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About phb10186

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  1. I don't think that makes any real difference, there was vehicle crime in the past (under all successive governments), there is vehicle crime now, and there will be in the future. Criminals set trends, and the police and government have to play catch-up. The sheer number of cats stolen indicate this is a large number of crime operations, perhaps more police resources could help, but very difficult to stop a determined thief taking something that is so easily cut out of the car. At least fitting a universal aftermarket is a legal option, unlike some other countries where you cannot legally deviate from OEM parts Toyota/ Lexus can't do anything either, yes they get business from the theft, but it's not good business - it's a pain for all involved, and it puts a black mark against a future potential Lexus purchase to their customers, and they have already reduced replacements by 40-50%, so to be fair on them, they have acted in some good faith. If you parked a few RXs in a street as a sting operation and just waited, you could easily catch these gangs - i'd say it would take about a day of police resources... wonder if they are doing that yet?
  2. Any deviation from original spec is a modification. Your insurance policy small print will give the details. The implications are also covered in thay small print, and vary between policies. I wouldn't worry about a replacement cat, as long as you can show an email that demonstrates equivalence (I.e. lexus couldn't even supply a replacement part, here is an invoice for a replacement bought as equivalent in good faith)... that should be ok as far as I am aware, but who knows.
  3. That's really useful, thanks for that. After I couldn't find any play in anything, I took the spare wheel out, cleaned everything and put it all back... first time I've done that since I bought it. Tightened the spare as far as it seemed to want to go, and I've not heard that knocking since... but that was only one short drive, trying to replicate it. So, all i can assume is that the spare suddenly came slightly loose somehow... or its chance, or whatever... but for the moment it seems to have gone. I'll monitor this. Noise could well have been just a small knocking of the spare wheel. Both rear bearings look original to me, though one of the rear calipers has been replaced I noted.
  4. Because I believe platinum cats last longer, and are probably better over the projected life of the vehicle from new, say 10-15 years... also think they have a different peak temperature efficiency. I would also hazard a guess that they would take a knock better, you know for all that serious off-roading RXs do. Plus they aren't standard ceramic, they are often fairly expensive metal oxides and silicates, fused to a base metal core vs a platinum coated base metal core. Some of the high performance ceramic cats can easily be more expensive than a typical platinum based one - so the question is really about a generic fairly low quality ceramic cat versus all the other stuff on the market. I suspect the ceramic cat supplied and fitted to my vehicle, and all the other RXs that are not on their original cats are of a fairly mediocre quality, and fitting that type of cat would probably not have the durability of the original equipment part. Move those vehicles on 10-15 years, and the durability question focuses more around remaining life, which is probably more like 5-10 years max, so an entirely different rationale results. Either way, noone is ever going to know the durability or longevity of these because they are not testing the emissions on the 400h... so the main issue would be that a cheapish replacement may just rust away... This issue on a 300 or 350 would be entirely different, as they will be emission checked, so have to conform to the tests applied under Euro 4 or whatever spec it is.
  5. Oh that's not an evidence based reference, so couldn't provide any direct source, but having spoken to various Lexus and catalytic convertor specialists, those were the numbers mentioned in their comments... You'll never have total peace of mind unless you fit genuine parts, so it's a choice to be made.
  6. Lexus Hatfield labour charges as of yesterday were £115 + VAT per hour
  7. So, after the Cat replacement, I just today noticed a creaking from the rear of the car on turning left (and possibly also right)... I got under the car and had a good poke about. First thought it may have been a missing exhaust hanger - possibly from the cat replacement job... but those are all there. Had a good old yank of everything under the car... doesn't seem to be anything obvious. Jacked it up on both rear sides, and there is absolutely no play in either wheel bearing so it would seem. Gave the coils and struts a good look, and those are looking fine too. Noise is definitely from the rear, near side I think, and while turning left... Sounds like something is moving but it's not, I couldn't describe it as knocking or that slight graunch you get with failed bearings. On the straight its completely silent, at all speeds. Only other thing I noticed (but have no reference to another 400), is that the near side rear drive shaft from the hybrid motor had a bit more play than the other side... if you give it a bit of muscle, there is some lateral movement between the centre and the shaft, but with 85k miles, I can't think that's anything other than expected. I also took the spare out, and reassembled ensuring it was tight enough. Does the RX 2 suffer with front or rear bearing failure typically? Have had a look at previous threads, but the symptoms are fairly broad. Its the lack of play that is intriguing Any thoughts?
  8. Edited text to my long post earlier in this topic: 3 cats on Rx400h, not 2 as I thought. "There are 3 cats on the RX400h... The main two are up near the engine, and can't be stolen, the last one is underneath the drivers seat. All are platinum based, and thus have a scrap value. The one under the drivers seat is very vulnerable to theft. I am told the third one (the one that gets stolen) does about 15% of the emissions work, and the main ones that can't be accessed easily does the vast majority of catalytic conversion. In other words, you are looking at the third stage of a 3-stage catalytic converter system."
  9. I'd have a peek underneath and check it for rust... I only looked at my 09 underneath when the cat went, and there is a bit of attention needed on the sill areas and rear rails... surface stuff mostly, but on an early car, it's worth a look. Was surprised at the amount of surface rust under the rx400 - or, perhaps was surprised that I wasn't surprised... same story as the RAV4s... and probably every other Toyota product.
  10. all my used quotes were for the entire exhaust section (as specified by me)... mirroring your thoughts. they tend to be 500-800 used. Anyone quoting for just the cat section should probably be reported. We could possibly be looking at supplier-induced demand!
  11. Fair - that was my decision too, based on the original quote from Lexus. They could steal a genuine replacement part, but you can buy securing locks now, which probably work. No idea where they sell these platinum based cats... I bet they go on containers abroad somewhere... or scrap metal dealers - who knows. Google indicated £40-80 scrap platinum value... which if you look at the cost of platinum means there is about 1-3g of the stuff in there. Aftermarket ones are ceramic, not platinum based - so no value, assuming the thieves know the difference. Cant see any reason why an aftermarket one isn't fine, unless you are in warranty, or specifically have some anxiety about not fitting a more expensive option from Lexus.
  12. Yeah, 5-6K on that mileage... go for it, you wont find many 400h cars with that mileage these days. Air suspension... you can most likely replace the lot with rx400 coils and springs if you ever had to - but don't quote me on the electrical side of things - but it used to be a standard thing done on German cars. They may not even give you any trouble. Thats the best RX colour in my opinion too.
  13. you cant - the pipe diameter to the cat is 60mm, and the one coming out of it is 50mm (or the reverse, I can't remember) - but a standard flexi pipe will not fit. Plus de-cat is not legal, and they don't emission test hybrids anyway.