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Tranny Failure Rx300

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Guru, et al,

New to this site - found it after our 2000 RX300, 88k miles, had a dreaded check engine light this past Friday. I parked it until Sunday when I borrowed a scanner (you get the picture - I own sockets and that is about it - not opposed to purchasing required tools and giving it a shot if I can save money versus a dealership priced relatively "simple" repair, but, I'm coming at it from a novice level). Pcked up P0171 (...lean, Bank 1) code. Cleared the code and sent the car back on the road this morning, after reading posts and determing this seemed safe enough, given the condition. Waiting for a repeat of this code and I will then spend more time determining what to do.

Now - back to the multitude of trans problems listed here. I bought this vehicle 18 months ago used with 66k miles. In a perfect world I would drive it for 4-5 more years adding another ~60k miles. To date I have not experienced any trans problems, other than once in a while feeling like it should have shifted a bit sooner out of 1st or 2nd, usually when just started. No different than our 2000 Sienna with 135k miles which has never had a trans or engine (3.0L) problem.

So - my question is - what PM would you recommend to avert the trans problems? Frankly, I have never seen a trans filter but back in the day was a trained helicopter mechanic - if this is a series of non-disposable metal screens, I get it. My vehicle is AWD, so are there two trans cases requiring flush? I recall the manual suggests 30k flush - does this sound accurate? If this is a do-it-at-home service, what manual do you recommend (remember above - novice with sockets!)?

Not to push my luck on advice, but, is this the same 3.0L we have in the Sienna with the sludge concerns? I had the oil changed about every 3k, made it to 4k a couple times, maybe even hit 5k once, but, with 135k now have never had a problem. The shop I use (large 12 bay independent) offers an "engine flush" for about $110 - not sure if this is valuable, or, a useless service, given the sludge concern.

Sorry for the rambling questions - basically wondering if there is any PM that will hold off trans and sludge problems in a 2000 RX300 with 88k miles and not exitibing any problems?

Thanks for taking the timne to respond!

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Here is a great info tuturol on the transmission from CL site.

http://www.clublexus.com/forums/rx-first-g...ter-change.html

I would never do a flush on tranny. There is a method to do a fluid change while using the transmission pump. I would use that procedure.

As for the engine, just use good quality synthetic oil....I am at 161k miles and mine is doing well.

Back to the transmission we generally go with a 15k miles drain and fill procedure, However if you use AMSOIL tranny fluid you could go 50k miles. Try to stick to mostly Toyota OEM products in the car ie Belts, Waterpump, Brake pads (or AKEBONO). ENjoy our site it is a wealth of info to save you money and time.

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by the way Carlos from Lexus of America called today, confirmed that the tranny changes are proprioritory info....So customers, suck an egg as to which year RX300 to buy for reliability. At this point, I would only recommend a 2003....Just my two cents worth. I tried calmly in a customer comes first mode to get any kind of info as to when the planetary gears as well as any other changes took place....The answer was "not" going to happen....Good evening everyone..

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Tom,

Thanks for your efforts in continuing to try to get Lexus to reveal when they finally re-engineered the planetary gears in these RX transmissions. Just the simple public release of the RX VIN number in which the new gears were first installed at the factory would be crucial information to owners who are plagued with this insidious defect. But Lexus has decided keep quiet and wait it out rather than step up to the plate by making this information public. Those of us who've dealt with this issue over the years should not be surprised by the company's chosen strategy. But with folks keeping their vehicles much longer than usual as a result of the terrible economy, Lexus may find itself having to deal with the repercussions over a much longer period of time than it originally projected....

Thanks again for trying. At least we no longer have to suspect that Lexus knew it had a transmission problem. You have all but confirmed that Lexus absolutely knew about the problem and chose to keep silent about it until challenged by frustrated and later furious customers who experienced these failures....

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