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rob_es350
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I ranted a bit, well a lot, about the handling of the es when I first got it, and then found it fine after I increased the tire pressure from the factory 30psi to 36-37psi

have one more complaint about the car since I bought it...curious to see if anyone else on board

brakes are not good with quick stops..I would characterize them as spongy, or somewhat non-responsive

eh?

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I ranted a bit, well a lot, about the handling of the es when I first got it, and then found it fine after I increased the tire pressure from the factory 30psi to 36-37psi have one more complaint about the car since I bought it...curious to see if anyone else on board brakes are not good with quick stops..I would characterize them as spongy, or somewhat non-responsive eh?
Doesn't sound like mine. They will stop on a dime. I have been forced to make several quick stops, from as fast as 65mph with no problem. In fact just last Friday, I was approaching a stoplight on a major highway going about 55 mph. The light suddenly turned yellow and for split second I thought I could get through before it turned red. I decided that I couldn't make it and hit my brakes. I heard bakes squeeling behind me and notice that the idiot behind me was going to run the light, but hadn't thought about me. While looking at the rear view mirror and the windshield at the same time, I had to alternate letting off the bakes and then hitting the brakes to adjust the distance between me and the idiot while not running the light. I managed to do it. The brakes worked great. He gave me the one fingered salute and I returned it.
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Well, if you think the manufacture recommended tire pressure is to low, then of course you would think the brakes are to soft. I would be surprised if you didn't think the suspension was too soft as well.

Anyway, I don't know how many miles you have on the car now, and where you are at with your maintenance schedule, but you pretty much have to change the discs at the same time you change your pads anyway. I suggest when that next time comes, change the discs to a harder disc, and get pads with a higher initial bite. A good semi metallic like EBC Greens would probably work. The only other thing you can do would be to change the brake lines to steel braided to prevent the line flex, which would makes you brakes much more responsive during initial braking, and provide alot more feel.

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Well, if you think the manufacture recommended tire pressure is to low, then of course you would think the brakes are to soft. I would be surprised if you didn't think the suspension was too soft as well.

Anyway, I don't know how many miles you have on the car now, and where you are at with your maintenance schedule, but you pretty much have to change the discs at the same time you change your pads anyway. I suggest when that next time comes, change the discs to a harder disc, and get pads with a higher initial bite. A good semi metallic like EBC Greens would probably work. The only other thing you can do would be to change the brake lines to steel braided to prevent the line flex, which would makes you brakes much more responsive during initial braking, and provide alot more feel.

Thanks smooth1!

I do indeed think the suspension could be firmed up a bit.

Only had the 5k maintenance to date, so new brakes still ahead of me.

When the time comes, I will definitely look into your suggestions.

When it comes time for tires, I will likely go up something different there too, probably even go with at least an 18'' wheel.

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Anyway, I don't know how many miles you have on the car now, and where you are at with your maintenance schedule, but you pretty much have to change the discs at the same time you change your pads anyway.

Brake rotors usually need replacing only when they wear down so much as to be out of specification or when they are warped so badly they can not be machined back into spec.

I can't forecast how long the brake rotors on your particularly ES will last but I can tell you that the brake rotors on most vehicles made by Toyota are exceptionally resistant to wear. As on most cars, the rear rotors should last about twice as long as the front rotors.

I just went out to the garage and used a micrometer to measure the thickness of the original factory installed front brake rotors on my 2000 LS400. According to the specs in my OEM shop manuals, the original thickness of the front rotors was 28 mm and the rotors should be replaced at 26 mm. Now the car is at just over 136,000 miles. The thickness of the front rotors measures is ... drum roll, please! ... exactly 28 mm. ZERO detectable wear. We will likely drive the LS and Camry to around 200,000 miles and we will never have to replace brake rotors on either car.

It was the same on the 90 LS I bought new and drove for 183,500 miles. It's the same on our Camry which we bought new and have driven to 120,000 miles.

Frequent rotor replacement is much more common on high performance cars and especially on both high and low performance Germain cars like a Mercedes I had where the front rotors were worn down below spec by about 120,000 miles. The original rear rotors however were still within spec when I sold the car at 210,000 miles.

