amf1932

02-06 Transmission hesitation problems

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I was on the highway last night for a hundred miles, merging with semis, accelerating to sprints at 90 for passing trucks, I still feel no hesitation and no power loss, it seems to drive perfectly, I dont even really think it needs any more power...

I guess I'm just lucky...

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I have NO problems downshifting at road speeds above 50mph. It downshifts perfectly! Where I do have the problem is tromping the accelerator(flooring it) around 40mph. At this speed the engine RPM increases to about redline before it finally decides what lower gear to go into. If I don't floor the accelerator, but push it down gingerly it'll downshift OK. In other words, the transmission doesn't like rough treatment. That's why I feel it has something to do with the "Fly by Wire" electronic linkage. Since I'm aware of these idiosyncrasies, I'm learning how to get around this problem. I still think this can be corrected!

As an aside: I drove my cousins 2004 Audi A8L a few days ago and tried putting the car through it's paces by upshifting and downshifting at various speeds and it performed flawlessly. Why can't Lexus's do the same thing??? :angry:

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I too must be lucky. No problems with hesitation or acceleration. No shimmies at 40 and can floor the petal and get instant response. I am planning on NOT getting the software fix unless others can give me a good reason to do so.

Mike

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You must be very lucky! I have driven more than 12 '02-'03 ES's and they ALL had the same problem!! I betcha I could reproduce it on your car too. ;)

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If I try I can make the car exhibit the hesitation, but it never comes up when I'm just driving. I suppose its my driving style. I drove an Explorer for 6 years, maybe I just got used to letting the car take its time lol.

Hey Alan, is that the new redesigned A8? How'd you like it? My dad is thinking about replacing his LS400 with one.

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Steve,

Yup, this is the latest Audi A8L. The car was delivered last Friday at a cost of close to 80K to my rich cousin.:) He got all the bells & whistles available. My first impressions of this car were very positive. I was looking at the enormous Owners Manual and I realized that the learning curve to master all the accessories would take quite some time. It feels like a limousine inside.....tremendous leg room for the rear seat passengers, front and rear reading lights, a mirror in the sun visors that can either be used normally or magnified, a great navigation system (although I like the voice of the girl better in my Lexus):), plus too many other toys to mention here. Performance wise, this car accelerates and in general runs extremely smoothly and quietly(330HP). All and all this automobile exudes pure luxury in every respect. I don't know how it would compare to the LS430 though.

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My 99 RX300 does the same thing: Floor it to get out of the way at 40mph and it red-lines then shifts down with a trememdous jerk before it starts winding out again. :wacko:

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Alan, He'll look at it, he'c comparing the LS430, new A8L, 745Li and I think the new Jag XJ.

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I got the letter this week about the new shifting enhancement being offered for the ES300. Has anyone here had it done? Do you notice any difference?

I'm wondering why this is being offered. Is it for automatics? I don't have any problems with the shifting now and can't imagine what the software enhancement is about. Is there a bug in the current version? For now, I'm more curious than anything. The last part of the letter mentions that once you get it done, you can't go back to the way it was. That was a real eye opener because now I'm wondering why someone would want to.

I thought this was kind of a wierd letter that didn't offer much more than a clue about it. I'd like to have seen a link there for some further info. I'd really like to hear more about this from an owner before I call the dealership on Monday. Would someone please enlighten me?

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Not sure about yours, but the 2001 and early 2002 IS300 had a problem with hanging up on the 1 to 2 shift on the automatic trans. They issued a service bulletin and most owners went to the dealers and got their ECU reflashed to improve the shifting.

You can go to this link and find out if there are service notices on your particular car.

http://www.alldata.com/recalls/index.html

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Yes, it's for automatic transmissions on the '02-'03 ES300's! If you peruse this board with threads about transmissions you might get a better understanding what all the fuss is about. ;)

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Hi all, wow, after reading all this I'm wondering whether or not to have this 'enhancement' done. The only thing I don't like is the fact that you can't go back to the way it was. I've heard that a couple people have mentioned that the fix has made it a bit worse. Why wouldn't they have an older version of the software sitting around and simply re-upload that?

You know, I haven't honestly noticed any hesitancy or shifting problems in our 2002 ES300. But you can bet after reading this I'll probably start to notice it. I guess I don't fully tromp down to get going. But I'll tell you, everyday I drive the Beltway in No. Virginia at I-95 and 495 which is a horrible place where no one can seem to stay in their lane. You must be fearless to drive here and must have a dependable car. There will come a time that I will instinctively tromp the gas to just get out on the road and now am paranoid that the hesitation will be just enough to get creamed.

