Do Not Sell My Personal Information Jump to content

02-06 Transmission hesitation problems


Recommended Posts

I know you dont want to hear it, but that has got to be the issue. The transmission "shifting enhancements" are designed to do one thing, to try and compensate for, or hide, the lag from the electronic throttle. Its the only explanation that makes sense. If this was a transmission shift logic problem it would be solved by now. Even if it meant giving up the ULEV status I think they'd have done that by now. Its got to be hardware related and the only culprit I can think of that couldn't be readily replaced is the drive by wire system. Lexus has even replaced entire transmissions before. If that would have fixed this, they'd have done it.

I'm still happy with mine but the issue is not 100% cured I agree. It does kick some when sitting in stop and go traffic at those speeds. Were you stuck on the NY Thruway? I was coming back from the Catskills yesterday, we might have been stuck in the same traffic LOL.

The only other suggestion I could offer you is to look into some aftermarket solutions, shifting kits and performance transmission reprogramming. I think aside from that we're gonna be S-O-L.

As for finding something you like as much as the Lexus, thats gonna be tough I agree. I've driven just about everything in that price range and I've found NOTHING I like as much as my Lexus. To get something else I'd be happy with I'd have to move up to a 5 series BMW or E Class Benz, or maybe a new Infiniti M35. You also may want to look at the Acura RL. I still think a lot of these cars could potentially have the same issue though.

You might also want to look at the new BMW 3. I like the styling MUCH more than the older one, and while I'm certain it doesn't ride like a Lexus you can probably count on it to have a tranny that knows what gear its supposed to be in...or you could get a manual.

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Replies 718
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

I'll find out amf, I wasn't aware of this either.

I was driving into NYC from Stonybrook, Long Island, and the closer I came to the big city, the worse the traffic became.

I'd like to pose a question about the electronic throttle. If the engine is idling in neutral and you quickly mash down the gas pedal, the throttle response is immediate and the RPM rises very quickly, so why should it make a difference when it's in gear? I would expect a hesitation in neutral as well as when it's in gear. See what I'm getting at?

Link to post
Share on other sites

On Sunday? apparently there was something going on that had traffic tied up all around NYC. It was terrible...

As for the throttle, if you think about it you wouldn't expect there to be the same throttle response in neutral because the engine isn't under any load nor is it doing any work.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On Sunday? apparently there was something going on that had traffic tied up all around NYC. It was terrible...

As for the throttle, if you think about it you wouldn't expect there to be the same throttle response in neutral because the engine isn't under any load nor is it doing any work.

Actually, the traffic was on Saturday.

Whether the throttle linkage is mechanical or electronic it should serve the same purpose....to open up the valve that controls the engine speed. What has the load on the engine got to do with it? This is what I don't understand???

Link to post
Share on other sites

Y'all still crying over the ES rough shifting transmission. It's a shame that Lexus put this car on the market with this problem and then deny there's a problem. Lexus should be made to put salt and pepper on every one of them and eat 'em. Get another brand of car and tell Lexus what they can do with all ES's. No, my wife's 2003 isn't the only year model with the crappy rough lurching shifting. One of our best friends bought a 2005 and it shifts the same. They are terribly dissappointed but we tried to warm 'em. Told them to buy any other brand except a Lexus but some people have to learn the heard way.

Poppi

Link to post
Share on other sites

Y'all still crying over the ES rough shifting transmission.  It's a shame that Lexus put this car on the market with this problem and then deny there's a problem.  Lexus should be made to put salt and pepper on every one of them and eat 'em. Get another brand of car and tell Lexus what they can do with all ES's.  No, my wife's 2003 isn't the only year model with the crappy rough lurching shifting.  One of our best friends bought a 2005 and it shifts the same.  They are terribly dissappointed but we tried to warm 'em.  Told them to buy any other brand except a Lexus but some people have to learn the heard way.

