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99' Rx 300


liljohn
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:chairshot:

I'm on this owners forum because I wondered if any other 1999 rx's were having transmission problems. My car has always shifted hard in the morning as well, I never worried about it till it actually started slipping regularly.

Now I have an Rx 300 with 77000 miles on it and it needs a new transmission.

(the warrenty is 6yrs- 70000) I have checked Nashville, Atlanta & Knoxville the $4500.00 transmission is back ordered at all three dealers something like 40 transmissions. How many 99' LS,GS,ES transmissions on backorder? none.

Lexus customer service has been contacted about a "warrenty extension"

but no word yet. My belief is that Lexus has problem with this transmission, and the transmission is in great demand all over the country otherwise it would be easy to get. I love the car, the way it looks ,and drives, but I expect more from a car that cost $35000 new. Anbody else with similar stories?

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Hi Liljohn

I just bought a used '99 RX300 with 62000KM (37K miles). The transmission shifts smoothly in 5C (42F) temperature. I have always changed the automatic transmission fluid every 3-4 years with previous cars. Yesterday, I asked the Service Mgr at the local Lexus how they change the fluid. He told me that they just drop the pan, and replace about 2 liters (2 qts) of fluid. They never bother with the rest in the transmission (about 7 liters- 2 gallons). I have always used a complete recirc process where it removes 9 liters (2 gallons) and replaces it. I plan to do that within a few weeks.

Did you ever changed the transmission fluid? Was there any solids in the bottom of the pan?

Anyone in the forum, did you have transmission problems even after changing transmission fluid?

Good luck

JB

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yep,

I had the transmission fluid changed @ 50K the tech said it looked fine.

Thats what bothers me, I don't drive the car hard....we don't pull anything with it or anything. It just started shifting irregularly. so now I wonder how many ohers are out there like this.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Same here,

We bought a 99 RX300 with 64K on it. Upon our mechanics inspection he said that the car was in good condition but recommended general maintenance. The car was running/shifting smooth but I took the car in at 70K for a transmission flush (which was recommended) and noticed a hesitation in the shift within a day after this was done. I checked the owners manuel which recommended a particular transmission fluid (sorry, I am not a car genius so forgive my ignorance.) Anyway, I called the mechanic and he verified that they had put the wrong fluid in the car. They replaced it with the correct fluid but the car still shifts hard especially in the morning. This happened about four months ago and I have had the car back in the shop twice regarding the hard shift. Our mechanic said that according to a technical service bullentin that he has access to, the car will shift hard in cool weather?????????? Well this all took place in Nov/Dec. I live in Florida and I can assure you it is anything but cool now and we are still having the problem. We are also having an air condition problem. Cools great around town but after about two hours when traveling the air stops blowing in passenger vents and warms up in others. Mechanic said that his diagnostic machine indicated a code 41 whatever that is but since the problem is intermittent it will be hard to diagnose. Any suggetions?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi all- I just purchased a 1999 RX300. I checked on Edmunds.com and looked at the Technical Service Bulletins (TSB) and one of the last ones lists a Transmission problem when shifting from 2nd to 3rd gear there is a "Shudder" that can be fixed by replacing some.... part or another. Anyway, it's a known problem that they should do something about. The one I just purchased definitely has a problem with the transmission and it's goin' back to get a good overhaul. I probably should have looked at the TSBs before buying, but once the transmission is taken care of I think I'm going to be very happy with this one.

My A/C runs fine, but the TSBs also list a known problem with the A/C units too. Might be a good idea to surf on over and take a look. There are also other sites that, for a fee of $14.95 (i think) give you access to the full text of these TSB. If your service department is giving you a hard time about these things, it might be a good idea to have these printed out and in hand when you head on over.

Well, happy hunting-C ;)

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  • 2 weeks later...

same here - just bought a used rx300 w. 50K miles and wont shift into 3rd gear when cold or if forced wants to downshift. problem is worse when cold weather but is present even in summer. lexus service says "they all do this" - translated...there is a problem. will change transmission oil next to see if it helps.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My 99 Rx300's transmission also went out last week with only 95,000 miles on it!

Lexus took one look at it and said $5800 for the parts $1700 for the labor! I said

forget you!!! :angry:

Brought it to an AAMCO dealer and they are going to take it apart to see what

really is the problem. They think it is a torque converter problem, but won't know

until they take it apart today. Their estimate comes in under $4000, BTW...

Anyone else having this problem????

What gives? You spend that much for a car and would expect more....

