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Lexus RX 300



  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Replace/rebuild the transaxle and consider yourself lucky you got that much mileage from the first one.

    1999, 2000, 2001 RX premature, 80-100,000 miles, transaxle failure is SOP.
  • jbl85jbl85 Posts: 49
    You are so negative. On this and other boards.

    Premature Trans failures are NOT STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE for these first generation cars, period. Yes some folks have had their transaxles fail prematurely, but the overwhelming majority of these vehicles run well into 200, 300k, but if you listen to this guy, you'd be lead to believe every one of these cars is a complete failure.

    It's just not true. It is true however that some people aren't happy unless they're complaining about something.
  • love23love23 Posts: 1
    2001 rx300 purchased in 2005 I have had the same issue. I would bang on the dash until the noise stopped. Well the problem was a senso motor that became loose and cracked. Long story short I had the motor replaced at the dealership @ a cost of $575. I had 2 hv it replaced since I had no heat.
  • la4meadla4mead Posts: 347
    edited March 2012
    You're so right JBL, most post on this forum are only for problems or complaints, rather than "everything's OK". Some are just a bit more insistent than others. These cars certainly aren't new, so they have a track record. Many have clocked loads of miles effortlessly, and some not so much. I'm glad someone else is posting both sides.
    Thanks for your contribution.
  • jiaminjiamin Posts: 556
    My 2000 RX300 2WD has only got 67K miles. I am kind of concerned about the transmission failure. So far, the only failure is the door locks. I had dealer replace the driver side main control unit, and fixed rest myself. A few time I really abused the transmission by accelerating it like a sports car. Absolutely smooth and quiet.

    I though about trading it in for a new car, just in case it would fail soon. Now I want to keep it until it dies.

    Do you experts recommend synthetic oil for this engine (possibly less likely oil gel)?
  • la4meadla4mead Posts: 347
    edited March 2012

    If you change your oil often and maintain your cooling system properly, you are not likely to have an oil gel issue. Have you noticed an issue with yours?

    I do use full synthetic (Rotella-T 5w-50 non "Energy Saving" compliant meaning it has the old-school additive package, about $21/gallon at Walmart with OEM filter from the Toyota dealer) in mine, but you don't have to use synthetic if you change your oil before the oil condition has deteriorated. Just change it often, especially since you put such low mileage on the car.

    Oh, and don't forget transmission fluid service (don't rely on the Lexus or Toyota dealer for this), especially because you put such low mileage on your car. Every year (not longer than two). Transmission pan, front differential (shared fluid with the transmission), and if you have AWD (separate fluids), the transfer case and the rear differential, too. Smell the fluid and rub it between your fingers if you want to have an easy way to guage wear. Burned smell, metallic look are signs of wear. Change tranny fluid often in any heavy FWD platform vehicle.

    There are extensive threads on the Club Lexus owners forums on this subject, as well as transmission maintenance and DIY door lock solenoid replacements.

    Good cars are worth keeping, even as they age. Mine's 14 years, biggest complaints: handles too lazy, wish it got lots better gas mileage.

    Good luck with yours.
  • jiaminjiamin Posts: 556
    Thank you for the detailed reply.

    No, I haven't noticed anything abnormal. Compared to my 02 QX4 AWD, RX is very soft meanwhile quieter, accelerates quicker. Workmanship is noticeably better, paint is better.

    I skipped a few scheduled services, just keep doing regular oil change. Now I need to have some serious sevices to get long life out of it.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited March 2012
    I am of the belief that it is the RX300 F/awd system that results, primarily, in the premature transaxle failures. At least the failures seem to be more prevalent with the F/awd system.

    For the '99, '00 models a fairly robust VC, Viscous Clutch, was used, plus a mechanical LSD was available as an option. As of the '01 model year the VC was made more flaccid, mostly non-functional IMMHO, and the LSD option was dropped.

    So the '01 and later F/awd RX models became primarily simple ONE-WHEEL drive systems, with TC braking as the ONLY way to reapportion engine TORQUE to the rear drive. As of 2010 the RX got the new Venza type F/awd, a significant improvement but still no cigar.

    The cigar goes to the Honda/Acura SH-AWD system.

