Rabbers

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Everything posted by Rabbers

  1. The 300h's low ground clearance has stopped me using a public underground car-park I previously frequented, the angles at the points of access to flat areas being too acute. Although so slight as to be barely perceptible, scraping occurred towards the rear in the neighbourhood of the exhaust - and this despite a practically empty boot and no passengers in the back seats. As a matter of fact this should not have happened at all, the recommended minimum clearance for vehicles using this particular car-park being posted as 115mm, which might worry the owners of some supercars but not the 300h with its declared 120mm. As regards reversing up steep gradients, I frequently do this in all kinds of weather and on different surfaces and the 300h performs admirably, the engine coming on virtually simultaneously with the first twitch of your right foot upon reverse being selected.
  2. Rabbers

    Pop-Up Hood - Warning

    Some months ago I was filling up at a service station in Germany when another 300h drove up. In the course of the ensuing exchange of pleasantries and congratulations the owners pointed out some barely visible scuff-marks on their hood just above the grille, explaining how they had being queuing at a light when some crazed individual had jumped out of nowhere on to the hood, popping it open, before running off via the roof and boot never to be seen again. The hood still closed and opened well enough, if a little stiffly because of a tiny mis-alignment, but the damage consisting of "something to do with the pedestrian-protection mechanism" together with other connected minor work was going to be repaired by Lexus at a quoted cost of €1800 which, having agreed to a vandalism claim, the insurance company would cover.
  3. Rabbers

    High Milage

    Simon: I don't know about F-Sport White, but keeping my Arctic Pearl clean - or maintaining an acceptable appearance of cleanliness - has not been as much of a problem as I originally thought it could have been. Certainly, streaks along the sides and spots and splashes on the back as well as under the doors and along the door-sills (the tendency to accumulate dirt here being worse than with any other car I have owned) are highly visible after driving on particularly wet and dirty surfaces but, in normal weather/traffic conditions, all that happens is that the film of dirt makes the paintwork look uniformly duller without it immediately becoming as unacceptable to the eye as it might with dark colours.
  4. Rabbers

    Lexus Dealer Not Great.

    Complaints about the services provided by Lexus dealerships have always existed and always will, disappointed customers being a fact of life in any commercial organization. The issue for Lexus is whether the standard of the services provided by dealers continues to be sufficiently high to distinguish the brand from competitors and, secondarily only to the quality of the cars themselves, remain a key factor in attracting prospective customers away from competitors. Having had occasion use Lexus dealerships in five countries over the past fifteen years for both major and minor jobs, my own opinion is that the level of customer service, both technical and commercial, is generally very good. By this I mean that, other than occasionally breaking into a sweat over the cost of spare parts and servicing, I have rarely had cause to complain about what I have asked them to do or the speed and conscientiousness with which they have done it. But, then again, having had no points of comparison with other houses since becoming a Lexus loyalist, I am not really able to judge how accurate my opinion might be. Still, one less frequently hears negative comments, let alone horror stories, about Lexus dealerships than others, and the brand continues to score high in consumer surveys. Certainly, having come to Lexus from BMW, Audi and Lancia, I was originally very impressed and even amazed at the general level of service and the enthusiasm of the staff providing it. These virtues clearly used to derive from an underdogs-try-harder David v. Goliath-type motivational scenario, and if they have become somewhat less noticeable over the years - and I regret to say this may well be the case - it is because the scenario has grown less credible and the commercial pressures greater. Or maybe I have become grumpier with age.
  5. I think the dashboard clock with an analogue dial was a slightly retro design choice inspired by equivalents on many high-end cars past and present. A digital lcd clock like that on the previous IS was probably felt to give an excessively "Japanese" and too cheap an impression. The only problem I have with the analogue, which I otherwise like well enough, regards the shininess of its components, which can make the time difficult to read in direct sunlight.
  6. Rabbers

