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Acceleration stutter


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Bought a 2007 ES350, in great condition, but it stutters occasionally. That is, when I depress the accelerator, it doesn't respond or it hesitates before responding. Not sure how to address this issue. It's not severe, but don't want a dealer trip if it is something simple. Actually not sure it's acceleration or transmission. Bother!

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First off, once the car is out of warranty, don't take it back to a Lexus dealership unless you have lots of money. The ES350 is a fancier Toyota Camry, and any good mechanic who can work on a Camry (meaning just about every mechanic) can do the work on your ES .... much cheaper. The key is to find a GOOD mechanic who you trust. Check with your friends, co workers, car guys who you know ... they can suggest an honest mechanic who knows his stuff.

That said, some things on your ES will need to go to a Lexus dealership for fixing because they have the expertise for Lexus systems, such as reflashing the software of the transmission, programing a new key fob, troubleshooting the security system, things specific just to that model of Lexus that any other mechanic will not have access to.

I suggest after you find that mechanic, have him check the car out. It may simply be in need of a throttle body cleaning, or a new fuel filter. Or it may have a problem with the accelerator position sensor, or even needs a tune up with new spark plugs. The mechanic can read the codes and get to the issue fairly quickly from what you're describing.

In future, always state the mileage of your car, because that can lead us to the more common issues that arise as a car ages. Good Luck!


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  • 1 year later...

I would start by going to a good parts store and get a good cleaner and see what that does.  Modern cars are computers with complex metal parts, and tight tolerances.  Are you up on your maintance ?  do you use a good synthetic oil ? 


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  • 5 months later...

I recognize I'm late to this party, but, have some experience with "hesitation" on both the 3.3 & 3.5 engines.

In my experience you should have a look at the MAF (Mass Airflow Sensor), they get dirty, and cleaning the MAF sensor is a very simple task, you can buy specialized spray at any mass-market auto parts store.  On a 2005 Avalon with the 3.5 engine, that I owned, the MAF went bad.  New MAF on eBay was well under $50, and once installed, the car ran better than it had when I first bought it, *and* poor shifting of the transmission was cured, apparently the failing MAF cut horsepower (?)

Hopefully this helps someone in the future.

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