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Lexus RX 300



  • mikey00mikey00 Posts: 462
    The engine has a water temp gauge and the trans has a A/T fluid temp light. If neither of these indicate a overheat, I doubt very much that you are overheating. There are many reasons for the check engine light to come on. Some as simple as a gas cap not on tight and some more complex such as a sensor failure. You really need to get a code reader plugged into the car to determine the cause. Some engine codes prevent the trans from shifting into overdrive as a safety measure and are often mistakenly interrupted as a transmission problem. I would get the code read and fix the problem. Don't just shotgun it with things like changing the trans fluid. You may be doing more harm than good if you are not using Toyota Type T-IV trans fluid.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    My '01 AWD RX300 most definitely has an ATF overtemp sensor and indicator light. But yet while I have NEVER noted the light being on ATF was clearly burned due to overheating at only 40,000 miles.

    My continuing suspicion is that in the process of making the Camry/ES transaxle more robust for fitting to the HEAVIER RX series the engineers overlooked or underestimated the need for increasing the ATF pumping capacity.

    Or yet another possibily is that they saw the need but felt, correctly, that increased pump capacity would mean more, too much more, heat to somehow despose of easily. So they overcame the problem, or so they thought, by eliminating a few shift pattern/schedules that required an inordinant level of pressure even with the engine idling, at idle.

    But they forgot to "retrain" the owner/drivers to not "ask" for quick acceleration downshifts subsequent to brief full lift-throttle events.

    So then the '99 RX300 transaxles started failing prematurely.

    Oops, really do need more ATF pumping capacity, lets' bore out the gear type ATF pump. Take care of the extra heat buildup by including the "optional" towing package with every RX shipped.

    Oops, again.

    The extra heat load is localized to the larger, higher capacity ATF pump and so the ATF still overheats in the '01 to '03 Rx models.

    The '04 and later RXes use DBW, e-throttle, to ENFORCE 1-2 second acceleration delay/hesitation requiring a quick downshift subsequent to brief full lift-throttle event.
  • rugmankcrugmankc Posts: 133

    That's what I was trying to say in my earlier post. LOL.

  • jmdndjmdnd Posts: 8
    My Rx300, 2000, has over the years occasionally made a weird clicking sound after the engine is turned off. Last experience occurred when I came out of Lowes after two hours of shopping and found it making a variation of the sound. The battery was was jumped off and I got a new battery right away. Since then the clock resets almost every time it is cranked. Per information from messages on this site...I had the cables checked, where I got the battery. They removed, replaced the battery and cleaned the cables but the problem continues. They said that it is not their problem. I have not noticed the sound again and I haven't had any problems starting the car. In one post they mentioned that the fuses might be the problem. Do you have any idea where the problem might be? If it is in the fuse can I fix it myself ( I know nothing, but need to learn!)?
  • mikey00mikey00 Posts: 462
    The clicking sound made when trying to start a car with a battery without enough juice to turn over the engine is a common sound. It comes from the starter/solenoid. I doubt if it is related to the clicking you hear after the key is turned off. Could it possibility be metal contraction/expansion as the engine cools after it is shut off?
    If you never had clock reset problems before and as soon as they changed the battery clock reset problems began, the problem is most likely the new battery or battery connections. There are some other long shot possibilities like starter drawing too much current, electronic problem, etc., but I would first focus on the most likely. You said they already cleaned the battery connections. No one likes to believe that a new battery could be the problem but I would look here first. Do you have another car that you could swap batteries with for a test? Even if it's not a good fit, just start the car a few times to see if the clock resets. Or even just hook up jumper cables and start the RX a few times. I bet the clock reset problems are gone. If they are get a new battery. I don't know who put in the battery and how much hassle it is to deal with them but you may want to pick up a new battery at Costco for less than $50 and be done with it. Wal-Mart is another good source
  • jmdndjmdnd Posts: 8
    Thanks Mikey00,
    I have been back to Sams..where I got the new battery...but I will go back with your email to try again. They said they tested the battery and cleaned everything.
    The weird clicking occurred after the car had been turned off for a couple of hours and should have had time to cool off. The battery was dead then. It jumped off fine. The clock reset occurred after the new battery was installed.
    From the beginning I have heard the clicking on cool down....but this was different. I'll pursue as you advised!
  • chikoochikoo Posts: 3,008
    Does the clock reset everytime you start the car?
  • mikey00mikey00 Posts: 462
    I have seen this clock reset issue many times on the various RX discussion sites and can't recall one instance where the battery hasn't fixed the problem (mine included). Usually the car is still starting fine and some have even reported the battery load tested fine. It seems the battery is usually somewhere around 5 years old, so you change it anyway and the clock reset is solved. I think the clock is a little sensitve and is the first sign of a failing battery. Your situation is a little different in that the clock didn't reset until the new battery was installed. If they are willing to work with you on this great. Could it be that the particular model battery used allows the voltage to drop enough to cause the clock reset during cranking? I'm grabbing at straws here. Check to see if the clock is reset when the key is first turned on or does it occuur during cranking. Goood luck and keep us informed.
  • chikoochikoo Posts: 3,008
    Could it be that the particular model battery used allows the voltage to drop enough to cause the clock reset during cranking?

