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Lexus Es 350 - Vibration


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I just bought a 2011 Lexus ES 350. The second day I had it I started noticing a vibration in the seats and slightly in the steering wheel that got much worse at speeds between 70-80mph. I took it back in and the dealership balanced the tires and gave it back. Unfortunately, the vibration was still there. So, I took it back again a few days later. They then road forced the tires and found 3 out of spec. They replaced the three tires and said it was fixed so I picked up. Once again, the car was still vibrating. So, we made an appointment and took it back. They replaced the fourth tire and called to say it was ready. However, I drove it home today and I think it is worse than ever. Has anyone else experienced this? It is very disappointing considering it is a brand new car. I have never owned a Lexus and it is really ruining my impression of the brand. At this point I want to walk away!

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I moved this to the ES350 forum...

It certainly is not normal. It definitely sounds like wheels out of balance to me. These cars are finicky with balance, if the tech isn't really careful it being just a little out of balance can produce a strong vibration...

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I just bought a 2011 Lexus ES 350. The second day I had it I started noticing a vibration in the seats and slightly in the steering wheel that got much worse at speeds between 70-80mph. I took it back in and the dealership balanced the tires and gave it back. Unfortunately, the vibration was still there. So, I took it back again a few days later. They then road forced the tires and found 3 out of spec. They replaced the three tires and said it was fixed so I picked up. Once again, the car was still vibrating. So, we made an appointment and took it back. They replaced the fourth tire and called to say it was ready. However, I drove it home today and I think it is worse than ever. Has anyone else experienced this? It is very disappointing considering it is a brand new car. I have never owned a Lexus and it is really ruining my impression of the brand. At this point I want to walk away!

sounds like it just needs a wheel alignment..it is remarkable to me that they didn't do that..besides the tires, which they already took care of, what else could it be

also, I dont think it is uncommon for new cars to have wheels out of alignment..one of my new maxima's pulled badly in one direction, and the alignment took care of it

taking them off ships, diving at the docks, loading them on trailers..who knows, but it is likely not a friendly drive before it gets to the dealer, and you know they are not especially careful with them

let us know how it turns out..hopefully you will be enjoying a SMOOTH ride shortly

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No, an alignment is not going to present as a vibration like that. The steering would pull to one side or the next, but the vibration is a signature of wheel balance.

I have had a steering wheel vibration more than once that was resolved by a wheel alignment

Either way, since the dealer is sh*t out of ideas, they should try it

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So they did align it the last time I was in when they replaced the one tire. It was just slightly out. So that didn't fix it either. I looked at the weights on the tires (which are the Bridgestone Turanza by the way) and there is more than 28g of weight on each of the front tires and close to that same amount on one of the back tires. The other back tire which I think is the one they changed out most recently, has no weight on it. So, I guess you can have a perfectly balanced tire, but I find that odd. Anyway I called and asked, they said it was balanced and there was nothing else they could do "it is a characteristic of the car". I am extremely disappointed. I picked this car after many test drives and research and did not experience this vibration during the test drive (the car I test drove is the one I purchased). In fact I purchased the car because it was such a smooth quiet ride. I would love to keep the car, just minus the vibration. However, if they cannot fix it, I definitely don't want to live with it like it is. I absolutely dread driving it right now! I'll keep ya posted.

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I have had a steering wheel vibration more than once that was resolved by a wheel alignment

It would have to be REALLY out of alignment.

To the OP...if the dealer can't get it done...I would take it to an independent shop and have them road force balance it at your own expense. Should cost about $100 I bet that solves the problem. If that fixes it I would try and get Lexus to reimburse you by calling 1-800-25-LEXUS . I have had these cars balanced by a shop over and over again and swear they were in balance...and then a different shop balances it once and its perfect. The dealer's just out to lunch on this issue.

It certainly is not a "characteristic of the car". Mine rides like its on glass at any speed...on the same Bridgestone tires (which aren't the greatest).

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I have had a steering wheel vibration more than once that was resolved by a wheel alignment

It would have to be REALLY out of alignment.

