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Old 01-12-15, 02:30 PM   #1
deadguy
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Default 04 LS430 Transmission saga

2004 LS, 122k miles. Purchased with 81K three years ago.

Shortly after the purchase (from a Lexus dealer), I noticed the all too common 10-15mph hesitation followed by the jerk that many 430 owners have experienced. I read numerous threads here about it and simply adjusted my driving style to avoid it (or left it in 'S' mode).

Last Monday, I felt a slip in the rear end, followed by the vehicle going into limp mode on me. Pedal down, with no movement until RPMs reached over 3k. Parked it, and the tri-fecta of warning lights soon came on (CE, VSC, Traction Off). Numerous threads here about that issue. Mechanic found that the transmission line leading into the radiator had come loose. Simple fix. Reattached, clamped, refilled fluid and off I go.

I drove 2 miles down the road, and a new problem popped up. This time, in the form of acceleration 'flares' they called it. Happened between 2nd and 3rd gears from time to time. I was able to recreate them when I wanted to. Went straight back to the shop (local mechanic with a certified Toyota Tech there). They did a reset of the shift pattern.

I now get the common 'thump' when coming to a hard stop and the tranny shifts down to 1st harshly. I can tell it is going to happen because they brake pedal gives me more resistance. Linked to ABS (I've seen that here as well)?

If I drive like a granny I have no issues. However, there is still a problem.

A phone call to Lexus dealer says no recalls on that model, specifically those in the VIN range I am in. Lexus 800 # tells me the same. I questioned the TSB mentioned here (TC006-04) about the tranny and she said it did not cover my VIN. Could it be that this problem existed with models outside of that VIN range?

Is it the the throttle body motor? Need more fluid in tranny? Need TSB update?

Thanks for all of your input. I have been reading threads about transmission issues for a while here. I'm just curious how a loose hose could cause all of these other issues when repaired.
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Old 01-12-15, 03:11 PM   #2
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Hmmm.... Something caused that hose to come loose. It didn't come loose on its own. Did someone do a tranny or radiator service?

Once that hose came loose you lost most if not all of your tranny fluid. It's not a simple fix from there. How did they refill? There's no dipstick and a quite complicated procedure to fill and check the fluid level. Did they do that correctly?

If they did get the fluid level correct, then it would be natural for the car to have to relearn the shift pattern and that could take a while.

I'm not sure I would trust a local mechanic and Toyota Tech to get this right. You may be dollars ahead to get this into a Lexus dealer and have them do a tranny service.
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Old 01-12-15, 03:28 PM   #3
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Are there any codes that say anyting about a transmission solenoid? I had a similar problem but my LS had around 250k on it when it started.
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Old 01-12-15, 05:02 PM   #4
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My understanding was ALL 2004s have the "old" firmware for the jerky shifting at low speeds. Only some of the 2005's have it. At the bottom I've copied and pasted the TSB. So is Lexus "corporate" saying it's already been done, or that your 2004 doesn't require it?

My impression with the Lexus 800 number is that they're some minimum wage call center operators that are flipping through a manual, I really wouldn't take much of what they have to say too seriously. They're certainly not technicians or engineers.

The fact that you've taken the car to the mechanic several times and they don't know what to do tells me you should probably start taking it somewhere else, at least for this issue.

If I was going to guess, the shop put in the wrong amount of fluid in the transmission when they went to refill and probably didn't have the equipment to properly tell the ECU the fluid has been refilled. I personally wouldn't let anyone but a Lexus dealer touch the transmission on these "sealed" 6 speed units, and even then it's a crap shoot that they know what they're doing.

