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Lexus ES 300/ES 330

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Comments

  • What options are there for re-keying the ES300 ?

    We had a burglary and one remote and the valet keys were stolen from our house, but left the cars intact. We have one remote key and can drive the car. Lexus dealer quotes around $1000 to replace the door locks, ignition and glove box lock.
    So far the insurance co. (State Farm) is refusing to pay to have the car re-secured.

    Are there less costly alternatives to re-gain security for the car ??
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    For the 2002-2006 ES3XXs (it does not work the same for pre-2002 models), if you want to insure that the burgler is prohibited from physical entry to your vehicle, then I suspect you will have to pay what the Lexus dealer quoted, because you will need to have your physical locks on your passenger doors, trunk and glove box changed.

    However, if you are willing to set things up such that the burgler cannot drive your car, but can still gain physical access to your car, then all you need to do is have your remaining keys and engine reprogrammed, a somewhat less expensive option. Reprogramming your keys insures:

    1. That your engine will only recognize your new program, which of course the burgler will not have access to.

    2. That your engine will not recognize the old program, which the burgler has access to because he owns the keys with the old programs.

    Beware that if you do nothing, the burgler has the ability to both get into your car and to drive away with it!!

    Were I you, I'd have my remaining keys reprogrammed immediately, regardless of the option I ultimately chose. If I planned to have the vehicles' physical locks changed, I'd make a deal with the dealer to allow me to reprogram the new keys free of charge once the new physical keys became available, so I would not be charged for two reprograms.
  • larry1larry1 Posts: 29
    I agree with the response that atoews gave.

    Although I would like to add that you yourself, without paying anyone to do it, can prevent the stolen key from starting the car, so that only the master key that you still have will actually start the engine. Here are the instructions to delete all keys from starting the engine, except the key you still have:

    http://www.locksmithcharley.com/toypedaldance.pdf

    Note that after you do this, the stolen key will still open the trunk, car doors and glovebox.

    Then you could order a full tilt $177 transponder master key from Lexus, or a $49 non-remote master key from Lexus, both at:

    http://lexus-parts.com/partlist.asp?SubCategoryID=91&ModelID=90

    Or a $30 or so generic master key from a locksmith. Lexus wants your VIN and proof of ownership to cut a key for you. Then using the instructions on the first link above, you can add the new master key to your 2003 ES300.

    So now you will have two master keys that will start the car, while preventing the stolen key from starting the engine, but not preventing that stolen key from opening the doors, glovebox, and trunk. But it is far cheaper than $1,000.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    Why would anyone buy a new ES330 today with the new ES350 around the corner unless they are in love the the styling?
    The 2007 ES350 will probably be priced at a higher MSRP and not discounted until production has a chance to ramp up to meet demand some months later. However, if you are buying the ES330 to "save money" compared to buying a 2007 ES350, why not just get a 2006 Avalon Limited instead and get a newer design with a better powertrain and more room than a 2006 ES330? You can always extend the warranty on the Avalon if you are concerned about losing the extra year of bumper to bumper coverage compared to a Lexus.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    larry1, please define "master key" in the context of 2002-2006 vehicles. I have never heard the term used in the dealer for my 2002 ES300, nor is the term "master key" in my user manual at all.
    Also, what do you mean by "cut a key"? As far as I know you can cut the physical part of the key, the part that opens the doors, and maybe even the glovebox, but a locksmith cannot provide the programming that will allow the key to start the engine. And, the locksmith will not be able to give you a program that automatically opens doors, moon roof, etc.

    Here is the set of keys I received with my car when new. Which of these, 1, 2 or 3, is the "master key"?:

    1. 2 keys that include keyless entry. There is a programmable chip in both of these keys, which are identical to one another. All keys and the engine are programmed at the same time so they all have the same program.

    You cannot pass programming information from one of these keys to another, and you cannot pass programming information from a key to the engine or from the engine to the key.

    Therefore, if you lose one of these keys, you have to have all your keys and your engine reprogrammed if you want them all to work. I suspect you need to take the keys to a Lexus dealer in order to make keys that your engine recognizes, because your engine also needs reprogramming.

    2. A valet key, which also has programming in order for the engine to know that the valet key is matched with the engine. This key does not have keyless entry, i.e. cannot auto open the doors, trunk, moon roof etc.

    You cannot open the glove box with the valet key, because the glove box has the button that allows the enabling of the trunk button that is near the driver. To keep the valet out of the trunk with the valet key, you must set the button in the glove box to lock the trunk and then lock the glove box with the keyless entry key. The valet will no longer be able to open the trunk with the valet key because the trunk activation feature is disabled by the button in the glove box and the valet cannot get into the glove box with the valet key.

