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Transmission Problem


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That is, more or less, the way my 05 330 works. When warm, it will shift into the OD mode at around 42-45 mph. I normally can't get out of town and above 45 mph for about 4-5 miles at which time it shifts normally. When cold and below that threshold it acts like it has no overdrive. Now, I don't know what happens if I happened to be at, say, a motel off of the interstate and tried to start the car, and zip on out into the freeway traffic.

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When I got my used '99RX300, I noticed the same problem. Took the car to the dealer. I was told it was normal - the early transmissions do not shift into overdrive until a certain operating temperature is reached (for the car? for the transmission? for both?). My own RX300 shifts into overdrive only when the temp. indicator is above the 'cold' mark, reaching at the first marking beyond. I was told this is no indication of any trouble or forthcoming trouble with the transmission.

On that note, let me add that I believe this to be very weird. Ity is not good to run a cold motor at 'high' revs., better run it at medium-low revs.: it heats up faster and this causes less stress. So, starting out cold, making it to the highway and running at 4,000 rpm+ (to keep up with traffic) until the transmission is warm enough does not seem to make much sense to me. I therefore believe it is a design flaw.

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Yep, I also consider it a design flaw. My wife's previous 2000 RX300 AWD always required at least 3 to 4 miles of warm-up driving before the transmission would shift properly. Her current 2004 RX330 AWD requires slightly less, perhaps 2 to 3 miles. My 1999 Dodge Ram pickup has a far smoother transmission (at any temperature) than either RX we've owned. Toyota builds the lousiest transmissions I've ever had in nearly 39 years of driving. Sad but true....

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Well if any of you are having tranny problems and have two hours..take a read of all the comments on this forum. Great car, comfortable, luxurious for what you pay BUT

Ok, so I didnt buy new, but I got a 2000 model with 29,000 miles on the clock...repeat 29,000!!

I live in the caribbean, so hot all the time and at 34,000 miles, the tranny has gone!! UNREAL. (Got it back working however after 2 days in the garage)

Lexus here dont care as warranties only cover USA and other import markets.

For those of you with a boat tow question, well, mine is 2wd, and I tow a <2800 lb boat. The car is rated to pull max. 3500lbs. SO various people have told me well, you cant tow a boat as thats why the tranny has gone. Bull excrement!! More people I have read about have the same problem and dont tow anything...its a design flaw and whoever this MONARCH idiot is barking on in defense of Lexus, well he/she needs to go take a hike - or go join another forum that caters to BS artists.

WHat I can say however is this. As abnormal as it is to change the ATF fluid so frequently, DO IT. And flush it twice through if its been a while since you changed the ATF and filter.

Worked miracles on the car and mine is now performing though I know I have simply delayed the inevitable. Also found that the throttle mechanism - vacuum - wasnt functioning which exacerbated the problem.

So muchos research later, I can also tell you that the prices of trannies in the USA are ridiculous and a rip off...sub prime mortgage market may have collapsed, but the tranny commodities market is fairly booming.

Best place to get trannies. Get from Japan direct or if you prefer closer to home, Jamaica...just make sure that who you deal with are ok.

The moral is....as ridiculous as this sounds....CHANGE THE ATF EVERY 15-20k Miles!!

As far as the boat is concerned heres my two pennies worth - USE MANUAL SHIFT 1 and 2 only and dont tow aggressively - driving style will surely help if you are towing something. The engine has the juice, just a bit short in other areas. Dont strain the car too much, dont over tow weight wise and ease away from a stop as oppsed to a yank away.

All that said, out of 10 - 5. Tranny issue is really nor right and all those of you who have these cars at 200k miles plus with no maintenance. EIther youre full of the luck of the irish or you misread your odometer OR, yer wife secretly changed the ATF when you were at Poker night!

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When I got my used '99RX300, I noticed the same problem. Took the car to the dealer. I was told it was normal - the early transmissions do not shift into overdrive until a certain operating temperature is reached (for the car? for the transmission? for both?). My own RX300 shifts into overdrive only when the temp. indicator is above the 'cold' mark, reaching at the first marking beyond. I was told this is no indication of any trouble or forthcoming trouble with the transmission.

On that note, let me add that I believe this to be very weird. Ity is not good to run a cold motor at 'high' revs., better run it at medium-low revs.: it heats up faster and this causes less stress. So, starting out cold, making it to the highway and running at 4,000 rpm+ (to keep up with traffic) until the transmission is warm enough does not seem to make much sense to me. I therefore believe it is a design flaw.

yea i'm agree ! because i have to warm up till the arrow pointing to C then it will become normal for the transmission

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  • 2 months later...
I just brought a 2nd hand RX300. When the car is cold, the transmission cannot go to 4th gear, is this normal?

Yes, it is normal for RX 300's. Whether you think its smart or good is wholly irrelevant, as are any comparisons to completely different vehicles. These vehicles do this, its NORMAL for them and no indication of any problem.

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