Lexus ES Solving Rattles and Noises

hmkimhmkim Member Posts: 1
edited April 2014 in Lexus
I have 4k miles on my '06 ES330 and two noise problems.

1. I recently started to hear crackling noise from the dashboard or the driver's seat. It's hard to locate the exact noise source, but probably it's coming from somewhere in the dashboard. Has anyone had this kind of problem?

2. I hear noise from the right front side only when driving 50-60mph. It's not mechanical noise. It's something like what you hear when you hit an empty plastic bottle. What could be this?


  • ray_h1ray_h1 Member Posts: 1,134
    Your car's bumper-to-bumper warranty covers these niggling issues. It's one of the reasons you bought a new Lexus instead of a fifteen year old Yugo. It's Lexus Division of Toyota's problem - whatever in the world are you waiting for? (Shoot, the dealership will even give you the use of a loaner car... ;))
  • rggsimsrggsims Member Posts: 6
    My Lexus has been rattling since I bought it. There were three different noises. The overhead console rattled continuously and the dealer said that there was a window installation clip left in place. They removed it seemed to go away for a while but now it is back. The other noises seem to come from the passenger side above the window. I have spent many driving hours leaning over trying to figure out what is rattling.
  • zekeman1zekeman1 Member Posts: 422
    So what are you doing about it other than complaining? Have you taken it back to the dealership for additional investigation????
  • rggsimsrggsims Member Posts: 6
    Actually the car has been in the dealer twice for the rattles along with other issues. The dealer said they removed a window installation clip which was left in by mistake. I didn't sound logical to me at the time. The rattle in the overhead console went away for a while but now it is back. Since the rattles are intermittent and since the dealer is not near by, dropping everything and heading to the dealer when it is making noise is not so easy. What I was hoping is that someone else may have had the same issue so when I take it in, I might be able to suggest something.
  • tomdtomd Member Posts: 87
    In my '04 ES330, there are four things relating to rattles/noises. Anyone have any of these:

    1. When I am driving with my arm resting on the center armrest, the armrest rattles like crazy.
    2. The rubber footrest for the left foot "squeaks" like crazy when you exert pressure with your foot. This happens just due to normal shifts in driving position. At first I thought it was the seat but it's not.
    3. The plastic housing around the rear view mirrow is really cheesy. When you grab it to position the mirror, the plastic creaks and squeaks. It's actually embarrassing.
    4. The driver's inside door pull handle makes a plastic creaking sound when you open the door.

    I think that Lexus has cut corners in some places that are making the car look cheap. Does anyone know if they give their Engineers and manufacturing people cars to drive ( if not free, then at a very steep discount)so they can discover these problems for themselves? I've always thought that it would be a very worthwhile investment in improving quality. They should be encouraged to drive the car that they build. If they have to live with it every day in all kinds of conditions, I think they would discover a lot of problems before too many make it to the general public.
  • zekeman1zekeman1 Member Posts: 422
    ES350 with 11,000 miles. No problems at all with transmission or other issues posted.

    However, recently I've begun to notice a looseness or slight rattle feel in the steering wheel/column, especially when making a left/right turn from stop and beginning to accelerate. Also, when exiting the interstate onto a sharply curved ramp, I feel a slight "bump" in the steering wheel as the car is still in the sharp turn. It's really difficult to describe; I went on a test drive with a mechanic (him driving) and naturally could not duplicate.

    Anyone else experience it or something similar??
  • home123home123 Member Posts: 7
    I bought my 2007 ES350 back in December, and now I started to notice rattling noises coming from both front doors when going over bumps on the road at 20-40 mph. The noise is only noticeable when the car is cold (not exposed to excess sun, ex. in the morning), and goes away if the car is parked under the sun for a couple of hours. I can't narrow down exactly where the noise is coming from. Does anyone else have the same rattle issue? Any suggestion to resolve the problem?

