Lexus RX 300 funny new noise

herman6herman6 Member Posts: 1
edited April 2014 in Lexus
Lexus RX 300,1999, 64000 mil,original owner.

The car has been making a buzzing noise [like a metal component with a very fine vibration] as I start to accelerate and continue driving. It is present when steering the wheel slightly to the left or when keeping it in neutral center position but seems to dissappear when I steer to the right or when I step on the break and slow down or stop.Acceleration does not seem to make it any worse or better.
It may be coming from the front of the car and may be the left side [although hard to say since I am already sitting and driving in the front left]

Any help is appreciated since In had a bad experience with the local mechanic I took this car x other stuff before.



  • eklndeklnd Member Posts: 4
    Your transmission is going out...a very common problem on the RX300.
  • ross20ross20 Member Posts: 2
    Could also be a bearing issue. Same thing happened to me. started out as low noice, very slight vibration, happened driving straight. Then it became pronounced and louder as I turned left and right and just a slight noise/vibration driving straight. Dealer couldn't find anything wrong originally. Took months to go from slight noise to pronounced noise.
  • psiaskipsiaski Member Posts: 2
    for the last six months i've had a "scratchy,bubbly " noise behind the dash on the drivers side usually on hot days. on several occasions, it continued after the motor was off.yesterday it would not start had grinding noise when turning the key. attempted about six times. after about an hr i tried again and it started right up. it made the scatchy noise for about three min. the car is with the dealer and of course there is no sound and the car starts right up. has anyone had this problem? thanks.
  • avery1avery1 Member Posts: 373
    No problem with starting but I have had a scratchy sound from inside the dash area. I have not had it fixed but it was diagnosed by a Lexus tech as a bad servo motor in the AC system.
  • psiaskipsiaski Member Posts: 2
    i think i've two unrelated problems. thanks for your input re. the servo motor, sounds like that's the solution.
  • jmdndjmdnd Member Posts: 8
    Weird Clicking Sound While Engine Off / Clock Reset
    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 cleaned the cables but the problem continues. They said that it is not their problem....what a coincident..? 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!)?
  • la4meadla4mead Member Posts: 347
    I hope this gives you some help. I'm not sure what funny new noise you hear on a car you are looking to buy (title of this forum, perhaps not related), however you may have better luck in the main RX300 forum (see post #9109 link title written for someone who had questions about purchasing a '99) and doing a "search" by keywords in any of the other RX300 and RX300 maint/repair, etc. boards.

    Like other cars, lots of your concern might be related to the care and records available from the prior owner, if it is being sold with a transferable warrantee from Lexus, if anything was "updated" under warrantee, and especially how it was used (i.e. a local grocery-runner or people pick-up that spends a lot of time idling, but has few miles likely will have seen much more wear than a distance commuter with more miles).

    These are good cars that generally provide a fairly trouble-free experience, with a few exceptions. You will see those exceptions (complaints) listed as posts on the RX300 forums. Some owners have reported more trouble than others in a few key areas, like transmission. But Lexus knew about this, and many had their transmissions replaced with more modern units under warrantee.
  • sostabaraksostabarak Member Posts: 4
    My 01 RX300 with 78,000 miles has developed a vibration when the car comes to a stop. The dealer has checked it out and finds nothing wrong. I'm bringing it back so the service manager and I can ride it together. Has anybody experienced similar vibration issue and if so is there a solution?
  • la4meadla4mead Member Posts: 347
    I doubt if you're offering enough information to figure this out over a forum. A vibration at idle could be caused by any number of reasons including transmission wear (vibration in gear?).

    But my suggestion is check your transmission fluid for a clear red color and non-burned smell. Does the vibration occur only at an idle in gear? What happens when you shift into neutral? Is there a noise or other symptom?

    And try a different dealer.
  • sostabaraksostabarak Member Posts: 4
    Thanks for the feedback on my admittedly weak attempt at explaining the symptoms in one sentence. The vibration is only when the car is in gear (Drive, and less in Park) and has gotten progressively worse over the last year. Shifting the car into neutral smooths it out completely, no vibration, no noise.
    Fluid is ruby red and doesn't smell burned.
    As far as another dealer, that might be very good advice.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    The '01 RX300 most DEFINITELY has a problem with localized overheating of the ATF. The factory recommended scheduled maintainance period in the owners manual for ATF drain/fill is that no maintainance is required for the life of the vehicle, certainly in excess of 100,000 miles.

    Within a year or so of initial sales this was changed to every 15,000 miles. But that resulted in such an owner outcry that this was revised to say the ATF condition should be inspected along with every oil change. But any dealer worth his salt, and many owners, would have installed NEW/PRISTINE ATF in an '01-'03 RX300 before reselling it.

    Your RX does not downshift into 1st until you come to a COMPLETE stop. Due to the history of these vehicles at 78,000 I would fully expect you need new 1st range clutches.

    Absent the firmware fix applied to the '01 and later RX300's the '99-'00 transaxles were failing prenmaturely in this mileage range, 80,000-100,000 miles. The fix involved "holding" the ATF line pressure at a higher level. That in turn resulted in localized heating, OVER-heating, of the ATF for which no cooling provisions had been made, and could not be retrofitted.

    Most, if not actually ALL, of the vehicle's shipped of this era came with the extra ATF cooling as a part of the towing package but that proved to be of little help since it wasn't the "average" temperature of the ATF that was the problem.

    Lexus (and Toyota) went to DBW to help alleviate this problem but the result of that was to put the passengers at risk in certain situations.
  • sostabaraksostabarak Member Posts: 4
    I take it this is something the service manager of a lexus dealership should know? Is a "1st range clutch" a major repair?
    Thanks for the insight, I will certainly be armed with your comments next week.
  • sostabaraksostabarak Member Posts: 4
    Problem solved. Fortunately it had nothing to do with the transmission. Idle air control valve is what the problem was. Lexus is offering to pay half as it is now out of warranty but was originally reported while still under warranty. Wish me luck on arguing for the other half. Thanks for all the input.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    As a general rule all that is needed for correcting an idle air control valve problem is cleaning the (smallish) air bypass port/channel. Clean the port/channel/orifice, unplug the battery so the engine ECU is forced to "relearn" the PWM setting for the valve's control solenoid, and be on your way.

    The Lexus service shop should know this. You may be getting a "refurbished" control valve removed from some previous "service" and then cleaned in preparation for "cleaning" the next victims pockets.

    If, sometime in the past, you have used, experimented with the use, of a K&N engine air filter, or the like, I wouldn't tell the Lexus folks.
  • robcanazrobcanaz Member Posts: 1
    Whistling sound at 40 mph only in cold weather starts at 39mph stops at 41mph it isn’t a problem just a little annoying…anyone…
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    Can you tell where the sound is coming from? Engine? Doors? Roof? Ventilation? Other?

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • neumie2000neumie2000 Member Posts: 133
    Your whistling noise is likely caused by the positioning of the luggage rails.....try repositioning them more toward the back of the vehicle or, to be sure of the cause, remove all together and test drive. I have a 1999 with the exact same whistle and it proved to the be rails.....good luck!
  • la4meadla4mead Member Posts: 347
    I took my luggage rails off from the beginning. I haven't had a reason to put them back on since. I wonder about trivial things like why anyone keeps them on when not in use in any vehicle. Someday I'll use them again, perhaps. But I'd remove them when done. It's easy. I also wonder how much the small amount of wasted fuel from leaving them up there would add up to after all this time.

    Perhaps that's the wind noise you're experiencing, and it's worth looking at.
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