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Transmission Problems/failures with RX300 awd/fwd


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#1 tslex

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 11:31 AM

I RECENTLY TOOK MY CAR IN AND FOUND OUT THAT MY TRANSMISSION HAD GONE OUT ONLY AFTER 89,000 MILES AND WOULD BE $5,000-$6,000 TO REPLACE NEW AND $3,500 FOR USED. AFTER RESEARCHING ABOUT THE LEXUS RX300 1999 MODEL I AM FINDING OUT THERE ARE SEVERAL PROBLEMS WITH THIS VEHICLES TRANSMISSION AND DRIVE TRAIN. I AM JUST WONDERING IF THIS PROBLEM OCCURS MORE THAN IT SHOULD WITH OTHERS WITH THIS PARTICULAR MODEL?

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#2 mikey00

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 11:41 AM

I RECENTLY TOOK MY CAR IN AND FOUND OUT THAT MY TRANSMISSION HAD GONE OUT ONLY AFTER 89,000 MILES AND WOULD BE $5,000-$6,000 TO REPLACE NEW AND $3,500 FOR USED. AFTER RESEARCHING ABOUT THE LEXUS RX300 1999 MODEL I AM FINDING OUT THERE ARE SEVERAL PROBLEMS WITH THIS VEHICLES TRANSMISSION AND DRIVE TRAIN. I AM JUST WONDERING IF THIS PROBLEM OCCURS MORE THAN IT SHOULD WITH OTHERS WITH THIS PARTICULAR MODEL?


Common problem. Do a search on "transmission" here and over at Club Lexus for info. Your transmission is not your only problem, your caps lock button is stuck.

#3 katzjamr

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 08:57 PM

also as you read some of the repair posts, you will see that some people had help with lexus with the repair bill. if you have a good relationship with your dealer and a service history there you may get them to comp the labor and pay for only the part or vice versa. its worth a try and you wont know until you ask.

#4 Rx330driver

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Posted 02 March 2006 - 10:48 PM

lol ive always said the the transmissions are not the same on these japanese cars as they are in german cars. lol...so many problems with everyone model...even more risky to make an 8speed on the new LS

#5 roanokebarry

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 08:01 AM

To Teslex

The transmission problems you are having with your rx300 seems to be all to common....you did not list the symptoms or problems of the transmission.....

I have a 99 rx300 awd it now has 110k on it but at the 80k mark I began having transmission trouble I was told the same as you 4500 to5000 dollars to replace it .....I thought this is rediculous for this vehicle this is a Lexus the transmission shud never give us this kind of problem... after a lot a research and trying a few different avenues this is what I found....

If your symptoms are neutralizing, it is in drive or reverse yet acts like it is in neutral..... most likely the screen filter is clogged......if you dont mind getting under you vehicle and getting alittle dirty you can drop your own fluid and clean the screen yourself and replace with new fluid....note the dealer charges about 300 dollars to do this they will also flush out all the old fluid which is about 15 qts......when I did this it was good for about 8 to 10
thousand miles and my rx started doing the same thing again....what was happening is the metal clutches were not getting the proper lubrication and the torque converter was not either.....so I had the dealer flush the transmission again and clean the screen filter and this time when I had them replace the fluid I added a product called TRANSMATIC this product thins the transmission fluid to help it get to the critical parts it should. So far
I must say my transmission shifts like it was new.....

Now I admit we should never have had this problem until after many more miles but we have it and I hope this helps you and others out there....good luck..

roanokebarry

#6 GaVin

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 06:36 PM

I have a 1999 Lexus RX 300, and have had about 71K miles on it, and recently had the car breakdown about 240 miles away from my home. My car would shift to neutral gear at speeds higher than 45 mph, requiring me to turn the ignition off and back on to drive ( only at lower speeds). Any one seen this? The local dealer at the place where my car broke down wants to replace the entire transmission for 4K!!

We were not too sure about the cost and timeframe she proposed, and got it towed to our city for our local dealer and Lexus cust service to take a look at. I am surprised to see that RX300 had so many transmission issues, and am hoping Lexus will take a look at all the anguish the owners are experiencing and take some positive action.

