2-5. Driving information
Utility vehicle precautions (RX350)
This vehicle belongs to the utility vehicle class, which has higher
ground clearance and narrower tread in relation to the height of its
center of gravity to make it capable of performing in a wide variety of
off-road applications.
Off-road vehicle feature
● Specific design characteristics give it a higher center of gravity than
ordinary passenger cars. This vehicle design feature causes this type of
vehicle to be more likely to rollover. And, utility vehicles have a significantly higher rollover rate than other types of vehicles.
● An advantage of the higher ground clearance is a better view of the
road allowing you to anticipate problems.
● It is not designed for cornering at the same speeds as ordinary passenger cars any more than low-slung sports cars designed to perform satisfactorily under off-road conditions. Therefore, sharp turns at
excessive speeds may cause rollover.
CAUTION
■ Off-road vehicle precautions
Always observe the following precautions to minimize the risk of death or serious
injury or damage to your vehicle:
● In a rollover crash, an unbelted person is significantly more likely to die than a
person wearing a seat belt. Therefore, the driver and all passengers should fasten
their seat belts whenever the vehicle is moving.
● Avoid sharp turns or abrupt maneuvers, if at all possible.
Failure to operate this vehicle correctly may result in loss of control or vehicle rollover causing death or serious injury.
● Loading cargo on the roof luggage carrier will make the center of the vehicle
gravity higher. Avoid high speeds, sudden starts, sharp turns, sudden braking or
abrupt maneuvers, otherwise it may result in loss of control or vehicle rollover
due to failure to operate this vehicle correctly.
354
2-5. Driving information
CAUTION
● Always slow down in gusty crosswinds. Because of its profile and higher center of
gravity, your vehicle is more sensitive to side winds than an ordinary passenger
car. Slowing down will allow you to have better control.
● Do not drive horizontally across steep slopes. Driving straight up or straight down
is preferred. Your vehicle (or any similar off-road vehicle) can tip over sideways
much more easily than forward or backward.
2
Off-road driving
● Drive your vehicle only in areas where off-road vehicles are permitted
to travel.
● Respect private property. Get owner’s permission before entering private property.
● Do not enter areas that are closed. Honor gates, barriers and signs
that restrict travel.
● Stay on established roads. When conditions are wet, driving techniques should be changed or travel delayed to prevent damage to
roads.
■ Additional information for off-road driving
For owners in U.S. mainland, Hawaii and Puerto Rico:
To obtain additional information pertaining to driving your vehicle off-road, consult
the following organizations.
● State and Local Parks and Recreation Departments
● State Motor Vehicle Bureau
● Recreational Vehicle Clubs
● U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management
355
When driving
When driving your vehicle off-road, please observe the following precautions to ensure your driving enjoyment and to help prevent the closure of
areas to off-road vehicles.
2-5. Driving information
CAUTION
■ Off-road driving precautions
Always observe the following precautions to minimize the risk of death or serious
injury or damage to your vehicle:
● Drive carefully when off the road. Do not take unnecessary risks by driving in
dangerous places.
● Do not grip the steering wheel spokes when driving off-road. A bad bump could
jerk the wheel and injure your hands. Keep both hands and especially your
thumbs on the outside of the rim.
● Always check your brakes for effectiveness immediately after driving in sand,
mud, water or snow.
● After driving through tall grass, mud, rock, sand, water, etc., check that there is no
grass, bush, paper, rags, stone, sand, etc. adhering or trapped to the underbody.
Clear off any such matter from the underbody. If the vehicle is used with these
materials trapped or adhering to the underbody, a breakdown or fire could occur.
● When driving off-road or in rugged terrain, do not drive at excessive speeds,
jump, make sharp turns, strike objects, etc. This may cause loss of control or vehicle rollover causing death or serious injury. You are also risking expensive damage to your vehicle’s suspension and chassis.
NOTICE
■ To prevent water damage
Take all necessary safety measures to ensure that water damage to the engine or
other components does not occur.
● Water entering the engine air intake will cause severe engine damage.
● Water entering the automatic transmission will cause deterioration in shift quality,
locking up of your transmission accompanied by vibration, and ultimately damage.
● Water can wash the grease from wheel bearings, causing rusting and premature
failure, and may also enter the differentials, transmission and transfer case, reducing the gear oil’s lubricating qualities.
356
2-5. Driving information
NOTICE
■ When you drive through water
If driving through water, such as when crossing shallow streams, first check the
depth of the water and the bottom of the stream for firmness. Drive slowly and avoid
deep water.
■ Inspection after off-road driving
● Sand and mud that has accumulated around brake discs may affect braking effi-
ciency and may damage brake system components.
2
● Always perform a maintenance inspection after each day of off-road driving that
357
When driving
has taken you through rough terrain, sand, mud, or water. For scheduled maintenance information, refer to the “Warranty and Services Guide/Owner’s Manual
Supplement/Scheduled Maintenance”.
