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Lexus ES 300/ES 330

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  • Hello. Can someone please clear something up for me. I have a 96 es300. When do I turn the O/D off? on the Highway or City? Also, I have an ECT Power button, what is that for? Is it bad for your transmission to drive with the O/D on while in the city "stop and go" traffic?
  • rickc5rickc5 Posts: 378
    The ES has only one horn. It is located on the right side of the front end (don't forget, the sides {right and left} of a vehicle are determined from the seated driver's perspective. If you're standing in front of the car, facing it, the horn's on the left.), just under the large black plastic panel that fits between the grille and the radiator. You must remove the panel to get at the horn. You can see the horn by looking through the grille.

    Since your accident was to the front end of the car, it's quite possible the horn was damaged too.
  • rickc5rickc5 Posts: 378
    Its totally safe and advisable to leave your transmission in Overdrive all the time. It can increase your gas mileage and does no harm. About the only time I can think of for turning it off would be if you were climbing a hill that was just steep enough for the transmission to "seek" back and forth between third and fourth (O/D). Turning it off would keep the transmission in third gear.

    The ECT button changes the shifting points in the transmission if you are using full-throttle accelleration, keeping it in each gear for a few hundred more RPM so you get the maximum power benefit. You will notice no difference when driving normally.

    Both of these features should be explained in your owner's manual.
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    You said you paid $523 per month for 39 months and 15K miles per year, but your deal was complicated by having a trade-in.

    No one can compare it to what they have or have seen.

    The dealer may have factored in what he was giving you for the trade-in and what he could do with your old car (either good or bad) when he offered you that deal.
  • ugmd20ugmd20 Posts: 11
    s852,

    Actually, we went over all of the numbers before he knew that I was going to give him a trade in.
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    I like turning the O/D off when driving around town, when speeds are less than 50 mph. I think the car is much more responsive without the O/D engaged. I used to do the same thing with my previous cars by setting the shift lever to 3rd. rather than drive. Most people do not do this though, and just drive around in the "D" position.
  • I have a '92 ES300 that I bought in December '98 with 45000 original miles. The dealer would not certify it ('mileage is OK but it's too old'). I opted not to buy the $1K extended warranty; now I'm kicking myself because I just paid AAMCO over $3K to rebuild the transmission (still has less than 70K miles). The car now seems to at least shift normally once again, including overdrive.

    QUESTION THE FIRST: the O/D OFF light, which didn't blink before, now does. According to the manual, this indicates a transmission problem. AAMCO connected it to a 'diagnostic machine' (yeah...right) and couldn't clear the error from the computer; they claim the O/D sensor needs replacement. Should I make a stink if they try to charge me for this part, or should I suck it up and pay? I feel like this should be included in their service; I'm also skeptical that replacing the sensor will even solve the problem.

    QUESTION THE SECOND: Now that the transmission has been rebuilt, should I have the front end re-aligned? I recently bought 4 new Yokohama AVID touring tires for it and don't want premature tire failure.

    QUESTION THE FINAL: I've never changed either the struts or shocks on this car and I'm pretty sure the original owner didn't, either. At 70K miles and 8+ years, should I just do it anyway? What could I expect to pay for this? The ride could use improvement.

    Whew... I think that's it. Thanks!
  • New pictures should start floating in April for Sept-Oct debut. This car will set the standard for entry level luxury. No offense intended but, Bye Bye Acura TL and Infinity I30!
  • dardsondardson Posts: 21
    I drove a Camry LE, 4 banger. It was a tiny bit slow but amazingly quiet, smooth, and well done. I am blown away by the quality of even a lowly Camry LE. We love the Solara but hate a two door. It's too low and hard as h___ to get out of in a parking lot with the wide doors. We will in the next few months move out of the the two door. Wondering if a move up to a Lexus ES300 is worth it over a Camry XLE V6. What exactly are you guys getting in a Lexus that we don't get in a Toyota? I could do the extra 4 or 5 thousand if I thought the thing was worth it. Any experience out there....between Toyota and Lexus. Toyota seems like exactly the same car to me with a few less bells and whistles. ????
  • Five months ago I ordered a Mercedes C320. Last week I drove to the dealer in my 2000 Solara V-6 that cost exactly HALF the price of the 320. The dealer tried to rape me on my flawless Solara with 3,000 miles on the odometer. The Solara is simply too good of a car to be giving away at some dealership. Now my wait begins for the new 2002 ES300. I'm confident that it will be a very nice car and will offer me years of trouble free service which is something that I can not say about the C320. Can't wait to see what the new ES will look like!
  • I drove a fully loaded Camry XLE V6 for three years on lease and racked up almost 70,000 miles. It is an excellent car and I had absolutely no problems with it. It was a great experience. Then I bought a used ES 300 with 34,000 miles on it. Both were 97's. As wonderful as the Camry XLE V6 was - the Lexus is definitely a step up. They redesigned both cars in 1997 and have kept them pretty much the same until they both get redesigned for 2002. They share only 25% of the same parts as the previous ES (1996 and back) edition was based off the Camry, but this one was based off of the Toyota Windom - a Japanese/European Toyota product.

