Last post on Dec 13, 2012 at 5:24 PM
You are in the Lexus RX 300/330/350
What is this discussion about?
Lexus RX 300, SUV
#9235 of 9497 Re: Question on 2002 model RX 300 [rugmankc]
Mar 21, 2008 (1:58 pm)
I was just referring to previous discussions in the RX thread on the same tranny service topic, and information for the whole group. Most lube places don't use type IV fluid for the transmission. Most use Dextron/Mercron and an additive to approximate the Toyota fluid, if they look it up. Most mechanics as well as auto parts stores, and even transmission shops don't stock Type IV, either. But they can get it if they order it ahead of time along with a Toyota filter and gasket, usually from the Toyota dealer, but Type IV can be gotten elsewhere with a little planning.
If your corner mechanic uses the right stuff and is competent and reliable, that's what you want. I meant the remark in only helpful, general terms; no offense was meant, or taken. Yeah, although still worthwhile, a Lexus dealer charges a lot for transmission service, when you can get it elsewhere. I usually use the same reliable Toyota dealer (Hamer in Mission Hills, CA) or transmission shop where I've gone for years. Also as a heads-up for some, mine unexpectedly needed more than the three or four quarts it's supposed to need after a change. I think mine took 5 after the fluid (not torque converter) change for service. They ran short. Maybe because it's a newer model transmission.
Cost being an issue, I'm a DIY, but I don't think you'll save a lot DIY, after the retail cost of fluid, filter, and gasket, having to dispose of your own, etc. I think they earn the labor charge, if reasonable. But in this car, I'll only go a year or two (and I have extra cooling) before changing the tranny fluid. But if anyone is interested, this guy (I don't know him) has excellent advice and shows step - by - step the transmission fluid change, as well as lots of great info on RX300's:
Mar 23, 2008 (10:00 pm)
You mentioned "Silversport Edition" and "Coach" edition. How would I tell whether the one I am considering is one of these additions?
Also, do you know the dealer cost to add the transmission cooler?
#9237 of 9497 "Smart dealer" [wwest]
Mar 23, 2008 (10:05 pm)
Can you expand on your comment about a smart dealer disconnecting the battery. I didn't really follow that. Would this reset the engine memory so that it adapted to a new purchaser? Would the dealer charge for this?
Please explain and thanks.
#9238 of 9497 Re: RX 300 Editions [irishcasey]
Mar 24, 2008 (6:18 pm)
Both editions are great. But made in limited quantity. Not sure about the Silversport but the Coach will have coach emblems on the outside toward the front of the front doors, perforated leather, and one solid color. Not two tone. Birdseye maple wood trim. I think the Silversport is also one solid color.
#9239 of 9497 Re: Question on 2002 model RX 300 [la4mead]
Mar 24, 2008 (6:22 pm)
I thought that was the case. My mechanic is great, I'm lucky.
Thanks for the RX How To sight link. I found that a few years back and learned how to change the in cabin air filter. But, lost the site. I re-bookmarked it. Great info.
#9240 of 9497 Re: RX 300 Editions [irishcasey]
Mar 25, 2008 (3:27 pm)
The Coach Edition was a limited edition with different interior trim, single (not two-tone) paint, "Coach Edition" badging and some luggage.
The Silversport had sportier interior trim and grille, perforated leather seats, sportier steering wheel, body colored rack cross bars, and a "sport" suspension (whatever that means from Lexus on RX300) with different stabilizers & struts. It also had exterior badging, but alas you have to supply your own luggage. I think it was only available in single-toned Millenium Silver or black, with carbon interior. Personally, I like the silver...
I'm not sure what the dealer would charge to add an additional tranny cooler. "Trailer Towing" prep option packages were included on almost all models, which included an auxilery cooler that's proven to be too small for most driving/maintainence styles, even without towing.