To the OP...if the dealer can't get it done...I would take it to an independent shop and have them road force balance it at your own expense. Should cost about $100 I bet that solves the problem. If that fixes it I would try and get Lexus to reimburse you by calling 1-800-25-LEXUS . I have had these cars balanced by a shop over and over again and swear they were in balance...and then a different shop balances it once and its perfect. The dealer's just out to lunch on this issue.

It certainly is not a "characteristic of the car". Mine rides like its on glass at any speed...on the same Bridgestone tires (which aren't the greatest).

wow, that was weird, was typing here and the window disappeared on me, apologize if this post shows up twice somehow

anyway, I was saying that I agree with Steve that it is not characteristic of the car...mine, and the others 2 I test drove, were smooth as silk, and that is, of course, the car's reputation

Steve might be right that another shop could take care of the problem, but I would absolutely just get another one..too frustrating to even deal with it anymore...you should be enjoying your new ride, not dreading it

I say get another one, or if you are totally put off from the car at this point, pick up a different brand...thing is, I did a lot of homework, and took a lot of test drives, and it is gonna be difficult to find something very comparable at that price point...the competitors tend to be a bit better performers, but when you balance that with size, comfort, etc., the es350 wins..at least it did for me

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You can't just "get another one". At this point getting out of the ES is going to cost him HUGE in depreciation, and the lemon law is no easy thing to get coverage under.

Anyways its not necessary. I'm almost certain a proper balancing will solve the issue.

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You can't just "get another one". At this point getting out of the ES is going to cost him HUGE in depreciation, and the lemon law is no easy thing to get coverage under.

Anyways its not necessary. I'm almost certain a proper balancing will solve the issue.

if he can't get out of the es, I would just leave it at the dealer til it is fixed...they have to make it right

if they don't fix it properly, I would take the loss regardless of how big, even if I had to buy a less expensive car

what is the use of owning a car that you hate to drive...get one with more miles or whatever it takes

balancing tires is not rocket science, so that is not likely the problem IMO..it could easily be the suspension, the engine itself...etc...needs to be diagnosed correctly

one thing we agree on in a big way is that the dealer is an idiot

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balancing tires is not rocket science, so that is not likely the problem IMO..it could easily be the suspension, the engine itself...etc...needs to be diagnosed correctly

I've driven these cars for 13 years...true balancing tires is not rocket science, but on these cars the balance has to be PERFECT, where as on other cars if its off a little, you'll never know.

I have had one shop balance them over and over again and swear they are fine when they aren't, and another shop balances them once and they're perfect.

Its easy to say that you would take a $7,000 loss over something like this...but that would be crazy...

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Its easy to say that you would take a $7,000 loss over something like this...but that would be crazy...

Yea that's one H E L L of a hit...I would ake it somewhere else and let them give it a try.

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Yeah $100 for a road force balance at an independent shop is a small price to pay, if it works (I suspect it will) call 1-800-25-LEXUS and demand a refund because the dealer was incapable of solving the problem.

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Yeah $100 for a road force balance at an independent shop is a small price to pay, if it works (I suspect it will) call 1-800-25-LEXUS and demand a refund because the dealer was incapable of solving the problem.

As you all know, I'm a little slow. What is a "road force balance?" ( I know a regular wheel balance, duh...)

Paul

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Yeah $100 for a road force balance at an independent shop is a small price to pay, if it works (I suspect it will) call 1-800-25-LEXUS and demand a refund because the dealer was incapable of solving the problem.

As you all know, I'm a little slow. What is a "road force balance?" ( I know a regular wheel balance, duh...)

Paul

http://www.hunter.com/balancer/roadforce/4159T.pdf

There you go...it basically simulates driving conditions to help balance the tires.

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Yeah $100 for a road force balance at an independent shop is a small price to pay, if it works (I suspect it will) call 1-800-25-LEXUS and demand a refund because the dealer was incapable of solving the problem.

I am gonna take the other side of that bet...I say it is NOT a wheel balancing problem

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What else could it be? The only other option is some worn front suspension component or a bad motor or transmission mount...which on a brand new car would be very unlikely.

