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Lexus RX 300 Check Engine, VSC and TRAC OFF Lights

miamigradmiamigrad Posts: 1
edited June 2015 in Lexus
Just had some work done on my 2003 RX300. air filter, new water pump, timing belft front end alingment, rear breaks, turn rotor, caliper service rear dffy fluid, cabin air filter. Now as I drive it home the VSC light comes on and the repair shop tells me nothing to worry about bring it back tomorrow there is some sort of fluid leak. What do you think?

See also: Troubleshooting Lexus RX 300 Check Engine & VSC


  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    During the recent snow and ice storm here in the Seattle area I noticed that my 2001 AWD RX300, 60,000 miles, was not "acting" quite right. In situations where the VSC/Trac would have normally activated they did not. So I did a couple of "test" runs in an empty parking lot and sure enough the front wheels would spin free with the engine RPM rising accordingly. Also "throwing" it sideways did not result in VSC activation, only the little instrument light (no beeping) on indicating a skid.

    No real problem as I soon had tire chains on all four.

    Last week I contacted the service advisor at Lexus of Bellevue who proceeded to advise me, profusely, that the VSC/Trac system will always be operational unless an indicator is lit on the instrument panel indicating otherwise. When I persisted he insisted that it was probably working and I wasn't familier enough with its actions to know.

    So I fired off an email to [email protected]

    In response I was told to contact a dealer.

    Over the weekend I got out the shop manuals and discovered that the ABS was indicating codes 31,32, and 33, apparently a temporary or intermittent failure of both front wheel speed sensors and one rear wheel sensor, and VSC was indicating a code of 43, ABS control failure.

    According to the manual the ABS will continue to work with these codes but it was unclear, undefined, as to what the result would be with the VSC code 43.

    So I contacted Lexus of Seattle and after a long discussion I was told that a VSC code 43 would result in the VSC/Trac system being non-functional but that there should have been a VSC failure indication on the instrument panel. The Lexus Lexus technician suggested that I might have inadvertently ignored the failure indication for enough drive cycles that it would have extinguished.

    I'm quite sure, VERY sure, there was never an indication of VSC or Trac failure on my instrument panel for multiple drive cycles. When I suggested that the firmware might be flawed in that no indication was displayed the technician allowed that the 2001 was the first year of VSC/Trac implementation on the RX series but refused to speculate further.

    He did tell me that the wheel speed sensor faults could result from ordinary wheelspin that occurs in low traction conditions.

    So I have cleared the fault codes but have not yet been able to test the VSC/trac system for operational capability.
  • Hi there. The check engine light and the vsc light on my car came on. I took the car to auto zone, had the test... gave me 3 codes.... I took my car to the shop. They reset the light... Now it's on again. I looked for the loose hose as mentioned in the previous posts, and didnt find any errors there. The light was off for aprox. 5 weeks. The car has 48,xxx miles. Any other suggestions?

    Also, I am looking to replace the strip that is on the bumper. It says Lexus on it. I believe it is there to protect the paint from any damage when moving stuff in or out of the trunk area. Some how, mine has vanished... Anyone know where I can get a replacement?
  • Hi ,

    I have same problem with my toyta Highlander 03 . I clear code 3 times. replace sensors. still same issue.
    anyone with similer problems who got is fix. please help.

    thank you
  • *Update*

    Today the light just magically went off... ironically after my son put gas in the car and didn't turn the car off while pumping. Coincidence?!
  • My 98 LS 400, 129K Miles VSC indicator light is coming on. I had the trouble code cleared but it returned after only 15 miles. When it first comes on the engine RPM slows. Returned home today with normal engine performance but the VSC indcator light remains. Any solutions offered would be cool since my mechanic is not familar with the issue. Code book indicates possible valve timing issue but the timing belt was replaced at 100K
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "code book indicates..."

    Did you by chance mean to say the CEL AND VSC came on..??

    If CEL came on then VSC is a simple default condition with any CEL indication.

    If no CEL and only VSC then there are only two components unique to VSC, the yaw sensor and the stearing wheel rotational position sensor.
  • Thanks for the information. Both the CEL and VSC lights are on. I am returning the vehicle to mechanic Monday morning. Most likely the problem has nothing to do with the Skid Control but is a engine issue since the original code pointed toward valve timing or something and this would be an indication of poor engine performance when the light first comes on.
  • Well more good news, mechanic changed the filter on the valve timing sensor and the CEL and VSC light came on within five miles. I believe the code is 1639 if anyone knows what that means?
  • My 2002 Lexus RX300 had the VSC and check engine light come on today. I did just get the oil changed about 500 miles ago, so I checked the hose behind the air filter and sure enough, it was disconnected. I reconnected it, then the lights didn't clear so I had to disconnect my battery to clear them. I hope it stays cleared now. I did notice my clamp that holds the hose on is not very secure, so may need to get a new one. Thanks for the tips, WAY better than getting charged at the dealer for something so easy.
  • I have a RX300 2002 model and today some truck guy rear-ended my vehicle. No major impact, just a small piece of plastic from the bumper got chipped (very small). And I also noticed the VSC and check engine lights constantly on. Well, this is my wife's car, so am not sure whether she noticed the lights earlier before th impact or whether it was a result of the impact (once again it was a very small impact). My question is whether the VSC and check engine lights will come on because of this small impact. My wife had the brakes pressed when this happened if that is important. Thanks
  • ortmann1ortmann1 Posts: 2
    Hello I have a RX300 the engine light keeps coming on and nothing is wrong with the car. I will check the hose behind the airfilter, as suggested in a ealier blog thanks to whom ever. I also have a dummy light for my "lights" I have checked al my light even brights. All good except for the(2) yellow light in the front of my car on the front quater pannels. I am thinking it's a fuse is their any easy way to find out which fuse it might be, I have looked at the owners manuel and find it hard to locate? Thanks