2-5. Driving information
Utility vehicle precautions (RX450h)
This vehicle belongs to the utility vehicle class, which has higher
ground clearance and narrower tread in relation to the height of its
center of gravity.
Utility vehicle feature
● Specific design characteristics give it a higher center of gravity than
ordinary passenger cars. This vehicle design feature causes this type of
vehicle to be more likely to rollover. And, utility vehicles have a significantly higher rollover rate than other types of vehicles.
● It is not designed for cornering at the same speeds as ordinary passenger cars any more than low-slung sports cars designed to perform satisfactorily under off-road conditions. Therefore, sharp turns at
excessive speeds may cause rollover.
CAUTION
■ Utility vehicle precautions
Always observe the following precautions to minimize the risk of death or serious
injury or damage to your vehicle:
● In a rollover crash, an unbelted person is significantly more likely to die than a
person wearing a seat belt. Therefore, the driver and all passengers should fasten
their seat belts whenever the vehicle is moving.
● Avoid sharp turns or abrupt maneuvers, if at all possible.
Failure to operate this vehicle correctly may result in loss of control or vehicle rollover causing death or serious injury.
● Loading cargo on the roof luggage carrier will make the center of the vehicle
gravity higher. Avoid high speeds, sudden starts, sharp turns, sudden braking or
abrupt maneuvers, otherwise it may result in loss of control or vehicle rollover
due to failure to operate this vehicle correctly.
358
2-5. Driving information
CAUTION
● Always slow down in gusty crosswinds. Because of its profile and higher center of
gravity, your vehicle is more sensitive to side winds than an ordinary passenger
car. Slowing down will allow you to have better control.
● Do not drive horizontally across steep slopes. Driving straight up or straight down
is preferred. Your vehicle (or any similar off-road vehicle) can tip over sideways
much more easily than forward or backward.
2
Off-road driving
● Drive your vehicle only in areas where off-road vehicles are permitted
to travel.
● Respect private property. Get owner’s permission before entering private property.
● Do not enter areas that are closed. Honor gates, barriers and signs
that restrict travel.
● Stay on established roads. When conditions are wet, driving techniques should be changed or travel delayed to prevent damage to
roads.
● Avoid driving on very steep, slippery roads and other surfaces, such as
sand, where the tires are liable to lose traction. Your vehicle may not
perform as well as conventional AWD on-road vehicles on these surfaces.
359
When driving
Your vehicle is not designed to be driven off-road. However, in the event
that off-road driving cannot be avoided, please observe the following
precautions to help avoid the areas prohibited to vehicles.
2-5. Driving information
■ Additional information for off-road driving
For owners in U.S. mainland, Hawaii and Puerto Rico:
To obtain additional information pertaining to driving your vehicle off-road, consult
the following organizations.
● State and Local Parks and Recreation Departments
● State Motor Vehicle Bureau
● Recreational Vehicle Clubs
● U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management
CAUTION
■ Off-road driving precautions
Always observe the following precautions to minimize the risk of death or serious
injury or damage to your vehicle:
● Drive carefully when off the road. Do not take unnecessary risks by driving in
dangerous places.
● Do not grip the steering wheel spokes when driving off-road. A bad bump could
jerk the wheel and injure your hands. Keep both hands and especially your
thumbs on the outside of the rim.
● Always check your brakes for effectiveness immediately after driving in sand,
mud, water or snow.
● After driving through tall grass, mud, rock, sand, water, etc., check that there is no
grass, bush, paper, rags, stone, sand, etc. adhering or trapped to the underbody.
Clear off any such matter from the underbody. If the vehicle is used with these
materials trapped or adhering to the underbody, a breakdown or fire could occur.
● When driving off-road or in rugged terrain, do not drive at excessive speeds,
jump, make sharp turns, strike objects, etc. This may cause loss of control or vehicle rollover causing death or serious injury. You are also risking expensive damage to your vehicle’s suspension and chassis.
360
2-5. Driving information
NOTICE
■ To prevent water damage
Take all necessary safety measures to ensure that water damage to the hybrid battery, hybrid system or other components does not occur.
● Water entering the engine compartment may cause severe damage to the hybrid
system. Water entering the interior may cause the hybrid battery stowed under
the rear seats to short circuit.
● Water entering the hybrid transmission will cause deterioration in transmission
● Water can wash the grease from wheel bearings, causing rusting and premature
failure, and may also enter the hybrid transmission case, reducing the gear oil’s
lubricating qualities.
■ When you drive through water
If driving through water, such as when crossing shallow streams, first check the
depth of the water and the bottom of the riverbed for firmness. Drive slowly and
avoid deep water.
■ Inspection after off-road driving
● Sand and mud that has accumulated around brake discs may affect braking effi-
ciency and may damage brake system components.
● Always perform a maintenance inspection after each day of off-road driving that
has taken you through rough terrain, sand, mud, or water. For scheduled maintenance information, refer to the “Warranty and Services Guide/Owner’s Manual
Supplement/Scheduled Maintenance”.
361
When driving
quality. The malfunction indicator may come on, and the vehicle may not be drivable.
