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Rx Shudder - Totally Insane Problem - Freaking Me Out!


CitizenPete
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PLEASE HELP! - weird REPEATABLE problem - any ideas or input would be greatly appreciated.

RX300 99 ~107K miles

RX just started this problem today: When driving from stop after about 1 or 2 miles a minimal shuddering starts very slowly and gently then develops into a massive shudder which is bad enough that anyone would stop driving the vehicle and pull over. Gut feel and sound input - makes me think something with the rear passenger side wheel or suspension?

I drove up and down a state road for 3-4 miles each way at least 5 times and every time I turned around the exact same thing happened. I started out fine and then the shudder started ever so gradually after a mile or two (about minute) until it slowly (20-30 seconds) became so bad I was afraid to drive anymore and I stopped and turned around. Then it was ok until it started again.

It's as if a wheel or tire is drastically out of balance BUT why doe sit go away then start again... I checked outside weights on wheels: OK, I checked lugs: OK; Air pressure in tires: OK (front driver's tire may be a little bit low - visual) -everything appears tight and together.

The most bizarre thing is this. On one of the passes down the state road I drove it again until the shuddering started, Then I put the car in Neutral to see if the engine or trans was contributing to the shuddering. I actually coasted and the shudder continued in neutral and the "vibration cycle" slowed (but did not decrease in magnitude) with the vehicle roll speed until I almost came to a stop. The Engine of course was not engaged while in neutral and revving it did not effect the shudder at all. When I went back into drive and turned around it was fine and then started all over again after about a mile.

To be clear this problem does not appear to necessarily start when reaching any specific speed. I was driving between 40-50mph without the shudder and then is gradually starts and becomes overwhelming. Once the shuddering starts it does not appear to stop irregardless of speed until the vehicle is stopped and turned around.

The vehicle is not drivable after a mile or two. The brakes (rotors/pads) WERE replaced about a month ago.

WTH??? Anybody have any ideas before I start burning up a stack of credit cards trying to fix this at a shop?

First stop? ... crawl over to brake shop that did the work a month ago? :chairshot:

PLEASE HELP! ANY IDEAS?

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PLEASE HELP! - weird REPEATABLE problem - any ideas or input would be greatly appreciated.

RX300 99 ~107K miles

RX just started this problem today: When driving from stop after about 1 or 2 miles a minimal shuddering starts very slowly and gently then develops into a massive shudder which is bad enough that anyone would stop driving the vehicle and pull over. Gut feel and sound input - makes me think something with the rear passenger side wheel or suspension?

I drove up and down a state road for 3-4 miles each way at least 5 times and every time I turned around the exact same thing happened. I started out fine and then the shudder started ever so gradually after a mile or two (about minute) until it slowly (20-30 seconds) became so bad I was afraid to drive anymore and I stopped and turned around. Then it was ok until it started again.

It's as if a wheel or tire is drastically out of balance BUT why doe sit go away then start again... I checked outside weights on wheels: OK, I checked lugs: OK; Air pressure in tires: OK (front driver's tire may be a little bit low - visual) -everything appears tight and together.

The most bizarre thing is this. On one of the passes down the state road I drove it again until the shuddering started, Then I put the car in Neutral to see if the engine or trans was contributing to the shuddering. I actually coasted and the shudder continued in neutral and the "vibration cycle" slowed (but did not decrease in magnitude) with the vehicle roll speed until I almost came to a stop. The Engine of course was not engaged while in neutral and revving it did not effect the shudder at all. When I went back into drive and turned around it was fine and then started all over again after about a mile.

To be clear this problem does not appear to necessarily start when reaching any specific speed. I was driving between 40-50mph without the shudder and then is gradually starts and becomes overwhelming. Once the shuddering starts it does not appear to stop irregardless of speed until the vehicle is stopped and turned around.

The vehicle is not drivable after a mile or two. The brakes (rotors/pads) WERE replaced about a month ago.