Here's the TSB

ECM CALIBRATION: SHIFTING ENHANCEMENT
TECHNICAL SERVICE BULLETIN
Reference Number(s): TC006-04, Date of Issue: December 6, 2004
LEXUS: 2004 - 2005 LS 430
SECTION: TRANSMISSION & CLUTCH
INTRODUCTION
To enhance low speed ATM shifting, the Engine Control Module or ECM (SAE term: Powertrain Control Module/PCM) calibration has been updated.
APPLICABLE VEHICLES
• 2004 model year LS 430 vehicles.
• 2005 model year LS 430 vehicles produced BEFORE the Production Change Effective VIN shown below.
PRODUCTION CHANGE INFORMATION
PRODUCTION CHANGE INFORMATION
Model Production Change Effective VIN
2005 LS 430 JTHBN36F*5005700
CALIBRATION IDENTIFICATION INFORMATION
CALIBRATION IDENTIFICATION INFORMATION
Model Year Main/Sub ECM (PCM) Previous Calibration ID New Calibration ID
2004 Main 35013000 35013300
2004 Main 35013100 35013300
2004 Main 35013200 35013300
2004 Sub 55013000 55021100
2004 Sub 55013100 55021100
2005 Sub 55021000 55021100
WARRANTY INFORMATION
WARRANTY INFORMATION
OP Code Description Time OFP T1 T2
TC4006 Recalibrate ECM Engine 1.3 89661-50690 87 99
TC4006 Recalibrate ECM Engine 1.3 89661-50691 87 99
TC4006 Recalibrate ECM Engine 1.3 89661-50692 87 99
TC4006 Recalibrate ECM Engine 1.3 89661-50780 87 99
NOTE: Applicable Warranty*:
This repair is covered under the Lexus Emissions Warranty. This warranty is in effect for 96 months or 80,000 miles, whichever occurs first, from the vehicle's in-service date.
* Warranty application is limited to correction of a problem based upon a customer's specific complaint.
PARTS INFORMATION
PARTS INFORMATION
Model Year Previous Part Number Current Part Number Part Name Qty
2004 89661-50690 N/A Computer, Engine Control 1
2004 89661-50691 N/A Computer, Engine Control 1
2004 89661-50692 N/A Computer, Engine Control 1
2005 89661-50780 89661-50781 Computer, Engine Control 1
PARTS INFORMATION
Previous Part Number Current Part Number Part Name Qty
N/A 00451-00001-LBL Authorized Modification Labels 1
NOTE: Authorized Modification Labels may be ordered in packages of 25 from the Materials Distribution Center (MDC) through Dealer Daily or by calling the MDC.
REQUIRED SSTS


Fig. 1: Required Special Service Tools
Courtesy of TOYOTA MOTOR SALES, U.S.A., INC.
NOTE: Additional Diagnostic Tester Kits, CAN Interface Modules, Program Cards or other SSTs may be ordered by calling SPX/OTC.
REPAIR PROCEDURE
1. Check for the Authorized Modification Label affixed to the vehicle in the location shown in Fig. 2 . Confirm that the ECM (PCM) calibration has been updated. If not the latest ECM (PCM) calibration - go to step 2.


Fig. 2: Authorized Modifications Label
Courtesy of TOYOTA MOTOR SALES, U.S.A., INC.
2. Connect the Diagnostic Tester to the vehicle and select "CURRENT ECU CAL" from the "ECU REPROGRAM MAIN MENU." Determine the vehicle's current ECU calibration (see Fig. 3 ).
• The sample screen prints seen below are the 12.01a software version, and may differ from subsequent software versions.


