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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Looking for some insight on a problem that's just recently made itself known to me. Lately the transmission on my auto '02 IS has been hanging in gear or hesitant to shift out of 2nd, it doesn't seem to have a problem with any other gear. Although it only has a mind to do so when you're barely touching the gas(acceleration from a stop). When it finally drops into gear it has a nice, reassuring "there's something wrong" buck when it shifts into 3rd. Now I've tried switching through both PWR and 'Norm' mode on the transmission settings but neither have helped. This problem is only noticable on a WARM transmission. During stressful acceleration from a stop, the problem isn't noticable shifting from 2nd to 3rd. There *may* be some awkwardness when downshifting into 2nd, but I don't want you to use that in any diagnosis you may have to my situation because I can't confidently say that this is the case. It is a recently purchased car and I can't really say that I know it inside and out. It's around 80,xxx and when I talked to my mechanic he said it could be the coils or the spark plugs but when I mentioned it was only 2nd gear he reccomended to take it to a Lex shop to diagnose what the computer is doing in correlation with the tranny. Figured I'd drop a line here to see if I could get any relevant information to said case. Feedback welcome!



Thanks in advance,
- Jason



EDIT: Not sure if this could be the case, but I recently unplugged the batt to reset the ECU to re-learn shifting patterns. On an '02 would it revert to the problems that had to be "ECU flashed" on the '01 models or whichever was the problem'd year?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Right, so I brought it to a Lex tech today and of course it has no problems shifting. Felt like an absolute imbecile wasting the guys time, but all yesterday it was having trouble going from 2nd to 3rd under light accel.

Oh, and all the fluids are level. Coolant, tranny, oil, brake. I don't know where to go with this one
 

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I had the same mystery problem since last spring. I found two fixes that helped. Flush the transmission fluid. I posted a DIY recently that explains how to do it safely in 10-30 minutes in your garage for $40. The other big fix was a new MAF. I would suggest getting some electronics cleaner from the auto parts store and clean the wires. If that smoothes out the shifting, just buy a new one. I cleaned mine 3 or 4 times and it helped for a while but it was failing and eventually I just bought a new one. Hint: I found a new MAF on Ebay for $50 shipped. So look around before going to the dealer. The MAF is incredibly easy to replace. Do a search for both of these and you'll save time and money by DIY'ing it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I had the same mystery problem since last spring. I found two fixes that helped. Flush the transmission fluid. I posted a DIY recently that explains how to do it safely in 10-30 minutes in your garage for $40. The other big fix was a new MAF. I would suggest getting some electronics cleaner from the auto parts store and clean the wires. If that smoothes out the shifting, just buy a new one. I cleaned mine 3 or 4 times and it helped for a while but it was failing and eventually I just bought a new one. Hint: I found a new MAF on Ebay for $50 shipped. So look around before going to the dealer. The MAF is incredibly easy to replace. Do a search for both of these and you'll save time and money by DIY'ing it.

Hey thanks for the reply I was feeling alone with this problem. When I picked up the car one of the first things I did was clean the MAF and it's run a lot leaner since, went from 17-18MPG on a full tank up to 21-22 on average. I can't be sure the problems are related due to the car being relatively new, but afterwards it's been taking more cranks for it to fire up. Hell, maybe it's time for a new MAF, it's just strange that it would perform better and cause problems at the same time. My car's either past due or due soon on the trans fluid so I'll just have my mechanic do that with the plugs, seals, belts, coolant, water pump, and coils.

By the way, what wires were you reccomending cleaning, the ones leading to the MAF?