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Alot of the trans problems ( or not problems) can be based on the design when Lexus came out with the great LUV in 99 to meet certain conditions they built the trans to not shift out of final drive until the operating temp. was above 180 degrees (transmision temp that is) this is especially noticable if you travel down hills in the morning when your RX is still cold. I was in an uproar when we first found this out because Lexus just came out with the new GS body and its rattles and door locks that did not work and I thought here we go again, but after Lexus shared the information with us and we shared it with our customers life was better. The caracteristic is not normal for a Lexus vehicle so many people think there trans is going. The shift point was changed the next year so the customer does not feel like there car wont shift out of "D" into final drive. I still get a shock if I drive one home and on the way into work (I live on a hill) I go to stop at a light on the hill and I think it wont go into overdrive and have to reeducate myself. Please make sure if you get your trans fluid changed at a non-factory shop that they use T-4 trans fluid (it can be picked up in quarts now at a TOYO/LEXUS dealer dont let then put in mercon/dex its bad for the tran. (was not made to operate on it) hope this helps :ph34r: LEXUS GUY

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it seems alot of people are having problems

but

they also have changed there fluid atleast once

i wonder if any original fluid owners are having problems?

i used type 3 synthetic in my es 300 and now it is slowly going and has been for 4 years

some how the tranny is just not made to work with synthetics also

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I have recently bought a 99 RX300. i had bought some valvoline durablend transmission fluid and I was about to change it last week, but right before I started to drain the oil I noticed that it said on the dipstick "TYPE T-IV" which is not your typical oil used in most tranies. I do remember seeing a TYPE T fluid at some 99 cent store by the auto parts stores didn't carry it. the durablend is a dexron IV complient which is the latest standard and I am suprised since I thought my FWD RX300 would have a similar transmission as the ES300 I used to have for which I replaced the transmission oil with the durablend as well and it worked like it was brand new at 160k miles.

I am sure that in most of these transmission problems mentioned here are due to someone who has changed the oil with a non-compatible oil and has messed up the frictions disks inside the transmission. Today I am going to contact the lexus dealer and try to see what is so special about this trani fluid and then find out if they are sold in the aftermarket. if not then I will either purchase it from them. i would rather change it myself since just by draining the oil, all the oil in the torque converter stays in the trani so its good to change it once again after a few days of driving so you will get most of the oil fluid out.

i highly recommend to the people having problems to have their mechanic or the dealer change the transmission oil with the one used at the dealer before spending replacing the tranmission.

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ya it turns out that toyota has a monopoly on this specially formulated ATF. a friend of mine happend to be the service manager at the local delaer. all they do is a stright fill and drain. the filter does not require replacement. in cases where the oil is sludgy, they recommend buying a gasket for the oil pan so that it can be removed and cleaned of any metal shavings. as for the oil, its sold in a gallon and is 27 freakin dollars. yes its still dino-based which should cost $5. it a toyota part and the parts sales guy said its a few dollars cheaper at the toyota dealer.

oh i did check around a bit, mobile has no compatible fluids and valvoline said something on their website about being toyota compatible but no mention of it being specifically TYPE T-IV compatible so its better to be safe than sorry.

those of you who are having tranni problems should fill and drain once and then a 2nd time after some driving so that all of the previous oil gets out, and hopefully that will help your situation.

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  • 3 months later...

Hello club,

I bought Lexus'99 and have 94K miles on it... I changed my oil recently and since then am having problem.. lot of white smoke and power problem.

When I took it to the dealer - hold you breath... He advised that I need new engine.. The cost of new engine is $12500 plus labor.

Any one with similar issues?

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  • 1 month later...

@#!$#!@$@#$ piece of crap. my transmission just broke.

about a month ago, when i first started the car and put it in drive, the car woudl only barely move forward. it put it in park, turned it off and turned it back on and it was ok. thought nothing of it. it has been great since then.

last week the car started to make a whining noise in the mornings and i thought it might be the belts. then yesterday, while driving, the car just started to slow down and it stopped. doesnt move in any gear, like its in neutral. WTF?

the whining noise is worse now.

took it to a transmission shop, they thought the oil pick up or the filter might have been messed up but nope. its something inside and needs an overhaul. $3000 was the price of this shop. I found a used one for $1300 but i will look around more.

glfn10s, what did AAMCO find out about your car?

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I have a 99 RX300 also, but I am not sure if I am experiencing the same problem as anyone else. When the engine is cold, it does not shift at the normal shift points. It will wind upto around 3200 rpm before shifting.

When I had it at the dealer for the 35k service, I mentioned the problem, and they said it was normal, but I do not believe them.

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I have a 99 RX300 also, but I am not sure if I am experiencing the same problem as anyone else. When the engine is cold, it does not shift at the normal shift points. It will wind upto around 3200 rpm before shifting.

When I had it at the dealer for the 35k service, I mentioned the problem, and they said it was normal, but I do not believe them.

