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Help...choppy acceleration?


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I just purchased a 2016 RX 350.  IMMACULATE. The most beautiful car I've ever owned. The only other luxury vehicle I've ever owned was an Infiniti, which drove like velvet. I touched the gas and was smooth acceleration. YES, I test drove the RX 350. Yes, I am a woman and was not paying attention to the acceleration. It's my fault, so let's get that out of the way now. The best way I can describe the RX350 is unpredictable acceleration. Doesn't matter whether I'm in ECO or SPORT, it is sputtery. NOT to the point of OMG my car is about to break down, just OMG this is so annoying. I brought the car back to the dealership (Lexus in Baton Rouge) and they checked the car over and assured me nothing was wrong with the car and that it probably needed a "reset" since it was not used to me, the new driver. I scratched my head, squinted my eyes and said, uh, ok. They said they "reset" the car and it should be "used" to me in about 200 miles. Well, it must hate me. Honestly, I hate it back. I paid about $5K more than I should have because...there are just no cars out there right now...and feel like I got screwed. Is this NORMAL for a Lexus? Am I being ridiculous? I'll just go back to my Honda Accord with 150K miles on it if this is luxury.

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Well, funny you should mention the gas. They told me when I bought it I could use regular gas. I've put nothing in it but premium. THEN I started reading that regular gas is actually better for acceleration? Bizarro--I know nothing about all this, so my last fill up I put regular but did not notice a difference.

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Regular gas is fine, but if an engine has been ran consistently on cheap gas that does not have the same level of high-detergent additives that Exxon and Shell and other premium brands use, then over time, the injectors get dirty. So you would need to get the injectors cleaned. Let a shop like Firestone check it out. It could still be something else like timing, or emissions sensors.  That's a very complicated system you have there. Nice to get a second opinion...

 

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Did you go for a ride with a mechanic or service advisor at the dealership to demonstrate what you are experiencing. How many miles are on your odometer? "Sputtery" acceleration is not normal unless you have 250,000 miles on your vehicle.

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On 12/16/2021 at 6:53 PM, Melissa Lightfoot said:

I just purchased a 2016 RX 350.

How recently?

Surely the dealer should have given you some sort of warranty with it so I'd just get straight back round there and get them to sort it out for you.

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Most dealers sell older vehicles "AS IS" so there is no implied warrantee.  If her shop mechanic is not experienced enough to pinpoint the cause of the power variation during a test drive, he can put it on the Dynamometer, and plug it into the diagnostic analyzer. If the diagnostic verifies there is a serious problem, Then you go thru the process of elimination: plugs out of spec, gummed up injectors, too rich or too lean due to computer /sensor loop adjustments, Air Filter?  Lots of elements in the drive train to inspect.

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10 hours ago, Les Lex 2018 said:

Most dealers sell older vehicles "AS IS" so there is no implied warrantee.  If her shop mechanic is not experienced enough to pinpoint the cause of the power variation during a test drive, he can put it on the Dynamometer, and plug it into the diagnostic analyzer. If the diagnostic verifies there is a serious problem, Then you go thru the process of elimination: plugs out of spec, gummed up injectors, too rich or too lean due to computer /sensor loop adjustments, Air Filter?  Lots of elements in the drive train to inspect.

Wow, I'm glad I live in the UK then. Over here, almost any car bought from a motor trader comes with three months warranty at the very least and a 2016 car, not being very old, would probably have a longer warranty.

The OP says she bought her car at Lexus Baton Rouge, so as a main Lexus dealer, over here that car would have 12 months warranty with it.

As an aside, it's worth mentioning that here in the UK Lexus have brought out the 'Lexus Relax Warranty'. This means that as long as you have the car serviced by Lexus, on completion of the service the car gets an automatic 12 month warranty and as long as you keep servicing it with them, they keep the annual warranty going until the car reaches 10 years old or 100k miles, whichever is sooner.

Anyway, I hope Melissa gets it sorted out quickly and cheaply.

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Good information to know about the UK, John.  All warrantees have fine print of course. But, in general, drivetrain warrantees do not cover engine and electrical here.

Even Bumper-to-Bumper warrantees do not cover everything, especially maintainable items like spark plugs, etc.

I got a drivetrain warrantee on a well used Caddy Seville.  It developed a clanging sound when I put it in gear. Dealer gladly put it on the rack and fixed the problem (labor cost at my expense). Reason?  A bolt had come loose on the transmission.  Had the bolt come out and the transmission failed, they would have had to cover the entire expense, no deductible. The Devil is always in the details. 

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Y'all, I went back, they checked it over and said it's fine. I like the advice of going to Firestone and will do that. YES, old car I guess I should have expected some issues...just not so soon. Sputtery may be a bit drastic...completely unpredictable on acceleration...tired...slow...groggy...can feel shifting into gears with abruptness...not smooth. NOT SMOOTH - best description yet! Yay!

 

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

2021 RX 350 purchased Oct 2021 as CPO with 6k miles.  I'm also experiencing acceleration issues mainly when pulling off from a standstill and at low speeds.  Acceleration isn't smooth.  Words to describe it might be unpredictable, spotty, dead spots when pressing the accelerator.  I always use top tier gas.  Something I learned about when I had a few BMW's in the past.  Seems like the situation is worse when burning middle or high-octane gas regardless of the brand.
Just a few weeks ago I had my 6 month service performed at the dealership.  I told them about the issue but they said they didn’t find anything wrong.  They thought it might be a software issue but I have the latest software update that was related to the transmission.  Told me to keep an eye on it. 
This acceleration issue really takes away from my enjoying the car.  It's quite annoying ... and embarrassing when driving with a passenger.  Other than the acceleration issue I like the car a lot, it’s a really nice car.  My first Lexus and pretty disappointed after hearing and reading so much about how good and reliable they are.

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Great that they are willing to work with you to find the problem, Charles.  

If Lexus is like Toyota, you can call the 1 800 number and file a request for assistance.  They will assign an expert from your dealership who knows the area of concern. You can take him for a ride and show him the problem.

If you can demonstrate the problem, he would do what it takes to fix it of course.

If he claims that it is a known problem, ask him to get you the Tech Bulletin.  The TSB should explain to them how to fix it.

If there is no TSB, then you need to ask them to decide on what and how they are going to fix the demonstrated problem.

That approach has worked well in the past.

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  • 4 months later...

I purchased a 2018 RX350, with a Lexus Certified warranty.  I have exactly the same issue.  I have taken it to a Lexus dealer in Florida for its 6 month service and to an Ohio Lexus dealer for its 12 month service.  Both times I told the service rep about the issue.  Both times I was told that the diagnostics machine says everything checks fine.  The Florida rep told me that the way to alleviate that is to use the highest octane gas and use it in sport mode.  I have done both and it didn’t change a thing.  This is my 5th Lexus and the other 4 were terrific cars.  I bought this one because my others were so good.

I will continue to service it with Lexus and I will continue to complain about it each time I have it serviced.  If it continues the way it is I will get rid of the car the day that the warranty runs out and I will never buy another Lexus product.

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Unless he put it on a dynamometer, how would he know that the engine, while under load, and the transmission going thru the gears were operating as intended? Insist the Dealer go out on a test drive.

Selling your vehicle when the warrantee runs out makes it worth less to the Dealer because he has to spend money to re-certify.

I didn't pick up on any problems with my 2018 RX 350 except poor seat ventilation and they insisted it was working "to their liking"...

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