2
2-5. Driving information
Cargo and luggage
Take notice of the following information about storage precautions, cargo
capacity and load.
● Stow cargo and luggage in the luggage compartment whenever
possible.
● Be sure all items are secured in place.
● Be careful to keep the vehicle level. Placing the weight as far forward as possible helps maintain vehicle balance.
● For better fuel economy, do not carry unnecessary weight.
Capacity and distribution
Cargo capacity depends on the total weight of the occupants.
(Cargo capacity) = (Total load capacity) — (Total weight of occupants)
Steps for Determining Correct Load Limit ⎯
(1) Locate the statement “The combined weight of occupants and cargo
should never exceed XXX kg or XXX lbs.” on your vehicle’s placard.
(2)Determine the combined weight of the driver and passengers that will
be riding in your vehicle.
(3)Subtract the combined weight of the driver and passengers from
XXX kg or XXX lbs.
(4)The resulting figure equals the available amount of cargo and luggage
load capacity.
For example, if the “XXX” amount equals 1400 lbs. and there will be
five 150 lb passengers in your vehicle, the amount of available cargo
and luggage load capacity is 650 lbs. (1400 − 750 (5 × 150) = 650
lbs.)
(5)Determine the combined weight of luggage and cargo being loaded
on the vehicle. That weight may not safely exceed the available cargo
and luggage load capacity calculated in Step 4.
362
2-5. Driving information
(6)If your vehicle will be towing a trailer, load from your trailer will be
transferred to your vehicle. Consult this manual to determine how this
reduces the available cargo and luggage load capacity of your vehicle.
(→P. 944)
Example based on your vehicle
2
Cargo capacity
Total load capacity
When driving
When 2 people with the combined weight of 366 lb. (166 kg) are riding
in your vehicle, the available amount of cargo and luggage load capacity
will be as follows:
RX450h 2WD models
Total load capacity: 825 lb. (370 kg)
825 lb. - 366 lb. = 459 lb. (370 kg - 166 kg = 204 kg)
RX350 and RX450h AWD models
Total load capacity: 885 lb. (400 kg)
885 lb. - 366 lb. = 519 lb. (400 kg - 166 kg = 234 kg)
In this condition, if 3 more passengers with the combined weight of 388 lb.
(176 kg) get on, the available cargo and luggage load will be reduced as follows:
RX450h 2WD models
459 lb. - 388 lb. = 71 lb. (204 kg - 176 kg = 28 kg)
RX350 and RX450h AWD models
519 lb. - 388 lb. = 131 lb. (234 kg - 176 kg = 58 kg)
363
2-5. Driving information
As shown in the example above, if the number of occupants increases,
the cargo and luggage load will be reduced by an amount that equals the
increased weight due to the additional occupants. In other words, if an
increase in the number of occupants causes an excess of the total load
capacity (combined weight of occupants plus cargo and luggage load),
you must reduce the cargo and luggage on your vehicle.
CAUTION
■ Things that must not be carried in the luggage compartment
The following things may cause a fire if loaded in the luggage compartment:
● Receptacles containing gasoline
● Aerosol cans
■ Storage precautions
Observe the following precautions.
Failure to do so may result in death or serious injury.
● Stow cargo and luggage in the luggage compartment whenever possible.
● Do not stack cargo and luggage in the luggage compartment higher than the
seatbacks.
Such items may be thrown about and possibly injure people in the vehicle in the
event of sudden braking or in an accident.
● Do not place cargo or luggage in or on the following locations as the items may
get under the brake or accelerator pedal and prevent the pedals from being
depressed properly, block the driver’s vision, or hit the driver or passengers,
causing an accident:
• At the feet of the driver
• On the front passenger or rear seats (when stacking items)
• On the luggage cover
• On the instrument panel
• On the dashboard
● Secure all items in the occupant compartment, as they may shift and injure someone in the event of sudden braking, sudden swerving or an accident.
364
2-5. Driving information
CAUTION
● Never allow anyone to ride in the luggage compartment. It is not designed for
passengers. They should ride in their seats with their seat belts properly fastened.
Otherwise, they are much more likely to suffer death or serious bodily injury, in
the event of sudden braking, sudden swerving or an accident.
■ Capacity and distribution
● Do not exceed the maximum axle weight rating or the total vehicle weight rating.
● Even if the total load of occupant's weight and the cargo load is less than the total
■ Roof luggage carrier precautions (if equipped)
To use the roof rails as a roof luggage carrier, you must fit the roof rails with two or
more genuine Lexus cross rails or their equivalent.
When you load cargo on the roof luggage carrier, observe the following:
● Place the cargo so that its weight is distrib-
Cross rails
uted evenly between the front and rear
axles.
● If loading long or wide cargo, never exceed
Roof rails
the vehicle’s overall length or width.
(→P. 944)
● Before driving, make sure the cargo is securely fastened on the roof luggage car-
rier.
