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
#3315 of 5443 My 2003 ES 300
Nov 04, 2002 (9:57 am)
Just picked up a loaded ES 300 two weeks ago, and though still early, it is PERFECT in every way (traction control, navigation system, Mark Levinson audio system). I just turned in a Mercedes C 240, and there's no comparison, the Lexus is a much better ride. The Mercedes E class is more comparable to the Lexus. I especially love the soft ride; I don't need to "feel" the road beneath me.
#3316 of 5443 www.protechtransmissions.com
Nov 04, 2002 (3:29 pm)
I visited your website: www.protechtransmissions.com, and I see that you make transmission chips for several Lexus vehicles. www.edmunds.com has a Townhall section titled, "Lexus ES300." If you visit the site, you will see that some 2002 ES300 owners appear to have a transmission chip problem. Would you consider making a chip to help them?
I sent the above email today. I will post a response if I receive one.
#3317 of 5443 rtorreca - It appears as though you are right
Nov 04, 2002 (6:57 pm)
Nothing like the tranny to inspire the board. I guess we are into dead horses.
The info I received concurs with what you said about the transmission "learning". A service tech told me that the learning occurs in a very few miles. Also, I have driven several vehicles on test drives and they all felt the same to me. I could repeat the symptom on my car.
I also believe that you stated a similar experience. That is, when you test drive other vehicles, they feel the same as your car.
#3318 of 5443 sliang - Test drove again
Nov 04, 2002 (7:16 pm)
I test drove my car to see if I could repeat previous transmission symptom. It still seems as though the transmission does not respond well to situations where no or little gas is flowing through after which the driver expects instantaneous response to heavy gas application. You are just never going to "peel out" in this car.
I will wait with interest to see if the symptom completely disappears at 15K. It will probably take awhile though, since I don't expect to have 15K miles on my car any time soon. (I estimate that I put will 8000 miles per year on my car max under normal conditions).
#3319 of 5443 rtorreca - Your car may be worse..
Nov 04, 2002 (7:20 pm)
than the average.
If I understand you correctly, you report a problem in the opposite situation that I call out. Specifically, you feel the symptoms when slowing down, or with a lessening of gas through the system.
I only feel the symptom when I expect the car to respond instantaneously to heavy gas application, NOT in situations where I just back off the gas as would happen when slowing for a turn..
If I back off the gas, I don't get a hesitation unless I try and floor it afterwards.
#3320 of 5443 atoews - symptom
Nov 04, 2002 (8:27 pm)
Actually I feel the symptom not when slowing down but when I start accelerating out of the turn. I guess it's pretty much the same symptom you are experiencing.
Nov 05, 2002 (5:28 am)
I believe this is related to the 5-speed transmission that the Lexus employs. Both the 4th and the 5th gears are overdrive gears. The 5th is especially highly over-driven. The car is basically programmed to hold onto the 5th gear (for fuel efficiency purposes). The overdriven nature of the 5th gear is the bane of acceleration and unfortunately, the programming of the transmission code, inordinately delays a kickdown into the 3rd gear (that is the nearest available nonoverdrive gear, which is needed for acceleration). Lexus needs to fix this programming of their firmware.
Most 5-speed automatics have their 4th gear as non-overdrive (for a quick kickdown for acceleration) and the 5th would be over-drive (for fuel efficiency). The Acura 3.2TL/TL-s Automatics also have the 4th and 5th gears as over-drive gears, but it is programmed to swiftly kick down into the 3rd gear, when you mash the gas pedal. Lexus needs to re-program the shift characteristic of their 5-speed.
Over-drive gears = Good for fuel efficiency, bad for acceleration.
Non-overdrive gears = Good for acceleration, bad for fuel efficiency.
Nov 05, 2002 (8:47 am)
Do you think a firmware fix will also fix the shuddering/jerking of the transmission? I would imagine the firmware would only change the shift points of the gears. Even when driving on 4, the downshift to 3 is still quite jolting when accelerating out of a 90 degree turn.
The shuddering is probably mechanical and no amount of chip programming could fix it. That is probably why Lexus has not fixed the issue because it will be very expensive to replace trannies of several thousand 02 ES's. I hope I'm wrong.
Nov 05, 2002 (9:35 am)
I think there are 2 conflicting things here, trying to happen simultaneously. The transmission hardware is trying to react to the mashing of the gas pedal by trying to kickdown (to the 4th gear and below for acceleration) based on how that part of the firmware is programmed, while the other programming (relating to fuel efficiency) is trying to hold onto the 5th gear, which due to some reason is not linked to the input from the gas pedal. Is this causing the shuddering ?? By the time the priority is decided (hold onto 5th gear or kickdown to 3rd), there is a delay, that is noticeably felt by the driver. Then BOOM...you are in 3rd and off you go.
This is almost like 2 related things that should operate hand-in-hand, trying to operate independently of the other, thus causing a reaction conflict and a lag before the priority is decided. Maybe I am wrong...but it is just a thought.
The gearing of the IS300/GS300 5-speeds etc are completely different, and maybe Lexus thinks that those cars are going to be driven in a more sporty manner (as opposed to sedately), due to which the priority is accorded to the kickdown as opposed to holding onto 5th ?
#3324 of 5443 Radio Question
Nov 06, 2002 (11:17 am)
For those with the navigation system, I have a question.
When the screen is showing the six preset radio stations, the "buttons" show the preset station frequency (i.e. 92.7).
Just the other day I noticed one of the six buttons now has the call letters (i.e. WNEZ) along with the frequency. The letters only show up with one preset, not the other five.
Does anyone know why this happens? Or do you have a similar experience?