Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Lexus ES300 problems



  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    What kind of repair?

    I've had an older 380SL interior restored. Found a shop that recovered the leather seats for about $800 per seat. That included new pads and some minor repair work to the frames.
  • mevandemevande Posts: 190
    I am considering a new ES300. I heard one person here( sddlw) got to a tire shop for pads/ rotors from a tire shop for a much better deal. Does this is any way mess up your Lexus warranty. Also, I have a dumb question!:) Is the ES300 with its increaded HP and 5 speed auto trans (and other nicities) worth ten grand more than a Carmy? Thanks for any info!

    Mike V.
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    Hey Mike,
    The ES is a great car. It was redesigned for 2002 and is quite different from the earlier model. I drive a 2000, so do not have day to day experience with the latest model. However, over on the sedan board, there is an ES discussion group that is really focussed on the 2002/2003 model. One thing they seem to complain about is a glitch in the transmission shifting that has been blamed on a software problem. You might want to check the discussion out.

    Is it worth more than the Camery? You'll get many opinions on this. The difference may be closer to $5K once you get that Camery upgraded to the same level of the ES, and do some hard negotiating. At least here in So Ca, the Lexus dealers are having to deal. But still it is a lot of money. I think the ES is a better ride with a little more attention to detail and a little nicer trim. Both cars hold their value very well. Both cars are very reliable.

    BTW: The brake rotors and pads are not covered under warranty. They are considered wear-out parts. As long as the periodic maintanence is done and you have records, you should be fine. You are not required to have the dealer do the service work. Now, is the dealer going to tell you that?....yeh right. In the last 2 months, I had that brake job that I wrote about earlier and a 30K service. Dealer = $300 and 500 respectively. Independant = $125 and $272 respectively. Heck, a simple 5k OLF and fluid inspection at the Carlsbad Dealer here in San Diego is $160..... but you do get a car wash and a loaner!!

    There is a Toyota shop right next door that quoted me $275 for a 30K swervice if I had a Camery instead of an ES. So you have one shop charging $500 and the guy next door for a very similar, but not exactly the same car, engine wise. Some Toyota shops will service Lexus, others will not. I actually prefer an independent. For the price and because I like to get to know the mechanics and the shop owners....Try to do that at a dealer.
  • sevaseva Posts: 5
    I have 98 ES300 with 47,000 miles.
    Sometimes, especially at the beginning of the ride, I fill exhaust smell inside the cabin.
    What it could be an how to deal with it.

    Thank you for the answer.
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    You must have an exhaust leak somewhere. It could need nothing more than tightening some bolts or replacing a gasket. Or you might need a new section of exhaust pipe or a new muffler or catalytic converter. If the leak in the system was big, and before the muffler, the car would likey be much noiser than it should.

    You need to take it into the shop for a couple reasons. First, exhaust and carbon monoxide are toxic at high concentrations. Second, a leak in the exhaust system can effect the back pressure of your engine and lead to bigger problems.
  • We just bought 95 300ES. Only problem is needle lights on Speedometer and Tachometer do not light up. We hear this is not uncommon. Dealer wants $600 for complete new dash unit and $300 to install it. We had them painted a light color, but this does not work at night. Any suggestions?
  • q45manq45man Posts: 416
    Get one for $250-$300 from a junk yard and have any Toyota tech install it. We sometimes buy the whole assembly and just change the needles.
  • See my response on the regular ES300 board.
  • Hi Folks,

    I'm driving a 88k ES300 right now. All my maintance & regular oil change is not doing in Lexus dealer. 1 year ago I replaced a OEM timing belts & water pump. I find that the engine noise is very noisy than normal & also the ticking sound comes out. Is anyone know how to reduce an engine noise and also the ticking sound. Is it the timing belt installed to tight or too loose?Thanks
    Except the sounds ES300 is running pretty good.
    Until now I still think Lexus is more reliable then European car.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    the ticking sound may be from the valve clearance shims being a little too worn.
  • Can I replace a valve clearance shims? Is it very expensive? That's mean is it a time to sell the car! or still can keep for a while. Thanks for your advice.
  • bobw15bobw15 Posts: 4
    I lease a 2002 es300 & I'm not happy with the car or the dealership. I started having problems with the windshield creaking when the outside temp fell below 40 degrees. I also hear other rattles and creaks in the car off and on.

    The automatic windshield wipers that are supposed to come on when raining come on when they feel like it, sometimes when it's dry outside. Then, the steering wheel started to shake when coming to a stop.

    While stopped in my driveway and engine running, I got out of the car and was locked out. I went into my house for the spare remote key, but the only way to unlock the car was to insert the key. The clicker wouldn't work.

    The service department wasn't very helpfull, so I called the Service Director. On the steering wheel problem, he said that it's a rotor problem that is common with this vehicle. On being locked out, he just about accused me of doing something to cause the problem.

