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Lexus RX 300 Check Engine, VSC and TRAC OFF Lights



  • sladie42sladie42 Posts: 1
    Why have manifold sensor replaced? Why not ignore? VSC has nothing to do with the engine. The check engine light is probably associated to Manifold sensor.

    Not sure just voicing an opinion
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "..Fused to manifold.."

    Get thee to a welding shop and have them use a gas cutting torch to HEAT the manifold while avoiding heating the O2 sensor, then remove the "fused" sensor.
  • jackurjackur Posts: 6
    I believe this is a COMMON problem with toyota cars. I had a 98 camry several years ago. The check engine light went on after the first month I purchased the car. I remembered that I went to dealer at least 4 times for repairing that the same problems during the first 4 years of my ownership. After then, it kept on and off and I just ignored it. It was really bothering. But I found that it was ok if you ignore it. Four of my friends had the same problems with their toyota cars (camry or RAV 4), too! For this reason, I did not buy camry any more.
  • acutezacutez Posts: 1
    I have an '01 Lexus RX 300. The VSC and TRAC OFF lights came on the dash. No manual! So, I found this forum and felt I had the problem solved. Took all this posted info to my mechanic (to save time/money) and after checking things out, he said that the hose and filters were OK . . . . that one of the Oxygen Sensors was bad/out/mal-functioning . . . . that it needs to be replaced ($350.00) . . . . that continued driving with a bad oxygen sensor will affect the fuel mixture and probably get lower mileage . . . . not dangerous.

    Has anyone had this problem with the VSC and TRAC OFF lights???

    AND . . . . consequently, we unplugged the battery (as suggested) . . . . replugged . . . . the lights came back on once . . . . then, not again . . . . BUT, SINCE REPLUGGING, the electronic data on the dash has been inaccurate (i.e., 25 mpg)!!! Anyway, no manual!

    Has anyone had this (2nd) problem with unplugging the battery and electronic data display???

    Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Other than ABS all functionality, VSC?TC/BA/etc, of the ABS pumpmotor is disabled with a CEL indication.
  • dcummins1dcummins1 Posts: 1
    I have noticed that my vehicle has to have oil added every time I fill up. I check it & its low, some times very low. Its not showing leaks on the ground. Any suggestions?
  • mukundamukunda Posts: 1
    I had corolla 2000 model. my CEL light was on abt 40K miles for the same O2 sensor.. drove till 95K without repairing.. thought emission test will fail.. but took battery off to turn CEL off and went for emission test and it passed.
    Now I bought 2007 highlander.. I have 45K miles on it.. same problem.. P031.. O2 sensor.. shopping for cheaper replacement.. if I don't get it.. wait till emission test fails..
  • la4meadla4mead Posts: 347
    edited June 2010
    If the O2 sensor fails by 40,000, that's way too early. Could it have been the fuel in your area?
    Do you use any cleaning product for the system?
    It was warranteed at least until 70,000 for emission-related items, wasn't it (U.S. vehicles)? Why not have the EFI cleaned or the defective part replaced?
    I wouldn't use a cheaper third-party sensor. You can see the difference when you have both side-by-side.
    Other RX300's tend to need cleaning of MAF sensor and the idle servo (really easy DIY and lots of tips using "search" on this and other sites) long before O2, but those have different codes.
    I hope the info helps. I'm really surprised your OEM O2 sensor didn't last very long, and it happened twice.
  • bdigestbdigest Posts: 3
    As wwest mentioned, it can also be 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 solved my initial occurrence by reconnecting the hose behind the air filter cover. But a year later, the same lights came on. Refilling the gas tank, tightening the gas cap, and resetting the lights by disconnecting the battery for 15 minutes did the trick...
  • gemini416gemini416 Posts: 1
    I have same problem from last night. Is it safe to drive for a few days until my husband can reconnect the hose and disconnect the battery?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Only if you're CERTAIN the CE is the result of the gas cap or air intake hose.

    CE can be something much more serious.
  • Had my tires rotated, oil changed, vsc check engine lights on? Wire was knocked off and I put it back on. Check engine light went off but vsc still on. How do I reset it and check to make sure the vsc is still functioal?

  • When the check engine light comes on so does the VSC. Before you take it to a garage cross pins 14 & 24. Thats what I did and it worked. No VSC light. Everything comes on when I first start my Lexus but goes off. Hope this helps.

  • eli55eli55 Posts: 1
    Thanks my car has exactly the same symptoms but I can't see a black hose disconnected, do you have a picture? which hose?

  • la4meadla4mead Posts: 347
    edited October 2010
    After the code was read (171, system too lean?) I cleaned MAF and IACV, using a good portion of a can of quality CRC EFI cleaner sprayed into butterfly intakes while revving; blew out a little carbony stuff till exhaust came clean, synthetic oil change, and serviced K&N engine air filter. Then I cleared the codes by disconnecting the neg battery terminal and pulled the EFI relay under the hood.

    After clearing, it seems to come on after driving an hour or two upon moderate (1/2-2/3 throttle) acceleration (freeway onramp uphill, etc.). Upon restart CEL remains on.