● Loading cargo on the roof luggage carrier will make the center of gravity of the
vehicle higher. Avoid high speeds, sudden starts, sharp turns, sudden braking or
abrupt maneuvers, otherwise the result may be a loss of control or vehicle rollover due to failure to operate this vehicle correctly and result in death or serious
injury.
● If driving for long distances, on rough roads, or at high speeds, stop the vehicle
now and then during the trip to make sure the cargo remains in its place.
● Do not exceed 165 lb. (75 kg) cargo weight on the roof luggage carrier.
● To reduce wind noise when there is no luggage loaded on the roof luggage car-
rier, move the front cross rail to the front-most position and the rear cross rail to
the rearmost position.
365
When driving
load capacity, do not apply the load unevenly. Improper loading may cause deterioration of steering or braking control which may cause death or serious injury.
2
2-5. Driving information
NOTICE
■ When loading cargo
Be careful not to scratch the surface of the moon roof.
366
2-5. Driving information
Vehicle load limits
Vehicle load limits include total load capacity, seating capacity, TWR
(Trailer Weight Rating) and cargo capacity.
■ Total load capacity
RX450h 2WD models: 825 lb. (370 kg)
RX350 and RX450h AWD models: 885 lb. (400 kg)
Total load capacity means the combined weight of occupants, cargo and
luggage.
2
■ Seating capacity: 5 occupants (Front 2, Rear 3)
■ TWR (Trailer weight rating) (RX350)
Without a towing package: 2000 lb. (907 kg)
With a towing package: 3500 lb. (1588 kg)
TWR means the maximum gross trailer weight (trailer weight plus its
cargo weight) that your vehicle is able to tow.
■ TWR (Trailer Weight Rating) (RX450h AWD models with towing
package)
3500 lb. (1588 kg)
TWR means the maximum gross trailer weight (trailer weight plus its
cargo weight) that your vehicle is able to tow.
■ TWR (Trailer Weight Rating) (RX450h 2WD models and
RX450h AWD models without towing package)
Lexus does not recommend towing a trailer with your vehicle.
■ Cargo capacity
Cargo capacity may increase or decrease depending on the weight and
the number of occupants.
■ Total load capacity and seating capacity
These details are also described on the tire and loading information label.
(→P. 783)
367
When driving
Seating capacity means the maximum number of occupants whose estimated average weight is 150 lb. (68 kg) per person.
2-5. Driving information
CAUTION
■ Overloading the vehicle
Do not overload the vehicle.
It may not only cause damage to the tires, but also degrade steering and braking
ability, resulting in an accident.
368
2-5. Driving information
Winter driving tips
Carry out the necessary preparations and inspections before driving the
vehicle in winter. Always drive the vehicle in a manner appropriate to the
prevailing weather conditions.
■ Pre-winter preparations
● Use fluids that are appropriate to the prevailing outside temperatures.
● Have the vehicle fitted with four snow tires or purchase a set of
tire chains for the front tires.
Ensure that all tires are the same size and brand, and that chains match
the size of the tires.
■ Before driving the vehicle
Perform the following according to the driving conditions:
● Do not try to forcibly open a window or move a wiper that is frozen. Pour warm water over the frozen area to melt the ice. Wipe
away the water immediately to prevent it from freezing.
● To ensure proper operation of the climate control system fan,
remove any snow that has accumulated on the air inlet vents in
front of the windshield.
● Check for and remove any excess ice or snow that may have
accumulated on the exterior lights, vehicle's roof, chassis, around
the tires or on the brakes.
● Remove any snow or mud from the bottom of your shoes before
getting in the vehicle.
369
2
When driving
• Engine oil
• Engine coolant
• Power control unit coolant (RX450h)
• Washer fluid
● Have a service technician inspect the condition of the 12-volt battery.
2-5. Driving information
■ When driving the vehicle
Accelerate the vehicle slowly, keep a safe distance between you and
the vehicle ahead, and drive at a reduced speed suitable to road
conditions.
■ When parking the vehicle
Park the vehicle and move the shift lever to P without setting the
parking brake. The parking brake may freeze up, preventing it from
being released. If necessary, block the wheels to prevent inadvertent sliding or creeping.
Selecting tire chains
Use the correct tire chain size when mounting the tire chains. Chain size
is regulated for each tire size.
Side chain:
0.12 in. (3 mm) in diameter
0.98 in. (25 mm) in length
0.43 in. (10.8 mm) in width
Cross chain:
0.15 in. (3.9 mm) in diameter
1.00 in. (25.3 mm) in length
0.54 in. (13.8 mm) in width
Regulations on the use of tire chains
Regulations regarding the use of tire chains vary depending on location
and type of road. Always check local regulations before installing chains.
370
2-5. Driving information
■ Tire chain installation
Observe the following precautions when installing and removing chains:
● Install and remove tire chains in a safe location.
● Install tire chains on the front tires only. Do not install tire chains on the rear tires.
● Install the tire chains on front tires as tightly as possible. Retighten chains after
driving 1/4 ⎯ 1/2 mile (0.5 ⎯ 1.0 km).
