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Lexus ES 300/ES 330

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Comments

  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    kreativ, sddlw (sorry, I can't tell whether you are sddlw or sddjw), and bartalk2 (are there really at least two of you?), I appreciate your comments.

    sddl(j)w Thanks for the tips, too, on Amatos. You gave me several in addition to specifics on Amatos: one, ask a dealer for a recommendation, two consider whether something needs to be masked off and ask body shop if they mask or don't mask, and three, look for high end cars at the body shop.

    bartalk2 - It does not look like there is any structural damage. Thanks for your caution that I should look for structural damage.

    kreativ - thanks for the advice about the holes. It provides an upside to the situation.
  • rtorrecartorreca Posts: 74
    Sorry to hear about the accident. At least you weren't in the car and you weren't hurt physically.

    I had a friend of a friend who bought a brand new 2002 X5 and was driving the car to show to another friend when she got rear ended by a careless driver. She wasn't hurt but she's only had the car for about 18 hours. Talk about a bummer.
  • rtorrecartorreca Posts: 74
    You have given a ray of hope but after
    calling up the dealership regarding the update, they are not aware of any software update. They did say that they normally do not know about updates far in advance so it could very well be true. I hope it's true and not just a story the other dealership concocted so customers stop bothering them about the transmission.

    Not to be cynical but think about it though. If there was an update to the transmission, wouldn't Lexus Customer Service have the official word?

    I am crossing my fingers.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    Sorry to hear about the accident. My advice: Make sure the body shop is a Lexus certified body shop. Lexus does things a certain way at the factory, and Lexus certified body shops go through specific Lexus training on the Lexus way of doing body work. And they must adhere to Lexus standards.

    Sure, there may be a shop that works on Ferraris. But if they aren't Lexus certified I wouldn't go there.

    Also, make sure you specify only genuine Lexus parts. The insurance company may say it is cheaper to use imitation parts, or used parts from a scrapyard, but insist on only original parts (especially body panels to ensure a proper fit). Note the insurance company may try and fight this.

    One final item: The insurance company may say the body shop you request is too expensive and ask for a second or third quote. Check your state law. Many states, by law, do not require any more than one cost estimate no matter how high the insurance company thinks it is.

    Stand your ground. And don't worry, the car should come out of this just fine.
  • shakfu3shakfu3 Posts: 4
    sterls - i posted my purchase price from Prestige Lexus in Ramsey a few weeks ago...i paid 35.9K + TTL
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    Lexus issued a press release with prices and changes for some 2003 models (LX, LS, ES and SC).

    The only ES 300 change is the new option of power adjustable pedals (which I believe were originally supposed to be offered in January 2002).

    Price goes up to $31,625, or 0.4%.
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    Thanks for the info. I wonder what power adjustable gas and brake pedals are. And yes, they were supposed to be offered in Jan. '02.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    I test drove a Lincoln Navigator that had them. The pedals move closer to the driver when a button is pushed. This allows a shorter driver to keep their seat further back when driving.

    By the way, the Navigator test drive was part of an event I was invited to last month. I have no interest in buying one, but was curious to check it out. The pedals actually did not work correctly, as only the gas pedal moved while the brake pedal did not. They were supposed to work in tandem.

    This Navigator had many other things that did not work, including: interior light that never went off, faulty rear sensor (the instructor was showing off the feature and we smacked into a garbage can), door trim that had fallen off, power rear hatch that malfunctioned and power running boards that got stuck and made a grinding noise. And this vehicle had 2000 miles and cost $60,000.
  • bartalk2bartalk2 Posts: 326
    Lincoln Navigator: So much for the future of the American auto (i.e., truck) industry.
  • tnguy1tnguy1 Posts: 20
    I have a 02 ES 300 that is about 1 month old. I have been experiencing extreme fogging problems of both front and rear windshield (exterior) after driving the car. Although I live in a hot and humid city (New Orleans) for more than 20 years, I have never experienced this problem with any other cars. I have brought the car back to the dealers but they state that there are no problems with the car. I have not come accross this problem in this townhall. Has anyone experience this problem? I appreciate any comments/suggestions.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    Lenscap, due in part to your advice, I elected to drive 150 miles with a rigged bumper to take my vehicle to the Lexus of Cerritos body shop to get my car fixed. There is no Lexus certified body shop in my town. More on my body shop research in another post.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    I took my vehicle in for its 5000 mile service and "squawked" my transmission problem with the Lexus dealer. I told the service manager that I did not think my transmission was behaving abnormally, but I wanted to get my complaint in for Lexus' review.

