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Possibly need THIRD transaxle on 2006 RX400h

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Old 03-28-12, 02:48 PM   #1
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Default Possibly need THIRD transaxle on 2006 RX400h

I had my transaxle replaced under an extended warranty exactly one year ago (and 25000km). See here and have a look at the pics in my first post.

Please note the exact location of the pink coolant residue - I now have oil leaking from the same location on the new transaxle (see pics below)

Having had that leak, I had been checking that area occasionally, but obviously not enough. A few months after getting the new tranny, I noticed a small stain starting again at the seam that can be seen in the post above. However, since it wasn't pink, I knew it wasn't coolant and after wiping the stain off, I pretty much neglected to check again.

Fast forward to today. I was thinking that I had a one year warranty on the replacement part, so I had a look again and found this. Obviously, it's leaking oil this time, not tranny fluid. I can only guess that there is a gasket where that seam is that separates the cooling circuit from the oiling circuit and it's failed TWICE now.

Anyhow, of course the dealer looked at it today and said 'maybe it's overspray from your oil rustproofing'. Umm..no, I said, the car was sprayed in September. I've wiped the area clean after September and it's obviously oily again. "Well maybe it's coming from the engine, how do we know it's the tranny?" Umm..no. The engine is nowhere near that part of the tranny. If there is oil on the tranny, it has to be coming from the tranny, and before you come up with another excuse, directly above that oily spot is the inverter, and there is no oil of any sort in the inverter, so don't tell me it's leaking from above!!! I actually said that to them. I swear I know more about my hybrid than the dealer, which is kind of sad.

So anyway, their suggestion was to clean the area and watch it and bring it back if the leak returns. I went home, wiped, degreased and gently sprayed everything off. That oily spot was shiny like new (see the pics!!!). Went for a 15 MINUTE drive and the result can be seen in the second pic. I swear, it's unbelievable that I have to do my own troubleshooting on this thing.

The car is going back to Lexus on Monday, along with these pics. Now I'll have to battle them because I'm 5000km over the 1 year / 20000KM warranty. My own fault really, as I should have stayed on top of this when I noticed it way back in the fall last year.

And, I've said this before, but if you own an RX400h, you REALLY SHOULD check this area on your own vehicles.

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Last edited by rcy; 03-28-12 at 02:54 PM..
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Old 03-29-12, 09:51 AM   #2
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The transaxle does not have motor oil in it. Only coolant and ATF. Did they change your rear main seal when they did your first transaxle? I paid them around $150 to do this when they replaced my transaxle.
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Old 03-29-12, 11:31 AM   #3
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I know it doesn't have motor oil in it. If you are referring to the fact that I am calling this an oil leak - what exactly do you think transmission fluid is made from?

No they didn't replace rear main seal...but hey...maybe they can do it this time. Was your rear main seal leaking?

Last edited by rcy; 03-29-12 at 09:43 PM..
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Old 03-30-12, 07:09 AM   #4
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Sure would be interesting to know if that is engine oil...What if they spilt and wiped it up and the residue collects in that crack...Also would be interesting to know if those mating surfaces are flat....
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Old 03-30-12, 10:28 AM   #5
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It's not engine oil. 100% positive of this. No question about it.

That seam is where two parts of the tranmission mate adn is nowhere near the engine. Since my last tranny leaked coolant and this one is leaking tranny fluid, my guess is the cooling circuit and oiling circuit are separated there at that seam. I assume there's a gasket there and this time the oil side is leaking.
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Old 03-30-12, 10:28 AM

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2006, 400h, coolant, cost, failure, fluid, leak, leaking, lexus, pink, problems, replace, rx400h, transaxle, transmission

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