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Old 03-09-13, 07:55 PM   #1
EnzoRX
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Unhappy Another dead transmission reporting in

Hi all,

I have a 2001 RX300 Silversport AWD with ~91,000 miles. It is primarily my wife’s Daily Driver.

This morning, while shifting into Reverse, the RX did not move. I pressed down a little more on the accelerator, but it still did not move. I shifted it back into Park, waited a few seconds, and then shifted it into Reverse again. No joy...it still did not move...so I pressed the accelerator a little more and then THUD! It slammed into Reverse and it backed out of the garage. I shifted it into Drive and it started moving forward with no problems and parked it back in my garage. I again put it into Reverse, and it did not move. I gave a press on the accelerator, and once again THUD! It slammed into Reverse and backed up. This time, there were some other mechanical grinding noises accompanying it. Not good. I just put it back into Drive and it went forward with no problems. I then just parked it in the garage and turned off the RX.

Add me to the list of the dead RX300 transmissions syndrome.

I am the original owner and have only used Toyota Type T-IV as my ATF choice with every drain and fill. At ~28,000 miles, I drained and filled the ATF for the first time. I then D&F’d it two more times in 300 mile increments. I have changed the ATF every 10,000 miles or so since then. The front and rear differential fluids have been changed every 12,000 miles or so (using either Mobil1 75W-90 or more recently, Amsoil 75W-90).

I have read on the forums that frequently changing the ATF does not preclude you from your transmission dying on you. I am living proof. I was hoping that I would be lucky enough to dodge this bullet with this preventive maintenance regime…but no, my transmission is probably on its death bed.

I have debated the “Fix it and sell it” or “Fix it and keep it” and I am leaning towards the latter. I will probably drive the RX into the ground once I get another transmission put in. I am now trying to research where to take my RX to get the transmission replaced. Now I am also thinking, what else needs to be replaced since they are ripping out the transmission? Should I also replace the Rear Main Seal? Maybe the dog bone engine mount?

Thank you for your help in advance.
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Old 03-09-13, 09:03 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear that!

I would definitely replace the rear main seal. If it is not leaking now, it will after mechanic mates the transmission with the engine.

Dog-bone is a simply DIY ... you dont even need to support the engine. I would give other things a good look over .. the things you would not have to pay for the labor ...cv boots, suspension etc.

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Old 03-09-13, 09:04 PM   #3
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I agree with the "Fix it and keep it" decision.

Yes, definitely replace the rear main seal. Don't bother with the dog bone engine mount, that's the easiest of them to change and takes only 10 minutes. Only change it if it's broken.
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Old 03-09-13, 09:23 PM   #4
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Hi salimshah and hypervish,

Thank you for the replies. I will save the dog bone mount for another day. I will poke around and take a look at the CV boots, etc.

Does anyone know the Toyota part number for the Rear Main Seal? I might as well order that now since the transmission is coming off.

TIA.
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Old 03-12-13, 02:11 PM   #5
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I just had the transmission replaced in my 2002 RX300 at 94,900 miles.

Do yourself a favor and contact Lexus Customer Care at 800-255-3987. I called them and opened a case on my early tx failure. I went to the local dealership service dept, had them run their diagnostics which indicated a solenoid E failure. Called back to customer care, and with some firm but polite negotiating, got them to put $1500 toward the replacement. My total cost was $2651 out the door.
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Old 03-13-13, 01:07 AM   #6
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I'm a little puzzled. If it showed solenoid E failure, why was the transmission replaced? If it was only a solenoid failure, they surely could replace the solenoid???
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Old 03-13-13, 09:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by code58 View Post
I'm a little puzzled. If it showed solenoid E failure, why was the transmission replaced? If it was only a solenoid failure, they surely could replace the solenoid???
I know squat about transmissions. Code was P0770, transmission sounded like a jet engine, the whole car shook going from 2nd to 3rd, and wouldn't shift to 4th at all. If that could have been fixed with a solenoid, please tell me so I can let Lexus know. Maybe they owe me an explanation.
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Old 03-14-13, 03:14 AM   #8
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Code P0770 does indeed show failure of solenoid E. You didn't say anything in your original post about the symptoms other than there was a Code P0770. It does indeed sound like there was a trans. failure but a simple solenoid failure wouldn't account for for a total trans. failure. The sad part is Lexus doesn't seem to even do anything with trans's these days but install rebuilt ones (rebuild by someone else, no less). I wonder if there is even a Lexus mechanic that knows what goes on inside a Lexus transmission. Doesn't sound like it. Pretty much know how to say "Yep boss, it needs a new transmission", kinda like the retards in the commercial a # of years back, for those of you who might remember it. Yes, they do owe you an explanation, though I doubt they'd give (or be able to give) more of an explanation than the aforementioned retards in that commercial.
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Old 03-14-13, 09:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rezman View Post
I know squat about transmissions. Code was P0770, transmission sounded like a jet engine, the whole car shook going from 2nd to 3rd, and wouldn't shift to 4th at all. If that could have been fixed with a solenoid, please tell me so I can let Lexus know. Maybe they owe me an explanation.
I think your mechanic/Lexus still owes you an explanation.

