1999 Lexus RX 300 from North America - Comments

11th Mar 2006, 10:52

I am the original owner of a 1999 Lexus RX300 with 232,000 miles on it. The transmission just died. After reading some of your comments I am fortunate that it lasted this long, but after seeing some of the costs I have to make a serious decision as to whether or not to get it fixed. I am going to take it to the mechanic. He will look for a rebuilt or one from the salvage yard. I can not see paying $5,000 for a car with 232,000 miles. My experience is similar to most of yours in that everything else is in great shape. Please share any other experiences, knowledge or feedback related to this topic. Thank you.

11th Mar 2006, 18:34

Well, um, this is a LUXURY vehicle loaded with LOTS of expensive parts. What did you think it was going to cost you in the long run? Wait until your computers start acting up and you have to shell out another $5,000 just to start the thing up.

If you can't handle the repairs for a luxury car you shouldn't have bought one. Period.

11th Mar 2006, 18:52

Transmission like varies with type of use, just as brake life does.

If you were to drive a car on the Interstate 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, month after month, stopping only to refuel, eat, drink, change drivers and service the car, it would do well over a million miles on the original transmission.

Stop/start driving doing trips in city driving will soon wear it out.

15th Mar 2006, 18:36

I have a 2000 RX 300 lexus which has an intermittent problem. Sometimes when I am driving at about 65 and I take my foot off the Gas the steering wheel starts to shake. It only starts when I reduce speed. It will continue to shake whether I increase or decrease speed for several miles and then it goes away. Does anyone think it is a problem with my transmission?

15th Mar 2006, 20:35

Get the front wheels dynamically balanced.

Ask your mechanic to check the steering system for worn steering joints, worn ball joints, worn steering rack.

Also, if the dampers (shocks) are worn, they can cause shimmying.

17th Mar 2006, 10:31

Thanks for the info, but I had my the brakes, steering wheels check by a mechanic that owns and runs a shop for brakes and alignments. Could not fine=d anything wrong. When I mentioned my problem to a toyota mechanic he thought it could be my transmission. Looked at it today it was pinkish red and no burnt smell to it with a goo level. I know some people have been having problems with their transmission, but the symptons don't match mine. I am in a funk.

25th Mar 2006, 16:47

No the transmission problems weren't fixed completly until the new RX330, which still has minor problems. I had a 2000 RX300 and a 2002 RX300 and the transmission failed on both of them. My 2004 RX330 hasn't had any major transmission problems except for some humming which the dealer took care of. If you don't mind spending 5,000 on a transmission go for the car cause you'll get 200,000miles out of the motor, not the transmission. Overall it's a very reliable car.

27th Mar 2006, 20:05

My tranny gave in after 71K too. I am surprised that more and more people are reporting this as an issue, and Lexus doesn't care for less. I am sorely disappointed with the quality of the vehicle and the customer service.

28th Mar 2006, 14:51

Its funny how some Lexus dealers will offer to help with paying and some won't. My transmission went at 78,000 and Jim Falk Lexus Beverly Hills was very friendly and helpful. They offered to pay half the cost which was gladly accepted. My car was out of warranty, but they still paid half. I did sell the old RX300 and bought a 2005 LS430 from Jim Falk Lexus Beverly Hills. I feel like an old fart driving this for I am only 25. I kind of wish I would have bought the new IS350 or an RX400h. I am happy with the LS its just something I might want when I'm a little older. For now I will drive the LS, but I will be buying an IS350 by the end of 2006. If your transmission does happen to go out search around dealers if more than one is close. I have Jim Falk Lexus, Lexus of Santa Monica, and South Bay Lexus all within 10 minutes from my house. My wife drives an older IS300 from 2001 which is also a great car. It has 120,000miles and many more to go. Lexus is a great car beside the RXs transmission. Some RX transmissions will go 150,000 without needing to be changed. All depends on driving habits.

28th Apr 2006, 22:35

Id go for the SC430! I have a 2002 with 97,000 on the clock and have had no problems. My previous 1992 SC400 went for 285,000 before I traded it in on the SC430. The early RX seems to be the only Lexus with transmission problems. I had a 99 RX300 at my mountain home in Lake Arrowhead when the transmission blew at 32,000. What a mess because I was on the mountain when it happened and the nearst dealer was in Ontario, about an hour away. I replaced it with the RX330 and it seems to be holding up better, although it only has 13,000. I bought the SC430 to use as a weekend car, it ended up being my primary car, my 2001 LS430 only has 18,000 on the clock, which I had bought to use as a primary vehicle. Lexus overall is a great car and no other manufacture will offer to pay for parts when you out of warranty. Lexus labor is expensive, but its worth it for the many miles they bring.

15th May 2006, 08:32

I have a '99 RX300, and am the original owner. The car never gave me any trouble until I got stuck in the middle of no-where last night with probably a transmission problem also (waiting to hear the verdict). Car started upshifting gears while I was driving and about a minute later would not shift in gear at all anymore, it was like I was in neutral all the time. I am surprised to see so many comments here of people with bad transmissions, but was glad to read the hint of asking them to pay for half since it does seem to be a frequent problem. Wish me luck! (verdict in a few hours)

(J. Neirynck, Portland OR)

1st Jun 2006, 14:29

I have a 1999 Rx300 with about 115,000. The transmission started refusing to go into overdrive (check engine light comes on) last year. Intermediate at first, now 50% of the time. Lexus dealer replaced the revolution sensor twice then said trans needs to be replaced for $4,500. Problem is that nobody wants to replace their problem trans with a new problem trans. Lexus should come up with a fix even if it means building another transmission to solve this problem.

9th Aug 2006, 22:56

I sure glad I encountered this site. I just recently bought a used RX 300 and after 4 days, I heard a humming sound coming under neat the front of the car. I have read someone mentioning about a humming sound, can you please tell me what the dealer did to fixed that problem? This might save me a bundle and sure would appreciate the help. Also, when I change shift from reverse to drive, it jerks a little bit, but other than this problems, the transmission still shifts pretty good... I hope. Thank you all for your input.