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Everything posted by katabrontes

  1. Having looked at a few other posts on this topic since it appears that as cats are stolen by cutting them out with an angle grinder it is hard to see how any type of cat guard would prevent this. Looks to me like a solution to a problem that doesn't exist ( ie stopping removal of the cat with a spanner)
  2. Hi Peter Having had the same problem myself just after we bought our 2006 RX300 I feel for you.I suggest you leave it as it is as long as it is closed securely. We had a similar problem and, fortunately, it was fixed by the seller under warranty. As I recall they told me it it took about 23 hours of labour plus the parts. Probably more than your car is worth. To remove the roof it is necessary to remove the linings (which means starting at the bottom!) and the side airbags as well as most of the inside of the car. I think the motor itself was about £350 but the runners etc probably a bit less. I wouldn't consider second hand items for this as if they broke again you would not be happy! I have attached a few depressing photos of the car halfway through. Mike
  3. I would definitely choose a 350. Mine is the 2006 350SE with coil spring suspension and sunroof. It's a better spec and has better suspensions and handling. It's more thirsty, but not much, and the road fund licence is expensive but mine has been very reliable and apart from a failed spark plug coil soon after I bought it and a problem with the sun roof both of which were fixed under warranty ( by the dealer not Lexus). It has been serviced by my local garage ever since I bought it in 2013. I bought it at 28K and it has now done about 60K. We use it in France every summer, so quite a lot of motorway driving each way, and in UK otherwise. Best mpg we got was about 28 on the French motorways and about 24-25 otherwise. Nothing has broken which we have had it. Lovely car to drive and very comfy. Massive boot with the seats down and regular loaded to the gunwales when we go to France. I haven't driven a 400. I suspect a 350 will be cheaper than a hybrid of similar age ( about £8k less than a 450 of the same age when I bought this one). You get a lot of petrol for £8K! Also I think the 400 has a cam belt which needs changing ( expensive) whereas the 350 ( and 450) has a chain which doesn't need changing.
  4. Unless the model,you imported has asymmetric headlights the MoT test station is ill informed. My UK RX350 has " straight ahead" dipping as the main beam and dipped beams are derived from different light sources. Thus when dipped the main beam is simply switched off temporarily. It is possible that the AFS on your car is biassed towards the right in which case it would fail. Solve this by turning off the AFS (hard to find button on the lover dash moulding - check handbook). Otherwise I fear it would be expensive as the whole AFS system might need to be changed to bias it to the left for UK driving. i don't use deflectors when in France and there is a posting about this on my posts including a letter form Lexus UK in both English and French which you can use if necessary. suggest you go back to the MoT test station and explain the situation to them with the assistance of the letter from Lexus.
  5. Try LV direct. I got my last renewal with them, half the cost of Aviva and includes 12 months European cover.
  6. I had this problem with my RX350. It was caused by a kink in the tube inside the trim panel at the side of the boot. I fixed it by replacing the last 10cm or so with a piece of copper tubing and have had no more problems since. I think I posted some pictures of this previously which you can probably find in my earlier posts.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Is the parking brake jammed or did you forget to release it?
  15. 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?
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Why not? Its part of the evaluation you need to do to make an informed decision.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.