● Install tire chains following the instructions provided with the tire chains.
2
■ Driving with snow tires
Observe the following precautions to reduce the risk of accidents.
Failure to do so may result in a loss of vehicle control and cause death or serious
injury.
● Use tires of the size specified for your vehicle.
● Maintain the recommended level of air pressure.
● Do not drive in excess of 75 mph (120 km/h), regardless of the type of snow tires
being used.
● Use snow tires on all, not just some wheels.
■ Driving with tire chains
Observe the following precautions to reduce the risk of accidents.
Failure to do so may result in the vehicle being unable to be driven safely, and may
cause death or serious injury.
● Do not drive in excess of the speed limit specified for the tire chains being used,
or 30 mph (50 km/h), whichever is lower.
● Avoid driving on bumpy road surfaces or over potholes.
● Avoid sudden acceleration, abrupt steering, sudden braking and shifting opera-
tions that cause sudden engine braking.
● Slow down sufficiently before entering a curve to ensure that vehicle control is
maintained.
371
When driving
CAUTION
2-5. Driving information
NOTICE
■ Repairing or replacing snow tires
Request repairs or replacement of snow tires from Lexus dealers or legitimate tire
retailers.
This is because the removal and attachment of snow tires affects the operation of
the tire pressure warning valves and transmitters.
■ Fitting tire chains
The tire pressure warning valves and transmitters may not function correctly when
tire chains are fitted.
372
2-5. Driving information
Trailer towing (RX350 and RX450h AWD models with towing package)
Your vehicle is designed primarily as a passenger-and-load-carrying vehicle. Towing a trailer can have an adverse impact on handling, performance,
braking, durability, and fuel consumption. For your safety and the safety of
others, you must not overload your vehicle or trailer. You must also ensure
that you are using appropriate towing equipment, that the towing equipment has been installed correctly and used properly, and that you employ
the requisite driving habits.
To tow a trailer safely, use extreme care and drive the vehicle in accordance with your trailer’s characteristics and operating conditions.
Lexus warranties do not apply to damage or malfunction caused by towing
a trailer for commercial purposes.
Contact your Lexus dealer for further information about additional
requirements such as towing kits, etc.
Towing related terms
■ GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating)
The maximum allowable gross
combination weight. The gross
combination weight is the sum of
the total vehicle weight (including
the occupants, cargo and any
optional equipment installed on
the vehicle) and the weight of the
trailer being towed (including the
cargo in the trailer).
373
2
When driving
Vehicle-trailer stability and braking performance are affected by trailer
stability, brake performance and setting, trailer brakes, the hitch and hitch
systems (if equipped).
2-5. Driving information
■ GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating)
The maximum allowable gross
vehicle weight. The gross vehicle
weight is the total weight of the
vehicle. When towing a trailer, it is
the sum of the vehicle weight
(including the occupants, cargo
and any optional equipment
installed on the vehicle) and the
tongue weight.
■ GAWR (Gross Axle Weight Rating)
The maximum allowable gross axle
Front GAWR
weight. The gross axle weight is the
load placed on each axle (front
and rear).
Rear GAWR
374
2-5. Driving information
■ TWR (Trailer Weight Rating)
(With brakes)
The maximum allowable gross
trailer weight. The gross trailer
weight is the sum of the trailer
weight and the weight of the cargo
in the trailer.
Additional optional equipment,
passengers and cargo in the vehicle will reduce the trailer weight
rating so as not to exceed GCWR,
GVWR and GAWR.
If the gross trailer weight exceeds
3000 lb. (1360 kg), it is recommended to use a trailer with 2 or
more axles.
■ Tongue Weight
The load placed on the trailer hitch
ball. (→P. 378)
375
2
When driving
TWR is calculated assuming base
vehicle with one driver, one front
passenger, towing package (if
available), hitch and hitch systems
(if required).
2-5. Driving information
Weight limits
● The gross trailer weight must never exceed the TWR described in the
table. (→P. 377)
● The gross combination weight must never exceed the GCWR
described in the table. (→P. 377)
● The gross vehicle weight must
never exceed the GVWR indicated on the Certification Label.
● The gross axle weight on each
axle must never exceed the
GAWR indicated on the Certification Label.
● If the gross trailer weight is over the unbraked TWR, trailer service
brakes are required.
● If the gross trailer weight is over 2000 lb. (907 kg), a sway control
device with sufficient capacity is required.
376
2-5. Driving information
GCWR, TWR, Unbraked TWR, Fifth wheel and Gooseneck towing TWR
Confirm that the gross trailer weight, gross combination weight, gross
vehicle weight, gross axle weight and tongue weight are all within the limits.
■ GCWR* and TWR*
Towing type
RX350 with towing
package
RX450h with towing
package
GCWR
2WD
7560 lb.
(3429 kg)
AWD
7650 lb.
(3470 kg)
2WD
9060 lb.
(4109 kg)
AWD
9150 lb.
(4150 kg)
AWD
9480 lb.
