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Everything posted by Rabbers

  1. Rabbers

    More IS 300h on the road

    The frequency of sightings and proportionately reduced "exclusivity" of the IS300h directly reflects the cumulative total of the car's sales since launch and, until a replacement comes out, will continue to increase. Prospective customers concerned about constantly diminishing exclusivity and who have no great need for useful rear seats might want to take a closer look at the RC ....
  2. Rabbers

    Thieving Gits

    I have a love-hate relationship with valve-caps. Years back when such items were a quite expensive novelty I bought a set with the BMW logo and had them stolen after a few days. My next set with a logo, this time consisting of theft-proof ones for my first Lexus - an IS200 - could only be unscrewed with a hex-key and were so fiddly that I went back to using normal ones. Then Pirelli came out with a good-looking design incorporating a colour-change pressure warning that required a special tool as well as a certain amount of manual dexterity for removal. The suspicion of attempts to steal them regardless and doubts about their reliability finally led me to get rid of them and I have used normal caps, usually the OEM ones, ever since. And although I have occasionally fallen into the temptation of buying nicely-machined aluminium or alloy ones, these have the tendency in my experience to become so difficult to unscrew even after greasing (which is essential) as to require pincers and/or risk damaging the valve-stems, so I have usually ended up giving them away.
  3. I have been running iOS 11.2.1 on an iPhone 8 Plus (256GB) for a few weeks now. Usually I connect to the car audio via BT, preferring to do so more and more because of the impressive BT 5.0 upgrade though I still tend to connect via a USB port for longer drives. Before acquiring the iPhone 8 I routinely used an iPod Touch 6th Gen 128GB (containing about 115GB of Music and Podcasts, frankly excessive but nice to have), also recently updated to iOS 11.2.1, which I kept almost permanently connected via USB. I must admit that I have never hesitated to instal updates across all my Apple devices immediately on their appearance, slavishly interpreting notifications of their availability as prompts to do so. I have noticed no differences in the functionality of Lexus audio with iOS 11 in respect of earlier firmware in the case of the iPod or, not unexpectedly, between its use and that of the iPhone, which, of course, has always run only iOS 11. iPhone connectivity has been entirely satisfactory, and only once, immediately after the first update of the iPod to iOS 11 did I have a set of problems apparently similar to Steve's: frozen browsing menus, loss of titles and names or their showing as "UNKNOWN", etc. as well as incorrect playlists sequences. These appeared to resolve themselves after I re-started playing from the plugged-in iPod itself before I drove off, controllability of the system from the touchpad becoming restored after a few minutes' driving. I can't say whether this would have represented a permanent fix since I nevertheless decided to do a complete reset of the iPod later that day, after which I have had no further issues.
  4. The replacement mirror - a complete unit - was fitted this morning and it has been nice to have a silent one again. An inspection of the original provided no ready explanation for the clicking, the only noticeable anomaly being the presence of a tiny residual strip of badly- removed protective factory wrapping (not used for the replacement, supplied boxed in a plastic bag) which had become twisted around the pin connecting the mirror's housing and arm. It is possible that this bit of plastic, which had not been visible before disassembly, was causing the housing to swivel very slightly off-axis, but since there were no signs of friction on the paintwork, it is unlikely to have been responsible for any kind of noise, let alone loud clicking. So this remains something of a mysterious episode, fortunately now past.
  5. About a month ago my passenger-side wing mirror started making a loud clicking noise when activated, worse upon closing than opening, and audible from as far away as 15-20m. There was no visible damage and I had no evidence of the mirror having been forced out of position by way of mischief. I reported the problem when I took the car for its 30000km service last week and, after inspecting the mechanism and housing, the dealer declared himself to be mystified and ordered an entire replacement under warranty. Having expected a quick on-the-spot repair, I was surprised. Pleasantly, of course. Out of curiosity, does anybody know what the replacement and fitting costs would be outside warranty?
  6. Rabbers

    door shadow light

    I received a pair as a gift when I had an IS300h and then transferred them to my RC. TBH I originally thought them a bit excessive since the IS had illuminated door sills but, although they would have been easy enough to remove, I never got around to it. I have grown quite fond of them in the RC, which does not have the illuminated sills, because they invite you to look down when getting out of the car and therefore act as an extra aid to not stepping into puddles and holes (and maybe other things) in badly-lit places.
  7. Rabbers

