My Lexus RX 300 has been leaking oil. More important than that, though, is that there is often blue smoke that comes out the exhaust when I start the car, meaning that the oil is not just leaking outwardly, but that something bad is happening internally. So, this week I began my quest to correct the issue.
Tuesday evening, I looked up a couple of different local mechanics using an on-line, consumer-reviewed database at CarTalk.com. Wednesday morning, I called these places only to discover that most mechanics are not interested/qualified to work on Lexus/Toyota vehicles. Twice it was suggested that I call the local Toyota dealer.
The Toyota dealer in town mentioned that they could look at the car, but anything involving possible recall issues had to be handled by an actual Lexus dealer. So, I called the nearest Lexus dealership (which was ~45 miles away) in Grand Rapids and set up an appointment with them for Friday at 1:00pm.
Since Kendra's scheduled allowed for more fluctuations, she agreed to take my SUV to the appointment. Apparently, this problem is not at all uncommon for the RX 300. New valve covers are needed for the engine. How much does it cost to purchase new valve covers and have them installed? I do not know, and fortunately do not need to care, since the Lexus, at ~66,000 miles, is still covered by the 70k warranty. So, there is another appointment a week from this Thursday for them to install the new parts.
I cannot express the degree of relief I feel. It is extraordinarily pleasant to be on the correct side of a close call. The lesson here is to avoid procrastinating; less than 4,000 miles more would have meant this would have come out of my pocket instead of being paid for by Lexus.