    The service manager said that the ES300 problem is not much different from that present in the LS and GS models when Lexus introduced the technology into those models several years ago (1998 for GS). According to the dealer, both of these transmissions behaved similarly to the way the ES300 tranny is now, but Lexus made several upgrades along the way. The service manager observed that he can tell when he gets a 1998 GS for service that has not had the transmission upgrades. Although he did not mention knowledge of planned tranny updates for ES300, he said he was fairly certain there would be upgrades, just as there were for the LS and GS, until the kinks in the new design are worked out.

    This affirms some complaints I have seen on older posts on the LS boards, where owners cited symptoms similar to ours.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    See Message 30 on "the Lexus LS" board. The owner had a 1999 LS and expressed some frustration that other owners did not feel the symptom. This affirms what the service manager told me yesterday. Referenced LS post was dated Sept. 13, 2000. There is hope.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    Taking the recommendations of owners on this board, I researched various options for having my bashed ES300 bumper/left fender repaired. The damage will result in the entire replacement of the front bumper and the condition of the left fender is "marginal" as to whether it should be repaired vs replaced (body shop says it is preferable to repair, because a replacement from factory is detectable). Since I live 100 miles from the nearest Lexus certified (thanks, lenscap) body shop, I considered just having a local body shop repair the damage, as opposed to driving 100+ miles with a rigged bumper.

    I compared the responses from four body shops: one, a local body shop with a good reputation but not Lexus certified, one Lexus certified body shop located on the premisis of and owned by a Lexus dealer, two Lexus certified body shops referred by Lexus dealers. The overall results were:

    1) All body shop managers agreed that the most important feature was the body shop provide a written guarantee for their work over the life of the vehicle. This guarantee serves to insure they do the work right the first time. They don't like doing it over again - especially for free.

    2) None of the body shop manages seemed to think that Lexus certification is important. A good technician is a good technician, regardless of the car they work on. Some managers said that certification would buy some efficiency, but that was about it.

    I think I disagree with that. If you as a potential customer know nothing about a body shop, at least you know that if it is Lexus certified, they invested in the three years of training for its technicians. So, despite what all of these managers told me, I think I would still give "points" to a certified shop over an uncertified one, all other aspects being equal.

    3) One manager told me that the potential shop should be willing to give you a tour through their shop, allowing you to observe their work and the vehicles they repair.

    4) Two of the four of these managers claimed that they do not mask. The other two said that EVERYONE has to mask, and that if they claimed not to, the question was either out of context or they were just plain lying. The issue is not so much whether they mask under certain circumstances, but whether they dissemble the trim, remove door handles and glass, etc. as prep for a paint job. All body shops that interviewed claimed they disassembled the vehicle trim/door handles/glass etc. as opposed to masking.

    5) All three of the Lexus certified shop managers told me that they were in no way PART of Lexus. They were/are all shops that individual Lexus dealers recommend and/or procure body work from. One body shop is actually owned by the same people who own the local Lexus Dealer, the local Toyota Dealer and the local Honda dealer.

    In the end, I chose to drive 150 miles to have the car repaired, but only because I was also due for my 5000 mile service. I chose the dealer where I purchased my vehicle, because I need to have some upholstery repaired under warranty and the original dealer already identified the problem and is familiar with it. My original dealer also happens to be the dealer who also owns the body shop, which is Lexus certified. The original dealer's body shop manager also bragged that they use Glasurit paint. The others use PPG, by Dupont.

    After touring their shop yesterday, and seeing all of the BMWs and LS vehicles in various stages of repair, I only have one fear. That the Glasurit paint will cause the repaired parts of my car to look BETTER than the original!!!! Wonder if the body shop people ever thought of that - that maybe a cleaper paint would be better if it made the work goes better with the original car's paint job!!!

