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Everything posted by Rabbers

  1. To be perfectly frank, having owned a 300h since 2013 and having clocked a highly pleasurable 35K km in it, my reaction to surveys and reviews that tell me that the car is a good one and satisfying to own is one of boredom. In fact, I'll go even further and say that, after a brief moment of narcissistic contentment upon reading that I made a good choice when I bought the car, I find such opinions patronising.
  2. Rabbers

    Is300H As Family Car

    I have to agree totally with these comments. They are precisely me. If you could hear my wifes comments when I am parking my car! I am so fussy, even to the point of moving it again if I think I need to. If I should ever be cajoled into going to the supermarket in my car, I always park as far away from the entrance as possible, much to my wife's annoyance. If I have to park amongst the many, then I always look for a space between other quality motors. I always keep a bottle of Bird Dropping spray handy too, the seagulls round here enjoy Bomber Command status! Rabbers, I would be interested to know what cloths you keep available. Geoff: There is nothing particularly noteworthy about my set of cloths. It consists of three high-quality microfibres in different colours and densities of pile with the words "glass", "paintwork" and "dashboard" embroidered into them, to which I added a fourth suede-type one for the display and instrument panel. Each is reserved for its own specific purpose and usually moistened with plain water or the 5% soapy solution I also keep on hand in small cosmetics-size spray-bottles. I bought the cloths online some years ago from a German company called NIGRIN, and they still rinse out like new. I too always aim to park between two quality motors or, failing this, ones that are clean and dent- and scratch-free. The trouble is that when I come back one or both seem as often as not to have been replaced by semi-wrecks that are inevitably parked too close. I also try to avoid parking next to cars with baby-seats and fold-up prams, and am equally wary of vehicles with prominent door-protectors since I have noted the tendency of owners to swing the doors open with little thought for neighbours not similarly endowed. You have my sympathy with regard to seagull attacks knowing full well that you are talking serious kilotons. My own problem is with content rather than volume, consisting, as it does, of a well-nourished local pigeon population which appears to eat gravel as a laxative supplement to its normal diet. Once baked on to the paintwork, the droppings require a long soak or sterner treatment with e.g. Dodo Juice Born Slippy in order to reduce the risk of a permanent scratch.
  3. Rabbers

    Is300H As Family Car

    If a "family car" is defined, independently of considerations of space and adaptability, as one capable of withstanding a certain amount of abuse from its junior occupants, then the 300h does not IMO fit the bill. I have always looked after every car I have ever owned, but none has ever inspired the same level of fastidious- ness in me as does the 300h. The tiniest speck of dust or the merest suspicion of dirt somewhere in the cabin makes me reach for one of the four special-purpose cloths (for glass, leather, plastics and screens) I keep close to hand, these being additional to another set I keep in the boot for the car's exterior. The mere thought that the car's occupants could ever include kids in age-groups up to and including late adolescence with the concomitant risks of dirt and grime, solid or fluid, organic or otherwise, being deposited on any of the car's sleek and perfectly sanitized surfaces is therefore wholly abhorrent to me. Not that I am particularly fond of most adult passengers either, but this is not pertinent to the Topic under discussion.
  4. Gang & Rayaan: I know it's election time in the UK, but couldn't you pick some other forum to air your thoughts about the NHS!!!??? :megaangry: :luck:
  5. Attitudes on this Forum are changing rapidly..... Last August, which is not so long ago, I was good-naturedly taken to task on this Forum for asking the simple question of whether anybody knew of an arithmetical formula that enables you to figure out how far you need to drive downhill in order to recover the increase in fuel consumption you get from driving uphill, the difference being so big as as to have surprised me (as it does still). Before someone provided a link to a scientific paper so incomprehensible to any non-physicist as to illustrate my own naiveté in believing my query to have been a simple one, various other replies included the suggestion that the Forum - and presumably myself - needed to lighten up and that my query was too advanced for their schoolboy-level maths. All of this came back to me this week as I waded through several detailed, lengthy and infectiously enthusiastic posts about EVs with various levels of price and performance. However, try as I might, I have so far merely come to understand that petrolheads are quickly evolving into electroheads or maybe even hydroheads and that I seriously need to scramble to catch up before I and my poor 300h are left stranded way behind the current technological curve. :eerrrmm:
  6. Steve: Interesting that you should mention South Wales. Some years back I had occasion to drive from, I think, Brecon - or maybe it was Abergavenny - to Swansea on the Head of the Valleys Road. I remember innumerable stretches of ups and downs of approximately equal length that would have made it perfect for monitoring the relative fluctuations in consumption. You should maybe give this road a try if you haven't already!
  7. Rabbers