WTH??? Anybody have any ideas before I start burning up a stack of credit cards trying to fix this at a shop?

First stop? ... crawl over to brake shop that did the work a month ago? :chairshot:

PLEASE HELP! ANY IDEAS?

A very uneducated guess is that you have a problem with the diff. This would be particularly true if your RX is AWD. Good luck!

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PLEASE HELP! - weird REPEATABLE problem - any ideas or input would be greatly appreciated.

RX300 99 ~107K miles

RX just started this problem today: When driving from stop after about 1 or 2 miles a minimal shuddering starts very slowly and gently then develops into a massive shudder which is bad enough that anyone would stop driving the vehicle and pull over. Gut feel and sound input - makes me think something with the rear passenger side wheel or suspension?

I drove up and down a state road for 3-4 miles each way at least 5 times and every time I turned around the exact same thing happened. I started out fine and then the shudder started ever so gradually after a mile or two (about minute) until it slowly (20-30 seconds) became so bad I was afraid to drive anymore and I stopped and turned around. Then it was ok until it started again.

It's as if a wheel or tire is drastically out of balance BUT why doe sit go away then start again... I checked outside weights on wheels: OK, I checked lugs: OK; Air pressure in tires: OK (front driver's tire may be a little bit low - visual) -everything appears tight and together.

The most bizarre thing is this. On one of the passes down the state road I drove it again until the shuddering started, Then I put the car in Neutral to see if the engine or trans was contributing to the shuddering. I actually coasted and the shudder continued in neutral and the "vibration cycle" slowed (but did not decrease in magnitude) with the vehicle roll speed until I almost came to a stop. The Engine of course was not engaged while in neutral and revving it did not effect the shudder at all. When I went back into drive and turned around it was fine and then started all over again after about a mile.

To be clear this problem does not appear to necessarily start when reaching any specific speed. I was driving between 40-50mph without the shudder and then is gradually starts and becomes overwhelming. Once the shuddering starts it does not appear to stop irregardless of speed until the vehicle is stopped and turned around.

The vehicle is not drivable after a mile or two. The brakes (rotors/pads) WERE replaced about a month ago.

WTH??? Anybody have any ideas before I start burning up a stack of credit cards trying to fix this at a shop?

First stop? ... crawl over to brake shop that did the work a month ago? :chairshot:

PLEASE HELP! ANY IDEAS?

CitizenPete- the first place I would look is the brakes. I drive a '04 ford F-150 and though I haven't had the problem, quite a few guys have had. On the F-150 it is the parking brake not releasing completely. The parking brake shoes are inside the rear rotors where you can't see them. Don't know what kind of arrangement the RX has but I have had experience with brake shudder caused by DISK brake systems (because they don't retract like drum systems do)and the shudder can be VERY SEVERE. I wouldn't go any farther until I had absolutely ruled out ALL of the brake systems as the possible culprit! Good Luck!

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My first guess is a broken belt, internally in the tire. I had similar issues with a tire a long time ago and it was suggested that I had somehow broken one of the reinforcing belts.

Is there any chance that you can rotate the tires yourself and see if they problem moves from the rear to the front? Better yet, do you have access to another set of tires or a friend with a Lexus who will swap with you?

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One of your struts could be shot, too. If a strut is mildly bad, it'll cause cupping on your tires due to the same vibration, but it's usually much more mild. If your strut is toast/blown and you have a tire/wheel that's a bit out of round, it'll form that nasty shudder as you get up to speed.

It could also be the e-brake as Code58 noted. It is internal to the rear hubs and if it is rubbing in only one spot when disengaged, that could cause your problem, too.

First thing I would do is to jack up the rear end of the vehicle and check the movement/looseness of the rear wheels. You may find one with a noticeable looseness where it shouldn't be, and that will show you where the problem is. It could very well be something wrong in the tire... and if it's an old tire, it could be separating. Here's a video I had posted earlier on tire age and safety/failure: http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=4826897

There are a lot of things that could cause this, but my guess would be the problem is somewhere in the wheel location, for it gets amplified so high at speed... that kind of intensity needs mass and movement to get that effect. The only thing that is that large with the freedom to move would be in the wheel area.

