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Everything posted by Rabbers

  1. Interesting thought. The leather bolsters flanking the RC console do look and feel nice, but I dread to think of the cost of what, on the face of it, certainly appears to be a feasible operation for the IS - unless you can find an RC owner willing to swap sets.
  2. This post is to be read in conjunction with the Hit a small deer type animal thread elsewhere on this Forum, and is intended to point out the wildlife warning signs appearing in increasing numbers along many secondary roads all over Northern Italy. They relate primarily to deer and wild boar, the latter being especially prolific as far south as Tuscany and probably beyond, and it is advisable to take them seriously. Wolves are also being found in greater numbers and at increasingly lower altitudes and are said to be less shy of people and cars than they used to be. Although no damage to cars will ensue, there have been alarming reports of entire areas being repopulated with adders thrown by park rangers from helicopters, which sounds like wildlife conservation gone crazy. If true, it is clearly not good news for anyone tempted to spread a blanket and partake of a traditional picnic in a pleasant roadside meadow.
  3. There have been perfectly justified moans from IS300h owners about negative reviews, many of them pure rubbish, since the car was launched in 2013, and I recall sharing the suspicion with others on this Forum that some journalists and their editors, knowing on which side their bread (or pumpernickel) is buttered, tend to be influenced by the weight of German advertising in their publications (not to mention other more personalised perks). Not that I have come across any recent reviews that I would describe as ecstatic, but could it be, by this same token, that Lexus' own stepping up of its media expenditures over the last couple of years is resulting in noticeably fewer unenthusiastic product reviews than we used to see?
  4. I believe this to be the case in some East European countries but its eating would require the approval of a local health authority. Also, most game needs to be hung for a while in order to make it palatable, so the barby would have to wait ...
  5. Rabbers

    new(ish) is300h premier

    Because its inclusion as an optional would have involved a long wait and a less attractive purchase deal, my present RC300h F-Sport is the first Lexus of six, all bought new, I have had without ML audio. And, although the 10-speaker Pioneer unit you automatically get with the Premium Navigation package is satisfactory - indeed very good - its performance falls short of that of the ML in an IS300h. This impression is based not on a side-by-side comparison of the two systems (which would be ideal) but on the playing of a sampling of favourite tracks of music in various genres that have become so familiar to me over the years that I can easily and objectively judge degrees of quality in their reproduction - and there is no doubt in my mind that the Pioneer loses some detail and clarity in respect of the ML. Whether this is sufficient to justify the high, indeed exorbitant, value Lexus attaches to the ML is a matter of personal choice. Never having expected that the audio system in any top-spec Lexus model would be less than good, I took the ML units in my IS200s and 250s largely for granted, and it was really only with my IS300h that I first came to consciously appreciate the high level of performance compared to standard Lexus audio or, usually as a passenger, to the standard offerings in some other quality cars, mainly German but also Jaguar and Volvo. I judged this to have as much to do with the car's quietness as a hybrid and its better isolation from outside noise as with improved technical specifications and the number and quality of the speakers in the system itself. As pointed out in some posts, ML does require a fair amount of adjustments in order to find the best settings for individual sources - and I would say this also applies to some individual types of music. I carry my entire music library imported from CDs on an almost full 128GB iPod Touch, but rather than play entire albums, I tend to prefer a number of single-genre playlists for which I established "optimal" settings (for me, that is, since "my ears are my own and nobody else's") on my home system, committing them to memory so as to minimise the amount of fiddling with the controls I ever need to do in-car. Almost invariably, I play the iPod via USB, which not only gives more detailed sound than BT but also keeps the device charged. One noticeable difference between the ML and the Pioneer, for which I have no explanation, regards the balancing of the speakers which, with the ML was automatically centred between driver and passenger and front and rear and normally required no adjustment, but which, with the Pioneer, needs moving one mark towards the passenger and two towards the rear in order to obtain a similar "symmetry" of sound. I initially thought there was something amiss with the speakers or that I was going deaf in one ear, but have found no evidence of either.
  6. Rabbers