Fig. 3: Determining Current ECU Calibration
Courtesy of TOYOTA MOTOR SALES, U.S.A., INC.
NOTE: • If Calibration ID matches "Previous Calibration ID" as shown in "Calibration Identification Chart" above, proceed with flash reprogramming.
• If Calibration ID matches "New Calibration ID" as shown in "Calibration Identification Chart", this vehicle has already been reprogrammed.
3. If ECU calibration ID is not the same as the "New Calibration ID" listed previously, proceed to Flash Reprogram ECM (PCM).
FLASH REPROGRAM ECM
CAUTION: When reprogramming the LS 430, 12.01a production version or later MUST be used. Using any previous versions of software for reprogramming may result in IRREPARABLE DAMAGE to the ECU!
NOTE: • If the "Check Engine" light is ON when ignition is turned back on to begin the reprogramming process, a scan tool cable problem exists. Refer to TSIB No. SS003-01 , "ECU Flash Reprogramming Error Message ."
• When reprogramming the LS 430 for this issue, calibration files for 2004 and 2005 model year cannot exist on the same Diagnostic Tester Program Card.
If necessary, delete previous calibrations from the Diagnostic Tester Program Card before downloading the new calibration file.
• With this calibration update, 2004 model year vehicles are updated to 2005 model year logic. When diagnosing powertrain-related M.I.L. "ON" or performance issues, refer to the 2005 LS 430 Repair Manual for both 2004 and 2005 model year vehicles.
• 2004 model year vehicles require VIN registration following reprogramming to prevent M.I.L. "ON" (P0630).
1. Disconnect the radiator fan connectors, and connect a battery charger to the vehicle's battery. This will avoid voltage variations that can permanently damage the ECM (PCM) during the reprogramming process.
2. Follow the procedures outlined in TSIB No. SS001-01 , "ECU Flash Reprogramming Process ," and flash the ECM (PCM) with new calibration file update.
3. Reconnect the radiator fan connectors, and disconnect the battery charger.
4. Enter the required information on the Authorized Modifications label and affix it to the vehicle at the location shown in Fig. 2 . The Authorized Modifications label is available through the MDC, P/N 00451-00001-LBL.
5. Enter VIN of vehicle in ECM memory. Refer to procedures outlined in TSIB No. EG012-04 , "Entering VIN During ECM (PCM) Replacement and/or DTC P0630 ."
6. Start the engine and warm it up to normal operating temperatures before test-driving.
7. Perform a thorough test drive with several accelerations from a stop with "light throttle" application until proper transmission shifting is verified.
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Old 01-12-15, 05:16 PM   #5
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Your transmission is under-filled. Take it back to the dealer or whoever serviced it and make sure they warm the transmission to the proper temp, run it through the gears, and pump fluid in until it overflows as stated in the technical service manual.