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PLEASE HELP! - weird REPEATABLE problem - any ideas or input would be greatly appreciated.

RX300 99 ~107K miles

RX just started this problem today: When driving from stop after about 1 or 2 miles a minimal shuddering starts very slowly and gently then develops into a massive shudder which is bad enough that anyone would stop driving the vehicle and pull over. Gut feel and sound input - makes me think something with the rear passenger side wheel or suspension?

I drove up and down a state road for 3-4 miles each way at least 5 times and every time I turned around the exact same thing happened. I started out fine and then the shudder started ever so gradually after a mile or two (about minute) until it slowly (20-30 seconds) became so bad I was afraid to drive anymore and I stopped and turned around. Then it was ok until it started again.

It's as if a wheel or tire is drastically out of balance BUT why doe sit go away then start again... I checked outside weights on wheels: OK, I checked lugs: OK; Air pressure in tires: OK (front driver's tire may be a little bit low - visual) -everything appears tight and together.

The most bizarre thing is this. On one of the passes down the state road I drove it again until the shuddering started, Then I put the car in Neutral to see if the engine or trans was contributing to the shuddering. I actually coasted and the shudder continued in neutral and the "vibration cycle" slowed (but did not decrease in magnitude) with the vehicle roll speed until I almost came to a stop. The Engine of course was not engaged while in neutral and revving it did not effect the shudder at all. When I went back into drive and turned around it was fine and then started all over again after about a mile.

To be clear this problem does not appear to necessarily start when reaching any specific speed. I was driving between 40-50mph without the shudder and then is gradually starts and becomes overwhelming. Once the shuddering starts it does not appear to stop irregardless of speed until the vehicle is stopped and turned around.

The vehicle is not drivable after a mile or two. The brakes (rotors/pads) WERE replaced about a month ago.

WTH??? Anybody have any ideas before I start burning up a stack of credit cards trying to fix this at a shop?

First stop? ... crawl over to brake shop that did the work a month ago? :chairshot:

PLEASE HELP! ANY IDEAS?

The problem with the Ford F-150 shudder was the emergency brake cable was hanging up when the emergency brake was released and not completely releasing the brake shoes. If the RX has the emergency brake shoes inside the rotors like the Ford, what I would do is find a rack that you can put it on and run it in gear just like you are doing at highway speeds. It will likely react the same way in a similar amount of time. You will probably be able to tell what the problem is just by having someone observe while you are in it running it on the rack. But i would make sure I had a infra-red temp gun handy to take the temp on the rotors. Since you have AWD it is imperative that you either have it on stands (all 4 wheels) or preferably on a lift rack. If you have some excessive heat going on on any of the rotors, there may well be your problem. The way you say it builds is very indicative of heat build-up, as in a piston (caliper) hanging up or the emergency dragging. I have never seen drum brakes (except emergency) cause the severe shudder that discs can with heat build-up.

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:D

AND THE WINNER IS...

CODE58

I took the RX int to the brake shop that did the brake work for me about a month ago. They test drove it, put it on the lift and removed the wheels/rotors off the back. And as code58 suggested, the emergency brake shoes were both jammed and locked up inside the rotor (drum). They freed them and the problem was solved (good to drive). Because they had done the brake job they did not charge any lift fee or time charge. The e-brakes still had plenty shoe left and evidently they were heating up and would build up some sort of resonant frequency to cause the shudder after a mile or two and then repeat the process after I stopped -- thus the weird on/off problem.

