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Concern about Lexus sealed transmission and reliability

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Concern about Lexus sealed transmission and reliability

 
Old 10-29-14, 12:33 PM
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HouseB328
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Default Concern about Lexus sealed transmission and reliability

I am still concerned about Toyota's and Lexus decision to use a "sealed" transmission and the dealerships are still trying to discourage ES owners on doing more frequent tranny changes. Anyone here with an ES that did a transmission oil change at 30k or maybe 60k?

BMW and GM tried the "lifetime" ATF mantra in a couple models of vehicles. They proved it doesn't work in the long run. There is an entire mechanical wear spectrum that the ATF is responsible for in terms of debris generated by clutch pack frictions, clutch pack steels, rolling bearing surfaces (***** and races), thrust load surfaces, toothed gear engagement surfaces, etc. Over time the ATF will have to keep all of that garbage in fluidic suspension, and eventually it won't be able to do it...that's how you get soft and hard deposits, a.k.a. sludge.

Also, there's the issue of fluid thermal degradation. No matter how good the tranny design, and no matter how cool you keep the ATF, it always undergoes a huge thermal load at the driven gearset gear engagement points (gearing on main and countershaft(s) and the differential). In terms of fluid volume and affected surface area, it's absolutely puny, but eventually over time and miles the entire ATF load is exposed to that environment.
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Old 10-29-14, 01:00 PM
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Dave Mac
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It is kind of a cultural change but even though there are not a lot of real high mileage lexus with sealed transmissions I haven't heard of any problems that could be related to the long-term effect of extended run ATF. In fact when there was that initial transmission problem on some 2007 ES cars there was some speculation that it was related to the factory fill level - we will never know the answer to that question though..

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Old 10-29-14, 01:21 PM
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I am not an engineer. Toyota/Lexus have engineers. I've had several toyota vehicles in the last ten years with no issues. Until I have reason and or evidence to do otherwise, I will trust their engineers and service schedules.
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Old 10-29-14, 01:43 PM
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Looking at Consumer Reports Predicted Reliability information from their Owner Surveys, the ES was rated "Well Above Average" in the areas of Trans. Major and Trans Minor. It's CR's highest rating. This includes model years 2007-2013 which have the sealed transmission.
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Old 10-29-14, 04:01 PM
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If you read my post from earlier yesterday, My 13 ES is having the transmission replaced as we speak and it has less the 30k miles. When they showed me the fluid, It still looked in pretty good shape.
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Old 10-29-14, 08:21 PM
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5 years ago I would have said the Toyota company has enough self discipline to not be lured into falling into the trap of maximizing short term profits at the expense of long term mechanical durability, but time has proven me wrong. Toyota is going down the same path that GM did in the 80's and 90's via cutting mechanical durability an cheapening interior furnishings which paves the way for their competition (e.g. Koreans) to take some of their market share.
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Old 10-30-14, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by PAPI007 View Post
If you read my post from earlier yesterday, My 13 ES is having the transmission replaced as we speak and it has less the 30k miles. When they showed me the fluid, It still looked in pretty good shape.
Must be a part malfunction as opposed to the fluid. At least Lexus will cover you on the replacement and not just repair.
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Old 10-30-14, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by PAPI007 View Post
If you read my post from earlier yesterday, My 13 ES is having the transmission replaced as we speak and it has less the 30k miles. When they showed me the fluid, It still looked in pretty good shape.
Did they inform you what was the issue?
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Old 10-30-14, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by atoyota View Post
I am not an engineer. Toyota/Lexus have engineers. I've had several toyota vehicles in the last ten years with no issues. Until I have reason and or evidence to do otherwise, I will trust their engineers and service schedules.