    Just where I was guiding the discussion to.
    with a new battery there appears to be 2 possibilities why the clock resets

    1. Bad connections
    2. Not enough cold crank volts.
  • jmdndjmdnd Posts: 8
    Mikey00 and Chikoo,
    Thanks for your responses!
    The reset doesn’t occur at each cranking, but does more often than not. Sometimes the clock does not reset after the car has been sitting overnight, but then again it might when only sitting for only a few minutes during the day.
    I did try turning the key to Alt before cranking and the clock was not reset…then when completing the start…it did reset.
    I may take the car to Sears or Wal-Mart and ask them to check the battery (We have no Costco). What you said about battery load and voltage dropping (new terminology for me) will help me talk to the guys at Sam’s again (That's where I bought the questionable battery)….especially if a competitive store finds a problem.
    I did forget to mention that the engine light is on most but not all the time… that has happened occasionally over the years…this time they couldn’t find a “code” to explain it. One independent but very good car guy said that it might relate to the fuses, but wasn’t Lexus trained and wouldn’t go there. Could a faulty fuse be the problem….and which fuse where??????
    I appreciate your help…Even if I wind up having to take the car to the dealership…I should be knowledgeable enough not to be taken advantage of. The dealer told me that it might take hours to find the problem; that’s why I’m taking advantage of your experience…Ain’t the internet great!
  • jmdndjmdnd Posts: 8
    When you say "bad connections". Does that just mean the battery cables on top of the battery?
    Thanks for your replies.
  • mikey00mikey00 Posts: 462
    A bad connection could be many different places and cause this problem, even the clock connection. But when we look at the sequence of events here, and other clock reset problems and solutions, I would say the probabilty of the battery itself or connection at the battery is like 99.999%. I suspect this battery is going to test good by anyone who tests it, even though I bet the battery is causing the clock to reset. The battery is pretty much doing its job of starting the car and most likely will pass a load test. At least your test shows that the battery is dipping below the voltage level that causes clock reset during cranking and the clock is not just resetting whils sitting idle. I do know that the RX clock is sensitive and usually starts to reset long before the battery fails to start the car but I have never heard of a new battery not fixing this problem. If you could swap batteries from another car for a test or even just use jumper cables to see the clock is not resetting during starts would prove it is the battery. Otherwise, it is going to be hard to prove it's the battery using standard tests. Or even just eat the cost of a new battery from Costco or other discounter. My Costco battery was less than $50. That's a lot cheaper than any troubleshooting the dealer will do and he will most likely end up selling you a battery in the end.
    As far as your check engine light goes, I doubt it is related to the clock issue. I have never heard of a CEL not producing a readable code. I would disconnnect the negative battery connection for a few minutes. This will reset all codes and turn the light off. If it comes back on get the code read. Most AutoZone stores will read it for free.
  • chikoochikoo Posts: 3,008
    Yup. the battery cables on top of the battery. Make sure they are greased and fit tight. You can twist them on tight by using the cable to turn them on the battery lug.

