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
#621 of 732 Re: 2001 Lexus RX 300 AWD Transmission [lserlohn]
Jul 22, 2011 (7:53 am)
In reality the external cooler is a component of the towing "package", not the AWD system itself.
But purely by default you are RIGHT.
Lexus had already come to realize, due to the HIGH failure rate in the '99 & '00 models, that the RX300 transaxle, modified Camry transaxle, was the weak link in the RX300 design. As an interim "fix" the "optional" towing package was not really an option in '01. The other aspects of the '01 and future RX300's "fix" was to eliminate the rear LSD option and make the VC non-functional via a viscous fluid reformulation.
Less STRESS on the transaxle if the rear wheels were mostly just along for the ride.
As of '01 TC was adopted to "enforce" torque re-apportionment to the rear in the event front drive traction was lost.
It wasn't until DBW was adopted, along with elimination of the VC altogether, in the RX330 series to "protect the drive train" that the expected service life of the RX' transaxle exceeded 100,000 miles.
The bad news is that the addition of the external cooler only served to extend the service life of the RX300 transaxles, I am now at 80K+ and do not expect to see 100K prior to failure.
#622 of 732 Re: 2001 Lexus RX 300 AWD Transmission [wwest]
Jul 22, 2011 (8:27 am)
So, purely by default, then, you are a glass is half empty kind of guy.
#623 of 732 Re: 2001 Lexus RX 300 AWD Transmission [jbl85]
Jul 22, 2011 (11:22 am)
No, my "glass" is most certainly closer to FULL than otherwise...!
#624 of 732 1999 Lexus RX300 Transmission
Jul 27, 2011 (4:38 am)
My transmission went out after only 127,000 miles, about 800 miles after having the fluid changed at a local Tire World. The fluid used was a "sythetic blend where the owners manual specifies T-IV. My very trusted mechanic of over 15 years assures me that this fluid "difference had nothing to do with this failure. This fluid is only available at the dealer. Could this be "part" of the problem or is this transmission just a lemon? He will be having it rebuilt by Jasper Engines and Transmissions who will be doing 18 "upgrades" to it. Where did these upgrades come from? The dealer had no idea of any upgrades. I've only had this car for a month. We drove a1988 Jeep for 18 years-yes it's been very problematic-yet we have managed to put over 335,000 miles on it. We did this to get our house paid off, which we recently did, and then bought this car. Can't say just how dissappointed we are in Lexus. Looks like this problem is moire common than anyone has thought. CARFAX had nothing on it! It did show that all scheduled maintenance was done at the dealer.
#625 of 732 Re: 1999 Lexus RX300 Transmission [seastburn]
Jul 27, 2011 (7:59 am)
"Could this be part of the problem..?"
A most definite YES to that.
Your trusted mechanic is blowing smoke...Toyota ATF is available, EXPENSIVE, but available, at ANY parts store. And given the KNOWN fragility of the '99-'00 RX300 transaxles I would NEVER place the bet your mechanic did.
The main one is probably an external ATF cooler.
I'm not sure I would buy into, allow, any other upgrades. The transaxle is controlled by the engine/transaxle ECU firmware, change even any minor thing and the firmware supplied by the factory back in '99 might go awry.
#626 of 732 Re: 2001 Lexus RX 300 AWD Transmission [wwest]
Jul 27, 2011 (8:23 am)
Re the cooler:
"...Lexus had already come to realize, due to the HIGH failure rate in the '99 & '00 models, that the RX300 transaxle, modified Camry transaxle, was the weak link in the RX300 design. As an interim "fix" the "optional" towing package was not really an option in '01..."
Yes, however right from the beginning in early 1998 which was the introduction of the new 1999 RX300, the "tow package" (including the auxiliary cooler in the passenger front fender) was already included on all models, at least in CA, so it goes back earlier than '01 - these were already included.
Beginning at the introduction, there weren't any on any lots that didn't have it, until a couple years later (2001 or '02, IIRC) the introduction of the models with "performance package" that had air suspension - and no tow rating - the tow package was not offered on that model, and there was no cooler available with the PP. So the vast majority of RX's sold right from the beginning in '98 had "tow package" with the aux. cooler in the fender, and it was on the window sticker as well.
After driving, feel how hot the aux. cooler in the fender becomes. There is a lot of excess heat being vented from the cooler, but lots of it is exchanged first by the "standard" cooler in the bottom of the radiator. I share WWest's suggestion of a thermostatic fan for the cooler, I also have an additional cooler right behind it, as well as enlarged exit vents in that inner fender liner. There is a big difference in the temp of the cooler even on hot days.
Good luck with yours.
#627 of 732 Re: 2001 Lexus RX 300 AWD Transmission [la4mead]
Jul 29, 2011 (9:35 pm)
Hello, thanks for the information. Is there a step-by-step instruction on how to install the additional fan or cooler on the existed cooler? Pictures are great, thanks.
#628 of 732 Re: 2001 Lexus RX 300 AWD Transmission [jiminfresno]
Jul 31, 2011 (5:35 pm)
By the Way anybody have these problems with a 2001 Lexus RX 300AWD?
1) A power window that goes up and down only sometimes. Usually a swift hit to the door may make it work
2) The Key remote locks and unlocks all doors but the passenger door
3) The fan in the dash at times makes noise like its rubbing against something and then goes away.
OMG... my 2001 RX 300 is doing the same thing. My passenger side window does not power up like it should... it's an up and down thing... then it will eventually go up. The dash noise is exactly like you describe.... I wish I knew what it was... it does eventually go away... but what the heck is that?? My transmission is having problems right now... it was towed yesterday to the mechanic... I don't know what the problem is yet. It has 165,000 miles on it and this is the only problem I've had with it. I guess I've been lucky. I enjoyed reading your post... thanks.
#629 of 732 Re: 2001 Lexus RX 300 AWD Transmission [lserlohn]
Jul 31, 2011 (6:27 pm)
I posted some pics a few years ago (are the searchable messages archived on this forum?). I'll look around or take some new ones. It was pretty straightforward, however I did have to improvise a little.
I'll get something together and post it.
#630 of 732 Re: 2001 Lexus RX 300 AWD Transmission [la4mead]
by Stever@Edmunds HOST
Jul 31, 2011 (7:26 pm)
I don't see the pics and if you are thinking about your CarSpace photo album, well, all that stuff is gone.
There's this post but the link to the instructions is "temporarily unavailable".
You can use the "Advanced Search" on the right sidebar. Plus, a search like "la4mead external cooler site:edmunds.com" will work on Bing or Google.