at all for a good 30 mins.

Any thougths on whether the cruise control is more or less economical than a human? I used it on and off last week and thought it a little keen on the throttle to maintain speed at times. Of course, I think I can do better.

So far the car seems to have more or less completely won over the OH, who was very skeptical about changing the trusty Kia 1.4 diesel for a long time. It took a test drive to persuade the change, but I think I have scored a win with this RX 🙂 WIll be even better when the niggles are sorted.

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I use the radar cruise on the motorway and find if it is set to 63mph it gives good economy. (realise you haven't got this) I have also been putting the car in eco while mway driving. 

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22 hours ago, olliesgrandad said:

I use the radar cruise on the motorway and find if it is set to 63mph it gives good economy. (realise you haven't got this) I have also been putting the car in eco while mway driving. 

I don't think the 400h has eco mode, nor radar cruise! Does the eco mode rely more on the electric motors then rather than engine?

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The eco mode is certainly on the gen 3 and 4 RX450 h cars and basically the car holds the artificial gears in a high gear longer and gives a gentler rate of acceleration to help economy. 

On gen 3 450s this is controlled by a menu through the steering wheel. 

On gen 4 cars like the GS300h and is300h there is a rotary /push switch on the centre console to select the drive mode. 

Hope my explanation makes some sense 🤔

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Thanks for the explanation Olliesgrandad!

It's been a little while since i've been on here but we've been gradually and more recently, increasingly, losing coolant. Back along it would only require topping up once a week at most and the moor you put your foot down, the more is lost. Originally I though this due to the 'open' coolant system having evaporated and the coolant was just low, however it is now using too much to believe this.

In my researchI stumbled across several posts of people that also have suffered coolant loss, due to a split. cracked or otherwise compromised radiator. So more research commenced and it looked a right fiddly job... As we don;t need the car for a couple of days (the other one is just back from the garage) I removed the radiator today for inspection. It was as fiddly as expected 😒

3 hours in, radiator removed and good news! The radiator is leaking, that hopefully rules out the ever fear-inducing HGF. So i've ordered the most reasonably priced radiator with a warranty (2 years) online for £65, quite pleasantly surprised at the value of this. I was less pleasantly surprised at the expense of the coolant however, £31.50 for 5 litres 😨 and as this system take almost 10L the coolant was only £2 cheaper than the radiator itself, good lord! I'd rather not do this again in a hurry, so I opted for the 'super long life' pink stuff rather than red.

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You can hopefully see that the leaks aren't terrible yet, but I hope this has been caught before anything serious happens. New radiator arrives in the next 2 days, so I'll probably fit it over the weekend, Sunday looks more likely

The below is an excellent how to I found, for those that want to have a go themselves, the worst aprt so far was removing the pair of vertical bolts that hold the radiator into the 'cradle' that runs under this and the other large radiator (can't remember now if it's the A/C or hybrid). WHY, Lexus, WHY! There are holes in the bottom crossmember, but they don't line up with these bolts???

 

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Hi Tom,

You probably know me off the Volvo forums. Volvo Always. I have a 1996 940.

At least you were monitoring levels and caught it before it split and dumped its coolant without you knowing, until too late. At least with older cars the parts are cheap. My 940 LPT rad top stub had cracked, which is common, and I like you fitted a new rad. I went for Nissens and same for Ac condenser. Perfect fit.

I like Lexus as a brand and thought about an IS250 or GS450H but decided on a 2015 Toyota Auris Hybrid as newer, 0 road tax and 50mpg plus.

I liked Lexus build quality of my 2006 IS220D but scrapped it as HG went.

On any vehicle there are issues and once sorted, you'll have a great car.

James.

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Hello James! A small world, even on the world wide web lol. I do remember your thread about the Auris, if I had the funds an estate version could be acceptable, not sure of the looks though.

I'll admit to being a Lexus convert, most things just seem to be so well thoughtout and sensible, not to mention a sight more luxurious than other brands.

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