    ps. I already took it to dealer once, but they parked the car under the sun and couldn't reproduce the noise. I'll bring it to another dealership this weekend and will instruct them specifically to test drive the car when the car is cold.
  • venture5venture5 Member Posts: 5
    I bought my 2007 ES350 last August and it has a rattling noise coming from the area where the windshield and dashboard come together. The noise is most prevalent in cold weather and on very rough roads. I took it to the dealer a couple of months ago. I believe they "tightened" the clips which holds the windshield but the rattle is still there. More recently I was told by my salesperson that this is (now) a known issue and that a service bulletin explaining how to fix it should be forthcoming. I've not yet confirmed this with my dealer's service department which I'll do shortly. I'll post more information once I have it. This is the only issue I've had so far and I'm still very pleased with the vehicle.
  • home123home123 Member Posts: 7
    I also noticed the same noise coming from the area where the windshield and dashboard come together on the driver's side. I'm bringing the car to Longo Lexus this weekend and I'll ask them if a service bulletin exists for these rattling noise problems. I'll keep you posted.

  • home123home123 Member Posts: 7
    My 6-month old ES350 is still in the's been 5 days since I dropped it off on Saturday. The technician tested drive with me on Saturday morning when the car was cold, and we were able to figure out that the noise from the passenger side actually came from the passenger chair when it was in the tilted-back position. That noise went away after changing the passenger seat to the upright position. The technician reasoned that since the chair has so many moving parts, it's normal to have rattling noise when the chair is tilted back. I have to say I'm frustrated because the technician told me that there is nothing can be done on that, I would just have to change the passenger seat to upright position when there is no passenger! This is outrageous! What kind of service is this? It doen't solve the problem at all! As far as the noise from the driver's side, they still coudln't pin point the cause. That's why my car is still in the shop. Has anyone experience these problems? I would love to hear any past experience that might help me solve the problem.
  • home123home123 Member Posts: 7
    Got my car back from the dealership. What they found was a loose housing around the sunroof, which makes the rattling noise on the driver's side. As far as the rattling noise on the passenger's side, no work was done, but simply lower the seat to the lowest position got rid of the rattling noise. So as long as the chair is not in the elevated position, there is no rattling noise. Not the best solution that I was looking for, but I guess I would have to live with it. Any one else with similar situation?
  • weyleweyle Member Posts: 1
    I have the exactly same symptom for my ES350 with
    24,000 miles. I brought it to a mechanic and he could not feel the rattle or sense of looseness on the steering column.
    I only started to feel this about a month ago.
    Do you have any luck to pin point the problem yet?
  • prazpraz Member Posts: 163
    I bought this gorgeous and reliable luxo car in the second week of December as a gift to my wife for our 10th Anniversary. Here are the issues that I have noticed and probably some of you might.

    a) The rear bumper expands in sunlight and therefore does not align with the fender on both sides.
    b) The door metal trim for the front and back door do not align.
    c) Rattles from rear deck.
    d) Speaker makes a buzz noise when the volume is above 12.
    e) Engine makes a loud noise when you start it in winter.

    Have been to 2 dealers and none of them have solved the issues and they say nothing is abnormal, meaning all the above issue are normal to $40,000 reliable car? I don't agree. Please help me out on how to solve some if not all of the above issues.
  • thodgenthodgen Member Posts: 1
    Old time Nissan owner decided to try the Lexus products. Started with a new 2005 Lexus ES330. G
    reat car, with the exception the transmission gave you whiplash with its unexpected downshifting, upshifting in residential neighborhoods. The dealer could never fix the problem, which we could no longer live with. They offered to trade it in for a new Lexus 350 in April 2006.

    Well, transmission is noticably better, although I think maybe we were just spoiled by Nissan's transmissions - as this one still stammers in neighborhood driving.

    The worse problem is the noise. From a dash rattle that drives you nuts on the highway as it rocks rattles and rolls, to the lower engine rattle that drives you nuts at the same RPM all the time.

    The local dealer can't find the rattle issue - can't even hear it. You can't miss it. Sounds like the entire dash is moving sometimes.

    The engine rattle is very pronounced at startup, and slowly goes away. It can be reproduced at about 2,500 rpm very easily. It literally sounds like a quiet diesel when started, and is embarassing for a salesperson's car when traveling with clients.