    Winter Tyres

    I have just started my second winter with Pirelli Sottozero 3 (?-W270) tyres, and did 7200km with them last winter. I bought them for no other reason than they were the only readily available premium brand in the right sizes for the 19" alloys, paying exactly €1000 for the set, fitted. TBH I have never been too bothered about reviews of winter tyres from premium manufacturers, having had Continentals, Michelins, Bridgestones and Goodyears as well as Pirellis in the past and found little to complain about any of them even in the worst conditions. Last winter was pretty mild, but the present generation of Sottozeros seemed perfectly good on icy patches and thin snow and noticeably better in the wet than my summer Dunlop SportMaxxes. Also, they show very little signs of wear, and, as is traditional with the Pirelli brand, they look good. If you can get them for an acceptable price, I would recommend them.
  8. Rabbers

    rear seat access

    Glad you are enjoying your RC (same colours as mine and well suited to the car). Unless the spec has changed since MY2016, the driver seat slides forward only when activated by the relative switch in the base. Unlike the passenger seat, which slides when folded forward and then returns to a single position upon being released, the availability of the memory function means the driver seat can be made to automatically re-position itself within a range of pre-set choices.
  9. Rabbers

    RC300h review

    Paul: It could well be that the battery is defective, as Rayaan suggests. I once met a fellow IS300h owner who was having his battery replaced under warranty after it had died on him overnight for no explainable reason with only a couple of thousand km on the clock. Apparently the usual procedure is for Lexus to supply and fit the replacement unless they authorise you, for reasons of convenience, to go to another supplier with whom they have an arrangement. Not all Lexus dealers keep stocks of batteries, and I believe that in the above instance the dealer avoided waiting time for the customer by taking one from another IS he had in the showroom. Not, I would think, that most dealers would be so co-operative.
  10. Rabbers

    RC300h review

    Eminently avoidable paid-by-the-click car reviewers are far from alone on the Web, there being even worse ones in other subjects. Being in the market for a new phone, I have recently been exploring video reviews of the latest crop of iPhones, and have been amazed by the dire communication skills exhibited in most of them, whose viewing I would recommend to no-one without a taste for impenetrable jargon and close-ups of agile fingers and thumbs, usually male but sometimes strangely unerotic female ones with long squared-off nails. Of course, many of these reviewers have an advantage over their motoring counterparts in that they have the technical skill to edit their own work, almost always by eliminating all manner of punctuation from their spiel in order to reduce overall length. By so doing, they convey the completely false impression of being able to talk expertly for 10-15 minutes without drawing a single breath. To their credit I have yet to see this technique among car reviewers.
  11. I suspected as much. Still, the mind boggles...
  12. Rabbers

    RC300h review

    The nature and tone of motoring journalism have been heavily influenced by Top Gear, in which the desire to entertain became as important as the informative content, with biased opinions tending, not unnaturally, to be more amusing than earnestly expressed objective ones. But where Clarkson & Co., succeeded on the strength of individual talents and personality and generous production resources, few of their many imitators on the Web, exemplified at the worst extreme by the HJ guy inspiring this thread, should be encouraged to quit their day job (assuming they have one).
  13. Rabbers

    RC300h review

    In this particular case, the letters in the name of the famous IOM bike race would be more appropriate as the first and last in a word of four letters within which, depending on your level of politeness, an "A" might be preferred to an "I". ....
  14. Rabbers

    RC300h review

    I reckon Lexus actually sponsored the review as a clever piece of reverse customer psychology, the repulsiveness of the reviewer serving to underline the car's attractiveness.
  15. A facelift for the RC300h in Europe along the lines of the very minimal one for the 2018 U.S. RC350 model would be premature insofar as it would not boost sales or prolong market life or, in most cases, cause the present version to lose its bloom in the eyes of its owners or attract a lesser number of admiring glances from third parties. This is not to say that a decision to go ahead with the facelift would be too surprising since any slowing of sales from inventories of the current version resulting from it would be unlikely to represent a serious financial loss for the company.
  16. Rabbers

    RC300h First Service

    Linas, when I first read this, the mere thought that you were being serious made me worry that I might be losing my sense of humour. Please tell me that I was wrong......
  17. Rabbers

    Automatic light reaction

    Until I try it for myself, I will find it difficult to get my head around the possible consequences, beneficial or otherwise, of not being able to turn off the headlights before the auto system allows me to - if, indeed, this is the result of there being no OFF switch. Not that I am unwilling to accept than an electronic nanny can do some things better than I ever could. Far from it. But I sometimes worry that my ability to decide for myself in situations of perfect normality is being undermined.
  18. Rabbers

