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Horrible Ride -- RX350

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Old 07-11-14, 03:43 PM   #1
park10
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Default Horrible Ride -- RX350

Friends,
I bought a 2013 new RX-350 (demo vehicle 5k miles) 6 months ago, with premium package and display audio. The vehicle was made in Canada (VIN starting with 2T)

I had bought with so much anticipation of a smooth comfortable quiet ride. It was my signature purchase. Unfortunately, I regret buying the vehicle. The ride is very harsh, I can feel vibrations of every little stone / unevenness of road, every expansion joint on concrete road/ every little small bump --you get it... I feel like everytime I go over a small bump, somebody is shooting me from underneath.
I almost cringe having to drive it. I cannot wait to get out of the car when driving...Its making me frustrated / angry.
I believe something is wrong with the suspension / shock absorbers etc.. I called Lexus and they sent me to the dealer, where a technician and I rode 3 different vehicles (one with JT Vin and other with 2T vin). The technician accepted that my ride was harsher and more vibration than JT vin vehicle and it was not much different from 2T vehicle. At first he thought it was the tires (I have Michelin - which he said were firm and harsh ride but last much longer, other vehicles had Dunlop which gave smoother ride but didn't last long).
Anyway, he said there was nothing wrong with the car and that there are differences in way Canada made cars drive versus Japan made cars drive, and that's all there is to it.
I argued again with Lexus and finally they agreed to have same dealer make an inspection of the suspension / shocks system to see if something was wrong.
My question is those people doing the inspection are field service technicians and not Lexus engineers, so all they can do is make sure that parts are there and maybe take some measurements. Can they really tune the suspension and make the ride somewhat comfortable ??

Anyway - my question is -- aren't we as Lexus owners having paid premium for the car, entitled to a comfortable smooth quiet glide-like ride ??? or is that just marketing ???
I am just looking at some help from the experienced members of the forum...What should I do ??

We also have Toyota Highlander limited - and it is so quiet and a cushy ride, which is making the lexus ride that much more glaring.
thanks a lot friends,
hoping for some good advice ---
regards
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Old 07-11-14, 05:13 PM   #2
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Appears you are wishing for a Lexus LS460 & it's ride qualities. The RX350 is a mid-sized SUV and as such is not designed to give the ride of a Luxury Sedan I'm on my third RX350 (currently a 2015) with Micheleins and enjoye it immensely. The Ride is Good, I did not expect it to be an LS460 RIDE and was forewarned by the sales rep.. I had a series of LS before switching to the RX.
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Old 07-11-14, 05:31 PM   #3
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I almost wonder if somehow , in a 1 in a million chance, you got the suspension parts (springs + shocks) of an F-Sport. The F-Sport is firmer riding than any other RX I owned. The RX F-Sport has Tokico shocks I noticed at the rear of mine when I removed the wheels. Check if it's like this:

Click the image to open in full size.


Also, don't take for granted your tire pressure is fine. It may be too high contributing to the harshness. Should be set at 32-33 PSI.

Good luck.
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Old 07-11-14, 06:02 PM   #4
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Do you have the larger wheels? How was your test drive? I don't think there's supposed to be any real difference between Canadian vs japan built suspensions in general, but different tire/ wheel combos will make a difference. Can you go to a different dealer?
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Old 07-11-14, 06:10 PM   #5
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As mentioned..check your tire pressure..
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Old 07-11-14, 06:15 PM   #6
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Most of us in TX have thicker skin.

You bought an SUV, not an LS as mentioned above.

It will grow on you.

P.S. Our RX rides smoother than our ES.
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Old 07-11-14, 07:00 PM   #7
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I do not think it is a matter of "sucking it up". I feel your pain. I think that once in awhile, a car is somehow made with a crappy suspension. It seems to be borne out here on this forum. There is one thing that JARS me each time I hit a certain type of frost expansion joint or similar type of bump. feel like I am driving a steel plate with 4 wheels on it when I hit that type of bump. I notice it is better in summer, where road, tires etc. are warmer and more malleable. But man, when it hits, it really JARS me. I expect maybe not perfect like a rolls royce, but certainly better than a tank

The F sport situation mentioned above made some serious sense.
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Old 07-11-14, 09:28 PM   #8
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Thanks a lot friends.. Here is my response to various suggestions --
1. Corrado and Nanook: The tire pressure is around 33 psi. I will check again tomorrow.
2. CorradoMR2:- I don't have the expertise to remove the wheel to inspect the Tokico shocks, but I will bring it to dealers attention next week when I have a scheduled inspection.
3. CapeDave:-It does feel like driving on a steel plate. it is screwing up my sanity and mental balance. I cringe to drive anywhere...wish I can have my 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer back (yes !! imagine that)..
4. AFPJ: Funny u mention the wheels.. The spec sheet listed 19 inch wheels, but we found out that it actually has 18 inch wheels...can there be a mismatch between wheel and tires ? probably not since wrong sized wheel wont fit, but was concerning.

