Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Lexus RX300 with 165,000 miles

I have a much used and loved Lexus RX300 with 165,000 miles on, the last 100,000 put on over the past 4 years after moving to the Detroit area. It has had all the required maintenance. Two weeks ago the oil light went on and the dealer told me that I needed cylinder head covers, a PVC valve, and crank and Cam seals for a grand cost of $1500. In addition my driver and front passenger locks have stopped responding to keyless entry and the rear door latch stopped working. As much as I’d like to replace the car, it is paid for and this economy is poor. Is it worth spending the money to get this fixed or should I consider this the beginning of the “large budget items failure” and replace it? Thanx

None of the mentioned recommended repairs have nothing to do with the oil light coming on except maybe they caused minor oil leaks, and the failure to check the oil level caused the engine to run without oil. How much oil did it need after the oil light came on? Is the light a low oil light or a low oil pressure light?

The dealer found those items leaking? Of course, the dealer would imply, tacitly or spoken, that those things MUST be repaired. The dealer won’t say, “These items are leaking a little (medium amount, a lot); so, they need to be monitored.” Oh, no, it’s, “These items must be repaired, or something dire will happen!”.
Take your Love to an independent shop / mechanic. A little tightening here and there may be adequate to keep the leak to a minimum.
On an older vehicle, YOU must keep an eye on the vital fluids, any leaks, and general vehicle condition. The alternative is to pay for questionably needed repairs. Economics start at home.

Valve cover leaks are common with that (I did the ones on my ES a few years ago). Given that the monthly payment on a new one would be $3000 (edit - my mistake, $1000), I’d pay the money if you still want to drive it. As for the keyless entry, have you replaced the battery in the key/fob? Also, if you’re getting the gaskets done, check if other things might be done cheaper then, like plugs.

This car should reasonably be expected to run another 100k miles before it becomes unreliable. You should expect, however, to need to step up the routine maintenance, monitoring of fluid levels, and so forth. Compared to new car payments, registration, and insurance, what you will spend in the next four year will be a lot less than a new car.

Its my belief that most cars hit 8yrs/150k and then more likely than not require more expensive repair/maintenance. Keep this in mind and all will be well. Its far cheaper to keep an older vehicle and continue it till you can longer stomach it.

Hellokit, this was what I was saying when I said the Dealer will look your car over and find may problems you did not even know about complicating your decision, The Dealer likes to make every problem a “your going to be walking” or “people will die” issue,they don’t put what they find into perspective, a little oil misting is related as a oil leak that is going to cause your engine to be damaged

For the OP this is a question that comes up a lot. You started with a expensive,high quality car and now (not the oil issues) acessories are failing and to fix them is expensive,this is a time as many (and as you are correctly analyzing) bail on a car that was once way above the average.

I wish there was a mathmatic formula to follow