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lxs300

1998 Transmission Hesitation @ Lower Gears

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My 1998 ES300 hesitates to switch gears (1 to 2 and to 3). After switch to 3 not a deal it runs smooth. Especially this happens on drive and after driving for few miles. I don't see this happening when cold started.

I have not changed ATF after I owned it and its in dark color when I see the ATF liquid quality, ATF flush and change would help ? How often ATF needs to be flushed and filled ( I means miles is criteria or age is the right criteria ?) Not many miles but car has been kept for a while, 9 to 10 months un-used by prev owner and sold it to me later.

Gonna go for an oil change tomorrow , can I ask mechanic to check anything specific ??

Any possibility for sludge ? From my conversations oil has been changed and have records until 30K miles service from dealer systems. No records since then, owner says to me he change oil himself . He changed oil 6 months ago and not driven any miles since then. I have put 2500 miles after I got it from him.

How to find the oil has not been changed for a while ? When cold started I get very bad carbon monoxide smell and goes away after 5 minutes. What does these symptoms indicates ? Anybody experienced these issues with their 97-01 ES300s ??

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I see your post as two parts:

1. Transmission

2. Oil change

For

1. When cold, it has been discussed that the tranny stays in gear to warm up the tranny fluid quicker. After its been warmed up, it should shift quicker under normal acceleration. I also have a 98 and I have gotten into the habit of changing out the fluid myself. I find it to be less work than changing the oil since there is no filter to replace. People have different opinions on tranny flushes. I would think that if you don't know the history of the ATF changes, I would go for a few gradual drain and fills. If it has been changed within 15k, a tranny flush might be the way to go. (You never mentioned total miles - is it 30K + 2.5=32.5k?)

2. Do a search on looking for sludge symptons, but main thing is to change it out regularly within 3k. If you use a synthetic oil, you can extend it out a little further. You do know that Lexus will cover the sludge issue, but you need to show some proof that you at least perform the recommended oil changes (keep your receipts from the oil changes).

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m2pc, I'm concerned with my transmission behaviour rather oil change. I'm gonna change oil tomorrow and vehicle has been driven for 3000 miles only after oil change (per conversation with Prev owner, if he is talking crap I can't comment). Vehicle has 52K miles (now 55K) when I bought it and got inspected from Lexus dealer before buying it, dealer said everything looks fine. Major service done is @ 30K miles per service records. No records aftewords. I read somwhere if atf in dark color transmission is toast... can't beleive this is gonna happen (:

Not sure I'm overlooking transmission behavior or over concerned...

Lexus requires ATF flush @ 30K miles ? for 1998 Es300. Could someone confirm from Scheduled Maintenance Supplement which (I do not have). Thanks. This might give some peice of mind for me as atf had been flushed @ 30K miles service. If not , I wonder what dealer is gonna say after test driving it tomorrow...

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funny thing with Lexus, they never state in the supplemental manual when the tranny fluid SHOULD be flushed. They only suggest inspeciton of the fluid on the 30k intervals but never say what to look for or when to definately change it.

However the dealerships are going to tell you to do a tranny and diff fluid flush every 15k miles.

I would say do what m2pc suggests and drain and fill yourself this time. Your 60 k is coming up soon, so have the dealership or whoever does the 60k service flush the tranny system again then. If you do it, use Toyota T-IV tranny fluid.

If you are not burning or losing oil then you probably don't have a sludging problem. Just change it and the filter every 3-5k miles, like you are doing.

Careful, the filter is a &*@# to change cause the manifold can burn you. Wear long sleeves.

I am concerned as to one thing in your post, carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless. Describe the smell that goes away in 5 minutes. Is it more like rotten eggs, petroleum burning, metal, or what? I'm guessing it is what is getting by the cat until the cat heats up.

steviej

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Steve,

Its CO2 not CO (sorry) , More like burning with light rotten egg smell, just immediately after turning on the engine morning for couple of minutes.

I will do as you say about oilNatf change and listen to dealer what dealer have to say.

Thanks.

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what rpm does the tranny shift from 1-2 in a 1998 ? mine does it at 3k. 60,500, never changed the tranny fluid, or tuned it up- just oil changes.

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Dealer will normally, unless asked to do a flush, will only perform a drain and fill of the ATF and differential. Steviej's advice is good, drain first and then flush later at the 60k, as to not take a chance of dislodging too much gunk and blocking up the mesh filter or the passageways. But If they also performed the atf & differential drain and fill at 15k as well as the 30k that you mentioned , then it is probably ok to do the flush. But I think your tranny is fine since they would have performed a drain at 30k. A drain and fill is normally around $80 at the dealership ( I think) and a flush at the dealership is around $230 or $250, can't remember.