    Lexass claims they can't hear the rattle. I took the service manager for a drive, he couldn't hear it. Finally, a specialist went for a drive and after pointing it out about 6 times, he finally stated that they were aware of that sound, they had heard it before and Lexass claims its not an issue and has no fix for it.

    If you like driving diesel sounding engines, this is the car for you. I would like to have it repaired, but my patience is wearing thin. I might just trade it in on an Infiniti or something different. I guess I set my expectations too high for these cars.

    Yep, I've now owned two, and probably won't own any more. I can't speak positively about my experience owning the ES330 and the ES350. :mad:
  • moeandmomoeandmo Member Posts: 11
    "My Lexus (ES350) has a cold-sensitive rattle that is evident only when the temperatures fall below freezing and goes away when the car and/or the weather warm up. The dealer tried a couple of times to find it last winter and was not successful. All spring, summer, and fall, the car was quiet. In the last couple of weeks the rattle is back on cold days, and it is embarrassing when friends are in the car. Yesterday the morning temperature was 21, and the rattle (on the driver's side) was VERY loud. . I'm waiting until the forecast calls for several days of cold (below freezing) temperatures so that I can drop it off at the dealer and tell them to LEAVE IT OUTSIDE overnight and drive it cold in the morning. I have been keeping a log of when and under what temperature conditions the rattle is evident. There were days last winter (and again yesterday morning) when it sounded like a cheap jalopy. Last winter, a friend who drives a Jaguar and a Mercedes, was a passenger in my then-new Lexus and said, "What on earth is that noise?" ....that was not a good moment for me. The noise is definitely on the driver's side and does NOT appear to be coming from the dash. The colder it is, the more evident it is."

    So in a nutshell, if it is very cold, the noise is evident. When the car warms up, the noise goes away. But if the car is stopped and parked for a time (even as little as an hour if the temps are cold) the noise is again evident when it is re-started. It's a thumping, rattling, vibrating sound. When one is driving, the noise appears to be coming from the driver side door or undercarriage, but sounds are difficult to pinpoint, so this might not be accurate. When one is a passenger, the sound definitely comes from the driver's side but NOT the dash.