Thank you code58 for your suggestion! :cheers:

Now, the brake shop also said the "cables were jamming up" and quoted me $500 P&L (OEM parts) to replace the cables. Yes, that's 500 US dollars, not pesos. I declined the offer. They also told me that "squirting lubricant, etc." on/into the cables would not fix the problem, based on their extensive customer wallet bilking experience. I told them that if my wife kept her little foot off the darn e-brake pedal until I could disconnect the cables, I would be just fine. I then explained to my wife that unless she was parking the RX in SanFrancisco on a street with a 70 deg. incline that a AWD probably wouldn't roll away.

Thanks for your posts. Thank GOD it was not the differential or trans. All the trans failure post on the forum freak me out -- this 99 RX is still not paid off and I've got 107K+ miles on it.

Best regards to all!

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:D

AND THE WINNER IS...

CODE58

I took the RX int to the brake shop that did the brake work for me about a month ago. They test drove it, put it on the lift and removed the wheels/rotors off the back. And as code58 suggested, the emergency brake shoes were both jammed and locked up inside the rotor (drum). They freed them and the problem was solved (good to drive). Because they had done the brake job they did not charge any lift fee or time charge. The e-brakes still had plenty shoe left and evidently they were heating up and would build up some sort of resonant frequency to cause the shudder after a mile or two and then repeat the process after I stopped -- thus the weird on/off problem.

Thank you code58 for your suggestion! :cheers:

Now, the brake shop also said the "cables were jamming up" and quoted me $500 P&L (OEM parts) to replace the cables. Yes, that's 500 US dollars, not pesos. I declined the offer. They also told me that "squirting lubricant, etc." on/into the cables would not fix the problem, based on their extensive customer wallet bilking experience. I told them that if my wife kept her little foot off the darn e-brake pedal until I could disconnect the cables, I would be just fine. I then explained to my wife that unless she was parking the RX in SanFrancisco on a street with a 70 deg. incline that a AWD probably wouldn't roll away.

Thanks for your posts. Thank GOD it was not the differential or trans. All the trans failure post on the forum freak me out -- this 99 RX is still not paid off and I've got 107K+ miles on it.

Best regards to all!

Great news - congratulations! What a relief! I feel for you and I also understand your trepidation regarding the transmission risk(s): my own '99RX causes me the same anxiety. I just had (at 68K miles) a leak at the rear engine seal - the repair cost $1,600 at Toyota in Traverse City, MI. I have asked Lexus to look at this (the car was always serviced at Lexus at full - max! - price), and see what they can do on this unusual failure. On none of my cars have I ever had a similar failure....

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:D

AND THE WINNER IS...

CODE58

I took the RX int to the brake shop that did the brake work for me about a month ago. They test drove it, put it on the lift and removed the wheels/rotors off the back. And as code58 suggested, the emergency brake shoes were both jammed and locked up inside the rotor (drum). They freed them and the problem was solved (good to drive). Because they had done the brake job they did not charge any lift fee or time charge. The e-brakes still had plenty shoe left and evidently they were heating up and would build up some sort of resonant frequency to cause the shudder after a mile or two and then repeat the process after I stopped -- thus the weird on/off problem.

Thank you code58 for your suggestion! :cheers:

Now, the brake shop also said the "cables were jamming up" and quoted me $500 P&L (OEM parts) to replace the cables. Yes, that's 500 US dollars, not pesos. I declined the offer. They also told me that "squirting lubricant, etc." on/into the cables would not fix the problem, based on their extensive customer wallet bilking experience. I told them that if my wife kept her little foot off the darn e-brake pedal until I could disconnect the cables, I would be just fine. I then explained to my wife that unless she was parking the RX in SanFrancisco on a street with a 70 deg. incline that a AWD probably wouldn't roll away.

Thanks for your posts. Thank GOD it was not the differential or trans. All the trans failure post on the forum freak me out -- this 99 RX is still not paid off and I've got 107K+ miles on it.

Best regards to all!