    Service changed the rotors and that corrected the shake. They also reprogrammed the way the car locks, but at times with the key in my pocket, just walking around the car, I hear the doors lock. So I try to carry a spare on me at all times.

    I waited two hours for a oil change. When I complained, they said that next time they would pick up the car. So when I made a appointment, they broke it 3 times before the car was picked up. When there are problems, it seems that I don't get a call from the Lexus helpdesk or a survey in the mail asking how everything went.

    Now I find out that at the 5000 mile checks, the oil change and other things that they do costs $200, except at 15000, 30000, 40000,
    the cost is $379. Why so expensive?

    I don't feel like I'm driving a car that is special or different. The customer service is no different than a Ford dealer. They sometimes try to make you feel that way, but in a phoney kind of way. Give them a problem and see what happens. I feel like, when inside the car, it's a FORD.
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    Sorry to hear about your problems. Overall most people do not experience too many problems with Lexus or their dealers, but there is always an exception. Some thoughts. I too have had to R&R the brakes/rotors at 25kmiles on my 2000 ES for rotor warpage. The problem stems from the manufacturers having to elimiate asbestos in the brake pads. Nowdays the pads have either ceramin and or metal in them or that black stuff that makes all the brake dust. Lexus uses ceramic and these tend to last a really long time, often greater than 50k miles but do get hotter and thus tend towards more rotor warpage. My local performance tire shop will turn the rotors and put new OEM pads on for $125. The dealer wanted $300.

    I use an independent Toytota/Lexus mechanic. The dealer in north county San Diego wanted $500 for a $30K service! My independent charged $275. Why so expensive? Well it is more than an oil change, but the shop is a huge profit generator for the dealer and they have the price up as high as the traffic will bear. Many people don't think twice about shelling out whatever the dealer asks. In all fairness my independent doesn't have a fleet of 2 year old Lexus loaners either, and don't come out and pick up the car.

    I was just at the auto show last weekend and I've got to say that if your shopping for an intro level lux car with a full lux interior and lots of room, there isn't that much to see in the low $30ks.
  • bobw15bobw15 Posts: 4
    Ever since I have had this Lexus, I don't feel that the value of the car is there. Articles in some magazines have called the Lexus es300 the so-called luxury auto. I have been looking at the Maxima and when the lease is up, I may switch.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    it's labor intensive, so it gets expensive. If the ticking isn't causing any performance problems, then don't worry about it.
  • hoorayhooray Posts: 15
    I have a 2002 es300 with only 6,000 miles. I had a leak show up under the left rear floor mat. It took the dealership a week to discover that the leak was coming from a bad seal in the top left corner of the rear window. I think that they practically took my car apart to find the leak. They took up the carpet and when reinstalling it got glue on my rear seat which took off the finish. Now I am waiting for new leather for the seat. They also messed up the driver's seat belt so that it no longer adjust and the anchor is no longer properly aligned with the door pillar. They also put a nick in the wood of my steering wheel and the plastic trim that seals the rear carpet is not properly aligned.

    On my first service visit, the "less than one hour wait" turned onto a two hour wait with no explanation.

    I expected a better built car and a better level of service than this. I am kicking myself in the rear for selling my 1996 Infiniti I30 for this car. The I30 was the most trouble free car that I have ever owned and the Infiniti service and loaner policy is far superior to Lexus. When the new I35 comes out, this ES 300 is history!
  • vader4vader4 Posts: 15
    The I35 is and has been out since 2002 Test drove the 2003 I35 got the ES300 instead IMO the ES is much more plush on the inside, I will give the I35 performance advantage though. Felt the interior was much cheaper than the ES but I was going for luxury not performance. Sorry you have had such problems with your Lexus I myself am grateful more each day I chose the Lexus.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    Why are you paying for the 5000 mile service? This service is free for buyers of the car. Is that not true for leases?
  • r1_97r1_97 Posts: 181
    I also live in San Diego (north county). Who is your independent Lexus/Toyota mechanic? Like you, I also have a Benz E320. Do you also have an independent MB mechanic to recommend?

    Would very much appreciate your response.

    Steve in Encinitas
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    We're neighbors! I live near La Costa Canyon High School. But I work in the Miramar area.

    MB first. I have used Ziggy's for the last 8 years for 3 benz that we have owned. I can't say enough good things about Ziggy and his crew. They've been together for years and I have found them to be very professional at prices about 50-70% of dealer. (Ziggy Von Rathmann 858-450-1501)

    Lexus: I just stopped going to the dealer about 6 months ago so I only have a short history with TLC in Clairmont. But the day I stopped in for the first time, Jim, the owner drove me back to the office in my car so he could get to know the both of us. He was charging $275 for a 30k service. Lexus Carlsbad wanted $500. I'm stopping back by this morning for a 35K service. The service manager's name is Fred Webb (858-541-0852).
This discussion has been closed.