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2005 Es330 Problems?


turnbowm
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There has been a considerable amount of discussion and media attention regarding the problems associated with the "drive-by-wire" throttle system and the 5-speed transmission on 2002-2004 ES cars.

While there is a theoretical advantage of the 5-speed over the 4-speed, jerky shifts and uncertain upshifts/downshifts seem like a big price to pay. The slow response of the "drive-by-wire" system, compared to a direct mechanical control of the throttle, also makes one wonder why Lexus chose to go that direction. Technology is good as long as the positives outweigh the negatives.

The question is whether or not these problems have been satisfactorily corrected in the 2005 ES330? Some say yes, others say no. Am reluctant to purchase a new ES330 if I have to live with built-in problems that aren't there in our '98 ES300.

From what I gather, the tranny problem varies considerably from car to car. Also, the slow response of the "drive-by-wire" system is just something that one has to get used to. This almost makes the pre-2002 ES300s seem like they're the ones with the advanced technology!

Martin T.

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I drive a 04 es330 which had the shifting problem, but seemed to have gone away after putting on more miles. Car has 10800 on it now. I was told that the car has to "learn" the driving habits of the driver? I drove a gs300, 99, which shifted bad, 4th to 5th. If I had the car in 4th it drove great. Could having multiple drivers on the es add to this tranny problem? Dearler told me on the gs300, they would unhook the battery, reconnect, car would re-learn the new driver? Didn't buy the car. Has anyone tried this on the es problem? Sounds goofy. Thanks.

Timothy

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So far, all of these supposed fixes DON"T work satisfactorily. From day 1 of my ownership of a 2003 ES I noticed that I had to cater to the whims of this transmission, electronic throttle, problem. Yes, I can minimize this idiosyncrasy, but why should I have to do this? I want the car to respond to MY commands. This is the only gripe I have with this otherwise fine car. I'm not sure if it's been corrected in the '05, but from what I've heard, it hasn't.

BTW: I have always been able to replicate this problem on EVERY '02 to '04 ES that I've driven, and that is over 20 cars. I can always drive it smoothly also....but that's not the answer. :censored:

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turnbowm,

have you read the pinned thread about the 02 tranny issues.

If not I suggest you do. It will take you a while because it has grown.

The only way to find out if it bothers you is to see if you can't get a loaner for a weekend and drive it alot.

I say loaner because it will have more miles and more drivers than a fresh new model.

Jsut a heads up, many makers and models are going to this drive by wire system.

steviej

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While there is a theoretical advantage of the 5-speed over the 4-speed, jerky shifts and uncertain upshifts/downshifts seem like a big price to pay. The slow response of the "drive-by-wire" system, compared to a direct mechanical control of the throttle, also makes one wonder why Lexus chose to go that direction. Technology is good as long as the positives outweigh the negatives.

I agree but its not just Lexus, the entire car industry is moving to electronic throttles. All the cars with electronic throttles I've driven are just as jerky.

From what I gather, the tranny problem varies considerably from car to car.

Its not that it varies from car to car it varies from driver to driver. You do get used to it, it doesn't bother me anymore and I don't have to mentally drive around it. In fact now driving a car with a standard throttle feels weird.

Its just new technology that people need to get used to.

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The service rep told me that the seat preset buttons store more than the seat setting - mirrors and switches over the computer to your "learned" driving techniques. I don't know if he was jerking my chain or if he was serious, It did sound good though. I just had my computer reflashed (to correct the computer fuel flow for gas milage computation) and it is in the learning mode all over again.

I did notice a differance in the way the car handels when my wife drives it vs. when I drive it. She is the primary driver and tends to be more aggressive in the daily driving - I only drive it to church, the gas station when it need fuel, and on trips. My driving habits are mellow in the ES.

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Naa he's full of it. Thats not true at all. The memory setting only control the seat and the mirrors. The transmission is adaptive to your driving habits so it will feel different after one driver has driven it for a time but its not programmable based on the seat setting nor is it the cause of the throttle lag.

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turnbowm,

have you read the pinned thread about the 02 tranny issues.

If not I suggest you do.  It will take you a while because it has grown.

The only way to find out if it bothers you is to see if you can't get a loaner for a weekend and drive it alot.

I say loaner because it will have more miles and more drivers than a fresh new model.

Jsut a heads up, many makers and models are going to this drive by wire system.

steviej

Have read every post in the Tranny issue thread and on numerous other websites.

As for the loaner, others have indicated that the problem seems to vary from car to car. As such, the only thing that I would learn is whether or not the loaner had the problem.

As you have indicated, many manufacturers are embracing electronic throttle systems. It appears, however, that some have been more successful than others. Recently drove a BMW 330i with electronic throttle and 6-speed tranny. There was no hesitation and upshifts/downshifts were flawless. If BMW had the reliability of Lexus, I would buy one in a heartbeat.

Infiniti also has electronic throttle control and they have refined their systems to eliminate the throttle lag. It can be done with good engineering.

Martin T.

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Have you driven ES' to see if you feel the lag? Your driving style might not trip it. When I drive BMWs I can feel the lag.

Just drove a new ES330 today and the throttle lag and slow downshifts were very prominent. Also drove another BMW 530i and there was NO lag whatsoever.

I must say that the new ES330 provided an ultra-comfortable ride and the new seats, derived from the LS430, were very plush with good side bolstering. A very strange feeling, however, is that I felt almost totally DISCONNECTED from the car. A very different driving experience from the wife's '98 ES300. For those who value comfort above all else, the ES330 is an easy choice.

Martin T.

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