Back to the OP's original questions and comments. The ES was not designed to deliver a hard brake pedal or particularly sharp handling. It's a really nice front wheel drive boulevard cruiser with a comfortably soft suspension. If you have pump up the tires to 36-37 psi to make the car feel responsive then maybe an IS350, IS-F or BMW M3 would be a better choice.

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The brakes on mine are fine. There not Brembos...but they stop the car smoothly and efficiently without any drama. Thats what they were designed to do.

You're going to continually have this problem, you bought the wrong car. There is not on ounce of sportiness in this car...its a highway cruiser...like a Buick. If you expect crispness and sportiness, you're going to continue to be disappointed. As i've said before...I just simply don't understand why you bought an ES.

Its like buying an apple...and complaining because it doesn't taste like a glass of milk. Makes no sense.

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Rob, since you have less that 5k on the car have you discussed with your dealer the chance of doing a swap with a low mileage Is or other model. My es has less than 5k as well,and for a good customer, (I've purchased three cars from them) I'm pretty sure they would do as much as possible to make me happy. Ask. The worst that can happen is that they will say no.

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You guys make a strong point.

As I mentioned in other posts, I did drive a bunch of other cars before deciding on the ES

These included infinti g37x, bmw3, and 5 series, acura tl, lexus gs350, cadillac cts, audi a4, and a6

The bmw535x was the best by far, but a 20k over the es did not make sense to me

The g37x was amazing and pricing was even a touch less than the es, but it was a little too small

ES was the most comfortable hands down, and performance was acceptable

No regrets on the decision..spend a ton of time in the car, and comfort comes before being able to exit a highway without having to brake on the ramp..though I do like that,lol

Once I figured out the tire pressure thing, I have not thought about the performance, just fine for me

As far as the brakes, just wanted to know if you guys shared my opinion, which you obviously don't

but imo, the brakes could easily not have that spongy feel with quick stops and still not give up any of the smoothness..I have no doubt that the brakes will stop the car in a big hurry if necessary

my guess is that there are some es owners that we have not heard from yet who share my opinion regarding the brakes..I noticed it the first time I test drove the car

anyone?, lol

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You guys make a strong point.

As I mentioned in other posts, I did drive a bunch of other cars before deciding on the ES

These included infinti g37x, bmw3, and 5 series, acura tl, lexus gs350, cadillac cts, audi a4, and a6

The bmw535x was the best by far, but a 20k over the es did not make sense to me

The g37x was amazing and pricing was even a touch less than the es, but it was a little too small

ES was the most comfortable hands down, and performance was acceptable

No regrets on the decision..spend a ton of time in the car, and comfort comes before being able to exit a highway without having to brake on the ramp..though I do like that,lol

Once I figured out the tire pressure thing, I have not thought about the performance, just fine for me

As far as the brakes, just wanted to know if you guys shared my opinion, which you obviously don't

but imo, the brakes could easily not have that spongy feel with quick stops and still not give up any of the smoothness..I have no doubt that the brakes will stop the car in a big hurry if necessary

my guess is that there are some es owners that we have not heard from yet who share my opinion regarding the brakes..I noticed it the first time I test drove the car

anyone?, lol

I hope we get some more members involved in this and other discussions beside the "Usual Gang" that seems to keep most of the threads going. It would be nice to have some fresh ideas. I admire your maturity in accepting the friendly criticism without responding with negativity.

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At my 20k service I reported I felt a shudder during braking. Under warranty, the brakes were replaced and the rotors turned.

After getting new tires (switched from the Bridgestones to Michelin Primacy), my braking and handling improved drastically. Not sure what tires you have, but it is worth a shot.

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At my 20k service I reported I felt a shudder during braking. Under warranty, the brakes were replaced and the rotors turned.

After getting new tires (switched from the Bridgestones to Michelin Primacy), my braking and handling improved drastically. Not sure what tires you have, but it is worth a shot.

Thanks.