CitizenPete- On the forums it's a team effort and I know all the "team" rejoices when a problem is solved because we all benefit from it. Glad that it was that simple. I wouldn't be deterred by their comment about the brake cable. If you are able to get to the upper end (near the pedal) and put a little light oil in from time to time, I'm betting it will make it's way down the cable housing. You might even use the small tube of light oil that has a blunt needle to more easily get it into the end of the housing past the cable. Should be able to get that at an auto parts store. :) Regards, Roger

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Code58's right in that we all just want to help you find the problem and hopefully easily fix it (at least not spend more than you need to), for we're all owners and hope for the same thing when we have issues. Glad to hear it was a straight-forward fix.

Pauljcl, unfortunately the rear main seal leaking is a pretty common things on these vehicles. Usually they just 'weep', but if there is ever a reason to remove the transmission, it is almost always recommended to replace the rear main seal because of this issue. Was your seal actually leaking to where it was dripping?

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:D

AND THE WINNER IS...

CODE58

I took the RX int to the brake shop that did the brake work for me about a month ago. They test drove it, put it on the lift and removed the wheels/rotors off the back. And as code58 suggested, the emergency brake shoes were both jammed and locked up inside the rotor (drum). They freed them and the problem was solved (good to drive). Because they had done the brake job they did not charge any lift fee or time charge. The e-brakes still had plenty shoe left and evidently they were heating up and would build up some sort of resonant frequency to cause the shudder after a mile or two and then repeat the process after I stopped -- thus the weird on/off problem.

Thank you code58 for your suggestion!:cheers:

Now, the brake shop also said the "cables were jamming up" and quoted me $500 P&L (OEM parts) to replace the cables. Yes, that's 500 US dollars, not pesos. I declined the offer. They also told me that "squirting lubricant, etc." on/into the cables would not fix the problem, based on their extensive customer wallet bilking experience. I told them that if my wife kept her little foot off the darn e-brake pedal until I could disconnect the cables, I would be just fine. I then explained to my wife that unless she was parking the RX in SanFrancisco on a street with a 70 deg. incline that a AWD probably wouldn't roll away.

Thanks for your posts. Thank GOD it was not the differential or trans. All the trans failure post on the forum freak me out -- this 99 RX is still not paid off and I've got 107K+ miles on it.

Best regards to all!

Great news - congratulations! What a relief! I feel for you and I also understand your trepidation regarding the transmission risk(s): my own '99RX causes me the same anxiety. I just had (at 68K miles) a leak at the rear engine seal - the repair cost $1,600 at Toyota in Traverse City, MI. I have asked Lexus to look at this (the car was always serviced at Lexus at full - max! - price), and see what they can do on this unusual failure. On none of my cars have I ever had a similar failure....

Sorry to hear about the "rear main seal wallet emptying experience". I do feel that $1600. is excessive though. It is almost all labor as the seal is quite inexpensive. Before I put the rear main seal in my DIL's RX I got a price of $750. to do it, from an independent shop. I would LOVE to do them all day for $1600. a pop.

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Code58's right in that we all just want to help you find the problem and hopefully easily fix it (at least not spend more than you need to), for we're all owners and hope for the same thing when we have issues. Glad to hear it was a straight-forward fix.

Pauljcl, unfortunately the rear main seal leaking is a pretty common things on these vehicles. Usually they just 'weep', but if there is ever a reason to remove the transmission, it is almost always recommended to replace the rear main seal because of this issue. Was your seal actually leaking to where it was dripping?

Yes. I had the 60K revision done and the dealer told me the seal was 'just humid'. Nothing more for about 6K miles, then I drove to Michigan from Miami and, after arrival, found that a small puddle would occur wherever I parked the car. Not a big puddle, but, over 12 hrs., would be about 3/4 the size of a dollar bill. No depth to it, of course. Took it in to check and, after wiping the seal area, you could see the welling of oil at the seal and begiining to spread outside in a couple of minutes. So: yes, it was an actual leak. I have never had a similar occurrence in any car, and the closest I know is the weeping/leaking seals of the early Range Rover steering box, due to lack of flatness/rigidity of the meeting parts. This is why I am a little concerned (beyond the cost of this repair) - what is to prevent this from happening again? Is it due to badly machined metal parts or failing seal? From all I have read, no-one seems to have had the problem twice, so I may be lucky.

