1999 Lexus RX 300 from North America


I love my car and want to keep it


Transmission went out 2007 and I replaced it.

Cannot put the shift in gear. It will not go to park.

General Comments:

The car is wonderful and I have had great results from it.

But it's built for 300,000 miles, so I am just over half way there.

Just paid $4,500 to replace the engine a couple of years ago.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th June, 2010

1999 Lexus RX 300 from North America


Great car, except for the manufacturer not acknowledging the defect in the part


At about 123k miles, transmission just died. Took it to a shop, and determined the planetary gear in transmission had failed (chronic problem, not recognized by the dealer as a defect and not recalled). After fighting with the dealer and the manufacturer, had to pay 3200 to have transmission replaced.

Now knock sensors are setting off the CEL, and sending codes that knock sensors are bad. Repair did not cover it, and now cannot drive due to lack of overdrive, which if driven with bad knock sensors is the result - bad part is the technician, who is very knowledgeable, said if driven with bad sensors, it will prevent the vehicle from going into OD, and eventually cause the same transmission failure and necessitate replacement again. Sensors seem to be around $750 for both, but am thinking about it for now.

Can't drive the SUV after investing over $3000 - can you imagine how I feel?

Own 2 newer models of RX and have never had a problem - seems to be in the 1999 and was redesigned by the manufacturer in 2000, but not covered for previous owners as a defect!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th April, 2010

1999 Lexus RX 300 from North America


I would never buy another one


Transmission is not shifting properly when cold, and the engine is dripping oil.

General Comments:

I purchased a 1999 Lexus RX300 based on the Consumer Reports recommendation for best used cars between 8 and 9K.

Two weeks after I purchased it, the transmission would not shift from 3rd to 4th gear until I had driven the car for about a mile. I tried to trade it yesterday for a new vehicle and was told that the 1999 RX300 also had a problem with the engine not cooling the oil properly, causing the block to crack and the engine to seize.

This morning, I noticed oil on the garage floor. So much for Lexus and Consumer Reports.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 15th December, 2009

15th Dec 2009, 11:40

The not shifting from 3rd to 4th is actually so the RX300 will warm up quicker. The vehicle is designed that way. I would think you might actually check with a Lexus dealer before making the assumption that something is wrong with your RX300.

As for what you were told by the dealer where you were trying to trade your Lexus in. I am guessing that they were referring to the "sludge" problem with this engine. I also imagine that they were bringing it up to try to get your RX for less.

Why don't you just drive & ENJOY your RX300, as they are fine vehicles.

(If your oil leak is bothersome, you can always get it repaired)

15th Dec 2009, 14:06

Is this last comment from a Lexus dealer? I had a transmission specialist tell me that this was a problem.

16th Dec 2009, 06:42


No not a Lexus dealer - a former RX300 owner. We owned a 1999 model (over 130,000 miles). Do a little research online or better yet ASK a Lexus dealer. Was your "transmission specialist" trained and knowledgeable about these transmissions?

23rd May 2010, 17:49

99 RX300's did not shift into high gear until engine temps reached a specified range. This is normal. They changed this on the 2000 model and eliminated it. I had a '99 RX that did the same exact thing.

Also never had any transmission issues with it, and traded it in at 134,000 miles.

Only issue I had was knock sensor. Dealer wanted $1200 for parts/labor because the intake manifold has to be removed to access the knock sensor. I had a mechanic I know do it for $450. Other than that, it was an incredible vehicle and I loved it.