Last post on Sep 22, 2012 at 10:23 AM
You are in the Lexus ES
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Lexus ES 300, Lexus ES 330, Transmission, Sedan
#380 of 1407 loud grinding noise when putting car in gear
Dec 21, 2003 (7:41 pm)
i have a 1996 lexus es 300. 2 days ago i noticed this grinding noise coming from the front driver side whenever i turned my wheel left. today, when i went to drive my car, the noise was twice as loud and prevented me from even moving the vehicle. as soon as i shift the car from park to neutral/drive/ or reverse it makes the loudest grinding noise and does not move at all. its as if the car completely locks up!!!
#381 of 1407 carswelljr
Dec 22, 2003 (8:07 am)
Sorry to hear about your transmission problem. The tranny problem most of the people on this board are having is related to the software given the '02 and '03's. It may be a problem for the '04 as well. Grinding isn't a software issue. Better spend the dough on a mechanic.
#382 of 1407 Atlanta Corporate Office
Dec 22, 2003 (8:14 am)
I talked with a manufacturer's rep in the Atlanta office on Thursday. He acknowledged that many people are unhappy with the transmission. He said the Lexus engineers are happy with the latest software upgrade for the transmission and that no other upgrades will be forthcoming. Wish I could find a lawyer. Unfortunately the lawyers want me injured or dead before I contact them. It makes their case so much easier. If I get fat from eating at McDonald's I can find any attorney to represent me. But, make it a dangerous mechanical problem and they want people hurt. Please file your grievances with the National Highway Transportation Agency. By constant complaining, it's one of the best and cheapest ways to get Lexus to fix this problem. Please don't let this website be your only outlet to get Lexus to fix this transmission issue.
#383 of 1407 Transmission problem
Jan 02, 2004 (4:48 pm)
The transmission on my 2002 ES300 lurches when accelerating after slowing almost to a stop. When I press hard on the accelerator on the freeway to pass, the transmission hesitates and then downshifts two gears and the engine goes up to over 4000 rpm. After this 2 or 3 second delay, the car speeds up. I consider that dangerous! When going up a hill near home, the transmission gets up to 3000 rpm and will not downshift. Switching from D to 4 and back causes the transmission to up-shift to a comfortable rpm. I have mentioned it several times and I always get put off by the service representative. I guess I need to go higher!
#384 of 1407 Update: '04 ES330 Transmission
Jan 03, 2004 (11:56 am)
I just received the new issue of Consumers Reports. In this issue they tested the 2004 Lexus ES330. Here is a quote concerning the transmission: "The five-speed automatic transmission is smooth, but not always responsive when downshifting." This unresponsiveness has been an ongoing gripe among many owners of '02-'04 ES's.
Lexus: WAKE UP AND SMELL THE ROSES!
#385 of 1407 '03 ES300 transmission follies
Jan 04, 2004 (2:43 pm)
It's time for the second oil change on my '03 ES300 and I've been pondering the "chip" change to improve transmission performance. I received my "letter" from Lexus in September '03. Before agreeing to it, however, I wanted to read these boards and am now glad I did.
My experience has been like that of many owners, however, I think I'll stick with what I've got instead of going for the "enhancement" which probably won't ensure perfection. This is what I suspected...........
My shifting problems only occur occasionally, and usually when I'm on a "hill" here in the L.A. area. When going downhill, just coasting and braking, THAT'S when the problem is the worst. Luckily, I don't have to do that too often.
On freeways (NOT commute times, LOL) the car is a dream, truly -- it accelerates beautifully, reaching cruising speed quickly and without glitch. It rolls along steadily and quietly with no problems and de-celerates nicely. It's just those darned "hills" on occasion, but on a steep grade such as the Conejo in Ventura County, again the car accelerates perfectly and without hesitation. I zoom from 25 to 75 in a couple of seconds, passing every vehicle on the road without so much as a hint of transmission change. That would NOT be true, of course, if someone got in my way and I had to brake or remove my foot from the gas pedal.
Even more rarely, on a city street, if I accelerate quickly away from a stop sign or light without having come to a complete stop first, the car will lurch forward but it doesn't seem dangerous to me as it doesn't move all that much. I see this as a good reminder to me to come to complete stops.
To sum up, it seems that quickie stops and starts are what cause the transmission jerkiness most often. This should NOT be happening, of course, but overall this is a great car and most of the time the "jerking" can be avoided.
I will tell the dealership about my decision NOT to put in the "enhancement" and WHY, and I will definitely tell them I am NOT 100% pleased with the transmission, as they need to know how we all feel.
Unless something else happens down the line, however, I will not be seeking legal counsel, etc., as some here have chosen to do. I agree with voicing displeasure and even if the majority of owners do not complain, the numbers are significant enough that Toyota/Lexus SHOULD make restitution to the really dissatisfied owners.
My last car was a '93 Nissan Altima, 4 cyl. engine. That little car could zoom around, too, but believe me, it was NO pleasure trying to reach higher speeds on freeways or accelerating up any hills whatsoever. Talk about feeling the gears shifting. WHOA!!!!
I have been told over and over that the ES300 is NOT a high performance car -- the salespersons at Lexus admitted the G35 Infiniti has taken quite a bite out of their sales for that very reason. I note there are a lot of young males driving that G35, probably due to its "performance." I had thought about the G35 for myself, and drove one, but for my needs, the ES300 was better, i.e, middle-aged female who is not the "high performance" type.
Good luck to all with your ES cars.
#386 of 1407 Lexus ES330 - transmission
Jan 04, 2004 (2:46 pm)
I wonder if there is a problem connection between a transmission with Vehicle Stability Control and one without it? Could that be the differewnce between owners who have problems and those who dont?
#387 of 1407 The letter for tranny upgrade?
Jan 04, 2004 (11:28 pm)
encinowoman, when did you get your 03 and what's the mfg date (mm/yy) of the car? Is the letter supposed to be received by all 03/02 owners after certain months from the purchase date?
shopper652, why did you think it to do with VSC or not? Mine has no VSC and I've not experienced the said tranny problems yet. I think my 03 was made right b4 they stopped 03 production.
#388 of 1407 Trans problems ES330
Jan 05, 2004 (6:09 pm)
I am not a mechanic, my comment about whether or not the VSC could have some effect on the problems I have been reading here, is based on the fact that I do not see anyone comment if they have VSC or not. I thought it might have by pure speculation on my part. Since I intend to purchase one soon it was something I am interested in. Id still like to know if the Trans problems are with both VSC cars and those without. Thanks.
#389 of 1407 My problem ES had the VSC.
Jan 05, 2004 (6:55 pm)