    Changing Wheels

    I must say that I like 18" wheels on the 300h for the simple reason that they look better, the car's impression of purposefulness ("it looks like it's moving even when standing still") being accentuated by them. And while the fat and low 255/35 rear tyres, in particular, improve the car's appearance from most angles, they also heighten the feeling of stability, very noticeably on long fast curves, even in the wet. Whether or not 17" or 16" tyres give a more comfortable ride is a matter of opinion unless, of course, any of the car's usual occupants are abnormally sensitive to bumps and uneven surfaces. Again, my own belief is that 18" tyres on the 300h offer at least as good a ride as 17" ones did on the previous-generation 250, although this may have less to do with the size of the tyres than improvements to the chassis and suspensions. Really, it seems to me that the only disadvantage, apart from price, is the higher risk of damage from kerbs and potholes, as well as rough gravel - and, unfortunately, there is no remedy for this except to chose brands with demonstrably good rim protection. As regards price, although the cash outlay for a set of new 18" tyres, if you consider them preferable, will be higher, the difference amortized over the many km you are going to drive on them is really very small.
  8. Not that I was in any way a potential customer, but I had the chance to test drive a Q50 3.5 litre Hybrid when I had already owned my 300h for some months. The test, such as it was, lasted maybe 30 minutes and included a bit of motorway while consisting mainly of driving round the block a few times. The drive was offered by my Lexus dealer to occupy my time while I was waiting for my own car, the Q50 having been on loan from a colleague to whom he had in turn loaned a 450h for what was, I understood, to be a friendly private comparison - and probably a more appropriate one than with a 300h. On the positive side I remember (1) the punchiness of the Q50's response at all speeds - not that I got beyond 130kmh, (2) the quietness and remarkable cocooned feeling of the cabin although noise from the 19" tyres was not entirely absent, and (3) the very high precision of finish, inside and out. On the negative side, I found the car (1) bulky in feel and lacking in agility, (2) the steering over-light and strangely sensitive to bumps and uneven surfaces, and (3) the cabin a bit flashy, perhaps even vulgar, with the real wood and leather managing to look false, the general appearance being more American than European. Except for these last two points, my conclusions were that with familiarity, essential with regard to the abundant gadgetry and somewhat confusing dashboard, I would have grown to like the car very much. The list price at the time, early 2014, for a full (or almost full)-spec version was way beyond that of a 300h Premier, I believe upwards of €65K against €51K, and since the discounts were in both cases in the region of 12-14%, the price differential remained intact and has probably not changed. To get around the problem of small dealer numbers (only five or six in the whole of Italy) and the policy of of keeping the marque separate from Nissan for both sales and servicing, Infiniti were offering a free pick-up-and-return service/equivalent courtesy car for all maintenance needs irrespective of location. According to my Lexus guy, though, the cost involved was absorbed into the prices for servicing and spares which, since he considered them extremely high in his professional opinion as a Lexus dealer, must to say the least be eye-watering!
  9. Gang: "Unexpected Consequences" is a good title for what has got to be one of the most convoluted, albeit interesting, pieces of thought in automotive history. I hesitate to claim that I understand your drift but, unless I am completely off the track, you are saying that ownership of a Lexus 300h has provided you with the motivation to replace a BMW335i with a Nissan Leaf (via an economic comparison with a SKY subscription) to which you would have preferred a Tesla which is a car you hope Lexus will emulate and improve upon. No doubt there is some commercial and technical logic here but my first reaction was to commiserate with car marketing people wherever they and whoever they may be since they must sometimes despair of getting a simple buy-my-car message across to their prospective customers!
  10. Rabbers

    Pop-Up Hood - Warning

    No doubt Mat has the sympathy of all followers of this Forum, although this cannot be much of a consolation. That the repairs should have cost something like a tenth of the price of a new 300h, without this and the time they took having been quantified from the start, makes for a bad experience indeed - not to mention the added aggravation of having to deal with people who obviously need straightening out. Before reading Mat's OP and talking to the German couple mentioned in mine of 4 March, I certainly did not know how potentially expensive repairs to the pop-up hood can be, and I imagine not many other owners of cars with one do either. More specifically, did any of us attach much importance to this particular feature when we we considering buying the 300h? And in the unlikely event that we did, would any Lexus salesman have been able to provide detailed information about it? As for myself, I certainly felt the car's overall safety rating to be important and would have thought twice about the purchase were it to have been less good, but, to be honest, until pop-up hoods are made obligatory on all cars I would be happy enough to do without. Why should I take the responsibility for pedestrian protection when vehicle regulatory authorities and manufacturers do not? Also, it would be interesting to know just how interdependent the single items of work and replacement parts needed for a complete repair are. Mat lists a few of these, but could some be excluded thus reducing the potential total cost? Or could the feature be eliminated altogether from the car's combined safety package?
  11. Rabbers

    Beeping And Other Points.

