Sign in to follow this  
RxMike

Talking About Transmission......

Recommended Posts

Dear All

Whilst on the subject of transmission, has any one experienced this..

My RX 300 SEL now has 4000 miles on it, and was registered in March 2004.

Now that I have become aquanted with the vehicle properly, there may appear to be a transmission issue.

When I slow the vehicle to below approx 15 mph, say on the approach to a roundabout, and then accelerate away without having stopped the car, SOMETIMES, UNLESS I AM VERY DELICATE with the throttle, the transmission seems to snatch quite badly.

It is as if the vehicle has gone into neutral whilst I have been slowing down, and then when I press the gas to move away, without having stopped, the gears are suddenly engaged resulting in a snatch / jerking type motion.

It is becoming quite anoying as I have to conciously press the gas pedal very lightly in case it may happen. I cannot imagine that this jerking motion can be good for the drive shafts etc. and it is unpleasant for the cars occupants, including me the driver!

I have read on the USA forum of other RX 330 users complaining of similar issues, and mentions of software upgrades and fixes that may alleviate this problem.

I was aware of these issues in USA prior to my purchase of the car having read the forums, yet when I mentioned this to my dealer he responded that the UK RX 300 was not subject to these issues as it was built to a different spec in Japan and not in Canada like the USA RX 330.

Now I'm not so sure.

The transmission fluid is full and I have not suffered any other transmission issues other than this 'slow speed roll on' type snatching.

You're driving experiences and any knowledge of transmission issues / software upgrades to alleviate this problem would be most welcome.

RxMike

ps still a great car...luv it to bits! :shifty:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It will be a software issue. If there is a new release or not I don't know. Worth contacting Lexus GB if your dealer doesn't know. It should be listed as a TSB.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Colin

Thanks for the quick reply. I am going to the dealer soon to purchase roof bars and will mention it to them then.

Am still interested to see if anyone else has experienced a simialr problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RxMike,

yes I have the same problem with a 2004 SE. Actually my wife mentioned it to me when we had a test car overnight but I assumed it was just a case of her not being used to the car.

You describe the occurance and sensation perfectly- the car lurches instead of taking away smoothly. Awareness is required to prevent it happening at roundabouts where you haven't quite needed to stop before taking off again.

As Colin says, hopefully something that a software upgrade would fix.

My other surprise with the RX transmision was my first stop on a hill- when the car started creeping backwards. Other automatics and semi automatics I've had do not do that on the same hill stops. It also rolls forward when reverse gear is selected and you want to reverse up a hill for example to get out of a parking space.... I bought an automatic to avoid these hassles.

Is it possible that this is a software issue too?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

dmc911

Thanks for the response. As I'm sure you're familiar it is quite an anoying trait of the vehicle to lurch like it sometimes does.

In response to the hill start issue you have experienced...

My Rx will hold on a hill start, but only dependant on the incline and the load of the car. For the same incline but with four up, the car will tend to want to roll back slowly, if the incline is steep enough, but this is something that I have not found too problematic so far.

Have not tried this in reverse.

I think this is a function of the vehicle's high gross weight although it could be argued that this is a characteristic that is not satisfactory with an auto box - it should hold on all but the steepest of slopes.

Anyone else had similar experiences - its the 'slow speed roll on lurch' that concerns me most.

Regards all

RxMike :winky:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RxMike, you are spot on, I have 2004 RX300SE and it does exactly what you say, would love to know if there is a cure......anyone?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mine does it too.

I had assumed it was a case of heavy right boot from me (especially after riding with Lexus Woodford's driver (ex limo driver) in my old IS which he made feel like a Rolls Royce !), now I'm not so sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bought mine at Woodford too. Anyone interested in getting together as a group to tackle Lexus rather than all of us getting fobbed off individually?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm in - only had mine a couple of days and I have noticed what you mean.

Speejo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks as if this is a trait of all RX 300s.

I have to go to main dealer next week to collect roof bars and I will put this to the service dept to see if it is an issue Lexus are aware of and if there is a fix, (software), for it.

I hope it can be cured cos it can be very frustrating and ruins an otherwise slick performance.

Keep your experiences coming in, It all adds weight to the issue.

I shall post what I learn from the dealer as soon as I know.

RxMike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Went to Lexus Brighton today to pick up some roof bars and whilst I was there put my problem to the service dept. I explained the symtoms of the sudden lurching during slow speed roll on acceleration and asked if they knew of any other cases of this with the Rx300.

Their answer was that they had not heard of this before and were not aware of any software upgrades for the vehicle that may rectify this problem. They did however assure me that they would put this question to the technical dept at Lexus UK and get back to me with what they have learnt...if anything.

I also called Lexus Croydon which is where i purchased the vehicle from new, again putting the same issue to their service dept. Again thay were not aware of this issue with the car and have refered the problem to Lexus UK technical Dept.

