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Everything posted by katabrontes

  1. I have had Green Flag cover provided by my credit card for a long time and have only used it twice. The first time was when out exhaust blew in France and burned a hole in the carpet lining the back of the 4x4. Horrible smell. I phone the helpline who tried to find a nearby garage with the replacement rear exhaust but the nearest was in the South and it would have taken a week to get it sent to a local garage. They then found me a nearby garage who welded the pipe over lunchtime and we were back on the road after a couple of hours. The second was a blowout on a loan car in the New Forest which I didn't spot until we were on the M27 ( after about a mile of rather noisy driving). By the time the breakdown arrived the battery was flat due to the four way flashers being on the whole time. It was raining heavily and the wheel was changed ( skinny) our cases wedged into the back as there wasn't room in the boot for the wheel (MX5) and afternoon a jump start we were on our way again after about an hour. Lucky it wasn't a Smart Motorway. Overall pretty good service. I wouldn't hesitate to use Green Flag.
  2. My 2005 RX 350 SE with60K is probably only worth about £3.5K so I would think you could do better than a 300. The 350 is a much better car than the 300.
  3. I can echo this! I remember having a water pump fail on a Ford Transit based motor caravan in France in about 1978. After topping up a few times to keep going we found a Ford agent in Valence who had the part but could not fit it quickly. They lent me a few spanners and I fitted the new pump on the forecourt. it took about 45 minutes. I don't remember how much it cost but it didn't seem much at the time.Happy days.
  4. Well done. It is worth keeping an eye on the sensor itself and if you find that the light don't move when you load the back of the car it will probably need replacing. It's not expensive to do it and shouldn't take as long as doing the linkage did. Worth filling the plug and socket with silicone grease or Vaseline to keep the contacts dry as a lot or water gets sprayed onto this assembly due to its position under the wheel arch.
  5. If you check the length of the linkage before you remove it you will not need to any setup adjustments when you refit it as long as it's the same length. If it is too badly seized you can buy the linkage alone for about £10 ( there were several old posts about this) and if the sensor is damaged - common as they let in water- you can get a replacement from USA for about £80 including delivery. The replacements are better than the original as the water seals are better. It is a very easy job to do. Easier if you take off the NS rear wheel but remember to prop the car and don't rely on the jack. good luck
  6. Buy a TomTom. Cheaper than the upgrade, sits on the top of the dash closer to your eyeliner and has " lifetime" free upgrades. Also has much better software with live traffic warnings.
  7. How about getting the nuts spot welded to the bolt on the Cat connection. If it or the exhaust need changing it's only a minutes work with an angle grinder to cut the nut off but it would make it slow and noisy to steal it. Maybe a notice on a window alerting thieves or maybe one with "No cat on this car" might be a useful addition as well.
  8. Is the parking brake jammed or did you forget to release it?
  9. The connection to the TomTom sounds interesting. Was the "socket which is not visible" added by the techie or is it already under the dash panel?
  10. We had a smaller tear in the front trim by the glove box when a piece of MDF slipped forward and dug into it. I got a repair kit from eBay for about £10 which had a backing sheet and a mixable filler/ adhesive which could be matched to the colour of the trim. My wife did the repair which, although not invisible is good enough for a 14 year old car which isn't worth a lot now. Until you repair it it is worth fixing it back as well as you can with the clear ( more expensive) sellotape which doesn't yellow or harden so it won't shrink back too much which would make repair difficult.
  11. You might like to look at this link which has covered it pretty well. I bought a 350 (56 plate) about 5 years ago and haven't regretted it. Its a great car. A little more thirsty than the hybrids (I get about 24-28 depending on local or motorway use)(400 is not as good as 450 I think but the differences with the 350 are less than you might expect for a hybrid). Hybrids cost quite a bit more (in UK anyway) and the difference buys quite a lot of petrol. Car tax is higher in UK for the 350 but may not be in Spain which would be a plus in favour of the 350. The FWD is also completely different with the 350 being AWD and the hybrids being front wheel drive on petrol with the 4WD added by a rear wheel drive via the electric motor so it effectively alternates between front and 4WD rather like the Honda . I didn't notice the difference when I drove a 450 recently but others have said that the system isn't as good in snow or mud etc. There are differences in the geometry and suspension between the 350 and the 400H and some think the 350 is better to drive. I haven't driven a 400 so cannot comment on this. Nobody seems to worry much about mileage and many report no problems up to 200K miles. Good luck with your choice. I am sure you will like whichever you choose as they are both very goods cars.