    Ortmann1 :sick: :)
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,341
    Our check/VSC light came on a couple of weeks ago. Not the gas cap, not loose hoses. Free AutoZone diagnostic reveals: 02 sensor! Fused to the manifold, I was told it happens to about 1 in 50 RX. Expensive little repair as they have to replace the sensor and the manifold... There goes the old tax rebate check! :sick:

    '13 Jaguar XF, possibly my favorite of all the cars I've owned. But, my '09 Jag XK was a beauty, as was my '05 Acura TL, '88 Acura Integra, '84 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo & '78 VW Scirocco (my first!). And, of course, the '92 Nissan Sentra SE-R and '95 Saab 900s I bought for the ex... Ok, I like a lot of the cars in my life.

  • aecpharmdaecpharmd Posts: 2
    My 2002 Lexus is displaying the check engine light, VSC and TRAC OFF. This is a previously owned vehicle and did not come with an owner's manual and I can't seem to gain access to an owner's manual on the internet. Please help with any ideas...I have no clue what this means. Thanks!
  • bdigestbdigest Posts: 3
    I have the same problem with my 2002 and am looking for a solution. My warning lights came on a few days after I had the brakes checked. I've had the warning 'reset' a couple of times, but it comes back on after a few days. If I come up with an answer, I'll let you know.
  • bdigestbdigest Posts: 3
    Well, I found the solution by cruising the forum and the net. When I had my brakes checked, they tried to sell me an air filter. Opening the large black air filter cover on the driver's side of the engine pulls a hose lose that is on the back side of the cover. The hose is black, comes straight out of the cover an inch or so, then hangs down at a right angle to connect to a stiff tube sticking up from below. The end of the stiff tube is about ten inches below and is tough to spot, but you may see the metallic glint of the connecting portion of the tube. If you can get your hand in there, just reconnect the hose. Supposedly, you can get the 'check engine' light to reset by disconnecting the battery for 15 minutes. I reconnected the hose tonight...I'll check the lights in the morning. What a relief to save a trip to Lexus...
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Yaw sensor recalibration wasn't done after front end alignment.

    Stearing wheel off-center..??
  • I would to share the same experience with you. I have a 2001 Lexus RX 300 FWD and the check engine light, VSC and Trac Off came on. It stay on for about two days or so and turn off all by it self. I didn't attempt any repairs at all. It is best to speak to a mechanic about this. The mechanic will then tell you what to do?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Those symptoms are often an indication that the gas cap was removed and then replaced without refueling or the gas cap was left not fully tightened after refueling.
  • I have an '03 RX300 and these lights recently came on for me, the day after I had gotten an oil change. It would make sense that this was the cause, since I'm sure they checked my air filter. Thanks for the help!
  • kenfigkenfig Posts: 1
    RIGHT ON! After reading this forum I found the problem with my RX300. The hose was off behind the air filter. I put it back on and cleared the code with OBD II reader and all is well. Thank you for the info! :)
  • acetacet Posts: 1
    You know I really wish people joined the forums which already have hundreds of your fellow car-make owners who could save people thousands...Just think about it, WHY would they fuse the o2 sensor to the manifold? :lemon: All the o2 sensors which I've seen in my life were ALL threaded. Its like saying that if you have a cut on your hand, the doctor needs to replace your entire arm. Nothing against you, I am just trying to save you money in the future, when I bet you could have found a much better use for the money from the tax return...

    Do not trust the STEALERSHIPS!! I can't stress that enough :sick: .
  • azjoelazjoel Posts: 1
    Me too.....I had all these same lights on and after reading a few post here, sure enough the hose behind my air filter was disconnected. It's a tight fit for my hands but I finally got it reconnected and unhooked the battery for 10 min or so and all lights have remained off......thanks everyone for the responses....!!
  • cargovancargovan Posts: 10
    Hi! If an oil filter is slightly damaged on the outside still usable?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
  • bdigest you are "IT" thank you for posting your finding. :shades:
    I was on the way to drop off my wife's car to the STEALERSHIP and just before leaving I googled the problem and bam, there was the answer.
    Reconnected the hose and disconnected the battery for 15 minutes. Problem solved
  • Hi- I am having this random issue with my 2001 Rx 300. I cant check the hose, and cant afford a big cost at the dealership. Does anyone know if this is dangerous to drive? Can it be driven without wrecking my engine? Until I can get a brother or father to look at it!
  • My 1999 Lexus ES 300 appeared having the same problem that you guys were talking about. The check engine and TRAC OFF lights stayed on for a while. After searching the web and reading a few of your postings, I got under the hood. To my surprise, the black hose behind the air filter did get disconnected. I simply reconnected the hose, and disconnected the battery for 15 minutes. Voila! The warning lights were gone! Thanks everyone for sharing the experience.
  • I am keeping my fingers crossed that this is the problem.

    Right after I got it back from putting in new engine (due to oil sludge,I now learn) the Check engine and trac off lights came on.
    Brought car back and
    I had dealership check the code for these two lights being on &
    the code says to replace solenoid for tranny ($600-$1000),
    maybe the air filter hose has been disconnected.
    MY EMAIL IS [email protected]
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Online Repair Manuals or Where To Find Your Car Owner's Manual Online may be helpful.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
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