Keep in mind that Toyota/Lexus engineers have to keep finances in mind as well. The powertrain warranty is how long, to 100k miles? Well, Lexus recommends the transmission oil change to be CHECKED at 100k. They are in the clear if they can get the vehicle to 100k miles. If our transmission fails after 100k due to under-maintenance, Lexus doesn't have to pay for it since we are out of the warranty period and it's all on us.
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Old 01-19-15, 06:27 PM
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On another forum someone did this write up with photos on how to change the fluid on a late model Camry V6 that has the same U660E transmission that the late model ES350's have: http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/10...lush-pics.html
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Old 01-20-15, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by PAPI007 View Post
If you read my post from earlier yesterday, My 13 ES is having the transmission replaced as we speak and it has less the 30k miles. When they showed me the fluid, It still looked in pretty good shape.
We're all still waiting to hear why your trans was replaced???
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Old 01-20-15, 03:36 PM
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There's also this 2007 ES350 U660E 6 speed transmission fluid change tutorial
https://www.clublexus.com/forums/es3...with-pics.html

The photos convincingly show how dirty the transmission fluid and magnets are after 90,000 miles, hence owners who wish to drive their ES's far beyond 90,000 miles without suffering a bank account busting transmission replacement should consider a fluid change well before 90,000 miles.
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Old 01-24-15, 04:30 PM
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Default Sealed Transmission is a misnomer.

The transmission is not sealed .... it just does not have a dipstick. There is a drain bolt at the bottom of the torque converter and there is on "overflow" and an "input" opening (just unscrew the bolts) for adding new fluid. To "check" the fluid, you pump new fluid in using a special Toyota/Lexus pump.

To do a "partial" service which gets out about 40% of the oil fluid out, you pull the drain plus which lets out about two quarts. and then they use the "pump" to fill what was drained out and then pump another two quarts of fluid which forces out more of the oil fluid through the overflow. I had this done on my V6 Camry (same engine & Tranny as Lexus) and the fluid at 66K miles was very dark red but not brown and not burned. Since no Lexus dealer in my area, Toyota dealer does work on Lexus and made a point of telling me that they'd done the fluid exchange on many ES350's. See also:

http://us.lexusownersclub.com/forums...-transmission/

The full fluid flush/exchange is more elaborate and takes 12 quarts even though the transmission holds more like 7..

As noted above, many people in the 2007-2012 ES350 forum have changed their fluid

https://www.clublexus.com/forums/es3...intenance.html

Last edited by Paul3637; 01-24-15 at 04:35 PM.
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Old 12-24-15, 07:30 AM
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Just wanted to give readers an update on a service recently.

My ES350 is at 32k miles now, but at the 30k mile service, I requested Lexus to do a transmission fluid change. (I am used to Hondas and changing the transmission fluid every 30k).

They "strongly recommended" that I do not change the fluid at this time and then actually insisted I didn't do it. They offered to "check" the fluid for me for free using their procedure and said the fluid is clean, red and doesn't need to be changed.

I think I'll just stick to the masses of the ES350 and have them inspect it at 100k like the manual says? Or should I request to change it at 60k again? I need this car to last between 200-250k miles for me. I don't think I am hard on the transmission -I do about 75% highway driving.
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Old 12-24-15, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul3637 View Post
The transmission is not sealed .... it just does not have a dipstick. There is a drain bolt at the bottom of the torque converter and there is on "overflow" and an "input" opening (just unscrew the bolts) for adding new fluid. To "check" the fluid, you pump new fluid in using a special Toyota/Lexus pump.

To do a "partial" service which gets out about 40% of the oil fluid out, you pull the drain plus which lets out about two quarts. and then they use the "pump" to fill what was drained out and then pump another two quarts of fluid which forces out more of the oil fluid through the overflow. I had this done on my V6 Camry (same engine & Tranny as Lexus) and the fluid at 66K miles was very dark red but not brown and not burned. Since no Lexus dealer in my area, Toyota dealer does work on Lexus and made a point of telling me that they'd done the fluid exchange on many ES350's. See also:

This is pretty much what the service rep told me when I was in recently for my 40k service. We were discussing the different major services, and he said that they will change out the tranny fluid at the 100k service. He said the only time they would mess with the tranny before this time is if there were reported mechanical issues.
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