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Lexus ES 300/ES 330



  • londinelondine Posts: 32
    Hi, alpha01.

    I got the ULEV from the '03 Accord brochure. The photo of the engine block showed "3.0 VTEC ULEV" on the valve cover.

    The text underneath says " V-6 models are Ultra-Low-Emission Vehicles (ULEV.)3"

    The footnote tells the tale, though. It says -- in microscopic type -- "ULEV-rated on V-6 models available in CA, MA, ME, NY and VT."

    I guess everyone else gets plain, old LEV engines. :-)

    I wonder if there's any difference in drivability, throttle response, or horsepower ratings between the ULEV and LEV versions of the engine.

    My personal bias is to get the engine, throttle and transmission working smooth with no hesitation, then dial in all the ULEV you can, if you can. But if you can't, don't screw up the drivability to get the rating.
  • Hi, I originally posted this in ES 300 problems, but then saw this board discusses problems and gets a lot more traffic. So, I'm posting here too. I apologize for any inconvenience.

    Recently bought a '96 Coach Edition Cream Puff (40,000 miles on it) that my mechanically inclined dad picked out from his friends at Lexus dealer in New Orleans. All seemed fine with car when hubby and I first drove it around for 2 days. Then I got injured and couldn't drive. Hubby drove car back to Chicago. When I got behind wheel, car wasn't right -- overally responsive to road, made popping noise during slow turns and had a shutter and hop. Before we could get it to dealer b/c of holidays, we got a flat tire too - 2 nails in it. Got flat repaired at gas station.

    Took car to dealer for other problems. Tires were WAY overinflated (thanks hubby) and rear sway bar bushings were dirty. So, afterwards, the car was not so too overly responsive to road and less noise on turns. But it still seems to drift to left when in left lane of Xpressway and have to hold steering wheel in slight, slight correction so as not to drift off side of the road. Still makes bit on noise when turning and backing out of garage but not on forward turns.

    But, the thing that really annoys me is that pesky hop and shudder remained -- almost like I was riding a horse, but not quite as severe. So I took it back to dealer. They let me drive around with the tech who worked on my car and he said while he knows what I'm talking about from other cars he just doesn't feel it in my car and tried to blame it on the roads. I told him that, yes, I was really sensative but that I had driven it on the expressway and city roads and smoother suburban roads and it was there all of the time. It seems to be worst when accelerating from 25 to 45. And I told him about the repaired tire. So, they tried to fix it by balancing the wheels, which they said were off by 10%, and gave it to me to drive around and see.

    So, after the wheels were balanced, I drove around and the pesky hop and shudder were still there. So my dad suggested that, since we have a brand new spare in the trunk, we put that on to replace the repaired tire and see if that did the trick. It didn't.

    So, does anybody have any suggestions? I know it seems like a minor complaint, but we have had the car less than two months and I saved up for years for it and got to drive it when it was pristine for 2 DAYS!!
  • mrrogersmrrogers Posts: 391
    Many years ago, I was a member of the Porsche Club of America. There was always an article in one of the car magazines about which tire is the best in terms of handling. Chuck Stoddard, owner of Stoddard Imported Cars, a Porsche dealership in Willoughby, Ohio wrote an article that Porsche owners should buy Michelins because they are the roundest of all the tires. This translates into much better feel in the steering. Since that time, I have put Michelins on many different cars, and have never been disappointed. I am not sure if that will solve your problem but at least you may be able to convince your dealer that tires are not the problem.
  • cusafrcusafr Posts: 184
    Always difficult to try to understand/fix car problems (could be anything) when you are looking at the car. To do it over the internet is next to impossible because there are so many possibilities. That being said, for whatever it is worth, find out if the wheels (rims) are original equipment. If not, you may have wheels that fit, but are not hub centric. If this is the case, you need hub rings to make them hub centric. This is only idea, but you never know!