    3. A wallet "credit card" key, which also contains the program. There is no keyless entry on this credit card key, but it does open the glove box, allowing you to enable and disable the trunk opening button near the driver.
  • larry1larry1 Posts: 29
    The 2 keys with keyless entry are master keys. That means they will unluck the trunk and the glovebox lock, where the valet key will not. They are masters, because they operate everyhing. A standard key terminology.

    "Cut a key" meant to cut the proper pattern in the metal part of the key.

    You are correct, you can not pass programming info from one key to another. And you are correct, the key does not pass information to the engine.

    What happens is you insert a transponder key (a key with a transponder [transmitter/responder] inside the head of the key-like the two masters and the valet) that has been programmed to your your car in the ignition cylinder. There is a ring around the ignition key slot that sends a signal from the car's Engine Control Module, aka Engine Control Unit, aka ECM, aka ECU, to the key. This signal does not come from the actual engine. If the key receives that signal and transmits the proper signal back through the ring around the ignition key cylinder to the ECU, then the ECU will allow the engine to start.

    Yes, the locksmith does not give you a program. The car already contains the ability to program a new master key. But Lexus wants to keep it a secret, so they can gouge you. The locksmith who posted the page with the info, let the secret out:)

    If you read the website link that I gave you, you will see how to delete the stolen keyless entry, also called a remote (control) master, so that the stolen key will no longer start the engine.

    I watched all of this done myself on my 2000 ES 300 a few months ago right in front of me at the locksmith's shop in Phoenix. The same guy, Charley, who is the author of the website link I posted in my last post.

    I don't know how to program a key so that the remote buttons will operate the sunroof, etc. In order to save a thousand dollars or so, as you stated in your post, aren't you willing to live without that on your spare key? Or call the locksmith on the website and ask him if he knows how to do it.

    I haven't seen your wallet key, but I am almost 100% certain that it will not start the engine. That key is useful only if you happen to have that key available when you have locked your other key inside the car.
  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    We had an 02 (or was it 01. . . the old body) ES300. It was a great car and had one of the best stock stereos I've experienced. Seems the salesman told me they didn't bother ordering the upgrade system because the stock one was a 190w Alpine that sounded just as good. When my wife moved to an RX330 in '04 I gave her new sound system points for trying but without a trunk it just didn't have the bass.
    Last month we inherited her mom's 06 ES330 (800 miles), and are considering keeping it sinced it only had 800 miles and the RX lease is almost up. I drove it today looking forward to the great sound we got in the old EX. Much as I like the new sedan, that stock stereo sounds like it's made for an easy-listening grandma. Turn it up much and it turns to mush even with that nice sub in the middle behind the back seat. It doesn't sound like it has any power. What happened? My daughter's $22k Honda sounds like a concert hall by contrast.
  • Larry, how sure are you that the "re-key" instructions that you describe work for the 2002-2006 ES300/330 ?

    You said that you watched while it was performed on your 2000 ES model, which could have different electronics than the current model.
  • I just bought a new ES330, even with the new model around the corner. The dealer was willing to discount the car $3K. I was trading in a 2001 MB C-Class, which we'd had a few problems with, and wanted the Lexus reliability now. Yeah, I know...having the newest ES would be nice, but I wasn't waiting for the next problem with the Benz to arrive.
  • larry1larry1 Posts: 29
    You can call Locksmith Charley at 1-800-313-KEYS (5397) 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Arizona time Monday-Friday and ask him. His website is www.locksmithcharley.com That website doesn't specify any differences for newer models, but you can read it yourself, or better yet, call him. And it isn't re-keying. It is reprogramming the key.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    toydriver,

    Before I'd go with locksmith Charley, I'd try your local Lexus dealer again. In my experience, the predominant cost of getting a new key is in procuring the replacement key. My Lexus dealer quotes $350 to replace a "master" key plus about $60 for reprogramming your new key plus all your other keys. (Note that larry1's second website advertises replacement keys for $177, less expensive than the $350 quoted by my dealer.)

    If you buy a new key from the dealer, you may be able to negotiate the programming for free. I have lost a couple of "master" keys, and have not had to pay for reprogramming yet. The first time, the dealer allowed the price of the replacement key to cover the reprogramming too.

    When you get a quote from your Lexus dealer, be sure to differentiate the cost of a replacement key separately from the cost of the programming. If you want to buy a key from the website, inform your dealer because that may impact what the dealer charges you for programming.

