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Transmission problem?

 
Old 02-10-19, 03:29 PM
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Sphan519
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Default Transmission problem?

Hello everyone,

I have a problem with my car that started happening on cold mornings. Here is my issue, I have to hard crank for the car to start, I let it warm for a bit then i throw it in drive but it barely moves. I'm giving it gas and it just barely inches forward. Reverse works completely fine. I play with the gears for a bit and still nothing. I turn the car off and on 3 - 4 times and drive goes back to normal.... Car is fine for the rest of the day, sometimes maybe even a few weeks then it happens again. Transmission oil level is fine and the car isn't throwing any codes.

I have a GS400 with about 240k miles
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Old 02-10-19, 08:56 PM
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lexo98
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Is the fluid clean?
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Old 02-11-19, 07:10 AM
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See if there are any codes history or pending. You may have a direction to go if there is a specific solenoid throwing a code. If not, unfortunately this sounds like a line pressure issue and may need a rebuild. Its not ideal, but this is when people add Lucas to it and get the fluid thicker for better pressures and clutch pack holding.

This is not to insult you in any way, but just making sure you know to check the fluid with the vehicle running and after you have ran through the gears. If the level is fine and the fluid doesn't look dark or smell burnt, you may have a code come up eventually for whats up. But sometimes auto transmissions go out even when the fluid is good. Just age, mileage, and wear and tear.
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Old 02-11-19, 05:49 PM
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Fluid is a dark red. I've done 2 drain and fills in the last 3 years, I don't think I could get it to the factory cherry red unless I flush the entire transmission out. I'm going to changed the filter and fluid and see if that fixes it.
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Old 02-12-19, 03:46 AM
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BiGEZ
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I have the same issue with my 01 GS430, from a cold start it would not go into Drive however, it would go into reverse with no issue. I have changed the fluids and filter/screen with no improvements. Once the trans finally goes into drive gear it drive normal all day. Once the engine is cold it does the same thing. I find if I leave it in P and rev the engine up to 4K it goes into gear and drives fine all day.
I have changed the line pressure up to the highest setting and the trans shifts firmer and feels more responsive however the issue still remains.
I am about to change the trans out with a low mileage one I bought.
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Old 02-12-19, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by BiGEZ View Post
I have the same issue with my 01 GS430, from a cold start it would not go into Drive however, it would go into reverse with no issue. I have changed the fluids and filter/screen with no improvements. Once the trans finally goes into drive gear it drive normal all day. Once the engine is cold it does the same thing. I find if I leave it in P and rev the engine up to 4K it goes into gear and drives fine all day.
I have changed the line pressure up to the highest setting and the trans shifts firmer and feels more responsive however the issue still remains.
I am about to change the trans out with a low mileage one I bought.
Yeah, I just got off the phone with my Lexus mechanic friend. He told me to find another transmission cause it's on its way out.. sheesh
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Old 02-12-19, 07:23 PM
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Mine does this to a very minor degree sometimes, only when cold. It's not bad yet, but occasionally noticeable. I'm inclined to believe it's a smaller cause somewhere inside, like a solenoid that's engaging well enough to satisfy the computer but not enough to fully route fluid where it needs to go.

However, when you say "play with the gears" does that mean you put it in L and it still doesn't work? Putting the lever in L has a more physical engagement of the 1st gear than simply putting it in D. If the issue persists with the lever in L that's a bad sign.
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Old 02-13-19, 05:59 AM
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Ya I'd put a bottle of Lucas transmission slip fix in while you locate another trans. This stuff makes transmissions go another 6 months of daily driving sometimes. When our customers can't afford even a used trans we tell them about it and it has had some very good feedback.
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Old 02-15-19, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by eicca View Post
Mine does this to a very minor degree sometimes, only when cold. It's not bad yet, but occasionally noticeable. I'm inclined to believe it's a smaller cause somewhere inside, like a solenoid that's engaging well enough to satisfy the computer but not enough to fully route fluid where it needs to go.

However, when you say "play with the gears" does that mean you put it in L and it still doesn't work? Putting the lever in L has a more physical engagement of the 1st gear than simply putting it in D. If the issue persists with the lever in L that's a bad sign.
Not sure what but I too tried to get the trans to engage in all of the forward gears including L and it still would not go.
I have changes most of the solenoids with no significant improvements.
It is so weird though, once the car goes into gear it drives normally with no slips or any issues. No CEL.
I am trying to find the transmission temp. sensor. I saw an OEM manual which shows a temp sensor, got to find it.

Anyone knows exactly where the trans temp sensor is located or if there is one?
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Old 02-16-19, 03:37 PM
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Sphan519
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Originally Posted by BiGEZ View Post
Not sure what but I too tried to get the trans to engage in all of the forward gears including L and it still would not go.
I have changes most of the solenoids with no significant improvements.
It is so weird though, once the car goes into gear it drives normally with no slips or any issues. No CEL.
I am trying to find the transmission temp. sensor. I saw an OEM manual which shows a temp sensor, got to find it.

Anyone knows exactly where the trans temp sensor is located or if there is one?
You're right it's so weird, once it goes into gear it runs fine... You might be onto something, when the issue does occur i've noticed it takes a while for the car to reach normal operating temperature.
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Old 02-18-19, 09:06 PM
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Guys, before you go out and plunk down cold cash for a new tranny, check your battery condition. I had the exact same issue with the tranny not wanting to go into drive when cold, and the problem was a weak battery. Have a look - https://www.clublexus.com/forums/gs-...ieve-this.html
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Old 02-18-19, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by lyonkster View Post
Guys, before you go out and plunk down cold cash for a new tranny, check your battery condition. I had the exact same issue with the tranny not wanting to go into drive when cold, and the problem was a weak battery. Have a look - https://www.clublexus.com/forums/gs-...ieve-this.html
Very valid. I had some tranny slipping when my negative terminal wasn't tight.

Currently, my O'Reilly battery is three years old and who knows how long those piles last... And I know my alternator has been exposed to power steering fluid more than once. That could be causing my intermittent cold slip.

Absolutely worth a check.
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Old 02-18-19, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by eicca View Post
Very valid. I had some tranny slipping when my negative terminal wasn't tight.

Currently, my O'Reilly battery is three years old and who knows how long those piles last...
I've had to replace my battery every two years for over 10 years now, no idea why - the alternator puts out 14V, the terminals are not corroded, but the battery does not hold a charge after two years. And the way I know the battery is getting weak is... the tranny does not engage in drive after backing out. Crazy but true.

Like I said, check or replace the battery before replacing the tranny, it's a lot cheaper and easier!
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Old 02-18-19, 10:54 PM
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Wow very interesting, I suspected the battery because of the of the slow crank every time it gets really cold.
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Old 02-19-19, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Sphan519 View Post
Wow very interesting, I suspected the battery because of the of the slow crank every time it gets really cold.
Bingo! This could very well be your issue then!
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