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Lexus ES 300/ES 330



  • Thank you for a quick response. Maybe I've never noticed this sound on my other cars, because the ambient noise was loud enough to drown out this A/C sound.
    I took the car into the shop anyway, and hoping that the mechanic will come to some conclusion, since he already replaced my A/C belt.
    Thanks again.
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 853
    I will be anxious to hear if he can "fix" it. I have not noticed this sound on other cars that I have driven. It sure did bother me when I drove the ES300 though, but I am very sensitive to those type of sounds. Please let us know how it turns out.
  • I've just talked to the service manager, and he told me that it was freon flow sound. He told me that it was perfectly normal for this car. I'm getting another mechanic friend to take a look at it while he's changing my brake rotors and pads. I've driven my father-in-law's LX470 and his GS300, and I've never noticed this noise before. I too am very sensitive car sounds, and it still bothers me. At least I have on paper that I had it looked at for noise, so if the A/C compressor fails on me, I can trace it back to this event.
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 853
    Thanks for your reply. I agree with the service manager that it is normal for this car but I still do not like it and it did bother me too. The "freon flow sound" is completely plausible.
  • ljwalters1ljwalters1 Posts: 294
    I have some q.s about the voice features of the nav system:

    1. Does the system allow you to input addresses using your voice? Both street numbers and street names?

    2. Is the nav system integrated with other features, like climate control and radio? My TL allows me to say "Temperature 70 degrees," and then makes the appropriate change.

    3. Can you input data while driving?

    4. Is it also a touchscreen system?

    Thanks for all your help.
  • I bought a 2005 ES330 from Lexus Kearny Mesa in December 2004. I have about 3,300 miles on it. I am experiencing the transmission hesitation problem. Had I known about this problem (I should have researched Web sites like this), I NEVER would have bought this car.

    I have a typical hour-long southern California commute to work that involves stop-start driving, constantly going between first and second gears. The car frequently lurches forward, to the point where I often don't feel I have control of the car. For me, this isn't just an issue of annoyance; it borders on unsafe. For a $35,000 car, this problem is unacceptable, particularly given Lexus's reputation for quality. Like many others above, I was told at the dealership that "the car is performing as designed" and "you'll get used to it soon". Nonsense.

    I called the Lexus Customer Satisfaction Dept. at 1-800-255-3987 and the guy I talked with said they get complaints about the ES's transmission "daily". I am disappointed that this problem -- one that clearly many people know about -- was never disclosed by the Lexus sales staff.

    I have already filed a report with the National Highway Safety Administration (1-800-424-9393) and am filing written complaints with Lexus and Consumers Union. I urge others who are having this transmission/acceleration problem to take action. It's clearly the only way we're going to get results.
  • jf02fwdjf02fwd Posts: 7
    See messages 4775 and 4782. You may be able to improve performance by "reprogramming" with a more aggressive driving style. I got my '05 this month (Jan. build date) and it has some of the sluggishness, delayed throttle response mentioned by others on this board. (It is a lot like my '02 Highlander in this respect.) I plan to try the aggressive driving style mentioned by others in hopes of improving response. I would not classify my car as exhibiting anything approaching unsafe performance...just mildly annoying. I went into the purchase eyes open, having read this board thoroughly. Good luck.
  • turnbowmturnbowm Posts: 76
    For me, it was a deal-breaker. There is no excuse for having hesitation/transmission shifting issues in a car at this price point.

    The wife's '98 ES300 seems to be the one with the advanced technology!

  • about2buyabout2buy Posts: 12
    In answer to your questions:

    1. No. You input street addresses, numbers via the touch screen. No voice commands for that.

    2. No. Temperature is set via regular buttons not on the touch screen and not via voice. The radio stations are set via the touch screen although you can command the audio on or off via voice.

    3. No. You can give it the pre-determined voice commands while you drive and you can use the touch screen for things like changing the radio stations and the views of the maps but you can not, for example, change the destination information (things you would use the touch pad to do) while the car is moving. The touch screen actually dims those buttons once the car is in motion.

    4. Yes. (See above)

    I find that the voice commands are frequently misunderstood by the system while the car is in motion. I'm told by the dealer that it's the background noise of the movement the causes the system to get the voice commands wrong.
  • ventureventure Central PAPosts: 445

    "For me, it was a deal-breaker."

    Me too - that and the uncomfortable drivers seat. I only drove the car for about 15 minutes, but the hesitation was horrible. (The drivers seat felt "lumpy" too)

    I'm picking up my BMW this afternoon. :shades:

    2014 Fusion, 2013 Impreza, 2011 Forester

  • cfazzaricfazzari Posts: 77
    You guys are scaring the crap out of me! I was at the auto show last night (Twice this week...loved it). I'm looking for 1) Performance 2) Styling 3) Comfort in that order. I just ASSUMED Lexus would have it all. I'm a little disappointed by the interior - it appears to be a bit bland. But I'm still of the biased opinion that when I'm ready to buy Lexus will simply be the best performer - it would be my first and only import. I'd like to hear from some defenders of this model PLEASE.
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 853
    You definitely need to look and try out the Toyota Camry. It really does drive as nice as the ES330 and it is just as quiet too. Consumer Reports even went as far as to say that the Camry actually outscored the ES330 overall. There is no doubt that the ES330 is a real nice car but it does cost you a considerable amount.
  • bikegalbikegal Posts: 50
    I had both a Camry and now the 2005 ES. I would not trade the ES for a Camry.

