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04 LS430 Sports shift mode 'engine braking' issue?

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Old 05-26-12, 02:28 AM   #1
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Default 04 LS430 Sports shift mode 'engine braking' issue?

Hi everyone,

I have a 04 LS430. I have a question about using the sports shift mode to enable 'engine braking' - eg Sometimes rather than ride the brakes down a hill, I'd prefer to use the sport shift mode and down change to a lower gear so that the car slows down a little by using the power of the engine in a lower gear ie 4th or 3rd instead of 5th or 6th gear. (called 'engine braking' in the car's manual/book )

Everytime I have used the 'sports shift mode' and selected a lower gear I see no real difference in revs or speed or engine noise. It feels as though the car isn't down changing into a lower gear. I realise that for safety and to protect the transmission the car wont change to a very low gear if you are going too fast (gives a warning beep), but I have tried this at different speeds and it only seems to work noticably at very slow speeds (about 30km/hr).

The sports mode works fine going UP hills etc - I can downchange or up change to a lower or higher gear.

Is this just the way the it is meant to be??
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Old 05-26-12, 04:47 AM   #2
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I never tried to use that feature for engine braking at highway speeds aside from shifting from 6th to 5th. That worked fine.
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Old 05-26-12, 05:45 AM   #3
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Mine seems to have a noticable shift difference in sport mode at all speeds. 30/kph hour is almost a crawl. Easy to have dealer take a quick ride and assess. I do not use it real often as the car is so rolly nothing real sporty about it.
It will beep if going to fast. When I got my LS 100k ago or so tried sportshifting around a snowy corner, heard the beep just before I hit the big snowbank(buried 1/3 of the car). Had my kid run home get a shover for 40 minutes to did er out. Lucky it was powder not frozen plow till and no harm.
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Old 05-26-12, 06:11 AM   #4
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No it works on the highway just fine, I use it there the most just as you explained.. Does your dash gear indicator change when you do it (the number)?

Maybe a difference in us spec cars but I doubt it.
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Old 05-26-12, 04:43 PM   #5
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Yes, mine works very precisely, with distinctive shifts any speed as the digital number goes up/down.
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Old 05-26-12, 08:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGS4 View Post
No it works on the highway just fine, I use it there the most just as you explained.. Does your dash gear indicator change when you do it (the number)?

Maybe a difference in us spec cars but I doubt it.
Thanks to everyone for the replies, hmm.... I'm thinking I might have to get mine checked at the dealer because I'm sensing something isn't quite right.

Yes the dash gear indicator changes to the number depending on the gear selected but I just don't feel it doing anything.

**Another example*** - I drive down a gradual hill doing 80km/hr then I change it from 'Drive' to 'sports mode' and the gear number 5 comes up on the screen and I see the rev needle flick up ever so slightly (not much) for a second, and then go down again which visually would seem to indicate the car has down changed to 5. I then don't notice any engine braking or resistance and I'm still going just as fast...... (i haven't got my foot on the gas pedal I'm just rolling down the hill) .
I then change down another gear and '4th' is up on the screen but I dont feel or see any change in the engine or speed and I'm rolling just as fast. I then down change another gear to '3' on the screen but nothing, still going just as fast. At this speed it wont let you change to 2 and if you do it will beep incdicating it wont let you.

The strange thing is tho even though I've down changed to 5th, 4th, or 3rd, and I feel no engine braking or resistance, if I put my foot on the gas to accelerate the revs go up (indicating that I am in a lower gear) but this is the strange bit..........there's still no actual engine braking and I'm still going just as fast and I then have to use the brakes to slow down.

Could it be a faulty speed sensor or solenoid thing?? There's no error codes showing up. Every other type of car I have driven with a sports mode shifter you can clearly feel the engine slowing the car down when you down change a gear.
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Old 05-28-12, 04:19 AM   #7
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I downshift for engine breaking on my '02 LS all the time and it works great and it doesn't matter if I have my 'sport' button engaged or not. It definitely sounds strange that you are not getting engine breaking when you downshift in sport mode- try doing it out of sport mode too. If it works, then for whatever reason the sport 'mapping' software might be keeping you from changing gears manually. But if not, give a call to a few Lexus service reps- a few professional shop opinions are always helpful.
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Old 05-29-12, 01:39 PM   #8
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Brake pads are WAYYYY cheaper to replace than a transmission. Just my .02. Not that it will necessarily hurt it, using the tranny/engine for braking, but I would never do that with mine.
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Old 05-29-12, 03:56 PM   #9
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Lex... if you're going downhill and shifting to 3rd doesn't change a thing then something is up for sure. I once in a while do the downshift down a pretty steep hill and in 3rd gear I can decelerate from 60 MPH down to 40. Then again... brake pads are 80 a pair, while new tranny is 4000...
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Old 05-29-12, 07:37 PM   #10
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Are your revs increasing with each downchange? I never really use this feature but I've driven stick for a while and know that 3rd should provide ample engine braking and 2nd should be very significant
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Old 05-31-12, 04:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJT123 View Post
Brake pads are WAYYYY cheaper to replace than a transmission. Just my .02. Not that it will necessarily hurt it, using the tranny/engine for braking, but I would never do that with mine.
Exactly what I have been thinking reading this whole thread.
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Old 05-31-12, 08:13 PM   #12
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Not unless yur dropping down say out of Tioga Pass and Yosemtie into Mono Lake Basin trying to keep yur rotors from lighting up and yur brake fluid from boiling. One of the most spectacular drives then down into the Owens Valley there is. Deepest valley in the Americas.
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Old 06-01-12, 08:37 AM   #13
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Just for reference the other day I just took note of the rpm change... on that hill when I'm doing 40 and to maintain 40, I shift to 5 rpm.is still about 1k, but then each downshift increases the rpm 1k so by 2 gear I'm at 4k.
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Old 06-01-12, 02:00 PM   #14
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this is what the repair manual says about the LS430 with 6-gear automatic:

Click the image to open in full size.

Hope this helps understanding the gear changing behaviour a bit better.

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Old 06-02-12, 05:32 AM   #15
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Thanks for everyones input about this.

I will be taking my car to the Dealership in the next few weeks for a check up when I get time and I'll post up any results.
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Old 06-02-12, 05:32 AM
 
 
 
 
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brake, brakes, breaks, car, drive, engine, gear, indicator, lexus, ls430, mode, press, shift, sport, work

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