    Geoff: If you set your screen to show the speed camera icon, and leave it on this setting, and the icon is not present on the screen when you hear a beep, this means that the beep you have heard has to do with something other than a speed camera. If, on the other hand, you do not set the screen to show the icon and so rely solely on a beep to warn you that you are approaching a speed camera and this beep has to do with something else, then, if you reacted by slowing down, you will have done so for nothing. Thanks for letting me exercise my own old grey matter by providing a 100-word explanation when I thought much less was enough! :eerrrmm:
  12. Rabbers

    Beeping And Other Points.

    .... and it should be kept in mind that the Cameras in question are only the ones present at the time of any given map update, and that it is best to set the corresponding icon as permanent so as to know whether any other beeps you might occasionally get are extraneous. Also, if you take the car across the Channel, the Lexus programme complies with individual national regulations concerning the incorporation of speed camera warnings into SatNav by simply excluding them where necessary.
  13. Rabbers

    Mpg Fiction Is 300

    Contributors to this Forum who, like myself, came to the 300h from a previous-generation 250 have reported a halving of their fuel consumption and thus an approximate doubling of their tank range. Therefore, while drivers coming to the 300h from a diesel will clearly be less impressed, it still surprises me that they could ever be disappointed unless, of course, they mistook Lexus' declared consumption figures as having a bearing on reality rather than simply permitting, as Scoops says, a comparison with other cars from other manufacturers tested with the same parameters, this being the limit of their usefulness. In my view individual owners should decide what level of consumption they consider satisfactory and realistic according to their own driving style and mix and then set themselves the objective of habitually achieving or getting close to it. My own experience is that, with perseverance and when circumstances permit, you can achieve figures you originally thought unlikely. Some weeks ago (see Tank Range Targets, started 8 February), I posted the results of a first successful attempt at not allowing the combined Range and Trip distances after filling up, once reached, to fall below 1000km before the low- fuel warning light comes on again. Success would mean that you have consumed something like 56 litres (=12.3 gals) at a rate approaching 18 km/l (=50.8mpg) and still have 10 liters (=2.2 gals) left in the tank. One day I hope to be able to achieve this as a matter of course, but have so far managed it only three times out of six completed attempts. To my credit, though, I have not once fallen below 950km, and this is a figure with which I would once have been more than pleased. Since I have not changed the driving style I adopted, not always successfully, when I first had the 300h (i.e. try to drive smoothly, brake gently, think ahead, use cruise control when appropriate etc., etc.), I can only attribute my growing success at the 1000km game to a reduction of the margins by which I formerly exceeded speed limits. In other words. having acknowledged that I will never rid myself of the habit of exceeding them whenever I think I can do so with impunity, I now consciously try not to exaggerate. For example, where I once might have driven at 70kmh+ in a 50kmh zone, I now aim for 60kmh or thereabouts, and, of course, it is proportionately less of a problem to keep closer to a 90kmh limit where I customarily once did maybe 110kmh+. Both scenarios yield considerable benefits in terms of overall consumption with the result that, in order not to completely wipe them out by exceeding the 130kmh motorway limit for significant stretches as I usually did, I now tend to stay within or close to it. In short, while the 1000km game is certainly motivating me to drive less fast (and maybe a little less dangerously) than before, this does not necessarily mean that I have taken to driving abnormally or irritatingly slowly, and I am enjoying the 300h as much as I ever did.
  14. There is an Italian product called TREMILLIMETRI which is probably available online somewhere. This is a non- abrasive paste used in tiny amounts as an alternative to jeweler's rouge (i.e. iron oxide) to manually polish minor scratches off most smooth surfaces, and although it is advertised as effective mainly on metals and plastics, I have used it successfully on car and even wrist-watch glass. As a rule of thumb, if you can feel the scratch when passing a fingernail across it, it will be too deep for this particular product to work.
  15. The "welcome light illumination" feature works only as a function of the light sensor and provided that the lights switch is left on AUTO. It is the default setting and can only be de-activated as a dealer customization (perhaps at the behest of owners who do not like to be seen creeping around during the night).
  16. Steve: Except for the calipers and other areas of corrosion having been cleaned, as, on the evidence of your pictures, they clearly needed to be, I haven't really understood what has been happening with your car. Only you can know the truth of exactly how hard you have been driving the car and thus too frequently activating the safety systems. But so what? That's what they are supposed to do, is it not? Your statement that "we will see" sounds a bit too fatalistic, and if I were you, I would get a second opinion from another Lexus workshop the next time you are in the neighbourhood of one.
  17. Rabbers

