Do Not Sell My Personal Information Jump to content

Severe Shimmy In Steering Wheel


Recommended Posts

I have a 2006 ES 350 with about 45K miles. For the last 10K miles, the steering wheel shakes severely when I brake at Highway speed - 60mph plus. I have taken it to the dealership twice and they blamed it on the brake rotors needing turned, but said they weren't worn enough to justify. The second time, they said the shimmy was "insignificant". I said they didn't drive it because the steering wheel literally shakes in your hands.

Has anyone else experienced this problem?

Thanks.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There is no 2006 ES350. Is your car a 2006 ES330 or a 2007 ES350?

It matters because there is a service bulletin for the ES330 for this issue...

Its not at all uncommon, its caused by warped front rotors which can be caused by oveheating of the brakes, improper torquing of the lug nuts, etc. It is not a warranty issue really at 45k miles, its a common wear issue. The vehicle probably needs new front rotors.

This has occured several times on my ES over the years, as well as on other cars I've owned.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a 2007 ES350 and have had the same problem 3 times. First ~10,000 miles, then ~30,000 miles, now at 49,800 miles. The dealership turned both front and back rotors the first 2 times. I requested that I get new rotors under warenty due to the hisory (and the fact that my warenty is over in 200 miles). The delership agreed, thank goodness. I should pick up the car today.

I do feel lucky since I was denied all service at a dealership near my work and told to go back to the dealership near my home to work out something. I wa not happy - I am slamming that dealership in their little customer feedback card....

Link to post
Share on other sites
I have a 2006 ES 350 with about 45K miles. For the last 10K miles, the steering wheel shakes severely when I brake at Highway speed - 60mph plus. I have taken it to the dealership twice and they blamed it on the brake rotors needing turned, but said they weren't worn enough to justify. The second time, they said the shimmy was "insignificant". I said they didn't drive it because the steering wheel literally shakes in your hands.

Has anyone else experienced this problem?

Thanks.

Yes I have had the problem too in fact my car currently has the issue, At some point im going to

have to spring for some aftermarket disc's I dont trust the Lexus ones as they are cheaply made

and as far as I know there has not been any recall on them. At present when its cold outside its

not much of a problem but on a warm day if you brake going down almost any hill at all when

the brakes warm up I get the shimmy.

The reason this happens is because the material the brake disc is made of is sub standard and

not cross drilled for better ventilation like they should be on a car of this price.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thats pretty sporting of them...

Do you do a lot of heavy braking on the highway, drive on steep grades regularly?

I do drive 120 miles (round trip) to work everyday but it is not like I am riding my brakes. On previous vehicles I have had, my brakes last a lot longer due to my hi-way driving and minimal braking.

Link to post
Share on other sites
The reason this happens is because the material the brake disc is made of is sub standard and

not cross drilled for better ventilation like they should be on a car of this price.

Name me one luxury sedan under $45,000 that has cross drilled rotors from the factory.

Even better, name me one luxury sedan under $80,000 that has cross drilled rotors from the factory.

Even BMWs don't have cross drilled rotors. Thats just not typical for a manufacturer to offer cross drilled rotors on a luxury sedan at really any price.

Totally overkill for the ES. Have you ever had the rotors turned?

I do drive 120 miles (round trip) to work everyday but it is not like I am riding my brakes. On previous vehicles I have had, my brakes last a lot longer due to my hi-way driving and minimal braking.

Are there any significant downhill grades on these roads?

Link to post
Share on other sites
The reason this happens is because the material the brake disc is made of is sub standard and

not cross drilled for better ventilation like they should be on a car of this price.

Name me one luxury sedan under $45,000 that has cross drilled rotors from the factory.

Even better, name me one luxury sedan under $80,000 that has cross drilled rotors from the factory.

Even BMWs don't have cross drilled rotors. Thats just not typical for a manufacturer to offer cross drilled rotors on a luxury sedan at really any price.

Totally overkill for the ES. Have you ever had the rotors turned?

I do drive 120 miles (round trip) to work everyday but it is not like I am riding my brakes. On previous vehicles I have had, my brakes last a lot longer due to my hi-way driving and minimal braking.

Are there any significant downhill grades on these roads?

I have seen Mercedes C Class with cross drilled rotors the base price on them is 32k and yes

I have had them turned but that of course is a very temporary fix for the Lexus brakes.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You've 'toasted' your rotors...warped them due to extended high heat. I've done it to mine. Other poster's are correct, cross drilling would help ventilate, but is uncommon in 'street' cars outside of the best sports cars. I may be wrong, but I don't think the warping is a problem unless it gets really bad. Go aftermarket rotors if you want, but understand that the ES is not a high performance car, it's a luxury cruiser. Adding high perf rotors to an ES is like putting racing slicks on a Lincoln Town Car, in my opinion...