(4297 kg)
TWR
2
2000 lb.
(907 kg)
When driving
RX350 without towing
package
Driving system
3500 lb.
(1588 kg)
3500 lb.
(1588 kg)
■ Unbraked TWR*
1000 lb. (453 kg)
*: These models meet the tow-vehicle trailering requirement of SAE International per SAE J2807.
377
2-5. Driving information
Trailer Tongue Weight
● A recommended tongue weight varies in accordance with the types of
trailers or towing as described below.
● To ensure the recommended values shown below, the trailer must be
loaded by referring to the following instructions.
• Tongue Weight
The gross trailer weight should be distributed so that the tongue
weight is 9% to 11%. (Tongue weight /Gross trailer weight x 100 =
9% to 11%)
Gross trailer weight
Tongue weight
If using a weight distributing hitch when towing, return the front axle
to the same weight as before the trailer connection.
If front axle weight cannot be measured directly, measure the front
fender height above the front axle before connection. Adjust weight
distributing hitch torque until front fender is returned to the same
height as before connection.
The gross trailer weight, gross axle weight and tongue weight can be
measured with platform scales found at a highway weighing station,
building supply company, trucking company, junk yard, etc.
378
2-5. Driving information
Hitch
Trailer hitch assemblies have different weight capacities. Lexus recommends the use of Lexus hitch/bracket for your vehicle. For details, contact your Lexus dealer.
● If you wish to install a trailer hitch, contact your Lexus dealer.
● Use only a hitch that conforms to the gross trailer weight requirement
of your vehicle.
● Lubricate the hitch ball with a light coating of grease.
● Remove the trailer hitch whenever you are not towing a trailer. After
removing the hitch, seal any mounting hole in the vehicle body to prevent entry of any substances into the vehicle.
379
When driving
● Follow the directions supplied by the hitch manufacturer.
2
2-5. Driving information
Selecting trailer ball
Use the correct trailer ball for your application.
Trailer ball load rating
Matches or exceeds the gross
trailer weight rating of the trailer.
Ball diameter
Matches the size of the trailer coupler. Most couplers are stamped
with the required trailer ball size.
Trailer class
Typical trailer ball
size
IV
2 5/16 in.
II and III
2 in.
I
1 7/8 in.
Shank length
Protrudes beyond the bottom of
the lock washer and nut by at least
2 threads.
Shank diameter
Matches the ball mount hole diameter size.
380
2-5. Driving information
Positions for towing hitch receiver and hitch ball
Weight carrying ball position:
45.1 in. (1145 mm)
2
4 pin connector
Use the wire harness stored in the
rear end under body.
381
When driving
Connecting trailer lights
2-5. Driving information
■ Auto current cut-off function
In case of over current, the auto cut-off function stops the power flowing to the
trailer lights to prevent damage to the vehicle’s electrical system.
This function is activated when the rated current of any of the following trailer light
circuit components is exceeded:
● Tail lights: maximum 7.8 A
● Stop/turn signal light (right): maximum 4.5 A
● Stop/turn signal light (left): maximum 4.5 A
■ When the auto current cut function is activated
If a trailer light does not come on due to the activation of the auto current cut function, the light system will need to be reset.
Follow the reset procedure shown below.
● If a tail light does not come on, turn off the headlight switch.
● If the right-side stop/turn signal light does not come on, put the turn signal in the
off position or remove foot from the brake pedal.
● If the left-side stop/turn signal light does not come on, put the turn signal in the
off position or remove foot from the brake pedal.
If the emergency flashers do not operate, press the emergency flasher switch to
turn them off.
After the light system is reset, operate the light switches again to see if the lights
operate normally.
If the lights do not operate normally, have the vehicle inspected by your Lexus
dealer.
382
2-5. Driving information
Trailer towing tips
Your vehicle will handle differently when towing a trailer. Help to avoid an
accident, death or serious injury, keep the following in mind when towing:
● Speed limits for towing a trailer vary by state or province. Do not
exceed the posted towing speed limit.
● Before starting out, check the trailer lights, tires and the vehicle-trailer
connections. Recheck after driving a short distance.
● Practice turning, stopping and reversing with the trailer attached in an
area away from traffic until you become accustomed to the feel of the
vehicle-trailer combination.
● Reversing with a trailer attached is difficult and requires practice. Grip
the bottom of the steering wheel and move your hand to the left to
move the trailer to the left. Move your hand to the right to move the
trailer to the right. (This is generally opposite to reversing without a
trailer attached.) Avoid sharp or prolonged turning. Have someone
guide you when reversing to reduce the risk of an accident.
● As stopping distance is increased when towing a trailer, vehicle-tovehicle distance should be increased. For each 10 mph (16 km/h) of
speed, allow at least one vehicle and trailer length.
● Avoid sudden braking as you may skid, resulting in the trailer jackknifing and a loss of vehicle control. This is especially true on wet or slippery surfaces.
● Avoid jerky starts or sudden acceleration.