    Automatic light reaction

    Having read Rayaan's post before going out this morning, I thought I would try the -2 setting, which, except for a few times when I forgot to re-set to my habitual "Regular", I have never normally used. Apart from the headlights coming on with a slight and arguably undesirable delay in one or two patches of very dark shadow, I had no issues with it. However, upon entering a motorway tunnel at about 120kmh, the headlights did not come on until I was three or maybe four car-lengths in. Again, this would not be much of a problem in areas where tunnels or long stretches of shadow are few and far between but, generally speaking, a higher sensitivity setting remains my choice. If I understand Malcolm's last post right and Lexus allows the headlights in the new 4RX to be turned off not manually but only via the auto function, I am surprised that any regulatory authority would allow it. But if so, and Lexus extends this to all future models, it would oblige new generations of owners to pay much greater attention to light sensitivity settings than many and probably most of us do today.
  19. Rabbers

    Automatic light reaction

    There are situations where I find light sensitivity adjustments useful or even necessary. Examples include long series of tunnels where the intervals are mostly longer than the default 30' and the +2 maximum sensitivity setting is preferable to keeping the headlights permanently on, and long stretches of road or narrow city streets and alleys with alternating patches of sun and shade where the minimum -2 setting can be best unless you choose to turn off the auto function altogether. As regards entry into motorway tunnels at high speeds, given that the distance you travel into the darkness will be proportionate to the latter, the activation of the auto function - and your perception of it - may be fractionally delayed if the sensitivity is set to Regular. However, as a rule of thumb I established with an IS300h and have confirmed with my present RC, a +2 maximum sensitivity setting enables the headlights to come on perfectly simultaneously with entry into a tunnel at 100-110kmh without any perceptible delay in respect of lower speeds. With the settings on Regular or +1 or at speeds higher than this I find the activation to be noticeably less "prompt".
  20. Phil: your post is a summary of the reasons why many owners remain loyal after buying their first Lexus. My current Lexus is the sixth I have owned in seventeen years whereas my previous eleven cars, company ones for the most part but all of them personally chosen by me over a period of twenty-five years or so, consisted of seven different marques. Although I admit to having become lazier and more set on my ways than I once was, my loyalty to Lexus rests mainly on a continuing tendency to tick customer satisfaction boxes far more emphatically than I ever did with BMW, Audi, Jaguar and other producers of "executive saloons", my only big regret being that for one reason or another I have never owned an MB or had use of one other than as a short-term hire. Certainly, where I would once never have chosen a car without first testing several alternatives, I have latterly gone straight to my Lexus dealer armed only with a few on-paper price comparisons to help negotiations but confident in the knowledge that I will get a good deal for a good car supported by good service. Maybe I have been lucky, but I have experienced none of the major reliability- or dealer-related problems occasionally described on this and other LOC Forums. I am aware, of course, that quality and reliability gaps between competitors have narrowed over the years, as have prices, and that I may therefore have missed out on a lot of great alternatives by sticking with Lexus. On the other hand, when I continue to see good reviews for competitors alongside poor or tepid ones for Lexus, and knowing from my own experience that many of the latter are rubbish or, to put it more kindly, based on performance comparisons that have little or nothing to do with the practicalities of everyday motoring, my degree of loyalty tends to increase rather than diminish.
  21. Rabbers


    Paul: see Anyone Checked Out Infiniti Q50?, started by DJP April 2, 2015 on Lexus General Discussions Forum.
  22. Rabbers

