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
#729 of 1407 Re: Newest Transmission Upgrade - April 2005 [bkinblk]
May 31, 2005 (8:09 pm)
OK.......I have only driven about 300 miles on my car(2003 ES) since this re-flash of the ECM and so far everything is about the same as the day I picked it up from my dealer......great!
One of the other members(steviej-2002 ES), from from the 'Lexus Owners' messageboard has driven his car approximately 1500 miles, and here are his findings:
"It has been almost 1500 miles since the reflash. (A round trip from Boston to Toronto will do that to your odometer)
1. The shifting is still very pleasing to me.
2. There is no joggle at 40 mph.
3. The shifting on the highway is very nice when passing and getting up to speed rapidly.
4. Only once did I feel the dreaded redline and no shifting. However, it was from 10 mph, I floored it, going up a steep hill while turning right coming out of a mall.
5. I am in learning mode too, so I am still getting used to the shifting. I keep expecting the old tranny to come back. So far so good.
My travel to Toronto and back was all major highways. I averaged 29.5 mpg for the entire trip, and it was mostly driving 75-80 mph.
I will post in two or three tankfuls the mpg for around town driving.
So, at this point I have to say that everything seems to be A-OK.
#730 of 1407 Re: Newest Transmission Upgrade - April 2005 [amf1932]
Jun 01, 2005 (6:55 am)
Thanks so much for the update. I hope other Lexus owners with the same upgrade will report as you have. Maybe the "poor mans Lexus" er, a , I mean, Toyota people, will provide us with an effective ECU reprogram in the near future.
#731 of 1407 Re: TSB TC004-03 Transmission Firmware Upgrade
Jun 02, 2005 (6:28 pm)
I have posted my impressions of the ES 300 transmission many times on this website over the past 2 years of my experience driving this vehicle.
I had the latest software "patch" completed about 3 weeks ago and have subsequently driven about 1300 miles. This was mostly highway driving at speeds of 60-80 mph, but at least 300 miles of city stop and go and speeds from 0 - 50.
I will be as objective as I can, since I think this is extremely important given the significant (3+ years) history of documented problems with the 2002-2005 ES 300/330 transmission.
First of all, the service writer at my Lexus dealership (whom I have the greatest respect for) told me that I should expect the car to drive "just like it did when it was new". I have read this comment in several posts above and believe that it comes from Lexus headquarters. He also described that the change is primarily in adding new "shift points" which have been set higher to allow higher rpm and vehicle speed prior to shifting. He also said that it will take several thousand miles for the car to re-learn my driving habits - as before and as is characteristic of the "drive by wire" throttle system on the ES, RX, etc.
My experience is that the shift points are indeed higher. Shifting from 1st to 2nd is not noticeable, but shifting from 2nd to 3rd and 3rd to 4th occurs at rpm close to 4000. I believe the car use to shift at around 2300rpm. The result is that I have noticed that the engine tends to "race" a bit when accelerating quickly from stop to highway speed. Personally I don't mind this change.
The other noticeable improvement is that when driving in stop and go traffic below 25 mph, the transmission doesn't "search" for the appropriate gear as much as before. It stays in 2nd longer and therefore the "abrupt" and "rough" shifting that was extremely annoying to me while in rush hour commuting (characteristic of the ES) is significantly improved.
The most noticeable "rough" shifting has occurred while accelerating up hill at around 30-40 mph. This was very rough and "worse" than I had remembered experiencing before the "upgrade".
I averaged about 28.5 mpg on a highway trip of 1000 miles, which I believe is similar to slightly better than what I had experienced prior to the upgrade. My usual daily commute average was closer to 22.5 mpg prior to upgrade, and I'm anxious to see how that compares - post upgrade.
Overall, I am cautiously optimistic that I will see some improvement. To quote Ronald Reagan, "trust but verify".
One other observation: while my '03 was in getting service, I was given a '05 model that demonstrated the same "hesitation, rough-shifting", and "gear-searching" that has been reported frequently in the posts above. I can't understand why some drivers of the ES don't notice these problems, which are clearly present in every ES that I have driven since 2002. I assumed that the loaner hadn't had the "upgrade" completed yet. It had about 8,000 miles on the odo, if I remember.
