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es30014

Interior Noise And Ride Problems

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My 2002 Lexus ES300 does not seem to ride like it is supposed to. On every review of the car I read I find: "the ride is so smooth...on any surface" "smoothest car" "ride is so soft and plush" etc.... Well, it seems that my es is not like that. On a harsh surface it rides soomewhat harsh and is not very smooth unless on a very little traveled road that is free of bumps and etc... such as a service road. Also, I also rad stuff like "the interior is extremely quiet" "such a quiet cabin" etc... Well, the interior of my es is not like that at all. The driver , passenger, and rear doors rattles, the moonroof squeaks, rear-view mirror creaks, rear seat belts make a terrible noise...and sometimes it seems the only way to reduce most of this is to open the moonroof or roll down the window. Has anyone had these same problems? If so, did you get it fixed and how???

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Rattles in the doors on the ES are a common problem. Its caused by the design of the sound absorption material it gets loose and rattles around especially when its cold. Call Lexus, you'll get a free loaner and they'll secure the sound absorption material repairing the rattles.

The moonroof is also a common problem with ALL Lexus vehicles, the dealership will clean the seal and apply some lithium grease and that noise will be gone.

Rearview is news to me, however I'm sure Lexus can fix that one too.

As for the ride, the ride of all Lexus vehicles is very dependent on the tires installed and their inflation. On something like a Lincoln you can put any old tires on the car and it really doesn't make a difference, but the Lexus isn't like that. It needs good well balanced tires inflated properly. What PSI do you run in the tires? Lexus specified 29PSI and I feel that is the best pressure. A couple pounds to heavy and it rides rough, a couple pounds too light and it rides rough. I check my tires weekly to make sure I'm always getting the optimum ride. Lexus dealers and all garages always over inflate the tires, this is probably the issue.

Also, the ES can come with one of three sets of tires. If you live where it doesnt snow then you get Toyo Proxes summer tires. If you live where it snows like I do you get either Michelin Energy MXV4s or Bridgestone Potenza PE92s. If you got the Michelins good for you, great tires they cost $150 a peice to replace. Good smooth quiet tires. If you got the Bridgestones then like me you got screwed, they're some of the loudest, harshest, lowest rated tires in their class. With some new tires it'll ride perfect, but even keeping the Bridgestones inflated properly makes a huge difference. Lexus has a knack for putting the crappiest tires on their cars. Why, I'll never understand.

Have you had the car since new? Did it ride right for you then? What I see a lot in Lexus owners is they get used to how the car rides and it no longer impresses them until they drive something else. Whenever I get back into my car after driving something else I'm ASTOUNDED by how beautifully it drives.

I also know people who just expect too much, it is a machine and it isn't totally silent, but it sounds like you aren't one of those people...

Definately check those tires and definately get Lexus to look at the door rattles, they should be well aware of the problem. They'll offer you two options, remove the offending sound absorption material or secure it with something like electrical or duct tape. You want them to secure it. I think once Lexus takes care of that and you get the tires inflated right you'll be a lot happier with it.

Welcome to the club!

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I've noticed a difference with my tires as well! I also wondered if you bought the car new?? If you bought it used, it may be possible to have had some body work done to it. It seems to be common practice of use car dealerships, or I should say from what I've seen in my area. Sometimes they don't do very good work?? Any body shop can verify if it's been done.

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Thanks for the input. Maybe 6 months or so ago we took it to the dealer and they opened up the door panels and claimed they fixed it. But they didn't, the only difference I could tell was it seemed like they put it back on tighter than it was before. As far as tires go, I have Bridgestone Turanzas. I'll check into the 29 psi. Thanks.....what do you think of Bridgestone Turanzas???? ;)

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The Turanzas should be fine tires, however they are characteristically notoriously hard.

As for the dealership, they just did a crappy job. Try taking it to another dealer. Lexus dealers aren't created equal and some of them just do crappy work...

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I just went out and checked the tire pressures....FRONT DRIVER: 14

FRONT PASSENGER: 24 REAR LEFT: 22 REAR RIGHT: 15

Think filling these up to 29 shoud get it pretty smooth...thanks for letting me know about the turanzas. Yes I know they are good tires because the car handles great!! :lol: :D

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Oh yeah, those are WAY out of whack!

The car came with Turanzas new? You sure? Thats a rarity there...

The dealers not going to swap them, you wouldnt want Goodyears anyways. Go on www.tirerack.com and read the survey reponses for the tires. I'm probably going to replace mine with Continental ContiExtremeContacts.