    If your dealer charges $1000 just to reprogram your key, then you are indeed getting gouged and another Lexus dealer is likely to give you a better deal. Of course, go to locksmith Charley if all else fails, but I think doing it through a Lexus dealer is less risky.

    I have a 2002 ES300.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    By the way, the wallet key does start the engine. It is there for in case you lose your set of keys while away from your extra keys, so you can access your car before you can replace your keys.
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 853
    What kind of mpg are you getting on your ES300?
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    Please see msg #1269 under "Prices Paid and Buying Experience", Dec 22, 2005, where I answered your question previously. Below is my reply to your question.

    ================================
    It is hard to really state the gas mileage I get. It varies from about 16-19 mpg in town and 26-28 mpg on the freeway.

    Here is what I have observed however:

    1. One pays a very high mpg price for accelerating.
    2. One pays a very high mpg price for driving uphill. If one takes a two-way trip that is hilly, the lower mpg for the downhill part will not compensate for the higher mpg. of the uphill part. (A two-way trip theorectically equalizes the uphill/downhill portions there and back)
    3. One pays a very high mpg price for stopping at fast food prices, which requires lots of acceleration/ stop and go.

    As such it is really hard to tell whether the basic vehicle is providing good or bad gas mileage.

    The only way that two drivers can get good comparison numbers is if they both live in a flat region, and they both have the same amount of stop and go when they drive in town.
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 853
    Thanks atoews. I am getting older and my memory is not what it once was.
  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    I've been driving this car a few days. Despite my issue with the less than stellar sound system, this darn car drives like a dream. Smooth as "butta" as they say and amazingly quiet.
  • I purchased a 2006 ES330 in January. I have noticed an engine sound that is reminiscent of valve pinging. The service writer manager said it was made by the fuel injectors and was really pronounced in GS 300s [I’m not sure if that made me feel any better about my problem] In addition, I have noticed a “clunk” sound when I turn a cold engine on. Does anyone have insight on these experiences?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Valve (lifters) clack, engines ping.
  • igibanigiban Posts: 530
    Std stereo has only what, 84 watts? That's why they have ML, which will beat the one in your old ES hands (or ears)down. But I know most would expect a better std stereo, esp. when you can't get ML option w/o paying for Nav also.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    I drove one and was disappointed that it wasn't quieter. I could clearly hear some road noise even driving on city streets at low speeds (under 40MPH).
    The quietness was so overhyped that I had very high expectations that failed to be met.
    There are now some less expensive cars that have similar or lower levels of interior noise.
  • Road noise more often has to with the type of tires that are put on the cars. The wider sportier tires generally have more road noises than the narrower ones. Sometimes changing the tires can eliminate that problem.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    It was a brand new ES330 with factory stock tires.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Factory stock tires are most often all-season and will typically be much noisier than their summer only counterparts.

    The Bridgestone Turanza series is a good example. Compared to the summer version the all-season version of this tire is LOUD!
  • My lexsus ES 300 cranks very slow and won't start I also smell a funny odor while trying to start it. It a ES 300 V6 3000 with over 160000 miles
  • agree completely. if you keep waiting "just a few more months" you'll never take the leap, reading these forums forever...and what you're really waiting for is not the newest car but rather your next problem with you current one! while you're reading others are driving great cars. there's no perfect time, dealer, price or even car. it ends up being more of a problem of commitment than one of pure indecision.
  • curt2005curt2005 Posts: 70
    Drove one yesterday, was also very disappointed in the irritating noise level from the tires. When I drove my old Olds home, I realized that my car had enough engine and wind noise to mask any tire noise.
  • curt2005curt2005 Posts: 70
    When I drove a 2006 ES yesterday, I forgot to fully check the sunvisors. They don't have a sliding panel when you turn them to cover the side window. When I commented, the sales rep didn't say anything.

    Do they, perhaps, slide on the rod? I didn't think to try that.

    Thanks.
  • mmccloskeymmccloskey Posts: 168
    Greetings:

    I have a 2002 ES300 and the sun visors do have the ability to slide back on the rod up to 5" when used. If you have the vanity light set to automatically come on when you lower the visor, the light will go out as you extend the visor along the rod. They provide plenty of coverage to block out any sun/bright light that might distract you. I would assume that the 2006 model has the same capability.

    Hope this helps.

    M.J. McCloskey
  • chrisarochrisaro Posts: 1
    I would like to know how to change the check engine light bulb on my 96 es 300.
  • Thanks for the tip ! It does adjust on my 06 ES330 and
    we did not know since there was no slide panel as
    on our previous Honda.
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