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Thread: Car Help

  1. #1
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    Default Car Help

    Hello everyone,
    I just moved up here in the summer, and am still trying to find things out. My question is pertaining to my car.
    I did get it winterized with all the required heaters (engine, battery and oil), but it really does not seem to do
    well at all. Even when it is plugged or when it is not to cold, it hardly wants to start and when it does it sounds
    like a 1970's junker that has not been taken care of (which is not true). My car is a 2000 Lexus RX300. So now
    that I have been up here for a winter (in Fairbanks), I am wondering if there is maybe car out there that would
    not be effected so much by the cold, or is this totally normal for all cars up here? I was particularly wanting to
    ask people that might have experience with my particular car, if maybe someone has had a Lexus RX300 up here
    and what they thought about it. So, I am also thinking about getting a different car and my family and I have always
    loved the Toyota 4runnrs, and I have seen obscenely large amounts of them up here in Fairbanks. So I was also
    wanting to know what people think of them as a car for up in Fairbanks, and how would it compare to my current
    car? Any input is very welcome, and Im not totally sure I'm posting this in the right place, but I couldn't find any
    better place.

  2. #2
    Member ak_cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inkoosikas View Post
    Hello everyone,
    I just moved up here in the summer, and am still trying to find things out. My question is pertaining to my car.
    I did get it winterized with all the required heaters (engine, battery and oil), but it really does not seem to do
    well at all. Even when it is plugged or when it is not to cold, it hardly wants to start and when it does it sounds
    like a 1970's junker that has not been taken care of (which is not true). My car is a 2000 Lexus RX300. So now
    that I have been up here for a winter (in Fairbanks), I am wondering if there is maybe car out there that would
    not be effected so much by the cold, or is this totally normal for all cars up here? I was particularly wanting to
    ask people that might have experience with my particular car, if maybe someone has had a Lexus RX300 up here
    and what they thought about it. So, I am also thinking about getting a different car and my family and I have always
    loved the Toyota 4runnrs, and I have seen obscenely large amounts of them up here in Fairbanks. So I was also
    wanting to know what people think of them as a car for up in Fairbanks, and how would it compare to my current
    car? Any input is very welcome, and Im not totally sure I'm posting this in the right place, but I couldn't find any
    better place.
    What battery do you have? My F150 started fine all the years I was up there, had all the same heaters you do too. But I had an Optima Red Top battery.

  3. #3

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    How does it sound after it is warmed up when you go to start it? Does it make engine noise or does it just run poorley?

  4. #4

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    A really good battery and run synthetic engine oil.

  5. #5
    Member mod elan's Avatar
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    Make sure your heaters are working first. Check if the engine heater is the preferred frost plug type. Any vehicle with the correct type of working heaters and is mechanically sound should start no problem.

  6. #6
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Your Lexus is a Toyota at its core. It should be handling the cold fine.

    For rough cold weather issues you may have a sensor that is not functioning the way it needs to when cold soaked. Not wanting to start in the deep cold is a battery issue first, then a fuel/air mixture issue second, third is spark, and fourth is too thick of an oil grade. If it never wants to warm up then you may have a thermostat issue. If it always runs rough after warming up, you have a sensor issue that is keeping the air fuel mix messed up.

  7. #7
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Ray View Post
    Your Lexus is a Toyota at its core. It should be handling the cold fine.

    For rough cold weather issues you may have a sensor that is not functioning the way it needs to when cold soaked. Not wanting to start in the deep cold is a battery issue first, then a fuel/air mixture issue second, third is spark, and fourth is too thick of an oil grade. If it never wants to warm up then you may have a thermostat issue. If it always runs rough after warming up, you have a sensor issue that is keeping the air fuel mix messed up.
    AK RAy is spot on the money. You need to leave it with a good mechanic, who will park it out overnight if necessary to diagnose the issue. Likely, a good mechanic will know where to look first without having to cold soak it for diagnosis. I highly recommend these guys: http://metropolitangarage.com/
    (I'm not affiliated, just vouching that he does great work and is a plain talking straight shooter).


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  8. #8
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Partially blocking the front of the radiator with a piece of cheap floormat during the winter is an old trick. Gotta make sure you pull it out for spring/summer but it decreases warm up time and is a huge help getting the interior heat to a comfortable level.

  9. #9

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    There are two things that stand out in the post. First is hard starting even when it is not to cold. Battery !!! Next is how it sounds after it is running. That would not be a lack of heat but as Ak Ray it is most likely a sensor that is causing the problem if it has good spark plugs.

  10. #10
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    I'm thinking Battery, also

    you mention the "Winterizing,"...and Battery is in there, does that mean you got a new one, in Fbks ?
    or you picked up a Battery Heater,...but using an older Battery ?

    So many of the sensors, etc. operate with health, only if the Battery is in excellent shape,...
    maybe you have this covered in your winterizing,..
    but that is what came to mind

    As to your other questions,...Yep, this is the right place to post a question like that,..

    and by my experiences, and those of several friends,...Toyota's,... are just a "Good Investment,"
    tough and durable, as all get out
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

  11. #11
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    One thing that challenges our cars up here is never really getting up to opperating temperature during the winter, both because of the extreme cold and short trips. That can lead to a host of problems, could be a clogged fuel injector or the catalytic converter(s) could be blocked.

    As recomended, have a good mechanic look at it. Toyota's usually run like champs, but just like any car or engine, if something is off they won't run well.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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