#732 of 1407 Re: TSB TC004-03 Transmission Firmware Upgrade [toydriver]
Jun 04, 2005 (10:10 am)
Thanks for the informative summary. I just had the upgrade installed on my 2002 ES300 yesterday. I have driven about 100 miles of pure highway (60-75 mph) driving since the upgrade.
I feel as though the experience is rougher on the highway than it was before the upgrade, which is what has been advertised. There was a little bit of slipping/surging but it is not too bad, however.
Perhaps my highway experience stems from the upgraded transmission not having learned my driving style but I doubt it. I have driven numerous ES300/ES330s and my experience is that the "learning" thing does not have a large impact. I do not experience my own vehicle (which supposedly knows my driving style) much differently than I do the loaners I have driven.
When I have driven more in-city stop and go driving, I'll provide an update on that.
By the way, toydriver, I am with you in that I do not understand how some owners do not experience the symptom.
#733 of 1407 2202-ES upgrade
Jun 05, 2005 (3:55 am)
I had posted a few weeks back that I had the new upgrade put on my car. After looking at the work order closely it said it had been installed which I assume was the upgrade I had done about a year ago. I reported that the car was running great. Well it only lasted about 2 weeks. I guess when the firmware level was check it reset the computer.
#734 of 1407 Re: TSB TC004-03 Transmission Firmware Upgrade [atoews]
Jun 06, 2005 (4:17 pm)
Not every lexus owner reports the problem because not everyone has it. My 2005 has 7,000 miles and knock wood, not the problems you all have.
I have driven some with the issue and some without.
I do hope the latest fix is truly that because a lot of folks are unhappy.
#735 of 1407 Re: TSB TC004-03 (bikegal)
Jun 06, 2005 (4:41 pm)
I hope for your sake that your car remains problem free. Many ES owners began to experience the transmission issues after several thousand miles. On the other hand, maybe your car had the upgrade at the factory.
#736 of 1407 Re: TSB TC004-03 Transmission Firmware Upgrade [bikegal]
Jun 06, 2005 (8:02 pm)
Well, you have to believe one of two things:
1) This is a Toyota drive-train design issue
2) It is not a design issue, but some individual vehicle issue.
I believe it is a design issue, which means that all vehicles are impacted to one degree or another. I have driven 7 or 8 ES300/330s and have been able to repeat the problem in all of them. The problem does not feel identical in all vehicles, but it is close enough for me to conclude it is the same problem and it is in all vehicles. I am convinced that differences among drivers' experiences are more a result of varying driver perception than of actual design or manufacturing differences from one vehicle to the next. I might take it one step further and say that driver perception depends somewhat on the gap between drivers' expectations of what it should feel like versus what it really does feel like. I recall my sister saying she felt it but did not think it was a big deal.
I agree with many on this forum. It may not be a big deal on a less expensive car, but this is supposed to be a high class somewhat luxurious vehicle. The hesitating drive train should be somewhat of an embarrassment to a company who touts its "passionate pursuit of perfection". Well, they missed the mark on this one and it seems they should take responsibility for it. That they refuse to admit or accept that they missed the perfection mark on this vehicle is almost as irritating to me as is the problem itself and I suspect that a lot of owners share my sentiments.
#737 of 1407 Re: TSB TC004-03 Transmission Firmware Upgrade [atoews]
Jun 07, 2005 (5:03 am)
I agree that this is a design issue. What I find amazing is that many people on this forum write about how they hope that Lexus fixes this problem because they really want to get an ES-330. I think that any car company, especially a "premier" company such as Lexus, that treats owners the way that ES-330 owners have been treated, is not to be trusted.
I view the ES-330 as an entry level vehicle for Lexus. If this is how Lexus is going to treat me with the ES, there is no way that I will move up the model chain. As the saying goes, fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
#738 of 1407 Re: TSB TC004-03 Transmission Firmware Upgrade [shocaser]
Jun 07, 2005 (8:12 am)
I think Lexus is merely a division of Toyota isn't it?
FWIW: there are owners in the Engine Hesitation - All Makes and Models forum reporting hesitation in Camry and Highlander vehicles as well for those interested in the topic.