    I loved my Camry but the Lexus is a step up in many aspects. It is smoother, quicker and loaded with creature comforts like leather heated/cooled seats, moonroof, real wood accents, HID, rear shade, 6 disc CD changer and a four year warranty.

    Found the dealership to be much better, too. My car came with summer tires, a fact I didn't realize until the day I picked up my car. The dealer gave me five of the newest Michelins THREE WEEKS later at no charge when I asked for them. Just stamped the paperwork "goodwill." Would Toyota do that? Maybe, maybe not.

    I have 4,000 miles on my car as of today. Initially I felt some hesitation when driving 1-5 miles. But it wasn't consistent. I don't have the 1-2 second lag/hesitation some folks do when merging, accelerating, passing.

    I would recommend the car.

    Good luck.
  • cfazzaricfazzari Posts: 77
    One thing I may not have mentioned here in this forum - the car I buy will need to be very tough and durable. I do NOT stress a car unnecessarily but I DO run the car over some of the toughest roads in the Northeastern U.S. My 1999 dodge Intrepid has 146,000 Miles on it and while the drivetrain is superb (and original) the suspension system on the car is taking a beating - it's gotten mushy on rough roads even though I've spent quite a bit on replacing the front end components.
    My question to Camry and ES 330 Owners - How do you think your cars will hold up to a 6-Foot 230 Pound guy behind the wheel, all types of weather and washboard roads?
  • turnbowmturnbowm Posts: 76

    Yeah, it's hard to believe that Lexus screwed up such a good car. A new ES330 with the styling and driveability of the wife's 98 ES300 would have been a no-brainer for me.

    I was also impressed with the BMW "driving experience" and should be getting my new 2005 530i next week. Hope you enjoy yours.

  • Back in Nov, I purchased a 2005 ES and posted all my particulars here. Basically, the $35,709 msrp version...loaded except Nav/ML.
    I have been reading about the reported hesitation/transmission problems, and thought that I had been spared. However, today I took it in for the 5k service and had a 2004 ES loaner. I found the loaner to be much smoother than my car, in terms of smooth up and downshifting and a more responsive throttle. When I picked up my car, I mentioned this to the service writer and inquired about why this may be so (different size tires, etc?). He told me that last night(4/1) at 5pm, a new TSB came in with some kind of re-program for the "intelligent" transmission on the 2005...erase the memory, drive normal, whatever. I had the service dept do this fix right then, rather than wait until the 10k service. Took about 2 hours, and I immediately noticed that my car is now much smoother and more responsive...just like the loaner. I have only driven about 15 miles since the fix, but so far so good. Interesting thing, I would not have known that my car had the issue had I not driven the loaner. I guess ignorance is bliss.
    The problem may be that since the car learns "your " driving behavior, it may be picking up bad habits when driving in stop and go traffic (the story of my life...about 1 hour per day on Capitol Beltway in DC area).
    I hope the fix holds. I guess we'll see. Thought this story may be of interest to some of you. No, it's not an April Fool's joke, unless the dealer's story about the TSB was one on me.
  • future1future1 Posts: 103
    "He told me that last night(4/1) at 5pm, a new TSB came in with some kind of re-program for the "intelligent" transmission on the 2005...erase the memory, drive normal, whatever."

    Can you provide more specifics about this fix? The throttle delay still bother me in my 2005 ES330, and I really don't want to get used to it. Is there some number or name assigned to this TSB?
  • The writer told me it was a brand new TSB for the 2005. I believe he said it would erase the "memory" of the "intelligent" transmission (which he added he thought was too smart for its own good), and allow it to re-learn my driving habits. He said to drive as I normally would after the erasure. He also said that in the past (for 2003 something like this was done) some owners said it solved the issue, others said it did not. For me, I definitely noticed a difference in the throttle response and shifting pattern immediately...I guess the the transmission characteristics are on the ground floor as of this point, and it will now go about "learning" my driving behavior and incorporating it as we go along. My plan is to introduce an aggressive style, since an aggressive style of driving usually implies quick throttle response and upshift points at higher RPMs. We'll see how that goes. That's all I know. Don't know the name or number of this TSB.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    You can look up TSBs here by going to the home page of, then to the Tips & Advice tab, and then to the Maintenance Costs link, which you will see directly beneath the tabs. If you want more detail, you can then go to our Technical Service Bulletins discussion and ask 0patience and alcan to look it up for you.
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 853
    Pat, I looked it up as you described but it lists that there is no TSB for the 2005 ES330.
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