    For a battery test, go to Autozone and let them test it free for you.

    By the way, do you have the brand/model# of the battery that is on the RX right now?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The 2000 RX300 uses the unswitched dome light fuse/power as radio memory & clock "keep-alive" when the key is not on in the acc position.

    If that fuse is blown the clock will reset and the memory will not be retained with the ignition key not in the acc position.
  • mikey00mikey00 Posts: 462
    Don't think this fuse has much to do with anything being that the clock holds time overnight but resets during cranking.
  • I just obtained a 99 RX 300 but the CD changer had been stolen out of it. What would be the recommended replacement equipment for this vehicle?
  • jmdndjmdnd Posts: 8
    What fuse is it and where do I find it - to replace? I'd like to try that first...since my dome light is off also. They tried to and said that they had fixed it a year ago....but it went out I've been doing without. That might be the whole problem-the fuse or a short related to it? I've never changed a fuse in my life, but if I can find it, I can do it!
  • mikey00mikey00 Posts: 462
    Open your hood. Black plastic box on far right side (facing car) is labeled fuse/relay. Open using latch on rear of top cover. Dome light fuse is a 10 a fuse clearly marked on the label on the underside of the lid. There is also a small white plastic fuse puller on the underside of this lid.
  • Every time I start my car the clock resets. This only happens when it has been idel for longer than an hour or so. In addition the ino. display gives absurd numbers on mpg and is only accurate when pressed until it shows e/t. I took it to the dealership and they said the battery was fine. This coupled with the antenna not going down all the way has left me in a quandry.

    Its been reliable and is a 99 model.
  • mikey00mikey00 Posts: 462
    I know I am repeating myself but here goes anyway. Over the years on the various RX discussion forums the clock reset issue has come up many times. I can not recall even once where a new battery has not fixed the problem. Of course battery connections should be checked first, but I can't recall it ever fixing the reset issue. Many have had the battery test good and were reluctant to replace it but in the end it fixed the clock reset issue. In theory there are many possible causes of the clock resetting but I would put my money on the battery. You said yours resets every time you start the car so it should be easy to check. Swap the battery from your other car for a quick test. Or a RX battery from a discounter should be less than $50. Buy one, it's cheap troubleshooting compared to Lexus techs hourly rate. If your battery is a few years old, you will be needing one soon anyway, so it's not money totally wasted if it didn't fix the clock issue. Your situation is a little different in that you already had the dealership (Lexus, I assume?) check the battery and say it was ok. Lexus service should be more familiar with clock resets than I am. And you do get the absurd numbers on the info screen. What was the dealers response to your clock reset issue? I am sure he didn't just say "it's not the battery now go away."
    If it were my clock reset issue I would first verify battery connections and then move on to battery. Unless you have other issues like previous poster with dome light out. If so it might be worth resolving this issue first.
  • jiaminjiamin Posts: 556
    I am not sure if it's a bug or a feature on my 00 RX300:

    When the driver's door is open, if I lock the door by pressing the door lock button on the door panel, sit in, close the door, insert the key and turn it to start the engine or just turn it to the notch before start, the door will unlock.

    I typically close the door then lock them. I happened to notice the above, and every time it does that.
  • This noise started recently and can't pin point exactly where it's coming from, front or rear to the right, but it's a constant background noise no matter if the egnine is accelerated or not. The car is almost 120K mile and is driving great otherwise. Could this be the fuel pump? Is this common with this car?

  • la4meadla4mead Posts: 347
    As we can all guess, it's kinda hard to pinpoint a noise problem on a forum and easier in person, but I'm going to take a guess...