    Both cars will get you to where you want to go in style.You will pay more for the Lexus name but will also get an even nicer vehicle with a better "cockpit" in look and feel. You will have much better leather - I noticed that immediately - a better stereo system- the insrtument panel is better, etc. Your resale value will also be similar by percentage to Toyota so you will get back the 4-5K margin if you sell later. I had great service with Toyota, but Lexus is even better. A limo to and from the dealer, a free wash with each visit, a leather lounge while you wait and most important a real sense of satisfaction that you were treated not only in style but professionaly and fairly.

    The real question is do you have the $4-5K to spend on a car. If not, feel great with the Camry, if so get the ES300 and you will see a world of difference.
    Those who say they are the same except for the name know little about both cars and do not have the experience that I have had driving both.

    I really liked my Camry, but love the fact that I drive a Lexus and that it is an even better car.
  • hunter001hunter001 Posts: 851
    FYI:

    The ES300 is known as the Toyota Windom in Japan. It is not "based off it", It is "it". Both currently and in the future. Also, the Camry, the Avalon and the Toyota ES300 are based on the SAME PLATFORM. They share the basic engine architecture (with variable valve timing heads in the ES version) and the exact same transmission. Also, MOST of the non-externally-visible mechanical parts (platform) are IDENTICAL. The Lexus RX300/Toyota Highlander is also based off the same platform.

    The ES300 is definitely a step-up from the Camry XLE V6. No question about it. It has got quite a few styling differences and also a lot more content - similar to the Infiniti I-30 vs the Nissan Maxima (who share the Engine/Transmission/mechanical components between them) and the Honda Accord EX V6/Acura 3.2 TL (even though the Engine in the Acura has got a larger displacement - 3.2L vs 3.0L, and the transmission in the Acura is a totally different 5-speed adaptive sportshift automatic vs the 4-speed transmission in the Accord V6).

    I sure think that the next ES3xx will definitely sport a 5-speed transmission like the Acura 3.2TL and maybe have an engine that is larger than the Camry V6 (similar to the Acura vs the Honda).