Has anyone lodged official complaints with Lexus customer service, and how was the response? I Have reseacrhed on the net and saw many complaining about transmission issues with '99 RX. Shouldn't this be a recall? I was a die-hard Lexus fan, but now I am very disappointed with the transmission dying so early.

#7 wwest

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 08:34 PM

I have a 1999 Lexus RX 300, and have had about 71K miles on it, and recently had the car breakdown about 240 miles away from my home. My car would shift to neutral gear at speeds higher than 45 mph, requiring me to turn the ignition off and back on to drive ( only at lower speeds). Any one seen this? The local dealer at the place where my car broke down wants to replace the entire transmission for 4K!!

We were not too sure about the cost and timeframe she proposed, and got it towed to our city for our local dealer and Lexus cust service to take a look at. I am surprised to see that RX300 had so many transmission issues, and am hoping Lexus will take a look at all the anguish the owners are experiencing and take some positive action.

Has anyone lodged official complaints with Lexus customer service, and how was the response? I Have reseacrhed on the net and saw many complaining about transmission issues with '99 RX. Shouldn't this be a recall? I was a die-hard Lexus fan, but now I am very disappointed with the transmission dying so early.


As of 2004 the RX330 uses DBW, e-throttle, to prevent the engine RPM from rising, regardless of accelerator pedal position, while the transaxle is changing gears. With the advent of the RX300 Lexus began using a few new techiniques to improve FE in the range of 9.8%

Those techniques involved quicker, earlier upshifts, use of the O/D lockup clutch in lower gear ratios, and lastly, shifting into neutral as you coast down to a stop and then only shifting into 1st after coming to a full stop. Given that all this often resulted in the transaxle being in the wrong gear when/if the driver suddenly decided to go from coastdown to acceleration, or from low speed cruising to accleration, the likely result was a doubling of wear rate of the transacxle's clutches.

#8 lenore

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Posted 22 March 2006 - 09:31 PM

I have a 1999 Lexus RX 300, and have had about 71K miles on it, and recently had the car breakdown about 240 miles away from my home. My car would shift to neutral gear at speeds higher than 45 mph, requiring me to turn the ignition off and back on to drive ( only at lower speeds). Any one seen this? The local dealer at the place where my car broke down wants to replace the entire transmission for 4K!!

We were not too sure about the cost and timeframe she proposed, and got it towed to our city for our local dealer and Lexus cust service to take a look at. I am surprised to see that RX300 had so many transmission issues, and am hoping Lexus will take a look at all the anguish the owners are experiencing and take some positive action.

Has anyone lodged official complaints with Lexus customer service, and how was the response? I Have reseacrhed on the net and saw many complaining about transmission issues with '99 RX. Shouldn't this be a recall? I was a die-hard Lexus fan, but now I am very disappointed with the transmission dying so early.

Rather than repeat my thousands of words on this subject go to the RX300 Forum and type transmission. You will find a lot from RX NC and Lenore (Me) Lexus of America could give a damn about your satisfaction or dissatisfaction on this problem. I Wrote 5 pages of explanation why they should recall and support their product and all they would say is too bad, its past warranty, and basically suck it up. I personally am disgusted with Lexus, and will never buy again, I have played phone tag and been thoroughly messed up by the dealership ( Roseville Lexus) the worst dealership on the face of earth. I am on my third tranny and the damage done by the dealership installing them was beyond belief. Good Luck

#9 artbuc

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 06:43 AM


I have a 1999 Lexus RX 300, and have had about 71K miles on it, and recently had the car breakdown about 240 miles away from my home. My car would shift to neutral gear at speeds higher than 45 mph, requiring me to turn the ignition off and back on to drive ( only at lower speeds). Any one seen this? The local dealer at the place where my car broke down wants to replace the entire transmission for 4K!!

We were not too sure about the cost and timeframe she proposed, and got it towed to our city for our local dealer and Lexus cust service to take a look at. I am surprised to see that RX300 had so many transmission issues, and am hoping Lexus will take a look at all the anguish the owners are experiencing and take some positive action.

Has anyone lodged official complaints with Lexus customer service, and how was the response? I Have reseacrhed on the net and saw many complaining about transmission issues with '99 RX. Shouldn't this be a recall? I was a die-hard Lexus fan, but now I am very disappointed with the transmission dying so early.