Scott, it's pretty normal for Lexus engines not to shift gears in "normal mode". No need to worry, the colder engine would take a few minutes before shifting to normal. Typically in colder mornings, I have noted that it takes my Rx 300 to shift from 3rd to 4th gear in over 2 minutes since the car was started.

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Scott, it's pretty normal for Lexus engines not to shift gears in "normal mode". No need to worry, the colder engine would take a few minutes before shifting to normal. Typically in colder mornings, I have noted that it takes my Rx 300 to shift from 3rd to 4th gear in over 2 minutes since the car was started.

Thanks! :cheers:

I do feel better. I am not a big fan of dealerships, and tend to research anything told to me by them.

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I have a 2002 RX300 that was perfect.

I took it in for the 30K service and it has not run correctly since!

I am not sure if it is the tranny or not.

The only way I can describe it is "sluggish".

The car does not want to go. When I take my foot off the gas it slows. Almost like the emergency brake is on.

What did they do to my RX at that service?!?!?!

Any help is appreciated.

++db

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  • 6 months later...

Does anyone know if automatic transmission treatment additives like Slick50 helps prevent future tranny problems on the RX300? I just purchased a used 1999 Rx300 with 70K miles and was not aware of all these reported tranny problems. I'm very concerned? Any preventive maintenance suggestions are appreciated. Thanks

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I have 99 RX 4WD with 83K. The tranny works fine, but couple of weeks ago my wife couldn't put it to reverce :( The shifter moves properly and it felt like R is on, but car didn't move! She was parked front to the wall, so she couldn't check if D works. So I told her(over the phone) to put into N and ask her co-workers to push the car back ( Lexus RX300 - push? :censored: ) She did that, but 3 people were pushing the car, it didn't even move!(parking brake was off, of course). It felt like transmission in the Park position! :wacko: I couldn't come there that evening, so she left the car in the lot and her co-worker gave her ride home :blushing:

I came there next morning (I thought is shifter cable broken), but when I put it to R, RPMs went down a little bit, so gear is on, but car didn't move! :angry: I accelerated more (about 3500 RPM) and car JUMPED backward! :blink:

Since then everything works perfect, but I'm affraid I'll need new tranny soon :cries:

Have someone seen something like this???

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if its anything like mine, then the oil filter gets clogged and transmissoin is starved of oil. then the condition worsens quickly after that if its not taken care of properly. either get the filter and oil and take it to your mechanic or just have the dealer change the oil for you. make sure they replace the filter. there is a newer design filter. the older one that the car came with has a metal screen. the newer one is a smongy material.

by dropping the pan, it removed approximatly 1 gallon of oil which will need to be replace. might as well have the dealer do it.

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If you don't have the transmission completely flushed at least every 30kmi., your transmission is going to tear up. The drain and fill that the dealer performs is useless. They're only draining about a quarter of the fluid out and replacing it, so the fluid continues getting dirtier over time. A transmission flush will clean out the entire transmission and wire filter, and replace all the dirty fluid with clean fluid. (about 16 quarts). I have it done about every 20kmi., so the fluid is always clean. You should also have the differential service performed regularly.

The dealership is taking everyone for a ride on the drain and fill scam. I guess they're wanting everyone to have to replace their transmissions after 70 or 80kmi.. They actually told me that if you have the transmission drained and filled as scheduled, that eventually all the fluid will get replaced and would be clean. I said, "You've got to f***ing kidding!!!"

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I forgot to mention that I have both of my RX300s serviced at a place called Mostly Toyotas. They have a flush machine and told me that all the cars they have performed this service early on have never developed any transmission problems, including the 99RX. Just make sure you use the right type of trans. fluid and gear oil which is clearly marked on the trans. dipstick.

Oh yeah, the RX300 is designed not to shift into third gear until the engine has reached a certain temp. On very cold days, you should allow the car to warm up for a few minutes before driving, otherwise you might be hanging in second gear for a while. A very annoying feature.

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Has anyone had these problems come up after 100K ? I have been doing drain & fills on the tranny every 15K since I got my 99 RX (it had 32K on it when I purchased it). I am thinking about changing my routine to doing a drain & fill every time I change the oil...so every 3K instead of 15K. I have been using the T-IV fluid (pain in the rear to have to go to a toyota dealer & get it), so it is all stock. I am curious though to see if they are using the same fluid in the new RX330 model. My parents have an 02 LX and it uses the Dextron type fluid. Just curious. I have heard lots of things recommended on the service, but I plan on at 100K dropping the pan & cleaning it out. I just figure that doing the changes so frequently has kept things fairly fresh. Who knows. If something happens with mine, I just hope it happens before my extended warranty runs out at 100K. I just clicked over 80K on the vehicle. I guess I won't be buying first production year models any more!!

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  • 1 year later...

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? 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.

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