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My guess is the car had Michelins and the dealer swiped them for someone who didnt want the Bridgestones, then replaced them with the Turanzas. As far as I know the ES never came shipped with the Turanzas. They're not great tires, but much better than the Potenzas.

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Naa at this point they aren't going to do anything about the tires, definately make them work on those rattles again. How many miles on the car? I'd inflate the tires properly and drive it around for a couple days and see what you think. It should drive MUCH better at the proper pressure and equalized pressure on all sides. With the pressures like they are I'm surprised you're not drifitng all over the road!

If you give me the exact model name of the tires (it should be listed on the sidewall) I can figure out what they're supposed to ride like for you.

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Okay I think I've figured it out now.

Those are SUMMER tires, they must be an alternate to the Toyos in snow free areas. Where do you live?

I looked up the specs, and they're not spectacular they're rated almost identically to the Potenzas which are mediocre performing in every aspect at best. Here are the breakdowns

All figures are from owner comments, rated out of 10 in every aspect

Turanza ER33 All performance Summer

Handling: 6.9

Dry Traction: 7.4

Wet Traction: 5.5

Snow Traction N/A

Ride Comfort: 6.8

Noise Comfort: 6.4

Wear: 4.4

Treadwear Rating 140

Bridgestone Potenza RE92 (this is what I have)

Handling: 6.6

Dry Traction: 7.1

Wet Traction: 5.6

Snow Traction: 4.6

Ride Comfort: 6.7

Noise Comfort: 6.6

Wear: 5.7

Treadwear Rating 160

Michelin Energy MXV4Plus (these are the good tires)

Handling: 7.1

Dry Traction: 7.8

Wet Traction: 6.8

Snow Traction: 4.6

Ride Comfort: 7.9

Noise Comfort: 7.7

Wear: 7.3

Treadwear Rating 400

So as you can see the Michelins aren't spectacular either, but they're much quieter smoother and longer lasting than the two Bridgestones.

My advice is once you get them inflated properly see how it rides then, If it still seems rougher than it should be then its probably worth throwing a set of better tires on the car. I wouldnt pay for the Michelins, they're pretty good but for $150 a tire pretty good isn't good enough. I'l look at something like these:

Continental Conti Extreme Contact

Handling: 8.2

Dry Traction: 8.7

Wet Traction: 8.8

Snow Traction: 8.2

Ride Comfort: 8.6

Noise Comfort: 8.5

Wear: 8.7

Treadwear Rating 400

And at only $85 a peice they wont break the bank.

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Doesn't have to be totally perfect. Ride it around a couple days and see what you think.

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yup, I replaced my 15's with new 16 inch wheels and a somewhat lower profile tire.

The handle and road grip is considerably better. lane changing is in the instant you think about it.

but with the thinner tires there is a bit bumpier ride. i keep my psi at 35, and the bumps are felt, but they are soaked immediatly and quietly with not too much shaking. Definetly to my taste.

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Went out in it tonight and it seemed to ride okay but when I hit a bump it made the door panels rattle and the roof part above the window. That might just be because it was cold.

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If you live in an area where snow isn't an issue, then you oughtta look into the Yokohama ES100's (ironic name huh?) I put them on my 93 and although it's a different car in every regard to y'alls cars, the tires are amazing in every aspect, especially wet traction. They've got the coolest lookin tread too lol. Check em out; I got mine on Tire Rack for $79 apiece. That's for 205/60 R 15's; I'm sure the tires for your 16's would be slightly more, plus they'd handle differently, but I'm sure they wouldn't be too much different. Only downfall is treadwear, but I've seen worse...softer tread doesn't last as long, but has a grip like a tiger. B)

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I also noticed that my sunroof (or that area) will make a pop or crack noise when I go over a big bump when it's cold outside. I think it is just characteristic of the car, no big deal.

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Easily fixed with a little white lithium grease on the moonroof seal, you can even do it yourself.

The rattles in the doors will be worse when its cold. Only my right rear door has the rattle and it goes away when the car warms up. I'll have it taken care of at the next service stop.

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Going to post a new topic titled Bridgestone Turanzas so people that might have had those tires on their es can tell me how it affected their car. It's not that I don't appreciate your help SW03S, it's just I want to hear from some people that have experieced it. I do appreciate your help and I'm sure I will need it in the future. I will keep making posts here as well so don't forget to check here too. Thanks to everybody else that has helped me as well. :D

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Okay, just spent about 30 mins. getting all the tires to about 29 psi. I got them pretty much equal at 29.....and what a difference!!!!! :D :D :D It rode so much better, much quieter, and it accelerated much faster...I was up to 60 before I knew it!!!!! :D :D Thanks so much SW03ES for all your help!! I'll keep you posted.

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