New to me 2009 Lexus RX 350

infj23

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#1
Make
Lexus
Model
RX 350 AWD
Year
2009
Miles
115,000
Engine
3.5 V-6
Hello all,
Haven't been on this forum for a while--that's good news. Nothing has broken recently!
I just acquired a new-to-me 2009 Lexus RX 350 AWD. It has 115,000 miles on it. Mostly standard features but it does have the towing package. 3.5 engine. Seems to be all in good shape and it runs nicely. Plenty of pep.
Two questions:
1. Anything I need to check or watch out for? I have heard that the steering rack has been a problem on this car. That part was replaced about 30K miles ago. Water pump replaced at 85K. There was an oil tube that leaked and was replaced in the past as well. Anything else to be on the lookout for?
2. I know that manufacturers these days say that tranny fluid is good forever. I'm not sure I believe that (should I?). With over 100K on it, I would not mind doing a tranny fluid/filter change. I know the pan on this is a pain to get to, but I can do it. Any reason I should not do this? Or any pointers if I do? My plan would be to use a high quality synthetic fluid that meets the appropriate Toyota spec.

Thanks in advance! Any wisdom appreciated!
Doc
 

nickb2

Wrench. Diagnostic Tech.
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#2
Hi doc,

first off, sweet ride,

second, I see that lexus recommends swapping at fluid every 72months or 60k miles. The toyota spec you should look for is ATF "WS". Basically, any good synthetic LV fluid should do. But that is just me. Lexus states that the world standard oil is not compatible with dexron. Is that true, who knows, I personally think it is BS.

If not, companies such as valvoline and such would be under lawsuits galore. The label on this fluid very well states it does the lexus ws standard. And it is a dexron, mercon fluid. I put LV fluid in these trannys all the time. Never saw one blow up magically cuz I didn't put in a fluid with Toyota written on it. The LV fluid has all the additives you need.

At my shop, we use bulk april LV oil, unless specified that the customer wants the toyota stuff, but I would think anything such as castrol or valvoline etc that you may find at your local parts stores is as good if not better that the toyota stuff. But that is a long debate some ppl like to get into, mostly cuz they don't work in the trade and a friend of a friend told them to always use the OEM stuff. For parts, OEM is usually better. Bet when it comes to fluids, I don`t think any car manufacturer has it`s own refinery and probably source that out to companies such as mentioned above.

Anyway, here is proof of the label I was talking about. Just cuz it comes from walmart, doesn`t mean they make the stuff, they just sell it cheaper usually. Screenshot (237).png

That being said, I don't think any fluid is "lifetime". At least not up here in quebec where half the time of the year your spinning on ice all the time which tends to wreak havoc on any trans fluid. So we always go with the severe maintenance recommended schedules.

Apart from that, these 3.5l`s are pretty good. Differentials and transfer case need a more frequent change.

We also swap alot of alternators. There a lot of electronics on board these cars and for some reason, these nippon denso`s suck. In 2018, we don`t swap that many any more, some engineering dept wised up.

Your RX will probably rust out on you before you swap an engine or tranny. I never open those compared to other car manufacturers. Thats why I am such a Toyota lover.
 
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nickb2

Wrench. Diagnostic Tech.
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Location
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#3
I want to correct my previous statement of rusting out on you. Since I don`t know and work in north carolina climate, maybe it won`t rust like up here in the great white north.;)

Sine I checked your climate on google, I see you guy`s get +10c in january on average. Well, we get -35 to -55c in january. So I guess you guy`s don`t see snow much down there like we do. Less snow and ice equals less god damn salt on the roads. But I did see you guy`s got -37c in 1985 at mount mitchel once. :eek:

I also saw you guy`s get average snowfall of 40cm per year in ashville while other regions of north carolina only get 4.8cm. We get that in one 10min snowfall usually with averages of 340cm or more per year.
 
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