I have a 2001 Lexus RX300. Great vehicle. I love driving it. Got it for a good price back in '04 and it's been very reliable. I also like all the bells and whistles it has...until something goes wrong.
For the past couple of months, I've been hearing a loud intermittent buzzing/groaning sound coming from under the dash on the passenger side. Larry and the Tour boys can attest to it. Some days I wouldn't hear it at all, and other days it would happen every few minutes. And it would often buzz for a little bit about 30 seconds after I turned the car off. I figured it was some type of problem with the climate control system, but everything was still heating and cooling as expected, so I put off getting it repaired until Wednesday. This is the first repair I've needed since my warranty expired, but even though I know a good local shop for engine work, and another for tires/suspensions, for electrical issues, especially under the dash, I've had better luck taking vehicles to the dealer. So away to the Lexus dealer it went. They also gave it the umpteen-point checkup to see if there were any other problems. (I also told them about the front passenger door lock actuator not working, and a burned-out upper rear brake light, and asked for quotes on those repairs, too.)
Turns out the groaning was from a pair of worn-out solenoids on the climate control system. Before I went to the dealer I was guessing it'd be about $1000, and I was right... $932 or thereabouts. I also had them fix the brake light, knowing full well I was paying WAY too much money for it at $68 or so, but also knowing that I hate to remove and replace interior door panels. I've already been into the inside of my tailgate once before, and based on that experience, it was worth $65 to me to have them install a $3.00 bulb. The door lock actuator was quoted at over $500, so I took a pass on that. I may see what my engine shop guy would charge me for that, since he also does electrical work.
The shop also found that one of my rear shocks is leaking and needs a new dust boot. (I'll be taking it to my tire/suspension guy tomorrow to replace the pair...maybe all four.) Any guesses what price the dealer quoted me to fix ONE shock?