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Have A Brand New 330 As A Loaner...


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Well I dropped my car off for service this evening an got a brand new (1500 miles) ES330 as a loaner. Its white with cream interior, not a great color combo in my opinion.

I have some observations after driving it tonight and comparing it to my 03 300. Firstly the new motor. I've heard some say that the engine is somewhat louder than the 3.0, but I didn't notice any difference in the sound, seems just as quiet and smooth as the 3.0. It does seem to have a little more power, but in normal driving I wouldn't be able to tell the difference. One thing I did really notice however is that the new torque setup creates somewhat pronounced torque steer. For those that don't know torque steer is a phenomenon exhibited by FWD cars with somewhat to high horespower and torque. When you accelerate the steering wheel will fight you for control one direction or the other. I'm always impressed by the fact my car has no torque steer, but the 330 definately does.

They changed a couple things, first the seats are somewhat different in the front. The seat bottom is squared off instead of rounded and the seat is supposed to offer more support, I find it somewhat hard when compared to mine, but that may just be because its new. Second theres a new little light cluster on the climate control face that has three warning lights. The passenger seatbelt light like the 300, and an "Airbag On" and an "Airbag Off" light (the 330 has defeatable passenger airbags) unfortunately either the "on" or "off" light is constantly illuminated and its a bright amber color, this would really irritate me...

Tranny has the same lag as the 300, I really think its the throttle not the transmission.

Oh and one other thing of interest, the dealership has a new fix for the rear door rattle they say works, they're going to remove a small peice of weatherstripping from the bottom of the door, I'll let everyone know how that goes...

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Oh and one other thing of interest, the dealership has a new fix for the rear door rattle they say works, they're going to remove a small peice of weatherstripping from the bottom of the door, I'll let everyone know how that goes...

I fail to understand why Lexus never corrected this problem in manufacturing when they knew it started with the '02 model ES. Do you? :angry:

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I've been wanting to test drive an 04 330 to see if it has the same tranny hesitation as my 03 300 and from what you say it does. I'm not surprised. It's really a very annoying (and unsafe) defect but Lexus is still getting away with not fixing it. I read where the dealer was told to buy back an 03 300 lease due to dangerous tranny lag by the lemon law arbitrators after they drove the car. Now that's progress!

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Wow, how bad is this tranny lag? I've never been fortunate enough to drive an ES that was any newer than a 96 so I've never experienced this but I hear y'all talk about it all the time. Is it really enough to make the car unsafe? :huh: Haha, know what? I'd settle for a lagging transmission right about now in my 93; it'd be alot better than what I've got now (one that doesn't shift at all lol) :lol: Still workin on that... <_<

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Its a lot worse for some people than for others, it has to do with your driving style. It doesn't bother me at all. The reason Lexus hasn't done anything about it is because there isn't anything they can do, its the design of the throttle by wire system. Like I've said before I've noticed the same lag on many other vehicles with electronic throttles. I've gotten so without even thinking I can drive the car so that it doesn't lag, it only lags when I specifically make it. Its quick abrupt use of the throttle that causes it to lag, if you're smooth you wont even feel it.

I can see where it would be potentially dangerous if say you pull out of a stopped lane into traffic and floor it, it would hesistate a second then downshift and in that second the oncoming traffic would get a lot closer.

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Its quick abrupt use of the throttle that causes it to lag, if you're smooth you wont even feel it.

NO WAY! Try this and let me know if this happens. Drive normally and then slow down till the car is almost stopped. Then gently press the accelerator. Tell me, does the car go into a lower gear or does it hesitate while it tries to figure out what gear to go into? This quirk is very annoying and dangerous especially when you're in stop & go traffic on the highway. Everyone of the '02's thru '04's I've driven has this same idiosyncrasy!

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Drive normally and then slow down till the car is almost stopped. Then gently press the accelerator. Tell me, does the car go into a lower gear or does it hesitate while it tries to figure out what gear to go into?

My '94 does this, and it drives my crazy :wacko: . I even get it when I make sharp turns...let off for the turn, and then press it once I get out. The car jumps a little :wacko: .

:cheers:

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To tell you why I consider it dangerous.....I was driving on a parkway in stop & go traffic.......the car in front of me started to accelerate a bit, so I was still rolling a bit and then tried to accelerate. My car was not in a gear at this point, but when it finally found a gear the car would lurch forward. I had to brake immediately to avoid rear ending the car in front of me. I pride myself in being a smooth driver but to overcome this obstacle makes this difficult to do. Therefore I consider this transmission or the electronic controls sadly lacking in refinement. There should be NO need for the driver of an automatic transmission to have to concentrate so fully to drive in a smooth manner. If this is a "characteristic" of a Lexus transmission I think it stinks. :angry:

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I've been wanting to test drive an 04 330 to see if it has the same tranny hesitation as my 03 300 and from what you say it does. I'm not surprised. It's really a very annoying (and unsafe) defect but Lexus is still getting away with not fixing it. I read where the dealer was told to buy back an 03 300 lease due to dangerous tranny lag by the lemon law arbitrators after they drove the car.  Now that's progress!