    Does anyone have any experience with this?
  • ram9ram9 Member Posts: 1
    I have 2000 miles on my 2008 ES350. Last week I took my car to the dealer to fix the rattling problem mainly coming from the windows on both sides. Dealer said they fixed by tightening "something" so the windows would fully slide in to the window gaskets. Car stopped rattling for about a week, but then started again. I also felt a slight bump in the steering as I make sharp left turn into my garage. But then the dealer couldn't find anything
  • ronv4ronv4 Member Posts: 6
    I have alot of experience with this, been to the delaer four times and rattle still not fixed. Definetely coming from the drivers side and louder during cold weather. The dealer tried the following; clips on sunroof, replaced all winshield clips and put felt on the dash mounts. I felt all were nothing but a waste of time, I can tell you don't waste your time with those remedies they won't work for the rattle you describe which is similar if not the same as mine. I feel they rattle comes from under the front drivers side wheel well or under the hood on the left side. I even thought maybe the plastic engine covers make noise when in the cold weather. I'm trying to figure it out myself because the Lexus dealer takes me for a fool with their bogus solutions. So much for a luxury car
  • moeandmomoeandmo Member Posts: 11
    Today was especially vexing. Outside temp was 11 degrees. I was going out, so I started the car in the garage and burned off 10 minutes worth of gas warming it up before driving out. The car was quiet. But I parked at the mall and left it out in the cold for 40 minutes. It rattled significantly coming home. The problem I face is that all the coldest weather comes on weekends, and it warms up during the week, with lows staying above freezing, so I can't take it in to the dealer until there is a sustained cold snap so that I can be sure that they hear the noise I hear. And I agree with ronv4. My dealer has also done the same "fixes" that were tried on his car, with the same result....or lack of result. My rattle sounds EXACTLY like yours. When you are driving, the rattle sounds like it is coming from the left front of the dash or door, or undercarriage.
  • ronv4ronv4 Member Posts: 6
    Good news - I hope.
    After the fifth time to the dealer I went nuts on the service technician to the point he actually came to my house and we drove about two minutes and low and behold he heard the NOISE. Loud and clear. The car was just returned to my house and I was 100% assured that the problem is fixed. According to the tech the noise is coming from the roof pillar on the drivers side. They dropped the roof liner and took off the covering to the roof pillar and found metal clips loose that caused the rattling. This makes some sense to me but until I drive it for a week or so I won't know for sure if the problem is fixed.
    I will definetely let you know the outcome and I'm hopeful you can benefit from this info as well.
  • moeandmomoeandmo Member Posts: 11
    That sounds weird because the rattle doesn't appear to be coming from that high up in the vehicle. Like you, I thought more that it was coming from the wheelwell or undercarriage or door....and why would clips in the pillar rattle only when it's freezing outside?
    Do let me know how this works out for you. I'm printing out all this information so that I have ammo when I show up again at the dealer. I'm waiting until we get a forecast of below freezing for at least 2 days so that I can take it in, they can let it sit out, drive it cold, work on it, let it sit out again, drive it cold again. It will NEVER rattle when it comes out of a toasty warm shop environment.
  • ronv4ronv4 Member Posts: 6
    I agree its strange and I'm a bit skeptical but the guy seemed like pretty sure that they solved the problem. Although I do agree with you we need some really cold weather before I can confirm that the problem has been rectified. Fingers crossed.
    More to follow.
    Take Care
  • don90don90 Member Posts: 14
    I have just purchased a new ES350 and I notice that when the wiper switch is left in the auto position the wipers will make one swipe across a dry windshield as soon as I push the start button. I can not predict when this will happen, it may happen two or three times in one day and then it has gone more then a week with out happening. this happens always on a dry windshield, car could be in the garage for a couple of days and when I push the start button as the car is starting the windshild wipers will make one swipe. Have been back to the dealer but they say they can't get it to fail and that they need to see it fail before Lexus will authorize any parts to fix the problem. I was wondering if any other owner has experienced this problem and if your dealer was able to stop this from happening. Any help would be very much appreciated.
  • moeandmomoeandmo Member Posts: 11
    We are making progress. We drove from Missouri to Michigan for the holiday. While in Michigan, we took my car to the Lexus dealer here for an oil change and described the rattle problem to them, thinking a fresh set of eyes and ears might see what others had missed. These guys listened to what I was saying instead of just looking at tech bulletins and addressing what they expected to find instead of what was actually there. I might be a woman, but I knew what I heard and I knew where it seemed to originate. When I said the noise was coming from the wheelwell or undercarriage, that's where they looked instead of the dash or the sunroof. And guess what..... they found a broken strut mount, which they replaced. What they replaced is called the Front Suspension Support Assembly. The car sat out in the cold last night. I drove it this morning and it's rattle; no thumping. I hope this is the end of that issue. I am pretty confident that they have finally gotten to the source of the problem. I'll know for sure in the next day or so, after driving it multiple times. It's been nice chatting with you ronv4, but on this issue, frankly, I hope we never meet again!!!!!
