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2004 Es 330 Loud Cracking Noise


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I just got a new 2004 ES 330 with all the goodies. I have about 1000 miles on it now. I noticed that I get a loud cracking noise coming from somewhere in the interior. The car doesn't have to be moving to hear the noise and it doesn't seem to be coming from the audio system (Mark Levinson) because I can turn it all off and still get the noise. It is intermittent, but seems to happen when I first driver the car from after it has been sitting. So I wonder if it is a thermal thing or cause by the air conditioning causing something to change. I don't knw for sure. It happens every minute or two. The passengers can hear it too, but nobody can really pinpoint where it is coming from. As the driver, it sounds as if it is coming from the pasenger side, but this might be just a wrong impression. Does anyone else have (or have had) this too? Has anyone fixed the problem>? I am bringing the car in for its first visit to the service department in two days and I hate to have them take the whole darned car apart to find something that others have already experienced and fixed. :blink:

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I was going to pipe in about the TSB that is out there for the 02 and up ES's about the door insulation noise. The insultaion moves around and a noise is produced kind of like rubbing two pieces of styrofoam together. There is a fix for that noise.

However, when you said the car doesn't have to be moving....that through me.

So you are saying that you hear the noise even if the car is not in motion OR that the noise is apparent even if the car is not moving?

does the car have to be "on" to hear the noise. Can you hear it if the engine is off? List latter part is making me think of a loose seat bolt (one member reported this).

good luck pinpointing the noise.

steviej

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steviej-

It makes the noise when I am sitting at red lights sometimes and also when I am moving. I never just left the ignition off and waited to see if it makes any noise all by itself. I doubt it. It is really LOUD. I doubt styrofoam could be this loud. And it makes the sound whether or not there is someone in the front passenger seat with their seatbelt on. It has been hot ehre in Michigan, so I was thinking that maybe the A/C coming on causes something to contract. That's just a theory of course. I duuno. I really like this car, but this one looks to be a tough one to debug and fix.

Rich

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Check your driver seat backing. The large plastic piece behind the drivers seat has been known for some failures. Mine was replaced after popping off several times. It used to make the cracking sound as you described. The RX actually has the problem more than the ES.

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Oh yes! We were at the beach for the past two weeks and the car was sitting outside the whole time in the sun (what sun there was, out of 14 days only 4 were sunny) and I noticed it was worse than usual. It actually can be startling at times, and always seems like its coming from the passenger side of the dash. I can only equate it to a house settling. My best guess is that its some part of the structure or interior of the car settling after its been sitting. It doesn't happen except for in the first 10-15 minutes of driving. Its garaged at home, but I noticed the cracking was louder while it was sitting outside at the beach.

I guess its normal, I've never had a car do that before though, even a previous LS400 nor the 04 LS430 my dad drives now. The wood veneers for instance in the ES are real I suppose it could be them expanding and contracting (the air conditioning rapidly changing the temperature of the interior and the internals of the dash as the air circulates through the system) with temp, but again my dad's LS430 doesn't do that and it has as much if not more wood than the ES. After about 15 minutes of driving and once the interior reaches a comfortable temp it stops.

Its definately strange. See what your dealer says, I've never brought it up with mine but I will at the next service stop.

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No problem, let us know what the dealer says. My guess is though that its "normal" and just has something to do with the construction of the passenger side of the dash and how it reacts to heat. I never notice it during the winter, for instance.

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I will check the sunvisor too thanks. But I nticed that it did not make the noise this morning. It was not at all hot this morning either. I will see if it gets hot today and if so, will check to see if the problem is tied to temperature change as I suspected. Of course it might just not be maing the noice because it is going to the dealership for service tommorrow. :lol:

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