Rather than repeat my thousands of words on this subject go to the RX300 Forum and type transmission. You will find a lot from RX NC and Lenore (Me) Lexus of America could give a damn about your satisfaction or dissatisfaction on this problem. I Wrote 5 pages of explanation why they should recall and support their product and all they would say is too bad, its past warranty, and basically suck it up. I personally am disgusted with Lexus, and will never buy again, I have played phone tag and been thoroughly messed up by the dealership ( Roseville Lexus) the worst dealership on the face of earth. I am on my third tranny and the damage done by the dealership installing them was beyond belief. Good Luck


I respectfuly disagree. Lexus of Wilmington, DE is the worst dealership on the face of the earth. I have bought two new vehicles from them - 95 LS400 and 99 RX300. I won't bore you with the details, but both vehicles sucked and the dealership is pathetic. Ironically, I still believe deeply in Toyota as I now drive a 99 Avalon while my wife still drives the RX. I think that Lexus is just an overpriced Toyota and the "relentless pursuit of quality" is a freaking joke. Yes, I get free coffee and a fresh rose, but the Lexus dealerships & mechanics I have seen are no better than any other dealership. I could tell you many stories, but the one I like best is when I had the RX in for the free 1k oil change and they put three deep two foot long scrathes on the hood. They denied doing it and said "we can't prove you did it and you can't prove we did it." They offered to have my hood clear coated and split the cost. I told them to go screw themselves.

#10 GaVin

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 12:35 PM

Lenore - you are right. Lexus is just not the company that backs up their product - the little hope that I had and expected with a luxury car and Toyota as a brand is gone!!!!! I am so *BLEEP*ed having to go from one customer service person to another.

And they wouldn't reimburse me because the last service was done at another service center than Lexus dealer. Ridiculous reason, as this is not a question of warrnty. This is a question of quality that went wrong. A design that was flawed.

They just lost one of their very faithful customers, and hopefully many more if I can tell my friends of all the crap I dealt with.

#11 lenore

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 12:54 PM

I have thought about this for a year and a half, It is too bad that we owners with the failed trannys could'nt get together and get a true feel for the number of failures. I was going to write a questionare up and every time I saw a RX300 in a parking lot I was going to leave one on their windshield to contact me and give me any feedback on transmission problems or failures with their car and join me in assaulting Lexus of America to try and get some response back other than sorry, its past warranty. They know they have a problem and will not address it, unlike Honda/Accura which recalled their failures on the Odessey and MDX showing that they are truely a company that believes in customer satisfaction. I am sorry your dealership measures up to the Roseville Lexus Standards which is right below Bull Crap. If anybody wants to Email me at tskeen@surewest.net with their car and particulars concerning the transmission I will compile a list and see just how bad it is and submitt it again to Lexus of America. What a cheap ass bunch of American/Toyota /Lexus liars. It makes me sick everytime some one new comes on the site with the same results that many of us have experienced. Tranny failures at less than 100k miles is rediculuous with the engineering that is available today. But not standing behind your product is criminal inlight of selling John Q. Public that they are the premium company, and elite product compared to the rest out there. I have lots of time to fight this, but one voice is not enough. Not servicing at Lexus is no excuse for early failure, and besides it is against the law to demand that. Good morning and best of luck to all of you.

#12 mikey00

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 07:16 PM

Anyone else find it odd that in the Consumer Reports annual car realibility survey the 00 through 03 RX receive the highest possible rating in the transmission catagory?

#13 GaVin

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 07:21 PM

I feel exactly like that. I want to talk to more and more RX owners, and make sure this issue with their Gen One model is known to all customers and fight this out with Lexus.

We should start a campaign similar to what Acura and Honda customers did. One other place I will place my review is autos.msn.com.

#14 lenore

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Posted 27 March 2006 - 09:59 PM

I would support any campaign to fight Lexus on the transmission issues. They need to hear it collectively from all of the owners of the failied trannys. I know I submitted complete dissatisfaction with consummers reports in their annual survey, but maybe there are not that many owners that do Consumers Reports.

#15 bluestu

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Posted 28 March 2006 - 12:24 AM

I drive by a couple transmission shops every day, and judging from the number of newer cars outside, I would say that there are many makes and models of cars that experience premature transmission failure. The number one reason being that most people never have their transmission serviced until it fails. That's a fact.

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