    Perhaps a vehicle speed (not engine speed) related hum could be one or more tires or perhaps a bad bearing? Make sure it's not the tranny (doesn't sound like it). When was the last time you had the tranny serviced?

    I have Michelin Cross Terrain tires, which are an excellent all-around tire. But they wear fast, and when they get a little worn, they start "humming" a little more than I'd like at vehicle (not engine) speed. The sound is muted, but noise over bumps is more pronuouced than should be. Also, I run the pressure on these tires up around 40psi for better handling, economy, etc. which makes the noise more pronounced, but still within a tolerable range. I wish I could find a sportier handling tire in my size (255 65H r16, I have spacers on the rear and want to avoid changing the wheels). My major gripe with the RX300 is the benign and boring handling.
  • gitmogitmo Posts: 23
    Happy New Year! I haven't been around for a while but have been checking threads. My 2000 rx300 FWD, has 90,882 on the OD and runs fine. Tranny fluid changed @ evry 15000 mi. My CEL has been coming on and going off erratically for the last year or so. Every-time (three times) in the last year I've taken it to my mechanic to have code pulled the light has gone off. MAF is clean, gas cap tight, may be oxygen sensor stuff who knows.
    Also, timing belt has not yet been changed yet. What do you think a realistic window, mileage-wise, would be. Someone told me 100,000 would be fine. I don't push this car at all. Any wisdom would be appreciated. Also, again, I have some very fine swirling scratches on my windshield (I'm second owner) just on the passenger side. Any ideas for their removal?
  • Someone has suggested that this may be coming from the fuel pump, which tends to wear out if the car is often run on low tank of gas. Does anyone have idea what the reasonable cost would be to have the fuel pump replaced? I am in California.

  • Hi, Rececently purchased a low mileage 1999 RX300 in great shape, nice drive:) I would like to add a few items to the car and looking for advise. The RX came with wood dash and looks great but would like to add the same look to the center console and overhead also but can only find complete kits, any suggestions. Or, how easy is it to replace the conole with one from the 330? Also, love to have nav, any aftermarket units to replace the existng control unit in the dash or a fold away unit with radio?

    Head room, anyone modified the seat or managed to get more head room out of the seats, I'm almost up against the roof and going over bumps at speed, well, I hit the roof...

    Thanks in advance for a great site.
  • pdq22pdq22 Posts: 1
    Hi, I need help with my driver side arm rest, the shear pin (?) is broke so my arm won't stay up, where do I locate a new one, and is this something I can do myself, or must I go to the local body man ?? Thank you
  • jim189jim189 Posts: 4

    Check this site. I got one here and installed it myself. Excellent quality and fast delivery. A little pricey but worth it. Jim
  • jim189jim189 Posts: 4
    My check engine light came on. Took it to a dealer. He found that the "purge valve" was disconnected from the air filter housing. The connection opening on the filter housing box was taped shut and a "resistor" was inserted across the valve control connector and taped to hold it in.

    The technician figured that the car had failed an emissions inspection and the previous owner(or his friendly helper) inserted the resistor to "fool the computer into thinking that the purge valve was working" to pass inspection. BUT when he took off all the tape, removed the resistor and connected the purge valve connections properly, his computer showed that it is working as it should. The "check engine light did NOT come back on.

    My question is, Other than to (illegally) disable the emissions control system(which is working fine), why would someone have inserted this resistor ??? I heard something about similar things being tried to increase engine performance??
  • I replaced one of the tail lights last month. I checked and it worked fine. My wife drove the Lexus tonight and a cop told her that all 4 tail lights were not working.

    My understanding is, thes bulbs work as a stop/tail light combo. Stop lights are working fine. Is it possible that tail lights are burn out while stop lights are still working ? I cannot imagine that all four bulbs go bad at the same time. Could it be a fuse ?

    Please help. My wife have to take my kid to her birthday party tomorrow morning.


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