Lexus is300 problems

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Transmission Services for 2017 Lexus IS300

What Does Your Lexus IS300 Transmission Do?

The transmission delivers power from the engine to the wheels so that you can drive on your terms. Because of the transmission’s responsibility to translate the right dose of power into the right amount of speed, a small transmission issue can put a big dent in your IS300’s performance. It's a type of car problem that’s not hard to notice. 2017 Lexus IS300 transmission problems can show up as shifting delays, grinding or jumping during acceleration, the car shaking at any speed, or a burning smell or whistling sounds coming from under the hood. If you ignore Lexus IS300 transmission issues you might notice your fuel economy decrease or find that your IS300 isn’t working at all.

Lexus Transmission Recommendations for 2017 IS300s

Lexus recommends having your IS300's transmission system routinely inspected for wear and tear. For example, Lexus recommends exchanging transmission and differential fluids in 2017 Lexus IS300s at certain intervals with Lexus-approved transmission fluid. Our technicians know how to service your 2017 IS300 up to Lexus-recommended standards. Schedule an appointment at your local Firestone Complete Auto Care at the first sign of transmission problems to help keep your Lexus running for miles and miles.

How Much Do Lexus IS300 Transmission Repairs Cost

We work to keep the average cost for Lexus IS300 transmission fluid changes and repairs affordable. Visit your local Firestone Complete Auto Care and we’ll give your car a free Courtesy Check. We’ll check out your IS300’s major systems and components to help inform your car service decisions. Whether your car needs a transmission fluid exchange or preventative maintenance, you can count on our Triple Promise: Fixed Right. Priced Right. Right on Time.

2017 Lexus IS300 Questions & Answers

  • What happens if I "ride" my Lexus's brakes? Riding the brakes or keeping your foot on the brake pedal (even lightly) can lead to transmission issues. Keep that in mind when driving in hilly terrain and remember to use engine braking when possible.

  • How much can my Lexus tow? Think twice before offering to tow something for a friend, no matter how small. The added weight can cause issues with your transmission if your vehicle isn't equipped to handle the load. Double check your owner's manual to ensure your IS300 is equipped with a towing setup and can handle whatever you're thinking about towing.

  • How often does my IS300 transmission fluid need to be checked? Maintaining your Lexus IS300 transmission fluid is one of the best ways to maintain your transmission's health. A general rule of thumb is to have your transmission fluid checked and changed about every 30,000 to 60,000 miles, but that timeline can change if you're hard on your Lexus. The good news is that transmission fluid leaks are affordable to repair and easy to spot.


The Lexus IS300 was equipped with the A650E transmission in most models. But they aren’t without their problems though, so let’s look at some of the most common Lexus IS300 transmission problems, look at cost estimates and figure out what you can do about them.

Need a replacement transmission? Get an estimate for replacement transmissions and local installation. Look up your transmission model by vehicle make and model.

What Transmission Do I Have?

Lexus IS300 Transmission Models

Lexus IS300: A650ETransmission

Lexus IS300 Transmission Replacement Cost Estimate

Pricing varies by model. To be 100% sure on pricing, have your VIN# handy and use our Get An Estimate feature to look up your transmission by VIN#.

What are the DTC codes related to Lexus IS300 transmission problems?

Trouble CodeDescription
P0711Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Range/Performance
P0714Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Intermittent P0715
P0715Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Circuit
P0750Shift Solenoid 'A'
P0753Shift Solenoid 'A' Electrical
P0755Shift Solenoid 'B'
P0758Shift Solenoid 'B' Electrical
P0760Shift Solenoid 'C'
P0763Shift Solenoid 'C' Electrical
P0768Shift Solenoid 'D' Electrical
P0770Shift Solenoid 'E'

Lexus IS300 Transmission Recalls

None Found

Lexus IS300 Technical Service Bulletins (TSB)

None Found

Common Lexus IS300 Transmission Problems

Lack of Response
Leaking Fluid
Low Fluid
Burning Smell
Grinding or Shaking
Whining, Clunking or Humming
Refuses to Go Into Gear
Torque Converter Issues
Valve Body Issues
Transmission Noisy in Neutral
Gears Slipping
No 3rd or 4th Gear
No 1st or 2nd Gear
No Reverse
Dragging Clutch
Trouble Codes / Check Engine Light

Can I drive with a transmission problem?

If your Lexus IS300 can still make it up and down the road, you might say “It’s fine, I’ll just drive it until I can get it fixed”. But that is not always a good idea, depending on the symptoms. You see, there are a lot of (very expensive) moving parts inside of a transmission, and if something isn’t right, continuing to drive with a transmission problem could damage something else.

How often does a Lexus IS300 transmission need to be replaced?

The overall lifespan of a Lexus IS300 transmission largely depends on how well it was maintained. Factory design flaws also factor into this equation, along with how/how hard you drive. But on average, we’ve seen the Lexus IS300 transmission last for between 130,000-180,000 miles. A high quality replacement transmission however, can last considerably longer if all of the factory design flaws have been addressed and the vehicle has been maintained.

How are Lexus IS300 transmission issues diagnosed?

It is fairly easy to guesstimate what the root cause of your Lexus IS300 transmission problems might be, but you won’t truly know unless you have the right tools and experience. A good mechanic or transmission repair center will be able to connect your truck to a computer and find out which diagnostic trouble codes (DTC’s) have been stored. Once they know what to look for, they can perform a visual inspection to verify the problem.

How is a Lexus IS300 transmission replaced?