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:D

AND THE WINNER IS...

CODE58

The cost of the seal is $29. Toyota (there is no Lexus dealer in Traverse City - closest in Grand Rapids, some 2 1/2 - 3 hrs. away) says it took 16hrs @$91/hr, plus cost of new oil and filter. This ages me, but I remember when you could 'pull' a motor in 4hrs. or so in the '60s !!!

I took the RX int to the brake shop that did the brake work for me about a month ago. They test drove it, put it on the lift and removed the wheels/rotors off the back. And as code58 suggested, the emergency brake shoes were both jammed and locked up inside the rotor (drum). They freed them and the problem was solved (good to drive). Because they had done the brake job they did not charge any lift fee or time charge. The e-brakes still had plenty shoe left and evidently they were heating up and would build up some sort of resonant frequency to cause the shudder after a mile or two and then repeat the process after I stopped -- thus the weird on/off problem.

Thank you code58 for your suggestion!:cheers:

Now, the brake shop also said the "cables were jamming up" and quoted me $500 P&L (OEM parts) to replace the cables. Yes, that's 500 US dollars, not pesos. I declined the offer. They also told me that "squirting lubricant, etc." on/into the cables would not fix the problem, based on their extensive customer wallet bilking experience. I told them that if my wife kept her little foot off the darn e-brake pedal until I could disconnect the cables, I would be just fine. I then explained to my wife that unless she was parking the RX in SanFrancisco on a street with a 70 deg. incline that a AWD probably wouldn't roll away.

Thanks for your posts. Thank GOD it was not the differential or trans. All the trans failure post on the forum freak me out -- this 99 RX is still not paid off and I've got 107K+ miles on it.

Best regards to all!

Great news - congratulations! What a relief! I feel for you and I also understand your trepidation regarding the transmission risk(s): my own '99RX causes me the same anxiety. I just had (at 68K miles) a leak at the rear engine seal - the repair cost $1,600 at Toyota in Traverse City, MI. I have asked Lexus to look at this (the car was always serviced at Lexus at full - max! - price), and see what they can do on this unusual failure. On none of my cars have I ever had a similar failure....

Sorry to hear about the "rear main seal wallet emptying experience". I do feel that $1600. is excessive though. It is almost all labor as the seal is quite inexpensive. Before I put the rear main seal in my DIL's RX I got a price of $750. to do it, from an independent shop. I would LOVE to do them all day for $1600. a pop.

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:D

AND THE WINNER IS...

CODE58

I took the RX int to the brake shop that did the brake work for me about a month ago. They test drove it, put it on the lift and removed the wheels/rotors off the back. And as code58 suggested, the emergency brake shoes were both jammed and locked up inside the rotor (drum). They freed them and the problem was solved (good to drive). Because they had done the brake job they did not charge any lift fee or time charge. The e-brakes still had plenty shoe left and evidently they were heating up and would build up some sort of resonant frequency to cause the shudder after a mile or two and then repeat the process after I stopped -- thus the weird on/off problem.

Thank you code58 for your suggestion!:cheers:

Now, the brake shop also said the "cables were jamming up" and quoted me $500 P&L (OEM parts) to replace the cables. Yes, that's 500 US dollars, not pesos. I declined the offer. They also told me that "squirting lubricant, etc." on/into the cables would not fix the problem, based on their extensive customer wallet bilking experience. I told them that if my wife kept her little foot off the darn e-brake pedal until I could disconnect the cables, I would be just fine. I then explained to my wife that unless she was parking the RX in SanFrancisco on a street with a 70 deg. incline that a AWD probably wouldn't roll away.

Thanks for your posts. Thank GOD it was not the differential or trans. All the trans failure post on the forum freak me out -- this 99 RX is still not paid off and I've got 107K+ miles on it.

Best regards to all!