    Alloy Wheel Cleaning

    I would recommend you invest in a Daytona Speed Master wheel brush in the small size ("JR") and, assuming you never allow your alloys to get so dirty as to require a specific detergent, use it with your normal bodywork shampoo. The protectively-coated stem of the brush is sufficiently flexible to get behind the spokes and the bristles are highly effective but not so firm as to be in any way abrasive. I have had mine for twenty years and it seems to improve with age and use.
  7. Except for being forced to use the wrong side of the road whenever I am in the U.K., I no longer notice much difference between driving there or anywhere else in Europe, possibly because fear of speeding fines/penalties seems to have finally taken hold of most people everywhere to the detriment of individualistic tendencies and/or the local behavioural characteristics that were part of a country's charm (or at least added a bit of interest to using its roads).
  8. There have been some reports on this Forum about wear to the inside tread of the rear tyres of the IS300h. If the problem, as my dealer believes, is caused by the camber - which is more pronounced than it looks - it is unrectifiable. I had the problem after approx. 38000km with the OEM Bridgestone Turanzas 255/35-18", and what was particularly alarming was the suddenness of the final phase of the wear. Having visually checked the tyres in the normal way of things and concluded that there was no hurry to buy new ones since the treads looked acceptable and the wear uniform, I took the car in for a change to winters a couple of weeks later and with only 1200km or so more on the clock. Very luckily, as it turned out. With the car on the bridge, the inside tread of the rears was revealed to be worn down to the metal in a couple of spots and blistered or starting to blister in several others. Nothing even remotely so severe happened with the other brands I used on the car, in both cases for fewer km, namely Bridgestone Blizzaks (23000km over two winters) and Pirelli PZeros (16000km) but they also showed signs of uneven and possibly quicker wear on the rears. Obviously, the only advice I would offer after this experience is to check the tyres of an IS300h for wear more closely and more frequently than one might be accustomed to doing - especially after 15000km or so.
  9. Speaking for myself, having "gone hybrid" after several years with IS250s (which I liked for many reasons of which low fuel consumption was certainly not one), first with an IS300h and now with an RC300h, I remain dazzled, even if the novelty has worn off after four years, by the fact that my spending on petrol, without my consciously aiming for economy (which I am congenitally incapable of doing for more than a few km at a time, if at all), is literally half of what it previously was. While I fully understand that a halving of my fuel bill has not dramatically influenced overall costs, I do nevertheless regard it as one of the most important of several factors that add to the pleasure of ownership. In short, an economic nice car is surely better than an uneconomic nice one.
  10. Agreed. One swallow does not make a summer, and I am inclined to view the unexpectedly good economy obtained on that particular drive as something of a freak occurrence. Which is not to say that the car's ability to perform on that occasion is likely to have differed too much from past ones since, for peace of mind, I never embark on long trips away from home without checking vital components, let alone undertake long autobahn drives without checking tyres for wear and pressure. Still, the single easily identifiable variation in respect of past experiences on that route was my choice of a type of fuel that claimed superior economy. I should record, purely anecdotally, that this reversal of my previous thinking about premium-priced fuels was more whimsical than rational insofar as it reflected my gratitude towards Shell's Danish copywriters for not crassly exploiting the connotations of steroid-laden muscularity and potency as would locally derive from any suggestion that the "V" in the name of their product stands for "Viking".
  11. The trouble is that the ETAs are only as reliable as the averages you have entered, and these, in my case, usually prove unrealistic. I have heard the theory that the entries reflect a person's character in terms of optimism or pessimism, but the only certainty is that the ETA should be completely ignored when making important appointments.
  12. In a previous thread on this topic in the IS Forum (see Premium Fuel, started by mpls, 19 November 2015), the consensus was that the benefits of higher-octane fuel are minimal or non-existent. My own opinion with regard to the IS300h was that "I used to think that Shell V-Power or similar brands of high-octane fuel might yield a combination of better economy and performance but have never found objective proof of it...." I mainly based this conclusion on comparisons of non-stop drives of approx. 900km over exactly the same route with tankfuls of RON95 or RON98 V-Power. After hoping to get a few extra km with the latter, I had recently been disappointed - though not especially surprised - to find myself pulling in to the same services as I customarily did with RON95 after the appearance of the fuel-reserve warning some 15-20km earlier. I thus concluded that higher-octane fuel was not worth its premium price. And nor, in more normal motoring situations over the years, had I ever been able to detect significant improvements in punch and acceleration in any car, including the IS's non-hybrid predecessors, attributable to the use of V-Power or any of several other brands of RON98> fuels. However, on one other occasion since then (actually on the same route but in the opposite direction), I got a much better result which, if I manage to duplicate it later this year (with due allowance for the fact that I will be driving an RC and not a somewhat more economic IS), may cause me to revise my opinion. Instead of starting out with the usual tankful of RON95, I this time filled up with V-Power and, to my surprise, not only proceeded past the services where I expected to stop but finally saw an increase in range of close to 7%. My reason for choosing V-Power despite my earlier thinking was that Shell in Denmark, where I filled up for the journey, were running a campaign promising it gave you "up to 3% more km". This was in itself no big deal but it impressed me because I had never before seen an oil company make so specifically and precisely quantified a claim for its fuel - or, as it turned out, such a conservative one. I can offer no explanation for this event since I recall no great variations from previous drives in terms of weather, traffic, roadworks, queues, amount of luggage etc. Maybe Shell uses some particularly miraculous additive for the Scandinavian market, but I have found no online mention of it.
  13. The use of a dashcam for surveillance of people working on your car is liable to make you even more cynical than you probably already are about living in an age in which fewer and fewer purveyors of goods and services, especially specialised ones, believe that "the customer is always right", let alone that you are not a moron. In the worst hypothesis you may even discover your trusty mechanic to be the counterpart of cooks who pee in the soup or waiters who spit in your plate, in which case you may prefer not to have known. My admiration for Lexus is so great that I am sometimes embarrassed by it, but I can largely justify it by having found no serious grounds for complaint at the six Lexus dealerships in three different countries I have had occasion to use at one time or another over the years, looking at their workshops and talking to the mechanics and supervisors. More to the point, it has never even remotely crossed my mind that any of the latter might behave unprofessionally, unconscientiously or discourteously when out of a customer's sight. Instinct and experience therefore predispose me towards giving them the benefit of the doubt with less reluctance than I customarily feel towards most other purveyors of essential technical services. Which is just as well since any objective need to switch Lexus dealerships would for me and many other owners lead to inconveniently longer journeys for servicing and a probable shift in loyalty with the next change of car.
  14. Edwardo, are you serious? I would have demanded that the car interior be immediately sanitised, preferably with ozone, after asking the farter or his employers to produce medical testimony that he was not suffering from any intestinal disease more serious than simple flatulence....
  15. Rabbers