I'm currently driving an '04 loaner while my '03 is still at the dealer. I find the pick-up is better, but there is still a great deal of rattling from the doors. Also, just like my '03, although not quite as bad, there is the odor from the ac system (which you smell when using the defrost or ac). I have hired an attorney. If I were to list all of the problems with the '03 car I have, I would be typing for 45 minutes. The '03 is not my first Lexus. I am shocked and saddened by the response of the dealer and Lexus to what is obviously (and admitted by the dealer) to be a lemon of a car.

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As I know now the rattle is easily repaired by removing the offending weatherstripping. The smell in the climate system is caused by high sulfer content in the gas, I've remedied it by switching to BP low sulfer gas...

Spend some time and type out your problems, there may be a lot of things we can help you with.

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As I know now the rattle is easily repaired by removing the offending weatherstripping. The smell in the climate system is caused by high sulfer content in the gas, I've remedied it by switching to BP low sulfer gas...

Spend some time and type out your problems, there may be a lot of things we can help you with.

No, the ac system smell is not the sulfur smell. I'm used to the rotten egg smell. I sat the manager in my car with the windows rolled up and let him smell the odor. He said it was the worst thing he ever smelled. It made my family sick. I was driving without the benefit of the defrost function because of the hideous odor. I was told that Lexus feels the filters are too small for the ES and that they are putting RX filters in them. I was told that some cars smelled like a gym locker, but none smelled like mine. I'm just devastated to have to be going through this.

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Have you tried running ozium or something through the A/C induction system? Does it usually only happen when the defroster is on? With mine sometimes when I set it to recirculate sometimes I get a stiff spurt of a strong chemical/charcoal smell which comes from the filter, its not pleasant but it doesn't sound anything like yours.

Can you describe the smell? How is the car parked, is it outside a lot (including a carport) or is it garaged? Have they tried to change the cabin filter?

If there is something foreign in the A/C induction system changing the filter wouldn't help. The filter guards against microbes and SOME smells, but it wont filter out particularly strong aromas. Whenever anything becomes lodged in the system, even if its something small like a leaf or some mold spores it can create a NASTY smell fast due to the fact that all of the air is blowing by it on a constant basis...

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  • 3 months later...
I've been wanting to test drive an 04 330 to see if it has the same tranny hesitation as my 03 300 and from what you say it does. I'm not surprised. It's really a very annoying (and unsafe) defect but Lexus is still getting away with not fixing it. I read where the dealer was told to buy back an 03 300 lease due to dangerous tranny lag by the lemon law arbitrators after they drove the car.  Now that's progress!

I'm currently driving an '04 loaner while my '03 is still at the dealer. I find the pick-up is better, but there is still a great deal of rattling from the doors. Also, just like my '03, although not quite as bad, there is the odor from the ac system (which you smell when using the defrost or ac). I have hired an attorney. If I were to list all of the problems with the '03 car I have, I would be typing for 45 minutes. The '03 is not my first Lexus. I am shocked and saddened by the response of the dealer and Lexus to what is obviously (and admitted by the dealer) to be a lemon of a car.

i too am having mutible problem with my es300 2003. i am still trying to work out a deal with the dealer. funny huh. maybe i too should hire an attorney. i will give it another week. i only have a little over 3000 miles on it since my kids won't go in it because of the smell. one of my children started drive heaving . now that is what i call a luxury car.

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I've been wanting to test drive an 04 330 to see if it has the same tranny hesitation as my 03 300 and from what you say it does. I'm not surprised. It's really a very annoying (and unsafe) defect but Lexus is still getting away with not fixing it. I read where the dealer was told to buy back an 03 300 lease due to dangerous tranny lag by the lemon law arbitrators after they drove the car.  Now that's progress!

I'm currently driving an '04 loaner while my '03 is still at the dealer. I find the pick-up is better, but there is still a great deal of rattling from the doors. Also, just like my '03, although not quite as bad, there is the odor from the ac system (which you smell when using the defrost or ac). I have hired an attorney. If I were to list all of the problems with the '03 car I have, I would be typing for 45 minutes. The '03 is not my first Lexus. I am shocked and saddened by the response of the dealer and Lexus to what is obviously (and admitted by the dealer) to be a lemon of a car.

i too am having many problems with my es300 2003. i am still trying to work out a deal with the dealer. funny huh. maybe i should hire an attorney. i will give it another week. i only have a little over 3000 miles on it since my kids won't go in it because of the smell. one of my children even started heaving . now that is what i call a luxury car.

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