So I'm considering getting this done. I just didn't like the tone of that letter when it mentioned that you can't have it undone. My first thought was ok why would I want to?

I love the looks and feel of this car better than the other nicer cars I've driven, so I suppose my ignorance has been bliss.

Has anyone had it done and is actually happy with it? I did call today and got someone who was pretty clueless and told me it had to do with the GPS, yea right. Half the battle IS finding someone who is knowledgeable enough and is willing to discuss it, which is why I'm here asking the real owners. I think that's where I'll get the whole truth. So I still remain undecided. What a decision.

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Thanks very much for letting me know where the thread is being discussed. I searched for everything, except "transmissions" believe it or not. I see there is quite a controversy and am following everything about it. After what I read, it may have saved me from flooring it to get out in traffic, only to get that hesitation and get creamed. I honestly never expected to see this out of Lexus, but it still remains the nicest car I have driven and by far the best looking..

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Welcome to the site!

My advice, if you dont notice the problem, you wont. I've driven my ES at least 100 times in the mixing bowl (the area she's speaking of for people not from around here) and its never let me down. Like I've said, I can make the car hesitate if I want to, but it has never come up in my normal driving.

I'm not having the reprogram done.

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My opinion is, if it hasn't bothered you yet, then it wont bother you ever. Its just that your driving style fits within the way the transmission shift geometry works. I'm the same way, doesn't bother me so I'm not going to have it done.

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sharone, maybe the tech said TPS and not GPS. It would make more sence if he did.

I can't help but wonder how many people will just get the upgrade cause they got the letter and really have not noticed anything was wrong. My aunt got the letter and was all set to go get it. She said she never noticed anything was wrong. She thought it had to be done.

As for me, I'm with Steve. I am a little apprehensive to have it done because of the irreversability and cause I don't think it is the end.

Gut feeling says it is a temporary fix, while a new ECU is being trialed. I can only hope. My major concern is what is the long term effect of the fix on the tranny. The tranny, I don't think, was designed this way. What if this fix ends up cause premature failing? I hate playing the "what if game".

steviej

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as i have nothing i can add to this thread

it is a really commonly asked question

so might as well make this the official

stupid 02-03 ES 300 tranny thread

i'll pin it so everyone sees it first

i think there are like 5 of these same thread floating around

:wacko:

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My ES300 is 30 days old today. Had all of the problems as discussed here about the transmission. At 1000 miles they did a computer update which seemed to correct the problem for a day. With the problems reoccuring scheduled a service call for today. Found this site yesterday and registered my dissatisfaction with the unpredictability and quirkiness of the transmission with Lexus customer service. I was told that as of this a.m. a service notification was being sent out about this situation and that a new fix was on the way..and to let the service dept. know about it and to have them use the new program. I did, they did ! But they couldn't find anything or anyone who knew about it.

I then met with a tech. who asked if I was using premium fuel. When I said I wasn't.... he said to start using premium and within a couple of refills my problem would be taken care of. He reset the computer and my next fuel will be premium. I told them I would post this message and that if I get laughed off of this site I would let them know about it.

Has anyone been told this?

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I told them I would post this message and that if I get laughed off of this site I would let them know about it.

Welcome: No you won't be laughed off this site! In fact the more input we get the better it is for all of us that have been plagued with this problem.

So let me get this straight. Your car had the software update done previously and you expect them to do another newer update??

I have been using premium fuel since my transmission update and I've put on about 1000 miles and the hesitating problem still exists. I've also driven 2 '03 ES models with the update and they both shifted very poorly. So far I think this transmission stinks and I'm waiting to test drive the '04 to see if it exhibits these quirks.

Please keep us informed.

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I purchased my ES300 this past July and have noticed some hesitation on the part of my transmission. It seems that when I "punch" it, there is a lag in response. I almost got creamed today merging into the high speed lane. However, if I "finesse" the accelerator there is no hesitation --- but the car accelerates with mediocrity.

I plan to log a complaint with my dealer and keep monitoring this site for any further news. Hopefully there is a fix, or I guess I will keep the car for a year or so and then stay away from Lexus.

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I received a check from Lexus this morning as the result of filing a complaint under the Lemon Law statute in the state of Florida. I went before a three person arbitration panel and explained to them the hesitation problem when accelerating and Lexus' refusal to acknowledge the problem. They all road tested the vehicle and as a result, directed Lexus to buy me out of my lease and refund me all past payments minus a small sum for mileage. I never had to use an attorney and it was a very painless procedure.

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