Quote:
AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION FLUID
ADJUSTMENT
1. BEFORE TRANSMISSION FILL
_ This transmission requires Toyota Genuine ATF WS.
_ It is necessary to refill the transmission with the correct
amount of fluid.
_ The vehicle must remain level while adjusting fluid level.
2. TRANSMISSION PAN FILL
(a) Remove the two bolts and transmission case cover.
(b) Remove the refill plug and overflow plug.
(c) Fill the transmission through the refill hole until fluid begins
to trickle out of the overflow tube.
(d) Reinstall the overflow plug.
3. TRANSMISSION FILL
(a) Fill the transmission with the correct amount of fluid as
listed in the table below.
(b) Reinstall the refill plug to avoid fluid splash.
Performed Repair Fill Amount
Transmission pan and drain plug removal
1.3 liters (1.37 US qts, 1.14 Imp. qts)
Transmission valve body removal 3.9 liters (4.12 US qts, 3.43 Imp. qts)
Torque converter removal 5.3 liters (5.60 US qts, 4.66 Imp. qts)
Entire transmission assembly 5.3 liters (5.60 US qts, 4.66 Imp. qts)
HINT:
If you cannot add the listed amount of fluid, do the following:
(1) Install the refill plug.
(2) Allow the engine to idle with air conditioning OFF.
(3) Move the shift lever through entire gear range to circulate
fluid.
(4) Wait for 30 seconds with the engine idling.
(5) Stop the engine.
(6) Remove the refill plug and add fluid.
(7) Reinstall the refill plug.
4. FLUID CIRCULATION
(a) Allow the engine to idle with the air conditioning OFF.
(b) Move the shift lever through entire gear range to circulate
the fluid.
5. FLUID TEMPERATURE CHECK
NOTICE:
_ On vehicles equipped with air suspension, perform
step (c) if it necessary to jack up the vehicle while the
engine running.
_ The fluid temperature should be less than 30_C (86_F)
before beginning the fluid temperature check.
(a) With hand-held tester
(1) Connect the hand-held tester to the DLC3.
(2) Select the tester menus: OBD/MOBD, ENGINE,
DATA LIST and A/T.
(3) Check A/T OIL TEMP.
(4) Allow the engine to idle until the fluid temperature
reaches 46_C (115_F).
(b) Without hand-held tester (Using D shift indicator)
(1) Connect terminals between CG (4) and TC (13) of
the DLC3 using SST (09843-18040).
(2) Move the shift lever back and forth between N and
D every 1.5 seconds for six seconds.
(3) The D shift indicator on the combination meter
comes on for two seconds. This indicates that the
fluid temperature check mode has been started.
(4) The D shift indicator will come on again when the
fluid temperature reaches 46_C (115_F) and will
blink when it exceeds 56_C (130_F).
(5) Allow the engine to idle unit the fluid temperature
reaches 46_C (115_F).
(c) For vehicles with air suspension (Using D shift indicator)
(1) Connect terminals between CG (4), OPA (11) and
TC (13) of the DLC3 using SST (09843-18040).
Terminal OPA is connected to prevent air suspension
height adjustment from occurring when the vehicle
is lifted off the ground with the engine running.
(2) Move the shift lever back and forth between N and
D at 1.5 seconds interval for six seconds.
(3) The D shift indicator on the combination meter
comes on for two seconds. This indicates that the
fluid temperature check mode has been started.
(4) The D shift indicator comes on again when the fluid
temperature reaches 46_C (115_F) and will blink
when it exceeds 56_C (130_F).
(5) Allow the engine to idle until the fluid temperature
reaches 46_C (115_F).
6. FLUID LEVEL CHECK
NOTICE:
The fluid temperature must be between 46_C (115_F) and
56_C (130_F) to accurately check the fluid level.
(a) Remove the overflow plug with the engine idling.
(b) Check that the fluid comes out of the overflow tube.
_ If fluid does not come out, proceed to step 7
_ If fluid comes out, wait until the over-flow slows to
a trickle and proceed to step 8.
7. TRANSMISSION REFILL
(a) Install the overflow plug.
(b) Stop the engine.
(c) Remove the refill plug.
(d) Add 0.4 liters (0.42 US qts, 0.35 Imp. qts) of fluid.
(e) Allow the engine to idle and wait for 10 seconds.
(f) Proceed to step 6.
8. COMPLETE
(a) Install the overflow plug with a new gasket.
(b) Stop the engine.
(c) Install the refill plug with a new gasket.
(d) Install the transmission case cover with the two bolts.
Torque:
20 Nm (205 kgfcm, 15 ftlbf) for overflow plug
39 Nm (400 kgfcm, 29 ftlbf) for refill plug
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Last edited by Lavrishevo; 01-12-15 at 05:24 PM..
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Old 01-12-15, 05:52 PM   #6
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Thank you guys for the advice.

To answer a few questions:

There were no codes thrown during all of this.

The hose just came lose somehow. The only work done on the front end was a timing belt change at 105k. Possibly it wasn't attached correctly.

I did have fluid overflow after the refill, but I understand that it may not have been filled correctly and the ECU reset.
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Old 01-13-15, 02:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lavrishevo View Post
Your transmission is under-filled. Take it back to the dealer or whoever serviced it and make sure they warm the transmission to the proper temp, run it through the gears, and pump fluid in until it overflows as stated in the technical service manual.
You nailed it.

Took it into the dealer today for diagnostics. I drove the tech around and recreated the issue for him. He mentioned the fluid levels and upon inspection, found them to be low. The diagnostics and fluid replacement cost a total of $159.00. They are also going to do the TSB upgrade on the transmission for an additional $160+.

The two previous trips to the local mechanic cost me about $90 more (or maybe a bit less) than all of this would have cost me to have the car towed to the dealer from the start. All in all, I think this turned out OK (if the car runs like it should when i get it back).
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Old 01-13-15, 03:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadguy View Post
You nailed it.