    Rc-f tyres and chat

    MNMJ: Even if the effectiveness may not be objectively demonstrable, I reckon that any measure you can take to protect your car when leaving it parked out of your sight is at the very least worth thinking about. I don't make a habit of skulking around car-parks for longer than necessary but, once or twice, having preferred to wait for my wife rather than go into a supermarket with her, I have stood and observed the foot traffic around my car after parking it in the full-lock stance. That people are, as intended, obliged to pass closer to the neighbouring cars is in itself no bad thing but the best result, alas not as frequent, is represented by those who see the angled wheels not as an obstacle to be skirted but as a barrier to be avoided, in which case they choose other pairs of cars to walk between.
  23. Earlier this month my wife and I stayed a week with an old friend and his family near Toronto. Knowing that an RC350 was on his list of possible replacements for a BMW530iX, I had asked him to wait until my visit before arranging a test-drive, which he very kindly did. So, early one damp but clear morning, an RC350 F-Sport AWD in Atomic Silver (=Sonic Titanium) and Rioja Red (=Dark Rose) leather, coincidentally the same as my own 300h at home, was delivered to the front gate for an agreed six hours that included, with the dealer's consent, a booking for 20 laps at a test-circuit some 60km distant. The lighter and quicker - and presumably more agile - RWD version with the much praised 8-speed gearbox available in the U.S. is not sold in Canada, where AWD versions with a choice of 256hp (RC300) or 307hp (RC350) 3.5L V6 engines, both with 6-speed boxes, are considered commercially more viable because of the snowy winters. The RC300h is not sold at all (and nor is the IS300h). The 350's exterior and cabin being practically identical to those of the 300h, my first impression as a passenger was one of complete familiarity. The only difference I was able to detect after a few rare accelerations to 50kmh or so in the rush-hour traffic was the distinctly audible purr of the V6 instead of the silence I would have expected from a warmed-up hybrid in similar conditions. Whooshing from the 19" tyres (Bridgestones v. my Dunlop Sport Maxxes on exactly the same rims) sounded very familiar, meaning that differences in soundproofing, if any, are minimal. As expected, acceleration from 60-70kmh to 110-120km (i.e. significantly over the limits which most drivers take seriously because of the potential double whammy of hefty fines and demerit points) felt almost instantaneous and, at a guess, could not have taken much more than four seconds, if that. In fact, when I later got to drive the car, I initially found it difficult to correctly dose the accelerator and judge my speed. However, I soon understood the car to be a typical Lexus in its easy driveability, the main - indeed the only - behavioural difference in respect of the 300h being a much readier throttle response with pedal sensitivity seemingly calibrated to signal the availability of abundant power in all modes including ECO (whose presence in all Lexus non-hybrids including avowedly fast and not particularly fuel-efficient ones like the present 350 has always struck me as odd given that few owners will be looking to save a few drops of fuel or rescue the planet). And indeed, as was to be confirmed on the test track, where I managed six laps without harming myself or the car, the powerful and perfectly linear progression through the gears with the pedal floored (and with the individual shifts being more perceptible than I expected, no doubt as the result of my several years with an e-CVT), would not have exhausted itself until the rather low 210kmh limitation (223kmh displayed) at 6000rpm some 25-30' later. I recorded a time of 27.2' for 0-1000m on my only attempt, which, although it felt quite fast, was not spectacularly better than the 30' or so I have got on deserted stretches of road with the RC300h (and also the IS300h). Stopping at any speed with a short and firm pedal action was impressive by virtue of a more powerful braking system and larger discs. Use of the paddles in conjunction with the mechanical box was both effective and entertaining (and therefore more inviting than in the 300h, where I find them largely redundant), especially on the approach to corners and slow curves. To my delight, downshifts were sometimes accompanied by double-coughs from the exhaust, which I suspect had more to do with clever acoustic engineering than my achievement of perfect synchrony between man and machine. On the return journey with the ACC set for 110kmh and the car gliding along at <1000rpm, I could not help thinking that whereas most law-abiding citizens in Canada and the U.S. have learned to live with ridiculous levels of unused power under their hood, my own feeling would be one of extreme frustration. If I could buy one, and leaving aside issues such as higher running costs and possible fiscal disincentives, or pipe-dreams about owning an LC, would I prefer the 350 to the 300h? Yes, I would - provided it would not be priced at too much of a premium and my needs were to routinely include long motorway - or better still, autobahn - drives. On these, the 350 would not only offer an appreciably higher level of relaxation and comfort than the already very comfortable 300h but also, if and when required, quicker acceleration from higher cruising speeds, and as a consequence, even greater margins of safety. Whereas the 300h has sometimes been described, unkindly but not wholly without justification, as a sheep in wolf's clothing, the 350's looks and performance complement each other almost to perfection. However, to extend the metaphor and call the 350 a wolf would be silly because it is certainly not designed to snarl or in any way steal the RC-F's thunder. After leaning strongly towards an MB C300 4Matic, which he considered technologically more advanced than the RC350 and better built than anything BMW offers in the same price range, my friend decided, I would guess under pressure from his family, to abandon all thoughts of a coupé and go for a Volvo S90 AWD (a very nice car to judge by what I see and hear). Spaciousness and practicality were not primary considerations since it will be joining a Nissan Murano already in his garage.
  24. Rabbers

    Rc-f tyres and chat

    In addition to standard precautions such as seeking out uncrowded areas of car-parks, choosing new and expensive cars as neighbours, parking next to walls in order to reduce the risk of side-dents, avoiding parking next disabled spaces or cars with disabled permits or ones with baby-seats and/or damaged bodywork etc., I sometimes adopt the practice, when getting into position within parallel stripes, of turning the steering-wheel to full-lock and leaving it there so as to maximise the protuberance of the front wheels and thus visibly increase the car's width. The increase is not enormous but it is surprising how often it can get pedestrians who take shortcuts between cars to change their direction and movements by amounts sufficient to make them rub against one of the adjoining cars and not yours. Of course the stratagem is far from infallible, but it can be useful in car-parks where there is a lot of foot traffic, and is especially recommended where items of luggage, trolleys, shopping-bags or trendy large studded handbags, or combinations thereof, pose a possible threat