Last post on Aug 14, 2010 at 8:21 AM
You are in the Lexus ES
What is this discussion about?
Lexus ES 300, Lexus ES 330, Sedan
#2850 of 5443 Transmission and little bugs
Jul 03, 2002 (2:54 pm)
I have only had my new 2002 ES 300 for 4 weeks and I have just hit the 1,000 mile break-in point. Therefore, I haven't driven it very hard yet, but I have noticed the few times that I have tried to pass someone quickly at highway speeds (50 - 65 mph) that the car is not very responsive. I have a 91 Acura Legend with 89,000 miles and 200 hp that is much faster. Even my 1996 Infiniti I30 with 62,000 miles and 190 hp that I sold to buy the Lexus was faster at passing at highway speeds. I have not had a safety issue yet with the transmission, but for those that have, a guaranteed way to get the proper attention is to report it to the NHTSA. I believe you can do it on-line at NHTSA.gov.
On a less serious note, I am taking my car in for the 30 day checkup next week. Have any of you noticed any of the following:
1) Auto climate control stays in AC recirculate too long and then stays on a high fan speed too long and then fluctuates from a low to high fan speed.
2) Car runs rough the first 30 seconds after it is started for the first time of the day. Sometimes it runs rough at idle. The idle speed at a stoplight with the AC running is 500 rpm.
3) The rear floor mats slide around. The rear carpet has a ring for a snap, but the floormats have no snap on their bottom to fit into the ring.
4) The computer Avg MPG is at least 2 MPG lower than actual. I fill it up when the computer Range says 50 - 75 miles left, but the car still has at least 4 or 5 gallons left.
I know these aren't serious issues, but I expect my new Lexus to operate better than my old Infiniti and so far that isn't the case. But the Lexus does have more safety features and a better and quieter ride. But then so does a Camry XLE for $6,000 less than the Lexus.
Good luck to those of you with the serious transmission problems and thanks in advance to any comments regarding my "little bugs".
#2851 of 5443 transmission
Jul 06, 2002 (12:10 pm)
I visited relatives in Michigan over the 4th and test drove an ES300. The transmission felt identical to mine.
I think that the only difference between those who do not experience the problem and those who do lies in the way they perceive things.
I am convinced that the "problem" is a design problem and not associated with individual vehicles. I am also convinced that were I to drive lenscap's and aceking2000's vehicles, I would experience their transmissions as behaving exactly as mine does.
#2852 of 5443 texas83 - Correction
Jul 06, 2002 (12:23 pm)
To correct one of your previous mails - I am NOT one of those considering selling my car. I LOVE my car and the transmission is not much more than a nuisance to me. Certainly, I do not feel delays in the one second area.
As far as I know, those on the board who have expressed a desire to sell their cars are rtorreca, yourself and capt386.
#2853 of 5443 hooray: transmission, bugs
Jul 06, 2002 (9:11 pm)
I have been experiencing two of the little bugs you mentioned on my 4/02 build ES300 and have gotten this feedback from my service manager via my salesman:
#1 - The A/C fan speed fluctuation after coming out of recirculation mode. I don't think it stays on high speed or on recirc. too long, but the fan speed does vary too often and noticeably after coming out of recirc mode. The feedback I got from the dealer - "the Air is fluctuating because it is automatically trying to keep the car at the temperature that you have set. It comes on and off repeatedly and this is normal to keep the car at that level. It's better to not use the automatic all the time. This will prevent you from having that come on and off all the time. But there is nothing wrong with it." I was driving today, and noticed this did not occur, so it must be a combination of circumstances that comes together to cause this.
#2 - The rough idle at starting. The dealer's service manager said this is a known issue, that Lexus is working on it, but there is no fix available yet. Probably they just have to set the idle about 100 rpm higher. Like you, it lasts about half a minute with me, and I've found it goes away if you just give it a little gas.
I have not investigated #3 as I haven't had any rear passengers, nor #4 as I don't let my car get below 1/4 of a tank, and usually fill it when it gets below 1/2.
As for the "transmission problem" I have not encountered it at all, but it just may be my driving style doesn't elicit the issue, or I haven't been in a situation that does.
I have to say that the little bugs mentioned above have in no way distracted from the enjoyment and driving pleasure I'm getting out of this car, and my totally positive experience with Hendrick Lexus here in Charlotte, NC - especially since I've just come out of a horrible experience that was my Jaguar X-Type, and the car before that, an Audi A4 that was also kind of disappointing.
#2854 of 5443 Car and Driver
Jul 07, 2002 (4:35 am)
The August issue of Car and Driver, on page 78 says:
"The new U150E electronically controlled five-speed transmission is the exact same box as the U140E four-speed installed in the old ES300, but with revised clutching that provides an extra overdrive gear. The only problem is that now that it has two overdrives, the transmission is reluctant to give them up.
More urgent downshifts would be welcome (although it may affect the heart rate) via a sport/economy button and some extra lines of software code. These buttons used to be on almost every Toyota product. where did they go?"
Sounds like a built in problem that Toyota will have to find a solution for. That is unless they decide to consider it "normal".
I don't own an ES300. I'm just an interested bystander that thought you might find that useful.
