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Old 06.10.2015, 10:12
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lexus rx400h buying advice

I am looking at a private sale for a used Lexus rx400h (2005 first regn, 101000 km). The car is quoted at 15000chf - negotiable. I really liked the car and have scheduled a test drive and also a test at the TCS. The service record for the car exists but is erratic. It had 2 recommended services together and since then there are some fluctuations in the KM gap between services.

I read quite a bit about the car and its owners' experiences and I am satisfied mostly. But much of the information I found was specific to the US and UK. I had a few questions specifically and would also appreciate any general advice on this car.


1. How much does it cost to maintain this car? Looking for ballpark figures for minor and major services and general cost of spares. How easy is it to find garages that can service a hybrid ?

2. How reliable is the hybrid battery system in this car? I read about this trickle charging system that people have been using in case of a dead battery. How easy is it to DIY once you have the charging kit?

3. The last MFK on the car was feb 2015. does change of ownership automatically trigger a MFK request?

4. Lastly, any current owners who can comment on the car and their experiences?

Thanks in advance for your help
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Old 06.10.2015, 10:17
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Re: lexus rx400h buying advice

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1. How much does it cost to maintain this car? Looking for ballpark figures for minor and major services and general cost of spares. How easy is it to find garages that can service a hybrid ? Budget 1,000-2,000 for an annual service including "minor" part replacement. You may find you need to use a Toyota main dealer - which will have you paying Emil Frey prices.

3. The last MFK on the car was feb 2015. does change of ownership automatically trigger a MFK request? No

Thanks in advance for your help
I'm not sure hybrids are overly DIY friendly though for anything beyond the basics.

Worth remembering is that this is 10 year old SUV, which has clocked 100,000km, so it would be well worth checking what suspension and steering components have been replaced recently. Normally between 70-120k is when most SUVs begin to suffer the abuse owners give them believing they can ride kerbs and speed bumps without slowing down.

Last edited by dodgyken; 06.10.2015 at 10:30.
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Old 09.10.2015, 22:50
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Re: lexus rx400h buying advice

I own 2006 year RX400h for the last 2.5 years. I bought it in 2013 with 55000km mileage and currently it shows 112000km. I'm a second owner, and all the maintenance I did in official dealership in Latvia (I just recently moved to Switzerland). So I recently made a research and asked some of garages about maintenance costs:
*) 120000km maintenance : CHF. 600.-
*) 135000km maintenance : CHF. 450.-
*) 150000km maintenance : CHF. 1800.- (incl. Timing Belt !)

As for example, in Latvia for the same service the costs are:
120kkm - 280 eur
135kkm - 150 eur
150kkm - 650 eur

For the years I own this car I never had any problems besides spending money every 15000km on maintenance and some money on consumables (suspension, brakes, lamps, etc).

Hybrids rocks - it just works without any problems, I have never heard bad feedback about it
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Old 10.10.2015, 02:38
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Re: lexus rx400h buying advice

Read the forums about the battery. . Many many stories about people leaving the car for two weeks and unable to start it after as the battery was flat. Lexus official answer " carry a booster pack"
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Old 10.10.2015, 10:50
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Re: lexus rx400h buying advice

I disagree. When I got the chance to buy hybrid 2.5 years ago - I searched forums for all possible failures and feedbacks - but there was nothing like that. I doubt you will find anything related to serious Lexus hybrid problem unless you did all the maintenance asked by dealer.
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Old 11.10.2015, 09:36
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Re: lexus rx400h buying advice

I used to moderate the main Lexus forum in the UK years ago and remember the multiple common threads. Lexus have sorted the issue now though.

All depends on the production year.

And the battery is maintenance free btw.
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Old 11.10.2015, 10:03
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Re: lexus rx400h buying advice

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I used to moderate the main Lexus forum in the UK years ago
Are you Alan Partridge?
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Old 11.10.2015, 10:17
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Re: lexus rx400h buying advice

Shhhhhhh don't tell everyone
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Old 11.10.2015, 11:44
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Re: lexus rx400h buying advice

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.... So I recently made a research and asked some of garages about maintenance costs:
*) 120000km maintenance : CHF. 600.-
*) 135000km maintenance : CHF. 450.-
*) 150000km maintenance : CHF. 1800.- (incl. Timing Belt !)
Those prices seem low to me, I have paid (been Switzerlanded) north of 600 for an oil change service on my old VW.

Back to the original question, I think if you cannot afford the running expenses of a luxury vehicle as a new car, it will not be any cheaper just because it is 10 years old, and in fact as people have pointed out, now is when it is wearing out.

For 15k you can get an 18-24 month old Octavia, with none of the risk.

Anyway, people will not be queuing up to buy the Lexus, and it will have little export appeal either, so go in with a cheeky 10k offer if you want it.
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Old 11.10.2015, 13:17
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Re: lexus rx400h buying advice

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Those prices seem low to me, I have paid (been Switzerlanded) north of 600 for an oil change service on my old VW.

Back to the original question, I think if you cannot afford the running expenses of a luxury vehicle as a new car, it will not be any cheaper just because it is 10 years old, and in fact as people have pointed out, now is when it is wearing out.

For 15k you can get an 18-24 month old Octavia, with none of the risk.

Anyway, people will not be queuing up to buy the Lexus, and it will have little export appeal either, so go in with a cheeky 10k offer if you want it.

Not so sure, i paid less than Chf 500.-- for a service on an MB E500 (German import so no "free service" and it took 8 litres oil i think.

Garage was official Mercedes garage too
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Old 13.10.2015, 23:05
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Re: lexus rx400h buying advice

I have an Rx350 (non hybrid) and it has been the most reliable car I have had. However a friend does have a 2006 hybrid 400 and while the hybrid batteries are fine he has trouble with the starter battery the whole time. Regularly goes flat if left too long. He carries one of these jump boxes in the boot. Real benefit of the car is in town, on a motorway at 130 fuel consumption is no better than mine.
Not sure about switzerland but tax breaks aren't huge in the uk.
I didn't get the hybrid as it was too expensive considering the little gain I would get from the fuel and I didn't like the torque stear when you accelerated hard. Being fussy the climate system doesn't maintain a decent temperature and needs fiddling with when temp outside changes a lot ie sunny to night.
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Old 14.10.2015, 09:56
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Re: lexus rx400h buying advice

Thanks all. I did put in a offer on the car after test driving it. We agreed on a price but the current owner has not gotten back since then. So, I am assuming he got a better offer.

Personally, I liked the car a lot and it drives quite well. I tried to hedge future service costs by reducing the purchase price and it did not go through. Back in the market again.
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Old 14.10.2015, 12:43
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Re: lexus rx400h buying advice

Do also scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on "similar threads" !
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