I have a 98 Lexus es300 that I purchased last June. recently it has started slipping out of 1st into neutral when i step on the gas from a full stop. If i let off the gas, the care re-engages to first gear again. It’s only been happening for a very short time, that I’m aware of, but a few months ago while doing 70-75 on the highway, I thought I felt it slip out of gear then, too, but when it re-engaged there was no sound or jarring motion… it almost felt like the engine was ‘free-floating’ for a second. What is happening? Is my transmission failing??
It does sound like your transmission is starting to slip. When did you change your fluid last? Is the level ok? What color/smell is it? Keep in mind, too, your car is 21 years old and things wear out and break over time
Check your fluid level. The fluid level is critical on some of these transmission. If this transmission does not have a dip stick, you will have to take it to the dealers service department to get the level checked and brought up to the required level.
This automatic transmission does have a dipstick . . . so op will be able to check the fluid level and condition
here’s a thought . . . drive the car for several miles, then drain the fluid into a clean tub
Now you can inspect the fluid. Lots of metal and clutch material? Does it smell burnt?
I’m assuming this car has at least 150K miles, if not more . . . if the automatic transmission fluid and filter was infrequently service, an overhaul might be in your future.
Is the car otherwise in good shape?
Good enough to pass a safety and smog inspection
If the answer is no . . .