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Lexus ES 300/ES 330



  • romka8888romka8888 Posts: 1
    Please help!!!
    I just bought a used 2002 ES300. It only came with one master key/remote. Is going to a dealer the only option to get the second key/remote? I have seen people selling uncut "factory" key/remote. Can they be cut and programmed either by myself or the dealer?

    Thank you for your help.
  • curt2005curt2005 Posts: 70
    My just-bought 2005 330 has the rear license plate mounted with only the two screws at the top. As a result, when I close the trunk lid, it makes the car sound like a rattly clunker. Very tacky.

    I want to get a plain four-screw frame.

    The dealer's pretentious frame has shiny rounded caps over the screws. Do the caps snap off or what?

    Once I get the dealer's frame off, will I find provision to use four screws instead of two?

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Why advertise for the dealer?

    Buy a nice frame that uses 4 screws.
  • curt2005curt2005 Posts: 70
    Yes, that's what I'm trying to do.

    My question is

    When I get the frame off, will I find holes for four screws or only for two? There is no clue looking at that part of the trunk lid from the inside

  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    What you need to do is add strips of adhesive rubberized foam at the back of the license plate so that it sits firmly onto the car when the tope two screws are tightened. Also, you may need to add little strips of electrical tape at the edges of the plate where it slides into the dealer provided holder to prevent rattles.

    I hope this is clear to you, otherwise please let me know.
  • curt2005curt2005 Posts: 70
    I would still like to know if there are four holes or only two in the trunk lid.

    While I haven't been tried to get the caps off the two screws and remove them, I was able to examine and experiment with the setup.

    There are rubbery pads on the trunk lid apparently where the lower two holes would go.

    vcheng is right that the lower part of the license plate is rattling in the frame.

    Since there doesn't seem to be any easy way to get at the back of the trunk lid, I assume that you must use sheet-metal screws instead of bolts and nuts.

    What a cheesy setup for a quality car from a fancy dealer.
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    (I say the following light heartedly, so please don't be offended.)

    "I would still like to know if there are four holes or only two in the trunk lid."

    Two holes in the trunk lid, with threaded capture nuts intended to hold the licence plate. Uno, dos. No more. No tres or quatros.

    Please don't use sheet metal screws to start new holes. They'll start the rusting process and it'll get ugly (and expensive) to repair.

    I have used the foam tape method for all my cars with good results and no rattles, even with booming music. Try it, you'll be surprised how effective it can be.
  • curt2005curt2005 Posts: 70
    Exactly what I needed to know. Thanks.

    Will try sliding some double-stick tape between the license plate frame and the licence plate to stop the rattle when I close the trunk.
  • jbolltjbollt Posts: 737
    I've done the same with my last 3 Toyotas...I used a Scotch foam mounting tape, specifically designed for outside use, as I discovered early, that the regular "inside" foam double sided tape didn't hold up well in AZ...don't know if it was the heat, or our very limited rainfall. I put it between the plate and the trunk lid, and the plate and the frame.

    Good luck, and enjoy the quiet trunk...Realy a shame that Toyota and Lexus don't provide the second set of lic plate holes, but this solves the problem.
  • patepate Posts: 8
    Different people have given me different advise on this matter. What is the impact of using the low octane vs the top octane fuel? please advise. What will be best for the car or does it matter?
  • patepate Posts: 8
    My ES 300 a 2003 model is almost pin drop in its silence. I often stand by it and just marvel and whne driving I am in awe. It is not the high end Lexus so it still has a way to go and cannot reach the LS 430. I have test driven all the cars in its class though, Mercedes 240,320; Acura TL, Infiniti and they are really loud compared
  • patepate Posts: 8
    Hear hear. The Lexus speaks to class, Chrome not so
  • curt2005curt2005 Posts: 70
    Check the manual for your model. You register your car online at with the VIN number.

    For my 330, the manual says 87 octane, so I imageine that is what the 300 manual says.
  • richbf2richbf2 Posts: 73
    I have an 05 es. It does not come with HID lights. Therefore, lights at night are dimmed. I can barely see ahead even with foglights on.
    Does anybody know where to get brighter foglights. I just want to install higher watt foglights since the headlights are complicated to work with. I dont want to mess with it. Thanks
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The foglight assembly, reflector, lens, etc, is designed for a low and wide forward beam pattern, totally ineffective at night to help with distance vision.

    In point of fact having the fog lights on with your low beams results in a significant reduction in your forward vision at night due to the additional close-in useless illummination provided by fog lights. Much the same as bright interior lights would cause your eyes' retina to close up so does the close in lighting of the fog lights.

    If you want to see farther at night then turn off those fog lights.