Took it into the dealer today for diagnostics. I drove the tech around and recreated the issue for him. He mentioned the fluid levels and upon inspection, found them to be low. The diagnostics and fluid replacement cost a total of $159.00. They are also going to do the TSB upgrade on the transmission for an additional $160+.

The two previous trips to the local mechanic cost me about $90 more (or maybe a bit less) than all of this would have cost me to have the car towed to the dealer from the start. All in all, I think this turned out OK (if the car runs like it should when i get it back).
Thanks for sharing the problem and possible resolution with the forum. Please update us with ultimate resolution. This forum is valuable because folks like you take the time to share issues and solutions, and because of folks like Lavrishevo who regularly contributes his knowledge/experience on the LS430 to others.
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Old 01-13-15, 04:48 PM   #9
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Absolutely, Jabber.

Hopefully it won't have any issues learning my driving style.
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Old 01-13-15, 04:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadguy View Post
Absolutely, Jabber.

Hopefully it won't have any issues learning my driving style.
Let us know how the TSB update changes things. Once I get done with some other work, I may have the dealer do that. Want to know if it is worth the coin!
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Old 01-13-15, 05:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ejthomp View Post
Let us know how the TSB update changes things. Once I get done with some other work, I may have the dealer do that. Want to know if it is worth the coin!
Absolutely on that. I don't wanna freak out, but my transmission has been treating me very nice thank god.
Maybe cuz it's an 06.

Anyways keep us updated.
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Old 01-13-15, 07:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadguy View Post

to avoid it (or left it in 'S' mode).

.
Wait, does that really "fix" the dreaded low speed lurch issue? I'm having the TSB done when I change my fluid out, but that won't be for a few thousand miles (and I drive RARELY).

This low speed lurch issue is driving me CRAZY in LA traffic. It's like I'm driving the BEST possible car to sit in traffic like this, but not when I contantly have to baby it to avoid that unnecessary downshift. Trying to stay above 13-15 MPH here is almost impossible, and if you don't, it will needlessly downshift to first. Hence the "lurch" and "jerkiness". Transmission shifts beautifully, however.

Does leaving it in "S" actually "fix" this issue? That would be amazing as a temporary fix until I have the cat serviced.
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Old 01-14-15, 03:04 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJT123 View Post
Wait, does that really "fix" the dreaded low speed lurch issue? I'm having the TSB done when I change my fluid out, but that won't be for a few thousand miles (and I drive RARELY).

This low speed lurch issue is driving me CRAZY in LA traffic. It's like I'm driving the BEST possible car to sit in traffic like this, but not when I contantly have to baby it to avoid that unnecessary downshift. Trying to stay above 13-15 MPH here is almost impossible, and if you don't, it will needlessly downshift to first. Hence the "lurch" and "jerkiness". Transmission shifts beautifully, however.

Does leaving it in "S" actually "fix" this issue? That would be amazing as a temporary fix until I have the cat serviced.
It worked for me. At times when I knew I would need to get up and go from a low speed (a quick merge at an intersection) I often shifted over to S mode to avoid the issue. A quick over and up to 6th. In the back of my mind I always wondered if this could cause a tranny issue down the road. I'm guessing it would be fine to drive in that mode at all times. More knowledgeable members may disagree and hopefully will chime in if they do.

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Old 01-14-15, 12:15 PM   #14
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Dealer topped off fluid, and performed Transmission Shift Enhancement (their name for it). I gave the car plenty of opportunities to do what it used to do and so far it hasn't. No hesitation and no hard downshift and acceleration.

I would recommend the update.

Next up, navigation upgrade, MAF sensor and Throttle Body cleaning.
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Old 01-14-15, 12:38 PM   #15
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Great news! What you were experiencing was probably 90% due to the low fluid not the TSB. It helps but does not make that big of a difference but I agree. It is worth getting it done.
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