Last post on Sep 22, 2012 at 9:23 AM
You are in the Lexus ES
What is this discussion about?
Lexus ES 300, Lexus ES 330, Transmission, Sedan
#557 of 1407 Re: 2005 es330 transmission [tprnj]
Sep 09, 2004 (8:36 am)
I am also looking into the 2005 ES 330 and have heard about transmission problems. Here is what was said on another popular discussion board. The first is by a car expert (test driver) and the second by a user. Hope this helps
If you drive around in D4 all of the time, you are effectively limiting your five-speed automatic to a four-speed automatic. This may limit problems if the car tends to shift in and out of 5th gear around town but your highway fuel mileage will suffer.
Most automatics now are electronically controlled - it's nothing special. I've seen a fair number of Toyota/Lexus owners complain here about shift behavior. I put a few hundred miles on our ES330 and didn't have any complaints about the shifting. Some automatics "learn" driver behavior and adjust shift points accordingly - that may affect this issue. It won't be a safety hazard; the worst ramification of the problem is that it makes a very smooth and refined car less smooth. We haven't seen any marked number of transmission problems in recent Toyota/Lexus products.
When I bought my new es330 month ago I faced little shifting issues. I later learned that I was driving in wrong gear(D). I was told to drive in D4 gear and Shifting issues has practically gone away. If you have any questions give me call at 408-391-3146
I suggest you test drive this car a lot before making this purchase. I test drove comparable cars like g35, 325 and s60 sport. But after driving es330 they dont even come close as far as smooth ride, quietness is concened.
#558 of 1407 Re: 2005 es330 transmission [dsmoothe]
Sep 09, 2004 (1:24 pm)
I disagree with the previous message. I actually own and drive this car - unlike the 'expert' who doesn't.
First, putting the car into 4th gear all the time lessens the problem, but does not eliminate it. I've tried it and the problem still occurs - just not as often.
As for 'it won't be a safety hazard', he's dreaming. When you step hard on the gas, there's often a second or two delay before the car begins to accelerate. In many situations (like pulling onto a busy on-ramp), that second or two hesitation could cause a serious accident.
Finally, as for 'we haven't seen a marked number of transmission problems', he sounds like a paid Toyota spokesman. This problem is widespread as evidenced by over 100 complaints to NHTSA, hundreds of complaints here, and other web sites with hundreds of complaints.
#559 of 1407 Resistance to transmission problem
Sep 09, 2004 (3:50 pm)
I really don't understand the resistance to accepting the fact that the ES330 has a transmission problem. There are only three things I can think of;
1) Denial - many people don't want to
admit they made a bad purchase because it is
2) Lexus name - they can't have a transmission
problem - "it's a Lexus"
3) Mine works - therefore yours must
All illogical - and all display a lack of understanding the big picture about how vehicles are manufactured. (Every year cars are manufactured with major problems).
#560 of 1407 Re: Resistance to transmission problem [georgeb7]
Sep 09, 2004 (4:40 pm)
If you read the carpoint.msn.com review you will see that the transmission problem is being felt by some of the reviewers. Now the question remains is it an isolated problem afflicting just a handful of cars or does the 02+ ES300/330 has a fundamental flaw in the way the transmission was designed. Lexus does sell a lot of ES300/330 (around 25K a year); so the question is despite the transmission flaw people are still buying this car and overall review of the car has been pretty good. I guess the positive does outweigh the negative.
#561 of 1407 Re: Resistance to transmission problem [motownusa]
Sep 13, 2004 (6:31 pm)
At the risk of beating a dead horse (I note that many of those who purchased an ES300 at the same time I did do not post as much as they once did), I am convinced that the problem is there in all ES300s/330s.
I believe that the most likely reason for the varying reports is that the degree to which each driver perceives the same symptom varies.
I also suspect that varying driving styles result in different frequency and intensity of having the symptom occur.
I actually was a passenger in a vehicle (not an ES300) where the driver did not maintain a steady gas flow to the engine even while maintaining a constant speed. The driver kept backing off and depressing the accellerator to the point where I felt as though she kept slowing down and speeding up ever so slightly. Such a driver would find the ES300 transmission a nightmare!!
#562 of 1407 It's more than a Lexus transmission issue.
Sep 14, 2004 (12:34 pm)
This issue extends beyond the Lexus line of vehicles. It extends into the Toyota cars too with drive by wire and the 5 sp automatic.
I have a 2004 Sienna with the same engine/tranny config as the ES. The hesitation is terrible there too. Even my wife, who never has any complaints about acceleration says it is terrible.
I attended Lexus' Taste of Luxury event this weekend, and let me tell you the hesitation is painfully obvious when you move from one car back to the ES or RX. You can floor it and wait for 1-2 seconds for it to respond. Try flooring the BMW 330 or 530 or the Infiniti G and see what happens.
Overall Lexus/Toyota build great cars but the new trannys need help.
#563 of 1407 Re: mrdlexus [davidz]
Sep 19, 2004 (11:12 am)
The ES330 transmission "learns" your driving pattern. If you are an aggressive driver, you will regret your decision to purchase this vehicle. The transmission problems are real and Lexus corporate doesn't care. The drive by wire lag is not the major problem, it is the inability of the car to decide what gear it needs to be in that is really annoying.
#564 of 1407 ES330 was my worst car purchase in 15 years
Sep 19, 2004 (11:21 am)
The transmission problems are very real. The drive by wire lag is not the biggest issue. The main issue is the transmission cannot decide what gear to shift into and hesitates. I am used to the drive by wire lag, but the hesitation the car has while the transmission decides what gear to use is an engineering defect. The only thing worse than the defect is the Lexus "head in the sand" approach to the problem. The 2004 ES330 that I have is my first and last Lexus.
#566 of 1407 2005 ES330 definitely has a transmission problem
Sep 20, 2004 (10:03 am)
i test drove a fully loaded 2005 ES 330 and definitely noticed the transmission problem. at every stop sign, when i stepped on the gas, the car would hesitate for a couple of seconds before picking up.
i also test drove a 2005 camry xle v6 and noticed the same problem there as well. no wonder toyota has already started giving $500 cash back on the camry's in barely their first month of the new model year!
other than this, the es330 had a smooth and quiet ride with a luxurious feel. after the es330 experience i was hoping to test drive the acura tl, but its interior was revolting, to say the least. we didn't even bother for a test drive on the acura.
it's amazing that inspite of this being a known issue for a long time, toyota/lexus has not bothered to rectify it for the new model year.