Last post on Mar 25, 2010 at 1:45 PM
You are in the Lexus ES
What is this discussion about?
Lexus ES 300, Lexus ES 330, Lexus ES 350, Transmission, Sedan
#8 of 17 Re: 99 ES 300 Won't shift into OD - Ever [dsmcasey]
Oct 14, 2008 (2:06 pm)
so what was the final outcome or "fix" for this problem? I have the exact same problem on the same vehicle. Is this issue common for the Lexus ES300? HELP!!
#9 of 17 Re: 99 ES 300 Won't shift into OD - Ever [pgood]
Oct 14, 2008 (2:51 pm)
If the OD lockup clutch has degraded to the point it slips the ECU will soon "learn" that and stop using OD. The other possibility is that the engine itself is so degraded it cannot produce enough torque in the OD road speed range that OD can be used.
You can test the above theories by filling with 92 octane, disconnecting the battery to erase the previous "learned" parameters and see if the ECU will then use, or attempt to use OD. If the clutch is failing the ECU will soon stop using OD again. If the engine is degraded the ECU may use OD again until you switch back to regular.
You might also want to look into the possibility that the engine is degraded due to a clogged exhaust due to catalyst structure failure.
If the 99 had an ATF thermistor to prevent use of OD until the fluid was warmed up the thermistor may have failed.
#10 of 17 Re: 99 ES 300 Won't shift into OD - Ever [wwest]
Oct 15, 2008 (6:06 am)
The malfunctioning ATF thermistor makes sense because the car would begin shifing into OD once the engine/trans was warmed up in the winter (last year). Is the thermistor located outside of the transmission? Should I have a mechanic do the work? How much will it cost me?
Let's assume that the OD problem is resolved by replacing the thermistor. I still have the CEL and Traction Control lights to deal with. I had the ECU code read...P0330 "Knock Sensor 2". I was told by the Lexus service folks that the Traction Control is frequently "shut down" by the ECU when a CEL is activated for a prolonged period of time. Is this true? What should my next steps be? I'm hesitant to take the car to the Lexus dealer again because they were not able to resolve my problems by changing out parts (rear injector bank) which cost me $1200. It seems they read the codes, then change out parts without resolving the root cause. Thank you very much for your assistance.
#11 of 17 Re: 99 ES 300 Won't shift into OD - Ever [pgood]
Oct 15, 2008 (8:13 am)
Why did you not disclose "all this" at the very beginning...??
The engine/transaxle ECU WILL NOT use OD if the engine performance is KNOWN to be degraded. A knock sensor 2 code is a clear indication of degraded engine performance. And a VSC, Trac fault code is a default condition anytime there is a CEL. Fix the engine problem and the Trac code will also go off.
And keep in mind that the knock sensor code may not mean the problem is with the knock sensor itself.
#12 of 17 Re: 99 ES 300 Won't shift into OD - Ever [wwest]
Oct 15, 2008 (11:23 am)
Wow...This was an old post...But, I got the problem resolved. I reset the ECU after it threw the codes for a second time. Turns out it was the knock sensors and the CEL was just malfunctioning. The car WAS in limp home mode. I was surprised the tranny didn't shift harder considering it was in LIMP mode. But, anyway, I got both knock sensors and the wiring replaced (and got the CEL fixed). My wife's uncle is a retired mechanic and he did the work at a discount. It was still quite costly though for all the parts. Regardles, after the sensors were replaced the car went into overdrive and drives fine. It actually drives tons better. I was amazed at how much of a difference it made.
#13 of 17 Re: 99 ES 300 Won't shift into OD - Ever [dsmcasey]
Oct 15, 2008 (11:44 am)
Casey, Thanks very much for the information. Do you know how difficult it was to replace the knock sensors? I may try to do it myself if it's not a huge job. I received a price of $155 each for an aftermarket sensor....not sure about the wiring. Please share more information if possible.