    I'm taking it to my neighbor Toyota dealer and asking for sparkplug replacement, oil change and read the trouble codes again. Is the dealer going to say I also need new expensive oxygen sensors?

    Does anyone know the locations for each sensor?

    How many O2 sensors are there?

    I've done O2 sensors, etc. on other cars before, and have no problem with investing in it so it's running right. I just want to be prepared, because if it's a set of sensors I can replace myself, I'll save money on the parts as well as labor, and right now without an income I don't have extra dough laying around. I just don't want to start replacing sensors that aren't bad, either.

    Jay (So Cal)
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
  • koa8koa8 Posts: 1
    edited December 2010
    Thanks a lot for sharing this information! I fixed it by simply reconnected the hose. Got rid of engine check light after disconnected battery for 15 minutes and.
  • avery1avery1 Posts: 373
    I have a 99 RX with 167,000 miles on it. Last year my transmission went out. A month ago the check engine light came on but the engine was running smoothly and the Lexus service guy said run it for a month and see if it goes off. It didn't and started to have bouts of rough running so I brought it in and they said they got two codes, one for an oxygen sensor and another that indicated to the mechanic that I had a gelled? engine. I remember in the early days of owning the car that there were folks with gelled engines and Lexus even extended the engine warranty to cover this. Of course that is now expired. It seemed to be associated with folks in cold climates who didn't run their cars much in the winter. Since I am in Ca and had always changed the oil when I was supposed to I didn't think this was an issue for me to worry about. He said it would cost another $300 to be sure of the diagnosis and he didn't recommend spending it since the mechanic was very experienced and was sure. At first I said skip it but was so furious that I changed my mind and told them to get the firm diagnosis because I was going to need it when I went to court. After a couple of hours they called to say they got the oil to flow freely and that my engine wasn't gelled after all. They changed the oil and the oxygen sensor and now my car is running. I am in the market for another car, not a Lexus. Thought you all would be interested in the story.
  • Engine malfunction, VSC and TRAC warning lights came on last week. Did a generic read at Auto Zone and replaced the air filter. Lights went off after about 20miles. The next day, the car was running fine. Stopped for coffee, got back in the car and suddenly it was jerking and the D transmission light started flickering on the dash. Suddenly the car completely died. Pulled over and it started right back up again. (Battery is one year old.) Have gone about 5 days with no problem when the lights came back on. Read that it could be spark plugs. It's not the gas cap - have checked that numerous times. At 99,400 miles and hoping this isn't the end. Can't afford to go to the dealer. Any suggestions?
  • my headlights are pulsating and cel light is on,code is for s4 solenoid, sometimes does not shift to overdrive, can they be connect or seperate problems
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    You just got HAD to the tune of that $300 upcharge, there is NO "code" indicating gell.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Start by cleaning and burnishing the battery posts/connections.
  • my 2000 rx has had this engine light thing going on for years now.....
    Stopped going to the local "stealership" about 4 years ago, and have a great mechanic here in Baltimore who only works on Japanese cars.....
    He has replaced O2 sensors on the car, yet the engine light came back on again. He thinks it is the gasket assembly around the gas cap. another expensive repair just to make the engine light go out.....
    ... but if the engine light is on, at least in my neck of the woods, you cannot pass your emissions test! so this is a real pain. more $$$

    another annoyance, I'm curious to know if anyone else had this happen, the "D" (drive) light on the dashboard went out. just the D. the P, R, and others still illuminate. to fix this one little stupid light, requires that the entire dash be taken apart!!! how stupid is this? never had this sort of thing happen in any other car in the last 30 years...

    I have concluded that there are only 2 options: keep the car til it dies (which could be in a month or in 10 years) or trade in at some dealer--- or carmax. guess they will fix the issues and resell. cannot possibly sell on the open market, as these stupid problems will cause the car to flunk the inspection. so I guess we just keep on driving it. it's been a great vehicle, and other than these stupid problems it has been a totally reliable car. don't think I will get another RX.. all the bells and whistles just cost you a LOT of bread.

    one other annoyance, I'd like to know if anyone else has had: the door locks. I have replaced all of them in less than 10 years, and the driver's door TWICE! that is ridiculous... and at $500 a piece, that is crazy. I thought my house was a money pit, but this car is truly a money dump. I hope it does not hear me making snide remarks about it, as it sits peacefully in the garage while it snows outside.....

    what is everyone buying these days? I need a new car!
  • la4meadla4mead Posts: 347
    edited January 2011
    1. CEL codes should help diagnose the problem causing the CEL to come on. I DIY and the local Toyota Dealer I have a relationship with told me what needed fixing. They get an A+ for the extra help and earned my loyalty for maint and repair that are too involved for a home wrencher.

    The only problem that I've had with the CEL was the MAFS and since I cleaned it correctly, everything's been great. Yours might be some other easy fix; I'd try a different dealer (Toyota?) that you have, or are looking to build a relationship with.

