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Transmission Fluid Dark Brown Or Rusty Color


MTOM01
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Your fluid is toast, read the RX300 Forum on Transmissons. Change the fluid every 15k miles or you will discover the failure soon. Make sure you only use toyota Type IV fluid. Do not substitue.

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Given the many threads and posts pertaining to RX transmission failures on this forum and others like it, I recommend changing your Type T-IV transmission fluid at least every 30,000 miles regardless of whether you have AWD or FWD. I'll continue my 30,000-mile fluid change interval on my wife's recently-acquired 2004 RX330 AWD even though the owners manual continues to say "no need to change under normal operating conditions" just as it did with our previous 2000 RX300 AWD. Yeah, right....

Why risk it? Changing the fluid is simple to do with 4 to 5 new quarts of Type T-IV purchased at a Toyota parts department, a 10mm hex wrench, a level driveway, a plastic funnel, and a catch basin. Takes maybe an hour, and most of that time is waiting for the last stream of old fluid to run out of the two drain plug holes (don't forget to drain the front differential as well as the transmission pan).

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RX 300, 4WD, 54K

Transmission fluid dark brown or rusty color, whe I put it in drive it kind of jumps, not smooth. The book says no service needed for 100K.

Shoul I change the AT fluid etc etc??

Thanks.

Since ATF is cherry red and yours is dark brown, common sense would say to change it. Unfortunately, you can't get it all out by simply dropping the drain plug. You have a lot more ATF in the upper part of the transmission as well as the torque converter. From your description, I would drain and then refill, drive 20-30 miles, and drain and refill again. I would do this one more time.

For preventative maintenance, I would be checking my ATF more frequently and change it anytime it starts to turn brown. Fwiw, my Toyota Camry calls for ATF changes every 30000 miles. It is usually starting to change color by then.

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Grumpa is correct, you will need about 9 quarts to do the two changes. Again make sure to use Type IV toyota fluid. Excellent idea to clean it up. I do not suggest a flush, you may cause debris going into the valve body of the transmission. Just do the drain and fill routine.

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I'm surprised you made it that far before noticeing. Mine, 2001 AWD RX300, was BURNT at only 40,000 miles. I'm pretty sure this is all the result of Lexus using an over-sized ATF oil pump to overcome the lack of sufficient ATF oil pressure to accomplish two sequential gear changes in quick sucession.

That lack of oil pressure is what most likely is causing the '99 Rxes to have premature transaxle failures.

I'm watching the condition of the ATF at every DIY oil change, now at 60,000, and will only do another drain & refill if it begin to look/smell burnt.

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Guys thanks.

My father in-law is an expert in car mechanics, and it is his idea that if the car manufactures makes a suggestion strictly follow it. Well now I ended up with tosted ATF, and this crap jumps as if I jolteed it with 100, 000 Amps everytime i put it on drive or reverse.

The above suggested method is what I used to do for my Camry, and it was so easy just drain and fill.

I guess I will follow the same for this SUV too.

I'm just surprised as to why the book makes the suggestion of 100K. They have all this crappy complaints and they still stick on to those guidelines.

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Guys thanks.

My father in-law is an expert in car mechanics, and it is his idea that if the car manufactures makes a suggestion strictly follow it. Well now I ended up with tosted ATF, and this crap jumps as if I jolteed it with 100, 000 Amps everytime i put it on drive or reverse.

The above suggested method is what I used to do for my Camry, and it was so easy just drain and fill.

I guess I will follow the same for this SUV too.

I'm just surprised as to why the book makes the suggestion of 100K. They have all this crappy complaints and they still stick on to those guidelines.

Model year? AWD? Towing package?

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Guys thanks.

My father in-law is an expert in car mechanics, and it is his idea that if the car manufactures makes a suggestion strictly follow it. Well now I ended up with tosted ATF, and this crap jumps as if I jolteed it with 100, 000 Amps everytime i put it on drive or reverse.

The above suggested method is what I used to do for my Camry, and it was so easy just drain and fill.

I guess I will follow the same for this SUV too.

I'm just surprised as to why the book makes the suggestion of 100K. They have all this crappy complaints and they still stick on to those guidelines.

Where do you see the suggestion of 100K in the book?

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I'm just surprised as to why the book makes the suggestion of 100K. They have all this crappy complaints and they still stick on to those guidelines.

Perhaps the parts guys want to sell more transmissions? :)

I think the 100,00 mile question might have been based on the fact that the 2001 owners manual had no recommendation for any type of scheduled transaxle/ATF maintenance for the life of the vehicle.

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Change the fluid every 15k miles or you will discover the failure soon.

Does that advice apply to the 2wd models as well?

I'm going to drain/fill every 10-15k or at least once every 2 years to try to keep the fluid fresh. right now it is looking and smelling pretty good.

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