2007 Lexus RX 350 - Engine issues

Bought my Lexus as a used vehicle with service book showing all service done as per service book up to !80k Kilometers but vehicle had on 172K Engine cut out during Covid 19 starting period . Had Notorite insurance on car which I paid almost R12k for . Reported to Motrite of engine failure and they insisted the car to be attended by their RMI approved repair shop . Quote came to R106k to only repair engine . Toyoate Estimated repair R90k . Problem was blown head gasket as water was on piston causing hydraulic lock cause was found to be radiator top tank cracked losing water and cars computor did not detect it . Had engine rebuilt by Engineering firm Lexus specialist , 5000 kliometers down the road same problem occurred. Went back to engineering firm and found to have closed down due to owner passing away from Covid complications . Lexus Culemborg claims that no recalls was on these cars for faulty radiators or engine seizures . Biggest crap I have ever purchased

Any old car can have a radiator failure. Computers don’t detect coolant leaks. It is your responsibility to monitor the gauges, especially temperature, oil pressure, and alternator.
It is your responsibility to monitor all fluid levels. Checking them at least weekly or every time you fill up with gas. Not uncommon for a 14 year old car to require a radiator replacement. There likely were warning signs you missed. Head gasket may have failed from overheating.
As far as repairs, have you contacted the warranty company about a different shop?

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Fluids get checked and controlled daily before start up in the morning . System should pickup loss of fluids while driving vehicle . Insurance company was only prepard to pay R7700.00 vat inclusive for failure of R114000.00 excluding vat . They are pathetic.

In the US, aftermarket warranties are usually considered worthless.


In South Africa it also proves to be worthless . Just a money making racket.

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Why? I have never had a radiator replacement rejected by a warranty company. Do you have a problem with a specific company?

Yes Motorite insurance . They cover overheating repairs but when u claim they only offer R7700 tax inclusive . Lexus apparently never had any radiator failures (header tank cracking) nor were they interested to inspect failure mabe because they might find it to be a patent defect .

I have replaced many Lexus radiators, they fail. I think your problem is that you continued to drive after coolant loss and damaged the engine.

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Yes that was so but the cars system should have warned me as I cannot detect a leak of what ever kind whilst driving and there is no signs visible of the leak in this wase water as it evaporates before you can detect it . Also you do not stop every 2 to 5 kilometers to check the vehicle and its fluids

That particular model is a very reliable and generally well engineered car. Things can and do happen to any 14 year old car with lots of use. Your problems probably started long before you bought the car.


I think so to but was blinded by the servise book that was stamped regularly and used as a sales promotion to buy the car . I am going to follow up on those stamps and am going to request to see the service sheet as well as the invoice.
The reason being that at one stage the back door would not open qhen electricaly activated . I investigated and found that a link has disconnected due to the fact that a piece of tie down wire was used to secure the link to the door arm instead of a circlip . Other small things also did not count up properly to the history of the car

Proper maintenance is no guarantee against the failure of any particular component. The onus is on the owner to monitor fluids. Likewise, it is unreasonable to expect every little quirk and repair to be fully documented, especially over the course of 14+ years.

The system that would have informed of a problem with the cooling system is the temperature gauge in the instrument panel.

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That is what is expected yes but it did not indicate any irregularities. Only after the car was shut of and ignition turned on again did the gauge rise to hot .
Al my trucks warned pre hand when water level dropped and that prevented overheating so this so called advanced technology in the Lexus is rubbish .

The car is 14 years old

I’ve replaced many plastic/aluminum radiators a lot younger than that

On a radiator 14 years old, it can look perfect one day and have a crack the next day


Not every vehicle has every piece of advanced technology. I don’t think many have coolant level monitoring even today.

Your Lexus engine temp gauge may be similar to my Corolla. When the coolant overheats to a certain temperature a light on the dashboard (adjacent to the gauge) turns on. But there’s no audio or other alarm. So it could be possible to not see it. Coolant level in the radiator may not be monitored, so if the coolant level drops (b/c of a leak, etc), and the engine over-temp design is the same as my Corolla, the only indication would be that dash light.

With this sort of problem the entire cooling system has to be evaluated. For example was the thermostat replaced at the same time as the radiator? The water pump? The heater core? Coolant and heater hoses? Engine compartment fans?

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Long time talk show host Clark Howard agrees. He only recommends extended warranties from the manufacturer, not any third party. He also says to get any potential used car to be inspected by a mechanic of your own choosing, NOT the place you are buying it. If the seller will not let you get it inspected, that’s all you need to know to reject that car.

I’ll bet most new cars have coolant low sensors. My last car (1999 Chevy Monte Carlo) had one. (I now drive a '17 Chevy Volt)

Really? Why? Wife’s 07 Lexus with over 250k miles has original radiator. Did replace the water pump at 50k miles though. Not too happy about that. But no issues what-so-ever after that hiccup.

Isn’t it common sense to replace the radiator, thermostat, water pump, and all coolant hoses if the engine failed due to overheating? Who does engine repairs without finding and correcting the cause, or at least attempting to correct the most common possible causes?