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My ISF broke down today, Major transmission fluid leak!!!


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so today this happened! was driving along and gear changes felt a bit funny, then all of a sudden lost all drive, pulled over straight away, turned the car off then watch the puddle grow!

 

on the plus side my tan is looking pretty good after sitting at the side of the A46 for nearly 4 hours!

 

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after a stressful couple of weeks, the car is now home and runs like a dream!!!

New replacement gear box now home, whipped the covers off to have look inside, couldn't be happier, it is literally like new, ATF is like new and gears look as new

What a nightmare. My car is a 2009 approaching 90k miles so have contacted Lexus today to inquire about doing the preventative work and having the rad/transmission cooler replaced plus any likely

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So did you get any warning lights when drive was failing or did it just come to a stop with nothing? Hopefully it's 'just' a hydraulic line from the box to the cooler ( that sits inside the engine radiator!) and a 'simple' fix ( for simple read inexpensive!). Fingers crossed for you as it don't look like the dreaded coolant in ATF fluid ( hopefully)

paul m.

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8 minutes ago, Texas said:

So did you get any warning lights when drive was failing or did it just come to a stop with nothing? Hopefully it's 'just' a hydraulic line from the box to the cooler ( that sits inside the engine radiator!) and a 'simple' fix ( for simple read inexpensive!). Fingers crossed for you as it don't look like the dreaded coolant in ATF fluid ( hopefully)

paul m.

it came up with check VCS and lost all drive

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Yep fingers crossed for you, coolant to ATF is a internal breakage, that looks like a radiator failure and or ATF connection to radiator. 

Coolant to ATF is the one I'm dreading as I'm at 135000 miles.

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Looking at the position of the leak it points to the cooler area, there is a lot of pipe work, connecting hoses and clamps around there so hopefully nothing major and no transmission damage.

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Hope its not bad news Mate 😦perhaps this preventative work whats been discussed is turning out to be something to really consider now think ill be getting mine checked this week im same year as your's.

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22 hours ago, gb1600e said:

Fingers crossed for you @Twellsie Has it gone to Lexus or you have it at home thinking what to do

yeah its with Lexus Coventry, really looking forward to their call tomorrow, honest!!

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Sorry to hear, exactly same thing happened to mine. Finally getting my car back this week after being with the dealer since the beginning of June. Is your car still under warranty?

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20 minutes ago, Jas K said:

Sorry to hear, exactly same thing happened to mine. Finally getting my car back this week after being with the dealer since the beginning of June. Is your car still under warranty?

just had THE call from Lexus, it has turned out to be the dreaded coolant to ATF issue, i am out of warranty

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22 hours ago, Northern isf said:

Hope its not bad news Mate 😦perhaps this preventative work whats been discussed is turning out to be something to really consider now think ill be getting mine checked this week im same year as your's.

the dealer has said he has come across a few of these in the last 18 months

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Just now, Toothy said:

Sorry to hear. What is the issue specifically?
How much have they quoted you?

transmission cooler failure.

best case they replace the rad and cooler, flush engine and gearbox, replace filter etc £2300

Worst case all of the above, disassemble and remove gearbox and replace solonoids in the gear box and reassemble £3700

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Ouch. Was it a failed pipe? Perhaps perished with age?
Keep us posted on the developments and photos if you can. I'd like to be able to check mine for signs of ageing.
Would be interested in preventative maintenance as well. I use Coventry dealership too, so would be interesting to see if they could offer something like this based on their experience.

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Really sorry to hear this, I hope your car is back on the road soon. So it's looking like there been 3-4 instances of this failure noted on this forum over the last year or so. Would preventative maintainance be replacing the radiator? 

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1 minute ago, paul99 said:

Really sorry to hear this, I hope your car is back on the road soon. So it's looking like there been 3-4 instances of this failure noted on this forum over the last year or so. Would preventative maintainance be replacing the radiator? 

yes that would be my advice

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A chap in France had this happen to his ISF and the coolant attacked the clutch packs in the transmission and rendered it useless. Hopefully you've managed to get away with it @Twellsie. Not a nice bill to have, also it seems quite an expensive bill for a radiator swap and flush through.

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7 minutes ago, 4969_LXS said:

A chap in France had this happen to his ISF and the coolant attacked the clutch packs in the transmission and rendered it useless. Hopefully you've managed to get away with it @Twellsie. Not a nice bill to have, also it seems quite an expensive bill for a radiator swap and flush through.

thats a strange one as i wouldnt have thought the ATF goes anywhere near the clutch packs, so unsure how coolant could contaminate them

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I think there's an liquid to liquid cooler, water and oil. I assume the heat exchanger failed and allowed transmission oil and coolant to mix.

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@Toothy is right. There is an ATF heat exchanger built into the radiator. It helps get the transmission fluid upto temperature faster and once everything is at its operating temperature it acts as a cooler. They appear to be failing for some reason on our cars and the fluids can mix. 

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2 minutes ago, Toothy said:

I think there's an liquid to liquid cooler, water and oil. I assume the heat exchanger failed and allowed transmission oil and coolant to mix.

yeah i understand how the two can mix, but as the clutch plates do not sit in ATF how can coolant get to them if ATF cant?

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@Twellsie I haven't seen anywhere that says our clutch packs are of a dry design, if they were the gears wouldn't last long being unlubricated. The packs  are on the outside of the gearsets which will be coated in ATF for lubrication along with the gears and shafts, the ATF will flow and fling around. Say worse case I wouldn't want to spend £3700 on a fix that might not work that's all. That's got to be around the same price as a new box. Just trying to help is all.

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I don't know the exact reason for the cause of the issue but I had fluids in the gearbox all mix together and as a result the gearbox needed replacing. I was told that there aren't any gearboxes available so mine had to be sent to a gearbox specialist for it to be overhauled. My total warranty bill is somewhere in the region of £12k. I hope that your gearbox is ok.

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22 minutes ago, Jas K said:

I don't know the exact reason for the cause of the issue but I had fluids in the gearbox all mix together and as a result the gearbox needed replacing. I was told that there aren't any gearboxes available so mine had to be sent to a gearbox specialist for it to be overhauled. My total warranty bill is somewhere in the region of £12k. I hope that your gearbox is ok.

i've just spoken with Lexus Coventry and they are sufficiently happy that the solution they are providing will resolve all issues and will put it in writing too

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