I've also had tires on a Lexus vehicle that could not be balanced. All the balancing equipment would register them balanced...and they would be smooth for a while and the vibration would come back. Balance them again...smooth for a while and it'd come back. Replaced the tires...never had a balance problem again...must have been a belt or something in one of the tires that was loose or shifting.

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What else could it be? The only other option is some worn front suspension component or a bad motor or transmission mount...which on a brand new car would be very unlikely.

I've also had tires on a Lexus vehicle that could not be balanced. All the balancing equipment would register them balanced...and they would be smooth for a while and the vibration would come back. Balance them again...smooth for a while and it'd come back. Replaced the tires...never had a balance problem again...must have been a belt or something in one of the tires that was loose or shifting.

ooooooooops, lol, for some reason, I thought we were talking about a 2007..please ignore all of posts, ha..and let me out of that bet

anyway, I am on board now, and agree, brand new car pretty much rules out everything I was thinking of

I didn't realize that tire balancing could be such an issue...never bumped into that problem

interested in seeing how this is resolved..thanks for straightening me out

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I think that it is a bad tire. I had a similar problem with my previous Infiniti I-30. I bought a new set of Michelin tires at 150K. After mounting and balancing, it had a terrible vibration and shimmy between 75-85 mph, but only as those speeds. Took it back to the dealer and they rebalanced. No difference. Took it back again and rebalanced one more time using a differenct balancing technique. Same problem. However the dealer admitted that there was a problem and said one of the tires must be "out of round", what ever that is. So their plan was to take a tire off one by one and replace with the spare and test drive after each tire was substituted with the spare. On the second attempt, the passenger side front tire, the problem went away. They ordered me a new replacement tire and I was on my way. Dealer said it is rare but occasionaly they get a new tire that is "our of round" and that balancing won't make any difference. I think you have the same problem. What you need to do is replace one of your tires, one by one, with the spare and then test drive it. It is likely a front tire so start there. That is a lot of trouble, but I don't trust your dealer. If you have a bad tire, Lexus owes you a new one and an apology.

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What else could it be? The only other option is some worn front suspension component or a bad motor or transmission mount...which on a brand new car would be very unlikely.

I've also had tires on a Lexus vehicle that could not be balanced. All the balancing equipment would register them balanced...and they would be smooth for a while and the vibration would come back. Balance them again...smooth for a while and it'd come back. Replaced the tires...never had a balance problem again...must have been a belt or something in one of the tires that was loose or shifting.

ooooooooops, lol, for some reason, I thought we were talking about a 2007..please ignore all of posts, ha..and let me out of that bet

anyway, I am on board now, and agree, brand new car pretty much rules out everything I was thinking of

I didn't realize that tire balancing could be such an issue...never bumped into that problem

interested in seeing how this is resolved..thanks for straightening me out

Ohhh NOO! You can't back out of the bet now! I had $100K on it! :cheers:

J/K! :cheers:

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  • 2 weeks later...

balancing tires is not rocket science, so that is not likely the problem IMO..it could easily be the suspension, the engine itself...etc...needs to be diagnosed correctly

I've driven these cars for 13 years...true balancing tires is not rocket science, but on these cars the balance has to be PERFECT, where as on other cars if its off a little, you'll never know.

I have had one shop balance them over and over again and swear they are fine when they aren't, and another shop balances them once and they're perfect.

Its easy to say that you would take a $7,000 loss over something like this...but that would be crazy...

Hey Steve,

First off, congrats on finally upgrading your last gen ES to our gen. Secondly, are you still using Nelson at LXT for your service?

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Maybe you can try speaking with the Shop Manager. I ended up having to do this with my 07 that I bought in Jan 10. My problem was a popping noise when I applied the brakes, it only came from the right side. I think it took me 7 times before I asked for whoever was over the guys that repaired the cars. Of course this was the Shop Mgr. The Service Manager had talked with me to but he didn't know what the hell was going on, he had only been there for 3 mths maybe and what he told me didn't make since when he tried to explain it. Talk to the Shop Manager.

:whistles: I think I'm talking about something else. LOL. Sorry.

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