2000 Lexus RX300 1MZ-FE with 280k miles reliability? - Page 2 - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
Camry 3rd & 4th Gen (1992-1996 & 1997-2001)/1st Gen Solara (1999-2003) Toyota Camry Discussion for years 1992-1996 & 1997-2001, as well as Solara discussion for years 1999-2003. Topics of discussion range from fuel economy, safety, modifications, performance all involving America's favorite family car, the Toyota Camry.

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post #16 of 27 Old 05-15-2019, 05:26 AM
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At the Benz dealership in Houston (Intercontinental Motors at Kuykendahl road) they had a brand new 300SD turbo diesel come in with a hole in the side of the engine block. Tossed a rod, most likely a defective rod bolt, (stretch type). New engine came in a steel crate, padlocked, with a $500 freight bill. The engine was $7200 (1983). The old engine went in the crate and flew back to Germany. 600 miles on the odometer.
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post #17 of 27 Old 05-15-2019, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
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Heeyyy, Bay Area mechanic here (Santa Clara) that works on a lot of RX300/RX330. Weak point will be the transmission, that U140F is not great (have done two replacements so far), they didn't get most of it right until the U151 in the RX330. And those were daily drivers, you put yours through more than they ever did.

Install an auxiliary cooler and some sort of filter; I used to install Magnefines (still do, actually) but am trying a remote can-style oil filter this time. I would also consider installing a cold-weather bypass if you spend a lot of time in Tahoe. It won't do much in inland Cali weather, but will keep the trans from experiencing cold fluid-shock in snowy climes.

On a U140E/F, if you hear whining in 1st/2nd, it's on its way out (might be 5K, might be 50K depending on abuse). Synthetic fluid is a good idea; I run Valvoline MaxLife Dex/Merc in all the ones I service, shifts better, runs a bit cooler, and trans are still shifting fine when I recommend changes (every 25-30K on the U140, 40-50K on U151). In fact, the MaxLife works better than the T-IV I used to put in ES300 and RX300 where we were running 15K intervals to try and stave off trans failure...
Thanks for the post!

My vehicle had an early transmission failure within the first 3 years and the dealer replaced it, that was 15 years ago and about 150k miles ago. I heard they put larger valve bodies in the transmission as an improvement, not sure what I got.

My vehicle has a cooler, its stock, not sure which models got coolers stock? The AWDs? The ones with the towing package? Mine has the towing hitch. Did you mean install an addition one or one in place of the stock one?

I just dropped the pan about 2 months ago and changed the filter and put in new fluid. I didn't know about the other fluids so put in the Toyota IV. Transmission seems fine, no whine.

Next winter I will make about 9 weekend trips to Tahoe, Friday evening to Sunday afternoon. And maybe go for the week between Christmas and New Years.

The RX300 never had much power plus at its age and mileage, plus the loss at altitude, its a dog going up the steeper grades. I need to keep the rpms up to keep it in the max torque band. I will never get up donner pass taching 2,000 rpm. I turn overdrive off on using the switch on the shifter. I figure its better to let things rev a bit then lug the engine and transmission. I would say I usually don't have O/D off for more than 5 minutes or so. I turn O/D off only when I need to climb.
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post #18 of 27 Old 05-15-2019, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by murphysf View Post
Thanks for the post!

My vehicle had an early transmission failure within the first 3 years and the dealer replaced it, that was 15 years ago and about 150k miles ago. I heard they put larger valve bodies in the transmission as an improvement, not sure what I got.

My vehicle has a cooler, its stock, not sure which models got coolers stock? The AWDs? The ones with the towing package? Mine has the towing hitch. Did you mean install an addition one or one in place of the stock one?

I just dropped the pan about 2 months ago and changed the filter and put in new fluid. I didn't know about the other fluids so put in the Toyota IV. Transmission seems fine, no whine.

Next winter I will make about 9 weekend trips to Tahoe, Friday evening to Sunday afternoon. And maybe go for the week between Christmas and New Years.

The RX300 never had much power plus at its age and mileage, plus the loss at altitude, its a dog going up the steeper grades. I need to keep the rpms up to keep it in the max torque band. I will never get up donner pass taching 2,000 rpm. I turn overdrive off on using the switch on the shifter. I figure its better to let things rev a bit then lug the engine and transmission. I would say I usually don't have O/D off for more than 5 minutes or so. I turn O/D off only when I need to climb.
Yeah, keep O/D off...otherwise you'll overheat the trans.

I think tow package got those. I would upgrade it to a larger cooler (I like the Long Tru-Cool LPD line), and add in the other two things I mentioned. Plumbing and routing is easy on these Camry-derived platforms.
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00 Camry 5S-FE 184k smoooth
01 ES300 147k NEEDS TRANS WORK
01 Insight 137k BROKEN CAMSHAFT
02 Insight 178k DC-DC BELLY-UP

08 STS-V 67k 570 RWHP!
01 Viggen 112k 400 FWHP
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post #19 of 27 Old 05-15-2019, 11:34 AM
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Here's how I see driving older cars, which is all I drive.

If you live in fear of what could happen, you'll never be free.

Cosmo

P.S. As a Toyota mechanic once said to me: "It's a Toyota, it'll go on forever."
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post #20 of 27 Old 05-15-2019, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, keep O/D off...otherwise you'll overheat the trans.

I think tow package got those. I would upgrade it to a larger cooler (I like the Long Tru-Cool LPD line), and add in the other two things I mentioned. Plumbing and routing is easy on these Camry-derived platforms.


