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Old 07-06-14, 12:52 PM   #1
Hammer208S
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Default Transmission issue

We recently had an issue with our 2011 GX460. My wife first experienced the transmission not wanting to engage after being put in drive. Once it did engage there was a loud bang/pop noise, then no issues afterwards. The same thing happened to me this weekend. It was weird, like the brakes had frozen up then suddenly released and the transmission slammed into gear. Anyone have an issue like this?
We bought the vehicle used a couple months ago with 39k miles. With factory warranty remaining it will be heading to the dealer shortly but thought I'd check with you guys.
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Old 07-06-14, 12:58 PM   #2
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No, but I did have my brakes freeze up once this winter after I washed my car and parked it outside at the gym the next morning. My brake pads were frozen to the rotors. Sounds like a transmission problem for sure.
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Old 07-06-14, 06:07 PM   #3
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I believe Craig's first diagnosis is correct.

Every time I take our 2010 GX 460 to the car wash AND bring it home immediately ... we're less than two miles away ... then park and set the emergency brake this happens the next morning. We believe the emergency brake surfaces are still wet from the car wash and overnight the surfaces stick, presumably due to chemical action between the pad and drum.

This happens so repeatedly after the car wash that I routinely engage the emergency brake on the last downhill before I get home to heat and dry the surfaces ... not a recommended practice, but it solves the problem. The emergency brake 'squeals' until it is hot and dry ... about 5 seconds ... then I know it is safe to park and engage the brake. Alternatively, if we run errands after the car wash, the brake dries by itself. Unfortunately, I prefer to bring the vehicle home immediately after the car wash, which exacerbates the problem!

What is amazing is how thoroughly this will 'ground' the vehicle. Before we solved this we had to 'rock' the vehicle as if we were stuck in snow ... not a good idea in a garage with only a few feet of space!
Regards,

SaniDel


P.S. This doesn't happened in rain or snow and we always engage the emergency brake when we park. We believe it is solely because of the high-pressure water jets at the car wash getting into where rain and snow don't go.
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Old 07-08-14, 02:35 PM   #4
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We've got an appointment on Friday, we'll see...
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Old 07-08-14, 03:35 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Hammer208S View Post
We've got an appointment on Friday, we'll see...
Please give an update when you find an explanation. Many buyers with problems come here and don't follow up. I have wondered what this OP found?
http://www.clublexus.com/forums/gx-s...r-oil-cap.html
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Old 07-13-14, 04:52 PM   #6
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The local Lexus dealer could find nothing wrong. They said a thorough inspection had been performed and no codes came up on the computer. So, we'll see...
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Old 07-14-14, 11:51 AM   #7
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The local Lexus dealer could find nothing wrong. They said a thorough inspection had been performed and no codes came up on the computer. So, we'll see...
Thanks for the report. We hear of problems, but we seldom hear their resolution ... or in this case ... non-resolution.

If this happens again, take note of what happened the day before. Was it raining, did you drive through water, did you go to the car wash and did you set the parking brake? The only time we have had this problem is when we go to the car wash, come home immediately, set the brake and park overnight. It is quite dramatic ... the GX strains and roars until the emergency brake releases with a bang!

Since it only occurs in this exact sequence (car wash, immediate park, set brake and leave overnight) it can't be demonstrated to our local dealer, therefore it can't be fixed! We are due for brake replacement this Fall so we will have them replace the emergency brake as well.

Until then I will continue to 'squeal' the emergency brake to dry it before parking for the night, but only after coming home immediately after the car wash!
Regards,

SaniDel
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Old 07-14-14, 12:11 PM   #8
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I found that 4LO works wonders to break frozen brakes ;-)
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Old 07-14-14, 03:09 PM   #9
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I bet! What is amazing is that a powerful vehicle like the GX 460 is immobilized when this happens. So, what actually is happening? I thought that the emergency brake was a '5th' brake on one rear wheel, but not terribly effective ... good for holding the vehicle on a hill when stopped, but not much else. As far as it being used in an emergency if the main brakes fail ... forget it!

Is it possible for a 'frozen' emergency brake to keep a GX grounded? Until I learned to 'dry' the emergency brake on the way home from the car wash I would have to 'rock' the GX as if it were stuck in snow. If that didn't work ... especially in our garage ... I might have tried 4LO!