    Later...AH
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    Oh please, that's an exaggeration especially since it is possible they could mess up the styling like they did with new new SC.
    The 2002 will probably be nice, but as usual, it will be priced significantly higher than a TL or I30 when similarly equipped.
    Some people will be willing to pay the premium price to get the most prestigigous names and most luxurious models, but many will want to save several grand and live with simiulated wood as opposed to real wood trim in a TL.
    I think most people would prefer an ES300 for about the same price, but they are not near the same price.
  • ved3ved3 Posts: 43
    dardson,
    the best way to be sure is to visit lexus.com,
    order a test drive of the ES near you, and
    compare this experience to how you felt driving
    the camry. I think most honest people who have
    experienced both cars will tell you that they're
    not similar. but a lot of people have said
    they're similar. maybe this is a toyota strategy
    to boost camry sales I don't know. if it is, it's
    working big time. some people actually have
    started to say that they look alike. this can
    happen when they believe what others say more
    than they believe their own eyes.
    it's not to take anything away from the Camry
    which may be the best average family hauler but
    I think the ES is better in every possible way.
    so if you can afford the extra $5K, I'd do it.
    don't buy it yet. drive it for yourself, play
    around with all the amenities inside, and you'll
    see what I mean.
    take care everybody.
  • You can obviously tell that I am biased by my great history with Toyota. Remeber thought that the Tl redesigned in 1999 is still competing against the 97 redesign of the Lexus. The difference in price as you point out is also reflected in the resale price in which the ES wins out. If you love the Tl and plan on driving it for a long time that is great. The new S version is cool, but I prefer the Lexus in ways other than price including cockpit feel and overall luxury. When Acura redesigns the Tl in 2004 it will be competing against the 2002 design Lexus at a lower price. That is why I believe that the base for the new ES will be on par with the TL S version.
    Acura is a great brand but there are reasons why they are priced below Lexus.
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    Some corners were cut to keep the TL prices lower. For instance, the TL wood is not real and the wood in an ES300 is real. The ES300 has more leather than a TL. Some people care alot about things like that and rule out the TL for those reasons and some people care more about getting cool toys like the navigation system in the TL.
    I suppose Aura could use the same leather and wood in a TL and only raise the price by a few hundred dollars to reflect their added cost, but they choose not to.
    I looked up the 2001 ES300 in Carsdirect.com today and you can order one for about $300 over invoice in my zip code. That price is tempting, but I really like navigation systems. I rented a Hertz Taurus with an add-on navigation system and even that was pretty cool.
    I wonder if the 2002 ES300 will have it?
    Of course when the 2002 first comes out, you will probably have to pay full MSRP so real world street pricing will be much higher than any MSRP change will reflect.
  • hunter001hunter001 Posts: 851
    Actually, it would not be correct to compare low-end Navigation systems like the Hertz "Neverlost" Navigation system to high-end Navigation systems like the one present in the Acura 3.2TL. The DVD based Navigation in the Acura (covering the entire continental US on one DVD), has 7 Gyro-sensors present within the frame of the car, that would pin-point the location of the car EVEN IN AN UNDERGROUND PARKING LOT. In low-end Navigation systems, even the presence of Large buildings, thick clumps of trees etc, can stop the Navigation from functioning, since they do not have Gyro-sensors that would predict the position of the vehicle, in the absence of signals from the Satellites. The Navigation guides you through thick fog and pitch darkness like a guardian angel - never misstating or faltering. 2 miles before your turn approaches, the NAV warns you to "Keep to the Right/Left", one mile before the turn, it warns you again, 0.5 mile before, it warns us again, and before the turn, there is a countdown of 1000ft...800ft....600ft...500ft....100ft.... etc. You just cannot miss your turn. Also, when the Navigator audio warns us, the BOSE speakers of the 3.2TL automatically dims, allowing us to hear the Navigator lady's voice clearly. This NAV helped us a lot during a trip from NJ to IL, through Ohio that we undertook a while back. Absolutely worth every penny. Navigation systems employed by Audi and BMW are not even worth being placed on the same planet as the Acura system, even though they charge a pretty packet for it.

    Also, in addition to "cool toys" like the Navigation system, the Acura also has a 5-speed Sportshift Adaptive Automatic transmission that is a class-exclusive. All other vehicles in its class including the ES300, the Infiniti I-30 etc., soldier on with 4-speed transmissions borrowed from their pedestrian siblings (Toyota Camry, Nissan Maxima). Also, the Acura has triple-sealed full-frame windows, window-glass that go all the way down (unlike competitors like I30, ES300 where the rear glass sticks up a few inches over the window). It also has a turbine smooth and powerful 3.2L V6 engine (0-60 of the Acura is 6.4Secs vs 7.9 Secs for the ES300 & I30 - as per Motortrend), rear-vents for the AC controls (similar to the one present in the LS430, GS430), expensive Double Wishbone suspension on the front and Multi-link double-wishbone suspension in the back (the exact same suspension present in the LS430, GS300, GS430, SC430 unlike the ES300 that employs the cheaper and less-dynamic Macpherson Strut suspension on all 4-ends), standard HID lighting and a variety of other subtle and not-so-subtle differences. Incidentally, with the double-wishbone suspension, you can actually feel the "planted-ness" of the car, particularly noticeable at higher speeds, when other cars with less dynamic suspensions develop a certain floaty-feel.

    Acura has cut costs by employing "simulated wood" as opposed to "real wood" and you can find more vinyl on the interiors than the ES300, as you pointed out. Whether that merits a higher/lower price is upto the buyer. To each his own...whatever floats your boat...