    High Milage

    Clocked 33000km (=21000 miles) since September 2013. Pride and pleasure of ownership are undiminished, and maybe 10-15% of total km have been done for no other purpose than the sheer pleasure of taking the car out for a spin.
  7. Agreed that the projectors are both attractive and inexpensive. I was worried they might be a little naff, but they are not. That they are an alternative to illuminated scuff-plates regrettably not fitted as standard on top-spec 300h models as they were on the previous-generation 250 is true but only insofar as it is not likely that anyone would want to have both the projectors and the plates together. While on the subject of illuminated scuff-plates, I can record that what must have been a very small number of early European imports of lhd 300h's had them. When I bought my 300h in Italy in September 2013, the dealer was as surprised as I was when I pointed out their absence (along with the rear-window sunscreen and passenger seat-memory) in respect of the 250 I was trading in. Swearing that another 300h he had recently sold had illuminated plates, he phoned the customer, who duly confirmed their presence - as did a colleague dealer in Switzerland who went and checked a 300h in his showroom. We then called the Lexus regional manager, who was frankly as mystified as we were but offered the speculative explanation that some production batches may have "slipped through" without the illuminated plates and, were this to be the case, initially suggested I could ask for them to be fitted free-of-charge. Of course, we immediately checked the published specifications and promotional literature, and, to our disappointment, found no mention of the illuminated plates (which, some months later, appeared in the list of accessories at the exorbitant price of nearly €400). To cut a long story short, it appears that some early runs of the 300h were produced not without illuminated plates but with them, the result being that there are a small number of 2013 models on European roads with illuminated plates and their owners probably unaware of how lucky they were to get them. Whether this also happened with any rhd examples sold in the U.K. I don't know.
  8. Rabbers

    My Lexus Advert

    Adam, Sorry to pry, but did Lexus throw you some kind of economic sweetener for your valuable services? No need to answer if you don't want to!
  9. Geoff, The ones described on your link look to be identical to mine. However, mine were eBay Item number 191435078217. If you Google this number you should get the relative link to, probably, ebay.com and not ...co.uk, which may not share the same numbers for the same items.
  10. Damn!! Shop is closed, the seller is away on holiday!!!! Geoff, Not to worry. Bought mine, apparently exactly the same product, also on eBay, for US$29.95 from another supplier called TOP AUTO ACCESSORY. This supplier calls the item LEXUS LED LOGO LIGHT GHOST SHADOW PROJECTOR CAR DOOR COURTESY LASER IS 2006 2014.
  11. Has anybody figured out just how badly the 300h's petrol consumption is affected by cold weather? This past month my car has been parked in the open with night temperatures having reached around -10°C before rising to 3-5°C by the time I am ready to drive off in the morning. Some- times I scrape ice off the windscreen but usually prefer to let the from fan/demister melt most of it before I turn on the wipers. I also always turn on the rear window/side.mirrors defroster and sometimes the seat heating, and, since I usually forget to previously switch it off, the audio comes on - as do the auto headlights. So, by the time I move off, the car has been idling for at least 3-4 minutes with most of the electricals consuming power, and I know that this is a bad thing. And yet, while I believe that my fuel consumption since summer/autumn has increased, this is more of a strong suspicion than a quantifiable fact. Can it be that my trips with a cold engine are customarily not short and that I am lucky to be able to drive gently and steadily for the first 12-13km from home before joining major roads with the engine nicely warmed up, the viscosity of the petrol and other fluids normalized, and the regenerative braking system fully effective?
  12. Although I am very satisfied with the 300h's fuel consumption, which is half that of the 250s I previously drove, I have been trying to coax a bit more distance out of a tankful without dramatically changing my style of driving or compromising on my pleasure. My consumption having stabilized at around 17km/l (=48mpg), the projected tank range after filling up had been reading around 950km (=590 miles). Recently, I though I would try to bring the combined figure for range and distance since refueling/trip start up to the magic total of 1000km (=620 miles), and, depending on roads and traffic etc., this can require something like 60-80km (=35-50 miles) at a consumption rate of 18-19km/l (=51-54mpg). Then once the 1000km total is reached, I try to maintain it for as long as I can or maybe even better it without getting overly neurotic about how fast or slow I am driving. Finally, yesterday, after several unsuccessful previous attempts arising from unforeseen situations that had caused me to suspend the exercise soon after filling up, the figures since refueling/trip start on the multi-information display were reading as follows: RANGE 198km (=123 miles) TRIP 810km (=503 miles) [Total 1008km (=626 miles] CONSUMPTION 17.9km/l (=51mpg) If I keep up this rate of progress (achieved, incidentally, in cold weather when consumption is higher than normal) until the low-fuel warning appears, and I see no reason why I should not manage it, the car will have done over 1000km and still have 10 or so litres (=2.2 gals) still in the tank. And I will be very pleased with myself since this would be an improvement of 5% in respect of my previous consumption, which I already considered pretty good. It would also mean that if I let the range go to Zero km (which is not something I normally like to do), the car will by then have done close to 1100km (=685 miles), and this would in turn mean, albeit theoretically since I have no intention of testing the proposition, that it could maybe even squeak past 1200km (=750 miles) before the tank runs dry. Personally, I find these figures amazing even though I know that there are some very economic drivers out there who may be less impressed than I am. I am perfectly aware that these figures are just a more complicated way of expressing the results automatically obtainable by keeping to an average consumption rate of around 18km/l (=51mpg). However, watching the consumption figure with its comparatively slow- moving decimals is far less entertaining than focusing on how the range projection can be made to drop at a slower pace than the trip distance as you try to keep the two numbers adding up to at least 1000. The only snag with this little game is that it really needs to be played in kilometres rather than miles since a big and round target figure makes the mental arithmetic a lot easier.
  13. Rabbers