I remember the exact day I toasted mine. I had to brake fairly hard and the shimmy showed up soon afterward. The reason I had to brake was that I had run it up to 133mph and needed to slow down as the car was getting loose and floating. THAT'S usually how you toast them; give them high speed and long braking duration. Heat kills. Ever see that cool camera on a NASCAR car that shows the brake disc during a race. The discs glow red at every turn. I understand the discs that can handle that kind of punishment go for around $900-$1200 EACH...

The only fix, as I understand it, after toasting is to turn them and take the warp out, but once they've been warped, they'll always be a little off. May be wrong on this to some extent, but I'm sure someone will correct me!

BTW, I don't recommend 130MPH+ to anyone in this particular car; and certainly not on a public road. I know, I know, practice what I preach, but I do my high speed on a divided, desolate super-nice 4 lane secondary road in the middle of nowhere in West Virginia. (No specifics in case there is a Lexus-owning WV Trooper on the thread!) The suspension/brakes/steering are not designed for it. Up to about 90-95mph, it cruises like a dream, but higher than that, you'll need a sportier suspension found on the IS350 or a BMW. The suspension must be tighter to respond to small dips etc which are greatly magnified at high speed.

Bottom line, the faster you're going, the easier on the brakes you must be...avoid heat buildup...Just my 2 pennies...

Link to post
Share on other sites

The ES does not need high performance rotors just rotors with good quailty they dont warp so

easy, I dont think my car has ever been over ninety mph in fact linving in socal there is no

place you can drive at 100+ mph unless you are out at abount 1am.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I have seen Mercedes C Class with cross drilled rotors the base price on them is 32k and yes

The Mercedes C class does have cross drilled rotors...one car. Many other more expensive cars than the ES without cross drilled rotors, its simply not a standard feature on typical luxury sedans. No cross drilled rotors on the 3 series BMW...

So the statement "as is customary for a car of this price" is hardly the case.

I have had them turned but that of course is a very temporary fix for the Lexus brakes.

Its a temporary fix for any brakes. Turning them reduces their thickness which makes them warp faster, they need to be replaced.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Its a temporary fix for any brakes. Turning them reduces their thickness which makes them warp faster, they need to be replaced.

Steve

I already know my rotors need to be replaced and have said so on more than one occasion.

Also I already know when rotors are turned they get slightly thinner as im sure most folks

that are car repair savy know also.

I also know that a quality set of rotors can go well over 100k without warping and that with

being turned two to three times.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd agree with that, the rotors on my car are the same rotors that were replaced at 15k during the ES300 brake TSB that was performed. I'd imagine they're the same rotors that are on your car too...

Do you have your car washed at an automatic carwash or spray water into the wheels when the brakes are hot after driving? Sometimes that can cause warping...

Link to post
Share on other sites
I have a 2006 ES 350 with about 45K miles. For the last 10K miles, the steering wheel shakes severely when I brake at Highway speed - 60mph plus. I have taken it to the dealership twice and they blamed it on the brake rotors needing turned, but said they weren't worn enough to justify. The second time, they said the shimmy was "insignificant". I said they didn't drive it because the steering wheel literally shakes in your hands.

Has anyone else experienced this problem?

Thanks.

I'm having exactly the same problem with my 2001 RX300. It started shortly after making a panic stop on the freeway. I routinely drive about 60 Fwy miles back and forth to work every day, and rarely have to do much braking. However, a person would think that a good set of brakes would be worth at least one panic stop without warping the rotors. I had them machined and the pads replaced immediately after the vibration started. It reduced the vibration to a mild pulsation. The mild pulsation increased to a strong vibration and I had the rotors turned again and the pads replaced again. Four months later the vibration is terrible...I can hardly hold the wheel. So today it's in the shop for new rotors and pads. Aftermarket.

To give the brake guys credit, they asked me all the right questions: overtorquing when the tires were rotated? driving on hills riding the brakes? cold water wash on hot brakes? I can't answer the tire rotation question. Who watches the tire guys while they rotate the tires! I could tell him, though, that I've made exactly one panic stop in 8 years, and NEVER ride my brakes. Perhaps they got wet while hot. But give me a break! What happens when we drive in the rain? Doesn't that qualify as cold water on hot brakes?

I'll be picking up the RX in about an hour and will post the results and the suggestions the brake guys give me.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I have a 2006 ES 350 with about 45K miles. For the last 10K miles, the steering wheel shakes severely when I brake at Highway speed - 60mph plus. I have taken it to the dealership twice and they blamed it on the brake rotors needing turned, but said they weren't worn enough to justify. The second time, they said the shimmy was "insignificant". I said they didn't drive it because the steering wheel literally shakes in your hands.

Has anyone else experienced this problem?

Thanks.