    Travel Announcements

    I must admit I have never played a CD, but I do get the option to terminate the traffic message dialogue box when I am using BT or USB and the screen is set at 25% Audio, which it also habitually is with me.
  18. You guys were clearly already quality-oriented future Lexus owners in your privileged youth since you are talking about a car that had real chrome bumpers unlike a real gritty tin-can item such as the Ford Popular which had them painted to look like they were!
  19. INTERIOR Dashboard and Other Plastic Surfaces Dusting, weekly, followed by wiping with microfibre cloth dampened with a 5% mild soap solution, as necessary, maybe fortnightly. Screens and Mirror Smooth microfibre cloth dampened with plain water, as necessary. Windscreen and Side Windows Microfibre cloth and plain water immediately followed by a second dry microfibre cloth, as necessary. Rear Window Water with few drops of all-purpose cleaner on Stoner Invisible Glass Reach & Clean Tool, monthly. Carpets Vacuum only, weekly. Rubber Mats Shampoo and sponge, as necessary. Seats and Other Leather Dr Leather wipes, twice yearly or as necessary. Denim stains: 5% mild soap solution on cotton wool. Steering Wheel Microfibre cloth soaked in plain water, monthly. EXTERIOR Body, Plastics and Lights Two-bucket shampoo (Mer High Shine on noodle-sponge), weekly. Dry with Kent XL Yellow microfibre cloths. Harly Wax, twice yearly, after preparation with Dodo Juice Square Sponge Clay Pad+Born Slippy Lube+Lime Prime Lite. Wheels Shampoo, same as above, weekly, brush if necessary. Windscreen, Side Windows and Mirrors Microfibre cloth and plain water followed by second dry microfibre, detergents only if necessary. Tar, Resin, Bird Droppings MyCar Tar Remover/WD-40 Oil/Dodo Juice Born Slippy, undiluted.
  20. Ross: I note that you are a connoisseur of mind-conditioning music of a bygone age. As a specific antidote to the excessive modernity of the 300h with all its technological wizardry and built-in creature comforts I occasionally feel the need to fill the cockpit with the sounds and words of car-inspired vintage Chuck Berry numbers, e.g. No Money Down, No Particular Place To Go, Maybelline, The Jaguar And The Thunderbird, etc., none of which are exactly deserving of the lush ML system but are nonetheless capable of bringing tears to the eyes of many an old fart (if you'll forgive the anatomically mixed metaphor).
  21. Ross: The validity of your closing query merits close consideration, at least on the part of some of us. I have from time to time noticed how the expressions on the faces of some younger folk change from admiration for the 300h to mild contempt when they see my grey mane emerge from it accompanied by the sound of creaking bones and perhaps a groan from the effort. Not that one should get over-sensitive about such unintended displays of incivility, for, if I might supplement your own olfactory metaphor with another, the ability to appreciatively sniff the roses, in our case an automotive one, can only improve with age and experience.
  22. Ed: Nice pic but it made me nervous. Were you trying to see how close you could get to the kerb without scraping your front undercarriage or what??!! :eerrrmm:
  23. Anybody coming to the 300h from a previous-generation 250 like Michael and myself would be well advised to keep the lower ground clearance in mind. I also used to have no problems with a 250 in situations like that of the car-park mentioned in my post. This is not to say, however, that knowledge of declared clearances and the consequent risk is necessarily helpful if, as is almost invariably the case, one is already committed to negotiating an unrecognized and unavoidable obstacle when faced with it for the first (and hopefully the last) time. The difference between the declared 135mm (= 5.3 inches) clearance for the 300h and the 145mm (=5.7 inches) for the 250 is certainly quite significant in that it can mean getting a scrape or not. The 120mm clearance I misleadingly mentioned in my post as being that declared by Lexus for the 300h was in fact a figure estimated by my trusty Lexus mechanic as being more realistic if factors such as load, accessories, tyre wear, braking speed and suddenness etc., are taken into account.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.