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About Thackeray

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  1. The belt in the youtube video looks as though it's from a conventional cvt (like the Mercedes B class?). The speaker points to the two pulleys that are linked by the belt. The Toyota/Lexus e-cvt doesn't have any belts like this, just cog-wheels that are permanently engaged. Having said that, I can't find which version of the transmission is fitted to the ES. The IS 300h and GS 300h have the L210 transmission. (Here's a list of transmissions on Lexus cars.) The L210 is a modified version of a Prius transmission, from memory possibly the P410. The difference between them is that the P410 is for front-wheel drive and the L210 is modified for rear-wheel drive. But they have no belts, rubber, steel or otherwise. The ES has a front-wheel drive version of the transmission - (is it the P610? I can't find any reference to it). I think, again from memory, that it uses faster spinning electric motors that remove the need for any extra reduction gear, making the unit smaller, and thus able to fit in to the front wheel drive configuration. But the absence of the reduction gear brings the lower top speed - 112 mph instead of 125 mph with the L210. The electric motors would be damaged if they spun any faster. But I'd be surprised if the ES transmission has any belts, rubber or steel. Maybe someone who has an ES300h could look on the car's VIN plate. The transmission version number will be on there, probably beginning with the letter L or P.
  2. Glad to hear it's all been sorted out. I hope Halfords paid the full cost. But if untrained store staff use the recommendation on the Halfords website, they'll still end up selling and perhaps topping up air con gas with the wrong and dangerous product. I've tried putting the model details of a couple of Lexus hybrid cars into the recommendation page and it still comes back with the wrong product. Although the detailed information pages and the products themselves are marked that this product must not be used on hybrid cars, some people may not read that far. They've already had the recommendation from Halfords. Why read further? The staff member you dealt with didn't read what it said on the canister. In fact, they may not have even known what a hybrid car is.
  3. I'd recommend this too. I had various digital gauges before but I found them much more of a hassle to use. Turning them on, resetting to zero, a bit small and fiddly. By contrast, this is robust, well-made and seems to be pretty accurate. While you're at it, I'd also recommend this tyre tread gauge. It's much more accurate and easy to read than those pencil type gauges that have barely any movement for each millimetre of wear. Also available at Amazon.
  4. Don't worry. The DAB radio is just very badly designed. A pity on a car where most other things are very nicely designed. Have a look at this discussion from earlier this year It's possible that the 19 plate model is different from the earlier ones. But if not, you should be able to find the answer after reading through the discussion. If you're still stuck, I'm sure someone will be able to help.
  5. As it probably comes under the heading of consumer affairs, the "Which? Legal" service might be helpful. I have no idea what they're like and have never used them. But they ought to know about the issues that arise when buying products that cause problems and what your rights are. You can also talk to them on the phone, whereas the Citizens Advice Bureau seems to involve going to an office and waiting around for a long time. For example, they have a template letter on the website that can be used when a car is damaged while being worked on. This seems to be the case here.
  6. As far as I know the Hybrid Health Check is only a check of the main hybrid battery. I don't think it involves any of the moving parts. And I realised recently that the Hybrid Health Check is really for the benefit of Toyota/Lexus rather than the customer, except indirectly. On a recent service I was told they couldn't do the health check because the internet was down. Baffled, I asked why the internet was necessary to checking the battery. They said it's because they have to feed the data on the condition of each battery cell to the central European Toyota office to store the data. So really, it seems to me, the health check is a way for Toyota to gather data on how this newish technology is faring and whether the batteries are lasting as long as they hoped. In return for the data (and your money!) they give you a year's warranty to encourage you to keep coming back with more data. But this is not a bad thing. Obviously, the data has been so good that recently they increased the battery warranty from 10 years to 15 years; so the customer benefits too. So it's not clear what the dealer meant about the noise being from the "hybrid system" and whether they mean it's an electrical whining noise or from the transmission.
  7. The experts on how to get the best mpg seem to be on the Prius forums - real mpg enthusiasts! I suspect the people on this forum like to get good mpg but aren't quite so fanatical about it. Having said that, and not being one of the experts, I would guess that as the petrol engine seems to be at its most efficient at high revs it would make sense to accelerate briskly and then cruise. Energy is wasted not so much when you're accelerating but when you're braking, turning motion into heat which is thrown away. But with a hybrid you can avoid wasting some of this energy as you brake by having it stored in the battery as you slow down. This is where the meter is useful. My understanding is that while the needle is hovering in the lower part of the hybrid system gauge labelled Charge, some of the energy is being stored in the battery as the car is being slowed by the load created by the generators. But as soon as the needle hits the lower limit the brake pads come into play so from here on energy is being thrown away as heat. So where possible, my policy is to try and keep the needle close to the lower limit when braking but not actually touching it. This is where the maximum amount of energy is being stored and as a bonus the brake pads are not being worn out. I think the Hybrid Assistant app gives more information about when the brake pads are being used though I haven't tried it myself. I keep meaning to have a look at it in action.
