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lexpert, Lexus Master tech
Category: Lexus
Satisfied Customers: 9974
Experience:  Master Certified with lexus, 8 years experience with Lexus
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I have a 2004 Lexus RX 330 with the air suspension system only

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I have a 2004 Lexus RX 330 with the air suspension system only put on that year (wonder why!?)   When driving, the car does a constant bouncing that is un-nerving.   I've taken it to Lexus twice, and so far they've replaced the front two sensors, and say it's fixed. It is much worse than when I originally took it to them, and they admit that my car is only the second car they've seen with this air suspension.   Help! They don't know how to fix it and are making it even worse! Unfortunately, other mechanics in the area can't work on the system.   Help!

Thank you for using just answer again.

What has happened or been checked since our last conversation?

Are you under any warranty still here or are these repairs coming put of your pocket?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Hi Peter,

   No warranty, it's all out of pocket. So far it's been $1500 which is bad, but they also had my car for a total of 4 weeks and did not charge me for several hours of labor. The Lexus technician came from CA this last time. Supposedly he decided it was the front sensors that weren't communicating with eachother, so they replaced the left front (the right front was replaced last time). However, I do remember the mechanic telling me the first time I took it in that the left front communicates with the right back, and right front with left back. So what they said this time about the two front not communicating didn't make sense? Anyways, they told me that several people had driven it this time and it was fixed, and rode really nice. HA! Do they think I'm stupid? Really! The bouncing is actually much worse than when I took it in originally. And now the entire car bounces and you can see it bouncing! The automatic leveling does seem to work now, as before I guess it wasn't. When I change it to low, neutral and high you can feel the car adjust.   Also, it rides much higher in neutral than it did when I bought it.   I left a message for the service coordinator saying give me a break, this is worse! He said he'd print out the history and would meet with the service manager about what to do. He did say they were embarrassed about the situation because they've never dealt with this problem.   I thought I would try that thing you had me do last time with setting it to high and seeing if it's lopsided in the morning. Any other thoughts about this?   Thanks!
Thank you for the detailed reply and follow up.
It sounds like this dealer is in over their head, I hate it for you but also I cannot really blame the dealer as they are in the same situation that many dealers have faced where as there are very few of these RX's produced so we don't get many opportunities to work on them unless something really complicated like your sitaution arises.

At this point we have only a few options......let me ask you this, would you consider getting rid of air suspension?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I understand the dealer hasn't ever seen this problem, and they have put alot of "free" labor into it, so I don't mean to sound snotty, I'm just a bit aggravated they gave it back to me and told me it was fixed, while charging me another $600. I should have test drove it first, though. I would get rid of the air suspension in a heartbeat if that would correct the that an option?

I'm not calling you snotty or saying that the dealer is or is not doing anything wrong, I am just trying to help you understand the situation a little better.

Let me ask you a realistic question before I offer further you plan on keeping this vehicle for many years to come or will you possibly be trading it in in the next year or 2?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I know you are just trying to help! I would definitely keep 3-4 more years...
Ok, the reason I ask these questions is this:
If the dealer cannot make you happy and get this resolved you would have to either take it to another dealer that is more experienced with this or just learn to live with it, you have a $40,000 vehicle so just living with it is obviousl not accpetable.
As you are aware there are 2 different suspensions for this year RX, you have the air instead of the standard. While these 2 systems are completely differnt the vehcle is the same, you may not fully like or agree with this option but you can always consider having the air suspension REMOVED and install standard struts and springs in place of this. On the early 1990-1993 Lexus LS they had a similar system, with time it was common for all 4 of the $1,100 each air shocks to fail and many customers allowed me to switch their systems to normal suspension at a fraction of the repair cost. Just something for you to consider. The only down side here is that you will have extra buttons that no longer function a removed system and also the indicator and warning lights will need to be disabled. Just a thought for you to consider.
lexpert and 2 other Lexus Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you! I will ask the dealer about doing that; I had no idea that was possible. Thanks again, I really appreciate all of your help.

That is what I am here for, if the dealer is unsure or you need more input or information to pass on to them please feel free to reply back to THIS question so that I can help you further on this issue, thank you again and have a good week.