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94 Es300 Transmission Stopped Working


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I got my car serviced last year at 125K (for 120k mile service). After driving for 9k more miles it stalled at a stop light one day. It felt like the transmission did not engage and the engine would just rev higher on giving gas. Somehow (with more stalls and hiccups) I managed to bring it back to my work parking lot.

Since I had one more car I let it sit there for a while. Yesterday I tried starting it up again and the problem still remains. It does not move - however reverse seems to do a bit better than forward gears. It will move slightly when it is cold, but as the engine warms up it stops moving.

So I went ahead and checked the tranmission fluid level. To my horror I found it way past hot even when it was cold :o One more thing I noticed was that when started at cold the engine revs a bit higher (around 2k) and makes some strange noise too. As it starts warming up the revs come down to around 1k and the noise disappears.

Is my transmission gone? When I checked the last service records I saw that they replaced the transmission fluid, so I have a feeling the idiots over filled it. How serious is it? And does anyone know the exact amount to be filled - I will cross check it against the amount listed in service record?

This plain sucks, I am glad my other car is manual. At least I wouldn't have to worry about the transmission - clutch plate maybe, but they are cheap!

Thanks in advance!

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what color is the tranny fluid? wipe the dipstick off on a white paper towel.

Red = good. Brown or black = BAD.

If the tranny fluid is red, then I would guess a seal in the tranny is gone and it ain't holding adequate pressure.

If the fluid is brown....you got problems, especially since the fluid was just put in there.

steviej

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I checked the color and it looks brwonish to me :(.

So does that mean major transmission work? Secondly, can I hold the service shop responsible for this? They do say in the sevice record that all their repairs are guaranteed for 15 months/15k miles, but this is a side affect of something they did.

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You need to have a shop look at it, and drop the pan to inspect for metal shavings on the magnets. And, most tranny shops do not transfer the warranty to the next owner. They can also check it for codes, did you get a check engine light? In some cases, you can keep flushing the system every time it starts to slip untill you can afford to replace the tranny? The dealership won't be of much help to you at all, as they can only replace it. So, I would find a reputable tranny shop in town, and witness the pan for your self! You could be looking a new overdrive as well- if the whole thing needs to be replaced it could cost $2400.

Oh, ya! You need to check the tranny when its at operating temp, not cold. If they changed it, I'm sure it was just a drain and fill- about 4 quarts.

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I checked the color and it looks brwonish to me :(.

So does that mean major transmission work? Secondly, can I hold the service shop responsible for this? They do say in the sevice record that all their repairs are guaranteed for 15 months/15k miles, but this is a side affect of something they did.

if it is within the warranty period of their work.....bring it back immediately.

Brownish........long shot, but it has been known to happen that sometimes oil is put in the tranny by accident. Hopefully that didn't happen, and if it did, i think the tranny would have crapped out earlier.

steviej

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I did get the CEL - it goes on and off intermittently. I was told some sensor in the exhaust (O2 sensor?) has gone bad.

I can't check the fluid level at operating temp because the car doesn't move at all! I just checked it again by starting it up and letting it warm up. After about five minutes, with engine running and cycling through all gears the level was about an inch higher than the hot mark!

I will take it to a good tranny shop but what I was asking was that my last sevice shop (which did the 120k service) provided the warranty - and since they overfilled the ATF which led to its damage (persumably) can I hold them responsible?

BTW the record shows that they used 4 quarts, so how could the level be so high :unsure:

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I will take it to a good tranny shop but what I was asking was that my last sevice shop (which did the 120k service) provided the warranty - and since they overfilled the ATF which led to its damage (persumably) can I hold them responsible?

BTW the record shows that they used 4 quarts, so how could the level be so high :unsure:

I meant take it back to the shop that did the tranny work in the first place. Give them a chance to fix the problem. Hold them to their warranty.

Second, they could have overfilled the tranny if they added 4 qts in but first drained only 3 qts. out. Anything is possible.

steviej

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  • 3 months later...

I believe that my Lexi (93' ES 300) has the same problem. The trans fluid is slightly high. At first, the Lexus would go forward and backwards when the fluid was cold. When the Lexus warmed up after 30 seconds, it seemed as though it was in neutral. Now, it will not move when cool. I was reading about the transmission speed sensor which tends to go bad with 93/94 models. Does anybody have any input? Or are the 93' transmissions bad? :(

Don

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Take it back to the shop,explain it to them and tell them you want a flush not drain and fill but a machine to replace the fluid on their dime for overfilling it.

Putting the car and reving the engine has pretty much sealed the deal that you have finished eating your tranny by shadetreeing it and find what is wrong and limping it home.

The clutches are always touching but not enough to move a few thousand pounds ,so now they should be pretty much worn right down.

Using amsoil synthetic tranny oil and some lucas treatment may help.

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