The fluid being dark doesn't guarnatee that its bad, but its probably on its way out(the fluid that is), but if you smell it and it smells burnt, then its bad. I remember after changing out at 15k interval, that my fluid was starting to turn slightly dark, so at your 25k interval, I would expect it to turn dark. Good thing you didn't wait till 90k to check

;)

exdotcomer, normally when cold, (and in New England, it was really cold this winter), it will nrmally shift as you describe untill the engine warms up to operating temp, but then it will shift around 2-2.5k. Steviej, sound about right? If you plan on keeping the lex long term, I think a tune up is in order, be nice to it and it will treat you well :D

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I'm worried about my tranny and rear diff never being changed/flushed or radiator. With 60.5k , i'm thinking more about it. But, I'm from the old school of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". I can see how i can change my thought process regarding important fluids such as the 2 mentioned above. My other saying is "you get what you pay for". I'll spare no expense to keep my car in top form without taken advantage of.

As far as the tuneup- I was planning on having the local high performance shop replace my plugs and wires for me, with better than OEM equipment- any suggestions. This is my "cruiser", not a hot rod. I'd like to replace all parts on the car with better than OEM stuff, but not street racing.this is of course a Lexus, not a GTO. : :D

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I'm worried about my tranny and rear diff never being changed/flushed or radiator.

your ES is FWD, the diff is up front.

If you do not do regular changes of the fluids and filters, you are certainly setting yourself up for major problems down the road. "You can pay him now, or pay him later"

m2pc........absolutely right about shifting in the New England cold.

steviej

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Dealer will normally, unless asked to do a flush, will only perform a drain and fill of the ATF and differential. Steviej's advice is good, drain first and then flush later at the 60k, as to not take a chance of dislodging too much gunk and blocking up the mesh filter or the passageways. But If they also performed the atf & differential drain and fill at 15k as well as the 30k that you mentioned , then it is probably ok to do the flush. But I think your tranny is fine since they would have performed a drain at 30k. A drain and fill is normally around $80 at the dealership ( I think) and a flush at the dealership is around $230 or $250, can't remember.

The fluid being dark doesn't guarnatee that its bad, but its probably on its way out(the fluid that is), but if you smell it and it smells burnt, then its bad. I remember after changing out at 15k interval, that my fluid was starting to turn slightly dark, so at your 25k interval, I would expect it to turn dark. Good thing you didn't wait till 90k to check

m2pc/steve,

I have got more details: the vehicle had been serviced for 30K miles @ 35K miles @ lexus dealer where originally bought. They have not mentioned what are all they did. I hope they do follow scheduled maintenance and might have inspected atf and possibly drained and filled.

Thanks for responses. I appreciate it.

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The point of doing the drain and fill, (which should be done every 15,000 miles)- is to inspect the filter (which has magnets on it) for any metal particles. This is will notify you of any problems! If you just go and have it drained or flushed without inspecting the pan, your wasting your time. The dealership's don't really know anything about the tranny's anyway- as they will outsource the repair, or do swap. All they can do is drain, and flush!

I would just have them inspect the pan, along with a drain and fill with a good synthetic like Mobile One. To get it changed over cheaply, simply change it one more time when you do your next oil change- by then it should be mostly synthetic. Unless, you have some metal in the filter that shows premature wear! Good Luck!

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The point of doing the drain and fill, (which should be done every 15,000 miles)- is to inspect the filter (which has magnets on it) for any metal particles. This is will notify you of any problems! If you just go and have it drained or flushed without inspecting the pan, your wasting your time. The dealership's don't really know anything about the tranny's anyway- as they will outsource the repair, or do swap. All they can do is drain, and flush!

I would just have them inspect the pan, along with a drain and fill with a good synthetic like Mobile One. To get it changed over cheaply, simply change it one more time when you do your next oil change- by then it should be mostly synthetic. Unless, you have some metal in the filter that shows premature wear! Good Luck!

makes sense, as technicians could not answer the question other than saying its ready for 60K tune up and behaving with hesitation @ lower gears. Lots of people are getting fooled with this stupid dealers and their damn expensive charges. Only peice of mind is proof that you did maintenane incase if lexus/manufactuer has to cover any expensive part.

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