    Tank Range Targets

    Earlier today I completed the exercise described in my original post by letting the tank range go to Zero, at which mark the trip distance read 1093km (=679 miles)/consumption 17.6km/l (=49.7mpg), my first target having already been met with 1010km (=628 miles)/consumption 17.7km/l (=50mpg) when the low-fuel warning came on. When I filled up about 4km after Zero, the tank took 60.3 litres (13.3 gals), meaning that the remaining 5.7 litres (=1.25 gals), give or take, would have offered an additional thrilling 100km ride to any driver unworried by the prospect of soiling his nice leather seat by dicing with a 1200km outer limit.
  14. Steve, your pictures sent me straight outside to take a very close look at my calipers, front and rear. I was relieved to find them still as new after 16 months of open-air parking with weekly washes. I do not see how Lexus could fail to change yours immediately after seeing them.
  15. Having taken delivery of my car with the Power Easy Access feature switched on, it never crossed my mind that it could be de-activated independently within the memory system itself, so, acknowledging that one gets blasé about these things but occasionally wondering what would happen if the system were to break down, I came to take its presence for granted. Then, upon fastening my seat-belt when collecting the car after its first service, the seat stayed where it was and I found myself with my feet stranded in mid-carpet and my hands groping in thin air. Fearing the worst, I hailed a passing mechanic who in his turn summoned the colleague who had serviced and test-driven the car. When the latter came into view everything made sense, for he had the height though not the flat belly of a volleyball player. With profuse apologies (but perhaps also a well-hidden sneer at customers who do not deserve to own such nice cars) he switched the feature back on from the customizations menu and left me to re-adjust the memory setting.
  16. Car companies including Lexus do use some quite silly names for their paint colours, almost as silly as those used by cosmetics companies, the intention presumably being as much to create excitement in the choosing process as to comprehensibly describe the colours themselves (which is something better left to poets than car designers). Personally, my eye is happier with the Arctic Pearl (Code 077) of my 300h than my mind is with the name, which would be better suited to Eskimo Nell's sister or a Siberian stripper.
  17. Rabbers

    Rear Door Protectors

    The problem I have with the protective films on the rear doors and fronts of the rear wheel arches is that over time, despite the car being regularly and carefully washed, the edges of the film gather dirt to the point where they become clearly outlined against a light paint colour such as my Arctic Pearl. I have tried to remove the dirt with undiluted shampoo, all-purpose fluid, polish and tar/resin remover, but none of these work. Advice on anything else I could try would be much appreciated. Personally, I would be reluctant to have the films removed since it is clear that they fulfil their purpose, as evidenced by horizontal streaking on their surfaces after the car has been on wet and dirty roads, and this could well mean that the need for protection is advisable at those specific points because of the car's aerodynamics. Not to be recommended IMO are the pieces of film I had fitted under the front door-handles to protect against fingernail scratches. Not only have they acquired dirty edges over time but also an equally irritating tendency to bubble and lift in wet conditions. Maybe this is because they are a poorly customized fit, or maybe simply because they were not fitted properly, and as a matter of fact I recall the head of the body-shop of the Lexus dealer who fitted them muttering about how awkward it had been to get them into position. Whatever the case, I am thinking of having them removed.
  18. Gang's analogy between possible biases in motoring journalism and undue influence by, for example, drug companies on published scientific papers regarding their products is perfectly apt except, obviously, for the greater need for transparency in the latter field. To be compared to motoring journalists would not be considered flattering by most bona-fide clinical or pharmacological researchers but, as they are themselves fully aware, their published opinions are measurable in terms of potential sales by manufacturers in both industries, and there is no doubt that sponsorships, free trips to exotic places and sundry other forms of personalized entertainment have been know to influence professional ethics.
  19. Yes, it would be nice to see Lexus trying to influence the motoring media to better effect with the minimum aim of cultivating a more objective view of their products, but I suspect they have concluded, probably rightly, that any major effort would be a waste of cash and resources given that German premium saloons have long since achieved so unassailable a position as to make national origin synonymous with quality, real or perceived it matters not. Even competition among themselves acts as a reinforcement of their "German-ness" as a selling proposition, it being quite amusing in this regard to see Opel (i.e. GM) trying to upgrade and exploit its identity as a German manufacturer by using Claudia Schiffer in its current international advertising. The regrettable result for Lexus is that journalists, often with dubious objectivity, will continue to use the Germans as the yardstick by which to measure its products, and I doubt if we are going to see much change.
  20. Rabbers