In order to replace your Lexus IS300 transmission, the truck has to be lifted from the ground in order to gain access to all of the parts that will need to be unbolted. Then the transmission can be lowered to the ground (typically with a transmission jack), so the new transmission can be installed.

Recommendations for Lexus IS300 transmission issues?

To save time and get back on the road faster, have your 17-digit truck VIN# handy and you can get an online quote for a reman Lexus IS300 transmission here, then find a local shop using our Find a Shop guide to install it for you.

How to Solve Lexus IS300 Transmission Problems

Solution A: Buy a Used Lexus IS300 Transmission

The quickest way to fix your transmission problems is to simply buy a used transmission or used transmission. These can be found at most junk yards, and they often come with a 30-90 day warranty. However, there’s no way to determine the actual condition of the internal components, so you could be spending a bunch of money to have the exact same problems. Plus, that warranty only covers the transmission if it’s defective, not the labor costs that you’ll have to pay.

Solution B: Buy a Rebuilt Lexus IS300 Transmission

Another option would be a rebuilt transmission or rebuilt transmission. A local repair shop will remove your transmission, then install a bunch of new parts during the rebuild. The problem here is, the skills and experience of each transmission rebuilder will vary widely from shop to shop, so you could have problems from something that wasn’t adjusted properly. And the 1-2 year warranty might only cover you at certain transmission repair shops, in a specific geographical area.

Solution C: Buy a Remanufactured Lexus IS300 Transmission

Many owners depend on their vehicle to commute and get things done. Their gasoline engines are designed to go 100’s of thousands of miles, so it makes sense to invest in a remanufactured transmission.

Need a replacement transmission? Get an estimate for replacement transmissions and local installation. Look up your transmission model by vehicle make and model.

What Transmission Do I Have?

What Problem Does Your Lexus IS300 Have?

Let us know the year, mileage and problem you’re having as well as any trouble (OBD) codes you’ve found. If you’ve been given a quote or paid for a repair, we’d like to hear about that too!

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Most Common First Generation Lexus IS300 Problems

By Brian Grabianowski



Toyota enthusiasts consider the Lexus IS300 to be one of the brand’s most reliable cars. From 1998-2005 it had a 3.0-liter inline-six that sent 217 horsepower to the rear wheels. It could also have a manual or automatic transmission. While it weighed 3,255 pounds, it provided luxurious comfort with sporty performance. Its engine was overbuilt, tried, and true 2JZ GE, a naturally aspirated Supra Mark IV engine. This car has few problems, but the ones that exist deserve some attention.

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#Lexus Cars#Lexus Is#Ge#Denso#Ac#Servo Motors#E36

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Toyota enthusiasts consider the Lexus IS300 to be one of the brand’s most reliable cars. From 1998-2005 it had a 3.0-liter inline-six that sent 217 horsepower to the rear wheels. It could also have a manual or automatic transmission. While it weighed 3,255 pounds, it provided luxurious comfort with sporty performance. Its engine was overbuilt, tried, and true 2JZ GE, a naturally aspirated Supra Mark IV engine. This car has few problems, but the ones that exist deserve some attention.

Acceleration Hesitation

2003 Lexus IS300 Driving on the road

Owners of first-generation IS300 complain of hesitation that occurs between throttle application and transmission engagement. This seems to only happen with automatic transmissions, where the driver will step on the throttle and the engine revs, but the car doesn’t go anywhere for a few seconds. It happens at low speeds, in drive and reverse. Owners have attempted to fix this issue by adjusting the throttle cable.

Radiator cracks around the neck

2001 Lexus IS300 parked outside

Stock IS300s came with Denso radiators, which used plastic tubing. After some time the neck that connects the hose to the intake will crack. If the radiator cracks while driving, pressurized hot coolant will spray all over the engine bay. The car could face overheating as well. To get around this problem, Mishimoto makes a performance radiator that uses metal tubing for $280. It’s a decent price and could save the engine from severe overheating damage.

Air in the cooling system

2003-2004 lexus is300 driving on the street

Many IS300 owners complain of a “gurgling” sound coming from the car. Experienced owners attribute this sound to air trapped in the heater core. The only way around this is to bleed the coolant. The IS300 doesn’t have a bleeder screw, so the radiator cap must be removed. Start the car and run the heater at maximum flow. Leave the engine running until the radiator fan kicks in, then shut it off and replace the escaped air with more coolant. It helps to replace the radiator cap with a large funnel during the bleeding process, to keep coolant from spewing everywhere. Flushing the radiator may become regular maintenance.

AC servo failure

2003 Lexus IS300 pace car on track

The AC servo failure presents itself as a clicking sound inside the dash, followed by an unresponsive climate control system. When this happens, it likely means one of four servo motors is malfunctioning. The driver servo is under the dash on the driver’s side, while the other three are in the same area under the passenger side dash. Owners can clean the servo motors with isopropyl alcohol and cotton swabs. Cleaning may be a more viable option than replacement if trying to save money, as a new servo motor costs $138 on Amazon. 

The worst issue with this generation IS300 is the cooling system. However, between the cracked radiator neck and having air in the cooling system, things could be a lot worse. E36 BMWs used plastic thermostat housing, which was notorious for exploding, so the Lexus has BMW beat in that area.

Throttle hesitation appears to only be a problem with the automatic transmissions, which Toyota doesn’t have a great track record with anyways. Opting for a manual may be the best decision. Regardless, as long as these problems are addressed immediately, they aren’t debilitating. The IS300 is still a rock-solid sport luxury sedan.

RELATED: 5 Things to Remember Before Upgrading Your Toyota to a Lexus


Problems lexus is300

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5 Things to look for when buying an IS300!!

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