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● Lexus recommends that the vehicle-trailer speed limit is 65 mph (104
km/h) on a flat, straight, dry road. Do not exceed this limit, the posted
towing speed limit or the speed limit for your trailer as set forth in your
trailer owner’s manual, whichever is lowest. Instability of the towing
vehicle-trailer combination (trailer sway) increases as speed increases.
Exceeding speed limits may cause loss of control.
2-5. Driving information
● Avoid jerky steering and sharp turns, and slow down before making a
turn.
● Note that when making a turn, the trailer wheels will be closer than the
vehicle wheels to the inside of the turn. Compensate by making a
wider than normal turning radius.
● Slow down before making a turn, in cross winds, on wet or slippery surfaces, etc.
Increasing vehicle speed can destabilize the trailer.
● Take care when passing other vehicles. Passing requires considerable
distance. After passing a vehicle, do not forget the length of your
trailer, and be sure you have plenty of room before changing lanes.
● To maintain engine braking efficiency and charging system performance when using engine braking, do not put the transmission in D.
● Instability happens more frequently when descending steep or long
downhill grades. Before descending, slow down and downshift. Do not
make sudden downshifts while descending steep or long downhill
grades.
● Avoid holding the brake pedal down too long or applying the brakes
too frequently. This could cause the brakes to overheat and result in
reduced braking efficiency.
● Due to the added load of the trailer, your vehicle’s engine may overheat
on hot days (at temperatures over 85°F [30°C]) when driving up a
long or steep grade. If the engine coolant temperature gauge indicates
overheating, immediately turn off the air conditioning (if in use), pull
your vehicle off the road and stop in a safe spot. (→P. 930, 933)
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2-5. Driving information
● Always place wheel blocks under both the vehicle’s and the trailer’s
wheels when parking. Apply the parking brake firmly, and put the
transmission in P. Avoid parking on a slope, but if unavoidable, do so
only after performing the following:
Apply the brakes and keep them applied.
STEP 2 Have someone place wheel blocks under both the vehicle’s and
trailer’s wheels.
STEP 3 When the wheel blocks are in place, release the brakes slowly
until the blocks absorb the load.
STEP 4 Apply the parking brake firmly.
STEP 5 Shift into P and turn off the engine (RX350) or hybrid system
(RX450h).
● When restarting after parking on a slope:
STEP 1
STEP 2
STEP 3
STEP 4
With the transmission in P, start the engine (RX350) or hybrid
system (RX450h). Be sure to keep the brake pedal depressed.
Shift into a forward gear. If reversing, shift into R.
Release the parking brake and brake pedal, and slowly pull or
back away from the wheel blocks. Stop and apply the brakes.
Have someone retrieve the blocks.
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STEP 1
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2-5. Driving information
■ Matching trailer ball height to trailer coupler height
No matter which class of tow hitch applies,
for a more safe trailer hookup, the trailer ball
setup must be the proper height for the coupler on the trailer.
Coupler
Trailer ball
■ Before towing
Check that the following conditions are met:
● Ensure that your vehicle’s tires are properly inflated. (→P. 957, 960)
● Trailer tires are inflated according to the trailer manufacturer’s recommenda-
tion.
● All trailer lights work as required by law.
● All lights work each time you connect them.
● The trailer ball is set at the proper height for the coupler on the trailer.
● The trailer is level when it is hitched.
Do not drive if the trailer is not level, and check for improper tongue weight,
overloading, worn suspension, or other possible causes.
● The trailer cargo is securely loaded.
● The rear view mirrors conform to all applicable federal, state/provincial or local
regulations. If they do not, install rear view mirrors appropriate for towing purposes.
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2-5. Driving information
■ Break-in schedule
If your vehicle is new or equipped with any new power train components (such as
an engine, transmission, differential or wheel bearing), Lexus recommends that you
do not tow a trailer until the vehicle has been driven for over 500 miles (800 km).
After the vehicle has been driven for over 500 miles (800 km), you can start towing. However, for the next 500 miles (800 km), drive the vehicle at a speed of less
than 50 mph (80 km/h) when towing a trailer, and avoid full throttle acceleration.
■ Maintenance
● If you tow a trailer, your vehicle will require more frequent maintenance due to
● Retighten the fixing bolts of the towing ball and bracket after approximately
600 miles (1000 km) of trailer towing.
■ If trailer sway occurs
One or more factors (crosswinds, passing vehicles, rough roads, etc.) can adversely
affect handling of your vehicle and trailer, causing instability.
● If trailer swaying occurs:
• Firmly grip the steering wheel. Steer straight ahead.
Do not try to control trailer swaying by turning the steering wheel.
• Begin releasing the accelerator pedal immediately but very gradually to
reduce speed.
Do not increase speed. Do not apply vehicle brakes.
If you make no extreme correction with the steering or brakes, your vehicle and
trailer should stabilize.
● After the trailer swaying has stopped:
• Stop in a safe place. Get all occupants out of the vehicle.
• Check the tires of the vehicle and the trailer.