Great news - congratulations! What a relief! I feel for you and I also understand your trepidation regarding the transmission risk(s): my own '99RX causes me the same anxiety. I just had (at 68K miles) a leak at the rear engine seal - the repair cost $1,600 at Toyota in Traverse City, MI. I have asked Lexus to look at this (the car was always serviced at Lexus at full - max! - price), and see what they can do on this unusual failure. On none of my cars have I ever had a similar failure....

Sorry to hear about the "rear main seal wallet emptying experience". I do feel that $1600. is excessive though. It is almost all labor as the seal is quite inexpensive. Before I put the rear main seal in my DIL's RX I got a price of $750. to do it, from an independent shop. I would LOVE to do them all day for $1600. a pop.

The cost of the seal is $29. Toyota (there is no Lexus dealer in Traverse City - closest in Grand Rapids, some 2 1/2 - 3 hrs. away) says it took 16hrs @$91/hr, plus cost of new oil and filter. This ages me, but I remember when you could 'pull' a motor in 4hrs. or so in the '60s !!!

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:D

AND THE WINNER IS...

CODE58

I took the RX int to the brake shop that did the brake work for me about a month ago. They test drove it, put it on the lift and removed the wheels/rotors off the back. And as code58 suggested, the emergency brake shoes were both jammed and locked up inside the rotor (drum). They freed them and the problem was solved (good to drive). Because they had done the brake job they did not charge any lift fee or time charge. The e-brakes still had plenty shoe left and evidently they were heating up and would build up some sort of resonant frequency to cause the shudder after a mile or two and then repeat the process after I stopped -- thus the weird on/off problem.

Thank you code58 for your suggestion!:cheers:

Now, the brake shop also said the "cables were jamming up" and quoted me $500 P&L (OEM parts) to replace the cables. Yes, that's 500 US dollars, not pesos. I declined the offer. They also told me that "squirting lubricant, etc." on/into the cables would not fix the problem, based on their extensive customer wallet bilking experience. I told them that if my wife kept her little foot off the darn e-brake pedal until I could disconnect the cables, I would be just fine. I then explained to my wife that unless she was parking the RX in SanFrancisco on a street with a 70 deg. incline that a AWD probably wouldn't roll away.

Thanks for your posts. Thank GOD it was not the differential or trans. All the trans failure post on the forum freak me out -- this 99 RX is still not paid off and I've got 107K+ miles on it.

Best regards to all!

Great news - congratulations! What a relief! I feel for you and I also understand your trepidation regarding the transmission risk(s): my own '99RX causes me the same anxiety. I just had (at 68K miles) a leak at the rear engine seal - the repair cost $1,600 at Toyota in Traverse City, MI. I have asked Lexus to look at this (the car was always serviced at Lexus at full - max! - price), and see what they can do on this unusual failure. On none of my cars have I ever had a similar failure....

Sorry to hear about the "rear main seal wallet emptying experience". I do feel that $1600. is excessive though. It is almost all labor as the seal is quite inexpensive. Before I put the rear main seal in my DIL's RX I got a price of $750. to do it, from an independent shop. I would LOVE to do them all day for $1600. a pop.

The cost of the seal is $29. Toyota (there is no Lexus dealer in Traverse City - closest in Grand Rapids, some 2 1/2 - 3 hrs. away) says it took 16hrs @$91/hr, plus cost of new oil and filter. This ages me, but I remember when you could 'pull' a motor in 4hrs. or so in the '60s !!!

(and coolant, of course!)

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I told them that if my wife kept her little foot off the darn e-brake pedal until I could disconnect the cables, I would be just fine. I then explained to my wife that unless she was parking the RX in SanFrancisco on a street with a 70 deg. incline that a AWD probably wouldn't roll away.

Think again...

You absolutely cannot operate a vehicle on the road without a functioning parking brake. For one its illegal, it will trip any state inspection you may be subject to and should your vehicle roll away and damage someones property or hurt or kill someone and they find out you disconnected your parking brake...everything you own is going to belong to someone else.