    All of my vehicles have the ability to turn on the fog lights alone if/when needed. I modify the ones of asian design origin to accomplish that but the european origin ones come that way.
  • richbf2richbf2 Posts: 73
    Hello Mowtownusa!

    thanks for your reply. Actually, on the es330, it is more complicated to replace than other vehicles. You cannot just simply use screwdriver to snap the 2 levers open ( it is very easy to replace on the Sienne Van, solara and highlander). It took me 1hr to try to unscrew the 2 nuts. I finally gave up. I DONT THINK IT HAS AIR FILTER. It does not mention in the manual. :confuse: :confuse:

    Please advise. Thanks
  • richbf2richbf2 Posts: 73
    Thank you Wwest! :shades: :shades: :D
  • mlgibbsmlgibbs Posts: 1
    I have an ES300 2000 model Platium Ed. Currently have 262K miles. I replaced the engine at 200K with one from a wrecked ES300 with supposedly only 40K miles on it. Of late when I crank up the car the idle in park or neutral will oscillate between 2000 and 2800 RPMs. If I turn on the AC it will stabilize at 2000K RPMS which is up from the original 750. It started this a couple months ago, and then got where it would not idle at all. That is to say if I took my foot off of the gas anytime when it was running in idle or in any gear it would shut off. Then it just righted itself and worked fine for a month or so. Now I am back to the same situation. What can possibly cause this condition and what needs to be replaced or checked in order to remedy this problem? Thanks for any input or help.

    Mike Gibbs Tifton Georgia :confuse:
  • I have a similar problem. I have the shop manual, and admittedly I have not reviewed it in detail, but I don't remember any "compressor revolution sensor" in the schematics.
    Have you been able to figure out what was the problem?
    Thanks, John
  • I have a 1995 ES 300 and the A/C stops blowing cold after running for awhile. Then it blows hot. The compressor is running OK and there are no bubbles in the site glass. After shutting it off for awhile, everything works OK again. Any ideas? Thanks.
  • tomdtomd Posts: 87
    I just got a 2004 ES330 with the standard audio system. Even with the midrange and treble cranked all the way up, the sound is kind of muffled. The highs could be a lot brighter. Is this normal for this system?
  • tmarttmart Spring, TXPosts: 1,679
    Sounds like it could be the low temp sensor which tells the compressor to stop. If it doesn't work, the compressor continues to cool and the coil freezes. After sitting awhile it thaws and presto, cold air again. While driving, just turn off the AC for awhile.
  • curt2005curt2005 Posts: 70
    Just in case you missed this, do you have the front-rear fader settings right?

    When I first got the car, I had it set to put all the sound to the rear. It was muffled with no highs. With a mix of front and rear, it is fine.

    I have the stock sound system, not the Martin-Levinson version.
  • tomdtomd Posts: 87
    I don't like the fact that all of the doors unlock when my 2004 ES330 is put into park. The manual gives a procedure for changing this but I can't get it to work. Has anyone done this?
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 857
    It was my understanding that only the dealer had the ability to change the personalized settings. Of course, they will not do it without a charge to the owner. Maybe your dealer is different.
  • kcownerkcowner Posts: 7
    Has anyone experienced front seat belt problems with the 1998 ES300? My front passenger seat belt does not extend properly. Ideas?
  • Mike - I saw your posting on the Edmunds/Car Space website. I have a similar idle issue with my Lexus ES 300. What did you do to resolve the matter? Thanks, Chris Kotulak
  • My 1999 Lexus ES 300 runs great, but occasionaly it will start and then immediately die because it can't hold an idle. Sometimes I can try again and it's fine, other times I really have to gas it and gas it - and get lucky. I then may drive it the rest of the day and it will be fine. Then a week later the same thing comes and goes. Any insight please?
    Thanks, C Kotulak
  • ynotpsynotps Posts: 3
    Does this model have any type of micro filter for the a/c system, and if so, where is the filter located?

    Also, I've read several posts about the Octane/gasoline to use. My manual says 87, but to use at least 91 for a better performance.

    I was surprised to read that for tire psi, it recommends only 26 psi, for a light to normal passenger load.
  • Tom - I too had the same question a few months ago. I wanted the doors to unlock when placing in park. I was ready to have the dealer change the settings but somehow was able to figure it out myself. After several failed attempts then some help from a buddy who also has a ES330 I was able to do it. Try patience, carefully read the manual, and be prepared for more failed attempts until it works. It will work since we both accomplished the same change in settings on our cars.

  • Exact same problem for me. I've always been able to get it started, and then it runs normal after about 10-20 seconds. Until today. I can't get it to hold idle. It starts for about 1-2 seconds then dies. Any help or suggestions? 2001 ES 300
  • I believe it's your idle sensor control. I have the same car as you and had the same symptoms. It is curious to note that I have seen other postings where the idle sensor control had to be replaced on Lexus 300s. It ran me about $260.00. Other than that, i love the car.
  • Yes - my 1998 has the filter located next to the gas pedal under the carpet. It's a bear to get to.
    I have 58K on mine and have only used 87 - no complaints.
    I carry 32 psi in the tires. I bought new tires at 45K.