  • moeandmomoeandmo Member Posts: 11
    Back to square one Ronv4. It still rattles. How did your door pillar fix work?
  • ronv4ronv4 Member Posts: 6
    I had the strut mount fixed as well along with all of the other fixes previously described and they didn't correct the problem. However its been a week since the roof pillar fix on the driver side was done and so far NO rattles. It hasn't been that cold (around 40 degress) so I can't totally confirm the problem has been rectified however this time I really feel they go it right (i.e clips in the roof pillar - requires roof liner to be dropped and roof pilar cover removed). The car is very quiet and I can't detect the noise anymore. Cold weather is predicted later in the week and that will be the real test but so far No Rattle. I hope this helps and I'll advise you more later in the week.
  • ronv4ronv4 Member Posts: 6
    Update - Good news - It got real cold in the NE, down to around 18 degrees and averaging around 25 degrees for the past few days and still No rattle at all. I'm almost totally convinced that the problem was in fact in the roof pillar - drivers side. Although like you I was skeptical and felt the noise was coming from under the drivers side wheel well, I think I may have been wrong. So far so good.
    Why don't you give it a try and have your dealer check it out. What do you have to lose? I really hope it works out.
    Let me know.
  • moeandmomoeandmo Member Posts: 11
    I wondered where you are located. (but is "the NE" ,mentioned in your message Nebraska or New England?) On January 2, it was 9 degrees here (MO). I drove to the dealer at the crack of dawn to be there when they opened at 7. I arrived in the area at 6:15. The car was nice and warmed up and quiet. But I wanted it noisy, so I went to a coffee shop a block away from the dealership and sat with the paper and a cup of coffee for 45 minutes while the car sat out in the frigid wind. When I left there, it rattled. When the automatic garage door opened at the dealer's reception area, I left my car outside and walked in. The service writer said, "Pull your car in." I said, "Not a chance. That car is staying out in the cold until someone drives it and hears it in freezing weather." They have had the car for 2 full cold days now. Yesterday the service writer told me they heard it and had isolated it, and could reproduce it. She said the tech had not told her what they had found. But if it's sitting in the shop, where it's toasty, I don't know how they will be able to see if their remedy is effective. The weather is over freezing now, and expected to be very mild for several days. I have no idea when I'l get my car back, but I have their loaner 350, and I don't have to replace the gas, so they can keep mine until they fix it. If this doesn't work, believe me I will relate your successful pillar experience. Actually I had printed out this entire previous conversation between you and me, and gave it to them along with a spreadsheet that documented the date, the temperature, and whether the noise was evident or not. I'm nothing if not organized. Will keep you posted.
  • ronv4ronv4 Member Posts: 6
    I actually live in New York (I referred to NE as the NorthEast). It hasn't been as cold as what you experienced recently and I'm sure if the dealer keeps your car for a week or so they should hear and locate the problem. Mine was at the dealership at least a week on a few occasions before they pinpointed the problem. I hope they act on the experience i had and check the roof pillar. Like you i enjoyed the loaner and was in no rush to get my car back some . Let me know.
  • moeandmomoeandmo Member Posts: 11
    Car is still at dealer.....and it's 72 degrees. It might be a while before I know if whatever they are doing is effective.
  • moeandmomoeandmo Member Posts: 11
    Ron, can you please e-mail me direct at [email protected]? My car spent a week at the dealer. They called me on a 50 degree day and said it was ABSOLUTELY fixed becuase they had not heard it for 3 days. Funny....those three days were the days that it warmed up. It's cold today. Husband and I just drove it. It rattles as badly as ever.
  • prazpraz Member Posts: 163
    I had rattles from dash (not in summer) and rear (not in winter). From last month, I had rattles from dash and rear as it was cold and warm in Phoenix. Last week, I got my car from the dealer and have not heard a rattle from the dash but hear rear rattle only later in the day when the temperature is warm. There is a TSB to fix both the issues, will take my car back if the rear rattle becomes unbearable.
  • home123home123 Member Posts: 7
    My car started to have another rattling noise in the dashboard/passenger side, and I finally pin pointed the source: the big black Sirius Radio Box attched to the front windshield! It's making a metal vibrating sound whenever I change lane on the freeway or when the road is slightly bumpy. You can reproduced the rattling by simply tapping on the box. I took the car to Longo Lexus and pointed it out to them, and they were skeptical at first, but as soon as I demonstrated it to them, they finally agreed to replace the whole sirius radio box for me. Ever since then, the metal vibrating sound is gone! Hope this helps some of you guys who have suffered from this irratating rattleing noise.
  • mikees350mikees350 Member Posts: 1
    I've had my 2008 ES350 for six months. I notice a rattle in the console area somewhere between the shifter and the NAV system. It is a heavy metal clunking sound when the car encounters moderately rough roads. I have not taken it to the dealer yet as I am quite far from one. Has anyone experienced anything similar, and know what it might be?
  • mathismathis Member Posts: 1
    Sounds like something loose in dash. Most noticeable when cold, but also occurs once in a while when car is warm. Have taken back to dealer five times. Is anyone aware of a service bulletin in regard to this problem or better yet has anyone found a solution? If a service bulletin is available, how can I get a copy of it?
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