Poppi

yeah. my car is an overpriced camry. haha.

well, at least the leather seats are a lot nicer.

my next ride will be a bmw 8 cylinder. The ultimate driving machine.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The BMW 3 Series is a different breed of car all together. I just traded in my 2001 325i for an '05 ES330 so I guess I'd know. I did have the 5-speed manual which is somewhat of an unfair comparison however. The BMW, even with the smaller 2.5l engine is very quick because that's the way it's set up to be. It will get you in and around traffic like nothing else on the road. As for the "ultimate driving machine" I never realized the hype. It's fun to drive in certain situations like a twisty mountain or coastal road but in heavy city traffic, it's just another car. The ride is hard especially the "sport" edition I had and it went through performance tires like they were made out of marshmellows ( three sets of tires in 55K miles). Mechanically it had it's problems especially with the electric window motors. Had to replace two in less than four years. So far, much happier with the ES even with the lack of power.

I know you dont want to hear it, but that has got to be the issue. The transmission "shifting enhancements" are designed to do one thing, to try and compensate for, or hide, the lag from the electronic throttle. Its the only explanation that makes sense. If this was a transmission shift logic problem it would be solved by now. Even if it meant giving up the ULEV status I think they'd have done that by now. Its got to be hardware related and the only culprit I can think of that couldn't be readily replaced is the drive by wire system. Lexus has even replaced entire transmissions before. If that would have fixed this, they'd have done it.

I'm still happy with mine but the issue is not 100% cured I agree. It does kick some when sitting in stop and go traffic at those speeds. Were you stuck on the NY Thruway? I was coming back from the Catskills yesterday, we might have been stuck in the same traffic LOL.

The only other suggestion I could offer you is to look into some aftermarket solutions, shifting kits and performance transmission reprogramming. I think aside from that we're gonna be S-O-L.

As for finding something you like as much as the Lexus, thats gonna be tough I agree. I've driven just about everything in that price range and I've found NOTHING I like as much as my Lexus. To get something else I'd be happy with I'd have to move up to a 5 series BMW or E Class Benz, or maybe a new Infiniti M35. You also may want to look at the Acura RL. I still think a lot of these cars could potentially have the same issue though.

You might also want to look at the new BMW 3. I like the styling MUCH more than the older one, and while I'm certain it doesn't ride like a Lexus you can probably count on it to have a tranny that knows what gear its supposed to be in...or you could get a manual.

B)
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to members of this list I assembled the reflash info, took it to my dealer and had the work done.

The higher speed lagging has gone.  The outstanding lagging now occurs at low speeds of 20-30mph, when the transmission appears to be locked in 3rd. 

Often happens after the car has been sitting for several days, (I am in a low-speed neighborhood street). I take the car out of the driveway, to my local street, (25mph zone), The transmission sticks in 2nd gear and the RPM's zoom up, the MPG plunges. If I take the car above 40, the shift occurs normally and does not reappear until the car rests for a significant time. 

Any ideas?

Alan in Vienna, VA

The ECM is programmed to delay the shifting until the engine & transmission is up to the proper operating temperature, so I suggest trying to let it warm up enough so the temperature gauge reads above the cold mark(not necessarily up to the full temp reading), and then retry this test when coming out of your driveway. You should find that it will now upshift to the next higher gear more quickly.

This new reflash gives you better control of this upshifting. If while accelerating from a slow speed, you take your foot off the accelerator pedal slightly it will give you this upshift immediately. Before this new ECM update the transmission did not give you the desired response. Please keep us informed. :)

Alan in Vienna- Update

Thanks for the explanation about tempertaures! However, letting up on the accelerator has NEVER worked at speeds lower than 35, when this sticky trans occurs.

The higher speed problem has vanished. The low speed ONLY happens when the car has sat in our garage (cool) overnight and I am taking it out through our neighborhood- all under 25 MPH. Sticky trans between 2nd and 3rd - never gets to 4rth.

When car is "warmed up" problem goes away completely. What can I ask the dealer's shop to do to help?

Thanks all very much for your help thusfar.