A transmission shop could add one; I wouldn't think it would be more than $100 installed, but I haven't checked. The shop I had my last service done recommended I add one, because he didn't see what I had done. When I showed him what I added, he said that was better than what he was thinking about, but good that I used that style, and very helpful for extended durability on RX300. They would have installed in front of the radiator/condenser. But Lexus specifically advised me against that, saying Toyota designs against the heat going back to the radiator.
I purchased a compact, stacked-plate (54 plate) cooler called a "Defender" from a camper store a long while back for about $50. I installed it myself in front of the factory auxilery cooler in the RF fender, and easily cut the exit vent holes larger with an exacto. Easy enough; the hardest part was bending some brackets to use the stock mounts so I didn't have to drill. I also used the zip-tie style mounts, again very easy.
Then, for an extra measure of redundant security, I added a small fan from an old motorcycle radiator in the inner fender blowing through the coolers, and an add-on Hayden adjustable thermostat from Pep Boys. It didn't take much tinkering, and the installation doesn't have to look good because it's inside the fender where you can't see it.
Since doing that, my fluid has not been getting "burned" from temperature surges. I only notice the tranny fan after stopping the engine after stop & go or idling. I hope it helps, and I've found it couldn't hurt, and was not too much bother for me.
#9241 of 9497 Re: "Smart dealer" [irishcasey]
Mar 26, 2008 (7:58 am)
When the car first rolls off the production line the engine/transaxle ECU is downloaded with a set of "best guess" factory default parameters. As the car is driven the ECU continuously adjusts these parameters to the actual tolerances of/for the various sensors, servomotors, etc.
Disconnecting the battery will reset many of the "learned" parameters back to the factory defaults and then it might take several days, ~500 miles, of driving before the parameters are "relearned" yet again.
And "this", the above, has absolutely NOTHING to do with purchaser/driver "learned" parameters, driving style/type.
#9242 of 9497 Re: RX 300 Editions [la4mead]
Mar 26, 2008 (8:19 am)
I'm not really sure, not convinced, that adding any extra AT F cooling capacity would be of any help. There is a thermistor within the transaxle that senses the ATF temperature and if it goes overtemp a light on the instrument panel will indicate so. It took 40,000 miles since new for the ATF in my '01 AWD RX300 to begin looking and burned to a level wherein I took notice and now I'm approaching 70,000 miles and I cannot say the ATF is yet looking or smelling burned.
My conclusion is, has been, that the issue of the ATF overheating is localized, overheated within a very small section of the transaxle, and then when subsequently "remixed" with the bulk of ATF in the sump then on the average the ATF temperature is well within acceptable range.
Also, while I haven't actually looked I suspect there is some sort of thermostat in line with the extrenal ATF cooler taht restricts flow unless the ATF temperature is up to, or even slightly above, operational range.
So, since it appears that on the average the ATF temperature never rises to a detrimental level I just don't see how additional external cooling would help.
I suppose one could re-rig the ATF thermostat to allow a lower temperature external cooling flow level but then might the ATF be continuously operating below proper operational temperature..??
My guess is that the '01-03 RX300 models (and possibly mid-year '00) have an oversized ATF gear pump to compensate for the "abolition" of the ATF pressure holding accummulator and that's what, where, the ATF is being overheated.
If you own an '01-'03 RX300 I would suggest as a minimum keeping a close watch on the ATF condition and do a drain/flush/refill when it begins to look and/or small burned.
#9243 of 9497 VSC and Chk eng light came on
Jun 08, 2008 (5:13 pm)
The VSC and chk eng light came on at the same time in my 2001 RX300. I got the codes for the chk eng: PO440, PO441, PO446. It has to do with the evap emission control system. What should I do?
#9244 of 9497 Re: VSC and Chk eng light came on [arocha]
Jun 09, 2008 (1:21 pm)
Nothing likely wrong VSC, the VSC indication is simply a default as a result of the CEL.
If you happen to remove the gas cap without refueling, only slightly refueling, or do not fully tighten the gas cap after refueling you will get evaporative emissions fault codes.
Once you correct the problem, say tighten the gas cap, the faults will go out after a few "drive cycles".