weonsle

Undiagnosable gearbox issue?

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Afternoon fellow IS200 owners,

Never posted here since I've never had any issues with my 2003 IS200 (testament to its quality I suppose) until now: for a few weeks now, when the (auto) gearbox shifts from 3rd to 4th gear there is a weird vibration noise/feeling. It only lasts about half a second but it shakes the entire car and it's really noticeable. It sounds and feels as if you're driving over one of those cattle grids on backroads. Only after this .5 second event it will shift into the 4th gear. The weird thing is that it only does this sometimes, purely at random under normal (not even hard) acceleration AND only from 3rd to 4th gear. We haven't been able to find the problem and I don't really want to yank out the entire thing just yet before I know what might be the problem. I tried searching this issue on both Google and this forum but haven't been succesful, plus it's so difficult to exactly describe. Does anybody here have the slightest idea of what I'm talking about or have experienced this with their IS? Please let me know!

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Possibly torque converter shudder, I have heard this is common with some toyota transmissions. How many miles are on it and when (if ever) have the fluid and filter been changed?

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If the transmission hasn't been serviced recently or ever now would be a good time to do that as it may solve the problem. If anyone uses the word "flush", walk away. Make sure they're going to drop the pan, drain the fluid out and replace the filter assembly if it has a replaceable one. The procedure may be slightly different if the filter isn't replaceable, in that case there may be a more involved process to replace as much of the fluid as possible.

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If it were my car I would stop driving it until the service could be done, or at the very least use S-mode to limit it to 3rd to avoid hammer the torque converter any futher. A fluid change is a few hundred quid, a new gearbox or a rebuild could be easy 3 grand. Fingers crossed for you that that's all it needs.

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1 hour ago, m4rkw said:

Possibly torque converter shudder, I have heard this is common with some toyota transmissions. How many miles are on it and when (if ever) have the fluid and filter been changed?

It has about 130k kilometers (about 80k miles). As far as I can see in the service history, nothing has been changed. Will definitely look into the torque converter shudder.

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Just now, weonsle said:

It has about 130k kilometers (about 80k miles). As far as I can see in the service history, nothing has been changed.

Everybody else, thank you for the swift responses! Will definitely look into the torque converter shudder.

They were all me haha. 80k isn't a huge number of miles but if it's never been done then you've got 17 years on the original fluid so I'd say it's definitely overdue. Hopefully that's all you need, just make sure it's done properly by someone who knows lexus cars and uses the correct fluid from Lexus. Do not use anything else. Make sure they replace the filter assembly too if it's replaceable.

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1 minute ago, m4rkw said:

They were all me haha. 80k isn't a huge number of miles but if it's never been done then you've got 17 years on the original fluid so I'd say it's definitely overdue. Hopefully that's all you need, just make sure it's done properly by someone who knows lexus cars and uses the correct fluid from Lexus. Do not use anything else. Make sure they replace the filter assembly too if it's replaceable.

Hahah I see now, I'm blind! Damn. Yes, it has always been fully Lexus serviced in its life (I am the 3rd owner). I wonder why they haven't replaced it sooner seeing as it has been so well maintained otherwise. Thank you, I will contact them about this.

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5 minutes ago, weonsle said:

Hahah I see now, I'm blind! Damn. Yes, it has always been fully Lexus serviced in its life (I am the 3rd owner). I wonder why they haven't replaced it sooner seeing as it has been so well maintained otherwise. Thank you, I will contact them about this.

They'll tell you it's "sealed for life". This is technically true, because when that fluid's burnt up the transmission is done. But most of us would like our transmissions to last longer than 80k miles. Sadly most car manufacturers would prefer to sell you a new car than have you drive your existing car to 300k miles. Ideally it should have been changed every 50k, 80k might not be too late. I got my car at 77k with no history at all and changed the transmission fluid immediately and it's been fine since (about 101k now). Years may also be a factor for transmission fluid, I don't know how much of a factor, mine's a few years younger than yours.

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4 minutes ago, m4rkw said:

They'll tell you it's "sealed for life". This is technically true, because when that fluid's burnt up the transmission is done. But most of us would like our transmissions to last longer than 80k miles. Sadly most car manufacturers would prefer to sell you a new car than have you drive your existing car to 300k miles. Ideally it should have been changed every 50k, 80k might not be too late. I got my car at 77k with no history at all and changed the transmission fluid immediately and it's been fine since (about 101k now). Years may also be a factor for transmission fluid, I don't know how much of a factor, mine's a few years younger than yours.

Sadly, you are very much right. But I'm planning on keeping this one for as long as possible obviously, so they'll have to change the fluid alright haha. I am pretty positive that what you said (http://www.agcoauto.com/content/news/p2_articleid/203) is the problem I'm having. I have contacted them about it. Thank you.

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4 minutes ago, weonsle said:

Sadly, you are very much right. But I'm planning on keeping this one for as long as possible obviously, so they'll have to change the fluid alright haha. I am pretty positive that what you said (http://www.agcoauto.com/content/news/p2_articleid/203) is the problem I'm having. I have contacted them about it. Thank you.

On a car that old I would suggest maybe taking it to a trusted independent Lexus specialist rather than the dealer, you may get better service. I don't know where you are in the world though, maybe that's not the case in your region.

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1 minute ago, m4rkw said:

On a car that old I would suggest maybe taking it to a trusted independent Lexus specialist rather than the dealer, you may get better service. I don't know where you are in the world though, maybe that's not the case in your region.

The Netherlands. I have not looked into that yet, but there might be some places. Thank you anyway. I do know there's plenty of places specializing in transmissions as well, so.

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29 minutes ago, weonsle said:

The Netherlands. I have not looked into that yet, but there might be some places. Thank you anyway. I do know there's plenty of places specializing in transmissions as well, so.

Make sure wherever you go is trustworthy. A transmission place might be keen to sell you a rebuild rather than fix the problem with a simple fluid service.

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Also let us know how you get on, it's nice to hear back from people when they get things fixed 🙂

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19 minutes ago, m4rkw said:

Also let us know how you get on, it's nice to hear back from people when they get things fixed 🙂

Yes. I will definitely update this topic once I know more! Also so other people having this problem will know what to do. Unfortunately they're closed on a sunday so I'll just have to be patient for now I suppose.

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