Mine actually came with the Michelin's.

Glad that was the case since you report the handling is much better.

Not sure why the tire change would affect the braking so noticeably.

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Not sure why the tire change would affect the braking so noticeably.

It's because different tire models can have dramatically different handling characteristics. I have Michelin Primacy all season tires on my Lexus too (I do not use them in winter) and they are quite, ride great and provide acceptable handling and braking but they fall far short of the handling and braking provided by the previous tires I used during Spring/Summer/Fall -- summer ultra high performance Bridgestone RE750.

The RE750's were incredibly fun but I didn't like their short life - I squeezed just over 20,000 miles out of the set and I really should have discarded them sooner. The Primacy's are very nice and should last far longer but I have had to moderate my driving style which is something I should be doing anyway since I'm in serious geezer (60+) territory and I know my reflexes have to declining even if I don't notice it. No blasting around curves at the limit of adhesion on the Primacys.

People interested in maximum performance don't use all season tires.

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Not sure why the tire change would affect the braking so noticeably.

It's because different tire models can have dramatically different handling characteristics. I have Michelin Primacy all season tires on my Lexus too (I do not use them in winter) and they are quite, ride great and provide acceptable handling and braking but they fall far short of the handling and braking provided by the previous tires I used during Spring/Summer/Fall -- summer ultra high performance Bridgestone RE750.

The RE750's were incredibly fun but I didn't like their short life - I squeezed just over 20,000 miles out of the set and I really should have discarded them sooner. The Primacy's are very nice and should last far longer but I have had to moderate my driving style which is something I should be doing anyway since I'm in serious geezer (60+) territory and I know my reflexes have to declining even if I don't notice it. No blasting around curves at the limit of adhesion on the Primacys.

People interested in maximum performance don't use all season tires.

Just a quick add on.

This was the first winter I chose to use winter tires. I run Michelin's Primacy MXV?(not sure about the right order of letters), and I put on Michelin X-ICE winter tires for the season. I was surprised at the difference in how tightly the X-ICE tires griped the road when braking, even on ice. Obviously that is part of their design, but a tire can make a big difference in braking ability and the difference in these two tires, even from the same manufacturer, show that.

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Not sure why the tire change would affect the braking so noticeably.

It's because different tire models can have dramatically different handling characteristics. I have Michelin Primacy all season tires on my Lexus too (I do not use them in winter) and they are quite, ride great and provide acceptable handling and braking but they fall far short of the handling and braking provided by the previous tires I used during Spring/Summer/Fall -- summer ultra high performance Bridgestone RE750.

The RE750's were incredibly fun but I didn't like their short life - I squeezed just over 20,000 miles out of the set and I really should have discarded them sooner. The Primacy's are very nice and should last far longer but I have had to moderate my driving style which is something I should be doing anyway since I'm in serious geezer (60+) territory and I know my reflexes have to declining even if I don't notice it. No blasting around curves at the limit of adhesion on the Primacys.

People interested in maximum performance don't use all season tires.

Interesting that tires of the same size, assuming the same wear, would be so dramatically different in braking. Guess the friction difference can be pretty substantial.

When my Michelin's have had it, hopefully not til 30k or so with Lexus 5k rotation schedule, I will definitely consider something else.

==================

Wildly off topic, but since we have spoke at some length regarding govt intrusion (camera enforced traffic signals, etc), the other day was a very sad one for poker and for the country when the 3 largest on-line poker sites were shut down for US players.

Good thing the govt is spending our tax revenues looking after our gambling habits, LOL.

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What are you refering to? I haven't heard of such a thing. What agency shut off the gambling sites and on what grounds?

In other words, I'll take the bait!!

not a poker player, ok

here is one article

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/money_co/2011/04/three-largest-online-poker-sites-indicted-and-shut-down-by-fbi.html

absolutely pathetic

The govt has no problem with the lottery or casinos where they collect tons of taxes, but no taxes from on-line poker, so that was an apparent target, so sick

if they would think a little, legalize the sites, and tax them, the revenue windfall would be absolutely huge

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