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Lexus ES 300/ES 330



  • r1_97r1_97 Posts: 181
    Has Lexus done anything to address the transmission downshift delay problem commonly encountered in the '02 model ES300?
  • cwdavis1cwdavis1 Posts: 31
    Yes, I am the guy who just moved from St. Louis to LA and it was worth the wait to pay only $100 over invoice. The competition here in S. Cal. is great. Every one wants your business.

    Nice to hear that you have the same color combo as I. Great choice. Do you use Zaino or something else?
  • tmarttmart Spring, TXPosts: 1,204
    Allen, I, too, recommend going the Zaino route. Since your car is new, all you REALLY need is ZFX, Z2, and Z6, with S&H less than $50. You'll find it's not that expensive in the long run because so little is used each time and it lasts a loooong time, plus it is so easy to apply and remove. Unless you "go crazy", the ZFX and Z2 should last well over a year since an ounce or less is used each time. Definitely check out the Zaino posts in Maintenance and Repair.
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    I use Klasse polymer sealants:

    You can't go wrong with either Klasse or Zaino. They're both superior to traditional waxes in terms of longevity and protection. Some prefer the look of one over the other, but most just get one product and stick with it solely because it works well and they see no reason to change.

  • I just started to look at the 2002 Lexus ES300 and noticed that it does not have the Sun Visor Extension. Anyone notice that? (Nor does RX300)

    BTW, seems like there will be little change to 2003 model, is there advantage to buy the last inventory for 2002 model to get better pricing?

    Usually when is the last chance to get 2002 model?
  • tcheungtcheung Posts: 6
    Cwdavis1 mentioned that the ES300 can be purchased for $100 over invoice in LA. Anybody know if there're dealerships in Texas who's anxious to get rid of the 2002 stock for similar prices? TIA for any information.
  • kymmy123kymmy123 Posts: 15
    tired to send you an email, but it is not in you profile. Can you updat eit?
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    He specifically indicated he had a 2000 ES300 as a loaner.
  • tcheungtcheung Posts: 6
    I've updated my profile now. Please try again. Thanks for any pricing information you can provide.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    Probably gets the award for the NIT PICKINGEST observations!!!

    I think it means we are getting close to perfection. :-)

    Keep it up. I love the obsession.
  • cwdavis1cwdavis1 Posts: 31
    I was told that my new Lexus, which went into the shop within 36 hours, would not be ready for a week as a part had to come from Japan. However, I am pleased to report that my dealer (Jim Falk of Beverly Hills) called this evening and said my car is ready. They apparently sabatoged a new ES 300 for the part so that they could get my car back to me quicker. Now that is service for you. I am very impressed with this dealer and it's support staff. They are really terrific so I will have my car back for the holiday weekend. If anyone is in S. Calif. and looking for a good dealership...give these guys a chance.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    I did realize that stllouisslim had a 2000 ES loaner. I wanted to point out that his criticisms were either 1) changed since 2000 or 2) on the LS 430 also.

    It seems silly to criticize the 2000 model. The 2002 is an entirely different generation.

    But thanks for clarifying.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    I also think it is interesting how people are so quick to point out the similarities between the ES300 and the Camry, but seldom do they see those similarities with the higher end Lexuses that differ from the Camry.
  • Hello everyone. I have been reading this discussion for months, but have not commented, primarily because I have an '01 ES, and most of the discussion centers on the '02. I am compelled to write now because I have a question and I am certain that someone here can help.

    I have had my car for a little over a year and will be taking it in for the 15,000 mile service tomorrow. Among other things, I will have the air conditioner filter replaced at a cost of $55 for the filter, and no labor charge. Since the dealer typically charges for everything, the fact that there is no labor change is a signal to me that this is an easy job.

    My questions:
    1) Where can I get the filter for less?
    2) How do I replace it myself?

    Any guidance is appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    The A/C filter replacement part is nothing but a simple filter sheet. Go to Home Depot or Lowes, buy a 3M Filtrete furnace filter, and make half a dozen sheets of your own for less than $2 a piece.

    Why does your Lexus dealer charge $55? Why, that's the Lexus markup that you earned by buying a Lexus. And plus, making it so expensive makes people think the filter sheet has magical properties that you can't get from a filter at Home Depot.

