DIY performing Lexus RX Service with TechStream

With the whole pandemic situation going on right now, it’s just more comfortable for most people to stay home and perform Lexus RX Service by ourselves. Especially some basic operations can be done at home, without the trouble of driving to the professional technicians for repairs. For example, maybe some people with basic knowledge will download free techstream software on the Internet and buy a cheap mini vci cable.


Review 1. I have owned Lexus Rx’s for 14 years. I have changed my oil and all the filters that entire time. The only thing I have ever used the dealers for is brake work, transmission fluid changes and coolant flushes. Then I have used the Toyota dealer because they are closer to me. There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing simple maintenance work on your own if you are capable and if you wish to save a lot of money.

I recently bought a new Rx350 at my local Lexus dealer. I intended to sell my old one on Craigslist. Just for the fun of it, I asked the Lexus dealer what they would give me for trade in. I then immediately handed them my own handwritten service records where I detailed all of my maintenance work and oil changes. When he saw that I had changed my oil every 5000 miles religiously and had maintained the vehicle perfectly, he bought it from me on the spot at a good price after a 5 min test drive around their parking lot. He was giddy when he saw my compulsive maintenance records and couldn’t have cared less that I did the work on my own.

Review 2 . I highly recommend doing your own service. You will save a ton of $ and I actually enjoy doing the work.

I don’t know what you might have for equipment/tools, but the money you save in just one year will pay for most of what you need. A good floor jack and 4 jack stands, the Toyota/Lexus oil tool or kit, and a few hand tools (sockets, breaker bar, etc) are all you need. The first thing I did when I bought my RX was go onto TIS and download the basic maintenance files. Thinking about getting TechStream too.

As far as records, I set up a spreadsheet in Excel for dates and mileage for everything, and then I keep all of my receipts.

I have a 2007 Acura TL with over 300,000 miles and kept it out of my dealers shop for the last 175,000 miles after they wanted $1600 for a minor leak. They wanted over $1000 for a new radiator so I replaced with OEM for about $175. Most dealers will charge well over $500 for a front or rear brake job and you can do for about $150 with all new parts vs resurfaced rotors. I just got sick of paying a ton of money for basic work that I enjoy doing myself. BTW, almost everything is on YouTube for the exact same model, so if you can turn a wrench then you are all set. Good luck and enjoy!

I (usually) put on about 30,000 miles per year so I am done with warranty pretty quickly on most cars. So I usually let the dealer handle car up until warranty expires. In fact I always bring car in just before warranty expires just in case all hell breaks loose just after. I did that with a previous Acura when they extended the transmission warranty to 100k. Brought it in at 99k and sure enough, it was slipping. They replaced at no cost to me.

As I said, I quit taking car to dealership for work after they priced jobs through the roof. They also “recommend” a ton of service that is not on their own schedule of maintenance. These are huge money makers for the dealerships. Usually you are in for an oil change and car is on lift and then they recommend a throttle body and fuel injection system cleaning for “just a bit more”. Just got sick of all of that. I asked where in the service manual these items were listed…..silence.

So for my mileage the work that is required before warranty expires is a couple of oil changes, couple cabin and engine filters, some tire rotations and brake fluid. All of these require only basic skills and I would not at all be worried about a dispute on a Lexus involving any of these items. So even if I did this work before warranty I cannot imagine a dispute related to these items. Now if I owned a Jeep maybe so, but this is WHY I bought a Lexus….so I don’t have to worry about maintenance. I guess we can let the lawyers determine who is qualified to change oil in a car. Lexus does not require any particular certification for that qualification….just says that they should be qualified. I would guess that 40 years of changing oil in a car might be enough but who knows. Is the 17 year old kid working at the Quik-Lube down the street Qualified because of his extensive training and experience? Lexus makes the point several times that work can be done by someone other than Lexus. If people are uncomfortable doing their own work then let Lexus do it at least until the warranty runs out….then you can let the kid do the oil since he is qualified.

Toyota and Lexus refer to the transmission as sealed and the fluid as “lifetime” which I am not comfortable with. If it is truly lifetime then the warranty on the transmission should be lifetime of the owner, not the transmission. When you have 150,000 miles and the transmission fluid is junk and transmission fails, T/L says….yup…lifetime is up….you need a new transmission. Many manufacturers have done away with transmission dipstick which makes working on them more difficult. They will do a fluid change, but you practically have to beg them. They do however list replacement of fluid at 60,000 miles if you tow or similar high load on vehicle. I plan on doing my transmission fluid at 60,000 miles, and then every 30,000 after that. Tons of videos online on how to perform correctly.

Toyota Mini VCI: