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Es 300 Transmission


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I have a 2000 Lexus ES-300 with about 45,000 miles on it. When purchased the local Lexus dealer provided their own recommended Maintenance Schedule for various time and milage periods. At 45,000 miles, this schedule recommends a Automatic Transmission Service. I called the dealer's service department and they said this involved draining the fluid and replacing it with a fresh charge. I called several other transmission specialists and some have special equipment for draining and flushing plus removal of the pan and replacement of the filter. Their prices were about the same as Lexus, although it seems like they would do a lot more.

Then I read the 2000 Lexus Owner's Manual Supplement: Warranty, Maintenance and General Information booklet that came with the car. At 45,000 miles it says only to replace the differential oil (not the automatic transmission fluid) but "only if vehicle is primarily operated while towing a trailer or using a camper or cartop carrier". I don't engage in these special operating conditions so I interpret this to mean no such service is needed or adviseable. The manual continues to the 150,000 mileage level with only one reference to just inspecting the automatic transmission fluid.

I take it from this that nothing needs to be done with regard to the transmission maintenance. Would appreciate your thoughts or experience in this regard. :(

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I have a 2000 Lexus ES-300 with about 45,000 miles on it.  When purchased the local Lexus dealer provided their own recommended Maintenance Schedule for various time and milage periods. At 45,000 miles, this schedule recommends a Automatic Transmission Service. I called the dealer's service department and they said this involved draining the fluid and replacing it with a fresh charge.  I called several other transmission specialists and some have special equipment for draining and flushing plus removal of the pan and replacement of the filter. Their prices were about the same as Lexus, although it seems like they would do a lot more.

Then I read the 2000 Lexus Owner's Manual Supplement: Warranty, Maintenance and General Information booklet that came with the car.  At 45,000 miles it says only to replace the differential oil (not the automatic transmission fluid) but "only if vehicle is primarily operated while towing a trailer or using a camper or cartop carrier". I don't engage in these special operating conditions so I interpret this to mean no such service is needed or adviseable. The manual continues to the 150,000 mileage level with only one reference to just inspecting the automatic transmission fluid.

I take it from this that nothing needs to be done with regard to the transmission maintenance. Would appreciate your thoughts or experience in this regard.  :(

:rolleyes: I change the transmission fluid every 10,000 miles. In my case I drive my Lexus (one 1992, and a 2004) at city traffic. Two times a year change of trans. fliud will be fine, if the use of your vehicle is not "stop and go". Once a year I take the fluid trans. crank out, instead of draining it. By doing this I will take out more used fluid, clean the trans. filter, magnet (has at least one to prevent metals flowing with the fluid). If the fluid in your car trans. is not like chery color, CHANGE IT as soon as possible. My ES 300, 1992 has 115,800 miles and never had a trans. problem. Check the type of fluid needed. The owners manual or the trans. dip stik will indicate fluid type. My 2004 uses Toyota Type 1V fluid, while my 1992 uses Dextron. The only way to prevent trans. problems is by an agressive preventive maintenance. Hope this helps, juanspagan

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The transmission and differential probably have separate drain plugs, but both are re-filled by pouring new fluid through the transmission dipstick tube. If you want your transmission and differential to last many hundreds of thousands of miles, drain the transmission oil pan and differential every 10,000-15,000 miles. The fluid can be found cheap in 1 quart bottles at the Parts Dept at Toyota dealers.

About every 150,000 miles remove the transmission oil pan and clean the magnets and metal mesh filter screen. Both can be reused after cleaning.

The transmission fluid cooler is built into the radiator. Therefore it is important to keep the radiator clean internally and externally. For the internal part, simply drain and refill the radiator with the factory original coolant mixture (50% Toyota Long Life Antifreeze and 50% distilled water every 2 years / 30,000 miles, to keep the insides of the cooling system immaculately clean. For the exterior part, remove the radiator about every 100,000 -150,000 miles and clean off the accumulation of bugs and dust http://www.saber.net/~monarch/radjunk.jpg

No "flushing" of the cooling system or tranmssion is needed - it just makes big money for the service shops, plus the shops will refill with aftermarket brands of coolant and tranny fluid which could be harmful.

The factory Maintenance Schedule lists the MINIMUM amount and frequency of maintenance required to keep the drivetrain warranty in effect. It is not the OPTIMUM schedule for long component life, although it is adequate for owners who plan to sell / trade their cars every 100,000 - 150,000 miles.

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The transmission and differential probably have separate drain plugs, but both are re-filled by pouring new fluid through the transmission dipstick tube.  If you want your  transmission and differential to last many hundreds of thousands of miles, drain the transmission oil pan and differential every 10,000-15,000 miles.  The fluid can be found cheap in 1 quart bottles at the Parts Dept at Toyota dealers.

About every 150,000 miles remove the transmission oil pan and clean the magnets and metal mesh filter screen.  Both can be reused after cleaning.

The transmission fluid cooler is built into the radiator.  Therefore it is important to keep the radiator clean internally and externally.  For the internal part, simply drain and refill the radiator with the factory original coolant mixture (50% Toyota Long Life Antifreeze and 50% distilled water every 2 years / 30,000 miles, to keep the insides of the cooling system immaculately clean.  For the exterior part, remove the radiator about every 100,000 -150,000 miles and clean off the accumulation of bugs and dust http://www.saber.net/~monarch/radjunk.jpg

No "flushing" of the cooling system or tranmssion is needed - it just makes big money for the service shops, plus the shops will refill with aftermarket brands of coolant and tranny fluid which could be harmful.

The factory Maintenance Schedule lists the MINIMUM amount and frequency of maintenance required to keep the drivetrain warranty in effect.  It is not the OPTIMUM schedule for long component life, although it is adequate for owners who plan to sell / trade their cars every 100,000 - 150,000 miles.

:) Dear Monarch:

The ES 300, 1992 diferential is filled at a side plug at the diferential itself, not at trans. dipstik tube. I do agree on everything else you state. Juan :cheers:

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  • 7 years later...

so guys . ES300-2000 has different filler plug or we have to use the dipstcik for diferential? I read diffrential fluid is Dextr 3 which is differnt from tranny fluid, and differential has a separate drain plug!. isnt this good enough to think there are 2 different services to be done? Is a massive confussion where ppl saying is the same. Has anybody done that himself? thanx,alan

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