  • richm4richm4 Posts: 169
    As long as someone brought up the subject of the new Accord, I was strongly considering an ES300 but after driving the Accord, I doubt I'll get the ES300. Reasons that favor the Accord?

    1. Much stronger engine
    2. Much smoother transmission (no Shudder)
    3. Steering wheel radio controls
    4. List price is $10K less
    5. Can be bought for invoice as opposed to near sticker price.
  • bartalk2bartalk2 Posts: 326
    Potential ES buyers, I would advise waiting for the '04. The current model is underpowered by today's standards and has been bypassed by the mass market Accord, Altima, current and forthcoming Maxima, etc. Note that Toyota has just now upgraded the Camry V6 engine midyear to compete with those cars.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    What is the mpg cost for the higher powered engines?
  • Hi,

    I appreciate the responses that I've gotten so far. That said, cusafr makes a good point about diagnosing problems over the Internet.

    In copying and pasting my first post over from the ES 300 problems board though I accidentally left off the end, which could make a difference. :-)

    So here it is ...

    I'd just like the problem fixed, and it seems to me that it's going to be hard for this dealer to fix it if they can't even feel the problem, which both me and my husband feel. I'm willing to pay to have it fixed (and have an extended warranty). But I don't want to pay for all of their guesses only to have them discover the real problem 3 or 4 educated guesses down the line. To their credit, so far, I've only paid the $50 initial inspection fee. (Of course, they still haven't diagnosed the problem nor can they acknowlege it's existance.)

    Does anyone have any mechanics they particularly like in the Chicago area? Any particular tech at any Lexus or Toyota dealer, especially in the city?

    Note, after I've cruised around this board some, I've noticed that this denying the problem exists seems to be a somewhat common tactic. Anyone care to comment on that and any experiences they've had with that.
  • mrrogersmrrogers Posts: 391
    Concerning ES300 pricing, I went into, and typed in zipcode 91311 for the Los Angeles, CA area. For the base 2003 ES300, the MSRP including freight is $32,280. Invoice is $29,011. CarsDirect price is $29,511. I have been told that freight to truck the car to the Ohio area is about $700.
  • domettgdomettg Posts: 55
    I have a '99 ES300 and have noticed that the outside temp readout is accurate in the 50 degree range but as the temp gets colder, it gets less accurate. At down around 10 degrees, it reads about 5 or 6 degrees higher than several external thermometers that I have had near the car after it has been sitting all night. Has anyone else noticed this? Where is the temp sensor? Is it adjustable or is it a sealed factory calibrated unit?
  • wwh11wwh11 Posts: 7
    Could any of your experts suggest a sales price for a 2002 ES300 that comes with the Premium package and 7000 miles only? This is a privately owned car.

  • rparisrparis Posts: 368
    For an ES that lists for about $36500 (No nav) what are most people paying?

    Has anyone who has driven a 2001, 2000, 1999 or 1998 model purchased the 2002 or 2003 model. Is there much of a difference in the two vehicles as far as ride, etc? My salesman says the newly styled model is far superior. Any thoughts?
  • richm4richm4 Posts: 169
    I think LA pricing is much more competitive due to the numerous Lexus dealers there. In Chicago, there are fewer dealers and, thus, less competition for the dealers.
  • bartalk2bartalk2 Posts: 326
    Good point about gas mileage. With the price of gas rising with the threat of Bush's war, etc. mileage becomes a factor. Honda managed to squeeze out 240 hp and still increase gas mileage over the previous 200 hp engine in the new Accord (and on regular gas). The new V6 in the Camry is basically the Avalon engine whose gas mileage is nearly identical to the old Camry, and with a new 5-speed transmission may be even better. As the ES goes from 3.0 to 3.3, gas mileage may suffer a little but probably not much. But with the inevitable increases in gas prices over the years (before and after the war), people who buy gas guzzling V8s like the new Infiniti M45 and Lincoln's LS may be in for a big shock.
  • Greetings:

    With the advent of a larger (3.3 ltr) engine in the 2004 ES, it would probably be less than the current 20/29 mileage rating of the 3.0 ltr. Will the extra (projected) horsepower really make the car that much quicker and will it matter to accelerate .5 seconds faster. Mileage should be a factor as well as reasonable acceleration in most circumstances when considering a vehicle. Premium fuel in my region is about 1.59. per/gal but could quickly rise based on the current global unrest.