    2. The "D" indicator in the combination meter is not essential because it's in addition to the actual indicator, and I can't see how your inspection would fail because of that. The gearshift indicator will clearly show "D" like any car that does not have a redundant display (remember all your other cars).

    This is a common light bulb to need replacement, and most cars need indicator bulbs replaced by the time they are 12 years old. "Search" the forum and you will find detailed explanation of "how to" if you want to DIY. If not, it's probably not worth paying a mechanic to replace. No the whole dash doesn't need to come out, just the combo meter (not a fun job). I've been toying with replacing mine, but it just doesn't bother me anyway.

    I understand your frustration with CEL, but in my experience it's usually a lot easier to fix on the RX than most other cars this age. That's been my experience. I have a Ranger that has a perpetual CEL and it's been a constant series of repairs but they have not solved the problem, so I understand. And that car has always had difficult to replace meter bulbs going bad since it was new. Replaced them a few times, not fun, and there are still more burned out again. I hope you find an end to your frustration. I'd get rid of the car if you just don't like it enough to repair.

    P.S. I've had the drivers door lock replaced under warrantee, and had to do it again myself out of warrantee. The part was expensive and not fun. The passenger rear lock has gotten weak when the car sat for a long time between uses and sometimes the battery is weak. The door lock actuators are a nuisance because they are a pain to replace and the part is packaged with the whole lock assembly. I'm going to take another's advice and stop by an alarm shop and have them install a generic lock actuator bypassing the one built into the lock. It should be a whole lot less expensive that way. You might find that suggestion on a search of this forum (try "door lock", etc.), ClubLexus, etc. Even if you don't do the work yourself, it helps to read alternative solutions other owners have come up with.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Seems unlikely that both A/F mixture control oxygen sensors failed simultaneously so where do I look first..?

    Cleared the codes twice, once via disconnecting the battery for 10 minutes, the second time with the OBDII reader, came back both times.
  • la4meadla4mead Posts: 347
    I've got p1150 and p1155 on mine; the a/f sensor for each bank. P1155 shows up as "pending" and I don't know what that really means. I assumed I should change both, anyway. I haven't had the time to replace them myself, and serious cash flow issues so I'm not taking it to a dealer. I hate the retina-burning brightness of the CEL and the "Trac Off" lights on dark roads.

    I'm guessing the system is detecting an error comparing the two a/f ratio sensor readings, could that be what's going on? There is lots of info from other owners on Club Lexus forums (some seem to be pretty savvy). There are really helpful photos posted by members.

    I guess I'll have to order both a/f sensors; that's probably the best route. After 13 years I guess the car's earned a new set. The sensor in back (bank 1 is it?) looks like it will be a knucle-buster to unplug, and then a trip to the chiropractor afterward.

    The OEM replacement sensor sold under the Denso part number appears to be the least expensive route to get OEM. $110 each through Amazon (unless the price changes while I'm online again).

    Let us know what you figure out. I'm sure others have had this come up, too.
  • ktcktc Posts: 30
    I also got both CEL and VSC lights on for my 2001 RX300 after 98000 miles, take the mass air flow sensor out (2 screws, sensor located on the air duct after air filter), spray it with alcohol, let it dry out, then reinstall it, and fix the problem, no cost and no need to replace the sensor
  • la4meadla4mead Posts: 347
    That is a good fix for the dirty MAFS (but won't help if the a/f ratio sensor (what used to be known as an oxygen sensor) is providing a faulty reading.
  • la4meadla4mead Posts: 347
    I scanned my codes again... Mine is showing both p1150 (perf malf bank 2 sensor 1) and p1155 (sensor heater circuit malf bank 1 sensor 1). Sensor 1 is the a/f sensor for each bank, bank 1 is the side facing the firewall, bank 2 is the side facing the radiator...

    The question is: could it be the bank 1 (firewall) sensor's heater circuit is bad, and that's the only problem. Or, do I need to order two new sensors (the part# is the same for each). Perhaps it shows the other sensor error based on comparing the two readings? Any ideas?
  • My wife 07 lexus rx 350 check engine, vsc and trac off light came on couple of days ago, I drive it to check out anything unusual, sure enough I notice the steering wheel vibrates for 2 or 3 seconds every now and then, but every time this happen, the engine light starts blinking a few time and stay on steady. I took the car to my mechanic and he hook up the code reader, and he said the one of the inigtion coil is bad, this cause the engine to vibrate once a while and the check engine light blinking. I bought an inigtion coil cost 122 dollars from the dealer and the mechanic put it in and the all the lights turn off by them self, no need to reset like some people post in the forum. One more important issue that I want to mention here is depend on which coil is bad, because there are 6 inigtion coils in the car, and position 1to 6 , coil 2, 4, 6 are very easy to replace, anyone can turn a wrench can replace these coils, however coil 1,3,5 are located in the back of the engine and require a lot of labor to reach the coils. The mechanic will determine which coil is bad and will charge you accordingly. my bad coil happen to be number 5 so he charge me 100 dollars for labor, base on informations in the forum, I notice coil # 5 use to be the norm.
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