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Lexus RX350 Reliability and Common Problems

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With its impressive safety ratings, stellar fuel economy, and great ownership costs, it’s no wonder the Lexus RX350 is considered one of the leading luxury SUVs. The model also has a forecasted depreciation rate of 38% after five years, which is better than most SUVs, according to CarEdge.com.

How Reliable Is the Lexus RX350?

The Lexus RX350 received above-average scores on all major reliability ratings. RepairPal gives the model a 4.0 out of 5.0 rating, ranking it third out of 17 luxury SUVs. The automaker’s most recent lineup of RX vehicles also received an 85 out of 100 reliability score from J.D Power, ranking the model second among ten consumer-rated SUVs.

The annual repair and maintenance cost of the RX350 is approximately $550, which is lower than the average $800 for luxury SUVs. Owners of the RX350 bring in their vehicles for unscheduled repair and maintenance 0.4 times a year with an 8% probability of having a major issue. This is 3% lower than its competitors.

Common Lexus RX350 Problems

Despite having impressive reliability scores, the Lexus RX350 may run into problems caused by damaged or worn-out parts, which could affect its drivability. Here are the most common issues reported across its model years:

Faulty Rain Sensors

One of the many perks of driving a Lexus RX350 is having a rain-sensing windshield. It allows the vehicle to sense how much rain is on the windshield, which controls the wipers’ speed. But while this feature is designed to give drivers a better user experience, it has also been a source of problems for some owners.

Faulty rain sensors have been a commonly reported problem for the 2017 Lexus RX350 redesign. Some owners have complained that their sensor’s efficiency is reduced at night. Their wiper would also sometimes malfunction even though the dial is at maximum sensibility.

Oil Leaks

Many owners of the 2007-2015 RX350 model years have complained that their engine leaks oil when they drive.

2013 2015 Lexus RX 350 Lexus Newsroom
Some owners of the 2007-2015 RX350 model years have complained that their engine leaks oil when they drive. Image source: Lexus Newsroom.

Drivers of the affected model years have also reported hearing clicking noises from their engines due to a ruptured variable valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i) oil line. This faulty part can also trigger the low engine oil message and oil pressure warning lights. It can result in complete engine failure due to oil starvation if left unaddressed.

Replacing an oil line typically costs anywhere between $20 and $85 plus labor costs.

Steering Wandering

Some owners of the 2015 RX350 have complained about a wandering steering wheel. Mismatched tires or uneven tire pressure, loose steering gear or linkage, suspension problems, excessive wheel toe-out, and steering gear binding can cause this problem.

Illuminated Airbag Warning Light

An illuminated supplemental restraints system (SRS) warning light has been a common issue found in many 2007-2010 and 2013-2014 RX350s. Owners of the affected model years have reported retrieving error codes B0111 and B0116, which may suggest a depleted airbag backup battery, faulty sensors, damaged airbag clock springs, or a wet airbag module.

If you suspect a similar issue in your vehicle, it’s best to have it checked by a licensed mechanic to get a proper diagnosis.

Malfunctioning Infotainment System

Owners of some 2007, 2010, and 2014 RX350s have complained about a malfunctioning radio, Bluetooth features, and navigation display. Fortunately, these problems don’t always require part replacements to fix. Checking for the latest software upgrades usually resolved these issues.

A/C Problems

Owners of some 2007-2013 RX350s have complained about seeing an A/C error message on their screens and their air conditioning units failing to blow cold air. There have also been reports of A/C units that work intermittently due to a faulty A/C amplifier.

Transmission Failure

Transmission failure has been a common complaint among 2013 RX350 owners. Some have reported that their SUV showed signs of hesitating before losing power a few days after. This may be due to low or contaminated transmission fluid, bad bearings, or faulty control modules.

Faulty Camshaft Timing Oil Control Valves

2012 Lexus RX 350 Lexus Newsroom
Problems with the variable valve timing (VVT) system have caused some 2007-2008 and 2012 RX350s to have illuminated AWD, traction control, and check engine lights. Image source: Lexus Newsroom.

Problems with the variable valve timing (VVT) system have caused many 2007-2008 and 2012 RX350s to have illuminated AWD, traction control, and check engine lights. A faulty camshaft timing oil control valve has also caused the affected vehicles to store the P0014 and P0012 OBD codes. A new oil control valve can cost anywhere between $40 and $120 plus labor costs.

Rattling Doors

Many owners of the 2010 RX350 redesign have complained about their front doors rattling while driving on the freeway. Some have reported that their doors came loose, creating a safety hazard for the driver and passengers. Loose nuts and bolts, misaligned doors, worn-out window regulators, and loose windows may cause this problem.

Engine Failure

There have been reports of some 2009 Lexus RX350s that had failing engines. The owners of the affected models reported that their SUVs broke down without any warning despite keeping up with their vehicles’ maintenance schedule. Factors that may cause engine failure include overheating, oil leaks, detonation, and improper lubrication.

Shift Lag

Shift lag has been a common complaint among 2008 Lexus RX350 owners. Delayed shifting is usually caused by valves sticking to the valve body, faulty shift solenoids, and damaged accumulators.

Keep in mind that, like other vehicles, the Lexus RX350 is bound to develop problems as it racks up mileage. So you must keep an eye out for the model’s most common issues to keep yours running for a long time. It’s also a good idea to stay on top of your RX350’s repair and maintenance schedules to ensure all its parts are working as they should.

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Vehicle Reliability

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