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Old 04-02-11, 02:24 PM   #1
mot86
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Default 99 rx300 cold shifting problem

Hi. My '99 RX300 does not shift properly when the engine is cold. It does eventually shift, just at a higher rpm. After a couple of minutes, once the engine temperature gauge needle hits the first line, it shifts normaly. It also shifts smoothly when warmed up. Only when it is cold does it shift funny. I took it to a local Lexus dealership and they said that this is normal. I insisted that I've been driving the car for seven years and that the problem had just started. They said that a new transmission would cost $4,000 if I wanted them to change it, but they feel that it is not a problem. Could there be a sensor causing it to shift oddly when it is cold? Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 04-02-11, 02:48 PM   #2
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My 01 RX300 is the same. I asked my friends, they told me that there maybe a temperature sensor inside the transmission (many advanced cars include this). When the engine is cold, the transmission fluid is cold too. Higher rpm will help to warm up the transmission fluid to let transmission works smoothly. Therefore, at the beginning, the transmission will remain high rpm until the temperature of transmission fluid reach to a certain level. So this should be a smart design, rather than anything wrong.
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Old 04-02-11, 03:02 PM   #3
hypervish
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Welcome to Club Lexus!
It's completely normal, if you do a search you will see that. There is no need for a transmission replacement.

Last edited by hypervish; 04-02-11 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 04-02-11, 05:56 PM   #4
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Thing to remember is to keep the engine rpm below 3K till things warmup. They will warmup quicker when you drive.

Salim
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Old 04-03-11, 03:50 PM   #5
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I had the same problem with my RX300 - for 5 years it shifted normally and then one year when the temperature was cold it would rev up to 4000 RPM in second before shifting up. Took it to the dealer and got the "they all do that" story. The car still does that. It's NOT normal but they can't fix it and it doesn't seem to have damaged the transmission.
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Old 04-03-11, 04:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sktn77a View Post
I had the same problem with my RX300 - for 5 years it shifted normally and then one year when the temperature was cold it would rev up to 4000 RPM in second before shifting up. Took it to the dealer and got the "they all do that" story. The car still does that. It's NOT normal but they can't fix it and it doesn't seem to have damaged the transmission.
It IS normal, maybe you didn't notice it at first. Maybe you changed the type of fluid you used in the transmission along the way or in an awd, maybe you switched brands or weights of the t/c or rear diff. There are many possibilities, but either way it's normal.
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Old 04-03-11, 04:52 PM   #7
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Its normal. Just like my 1999 RX300.
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Old 04-05-11, 10:50 AM   #8
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my problem little bit different. When the engine is cold and im shifting from parking to Driving i feel noticeable kick.
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Old 04-05-11, 11:51 AM   #9
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^ thats normal too. Unless its like clunking into gear or something...
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Old 04-05-11, 01:31 PM   #10
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my problem little bit different. When the engine is cold and im shifting from parking to Driving i feel noticeable kick.
Do you park on level surface ... if not do this
Before you park (this would be the night/day before you have a cold start), while still in drive (halted due to brake pedal) put the parking brake on. Rove the shift lever to Park, then let your foot off the brake pedal. Turn off the engine.
When you start the engine, dont let off the parking brake. Instead rove to the gear you want (R or D), keep your foot on the brake and release the parking brake and then let off the brake pedal and drive out.

The above relieves the transmission from gravity (roll) based pre-tensioning of the drive train.


Some jerk is still ok as the engine rpm is high when cold. Higher rpm causes the torque converter to dump more energy into the transmission, while wheels are held by the brakes.

Salim

Last edited by salimshah; 04-05-11 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 04-05-11, 02:33 PM   #11
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I have an '02 RX FWD w/ 110,000 miles on it and haven't experienced anything what you all are talking about. Are these AWD specific?
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Old 04-05-11, 04:37 PM   #12
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You also live in Hawaii Let car sit over night in 10 degree weather then see what happens...
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Old 04-05-11, 04:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hypervish View Post
It IS normal, maybe you didn't notice it at first. Maybe you changed the type of fluid you used in the transmission along the way or in an awd, maybe you switched brands or weights of the t/c or rear diff. There are many possibilities, but either way it's normal.
I beg to differ. Inability to upshift into third without exceeding 4000 rpm is not normal. None of the above applied in my instance. I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.
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Old 04-05-11, 04:50 PM   #14
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The car should shift fine into third - it is overdrive that it will not shift into until the temp gauge starts to move.
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Old 04-05-11, 05:57 PM   #15
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It IS normal on some cars. It wont go into 3rd until fluid gets thin enough. There is a upshift delay valve that does this. Its not going to do it all the time. I see you live in NC... im sure the temp doesnt usually get cold enough to cause it most of the time. I know it takes pretty cold temps in the trans for mine to do it. Car usually has to sit over night in sub 30 degree weather for it to happen.
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