1999 Lexus RX 300 from North America - Comments

7th Oct 2009, 09:27

Well, looks like I'm another victim of the Lexus tranny problem.

We started to hear the high pitched whining noise everyone complains about hearing, 2 weeks ago. The trans started to slip and the check engine came on. We got it to our local shop (barely) and left it overnight. We got a call the next morning stating they couldn't move it even in neutral! We let it warm up and was able to get it down the street to our house. We had to push it with another car to keep it moving.

We just paid the thing off 1 month ago and do not have any money for the repair as I have been out of work due to a medical condition. I guess we have no choice but to trash the car or let it sit in our driveway. Lexus needs to fix this problem. We'll never buy a Lexus OR Toyota ever again!

4th Nov 2009, 16:03

I have a 2001 RX300 that I have been driving for more than 8 years with 163K miles. For the most part of it, I am happy with it. However, at 150K, I experienced some problems with VSC and check engine light coming on. When I took it to the Lexus dealer for check, I was told that the car needed a new transmission. It took the Lexus dealer 5 days to get the new transmission in the car... The VSC and check engine light issue was resolved... The car was OK after the new transmission work.

Now I got another issue with this car...

I sent the car in for some mileage services and some brake work on Monday, 11/02/2009, and on Tuesday (11/3/2009) when I was driving back home from work, the VSC and check engine light came back again. I took my car back to the Lexus dealer who did the mileage work on Monday for checking. Guess what, the service consultant called and said the car has a sensor problem and asks me to pay $1,395 to have it repaired/replaced. It does not sound right? Does it?

Anyone knows what is going on here?

Thanks!

19th Nov 2009, 23:03

Second owner of a 1999 RX 300. First owner replaced transmission. I bought at 97k miles. I replaced transmission a second time at 107k (about 1 month after the 1 year warranty expired). Dealer paid part, I paid $650 for 1/2 the labor. Now at 161k, about 2.5 years later, it feels like its happening again. Dealer won't pay anything this time. Beware.

24th Nov 2009, 21:46

I have owned my 1999 RX300 since 34,000 miles, and now I have 212,000 miles. Not one transmission issue and I regularly pull a 3000 lb. horse trailer with this vehicle. How I have made this transmission last knowing its issues was to manually shift and always take off the overdrive when pulling my trailer. But, last week I became stuck on a steep driveway backing up with my loaded trailer. I didn't unload my horse, I just spun the wheels a bit and finally backed up the hill. Needless to say, I was worried when a few days later I felt slight slippage backing up and then again in low. I probably fried my tranny and will know the damage tomorrow. Totally my fault - who knows how long it would have lasted? My RX300 is one of the good ones.

30th Dec 2009, 20:30

Our transmission went out for the second time on our 1999 RX 300. Someone said we should replace the transmission filter and that would work to repair the car. Anyone heard of this before? Thanks, Lisa.

1st Jan 2010, 00:04

Transmission went out on my 2001 RX300 with 80,200 miles, working with dealer to get it fixed.

15th Feb 2010, 14:10

I had my 2000 RX trans replaced in 2008 at 78K. I paid 1600 for the labor only. Lexus paid for the trans. Here I am again in Feb 2010 and the new trans is not shifting into O/D. I hope I don't need a new transmission, but if I do this car is getting traded in for a Nissan. This is my first and last Toyota product. How they built up such a great reputation is beyond me. Maybe the Camry is a great car, but that's about it.

21st Mar 2010, 22:20

These transmission issues are somewhat concerning. We have a 1999 RX300 four-wheel drive with 90,000 miles, and so far haven't had any transmission problems - sort of. We notice that in the winter, when the fluids are cold, the car does not want to shift from second to third or over drive. We contacted Lexus and they asked that we take the car to the local Lexus dealership for an evaluation that they'll pay for. The result was that there was nothing wrong with the transmission. We were told that the transmission will not up shift until the transmission internal temperature reached its normal operating temperature. After about a half-mile or so, the transmission does shift properly and the issue doesn't repeat itself until the next time the fluids are cold. Incidentally, this never occurs during the warmer months.

12th Apr 2010, 19:20

2002 LEXUS 85,000.

Transmission started to down shift hard as it comes to a stop. Took it to LEXUS, who said the trans was shot; get another. Got it replaced by a private company, pulled out of the lot, and before I got home, the trans started the same old thing. I hope this next problem doesn't cost so much.

It's very clear that LEXUS is a fine vehicle, but it also very clear that a car this expensive should not have such a long history of transmission problems. Obviously, customers have been paying a lot of money for a upscale vehicle with this serious a problem, and LEXUS are fully aware, but aren't willing to help. SAD.

17th Apr 2010, 02:00

I have owned my 99 RX300 for 8 years, and at 135,000K miles the transmission bit the dust. 14 months ago it started slipping... took it to a mechanic (not dealership) who replaced the trans filter and fluids, which breathed 14 months of life into the transmission, BUT... there's more to the story...

Before I hit 100K, I got stranded driving down the highway stuck in 3rd gear. When I got it to the dealership, they replaced some sensors (something like that), which lasted about a year... then I got stuck driving in town and the car wouldn't shift...

That's when I did the fluid/filter trick... it did all of the above symptoms: wouldn't shift into reverse, high pitched squeals on cold mornings, wouldn't shift into 2nd and 3rd properly (love how the dealership sells the fact that it has something to do with temperature... which it does to some degree, I just find in peculiar that it never exhibited such symptoms the first 100K miles) also slipping while trying to shift into 4th...

Now my current mechanic says the case is cracked and the guts are just shards of chips of metal... it's one big hot mess inside... but without a case, now I'm up the creek without a paddle, paying $1000 "core fee" as I don't have a trans to trade when buying the rebuild.

I'm not sure what to do... I already have $500 in labor and I'm out the case so, I'm worse than when I started, and I'm further away from a rebuild transmission. I can buy a "used" trans, but unless it has really low mileage, what's the point?! The rebuild will cost over $4k and the car is what, only Kelly blue booking for about 7k... yeah, I guess it's in otherwise good condition... but clearly I can't afford to stay in the Land of Lexus... I've learned the hard way that luxury comes with huge maintenance fees, and in the end what do you have to show for it? Hmmm... sounds like a life lesson to me.

Oh, and for what it's worth... if you know you need a trans (if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it's usually a duck), then skip the part where you try to have a regular trans mechanic rebuild your existing one, as he'll probably break the case while trying to get it open (then you'll be in the hole for $1000)... so we are thinking we would have been better off just paying the dealership costs, because in the end it's going to be the same flippin' end cost, and we could have had a loaner this whole time. Arghhh!