I'm having exactly the same problem with my 2001 RX300. It started shortly after making a panic stop on the freeway. I routinely drive about 60 Fwy miles back and forth to work every day, and rarely have to do much braking. However, a person would think that a good set of brakes would be worth at least one panic stop without warping the rotors. I had them machined and the pads replaced immediately after the vibration started. It reduced the vibration to a mild pulsation. The mild pulsation increased to a strong vibration and I had the rotors turned again and the pads replaced again. Four months later the vibration is terrible...I can hardly hold the wheel. So today it's in the shop for new rotors and pads. Aftermarket.

To give the brake guys credit, they asked me all the right questions: overtorquing when the tires were rotated? driving on hills riding the brakes? cold water wash on hot brakes? I can't answer the tire rotation question. Who watches the tire guys while they rotate the tires! I could tell him, though, that I've made exactly one panic stop in 8 years, and NEVER ride my brakes. Perhaps they got wet while hot. But give me a break! What happens when we drive in the rain? Doesn't that qualify as cold water on hot brakes?

I'll be picking up the RX in about an hour and will post the results and the suggestions the brake guys give me.

After owning some twenty cars over the last thirty something years including many different

makes and being involved in the constant operation on many others the Lexus cars are the

only ones that I have heard of that have so many brake problems at such low mileage.

Rotors warping at 8K rear pads worn out at 19K was totaly unheard of untill I purchased my

2007 ES 300.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My car has 125k miles and I haven't had any excessive brake problems and I drive fairly aggresively.

I don't think a rotor replacement on an 8 year old RX300 is excessive...

If the pulsation was still there after the rotors were turned they weren't turned properly...

Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't think a rotor replacement on an 8 year old RX300 is excessive...

It really depends on the mileage 8yrs and 60k miles or more maybe so but less than 60k the

rotors should not be warping no matter how old the car is. Also a lot of cars have heavy

braking from time to time with out negetive side effects.

Link to post
Share on other sites

60k if the rotors have experienced an extreme panic stop, been hit with cold water, or retorqued improperly I would not at all be surprised to see the rotors warp on any make of vehicle.

Link to post
Share on other sites
60k if the rotors have experienced an extreme panic stop, been hit with cold water, or retorqued improperly I would not at all be surprised to see the rotors warp on any make of vehicle.

I would as I just have not seen very many rotors warp panic stops being hit with cold water the whole gambet, I think if rotor warping was such a common thing

we would not even be discussin it here.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well...you've been lucky. I've had rotors warp after panic stops on vehicles that are not Lexus vehicles. The rotors would warp on my Explorer a lot, it was heavy. I drove my cousin-in-law's '05 Accord a few months ago...rotors were badly warped. I consider it an ordinary wear occurance over time. Ask some mechanics they'll tell you its common.

Google warped rotors...complaints from owners of many different makes of vehicles.

http://newcarbuyingguide.com/index.php/new...5318/event=view

There are several causes for warped rotors. It can result from normal wearing of the rotors. It will often occur if you let the brake pads wear to the point where is there is metal-to-metal contact between pads, or what's left of them, and the rotor. Thus, the importance of routine brake pad inspections. Warping can occur if the brakes are very hot after a long trip, or many applications, and then the vehicle is driven through a puddle of cool water.
Incidentally, warped rotors are a bigger problem with the latest models compared to earlier ones fitted with disc brakes. That's because to decrease weight, and thus improve fuel economy, automakers have made brake rotors lighter and more susceptible to warping. Heavier brake rotors can absorb more heat so they are less likely to warp with sudden changes in temperature. While much more expensive vehicles do use carbon fiber and ceramic rotors, most still just use lighter weight, and more warp-prone, steel rotors.
Often pulsations start after a tire has been changed and there is dirt, corrosion or rust on the inner surface of the replaced wheel. This can cause uneven clamping leading to rotor warping. This uneven clamping can also occur from improper tightening of lug nuts. For example, not tightening in the usually recommended two-step, criss-cross tightening technique, and using the improper torque (bolts, lug nets, etc. all use manufacturer-specified levels of torque.) A torque wrench must be used on modern wheels. Air impact wrenches will not torque down the nuts properly. If there is brake pulsating after changing a tire, loosen the nuts and re-torque as soon as possible and you may be able to prevent warping problems.

Here's an article abount brake warping on Mercedes Benz vehicles, which as you mentioned have cross drilled rotors:

http://www.streetdirectory.com/travel_guid...or_problem.html

Link to post
Share on other sites

I had this problem on my 03 ES300 where my steering/car shakes whenever I brake at 110 to 120km/hr. The mechanic said the rotors are wrapped and quoted me $400 parts and labour for an average set of OEM rotors and pads. I bought a set of ERP crossed drilled rotors and ceramic pads from here a week ago and installed them in 1/2 hr for a total of $230. work and look great so far

http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewIt...em=330313872254

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...