#2855 of 5443 lease prices
Jul 07, 2002 (7:49 am)
can anyone offer help on lease for 36-39 months,zero cap cost just inceptions, 15k/yr on es300. is it possible to lease for no more than 500/month
#2856 of 5443 ES300 transmission concerns
Jul 07, 2002 (8:44 am)
After reading several posts about 02 ES300 transmission problems, I really went out to test mine by simulating conditions explained by other town hall posters. To be honest, I did experience what I would call a slight hesitation (something less than a second in duration) before the jolt of power, but nothing that I would consider abnormal myself. I mean no disrespect to Texas83 or other townhall members, but maybe it really is perception issue here. I also drive an LS400 and would agree that there is a longer period of hesitation in the ES300 transmission before downshifting into traffic, but nothing that has ever distracted myself or my wife in 3000 miles of ownership. To be honest, it really wouldn't have been something that I would have thought of had it not been brought to my attention through this board.
On a different note, I am still thoroughly enjoying our ES300, and have faithfully put 3000 miles on it (well, actually the wife mostly has). I recently took the Lexus to the dealership for the 3k service. The dealership was busy, so they let me have a GS430 loaner for the day. I have to say I am left very impressed with that vehicle. I found the GS430 to be sporty and more "executive" then the slightly more smooth and family oriented ES300. Surprisingly, I also found the GS430 interior to be smaller or at least more personal than the ES300. But, the power delivery was nothing short of addictive, and the sporty handling was better. I found the ride quality of the GS430 to be about as smooth as the ES300, but not as smooth as the LS400. Also, the Mark Levinson system sounds just as good, if not better in the GS430 than my ES300. Overall, when it comes time to replace my LS400 in the next year or so, I may be looking the way of the GS430.
#2857 of 5443 hooray; transmission and little bugs-shaking/rough idle
Jul 07, 2002 (10:20 am)
I am new to the "Town Hall" website and the reason I came aboard was to find out if anyone else was having the problems I am having with my 02ES300. I purchased the vehicle in March02 and I took my vehicle in for the 1k mile service and I also mentioned a problem I was having with the car "shaking" when I start up he ignition after not being driven overnight and idleing rather roughly. Well being that I had already driven it to the dealership here in Orlando, I assume they could not duplicate the problem because again, it only happens when I start the ignition after it has not been driven overnight or any longer than that. Well they told me that there was nothing wrong but was normal because of some "new emission system" in the vehicle. I know now that I was told that just to "pacify" me but I took the car home thinking that was the case. Anyway, another month or so went by and I noticed the problem even more. Sometimes I work at home and I may not drive the car for a whole day and when I was ready to drive it, the shaking got worse when I started the engine.
Well my husband also experienced the problem and not only that, we also heard a "grinding" noise on 2 separate occassions when we started the ignition. Now I knew this was not normal, especially for a Lexus. We decided that this car is going back to them and they better not tell me some sob story about the emission system this time.
Well this time I told them to keep the car for a few days and do not start the car until the 2nd day and they will definitely see the problem. Well sure enough, they did duplicate it and after me calling them (because I must say the Service Dept's Customer Service at Lexus of Orlando is not the best and "follow up" is not in their vocabulary), they informed me that it was the "FUEL REGULATOR" and they had to order the part. Well get this, the part was no where in the United States and had to come from Tokyo, Japan and that it would be about 7-10 days before it came in. Now they did put me in a loaner vehicle and I just kept it until my care was fixed 7-10 days later. Well that was not the case. I ended up being without my car for 3 weeks and 1 day total. Yes, I had a loaner and I should have been ok with that, but this was unacceptable. They could never tell me the status of the part and that it could be held up in customs and that is beyond their control. So, I called the Customer Satisfaction line and I must say they guy there was very nice and agreed to follow up with me but he also let me know that if it is held up in customs that there is nothing they can do.
Ok, to make this long story short. The part finally came in 3 weeks later and 5 calls to the dealership (by me of course, because again, they NEVER follow up). Well they put the part on my car and guess what..you got it, it is still shaking at start up. Now I am really upset. This is totally unacceptable, embarrasing and a major inconveneince. We are calling them back first thing in the morning to find out our next option. Based on the Lemon Law here in Florida, they have 3 attempts to fix the car and then we go through arbitration. They have 1 final attempt because they have had 2 chances so far. I do not want to go through this hassle but I refuse to be in a car over $30k and experience this problem so soon. I only have 4k miles on it because I didn't have it for 3 weeks to drive. I don't want this to affect any long term problems with the car and that is our biggest concern. I am totally disappointed!
#2858 of 5443 bexley / fwatson
Jul 07, 2002 (3:54 pm)
bexley - I'm also looking to replace my LS with a GS. Look for the 2004 GS...that's when the new design is coming out!
fwatson - Thanks for the article snip from C&D. I'll have to check that issue out.
#2859 of 5443 C&D REVIEW OF ES300
Jul 07, 2002 (5:53 pm)
Those who own the ES300 and have read the Car & Driver review of the car (August issue), what do you think? I read the review quickly, but the long and short of it seemed to be that the car is BORING: novocaine for the senses. Do you agree? Is it so wrong to make a car quiet?