#14 of 17 Re: 99 ES 300 Won't shift into OD - Ever [pgood]
Oct 16, 2008 (8:24 pm)
Before you spend money I would reset the CEL by disconnecting the battery and put in a FULL tank of high octane. It is entirely possible the engine knock was a transient one time event.
If the CEL returns after a few drive cycles what have you lost, 10% extra on a tank of gas...??
#15 of 17 Re: 99 ES 300 Won't shift into OD - Ever [pgood]
Oct 17, 2008 (12:52 pm)
The knock sensors are a VERY common problem with this vehicles (and other lexus/toyota vehicles of the same year). I found the part numbers on the clublexus site by searching in the forums. There is also a post about how to change them out and it includes pictures and step by step instructions. It's not a terrible job but it does involve removing the intake manifold, which can be a pain. I got the sensors from carson toyota for less than what you are paying. Also, the WIRING is USUALLY the culprit, not the sensors. BUT, to get to the wiring you have to take off the manifold, and while you're in there you might as well replace the sensors sense there's no gaurantee that they weren't the culprit as well.
#16 of 17 1992 Intake Manifold Hex Nuts won't release
Nov 21, 2009 (3:51 pm)
1992 ES300 intake manifold is secured by two 8-mm hex Allen-wrench-type cap bolts and by two conventional cap bolts. The Allen-wrench-type cap bolts were selected because the intake manifold casting passes so close to those two bolts that it did not leave sufficient room to attach a conventional external socket wrench. I bought both factory shop manuals for this car which told me these cap bolts take an 8-mm hex Allen-wrench tool and are supposed to be torqued to 32 or 33 foot pounds, depending on which place in the manual you are reading. I applied PB Blaster and let the bolts sit and soak for about 8 hours before trying to release them. Then, before applying torque, I struck the 3/8" driver socket into the hex hole to make sure the tool was fully bottomed into the screw head hex-hole, and to "disturb" the threads which may enable breaking them free.
Both of these cap screws have failed to rotate but their hex driving holes have rounded out from the hex driving rotating a full 60 degrees! I've tried hamming a chisel into the cap screw's side to apply off-axis rotational impact shocks, but have only pealed away part of the outer cap's metal.
I'm not eager to weld allen wrench 3/8" drive tools into these locked-in-place cap screws. But that may be next. I'd estimate that I pulled about 100 foot pounds on each of these before their metal hex holes deformed enough to allow the wrench to rotate without rotating the bolt.
Any suggestions? I've got to wonder if some idiot spun those in with an air wrench to have caused them to become so stuck.
Any help would be appreciated. Just need to replace the rubber gaskets around the 3 rear injectors because one has started leaking enough to smell gas when driving.
Car has about 230,000 miles, 5-speed manual, and given very few problems, burns no oil. Dash light fade out as others have described, power window problems which are not "deal breakers" and can be repaired by competent home mechanics in driveway, AC freon leak after 200K on original charge, still gets over 30 mpg during highway travel, center section of harmonic balancer released from outer section, causing alternator belt to be driven slower than designer intent resulting in intermittent alternator dash charging system indicator light flicker, yet it keeps battery charged so it always starts, and the front shock top mount rubber mounts started making alarming noises, but turned out to be an easy quick driveway replacement fix with improved designed replacement parts.Oh yes, every 90 days spend 60 seconds per side cleaning the headlamp covers with polish because they become dull for some reason. On balance, an excellent car in my opinion.
#17 of 17 Re: 99 ES 300 Won't shift into OD - Ever [dsmcasey]
Mar 25, 2010 (1:45 pm)
We had the same problem with our 1995 es300 with 275,000 miles .. took it to a reputable trans shop . they checked out all the electrical/computer and said we needed a $2,500 overhaul .. we used the info here .. filled up with high octane (we had been using regular) burned 3/4 of the tank .. disconnected the battery for 10 minutes and to our surprise it has been shifting into and out of overdrive like a charm. Thanks to who ever figured this one out....