I have specifically asked Lexus Croydon to find out if there are any software modifications or technical bullitens that are applicable to my vehicle, and if so what these changes or mods will involve and rectify. They should be able to do this as they know the registration of my vehicle and can see if any mods are applicable or if there is an updated version of the vehicle software that has come about since mine was produced.

They have assured me they will be in touch next week with what they have learnt.

It will be interesting what I learn as I now have two seperate dealers chasing the same problem.

As soon as I know.........you'll know

RxMike :winky:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Browsing the US forum talking about the 2005 model and it included this paragraph

"According to my local dealer, the EPA mileage for the 2005 Lexus RX330 has been reduced by 1 mpg compared to the 2004 models. Although the dealer did not have an explanation, I wonder if this reduction is a result of changes made to the computer-controlled transmission to improve acceleration and remove the transmission lag some people have complained about. "

I wonder if this is referring to the same observation - ok different engine but interesting.

Speejo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In fact go into the US forum and read the message

Rx 330 Transmission Problems?, Lacklusture transmission

Sounds very interesting and very similar, possible on a different scale but clearly there is an issue with transmission and lack of power, particularly at low speeds.

Speejo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My RX was one of the first released so I have had it for 15 months now and I can't say that I have noticed anything untoward with the gearbox - in fact when anyone new is in the car I enthuse about the smoothness of the gearbox and what a delight the tiptronic is to use. Cannot remember feeling this lurching sensation. I do regard myself as a steady driver though. Not slow - steady. Neither have I experienced a reluctance to shift down, in my opinion the RX box shifts down too easily giving too harsh an acceleration for what is not a kickdown on the throttle - I put this down as reaction to the heavy criticism Lexus had for the MK1 box being reluctant to shift down.

I have had problems with setting off on steep inclines - some friends have a drive to their house which is extremely steep and I have fun co-ordinating the hand/foot brake with the revs to get moving without falling back into their parked car. I need to practice the hand brake to footbrake change over then use the footbrake as a clutch as someone recommended on these forums.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think we're confusing the issue here, the problems in america occur at around 20mph when they want there cars to change down to maintain speed (apparently there not), where as here the problems are a lurching motion at speeds of probably less than 5 mph when you accelerate after nearly stopping. Anyone else with problems please share your views.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok. Here's the response from two different Lexus dealerships today who both called me after I divulged the problem to them.

Bear with me..hopefully you'll all find this interesting.

ps...I'm not trying to compare dealerships here, I think they are both very good and I use them both, but I have saddled them both with this problem and this is what was said.

Lexus Brighton:

Today, by chance, they had a rep from Lexus UK present who was informed of the symtoms of my RX300. The response was that it was not a problem that they were aware of, and was likely to be an issue with just my vehicle. They offered to have the vehicle in for a computer download to see if any errors had been logged and therefore try to rectify the problem.

All in all a fair response. ;)

Lexus Croydon:

I was called today by their chief workshop technician who told me the following;

After a discussion by telephone with technical dept at Lexus UK, it was revealed that this was a problem that had been reported to them, (Lexus UK), by a number of Rx300 users. The number of reports was not disclosed.

Lexus UK are keen to try and identify if there is a problem and rectify it, and thus I was asked by the technician to describe fully the symtoms of the problem so that this could be written into a TSB for the attention of Lexus UK, who would then forward this report to Lexus Japan for analysis.

It is believed that the vehicle may be selecting the wrong gear and in some instances is antisipating the car stopping fully, or, pulling away again under greater acceleration than is actually demanded during a gentle slow speed roll-on type of acceleration.

Hence the vehicles tendancy to suddenly lurch in this scenario, as the transmission suddenly selects what I think can only be a lower, or too low a gear for the task at hand.

We discussed the fact that this may be something that is evident in all Rx 300's but is not something that all drivers would necessarily notice, especially as the problem would seem to occur mainly infrequently and many drivers may not be so observant of their vehicles behavior.

To date, I am the only Lexus customer who has reported this to both Lexus Brighton and Lexus Croydon.

Lexus Croydon also offered to have the car in for inspection to see if there was anything obvious in the black box that may help to find the cause but it looks at this time as if this could be build issue and not a fault on my car.

There is no software upgrade available yet for UK RX300's. There may however be one for the US RX330 - This would seem to be the opinion of Lexus UK. Why is it America always seems to get things before us?

After the technician filed his report he said that I would have to wait now for a response which could take anything from weeks to months, but I should find out something at some point.

I was very impressed with the attention to detail from Lexus Croydon who seemed genuinely keen to identify if there is a problem and if so to get it fixed, but the fact that both dealerships responded to me so quickly is testament to the great customer satisfaction Lexus is keen to deliver to all its customers.

Another win for Lexus!

It is my personal belief that the problems seen on the American Rx330's with respect to this particular transmission issue are one and the same as for the UK Rx300 although I may eventually be prooved wrong. It would seem from reading the US pages that Lexus America is further down the road with this problem and I hope that their solution comes quickly to our shores.

