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Lexus ES 300/ES 330



  • Just took delivery of new 2003 ES300 on Saturday. Initially I noticed a few rough shifts around 25 miles on the odometer and thought "trouble ahead" but after about 75 miles on the odometer the transmission was flawless, no hesitation, no rough shifting, just smooth and confident. About 300 miles on the odometer now (Monday night). On they way home this evening I was darting about in moderate traffic feeling quite confident in the car.

    - Jim
  • Hi:

    My wife has a 2002 ES 300. She has noticed that there is a bad odor coming from the A/C system. We have had the car into the dealer twice now and the problem goes away for a while then slowly returns. They have put some kind of freshner in the system but I don't think its a permanent fix. The smell is present only when the A/C is on. When ventilation is on without A/C there is no smell. My two theories are 1: The A/C drain is clogged so there is some really nasty stuff in the system or 2: a possible problem with the catalytic converter.

    Has anyone else had this problem. Any suggestions, etc. My wife says she is going to contact Lexus about this. This is an expensive car so we should not have this problem. Other than that, we love the car.

    Thanks everyone.
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    A musty, moldy kind of smell seems to be a common problem these days in a lot of cars, including Lexus. It is probably due to mold in the AC evaporator system. Someone had said a while back that spraying Lysol into the air intake solved his problem. The dealers also have a fix..... They were quoting me about $130 to inject a disinfectant into the system.
  • This should fix your getting Lexus to pay for it is another issue.
  • Has anyone with a 97 or newer ES300 had a problem with too much play/slack in their seat back?
  • Has anyone installed XM radio into their ES300? I have a '00 ES. I was wondering how it worked, how it was mounted, etc. Thanks.
  • We just bought 95 300ES. Only complaint is that speedometer and tachometer needle lights are out. We hear this is not uncommon. Dealer wants $900 to replace entire dash unit. We had the needles painted a light color, but this does not work at night. Any suggestions?
  • I have a 2002 ES 300 with TOYO tires. I've had the car for 11 months 14500 miles. After taking the car in for its 15000 mile service the dealer said I needed new tires. Does any one have any info on these tires and is it not odd that new tires are needed with so few miles on them.
    also I have decided to get car service every 7500 miles instead of every 5000 miles as the dealer stated. any thoughts
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    david valone, New tires at 15K is definately too soon. But ultimately, tire wear depends on each driver's particular driving habits. The average driver should get about 30K to 40K miles out of tires on a ES300.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    sam95ES, since you already painted the needles, I don't think there is much else you can do except get a new instrument panel.
  • kennyg5kennyg5 Posts: 360
    Ouch! $900 for the lights, that is expensive. I wonder if you can get a better price at an independent station. Dealers tend to charge a lot more!!
  • The Toyo tires on my wife's 300 have a treadwear rating of 140, which is very low, and you probably won't get anywhere near 30-40K out of them.
  • mrrogersmrrogers Posts: 391
    The ES300 engine has had a few cases of the oil gel (sludge) problem. You may be able to get by with 7,500 oil and filter changes if you do strictly highway driving, but I would feel safer with a four month/4,000 mile schedule. I realize Lexus is repairing the sludged engines for free, but who needs the hastle?
  • jyeljyel Posts: 1
    I do a lot of highway driving - about 3K miles per month, so I have decided for myself to go with the 7.5K service interval, which works out to about every 10-12 weeks or so for me. My understanding of the sludging problem is that it was addressed early this year with a minor design change to the engine that is supposed to prevent it from happening at all.
  • The needles on the Optitron gauges are definitely a frequent point of failure on earlier ES300s. I've located an used instrument cluster on the internet for $165! It's very simple to remove and install really. I've had to remove mine once on my '95 ES300 to replace a couple of backlight bulbs. Here's the details on buying the used instrument cluster...I'd call to get their assurance that the needles are GOOD and Guaranteed:




    Junkyard Jimmy

    6234 SR 61 North

    Shelby Oh 44875

    Web Site:


    Toll-Free: 866-JYJIMMY (595-4669)

    Local: 419-342-2390

    Fax: 419-342-2365

  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    Have you installed the Airsept system? How much was it and how well does it work?
  • No, I've not installed one. It's nothing more than an electronic fan control device that cycles the blower motor when the ignition is turned off. The cycling of the blower effective dries up the moisture on the coils.
  • Hi everyone. I was wondering if any of you could let me know if the ES 300 has folding rear seats to allow for hauling of larger items such as a bike. I went to their website but could not find the answer.

    Thanks much!
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    The ES 300 does not have folding seatbacks. Part of the reason is they take away from the structural integrity of the car.
  • I recently purchased a 98 ES300 and was wondering if the interior lighting should go on when unlocking the doors with the remote. Mine isn't at the current time. Thanks in advance.
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