    For replacement instructions, look inside your owner's manual. It's just about the easiest maintenance task one can do. For the '02 ES, you access it through the glove box. Take the old filter sheet out of the cartridge, slip the new one in, and you're good to go.

    When you need to change the filter sheet shouldn't be determined by something like the 15000 mile maintenance interval. If you drove through a dusty construction zone every day for 2 weeks, you'd have to change your A/C filter sooner than usual. If you always drive in a pristine environment, your filter will last longer than usual. You should check the filter periodically and change when it is too dirty.
  • kreativ, You have saved me $55, and I am very appreciative.
  • The filter on the '01 is a double element thing accessed from under the driver's side floormat. Look right at the tunnel. Have some diagonal pliers ready to cut a wire tie to swing a wiring harness out of the way. After you get the hatch open you have to pull each element out. Putting them in would be easy if you can flip the car on it's back as they are stacked and you end up fighting gravity. The elements have a rubber seal around them and don't look like anything I have ever seen at HomeDepot or Lowe's. They remind me of the drink coasters used by Japan Airlines that have been treated with carbon. Even though checking is supposed to be done by the dealers, you can do it yourself by simply forcing the cabin fan to high. If there's flow, you're good to go. As crap builds up the cleaning ability actually goes up and you get cleaner air. Flow does suffer though.

    If you go the cheap route you risk allowing crap to lodge on the evaporator core and feed the bacteria on that wet dark surface. I'm sure you have smelled that stuff coming out of the vents of lesser cars.

    $55 bucks and they put it in? Let them.

    Have lots of flow. Tell them no.
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    Woa, sounds nothing like that in the GS, IS and '02 ES. Listen to GoodLanding. From what he described, I wouldn't want to do it myself either.
  • gekko2gekko2 Posts: 87
    I have a Lexus ES300 and I read the manual as well as a few dealers service manuals and I boiled down what I thought were the simple minimum maintenance requirements that I should follow. I nixed a lot of the dealer "fluff" and also added a few services of my own. Does anyone have any additions/deletions/changes/comments? See below. Thanks.


    Every 3,750 Miles:
    Oil and Oil Filter Change

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

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

    Every 90,000 Miles:
    Timing Belt Change

    Every 1 Year:
    Exterior Wax/Detail
    Interior Leather/Wood Cleaning and Conditioning/Detail and Carpet Shampoo
    Wiper Blade Inserts Change
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 854
    What year ES300 is this for?
  • I too have been hit up for some requests to have fluff performed.

    At 19.5 K miles the friendly service writer questioned why I had not serviced the transmission. If I had been wearing my Polar Heart Monitor, it would have started beeping. I'll never forget when the Dodge dealer told me via my wife that our Cavaran's warrantee was void because they could tell I had not changed the fluid in transmission number 3. I had to explain that I was very busy and usually try to keep up with servicing the cars but it had been only 3k miles since my last transmission was changed. I'm glad that they reconsided not voiding the warrantee because it needed two additional transmissions and controllers to make it past the warantee period.

    So I buy a can of Type T-4 at the Toyota dealer. Mistake number 1. It was 4 bucks cheaper at the Lexus place. I drop the pan, clean the magnet, clean instead of replace the screen and button it up. On the dipstick I notice both in English and Japanese, the fluid never needs changing. Time to RTFM. Hey its there too. At this point I have no choice but to put in the 3.8 quarts. The fluid is very expensive and has a different feel and smell to it than Dextron, Type F or the Chysler crap. It smells like the esters in Mobil One.

    I felt that I was fluffed by a professional and told them so on the Lexus comment forms. After a few phone calls they forgot about me and even though I am very anal, I don't need to stoke out over a few bucks. I wanted them to reinbuse me by sending me another two of those special order cabin air filters, but hey, I want to win a free airplane from AOPA too.

    So... back to the thread. Change the fluid on a schedule? I would check it every oil change instead. Smell it, check the color and the level with the engine on, hot, and the transmission in part. It should be clear red, not orange or brown.