I would not be surprised when more Rx owners read this thread that they notice an occasional lurch from time to time.

Its not a big problem, I'm still glad I bought the car and it has not spoilt it in any way. Maybe I'm just a bit too much of a perfectionist, after all that's why I bought a Lexus.

I'm sure it will be fixed in the fullness of time, after all I'm likely to be driving this car for many years yet.

RxM.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RxMike, thanks for the update, very interesting. I myself thought that the car was in too lower gear as Lexus Croyden suggested to you but when I read your initial post thought that the car going into neutral was also a possible cause. Its a bit like revving an automatic in neutral and then knocking it into drive before the revs die down. Anyway thanks again, anymore news would be greatly appreciated. If you need anyone to stengthen your case I'm only in Harlow and would gladly come along to a dealer with you, just 'IM' me if you want.

Cheers Roger

P.S. liked the Bumper guard!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting update RxMike. I can actually reproduce the problem in mine almost every time. There's a quiet downhill junction where I turn left every day on the way to work, the shunt happens most days that I don't have to stop unless I'm incredibly gentle.

I think the wrong gear selection sounds like a distinct possibility because the car is probably going down the gears to reduce speed on the hill as I brake.

Surely our Celtic and northern members would have noticed this problem more, as they have more hills than I do in Essex :D !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not yet experienced this myself as I'm waiting for delivery but this could be exaggerated by the fuel cutoff during coasting as all cars do when you take your foot of the gas. When you then put your foot back on the pedal the fuel supply then comes back on. My brother and I were discussing this with his car yesterday (not a Lexus) which is a manual and does this but obviosuly as the clutch is engaged you don't get the added element of the coupling engaging too as you do with an auto. I would have thought that a revision to engine management would be able to cure the problem. Question is how do you get Lexus to acknoldege it. RXMike seems to be on the case on this so I guess we'll have to wait.

Having said that this could result in a loss in responsiveness so may be a compromise which has already been taken in the development of the car. Maybe a case of Lexus having to offer the opportunity to have smoother take up and a slight loss of responsivness rather than jerky pull away.

br

D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not yet experienced this myself as I'm waiting for delivery but this could be exaggerated by the fuel cutoff during coasting as all cars do when you take your foot of the gas. When you then put your foot back on the pedal the fuel supply then comes back on. My brother and I were discussing this with his car yesterday (not a Lexus) which is a manual and does this but obviosuly as the clutch is engaged you don't get the added element of the coupling engaging too as you do with an auto. I would have thought that a revision to engine management would be able to cure the problem. Question is how do you get Lexus to acknoldege it. RXMike seems to be on the case on this so I  guess we'll have to wait.

Having said that this could result in a loss in responsiveness so may be a compromise which has already been taken in the development of the car. Maybe a case of Lexus having to offer the opportunity to have smoother take up and a slight loss of responsivness rather than jerky pull away.

br

D

Similiar problem with mine too, now 18 months old with 15000 miles. When I slow down to under 15 mph and then accelorate there is a definite thump from the rear end? Also when cornering into junctions there is sometimes a lag before it selects a gear?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Similiar problem with mine too, now 18 months old with 15000 miles. When I slow down to under 15 mph and then accelorate there is a definite thump from the rear end? Also when cornering into junctions there is sometimes a lag before it selects a gear?

Mine is doing this from new. Collected the car only 2 weeks ago.

br

D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I still can't say that I have noticed this on mine yet but I can't help but think that this may be tied in with the torque converter lock up on deceleration - in that if the accelerator is pressed before the lock up has timed out then this would surely mean that the gearbox couldn't change down before the lock up has been released. So at that moment you have an engine accelerating, the torque converter being released and perhaps a shift down of two gears as the ECU tries to match revs to road speed. That would explain why it is intermittent as the lock up could sometimes have timed out and been released.

Just a thought - and this lock up is peculiar to the RX isn't it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

should come out of lock up long before you get to junctions speeds though which is when the probems seem to occur. Also applying the brakes will bring it out of lock up.

The gearbox not changing quickly enough is a big problem in the US with people pulling out into junctions and then not having any drive.

Owners have reported problems on all Lexus models with this but mainly on the ES and RX (the RX is basically just a tall ES)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
should come out of lock up long before you get to junctions speeds though which is when the probems seem to occur. Also applying the brakes will bring it out of lock up.

The gearbox not changing quickly enough is a big problem in the US with people pulling out into junctions and then not having any drive.

Owners have reported problems on all Lexus models with this but mainly on the ES and RX (the RX is basically just a tall ES)

One way to find out if this comes from the auto gearbox is to down shift manually to 2nd or 1st while slowing down and them accelerate (you should be in the right gear then). If if the problem is gone it means it was coming from the gear box trying to select the right gear but with too much of a lag, if not it might be anything else (i.e. Electronic Throttle Body faulty position feedback).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this