    So your FWD "only" RX300, especially a '00 model, may not be nearly as prone to the failure of the transaxle as would be a '99 F/awd model.
  • la4meadla4mead Posts: 347
    Funny about the mention of aging RX 300's, door lock solenoids, transmissions, and Hondas. I was talking about my RX, transmission service, and a lazy lock solenoid, and a good gearhead buddy of mine who's worked for Honda service for years and he joked with me: He said if it weren't for replacing door lock solenoids and auto transmission rebuilds on Hondas (some models aren't so "durable" either), their service department probably wouldn't be able to stay in business.

    So the early RX's had some that experienced early failures... Mine (didn't fail but) was replaced under warrantee, and had at least one door lock solenoid replaced under warrantee and one since (and needs one more, I'll do a "piggyback" universal) but that doesn't prove statistically across the board failures or worse than other models. And the new "updated" transmission (2004) is as durable and well-designed as it can be expected from ECT4OD. And no, it doesn't have any of those "lazy" up or down shifts. Just the right rear door lock that's lazy. Go figure.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "...(some models aren't so "durable" either),..."

    There was a rather substantive design change, probable mostly in favor of FE, made in/for the transaxles to be used in the new '99 RX300. The problem was/is that there was an unforeseen flaw in the design. But it wasn't long before this new improved FE design found its way across the Toyota/Lexus product line ('01 Camry) and then onto the rest of the asian and US fleet.

    The final fix, 90% anyway, was arrived at via the adoption and use of DBW, e-throttle, to delay for 1-2 seconds the onset of rising engine torque in response to the accelerator until the transaxle could complete an upcoming downshift command.

    There was a followup firmware change made in about '08 to help reduce the instances of encountering the 1-2 second downshift delay but that still leaves us with the few instances not predictable by the firmware.
  • I went5 with the Michelin Latitude Tour tires because very low noise and rolling resistance. I always go with passenger car type tires instead of the SUV/LTX for the noise and ride difference. Smooth and quiet! The Michelin Primacy fits this bill, if you can find them.
  • rbrx300rbrx300 Posts: 2
    I too have the same issue on my 2000 RX300. The sound you are describing has to do with the A/C Motor Relay.
  • rbrx300rbrx300 Posts: 2
    Does anyone know if front seats from a 2008 RX330 compatible to 2000 RX300? Will it fit onto the rail mounts and are the harness connectors for power compatible, as well?
  • irishcaseyirishcasey Posts: 36
    Hi, the power antenna on my 2002 RX 300 with 55K miles on it has quit retracting when the radio is turned off. I regularly clean and lube it.
    In trying to troubleshoot it, I noticed that with the ignition on, when I turn the radio off and on I don't hear the antenna motor that can usually be heard. That lead me to think that maybe it was a fuse but I looked in the manual at the three pages identifying fuses and there is not one for the power antenna.
    Any help is appreciated. Stay cool, 105 degrees here today!! Thanks.
  • pschiffepschiffe Posts: 373
    That was a problematic feature which was discontinued on later models in favor of a fixed rooftop version. Short of leaving the antenna extended at all times, replacement of the entire power antenna unit is likely the only, and certainly pricey, solution. My 2¢.

    Pete :(
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Left the door ajar while the RX sat in the garage for weeks. Recharged the battery, started, battery being charged, no problem, or so I thought.

    Battery would be discharged after a day or so of just setting.

    About 500 milliamp load on the battery with everything off. 200 milliamps through the ECU-B fuse and 300 milliamps through the dome light fuse.

    Dome lamp driver circuit inside ECU-B, body ECU, over-heated...?

    Anyone else experience this and have a fix other than body ECU replacemment...?

    I expect I'll open the ECU just for a looksee....
  • billh18billh18 Posts: 1
    edited August 2012
    I have the same problem in my 2005 RX330 just today. Did you ever figure it out. Same two fuses.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Not yet. To may honeydoes ahead of it.....
  • at the top of first gear there is a loud vibration/ thumping sound. i have been replacing parts for weeks now and it is still there i have replaced front struts. sway bar links center support bearings (rear drive shaft)yet it remains. strange thing is if i jack up either tire on the front and leave in the air for a little bit the vibration goes away for a few miles then just when i get excited thinking i figured it out it come back. just throwing new parts at this is getting expensive. does anyone have any ideas?
  • Hi,
    I have a very strong banging noise when I accelerate from First to Second gear then after that the car runs fine, the car (RX300 2002) it sounds as it is coming from the muffler that bangs on the car's body however the dealer says the muffler is fine. I wonder if this is same what you have.
    Some suggested that the cause is from the Transmission fixture that holds the transmission to the car body and it must be replaced, any ideas?

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