I certainly dont want to speak for them, but my observation is that the days of surgical fix are over and a whole module/assembly is replaced. It can be cost reason and it can be customer sat driven or to generate work.

So do ask and let them explain. If you are willing to carry the risk, you can insist on the bad component to be replaced only, but do ask the labor + material and then make your choice. Oh, dont forget to gather other side evidence ... metal in fluid etc.

Salim
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Old 03-14-13, 09:59 PM   #10
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Hi all,

Okay, just in case anyone wants to know...the Rear Main Seal Toyota part number is: 9008031053

Update on my transmission woes:
I was going to have the RX towed to a transmission shop by AAA this past Tuesday. But amazingly enough, I started it and it shifted into Reverse like nothing wrong ever happened. So I had my wife drive it and I followed her in a rental car. Estimate came in at $4,200.00 for a transmission rebuild.

Fast forward to this morning...they had my RX up on the lift and the transmission was removed. The transmission shop had the transmission ripped apart on a few work benches. They showed me that a pin had broken loose (I do not know which pin it was...but there were in total 4 of them and one of them was missing). Apparently, all hell broke loose after the pin dislodged itself and a lot of metal bits and pieces were strewn and lodged throughout the gears. They are rebuilding the transmission and installing a "shift kit" and updating the valve body (or something like that). While they are at it, they are updating the planetary gears and a bunch of other stuff. I will know better once I pick up the RX.

I also insisted that they change out the Rear Main Seal too while they are at it.

This shop has quite a lot of experience in fixing the U140E and the U140F transmissions. While I was looking at my RX, there was a Toyota Highlander (maybe circa 2001 or so) on a lift having the same thing done...dead transmission also.

Hopefully, the RX will be ready by tomorrow afternoon. I will let you all know what exactly they did to the transmission.
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Old 03-15-13, 10:00 PM   #11
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Hi all,

Okay, I got the RX back. I did not have time to talk much with the owner, he was pretty busy with customers.

This is what is listed on my invoice:
1. Rear Main Seal (Toyota part)
2. Gear Train Upgraded
3. Master Rebuild Kit
4. Transmission Filter (non-Toyota part)
5. Rebuilt Torque Converter
6. Steels
7. Bushing Kit
8. Toyota Type T-IV (9.5 quarts)

Total came to about $4,275.00 (including taxes and waste disposal fees). It comes with a 3 year/36,000 mile warranty. I just need to go back and get a complimentary drain and fill when I get 15,000 miles on rebuilt transmission.

The RX seems to have firmer shifts (but this may be placebo effect). I will see how the RX does after 1,000 miles. No leaks so far and the transmission fluid level is at the full mark.

Hopefully, the RX will stay together for another 10 years or so.
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Old 03-23-13, 06:04 AM   #12
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EnzoRX,
The shift kit would deffinately make the tranny shift firmer than before, as could the valve body but, less so. I think that the updated valve body would alter shift points as it job! This will be better for the tranny itself in terms of longevity.

Are you going to keep the RX for some time?
Is the shifting objectionable?
Best of luck with your new/rebuilt tranny

Last edited by CharBaby; 03-23-13 at 06:13 AM..
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Old 03-23-13, 06:00 PM   #13
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@ CharBaby

The RX is definitely shifting firmer and crisper than before. It is a big improvement after the rebuild. It definitely downshifts a lot faster when you press down on the accelerator. I have only driven it a few times and it's only been about 200 miles since the rebuild.

I purchased 12 individual quarts of Castrol Transmax IMV ATF from my local WalMart. After I drive 15,000 miles on the rebuilt transmission, I will go and get my complimentary drain and fill from the transmission shop (they will probably use Toyota Type T-IV again). I was debating between Valvoline MaxLife Dex/Merc ATF and the Castrol Transmax IMV in the Walmart aisle. I will try out the Castrol Transmax IMV ATF and see how the rebuilt transmission likes it.

Yes, we are going to keep the RX for the foreseeable future. After spending this much on it, I plan to keep for a few more years. It is still in pretty good shape for being a 12 year old SUV. I am tempted to purchase a CPO RX350 or the RX450h, but I will hold off for now.
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Old 03-24-13, 06:54 AM   #14
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Toyota T-IV is the only fluid you should use in this transmission.
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Old 03-24-13, 07:02 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baetke View Post
Toyota T-IV is the only fluid you should use in this transmission.
That's not true, he can use Castrol IMV. I've been using it for 60k miles, with no issues. Many other forum members are using it as well.

There are quite a few alternatives to Toyota T-IV, just be sure that the bottle lists T-IV on the back as compatible. For example, Redline D4, Amsoil, Wolf's Head, Mobil 1 are all compatible and have been used by other's on this forum as a replacement for the toyota t-iv/mobil 3309.
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Old 03-24-13, 07:02 AM
 
 
 
 
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