Last post on Nov 26, 2013 at 10:48 PM
You are in the Lexus RX 300/330/350
What is this discussion about?
Lexus RX 350, Lexus RX 330, SUV
#404 of 732 Re: RX 300 Transmission [p8ret1]
Mar 17, 2010 (10:12 am)
I have a 2000 Lexus RX300 which I bought new from the dealer. Always had service done at the dealer. In October of 2008 the transmission went out, 104,000 miles. It took me over a year (with the economy being what it is) to get it into the shop for a rebuild. Lexus wanted over $5,000 so I went with a local business that rebuilds on site. They've been in business over 30 years, great reputation, slightly less than Lexus dealer but a 3 year warranty and the money stays in the states. So, went with them. 3 weeks and 3 transmission rebuilds later, I'm having it towed tomorrow into the Lexus dealer for a control unit/computer failure. Seems that each time the shop rebuilt the transmission and took it out for a test drive, the computer caused the transmission to mis-shift and tear itself up again. Of course, Lexus is saying that the transmission shop "rebuilt it wrong" and "the control units just don't go out". Will keep you posted on this one. Not sure if anyone else has had to replace a control unit or computer.
#405 of 732 Re: RX 300 Transmission [winston21]
Mar 17, 2010 (10:32 am)
The engine/transaxle ECU control module's firmware is often revised, changes from year to year, and sometimes even during a year's production run. So if the transaxle itself isn't well matched with the firmware version......
On top of all that there is a well known design flaw in the transaxles for the early RX300 production series, '99 & '00, so there was likely quite a few "running" changes to the transaxle control firmware. From an outside observation, while both years seem to have an unusually high failure rate, the '99's seem to have an extraordinarily high failure rate in comparison to the '00 series. So my guess would be that somewhere around mid-year of the '00 production run a "final", more "robust" firmware fix was instituted.
But a "true" fix, workaround actually, wasn't arrived at until DBW was adopted for the RX330 series. The very same design flaw is now incorporated throughout the Toyota/Lexus "fleet", but very well "plastered over", virtually hidden, by various firmware "fixes".
#406 of 732 2002 -2003 Model Years
Mar 20, 2010 (4:58 am)
I am looking to purchase a 2002 or 2003 RX 300. Have these model years encountered the same transmission issues/problems as the earlier years. If not, what changes were made? I did not read all the previous messages so I apologize if this was already discussed. Also, typically, what service work is needed at 120,000 miles.
#407 of 732 Re: 2002 -2003 Model Years [ahalks]
Mar 20, 2010 (5:43 am)
Would not get one an RX if it were given to me. Plan on a $5000 transmission replacement if it has not already been done. Toyota/Lexus was no help in costs when mine had to be replaced. My sisters RX . . . same problem. Another one in the shop at the same time. . . same problem.
#408 of 732 Re: 2002 -2003 Model Years [ahalks]
Mar 20, 2010 (5:59 am)
I heard that Lexus, because of the transmission problems, replaced the gear ratio from 4 gears to 3 but I'm not sure when that was done in production. They also changed the gear composition from aluminum to steel, again, because of the problems they had been having. I don't know if they were forced to make the change, nothing I found on technical bulletins or recalls. I've had my car for 10 years and this transmission thing is the only problem I've had with it. If you are dead set on getting the 2002 or 2003 you should check out what type of transmission it has in it (4 gears aluminum vs. 3 gears steel). Make sure it has had all of it's service work done and the owner has the records. Check on the Lexus site to find out what maintenance should have been done so far. I would also take it to a reputable transmission dealer (not Lexus) and have an inspection and full system flush with screen replacement done.
#409 of 732 RX 300 Transmission Problems
Mar 20, 2010 (7:15 am)
I had a 2000 RX 300 and my wife had a 2001 RX 300, both AWD. One transmission went out at 85,000 the
other at 101,000. These cars never towed anything, never had a teenage driver and were never driven off road.
Shame, shame, shame on Lexus for such a piece of junk.
These transmissions at $5,000 plus each are a rip off.
I hope some lawyer does a class action lawsuit.
#410 of 732 Re: 2002 -2003 Model Years [ahalks]
Mar 20, 2010 (8:35 am)
Were I in your shoes I would only consider a 2002 RX300 if it were ONLY FWD and already had the extra ATF cooling radiator. My 2001 F/awd has the extra cooling yet at only 40,000 miles the ATF smelled and looked quite burned. Did two sequential drain and refills and now at ~80,000 miles and watching/checking ATF condition often.
Overstressing of the transaxle was resolved in the RX330 series by dropping the viscous clutch for F/awd models and adopting DBW to prevent the engine form producing torque before the gears were fully and firmly engaged.
But that "fix" came with its own set of problems.
#411 of 732 Re: 2002 -2003 Model Years [winston21]
Mar 20, 2010 (11:30 am)
I have read many times NOT to flush the transmission but to just do a drain and fill. Flushing seems to have caused more issues than they have helped.
#412 of 732 Re: 2002 -2003 Model Years [winston21]
Mar 20, 2010 (11:38 am)
Thank you very much for all of the information posted to my question. At this point I'm not sure what to do but I appreciate everyone's postings.
#413 of 732 Re: 2002 -2003 Model Years [jbl85]
Mar 20, 2010 (1:16 pm)
I don't know if there was a connection or not but I had my transmission flushed for the first time a month or so before it went out. I have a '99 AWD