    Brake Noise

    Right from when I first had the 300h I noticed that, when stopped, I was needing to keep my foot on the brake more firmly than with other cars in order to avoid an odd sound from the rear brakes. The sound is present when the brake is released slowly and the car moves off by itself but not if you swivel your foot more quickly onto the accelerator than might have been necessary in your previous experience, and this soon becomes intuitive.
  21. Especially true around dusk rather in the brightness of day and direct sunlight.
  22. Most Lexus owners will agree that their cars have seldom been favoured by European reviewers in borderline comparisons with German ones. And yet we have still chosen to drive a Lexus, in most cases with few or no regrets, and this implies that while we may find specialist reviews interesting or enjoyable to read, we have ultimately ignored the opinions offered. As for myself, the 300h I am currently driving my fifth Lexus and still fail to understand why reviewers tend to emphasise negatives even when their overall impressions may be broadly favourable, though I have noticed that the opinion gap has narrowed with recent models. Mostly, comparative reviews are informative enough as regards quantitative data whereas final verdicts and how they are arrived at and presented are to a large extent subjective and therefore prone to bias. Since it is common knowledge that magazines and other media are largely financed by advertising income and that some advertisers are more important than others, it follows that any reliance we place on the good faith of reviewers, assuming we care, depends on how cynical or mistrustful we personally are. And even when the magazines do not carry advertising and trade on a reputation for fairness, the thought must still occur that journalists, editors and publishers can be influenced by other means and that vested interests are not always easy to identify. In short, it is a fact that car reviewers rarely find it in their interest to favour David over Goliath. In this connection it would be interesting to know if the ability of the big Japanese car manufacturers, with the Toyota Corporation at the helm, to influence media coverage and opinion in Asia and Australasia might not equal that of the Germans in Europe and with comparable results. European imports in the luxury sedan segment in these areas appear to sell largely on the basis of exclusivity (and maybe a bit of snobbery) in much the same way as low numbers on the road are an attractive selling point to many Lexus customers in Europe (myself included), the technical excellence of the brands concerned being universally acknowledged irrespective of their origin.
  23. Rabbers

    Sat Nav Screen

    Hopefully you have not damaged the screen coating, which would be bad news, but merely moved the surface dirt around and/or thinned it out into an irregular film. I recall once using one of the Zeiss wipes I normally used for my glasses to try and remove smudges from the touchscreen of an IS250, and since there was a little moisture left in it, I also used it on the rear-view mirror. While the surfaces looked clean in the shade, sunshine revealed streaking which I only managed to remove by repeated wiping with a cloth moistened with a soapy solution alternated with a dry one. Maybe this will also work for you and certainly won't do any harm before any potential need to take sterner action. Generally speaking, cleaning products for car interiors IMO can do more harm than good unless used sparingly and then only when dictated by a job-specific need. Personally, for all surfaces, be these plastic, glass, wood or leather, I try to limit myself to microfibre cloths dampened with a 5% mild soap solution, and find this non-aggressive (and cheap) approach keeps the cabin looking new for longer. I think you will find the Lexus owner's handbook says much the same thing.
  24. It would appear that increases in consumption are broadly proportionate to drops in temperature. My consumption over a few days when temperatures averaged around -3°C dropped to 15.2km/l (43mpg) from my customary 16.8km/l (47mpg). It then dropped alarmingly to 14.3km/l (40mpg) during a week of constant subzero temperatures which went as low as -10°C. With temperatures having averaged around +4°C over the past three days, it has crept back up to 16.1km/l (45mpg). When my consumption increased, it was all the more noticeable considering that my speeds were substantially lower than usual because of icy roads.
  25. Needing to lose a few car-related bad habits and acting, in part, on nuggets of wisdom picked up on this forum during the past year, I resolve to: (1) Always turn off the audio upon parking. (2) Use the parking brake more often. (3) Not exploit EV-mode to startle pedestrians. (4) Not swear at the vocal commands system when it asks me to repeat myself, since this only leads to another similar request. (5) Persevere in sometimes using the paddle shift in the hope of discovering any good reason for doing so. (6) Not, as a general rule, use the headlights and front fogs together. (7) Not fiddle more than necessary with the infotainment system while driving, perhaps allowing (but not encouraging) wife to occasionally operate it from the passenger seat. (8) Not race cars at lights just because they are German but, if tempted, pick only those I know I can beat. Any other ideas for a prospectively even happier 2015 with the 300h?