    Later...AH
  • Sure, you pointed out the better points about the TL. But you are forgetting that not only is the wood trim but the ES has much better not to mention much more leather, HID headlights that has auto-leveling, better stereo system, better nameplate, better dealer service, etc...

    I am still puzzled about the 0-60 in 6.4 secs. Is this the regular or the TL-S you are talking about?
  • remus26remus26 Posts: 34
    "I think most people would prefer an ES300 for about the same price, but they are not near the same price."

    If most people would prefer a ES300 for about the same price, that basically justifies why it would cost more money!
  • hunter001hunter001 Posts: 851
    Oops...my mistake.... The 0-60 acceleration of the Acura 3.2TL is 6.7secs not 6.4secs...the 6.4secs figure was for the 3.2CL-s....

    No question about the dealer service. Acura has got miles to go before they can even touch Lexus. Acura dealers are also greedy - as seen by the no-discount policy adopted while selling the MDX (for basically 30 minutes of paperwork).

    Anyway, here are the acceleration figures of the comparison test done on the 2000 3.2TL, 2000 Lexus ES300, 2000 Infiniti I-30 and 2001 Oldsmobile Aurora V6 (Motortrend - June, 2000 issue)....

    ---------Acura 3.2TL-----Lexus ES300-----Infiniti I30--
    0-30------- 2.5 ------------ 2.8 -------------------- 2.9
    0-40------- 3.7------------ 4.0 -------------------- 4.1
    0-50------- 5.1------------ 5.9--------------------- 5.9
    0-60------- 6.7------------ 7.9--------------------- 7.9
    0-70------- 9.0------------ 10.1-------------------- 10.0
    0-80------ 11.5------------ 13.3-------------------- 13.0
    0-90------ 14.3------------ 17.0-------------------- 16.6
    Qtrmile--- 15.2@93.1 ----- 16.0@87.5 --------- 16.0@88.5

    As you notice, the other cars did not stand a chance from right off idle to much higher speeds....the Acura always held the upper-hand....incidentally, the 1999 3.2TL (with the 4-speed transmission and a non-free flowing intake-manifold) was slower than the 2000 and beyond 3.2TL. Engine modifications in the 2000 TL improved low-end torque and mid-range power, even though peak hp/torque numbers remained the same. Of course, with the advent of the 3.2TL-s, all these figures have been bettered......

    Also, the Acura (EPA classification - midsize) is heavier than both the Lexus ES300 (EPA Classification - Compact) and the Infiniti I-30 (EPA Classification - mid-size) yet has better mileage figures (better hwy figure than the I-30).

    Mileage of Acura 3.2TL: 19city/29hwy (3483lbs)
    Mileage of Lexus ES300: 19city/26hwy (3351lbs)
    Mileage of Infiniti I30: 20city/28hwy (3194lbs)

    (The Acura weighs 3494lbs with the Navigation)

    Later...AH
  • tclemonstclemons Posts: 31
    Interesting statistics regarding 0-60 times. I guess I am missing the point of some of this discussion, but these are "luxury/near luxury" cars, not race cars. I think we can all agree that they are relatively quick cars. I have a 98 ES300 and I would like to have 5-speed and my wife would like to have the navigation system (don't know why since I drive - she "directs"). My highway mileage is about 27-28 mpg @ 70+ with a/I on. City mileage is about 17-18. My wife's commute is short trip of 5-6 miles.
  • lievliev Posts: 93
    Unless you need to travel out of town constantly, I don't see the reason there is a use of the navigation system. I don't know if any body realize that you have to pay 2K up front + monthly fee (~$40) for something that you don't really need. What's the chance of driving in unfamiliar streets around your town? One time I tried to use the internet maps/directions to get directions to a place I already know how to get there (just trying to test it out). The directions I receivedt would have taken twice as long (locals with lots of traffic lights) and twice as far (indirect, a lot of turns) to get where I wanted to go as if I go my own way. Chances are that's what you're gonna get with the navigation system. I think a map is much cheaper and makes more sense.
  • I don't believe the Vavigation has monthly fees though. I think you might have to update your cds/dvds and thats about it. I could be wrong though.

    hunter001,
    Interesting, I remember before my wife and I bought our 99 ES300 I looked at the numbers and it showed the TL was like 8.5 seconds or so. But anyways, we don't punch the accelerator when it turns green so the ES300 provides plenty of power for us.
  • hunter001hunter001 Posts: 851
    There is NO MONTHLY FEE for the Navigation system. Once you pay for it while purchasing the car, there is no further payment. Maybe once in 2-3 years, you may have to purchase an update (150 dollars) - if a lot of roads/restaurants etc have changed their names to something else. There is no mandatory requirement to purchase the updates. Otherwise there is no charge whatsoever, after the purchase.