Could the main brakes be involved ... or do I not understand how the brakes work? Don't worry ... you won't hurt my feelings ... we're here to learn from each other.
Regards,

SaniDel
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Old 07-14-14, 05:00 PM   #10
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I have not experienced this yet on my GX but I have several times on my MDX. I did not have the emergency brake engaged and assumed it was due to an all wheel brake freeze.The gap between the rotors and the pads is small enough to become attached with ice.
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Old 07-14-14, 05:01 PM   #11
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Default Small drum brake assembly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaniDel View Post
I bet! What is amazing is that a powerful vehicle like the GX 460 is immobilized when this happens. So, what actually is happening? I thought that the emergency brake was a '5th' brake on one rear wheel, but not terribly effective ... good for holding the vehicle on a hill when stopped, but not much else. As far as it being used in an emergency if the main brakes fail ... forget it!

Is it possible for a 'frozen' emergency brake to keep a GX grounded? Until I learned to 'dry' the emergency brake on the way home from the car wash I would have to 'rock' the GX as if it were stuck in snow. If that didn't work ... especially in our garage ... I might have tried 4LO!

Could the main brakes be involved ... or do I not understand how the brakes work? Don't worry ... you won't hurt my feelings ... we're here to learn from each other.
Regards,

SaniDel
The Parking brake works on a drum system at the rear wheels. So two shoes per side which cover about 70% of a circle. The shoes are retaining the water and freezing up to the plate assembly that the shoes ride against. The shoes are very thin, not like a traditional drum brake since these are parking brakes and not main brakes.

See the Sewell picture below from a 2014.

Randy B
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Old 07-14-14, 05:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy B View Post
The Parking brake works on a drum system at the rear wheels. So two shoes per side which cover about 70% of a circle. The shoes are retaining the water and freezing up to the plate assembly that the shoes ride against. The shoes are very thin, not like a traditional drum brake since these are parking brakes and not main brakes.

See the Sewell picture below from a 2014.

Randy B
Thanks for your explanation and the diagram, Randy! Just to be clear ... what you call 'freezing' is not due to cold, but rather to something probably chemical (rust?) between the wet shoes and the plate assembly. Our GX 'sleeps' in a conditioned and insulated garage between two townhouses so it only gets cool or warm, but never close to freezing.
Regards,

SaniDel
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Old 07-14-14, 05:40 PM   #13
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Is it necessary for you to use the emergency brake in your garage? Maybe skip it on car wash day? I only use my brake on a steep hill, otherwise I rarely use it.
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Old 07-14-14, 06:01 PM   #14
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Is it necessary for you to use the emergency brake in your garage? Maybe skip it on car wash day? I only use my brake on a steep hill, otherwise I rarely use it.
No, it is not necessary ... it is just a hard habit to break, but maybe I should.

For fifty years I've been in the habit of putting the transmission in Neutral with my foot on the main brake, which allows the drivetrain to 'unload' then to set the emergency brake and finally to shift into 'Park' for an automatic transmission. With a manual transmission I would leave it in neutral with only the emergency brake to hold it.

My concern is relying on the transmission in Park to hold the vehicle on a sloped surface such as our garage floor and certainly on a hill. It just seems dangerous to have only one 'thing' keeping the vehicle from rolling away. There is a fair amount of 'play' in the GX drivetrain when the transmission is in Park ... it will roll a few inches when you take your foot off main brake before the transmission stops it.

I will probably have to replace the entire emergency brake system at our next service because I am overusing it ... not to mention "dragging the brake" on my way home from the car wash. Maybe that will teach me that using the emergency brake is not always necessary!
Regards,

SaniDel
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Old 07-14-14, 06:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaniDel View Post
I bet! What is amazing is that a powerful vehicle like the GX 460 is immobilized when this happens. So, what actually is happening? I thought that the emergency brake was a '5th' brake on one rear wheel, but not terribly effective ... good for holding the vehicle on a hill when stopped, but not much else. As far as it being used in an emergency if the main brakes fail ... forget it!

Is it possible for a 'frozen' emergency brake to keep a GX grounded? Until I learned to 'dry' the emergency brake on the way home from the car wash I would have to 'rock' the GX as if it were stuck in snow. If that didn't work ... especially in our garage ... I might have tried 4LO!

Could the main brakes be involved ... or do I not understand how the brakes work? Don't worry ... you won't hurt my feelings ... we're here to learn from each other.
Regards,

SaniDel
I found that mine freezes whether I engage the parking brake or not. Now I either drive the vehicle after a car wash or, if I had to park right after, walk out to the vehicle 15 minutes later and move it couple feet forward and then back - that breaks ice that's just beginning to form and avoids the issue.
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