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post #21 of 27 Old 05-15-2019, 12:03 PM
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I skimmed through 2 pages... likely missed it..
at this mileage your spark plugs are due twice.
Timing belt is due twice.
Also, it is wise to replace water pump and tensioner/idler while timing belt is done, as "you are there" doing belt. It's several hundred more but lots of peace of mind.
As of driving children to mountains... go to junk yard, find j- yard tire shop. Buy cheapest wheels you can find that will fit. Install winter tires on. Simply swap rubber now to winter one when taking on those trips.
Oh, and by the way. Diff and T case fluids are due at 60K miles, so they are due severla times over, unless you used something like Amsoil, then you good for about 100K.

I'd drain and fill ATF every 20-30K miles. Those trannies are not the most durable ones. Cheap insurance.
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post #22 of 27 Old 05-15-2019, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ukrkoz View Post
I skimmed through 2 pages... likely missed it..
at this mileage your spark plugs are due twice.
Timing belt is due twice.
Also, it is wise to replace water pump and tensioner/idler while timing belt is done, as "you are there" doing belt. It's several hundred more but lots of peace of mind.
As of driving children to mountains... go to junk yard, find j- yard tire shop. Buy cheapest wheels you can find that will fit. Install winter tires on. Simply swap rubber now to winter one when taking on those trips.
Oh, and by the way. Diff and T case fluids are due at 60K miles, so they are due severla times over, unless you used something like Amsoil, then you good for about 100K.

I'd drain and fill ATF every 20-30K miles. Those trannies are not the most durable ones. Cheap insurance.
Hi

Thanks for the post.

i need to review the records again to see if the spark plugs were ever changed.

Timing belt was done once by the original owner (my friend) he had the dealer do it and he declined the water pump at the time. I recently had the belt replaced along with the water pump, tensioner as well as the two cam seals and the crank seal.

As for winter tires what do you recommend? Ones with studs? For my drive 85% of it will be without snow, its only the last bit where snow tires are needed. Is there a tire or tires that you recommend?

I had the diff and T case gear oil replaced two years ago.

I just dropped the tranny pan a couple of months ago and changed the filter. I refilled it with Toyota IV.
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post #23 of 27 Old 05-15-2019, 09:17 PM
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Murphysf, it's hard for me to trust cars with that kind of miles, the Sienna was a test for me personally, to answer the question of how long can I reasonably expect a car to last. I grew up in the era of 3k oil changes, worn out cars at 100k.

Maybe the best thing to do is pre plan the failure scenario, and have a backup plan for the vehicle TO FAIL. I've always found that when you plan on something going wrong, it does not go wrong. Now with your backup plan established you can enjoy the benefit of longevity and the cheaper costs of ownership of an older vehicle. Think of the guy with the Volvo pushing 3 million miles. I had a customer with 564k miles on his Nissan 84 200 sx, another with 350k on his 87 300zx and both kept on running.

Good luck happens to those who plan on bad luck, at least in my personal experience.
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post #24 of 27 Old 05-15-2019, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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Murphysf, it's hard for me to trust cars with that kind of miles, the Sienna was a test for me personally, to answer the question of how long can I reasonably expect a car to last. I grew up in the era of 3k oil changes, worn out cars at 100k.

Maybe the best thing to do is pre plan the failure scenario, and have a backup plan for the vehicle TO FAIL. I've always found that when you plan on something going wrong, it does not go wrong. Now with your backup plan established you can enjoy the benefit of longevity and the cheaper costs of ownership of an older vehicle. Think of the guy with the Volvo pushing 3 million miles. I had a customer with 564k miles on his Nissan 84 200 sx, another with 350k on his 87 300zx and both kept on running.

Good luck happens to those who plan on bad luck, at least in my personal experience.
Thanks Old Mechanic - I guess time will tell.
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post #25 of 27 Old 05-22-2019, 12:41 PM
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It's an antique !!

I drive a 1988 toyota supercharged mr2 with 435,000 miles. If the murph is doing proper maintenance and vehicle inspections, as was reported, i see no reason not to continue usage.

Having aaa plus 100 mile towing is wise, as is, knowing location of dealers and recommended mechanics on the way, if needed.

Your doing the right stuff. Enjoy life!!
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post #26 of 27 Old 05-23-2019, 06:21 AM
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"As for winter tires what do you recommend? Ones with studs? For my drive 85% of it will be without snow, its only the last bit where snow tires are needed. Is there a tire or tires that you recommend?"

Studded snow tires are very hard on pavement, so are not allowed, generally, in areas which don't get a lot of snow. Also, driving with them on dry pavement will wear the studs out.

There is a class of snow tires called studless, which means their rubber and tread block design is capable of coming very close to what studded tires can do. They are safe to drive in all conditions (in fact, some say they can be used as normal all season tires after they are about 1/2 worn down, after the special layer is worn off).

In snow, studless snow tires are frankly amazing. A set of 4 can make a normal front wheel drive car go and handle as good or better as a 4WD. However, they do need some loose snow to do their job, so for completely dry, glare ice, chains or steel studs would still do better.


A cheap set of steel rims with a set of studless snows are easy to swap on/off for trips into the mountains (get a good floor jack, some jack stands and it takes only 15~20 min to swap all 4).

By the way, make sure to put snows on all 4 wheels. Putting them only on the drive wheels means that you will be very unstable as the un-snowed wheels slide uncontrollably compared to the glued down snowed ones.


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post #27 of 27 Old 05-23-2019, 10:27 AM
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Michelin Artic Alpin snow tires are what I use on my cars.
Go on Tire Rack . com and order tires and wheels for your car. Likely about $600.
You WILL be amazed at the traction available in snow, really.

Cosmo
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