  • Hey Greg,

    I too got a 98 ES300 and having hardtime to program lock/unlock after placing to park. Please post me the procedure you followed for doing it. Thanks and i appreciate it.
  • How much trans fluid does 96 es 300 take? What type and how often should I change it?
  • anyone know?
  • patepate Posts: 8
    I have an ES 300. Yesterday three biulbs seem to have gone off . One side is completely dark and one side has only one bulb on. Is this expected and an issue of just changing the bulbs or is it a bigger problem. Anyone know?
  • tomdtomd Posts: 87
    Referring to my earlier post #5309, no matter what I do, the system sounds muffled compared to my '99 ES300 with standard audio system. The '99 had much brighter highs. Is this just the nature of this system? I'm not sure if it is the system or the speakers. It's difficult to tell if the front tweeters are working. Any thoughts?
  • Darn near ran out of gas last night in the ES330. The only low fuel warning was a small yellow light in the gas gauge!

    I've probably not been noticing the small light when driving in the daytime.

    Is there any way to make the car beep or something? I have been depending on my old car's several-second beep if you start it with low fuel.

    The ES 330 is a great car, but given all the electronics in it, that seems tacky. Maybe the previous owner shut some setting off, but I couldn't find anything besides the light mentioned in the manual.

    Thanks for any suggestions.
  • Love the ES330 except for the cheesy trunk light.

    There is only one light and it is mounted on the left side of the compartment so that it doesn't illuminate the whole trunk. And it is blocked by any cargo on the left side of the trunk.

    I can think of two alternatives

    * mount a light under the trunk lid, maybe with its own batteries

    * mount a light under the trunk lid and wire it to the existing trunk light

    Anyone solved this problem?

  • tedescm1tedescm1 Posts: 309
    I'm considering the purchase of a 2003 ES 300 with 15,000 miles. Did the 2003 have transmission problems?

  • carteachcarteach Posts: 179
    I just read on this board that stabiity control and traction control have been optional equipment on the 330. Besides being surprised, I'm wondering whether this was pretty much a standard feature that people bought like leather seats? I live in CT and would definitely want it.

    Thanks for sharing any information.
  • I understand that while the stability control was theoretically a separate option on the 330 in the brochure, it was actually only available bundled with the variable suspension option.

    If a 330 has variable suspension, you can see the extra three-position switch on the console to the left of the shifter if the dealer website has a photo of the dashboard and console, which most do. (The rocker switch is for the rear window shade, this is a three-position switch.)

    When I was looking a few months ago on the dealer websites in CA, only 5-10% of the 330s had the telltale switch on the console next to the shifter.

    Use the forum search feature for more info on the features.
  • I have a 2005 ES-330 and it came standard with Traction Control. I do not have variable suspension with the button
    on the console

    2 years and I am 100% happy with this car. I use it mostly for highway trips.
  • Just checked my original window sticker and the VSC was included in an option package which came on all the 330's
    sold in late 2004 (2005 models) at least in thee NYC area
  • My wife's car engine warning light comes on and off with a mind of its own, sometimes a day or two and sometimes not for a few weeks. It runs well with no problems. It has about 22000 miles already and it starting doing it right before the 1st 5000 oil change. The dealer spent 3 hours duringthat oil change looking into it and found nothing.

    They finally told me to make cure I close the gas tank cap and releae door properly each time i use it. Well we do that and the light just came on again last night...

    Frustrated! NE help greatly appreciated.
  • I've owned a Lexus for almost 3 years. Their customer service leaves much to be desired. My car has a problem with the Vehicle Skid Control (VSC) where it comes on while I'm driving down the fwy on clear dry road. When the VSC engages the computer takes control of the braking and acceleration. The override button doesn't work. Lexus refuses to acknowledge that there is a problem and refused to repair it even though its under warranty. I'm in the Lemon Law process since it's been at the dealer for the last 3 months, but Lexus hasn't made any attempt to repair this or retain me as a customer.
  • sean300sean300 Posts: 41
    I own a 1998 es300 with approximately 135000 miles on it. At about 125,000 miles and six months ago my check engine light came on. I had a scan done and my mechanic said that it showed a problem with the charcoal canister and vapor pressure sensor, which correlates with the canister. Any experiences with this problem and will it cause any major problems? The car is still operating well even with the light on.
  • stove1stove1 Posts: 53
    Hi: I need help here. I bought this car from the dealer. Took it home, played with this and that ,now the check engine light and trac off lights are on. My guess is the gas cap was opened and improperly closed. The lights have stayed on for 2 days and maybe 4 short trips of 8 mile duration each. When is this thing going to shut off or maybe I have some other culprit ?

    Do you guys take it to Lexus dealer for repairs ? Or the corner repair shop will do. Car has 99000 miles maybe overdue timing belt replacement.
  • es4jbes4jb Posts: 17
    I'd like a referral to a local auto repair shop convenient to the San Fernando Valley that specializes in Lexus autos. I need to have work done on a 1997 LS400. Can anyone help? Thanks.
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