    Washer fluid Warning

    I haven't owned a BMW for fifteen years but have remained addicted to their washer fluid because of its smell: pungent yet soothing and balsamic, mildly antiseptic yet refreshingly herbal.... In fact, I've smelled worse after-shaves. It also cleans the windscreen quite well, but were someone to do a survey I reckon it would come top on the grounds of its smell alone. I'm coming to the end of a 12-bottle carton of concentrate which, judging by the price I paid the street hustler who sold it to me, fell off the back of a truck. So I'll soon be calling in at a BMW dealer hoping to get the chance to tell anybody who asks that my only reason for being there as a Lexus owner is to buy a bottle of the house sprinkler fluid.
  16. From October 2016, when I took delivery of my RC300h, through February 2017, I drove 6390km (=approx. 4000 miles) of which 9% Motorway, 34% Town/City and 57% All Other Roads according to data I can nowadays summon up via a Tracking/Security device (ViaSat Blue Box) fitted to the car at the behest of my insurance company in return for a reduced premium. According to the in-car display I averaged 15.3km/l (=43mpg) over the distance. However, if I add the full tank supplied on delivery to my total fuel purchases in the period and subtract the estimated content of my tank at end February, I calculate that the car actually consumed 440 litres at an average of 14.5km/l (=41mpg). That the in-car reading understates fuel consumption by about 5% pretty much confirms what I and some other owners reported on this site back in 2013, and the continuing inaccuracy could mean that Lexus considers the deviation to be within an acceptable margin of error. Be this as it may, any discussion of fuel consumption for the 2016 RC and pre-2017 IS hybrids (and maybe other Lexus models) based on in-car readings should allow for it. Although Lexus' own declared combined-cycle figures of 20.0km/l (=56.5mpg) and 21.7km/l (=61mpg) for F-Sport versions of the RC and IS hybrids respectively (the latter claimed to have improved to 22.7km/l (=64mpg) in MY2017) are in themselves wholly academic, the percentage difference is, in my experience, roughly correct. This can conveniently be illustrated by a comparison between the displayed full-tank range forecasts in the two models. Where I would regularly expect to see an anticipated range of 950km (=590 miles) - meaning a consumption of 55-56 litres (about 12 gals) before the next appearance of the fuel-reserve warning - in my IS, and was sometimes even able to exceed it, the best I have so far seen and managed to achieve in the RC has been 865km (=535 miles), meaning that I am spending something like 9-10% more on petrol. Clearly, this is not likely to be a deal-breaker for anyone who may be thinking of switching from an IS to an RC or is thinking of buying one or the other, but nor is it an entirely insignificant amount. The difference in consumption appears to be proportionate to the RC's higher weight of 1775kg (F-Sport) against the declared 1620kg of the IS (I'm not sure of the trim but suspect my 2013 Premier was a bit heavier than this), almost all of the extra kg being attributable, I understand, to a stiffened chassis borrowed, in part, from the GS. Since the cornering, stability and general handling of the RC are in my view better than those of the IS despite the extra weight, my conclusion is that the cost of the extra fuel consumption is worth it.
  17. I trust the manual brim-to-brim method more. While some pumps can dispense and display wrong amounts of product some of the time (I imagine as often in the customer's favour as not except in places where controls are fewer and fraud likelier), most of them do so accurately most of the time. Such degrees of unreliability as may initially be seen or suspected in purchases-based consumption calculations will therefore tend to become attenuated over time as the volume of purchases and number of re-fuellings grow. In other words, once the gap between the OBC and brim-to-brim figures stabilises, the possibility of cumulative error in the latter, already small, will have dwindled to insignificance. That brim-to-brim calculations seem, in the