  8. It's bizarre that almost no car reviewers understand the strengths of the hybrid transmission. The elegance and simplicity of the engineering was one of the things that attracted me - so few things to go wrong, compared with a complex modern conventional automatic gearbox. (I like reliability more than constant repairs.) In daily use I like the silence of the car - at 70mph the engine will be turning at around 1200-1500 rpm. the lack of jolting between gears that you normally get on automatics and, of course, on manuals the silence when the car stops and the instant response to get started again - on a conventional stop/start system there's always a pause before the engine starts running again (a small and perhaps trivial point is that the air conditioning keeps going when the car has stopped - that's more a function of the hybrid system than the eCVT but the one depends on the other - conventional cars mostly need the engine to be running to drive the air conditioning) You may be wondering what reviewers are talking about when they say the car is noisy. So think about it this way. If you've ever been on a plane that aborted a landing as it was about to touch down, and went to full power to perform a go-around, you'll know how alarming that can be when you aren't expecting it. The hybrid system is more like a jet plane or a power boat under hard acceleration. The engine revs hard and the plane or boat (or e-cvt car) builds up speed until the power can be cut back.
  9. It's probably about both. They have to make a profit. In this instance they may have sold more cars by getting the Best in Class NCAP safety rating for the IS 2013 model. They probably got the best in class by having the best pedestrian safety score. They got 80% for pedestrian safety, the highest score for any of the 2013 cars and slightly ahead of the 2014 Mercedes C class with 77%. My understanding is that when a pedestrian is hit by a car and bounces onto the bonnet a lot of the injuries are caused by hitting not only the hard bonnet surface but also, when the bonnet deforms, by hitting the hard bits of metal under the bonnet including the engine. So I believe the Lexus bonnet is aluminium which deforms more easily than steel and presumably causes slightly less injury. And by popping up the bonnet, a bigger gap is created between the bonnet lid and the hard bits of metal under the bonnet, resulting in less severe injuries. The cost of replacing this system did actually make me think twice about buying the car. There's another thread somewhere on this forum from three or four years ago about the costs of repairing it, which made me wonder whether it was a good idea to go for this car and I have great sympathy with Phil having to deal with this repair. But at the time I thought that on balance I'd probably rather have an annoyingly large repair bill, which I would eventually forget, than a dead pedestrian for ever in my memory. If there was just a minor accident, even if there was barely any visible damage, I thought I would just have to go the insurance route, annoying as that would be too. The insurance companies ought to be happy to repair the pop-up bonnet - it's probably saving them from some huge payouts for pedestrian deaths. And if it pops up when there's no sign of any collision, then Lexus ought to recognise there was a fault. If the insurance company says there was no collision, then it must have been a fault and Lexus should repair it without charge.
  10. Does anyone know where the sensor for the dashboard outside temperature gauge is located? I washed my car recently and when I drove off afterwards the temperature display seemed to be stuck on 20 degrees. The actual temperature must have been around 25. It didn't really move for around 20 minutes but later in the day on a different trip it began to creep up to a more realistic number. I wondered if some water had accumulated around the sensor and kept it at a constant temperature. Seems unlikely I know as this would probably happen whenever it rained. Anyway, does anyone know the location of the sensor? And if it's not prone to water pooling around it, is there something else that might have caused it to stick for a while?
  11. I know this is an old thread but just out of interest does anyone know how the Hill Start Assist works? I had assumed for a long time that an electric current was fed through the electric motors to hold the car stationary until you pressed the accelerator and the car began to move forward. But I drove a Citroen C4 a while ago which also had Hill Start Assist. It wasn't hybrid, just had a petrol engine. So the car must have been held by the brake pads. This made me wonder if it was the brakes rather than the electric motors which hold the Lexus hybrid models when starting on a hill. Does anyone know which it is?
  12. I second this. Although I have 17" wheels, my research before buying led me to think the 16" would be more comfortable. A lot of people say the bigger wheels give rather a firm ride - which of course may be what a lot of people want. But I decided to go with the 17" wheels as I didn't find any 16" wheel cars with leather seats. And I have to say the ride is fine, I don't find it too firm. Having said that - and I'd advise you all to be sitting down before you read the following as I know this will come as a great shock to most people - having said that, I've never really understood what the point of bigger and bigger wheels is. Not only that but I also don't really understand - (now you really do need to be sitting down as I'm really sorry but I'm probably going to upset a lot of readers) - I've never understood the point of alloy wheels. Do they make the car go faster? I know they make the wheels a lot more work to clean. Apart from it not being fashionable at the moment, what's wrong with wheels like this? A quick wipe and they're done!
  13. Don't know where you are in Kent but a quick search turned up this one for Sevenoaks District Council.
  14. I haven't taken a car to a dealer or garage for MOT for years. I always use the local council MOT testing centre. They have no interest in failing items in order to get your business as they don't do any maintenance work, except to the council's own vehicles. I feel much more confident that they're giving an honest opinion.