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Gearbox Noise


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I have a 2002 rx300 which has covered 130k. As of last month its started producing a whining noise in neutral and as as it drove through the first 2 gears. The problem was most noticeable when the engine was cold. Lexus of Brighton spent sometime, at no cost, trying to diagnosed the fault without success.

I asked the opinion of a autogearbox specialist close, to where I live, who immediately suggested that the gearbox filter was blocked. I gave them the car to change the filter and transmission fluid. I doubt this included a flush as the fluid was already brown by the time i got home (1/2 mile). It did solve the problem for 200 miles!

The same company are quoting £1600+vat to remove and rebuild the gearbox. I haven't yet dare ask what Lexus charge.

Otherwise the car drives fine.

Has anyone else encountered this problem? Would a complete flush and filter change work?

I have to say it is rather disappointing. I have driven Rovers, Fords and Mercs to much higher mileages without encountering a major auto gearbox problem.

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I am pretty sure Dexron 3 is not the correct rating, but there are several alternatives to the Toyota fluid which do meet the specs.

Get it checked!

interestingly it was Lexus bristol that told me Dectron 3 was OK. Nevertheless i've ordered a new pick up filter and T-iv which will hopefully tutn up tomorrow

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Buy genuine Toyota ATF Type IV.

I've found it difficult to buy from Toyota or Lexus (others on this forum say the same), but I took it Toyota and they said they had a large vat of the stuff. They didn't charge me for the small amount they said I needed but when I got home, I checked the level myself and it still seemed low.

The instructions in my maintenance manual suggest that the car is filled to the cold level, then driven around for 5 minutes to get the engine and gearbox to 70~80°C before testing the "HOT" level. This is done by parking on a level surface, going through all the gears and back into park and then checking the level on the dipstick with the engine still running. Toyota suggested it should be checked whilst in gear rather than in park.

I'll give Toyota the benefit of the doubt and recheck, except this time I'll go through all the gears AFTER cleaning the dipstick.

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  • 3 months later...
Did they change the fluid using the proper Toyota ATF? Generic autobox fluid is not high enough grade for Lexus auto boxes.

I changed the filter myself. the older one you couln't tell if it was changed the week before or had been in the car from new but definitely clogged. used toyota ATF as suugested. no problems sine and i have covered 3500m

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