    Anyway, after all my research, I would probably not drive 150 miles becaue of Lexus certification. The worst part about the 150 miles is that it means a 300 mile trip in a low end rental vehicle, missing my ES300 the whole time. I guess the upside is that after driving the rental vehicle around town and back to LA, I will certainly appreciate my ES300 all the more, regardless of what happens with the body work. Anyway, my fingers are crossed.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    Dealers not using Glasurit used Dupont OR PPG. PPG is not made by Dupont, but is a separate brand.
  • rugmankcrugmankc Posts: 133
    My ES300 never fogs when the defrost is on with the AC. You need the AC on to dry the air and most cars have it on automatically whenever the defrost is on. You can still adjust the temp as desired. However there has been 2 or 3 times when I put the defrost on and maybe due to the other buttons, ie Auto, the AC light went on and off and the windows fogged. I pushed the AC button to on and the windows defrosted immediately. I am not sure if it was my fault or a design flaw. But it has only happened 2 or 3 times in over 3 years. Next time when it happens check and make sure the AC light is on continuous, and not flashing or off. Good luck.
  • tnguy1tnguy1 Posts: 20
    Rugmankc,
    Thanks for your input. Despite having the AC or the defrost with the AC, the windows still fog up on the OUTSIDE. Not only is this very annoying, it reduces my vision. And this fogging problem happens at any time of the day, not limited to the morning. This happens regardless of the AC temperature setting. This problem occurs only with this car and not with my other cars. The service guy says this is normal but I refused to accept this, as this problem is excessive with this car.
  • mmccloskeymmccloskey Posts: 168
    I now have about 2,200 highway miles on my 2K+2 ES300 and was wondering if I should change the oil at the 3,000 mile interval or wait until 5,000 miles as recommended by the dealer. I purchased 2 of the Denso oil filters (OEM) and Mobil1 5W30 in anticipation of the upcoming oil change.

    BTW, have any of you 2K+2 owners changed your own oil/filter? I used to do so on my Solara and it was a snap but rather messy when removing the filter as the oil would run down the side of the engine and onto other components. I noticed the ES300 has a kind of tray attached below the filter that would direct any dripping away from the engine. If so, this would make the effort far more tidy. I do have a cup-type filter wrench and extensions to reach and remove the filter. I know some may think that since spending nearly 37K for a car one should be able to afford to have it changed. The point is I know I will do it right, plus save the time of going to the dealer and waiting far longer than it would take me to change it.

    Hope all is well with all and their ES300's - I know all is well with me and mine!

    M. J. McCloskey
  • rebelskrebelsk Posts: 65
    I own a 2002 ES 300 and this past week I went on vacation and drove over 1000 miles in a rental vehicle that I picked up for the trip from New England to Pennsylvania. The vehicle I rented was a Mitsubishi Gallant, the current model with 12000 miles on it. Not an awfull car but the differences in the ride and feel between the Gallant and ES 300 are quite pronounced. The ride quality, the comfort, and just about every detail are all quite different. These are not incredible perceptions on my part as anyone would realize this but that is not my reason for mentioning it. I think many times on this forum people take for granted just how good a car the ES 300 is and quibble over nothing. First of all, if you can afford one, you are in a position that is many times better off than most people who drive much inferior vehicles and work just as hard for their money as the rest of us. Second, lighten up a little, the world is not coming to an end if the transmission is not quite what you expected. The car is a pleasure to drive and I feel fortunate that I can even afford to buy one. The Levinson Stereo is the best I have ever heard in a car and that includes all the aftermarket systems I have had which include some pricey systems with Diamond speakers and Zapco amps. Anyway, enjoy your cars and appreciate how fortunate we are to even take the time in our lives to be able to discuss them. Happy driving! Stephen
  • rugmankcrugmankc Posts: 133
    tnguy1

    Don't know what else to tell you. I have noticed if I take my finger over the glass it smears more than on other cars, maybe a film from manufacturing or shipping. This is a wild thought and may not work or make it worse. But, you might try cleaning the window with some product that would cut through the film. Maybe lighter fluid or Bug and Tar remover. Then thoroughly wash the car and window and windex good to get to the clean glass. Sometimes just cracking a window helps. Another thought revolves around my 98 Windstar which has done the same thing on occasion. I have had good results by bringing the temp up a little in the van so cold air is not going onto the window. Since this has been a very humid summer in the midwest, I thought maybe there was just to much temperature and/or humidity differential between the inside and outside. Just some thoughts.
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