    Oh and I don't think I could wait a whole year between waxing.
  • I own a 01 RX300 and a 02 ES300. Just had the 30K service done on the RX. Changed the transmission fluid, coolant (per manual), brake fluid (per manual), both air filters, and wiper blades. ES300 has only 4K on it so haven't even been in for 5K service but I assume maintenance requirements are similar. Are spark plugs required to be replaced at 60K? Spark plug replacement is very expensive for the iridium plugs used in my RX and I assume ES (about $250).
  • gambiaman - you are changing brake fluid every 30k? I thought it should be 60k? Believe it or not, I had one Toyota dealer tell me that "we don't ever change the brake fluid - it's a 'closed system' and it shouldn't be changed." Of course this is nonsense - but should it be a 30k or 60k interval? What's the downside of later rather than sooner? Also - what about FUEL FILTER? Toyota dealer says change it, Lexus dealer says no (unless problems arise). I think I will follow Lexus dealer on fuel filter. Comments?
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    Aren't the detailed maintenance instructions included in the manuals?
  • The owners manual on the RX300 specifically lists change brake fluid every 30K or 24 months. I tried to get the Toyota dealer to do the 30K service on the RX and they declined (twice) saying they did not have the proper fluids to do the service. They also told me that Toyota does not recommend ever changing brake fluid. Wierd. So what I do is have the oil changed at Toyota (I provide the oil) and go to Lexus only for the 30K services. Still need to get out the ES manual and see what it says but I think the ES, RX, Camary and Highlander have basically the same engine and transmission. The owners manual does not mention fuel filter and I think spark plugs are not mentioned until over 100k although my dealer wants to change them at 60K.
  • anyone interested in brand new ES with everything but sport mode for 37,630 (including taxes)?

    or is this too good to be true?
  • Purchased my ES300 in Feb 2002

    A new computer installed in my car on 06/13/02. I saw no change after this was installed. The car still has the same issues. Sunday morning was extremely bad. The severity of the problem isn't happening on a consistent basis. I'm not sure the upgrade Lexus is working on will solve this problem. My thought is that if it's the computer all ES300's would be having this problem. I will stay with my car and hope the new software corrects the problem. Has anyone thought about the sensors that tell the computer what to do?

    Test Drive ES300 Loner Comparison 06/12/02 - 06/13/02

    * Accelerating hard - both unit were about the same but the loner still had less of a head jerk.

    * From a dead stop accelerating normal - no comparison, in the loner from first gear to second is the only time I felt anything as far a lurch the rest of the gears I heard but could not feel, 4th to 5th I could not even hear. What I did experience felt normal, tight and the way the car should perform.

    * On the freeway going a steady 60 on level roadway - in the loner I never once felt the trans. flutter (see below). This feels as if the brake is being pressed down or the engine is mis-firing in my car. My car is running on 93 oct.

    * Breaking down to 5-10 mph and then accelerating normal - as you do when you catch a green at a 4 way. The loner does have a slight pause but when the engine does kick in it's not a violent lurch and a much shorter duration as in my car. This is probably what the programming effort to the control unit will fix. It's annoying but acceptable in the loner but at times can be quite violent and dangerous in my car.

    Issues with transmission.

    When the car shifts from gear to gear the power transfer is anything but smooth. I thought I could get used to and anticipate the shifting as you do when driving a manual transmission. But the timing of each lull and surge is always different based on speed, acceleration, and road angle (uphill, downhill, level). Besides this is a new car and I expect it to work as well as the car I traded in.


    When in Stop and Go traffic, going 5 mph, braking to 3 mph then back to 5 mph - the car lunges forward after a brief pause every time.

    When in the range of 55 mph to 60 mph keeping the foot on the pedal but slightly backing off to slow down and going down the backside of an overpass the transmission flutters between what I believe to be 5th gear and 4th gear for about 2 seconds. This is inconsistent and doesn't happen every time.

    Accelerating hard from a dead stop the car shifts the best. But this isn't normal driving conditions. Slowing down and speeding up especially in the lower gears causes a pause and a lunging engagement into the gears.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    Thnaks for the good description. It is the first that may explain why various owners' perceptions may vary.

    The cars I have driven all exhibit symptoms similar to the loaner. That is, the symptoms are very annoying but not perceived as dangerous. On some few vehicles, however, it sounds really bad.

    My apologies to rtorreca. Rtorecca, have you driven other vehicles to compare notes?
  • my apologies about going off-topic here...

    Has anyone with the 1MZ-FE engine in this forum had any oil sludge problems? i am trying to determine if any Toyota sludge controversies involve car owners who take regular care/maintenance of their cars. i fthis has been covered in the past, i apologize...
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