Lexus RX450H engine failure - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
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post #1 of 6 Old 04-25-2019, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Lexus RX450H engine failure

Just got a call from the dealer that says my 2010 Lexus RX450h with less than 120,000 miles - needs a new engine, at a cost of $9,500. Ouch! I previously had the Oil Cooler Line issue, which was replaced (rubber hose was switched out for metal because of poor engine design), but I lost all oil in the process. Dealer said at the time there was no engine damage. Really? How do you know unless you tear the engine apart?

Well, 7 months later my engine has a total catastrophic failure. They took off the upper valve cover to check the camshaft and gears, but found no damage. They now want another 5 hours of labor to pull the upper oil pan to check for damage to the crankshaft. But, after $625 of labor charges, they found metal filings in the oil. Well, hello mechanics! Maybe checking the oil for metal shavings - before - spending several hours removing the valve covers and inspecting the camshaft, would have been a more prudent approach? What good is spending more money to find out where the damage is - when metal filings in the oil clearly indicates an engine failure.

Anyone else experienced this? I have the call into Lexus headquarters and have a case manager assigned. Car's worth $14K, new engine is $9.5K. Pretty much means it's totaled...
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post #2 of 6 Old 04-26-2019, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
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4/26/2019 - Latest update: Lexus headquarters has authorized the dealer to "find out what the problem is", at no cost to us. So, obviously they want to know what caused this engine failure. I'm hoping for good news when they discover it was the oil cooler pipe failure, that led to the complete engine failure.
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post #3 of 6 Old 04-26-2019, 10:32 AM
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So Lexus is wanting Dealership mechanics to investigate the problem and conclude it was their own TSB fix that caused the issue and then later decide to just give you a brand new engine? Good luck with that...
Even if they do discover a faulty TSB repair, it's highly likely they won't reveal it. You're probably going to get a 'poor maintenance caused engine failure' especially if you bought it used and can't account for the original owners upkeep.
Easier to sweep this one under the rug.... However, they will probably give you a discount on the repairs in hopes you remain a Lexus customer...
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post #4 of 6 Old 04-27-2019, 09:04 AM
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Buy used engine have someone install it for you. I like mobile mechanics as they are much less costly and come to you. Sell that car after repair. It's jinxed.



This should be your go to place


https://www.clublexus.com/forums/lexus-model-forums-1/



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post #5 of 6 Old 05-01-2019, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Ukrkoz, you're right, the car is jinxed - or junk, however you look at it.
You're right tlamot1, I was hoping for better luck from a premier luxury car manufacturer that markets itself on durability and reliability.
119,000 miles on a Hybrid car, where the combustion engine is only used partially. Which means the gas engine likely has fewer than 50,000 miles on it.

Just received the call from Lexus headquarters that they are declining any help with repairs. I have a 2010 Lexus RX450h, with 119,000 miles on it; with a catastrophic engine failure. And, by my estimate, the only likely cause of metal shavings in engine oil is due to oil starvation. Starvation caused by the sudden rupture of the oil cooling line. Six (6) quarts of oil had to be put back into the engine at the time of the oil cooler line rupture. But, at the time of repair (less than 6 months ago) we were told by the dealer there was no damage to the engine. So, in 6 months we go from a "no problem in the engine" to a total failure in the engine. This wasn't caused by owner neglect. Oil changes, and all other service maintenance, has been done routinely and according to schedule. Major service is done by the Lexus dealership.

My words of advice to other Lexus Rx450h owners - get rid of yours as quickly as possible. If you've had the oil cooler line replaced (old one was rubber, new one is metal) - run, do not walk to your nearest car lot and sell it for cash.

Extremely disappointed in Toyota and Lexus for their failure (now a second time) to step up to the plate, service their customer, and take care of their problem.
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post #6 of 6 Old 05-13-2019, 08:51 PM
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Your car is out of warranty, so Lexus isn't under any obligation to fix your problem for free. It was actually nice of them to agree to pay to diagnose the issue. The powertrain warranty of your SUV was 72 months or 70,000 miles- so you are nearly 40,000 miles and two years out of warranty on your SUV. Better still, it sounds as if you got nearly ten years and 120,000 miles of trouble-free transportation out of your Lexus. Try that in a Lincoln, Cadillac, BMW, Mercedes, or Audi. Good luck. It sucks that you've got a bum engine- but that is a relatively rare occurrence with most Toyota/Lexus products.

As for your analysis about the use of the gasoline engine, I think you might not fully understand how your Lexus Hybrid works. The gasoline engine is powered on and runs until it reaches operating temperature each and every time that you start your car. In any engine, that's going to be the time when most wear and tear is experienced- during cold starts and when it's running to reach normal operating temperature.

In larger Toyota/Lexus SUV Hybrids, the gas engine actually runs a lot more than you'd expect, as the hybrid motor only provides enough energy to coast or accelerate slightly. It's not the same setup as a Prius, which weighs a lot less and can launch itself and drive using its electric motor a lot more often than the Highlander Hybrid or RX Hybrid. As a result, the gas engine actually cycles on and off a lot- which again, causes the engine to experience wear and tear. I think if you really found out how many miles your gas engine has run, you'd likely find that it is running 85-90% of the time your SUV is moving or warming up. It may stop in town at stop signs and red lights, but it's likely running the vast majority of the time your SUV is moving.

It does stink that your engine it toast. If you truly believe that your shop was negligent or falsely claimed that there was no engine damage after the repair, it seems like hiring an independent mechanic to inspect or hiring a lawyer that could attempt to prove that the shop was lying to you might be the answer.

I wouldn't spend anywhere near $9500 to put in a brand-new engine into an SUV with that many miles. You should be able to find a used engine for lots less. It also would likely be cheaper to have an independent mechanic replace your engine rather than the dealer, as Lexus dealer labor costs are likely astronomical. An independent mechanic might be able to research if you can use a Highlander Hybrid 3.5L engine rather than a RX450h engine- as it likely runs on the same Atkinson-style as your RX and might be cheaper to buy used. I'm not sure if the electronics would all hook up the same, but the engine itself is likely identical. That said, I'm not a mechanic, so you should ask the experts before looking into this.

In the end, it's a bit irrational to tell all Lexus RX Hybrid owners to run and sell their vehicles because they are ticking time bombs. The 3.5L V6 used in those hybrids is the same engine that Toyota has used in all Avalons dating back to 2005, Siennas and Camrys dating back to 2007, Rav4s from 2006-2012, Highlanders and RX models dating back to 2008, Venzas, ES350s, and others. They've likely sold more than 1.5 million vehicles with that engine since it came out in 2005. It's a solid engine that is one of the best on the market- even 15 years after it first came out. Yeah, it stinks that you got a bad one- one that the dealer should have noticed was having problems when it completed the repair six months ago. But your claim that Toyota's 3.5L engine is a ticking time bomb is unwarranted. Anyone willing to let one of them go will likely find several buyers that will pay a decent price- as those vehicles hold their value due to their excellent reliability. You just got a crappy one that was serviced by a crappy dealer that's wasn't honest with you.

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