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Need Tips on Looking at a used RX330

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Old 03-05-14, 01:59 PM   #1
HoOn
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Talking Need Tips on Looking at a used RX330

Hi there!

I will be looking at used 2005 RX330 that has around 120K and I was wondering if you guys could tell me what to look for when I check it out tomorrow. Anything that I should check and feel when test driving it.

I look forward to joining this awesome forum in the near future.
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Old 03-05-14, 02:44 PM   #2
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Welcome to Club Lexus HoOn. Make sure the following service was done: Timing belt at 90K Miles, Coolant Service at 100K, Spark Plug Change at 120K. You should get two master keys for the vehicle. Check for the headlight condensation issue (search forum for info). As always you should have an independent mechanic look over the automobile. Check the radiator and steering rack for leaks.
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Old 03-05-14, 02:46 PM   #3
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Welcome to Club Lexus, HoOn.

Like any used vehicle purchase, you should spend the money to have the vehicle thoroughly inspected by an independent mechanic. They will look for anything and everything possible short of tearing the thing apart. Getting a vehicle up on a lift to check suspension pieces, exhaust, brakes and rotors, etc. is as important as a test ride. You should also be looking for service records. By 120K this RX should have had the timing belt and water pump replaced (at 90K) along with the spark plugs (at 120K). The latter is a real pain and is somewhat involved to get to the back spark plugs.
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Old 03-05-14, 03:52 PM   #4
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Well, the seller is a whole seller so he won't know about the work done. Its getting harder and harder to find real owners selling their cars because of all the hassle. They just end up trading it in. I'm usually with light maintenance work in cars but is it that much more difficult to replace the spark plugs?

Thanks guys!
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Old 03-05-14, 04:06 PM   #5
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If you get the VIN number for the car you can view the entire service history of the vehicle on work done at Lexus. Here is a link:

https://secure.drivers.lexus.com/lexusdrivers/home
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Old 03-05-14, 04:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoOn View Post
Well, the seller is a whole seller so he won't know about the work done. Its getting harder and harder to find real owners selling their cars because of all the hassle. They just end up trading it in. I'm usually with light maintenance work in cars but is it that much more difficult to replace the spark plugs?

Thanks guys!
http://www.clublexus.com/forums/rx-s...with-pics.html

There is plenty of this type of information here at CL. You need only search for it.
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Old 03-05-14, 04:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoOn View Post
is it that much more difficult to replace the spark plugs?
Changing the spark plugs on the Lexus RX is not like the days of old. They are expensive and difficult to install, especially the rear ones. Search the forum with the key work spark plugs for more info.
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Old 03-05-14, 05:55 PM   #8
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You might get a good deal from a certain member who might be looking to trade his used one .... Just kindling .
How much do you want to spend ?
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Old 03-06-14, 06:14 AM   #9
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@Rainbird, thanks for that link - it was real helpful! It gave a better picture of the car which Carfax doesn't quite give you. The good news was that the RX330 was serviced all the time at the dealership until 90k, then it disappeared after it was sold by the original owner.

I was able to call the Lexus Dealer that did most of its maintenance and they were very helpful by looking at all the service work done. The last major thing that I was concerned about when reading the report was a repair that was declined by the customer. No further info was given from the site so I asked the Dealer and they said the right differential was leaking fluid so they sealed it and everything was back to normal. The customer complained that there was some weird knocking in the transmission. Is this a bad omen?

Anyway, the current seller said that it's best to do the timing belt now because he doesn't think it was changed. I appreciated his honesty. So we'll see if I go ahead with this.

Anyone know why 2005 models are sometimes priced the same with the 04s? Are there any differences in terms of reliability between the two years?

@ceads9, my budget is around the 12k range.
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Old 03-06-14, 08:47 AM   #10
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Anyone know why 2005 models are sometimes priced the same with the 04s?

Our cars are old enough that the year isn't as important as the miles and condition. I'd rather have a clean 04 than a clapped out 06. The 90k service is a big one so a lot of RX get traded around then. Any car you buy is likely going to need some maintenance, figure out what it needs and adjust the price accordingly. 12k is a good budget, you should be able to do better than 120k.

I see you are in NJ. I don't know how mobile you are but if at all possible, try to get a Southern car even if you have to fly down and get it. Any car with 10 years of NJ salt is just something to avoid if possible.

I don't know if you're looking on line of just locally but try here to get an idea of what is out there.
cars.com
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Old 03-06-14, 09:04 AM   #11
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@Carver, thanks for your post. It makes a lot of sense. I've been looking at both online and locally but gearing more towards local. I just have a feeling that if I buy one from the Internet like eBay, it won't be the same thing when I get it, but I'm open to it. I would hate to pay the shipping as I won't have the time to fly and pick it up.
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Old 03-06-14, 04:06 PM   #12
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I bought my 06 at car-max with 92000. It had the TB, WP, Trans fluid, Coolant, already done. It alsso had new tires,brakes,rotors. I took it ti my mechanic and had it checked out. The control arm bushings had very slight surface cracks and car-max replaced them with Toyota patrs then after a few days the engine light came on and it was the cats - both of them and a wheel bearing making a little noise and car-max replaced everything with Toyota parts and threw in new 02 sensors. all under their 30 day 100% warranty. I will never buy another car from anywhere but car max. They gave me a free loaner full of gas. When the work was done they washed the car,

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Old 03-06-14, 05:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoOn View Post
I just have a feeling that if I buy one from the Internet like eBay, it won't be the same thing when I get it, but I'm open to it.
Again, you can hire an inspector. I've used them for a couple of vehicle purchases where the vehicles under consideration were not local to me. Bought one using the inspection report and the car was as the inspector indicated. Didn't buy the second time I used one but a better local option turned up.
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Old 03-09-14, 04:46 PM   #14
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I just wanted to let you guys know that I am now a proud owner of a Lexus RX 330.

It was a lucky find too because the Lexus Dealer in NY happened to get a RX330 from a customer that traded it in. I checked the car through carfax and through the Lexus site for Service records and couldn't believe how religious the car was maintained. It was the only car I've seen during my search where the car was bought and serviced in the same dealer throughout its current life. The mileage was also excellent at 88k which was the lowest I found for my price range.

Overall, I'm really happy with the car. It looks great for a 10 year old car. They gave my a month so I have to check it out and make sure everything is working properly. Thank you for all the information you guys gave me which really helped.

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Old 03-09-14, 05:04 PM   #15
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Looks like you may have yourself a good one there, HoOn. Anything in the records about having the timing belt and water pump replaced?
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Old 03-09-14, 05:04 PM
 
 
 
 
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