    My 2K2 ES has been wonderful - great mileage (27-28mpg/w premium), 90% highway and I find the engine has plenty of power. When accelerating briskly from a standstill, the car moves out with authority and there is almost a V-8 sound to the engine as it gathers speed and the transmission shifts without any hesitation or abruptness.

    As I only drive the ES on fair weather days, my accumulated mileage is 5,780 in nearly seven months. No problems, squeaks, rattles, loose trim or any other issues. This is my first Lexus and I have not been disappointed in any way.

    Ultra-quiet and super-smooth - the only way to travel!

    M.J. McCloskey
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    My wife's 99 ES will soon need new tires, & I'd appreciate any recommendations. Good handling on wet/slippery road surfaces is important.
  • gekko2gekko2 Posts: 87
    I have a 95 ES and just bought these at Sears and am very happy:

    Michelin Pilot XGT H4 Tires
    $97.99 each

    They are quiet, smooth, handle-well, and appear/from what I hear - durable.

    I went down one speed rating to H and saved some bucks - H is perfect for me.

    I also bought the:

    Road Hazard Plus Agreement
    - Free tire replacement if non-repairable.
    - Free wheel balancing.
    - Free valve stem replacement.
    - Free flat repair.
    - 25% off the purchase of alignment service at time of repair or replacement.

    Sears owns NTB and they are everywhere which is of value to me - if I need warranty replacement. Sears is also open on weekends/evenings. I'm not a big Sears guy, but they took cae of me with these tires.

  • alexs95alexs95 Posts: 12
    I have a 2000 ES300 Lexus with 30,000 miles. I can't find anywhere in the Owner's Manual where you are to replace the transmission fluid. It only says you are to inspect "transmission and defferential oil". Seems like you should replace these fluids sometime. Does anyone have any thoughts.
  • gekko2gekko2 Posts: 87
    Here's what I follow:


    Every 3,750 Miles:
    Oil and Oil Filter Change

    Every 30,000 Miles:
    Radiator Coolant Flush/Change
    Air Filter Change
    Transmission and Differential Fluid Flush/Change
    BG MOA Oil Additive
    BG 44K Fuel Induction Additive

    Every 60,000 Miles:
    Spark Plugs Change/Tune-Up
    Power Steering Fluid Flush/Change
    Brake Fluid Flush/Change
    Fuel Filter Change
    Battery Check/Change

    Every 90,000 Miles:
    Timing Belt Change
    Water Pump Check/Change

    Every 1 Year:
    Exterior Wax/Detail
    Interior Leather/Wood Cleaning and Conditioning/Detail and Carpet Shampoo
    Wiper Blade Inserts Change
  • Lexus has encountered significant problems with the Toyo tires that come as original equipment on some ES 300's. On my '02 ES, with 10,000 miles on the odo, I noticed excessive "road noise". I stopped by the dealership to make a service appointment. When I described the problem, the service rep immediately examined the tires and showed me the "cupping" that had occurred on inside treads of the front tires. He said Lexus and Toyo had been having discussions. Lexus was blaming the tires, since they've had no similar problems with Bridgestone or Goodyear tires that also are used as original equipment. Toyo is blaming the car, as they say they've had no problems on other makes. Lexus replaced all five Toyo tires free of charge with Goodyears (as the Bridgestones are on back-order in this area), which immediately solved the problem.
    This ES is my fourth Lexus since 1992, and I've consistently found Lexus dealers (and I've used two different ones) to be responsive to any questions or problems that arise.
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