Link to post
Share on other sites

That may be a different issue. The Lexus transmission shifts differently when its cold, it holds shifts to generate heat to bring it up to operating temp more quickly.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought a 2004 ES 330, and I am having the exact same problems as you all are with my transmission. I Take it to lexus and they tell me nothing is wrong with it but obvisouly there is a problem. Is there any way i can get this fix? I called lexus and they are aware of the problem but are not willing to do anything about it? what should i do if anything?

thanks

Link to post
Share on other sites
I bought a 2004 ES 330, and I am having the exact same problems as you all are with my transmission. I Take it to lexus and they tell me nothing is wrong with it but obvisouly there is a problem. Is there any way i can get this fix? I called lexus and they are aware of the problem but are not willing to do anything about it? what should i do if anything?

"The same problems you are having",: Is that before or after the TSB reprogramming?

steviej

Link to post
Share on other sites

tc004.pdf

I bought a 2004 ES 330, and I am having the exact same problems as you all are with my transmission. I Take it to lexus and they tell me nothing is wrong with it but obvisouly there is a problem. Is there any way i can get this fix? I called lexus and they are aware of the problem but are not willing to do anything about it? what should i do if anything?

"The same problems you are having",: Is that before or after the TSB reprogramming?

steviej

If you go back to post 337 or 338, there is the information for the reflash. I am attaching here the PDF file originally provided by steviej. I printed it out, took it to my dealer's repair shop and said I wanted it done. They complied and in an hour I was done.

Your post did not say if you had this work done- so I am assuming that it was not and therefore this is a continuing problem which you are dealing with.

Please keep us informed- it is always good to know what the results are from something like this which has spawned so much controversy.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I got the update done on my '03 ES300, but i didnt get the final paperwork on the work done so i didnt know what it was called. But did you notice that the car now is more likely to shift at 3,000 RPM instead of 2,000 RPM like before. No i feel like i have to let off the gas pedal so i can shift at 2,000 RPM.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I think I got the update done on my '03 ES300, but i didnt get the final paperwork on the work done so i didnt know what it was called. But did you notice that the car now is more likely to shift at 3,000 RPM instead of 2,000 RPM like before. No i feel like i have to let off the gas pedal so i can shift at 2,000 RPM.

Yup......that's exactly what the newest update does to the shifting pattern. That's why I feel like the fuel economy will be compromised, especially when you're driving around town. I was originally impressed by this update, but now I don't think it's so great. When I drive my wife's 2001 Toyota Corolla it does exactly what I want it to do.......it shifts like a dream, with no hunting for the right gear.....and that car cost me about a third of what my "State of the Art" Lexus cost.

I think that Lexus should get their priorities straight! :censored:

Link to post
Share on other sites

I called customer satisfaction and my 2002 es300 definentally has the problem, they looked up my vin number and told me there is no campaign for it or any recalls. What can I do? I have reported it to the dealer at the first oil exchange and they said it was normal. My car is a very low mileage car and the shifting is very erratic lately.

Link to post
Share on other sites
it is not a recall so it won't be listed there.  The latest software flash is considered a TSB and you have to ask for it. 

steviej

Thanks, how exactly do i ask for it, and should i ask at the customer service line or my dealership, the lady at customer service seemed to know about it but she was hiding it from me.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a 2005 ES330. I have experienced all the well documented transmission hesitation problems and about a month ago had the TSB done on it. I noticed a difference right away, primarily the shift point change almost 1,000 rpm higher. Since I drive with a fairly light touch this was easy to work around and I have not noticed any appreciable drop in fuel economy. On the other hand it seems as though the transmission has gone through its learning mode and adjusted itself to my driving style. Unfortunately as it learned it seems to have regressed a bit and acquired some of its previous bad habits. The hesitation which was almost gone immediately after the TSB install has re-emerged although not as bad as it was originally. Has anyone else noticed this?

Link to post
Share on other sites
I have a 2005 ES330.  I have experienced all the well documented transmission hesitation problems and about a month ago had the TSB done on it.  I noticed a difference right away, primarily the shift point change almost 1,000 rpm higher.  Since I drive with a fairly light touch this was easy to work around and I have not noticed any appreciable drop in fuel economy.  On the other hand it seems as though the transmission has gone through its learning mode and adjusted itself to my driving style.  Unfortunately as it learned it seems to have regressed a bit and acquired some of its previous bad habits.  The hesitation which was almost gone immediately after the TSB install has re-emerged although not as bad as it was originally.  Has anyone else noticed this?