• Check the load in the trailer.
Make sure the load has not shifted.
Make sure the tongue weight is appropriate, if possible.
• Check the load in the vehicle.
Make sure the vehicle is not overloaded after occupants get in.
If you cannot find any problems, the speed at which trailer swaying occurred is
beyond the limit of your particular vehicle-trailer combination.
Drive at a lower speed to prevent instability. Remember that swaying of the towing
vehicle-trailer increases as speed increases.
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the additional load. (See “Warranty and Services Guide”, “Owner's Manual
Supplement” or “Scheduled Maintenance”.)
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2-5. Driving information
CAUTION
■ Trailer towing precautions
To tow a trailer safely, use extreme care and drive the vehicle in accordance with the
trailer’s characteristics and operating conditions. Failure to do so could cause an
accident resulting in death or serious injury. Vehicle stability and braking performance are affected by trailer stability, brake setting and performance, and the hitch.
Your vehicle will handle differently when towing a trailer.
■ To avoid accident or injury
● Do not exceed the TWR, unbraked TWR, GCWR, GVWR or GAWR.
● If the gross trailer weight is over 2000 lb. (907 kg), a sway control device with
sufficient capacity is required.
● Adjust the tongue weight within the appropriate range. Place heavier loads as
close to the trailer axle as possible.
● Do not exceed 65 mph (104 km/h), the posted towing speed limit or the speed
limit for your trailer as set forth in your trailer owner’s manual, whichever is lowest.
Slow down sufficiently before making a turn, in cross winds, on wet or slippery
surface, etc. to help avoid an accident. If you experience a vehicle-trailer instability from reducing a certain speed, slow down and make sure you keep your vehicle speed under the speed of which you experience the instability.
● Do not make jerky, abrupt or sharp turns.
● Do not apply the brakes suddenly as you may skid, resulting in jackknifing and
loss of vehicle control. This is especially true on wet or slippery surfaces.
● Do not exceed the trailer hitch assembly weight, gross vehicle weight, gross axle
weight and trailer tongue weight capacities.
● Do not use cruise control when towing.
● Slow down and downshift before descending steep or long downhill grades. Do
not make sudden downshifts while descending steep or long downhill grades.
● Vehicle-trailer instability is more likely on steep long downhills. Before descend-
ing steep or long downhill grades, slow down and downshift. Do not make sudden
downshifts when descending steep or long downhill grades. Avoid holding the
brake pedal down too long or applying the brakes too frequently. This could
cause the brakes to overheat and result in reduced braking efficiency.
● Do not tow a trailer when the compact spare tire is installed on your vehicle.
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2-5. Driving information
CAUTION
■ Hitch
Trailer hitch assemblies have different weight capacities established by the hitch
manufacturer. Even though the vehicle may be physically capable of towing a
higher weight, the operator must determine the maximum weight rating of the particular hitch assembly and never exceed the maximum weight rating specified for
the trailer-hitch. Exceeding the maximum weight rating set by the trailer-hitch manufacturer can cause an accident resulting in death or serious personal injuries.
■ When towing a trailer
● If the gross trailer weight exceeds unbraked TWR, trailer brakes are required.
Lexus recommends trailers with brakes that conform to all applicable federal and
state/provincial regulations.
● Never tap into your vehicle’s hydraulic system, as this will lower the vehicle’s brak-
ing effectiveness.
● Never tow a trailer without using a safety chain securely attached to both the
trailer and the vehicle. If damage occurs to the coupling unit or hitch ball, there is
danger of the trailer wandering into another lane.
NOTICE
■ When installing a trailer hitch
Use only the position recommended by your Lexus dealer. Do not install the trailer
hitch on the bumper; this may cause body damage.
■ Do not directly splice trailer lights
Do not directly splice trailer lights. Directly splicing trailer lights may damage your
vehicle’s electrical system and cause a malfunction.
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When driving
Lexus recommends trailers with brakes that conform to any applicable federal and
state/provincial regulations.
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2-5. Driving information
Trailer towing (RX450h 2WD models and RX450h AWD models without towing package)
Lexus does not recommend towing a trailer with your vehicle. Lexus also
does not recommend the installation of a tow hitch or the use of a tow hitch
carrier for a wheelchair, scooter, bicycle, etc. Your vehicle is not designed
for trailer towing or for the use of tow hitch mounted carriers.
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2-5. Driving information
Dinghy towing
Your vehicle is not designed to be dinghy towed (with 4 wheels on the
ground) behind a motor home.
NOTICE
■ To avoid serious damage to your vehicle
Do not tow your vehicle with four wheels on
the ground.
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When driving
■ To prevent causing serious damage to the transmission and Active Torque Con-
trol 4WD system (RX350 AWD models)
2WD models: Never tow this vehicle from
the rear with the front wheels on the ground.
This may cause serious damage to the transmission.
AWD models: Never tow this vehicle with
any of the wheels on the ground. This may
cause serious damage to the transmission
and Active Torque Control 4WD system
(RX350 AWD models).
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