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TJB

95 Es300 Transmisson Hesitation

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I have a '95 ES300 with 118,000 mi. The auto transmission hesitates to advance from 1st to 2nd gear when it's cold. After the car warms-up it appears to shift fine. I initially noticed this during the most recent cold spell we experienced here in the Northeast (-15 F). The hesitation still occurs now that we are experiencing warmer temperatures. I have scheduled a transmission oil flush. The garage technician did not feel I needed to replace the transmission filter/screen. My questions are:

Is the hesitation I'm experiencing possible signs of a failing transmission?

Should the transmission filter/screen be replaced along with the flush?

I have purchased a transmission filter kit (pan gasket and filter). I planned on changing the filter and ATF oil by removing the pan. In order to save some labor, should I change the filter and oil in the pan and then have the flush done?

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I posted pretty much the same thread on here a short while back. The transmission shifts are normal (I called 3 Lexus dealers & spoke to the service managers & all were the same answers). It's just a characteristic when the car is warming up in cold weather......once we get into the warmer stuff, it should either go away or not be as bad. I did a complete 100% flush on the tranny as well so from a maintenance standpoint, it's a good idea. No worries, thats the way the transmission is designed.....have a look for my thread on here & type in "transmisson not shifting correctly". Good Luck!

:cheers:

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Thanks for your reply and putting my mind at ease. Any thought on the type of ATF. Does it have to be a Toyota/Lexus brand or is Dexron-III ok?

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Happy to help. As for the type of fluid, if I were you I would check the owners manual to be certain. I asked the same question on here & checked the owners manual........all members here (manual confirms) to use ONLY Toyota Type IV fluid & nothing else for my 01. I'm fussy about the kind of fluids I put in my car (I usually use nothing but synthetic Mobil 1) but due to the transmissions design, I will stay with what the factory suggests. So clarify first before doing the service or damage to the tranny could be done.

:)

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Use only the Toyota/Lexus brand stuff that's recommended for your transmission. Nowadays it's the Type IV.

When it's cold, you'll find the car not wanting to shift but instead wanting to stay in gear and keep the revs up. That's Toyota's way of warming up the engine quicker. My 94 ES does it, and I had a 93 Previa that did it.

But note that when you do shift out of park, it goes right into gear--right?

If, however, the transmission takes a long time to shift from park into D or R when it's cold--that's a failing transmission. Also a failur indicator is a very long slide from disengaging one gear and engaging the next. If you feel a shudder during this move from gear to gear, like you're going over a long set of rumble strips--that's a failing transmission.

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normal operating temp for the tranny is between 122- 176 degrees.

Correctly diagnosed by you guys above; the colder shifts "hang" a while in waiting for the coolant temp to reach 95+degrees

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Thanks very much guys. My ES300 goes right into drive and reverse. Just hesitates to shift when cold. Appears to shift fine after about 2-4 minutes.

Last night I changed the transmission filter, oil pan gasket and about 3.5 quarts of ATF. Transmission dip stick and service manual calls for Dexron II - ATF. Used Dexron III –ATF. When I get my transmission oil flushed, should I ask for Toyota/Lexus brand? If so, what’s the difference?

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The earlier ES models I think you can use dexron II & III without a problem (double check your owners manual &/or call your Lexus service departmant to varify). The newer ones require the Toyota type IV and nothing else. I wonder if you can use the type IV in your tranny without any problems... :unsure:

:cheers:

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for the early models, dexIII is fine. they no longer make dexII so your choices are kind of limited. my 92 was flushed and refilled with dexIII and its running fine.

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