experience of owners of IS and RC hybrids, to be less supportive of economy claims should not be taken to mean that Lexus is acting with dubious intent, but it is nevertheless strange that a reputable car manufacturer should not err on the side of caution in calibrating its OBC - and be seen to be doing so - especially when the consumption is by any token more than satisfactory. On a connected subject, I have been glad to see that the total km displayed by the in-car counter (and by the satnav for individual trips) and those recorded by the Tracking/Security device mentioned in my OP correspond exactly. I take this as a confirmation that the RC300h's km counter is accurate (not that I ever doubted it) but, of course, a logician might argue that the possibility exists that both devices are wrong ......
  18. Agreed. However, my admittedly academic concerns have less to do with the economic aspects of the RC's fuel consumption, with which I am perfectlycontent, than with so noticeable a degree of imprecision in its measurement and display as to constitute a blemish on Lexus' otherwise fair complexion..... ..... and Yes, I recall actual v. displayed consumption figures in my 250s would turn out almost perfectly matched by the end of a tankful after many fluctuations in between, especially around the halfway mark. I suspected, without ever confirming one way or the other, that the fluctuations were fewer during long drives with less stops and starts.
  19. I confess that I was surprised by the size of the reported gaps between actual and displayed consumption, not least because I was left with the impression that they are considered normal or acceptable. To quote John: "...On Board Computer figures are misleading and at best advisory...", and Peter: "[37 v. 40mpg is] not bad agreement". Maybe I'm being overly harsh but, normally, were I to be demonstrably "misled" or "misadvised" by factors of 8% (see Peter and John), let alone >20% (see James), my reaction, on the grounds of irritation alone, would be to sever my connection with the person or entity or machine responsible. Having said this, I suppose I should consider myself lucky that the deviation of around 5% I saw in my IS and am seeing in the RC (see below for an update) are apparently better than par for this particular course. One more tankful of petrol since my OP has seen a slight improvement in cumulative consumption to an actual 14.7km/l (=41.5mpg) = 497 litres for 7285km driven, and, as expected, this is continuing to improve with the warmer weather. I had been worrying that the displayed consumption of 15.3 km/l had become stuck when it suddenly twitched upwards to 15.4 and then almost immediately to 15.5km/l, where it currently stands, thus maintaining its reality gap of 5% or so. At this point, I would judge that unless my driving style changes (which it won't) and except for occasional fluctuations in my driving mix for individual tankfuls (e.g. more motorway km than hitherto), my consumption has permanently settled into a state of predictability.
  20. I'm thinking downhill all the way with a gale-force tail-wind. I used to consider cracking the 25mpg barrier in either of my 2008 and 2011 IS250s to be grounds for celebration, so I'm extremely impressed.
  21. Peter, I'm surprised you've not put the RC fully through its paces before now. I agree with everything you say, particularly as regards the car's marked personality changes according to the selected drive modes. In fact, I'm constantly tempted to switch around according to my own moods. I seem to be getting slightly better fuel economy than you, having averaged 15.5km/l (=approx. 44mpg) over the first 6500km, with a noticeable recent improvement attributable to warmer weather. I am also looking forward to switching back to summer tyres, having been on winters after the first 500km. I have yet to fully assess the car's ability to perform on long motorway drives, though my experience of relatively short ones of 50km or so makes me optimistic. I have a drive of 1600km (of which 1100km autobahn) scheduled for June, and if I will be feeling as fresh and relaxed at the end of it as I used to be in my IS300h I will be more than happy.
  22. Rabbers