One thing I didn't mention is that the whole vehicle feels very tight or very stiff..the steering wheel is tight - that's why my wife doesn't even drive it. The Toyota highlander wheel can be turned with a finger easily.. Does this tight feel give anyone any clue ??

I have an inspection next week. They said they will inspect suspension/shocks...but inspection is different than a rigorous test.. How can I get them to actually do a specified standard test ?? my fear is he will "inspect" it and say everything looks ok...

Is there a way I can somehow communicate with Lexus Company Engineer ??? the people at dealers are not engineers they are field technicians.. I believe that company engineer may have some clue....but how do I get in touch with them ?

I also today test drove a new 2015 RX350 (J vin number), and the difference was definitely noticeable. The car did not feel tight, the steering wheel could be turned with a finer easily and the car in general felt more soft more friendly..... The dealer is however, asking for $7000 more to "get me out" of 2013 and into 2015...

by the way since my current one was a Demo vehicle, I got an incredible deal ($37.5K + tax -- Yes!!) on it. I also bought it afternoon of 31st dec 13... That makes me think -- being a demo vehicle, was it ever broken properly...I ve heard of vehicle should be properly broken in, but don't know if that is relevant here...
Any thoughts --?
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Old 07-11-14, 09:30 PM   #9
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Simple..go to a dealer and drive a few other 2013s and see if yours drives different...
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Old 07-11-14, 09:41 PM   #10
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I can share a little incident I had once..bought a BMW from Vancouver and drove it home...drove it for a few months and several times it bottomed out over incidental road rash..not real deep holes but still bottomed out..as in hit the top of the spring travel which I found very odd...the next time I had it in for service I asked the tech about this and low and behold they found after the car was take off the rail car used for shipping they had not removed one of the shipping nylon block spacers used to stop the chassis from bouncing excessively during it's train ride...just a thought..
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Old 07-12-14, 01:05 AM   #11
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You bought this car on New Year's Eve? Did you test drive it or buy it sight unseen? The way I read it, there is a significant difference between your ride now and your test ride. Maybe your test ride was just around the block near the dealer's, and you assumed the Lexus would ride very smoothly. I too was surprised at the bumpiness of our '11 CPO RX, compared to our '04 Highlander. New Michelin Latitude tours solved the road noise and most of the bumpy ride. As far as being broken in properly, I don't think Lexus has a break-in period. I'm going with the shipping spacers being left in as a distinct possibility. Please let us know how this is resolved.
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Old 07-12-14, 10:56 AM   #12
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Nanook and Raylor:- I crawled underneath the car and looked at the springs. I didn't see any blocks keeping the coils of spring fastened or any material between the spring coils.. I will ask the technician next Tuesday to check this possibility thoroughly. I am not sure how much to trust the dealer technician.. they all sound very honest, but..if he says everything looks fine -- where does that leave me ?
The whole vehicle seems 'very tight' it also seemed little taller than other vehicles I test drove yesterday...strange but I did notice it....
the drive is horrible its like someone punching me from underneath.. its like a deep thud that goes through your body everytime we pass even the most minor bump....rechecked the tire pressure = 33psi.
How can we get in touch with Lexus company engineers ?? any ideas ?
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Old 07-12-14, 12:31 PM   #13
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May I ask where in TX?
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Old 07-12-14, 12:35 PM   #14
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Old 07-12-14, 01:01 PM   #15
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park10, sorry to hear you're not happy with your RX350. A comment I've read here a few times is the ride has gotten stiffer, most notably with the refresh in 2013. This was coming from earlier third gen RX owners. Your comment about the different tire sizes, between the spec sheet and what is on the RX, is troubling. The dealer should investigate it further. I'd also recommend having the tires checked for age and/or possible defect. Most Michelin owners here are pretty happy with them. The tech is right. Dunlops will give you a softer ride, at the cost of longevity. Bridgestones are the other OE brand. They fall in between the other two.

Please give the dealer the opportunity to inspect your RX. I'm sure their service techs are well trained. They'll probably take it out for a test drive. Ask to go along with them so you can point out the jarring feeling over bumps. I wish you luck and keep us posted.
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