Lexus RX Owners Manual (RX450h): 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.
    • Engine oil
    • Engine/power control unit coolant
    • Washer fluid
  • Have a service technician inspect the condition of the 12-volt battery.
  • Have the vehicle fitted with four snow tires or purchase a set of tire chains for the front tires.

    Ensure that all tires are of the specified size and the same 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.

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 the vehicle is parked without setting the parking brake, make sure to block the wheels.

    Failure to do so may be dangerous because it may cause the vehicle to move unexpectedly, possibly leading to an accident.

    When the parking brake is in automatic mode, release the parking brake after shifting the shift lever to P.

  • If the vehicle is parked without setting the parking brake, confirm that the shift lever cannot be moved out of P*.

*: The shift lever will be locked if it is attempted to be shifted from P to any other position without depressing the brake pedal. If the shift lever can be shifted from P, there may be a problem with the shift lock system. Have the vehicle inspected by your Lexus dealer immediately.

Selecting tire chains

Use the correct tire chain size when mounting the tire chains. Chain size is regulated for each tire size.

Side chain:

  1. 0.12 in. (3 mm) in diameter
  2. 0.43 in. (10.8 mm) in width
  3. 0.98 in. (25 mm) in length

Cross chain:

  1. 0.15 in. (3.9 mm) in diameter
  2. 0.54 in. (13.8 mm) in width
  3. 1.00 in. (25.3 mm) in length

Lexus RX. Winter driving tips

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.

Windshield wipers

To enable the windshield wipers to be lifted when heavy snow or icy conditions are expected, change the rest position of the windshield wipers from the retracted position below the hood to the service position using the wiper lever.

 

■ 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 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.

WARNING

■ 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 specified size.
  • 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 operations that cause sudden engine braking.
  • Slow down sufficiently before entering a curve to ensure that vehicle control is maintained.
  • Do not use the LKA (Lane-Keeping Assist) system.

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.

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