    After driving a car equipped with the Navigation system, there is no way that I am going to purchase a car that does not have this option.

    Also, when you are presented with "directions" from the Navigation system, you can have options of "Minimise Toll roads", "Direct Route", "Easy Route", "Minimise Freeways" "Fastest Route" etc. The route varies with the option chosen. You can even punch a destination (say a Russian restaurant), by putting in the telephone number (the Nav will pull out the address and such) and the Nav will take you there. Also, if you are stuck on the road (traffic jam??), you can punch the "Detour" button and the Navigation will re-route you by taking a different route. Once you use these systems, you will not go back to the days before the System...

    When driving in thick foggy conditions, I have had trouble in finding roads on routes that I take every day (without the NAV). With the NAV, there is no way that the "Voice from the sky" will allow me to miss my way....

    Later...AH
  • rickc5rickc5 Posts: 378
    I can't imagine why my fellow ES owners would be any more interested in accelleration figures than I am. I'm WAY older than 18, and the ES provides more than sufficient power to meet my daily needs, plus returning 29-30 MPG on the highway at 75 MPH. Maybe Edmunds has a drag racing topic out there some where.

    I also agree with Liev that a good map makes more sense to me than a nav system. If you belong to AAA, all the maps you want are FREE!
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    I don't drive out of town that much so I don't NEED a navigation system, but they are so cool if you have actually used one.
    I don't NEED an ES300 or TL at all since an XLEV6 or EXV6 will do the job, but I would prefer the extra luxury in my next car.
    I don't need a Nakamichi stereo system because the standard Lexus stereo is very adequate, but the Nakamichi system is so nice etc..
    I would guess that a DVD navigation system likely would be available on the new ES300 since the TL and the I30 and about every other Lexus model except the IS300 has it available.
    I think it might be possible that Lexus could elect to not make it available for some reason though.
    That would be a turn off.
    In Germany and Japan, Volkswagens and Toyotas have navigation systems available on some mainstream non-luxury models.
    It would disappointing if the 2002 ES300 does not have it at least available as an option.
  • I agree that we ES owners did not buy the car for it's 0-60 acceleration figures. If that was the case a Ford Mustang GT would easily give us that ability while costing thousands less.

    liev,
    You're right. If you drive around town and know where you are going then the Navigation system is kinda useless. It would be great to have it though but definitely not a necessity. My brother took me in his Mercedes S500 and we tried out the navigation system. He asked for the "shortest route" and it took him thru the backstreets. At one point it took us thru a very bad road filled with cracks and potholes and lots of bumps. How was the system to know if the roads are bad. Only we humans know that. So if you drive around town and know what roads to take and when to take them to avoid traffic, thats the best way to go. Think of it as you taking the same way to work everyday, you listen to radio and see how traffic conditions is like and if it's bad you take alternate route. Navigation system can't tell what roads are backed up. But if you are lost somewhere, it is definitely a plus to have especially when you pull into a gas station asking for directions and the attendant says "sorry sir we don't sell diesel". I had that happened to me once.
  • lievliev Posts: 93
    I thought that you have to subscribe the service every month. That's not true then huh? I wonder if I put one in my ES 300 where would be a good location for it.
  • ved3ved3 Posts: 43
    you guys pretty much slice and dice the pros
    and cons of the nav system. great job!!
    It would be nice to have one just in case we
    get lost, like on a long trip, in a strange town.
    but on everyday commute, it's not necessary.
    anybody know how much it would cost to install
    it in the ES? I guess lexus would tell us if
    they make one for the ES, present and future.

    I think it would be disappointing not to see it
    as an option on the 2002 ES since its competitions
    do have the nav.
  • ugmd20ugmd20 Posts: 11
    When I push my trunk release on my 2001, the trunk releases but doesn't actually pop all the way open like I've seen on different cars (non-Lexus). Is this right? It's not a big deal, I just want to make sure that nothing's wrong with my car.
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