    Rubber Mats - A Warning

    Considering that the height of the floor-fixings/depth of the eyelets makes it impossible to secure a second mat on top of the first, assuming both to be Lexus originals, the driver mentioned in the OP has only himself to blame. The ribbing on Lexus rubber mats makes them pretty slip-proof but, in my own experience, you need to momentarily take care if you bring in bits of slush and/or compacted snow and maybe salt when wearing deep-tread soles. Also, the opacity which develops with time and wear in the area of the rubber around the heel might tempt you to apply tyre or plastic dressing in order to bring back the gloss. Some of these dressings, especially cheaper high-gloss ones, can cause slipperiness, at least initially until the effect wears off.
  23. I think you'll find it on the inside of the front door frame of your car on the driver's side.
  24. Maybe they'll offer a good trade-in price if you switch to an LC500! ... !!!
  25. Purely for curiosity's sake, since I am not likely to ever need to find out for myself, is anyone able to report on how Lexus Navigation copes with Welsh-language town- and street-names? I ask because Voice Guidance in any language other than that of the country or region being navigated almost inevitably contains mispronunciations that can be quite amusing but are sometimes so incomprehensible as to make you miss an exit or a turn. Voice Control, I imagine, would be useful only if you can manage to get your tongue around the names sufficiently well to get a serviceable list of prompts, though the absence of Welsh from the system's linguistic repertoire might well mean that any attempt to do so would in any case be a non-starter. This query was prompted by recent posts in the SatNav Map Updates thread which mention, albeit for reasons that presumably have nothing to do with language, unwanted tours around the back streets of Cardiff.