My experience was similar, but not quite the same.

Immediately after the 'upgrade', the system was extremely clunky and shifted very hard - but the hesitation was improved.

Later (after about 300-500 miles, the clunkiness had smoothed out a bit and the transmission was working better than it ever had. Still, it shifted quite hard on occasion.

Now (about 2,000 miles later), it's back to shifting very hard. I get several clunky shifts a day. Still, the hesitation (where you step on the gas and have time to read a short story before the car starts to accelerate) is much improved and almost tolerable.

Link to post
Share on other sites
That may be a different issue. The Lexus transmission shifts differently when its cold, it holds shifts to generate heat to bring it up to operating temp more quickly.

:whistles: One Month Later.... Low speed shifting lag continues, however now I am mindful of the conditions related to transmission fluid temperature. Everything now makes sense since this problem NEVER happens when the car sits in the roasting sun this summer.

<_< Here is a new question: If I move to a cold climate, is a transmission heater needed?

I have a reply to members who want to find another brand of car... sit in the back seat! BMW squishes you except for the series 6, and if you have big feet like me, Jaguar, BMW and Mercedes can't even come close to the comfort in the Lexus. I need to consider passenger comfort as well as driver. For me- Lexus goes to the top of the list. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
<_< Here is a new question: If I move to a cold climate, is a transmission heater needed?

pretty cold here the last two winters. No heater needed. Just be prepared to warm the car up a minute or two extra before driving off. Also, just don't drive aggressively until the engine is at normal operating temperature.

steviej

Link to post
Share on other sites

pretty cold here the last two winters.  No heater needed.  Just be prepared to warm the car up a minute or two extra before driving off.  Also, just don't drive aggressively until the engine is at normal operating temperature.

steviej

Lexuses, probably along with many cars, are designed to shift later in the RPM range to bring the engine temperature up to the favorable amount quicker. Also I notice that even if you floor my car while the temperature gauge is at anything below 1/4, the transmission shifts at 3500-3750 RPM, unless you keep the shifter in L.

If you leave your car outside in cold climates, a remote starter is very handy. I had it installed on my 4Runner when we lived in a house with a 2-car garage, and my only car at the time, the 4Runner, was parked outside. ( :cries: ) Now we have a 3-car garage and the 4Runner barely fits in the 3rd spot. The remote starter was a standalone unit, because the car already had a keyless security system. It was about $180 installed. The price for the unit itself is relatively cheap, but the labor is where they (in my case, Circuit City) got me.

Was considering one for my ES, but it's a black car which should help in absorbing heat somewhat (it surely does now, I have 3rd degree burns on my butt). Also I don't think that I should put that much cash into my car, yet.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I need to get on the list of unhappy ES 300 owners. My wife has driven a Lexus 300's since 1995 and loved them. Time to buy new car, didn't shop, just bought another Lexus. This was our first 330 and we drove it to Orlando from NC soon after purchase. With the non responsive transmission experiences I felt fortunate to get home alive. Don't drive these where there is heavy traffic because you won't be able to get out of the way. Yes, I did all the complaining at the dealership

only to be informed that I didn't understand this high tech car. He was sure right about that. I was also told "you will get use to it" and burning hi-test would help. After seeing all the replies from other owners with exactly the same problem it is disgusting. Lexus builds a fine car, this was my third. They have obviously made a bad mistake with their computer throttle and they have a good enough reputation to afford to own up to this and fix it. I have considered an ad in the local paper to find if other locals have an interest in pursuing some type of action. I am new to this and I am sure everything has been mentioned to help get this fixed. I am standing by for anyone that has a great aggressive suggestion. Thanks, Ray Corbett

Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you had the update performed?

Not to sound like a broken record but I live in Washington DC (2nd worst traffic in the country) and I've never felt unsafe in my ES. I think "safe to get home alive" is a little dramatic.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Have you had the update performed?

Not to sound like a broken record but I live in Washington DC (2nd worst traffic in the country) and I've never felt unsafe in my ES. I think "safe to get home alive" is a little dramatic.

Sorry pal......I don't think that this statement is too far from the truth! I know exactly what he's feeling. <_<

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...



×
×
  • Create New...