- Jason
 

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Has anyone got an estimate on tranny rebuild if it comes to that?
Holy hell. You're getting way ahead of yourself here. Just do a search - this has been discussed about a million times on here - search for ecu/egm reflash reprogram, etc, etc. Sounds like that could be the problem, but obviously can't eliminate other potential problems. If you have a good dealership around you they might still do it for free, but might charge you - i think they had a 8 year 80k mile limit or such. G/L
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Holy hell. You're getting way ahead of yourself here. Just do a search - this has been discussed about a million times on here - search for ecu/egm reflash reprogram, etc, etc. Sounds like that could be the problem, but obviously can't eliminate other potential problems. If you have a good dealership around you they might still do it for free, but might charge you - i think they had a 8 year 80k mile limit or such. G/L
Saint242 said:
Not sure if this could be the case, but I recently unplugged the batt to reset the ECU to re-learn shifting patterns. On an '02 would it revert to the problems that had to be "ECU flashed" on the '01 models or whichever was the problem'd year?
I was under the impression that 01 had ECU problems that needed to be "reflashed" but I posed this question in the first post of the thread. :)
 

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I was under the impression that 01 had ECU problems that needed to be "reflashed" but I posed this question in the first post of the thread. :)
It was for 01s within a certain VIN range, but I know people who had 02s that got the flash and claimed it worked. My car is an 01 and was actually OUT of the VIN range, but I took it in anyway cause I was having the same kind of problems. They reflashed the ECU and EGM I believe - made a world of difference - night and day. If I were you I would without a doubt try the reflash route before rebuilding the tranny. Its going to depend upon your dealership in the end though - some readily did it without charging or questions and some were a PITA about it and charged however much.
 

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Ah, right on. I just wanted clarification on the topic before making a fool of myself again :) Do you reckon the trac upgrade is needed on the '02 as well?
I can't say for sure what your car will need. It's all going to depend upon the dealer and if they're familiar with this and know what they're doing. You might have to print some stuff out for them. http://my.is/forums/f115/tran-ecu-update-tsb-eg2004-eg2003-310699/ Post 28 looks similar to your situation.

http://my.is/forums/f138/ecu-reflash-150-lexus-dealership-369953/ This discusses higher mileage too.

The threads go on and on - just do a quick search and you should be able to find everything you'd ever want to know about it.
 

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My car's either past due or due soon on the trans fluid so I'll just have my mechanic do that with the plugs, seals, belts, coolant, water pump, and coils.

By the way, what wires were you reccomending cleaning, the ones leading to the MAF?


- Jason
Go to your local auto parts store and have them scan the computer for codes. If the coils are bad then replace them but otherwise I would suggest replacing the MAF and trans fluid. By the time you replace the coils, rebuild the trans and all the other items you listed you could have bought a new car. The wires I mentioned were the ones inside the MAF. If you have cleaned yours, you know which ones I'm talking about. If you know someone else with an IS300, swap MAFs and test the difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I can't say for sure what your car will need. It's all going to depend upon the dealer and if they're familiar with this and know what they're doing. You might have to print some stuff out for them. http://my.is/forums/f115/tran-ecu-update-tsb-eg2004-eg2003-310699/ Post 28 looks similar to your situation.

http://my.is/forums/f138/ecu-reflash-150-lexus-dealership-369953/ This discusses higher mileage too.

The threads go on and on - just do a quick search and you should be able to find everything you'd ever want to know about it.
Thanks adamsheehy, I'm pretty sure this is the problem and I appreciate all of your help. At 83,xxx my car no longer qualifies for the warranted reflash, but I called head office and explained the situation, I'm pretty sure they're going to fix it free of charge. When I visited my local dealership I had them look up records just to see if the issue was brought up and/or fixed since I couldn't find a sticker under the hood. WELL.. it was damned funny because the woman I met with today said "It doesn't look like this car was serviced at the dealership very often" and followed that statement with "Looks like the first thing they came in for was the same complaint about the transmission slipping." Hell, I wouldn't go back to the dealer either if they couldn't diagnose a TSB known problem with the car. Lexus of New Haven, CT "failed to diagnose the problem :nono:." I'm not in the CT area, but I figured I'd just give people in that area a heads up and update the thread for people who may be in the same boat that I am.
 
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