  12. Why not? Its part of the evaluation you need to do to make an informed decision.
  13. I bought a 350 (56 plate) about 5 years ago and it has been trouble free apart form one spark plug coil failing and problems with the sunroof both fixed under the dealers (not Lexus) warranty. The coil was done by Lexus in Bordeaux and the garage paid the bill! (They underwrite their own warranty). I have had a small leak from one of the rear sunroof drains caused by a kink in the pipe inside the trim in the boot. Fixed by inserting a short length of 15mm copper pipe at the bottom (both sides done) which solved it. Also replaced the sensor for the headlight leveling system (bought from USA for about £80 delivered, took me about 20 minutes to fit it). Otherwise nothing apart from service items. I get about 24-28 mpg depending on whether local or motorway use. On the 400 if you are going to lay it up in the summer you will need to do something about the small battery as I understand that these run down over about 2-3 weeks if they are not used. I believe the handling of the 350 is better than the 400 as the suspension and geometry was revised. I am not convinced that the mpg on the hybrids is sufficiently better to justify the extra servicing costs as most seem to have them serviced by Lexus agents although I understand that little or nothing is done to the hybrid system in the services apart form changing the coolant on the inverter occasionally. If the inverter fails (some have been reported on the forum) it is expensive. Battery failures seem to be rare and usually confined to only one or two cells so replacement is not expensive (but potentially dangerous to do yourself). Running costs (fuel & road tax) are a bit more but I suspect that you would pay less for the 350 and you get quite a lot of petrol for the money. When I bought my 350 a 450 of the same age and spec would have cost about £6-8K more. I reckon it costs us about £6-700 a year more than running a hybrid excluding any higher service costs because of using a Lexus agent so over 10 years its on all fours. I haven't regretted my decision.
  14. You may be right. However as moves to electric cars increase the yield from petrol and diesel tax will fall encouraging our new generation "pis squeak" chancellor ( who I hope won't be around for much longer) to plug the gap with a tax hike on LPG as well as a move to put a premium tax on electricity for charging cars. Alternatively fuel tax could be replaced by a mileage tax in which case the differential would all but disappear. All a bit speculative I agree.
  15. PS as I understand it the cost of a map upgrade for a Lexus is about the same, or more, than a new TomTom which has lifetime free upgrades and sits on the top of the fascia closer to your eyeline when driving.
  16. I made this decision last year when I looked at a 2013 450H in a local Lexus dealer. I curently have a 2006 350 which I like very much and has been trouble free since I bought it in 2013. It has done about 60K miles. The swap would have cost about £16K. What would I get for the money ? I have a very nice car which I like a lot and does all that I require. The only significant difference, to me, was the redesign of the door cills which formed part of the door so that as you exit the car you do not scrape your calf on the cill. A small benefit for a substantial sum. True, there would be a small saving on petrol and car tax but you get a lot of petrol for £16K! I decided I could have more fun with the money or " give it to the kids". I doubt I will regret the decision. I will keep the 350 for another few years and then change it for a 2015 (last of the nicer looking front end) with nearly all the other useful upgrades of later versions. I made a similar decision when I bought the 350. A 450 of the same age and condition would have cost about £8K more. The same arguments persuaded me to buy the 350 in spite of the slightly higher running costs ( about £650 a year at my current annual mileage). I haven't regretted it. The recent hike in secondhand values of hybrids, and presumably a corresponding drop in petrol versions, doesn't bother me.
  17. Understood. I wasn't " upset" - a hard thing to achieve. It just booked a bit like a promotional posting. Information is, however, always helpful and valued.
  18. I agree the link is helpful but the general tone of the post is rather alarmist.
  19. Happily my RX350 is ok! I think this post is fake news and should have been moderated.
  20. Hi all Having review the videos posted by Michael (Connoisseur) I tackled this a few days ago once the set of plastic levers had arrived from eBay. A bit tricky to get the surround on the gear lever off but once done the rest was very easy. The upper panel (with cigar lighter) came out very easily after easing the top edge downwards as advised in the video. The bottom two bolts were easy to find and remove and, fortunately, on mine the top two had been replaced by clips so a sharp pull removed the radio. The aerials were both quite firmly in their sockets but I eased them out and twisted them back and forth after pushing them back home. The radio is working well now. It all went back very easily.
  21. Bear in mind the potential increase in premium next year if you claim. There have been some horror stories of premiums increasing by more than 100% even in cases where there has been a " No fault" claim.
  22. Take care over sunroof. Mine didn't work when we bought it and it took the garage that supplied the car over 30 hours of labour plus a few hundred in parts to fix it. The problem was caused by a small plastic part jamming the runner on one side and burning out the motor. They had to remove most of the interior of the car and the whole sunroof and supporting frame to fix it. All covered by the garage. Estimated cost if a Lexus dealer had done it probably more than £3-4K! Make sure you really need a sunroof!
  23. Check the sunroof drains (if you have one). Mine got kinked on one side and I fixed it by replacing a section with 15mm copperpipe just behind the panel at the side of the boot. No problem since.