Parking prawls on automatic transmissions are NOT designed to hold the vehicle in place without the parking brake. For some reason everyone thinks that, and they call it the "emergency brake" when it is not that at all, its the parking brake and needs to be used every time you park. Japanese prawls are way weaker than American prawls also because in Japan they more commonly use their parking brakes.

Lubricate it...replace the lines ($500 sounds insane)...whatever...but do all of us on the road a favor and leave the parking brake operational and use it.

Just on this very forum we've had owner's cars parked on inclines get bumped into by other cars and roll out into traffic.

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The cost of the seal is $29. Toyota (there is no Lexus dealer in Traverse City - closest in Grand Rapids, some 2 1/2 - 3 hrs. away) says it took 16hrs @$91/hr, plus cost of new oil and filter. This ages me, but I remember when you could 'pull' a motor in 4hrs. or so in the '60s !!!

That troubles me- The "book" may show 16hrs. to remove and replace the complete front drive unit but that is ridiculous to R&R the trans. I can GUARANTEE you it didn't take them 16hrs. to do the work-not even close. My understanding is the original seals were of a little different design and maybe made of a rubber that couldn't take the heat as well. I believe those things were dealt with in the later seals. When I changed my DIL's I was somewhat surprised at how "cooked" the seal was. It was hard as a rock and had worn a groove in the crankshaft, which really concerned me. I used some emery paper to clean and smooth the CS and there has been NO leak in the 25k mi. since I did it and it was leaking quite a bit before that. The crankcases seem to run hot on these engines and I personally wonder if it wasn't more the material the seal was made of because I couldn't really tell any difference in the design of the new seal.

Regards, Roger

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Too often, 'book' spells 'rip-off'. I guess this is because it represents the time that a novice would take, knowing nothing and reading a procedures manual to do the job. However, arriving in a new place, one does what one can, and -- I have sent the bill on to Lexus asking for some assistance in paying it. Though I do not know what their answer will be, I assume it has a greater likelihood of being positive if the work is done at Lexus (or Toyota if no Lexus service is available) rather than Joe's Corner Garage.

TKU, Roger, not only for your empathy but also your reassurance that the chances of another failure are small. It MUST be the material of the seal: the tolerances and abutting pieces design mean that the seal is probably the exact same shape and depth of the original. You'ld think that Toyota's experience at building engines and cars for decades would have prevented the use of unsuited material, but...... My car never overheated (water) nor A/T (it is an AWD, so there is an A/T temp. warning if the transmission overheats. Of course, one could argue that the oil temp. is not shown so 'maybe' one day it rose too high, but I strongly doubt it and there is no indication it ever happened... The problem is surely the mterail, as you pointed out.

Tks. again!

Best...

Paul

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I had the rear main seal replaced on my ES under warranty and they told me had it not been covered it would have been a $1200 job.

Tks. for the info. - I had seen mentions of $800 to $1,300 on other posts.... But what was, was (or "is"), and one is in no poisiton to bargain them down....

I don't want to hijack this post (which started out with another issue, namely the Rx shudder) for a second time, but - Steve - if you know how to do these things..: I have just purchased HIR bulbs, Toshiba 9011/9012 to replace the 9005/9006 original ones. There are several postings on other websites, practically all favorable to the change (same wattage so no overheating nor confusing sensors, +/-65-80% more lumens, filament in the same position so the headlamps 'cutoffs' work correctly without blinding oncoming drivers, long life), and have yet to install them (at Thanksgiving, when we go to MI). Would it be worth setting up a 'thread' concerning lighting/bulbs?

Thanks again to all -- Paul

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You mean start a lighting forum? I thought you meant a thread about lighting in this forum...

Sorry - I think slowly - I now noticed the 'new topic' button and have used it (I hope that is what I was supposed to do). Sorry for the trouble. Tks!

Let's see what develops.

Paul

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