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Lexus ES 300/ES 330



  • djsassdjsass Posts: 5
    I am something of a self-proclaimed audiophile, and I love the Mark Levinson sound system. I feel that anyone with a love of music could not be disappointed, but for many, the Lexus sound system would suffice. I think either one is superior to the Bose system in my previous vehicle.

    My '03 ES runs fine on 87, no perceptable difference with higher octane either in performance, or mileage. I will stick to my normal program, which is using only regualar grade, and once per month, a tank of premium.
    I may experiment more after car gets some miles on it.

    I got my 30 day service yesterday. I was impressed by the level of service. My passenger door mirror does not dim at night as it should. They inspected it and ordered a new mirror.

    I have no regrets with my purchase...
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    How does one tell when they don't dim?
  • wayn1wayn1 Posts: 69
    LOL. You really can't tell?
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    I guess that must mean they work. Or maybe it means they don't work. LOL

    Actually, I can tell on the rear view mirror because it turns greenish at night. The driver side appears different when I turn the auto dim on versus off, but on the passenger side - well maybe I just haven't been in enough traffic to tell.
  • londinelondine Posts: 32
    Have the glitches mentioned -- hesitation downshifting, etc. -- been fixed in the '03 ES 300s?

    And has there been any tech. service bulletin from Lexus that improves transmission performance in the '02s?
  • akw3akw3 Posts: 14
    I had the same problem especially when the outside temperature is cold. I mentioned it to my Dealer and they know right away what causes it. There is a service bulletin on this issue from Lexus .All they did was sprayed some kind of foam inside the door after they removed the door panel. Now my car is free of rattles from both sides .
  • hoorayhooray Posts: 15
    I am glad your problem was resolved. My dealer took apart my doors and added the foam, but the rattles are as bad as ever. They are so loud, that when they first occurred I pulled off of the road to make sure my rear doors were closed properly or if something was loose on my doors.

    My only temporary solution is on cold days, I set the temp to HOT (85+) until the doors warm up enough that the rattle subsides. I will continue to follow-up with my dealer for a Lexus fix that works. Maybe my dealer didn't apply the foam properly, but they kept the car for 2 days working on it and admitted that it wasn't fixed and that they had consulted Lexus HQ and didn't have a fix yet since the original Lexus TSB wasn't working. If nothing else, I guess I will enjoy a quiet ride again by springtime. I bought the car in late May, so test drives in warm weather don't reveal this cold weather rattle. My advice to any prospective Lexus owner is to test drive and buy your car in cold weather to make sure it doesn't have this disconcerting rattle.
  • nfjnrnfjnr Posts: 25
    Has anyone bought a Colgan Custom front end bra for their car, and if so, how is it? It is supposed to be custom made to fit the Es 300. NO cutouts has it for sale@$89.00. I believe the one from Lexus is close to $300.00

    Thanks Nick
  • bartalk2bartalk2 Posts: 326
    Friends advise waiting for release of the '04 ES in the fall, which will have a larger engine (3.3) befitting its near-luxury status. And maybe they'll fix the transmission by then.

  • akw3akw3 Posts: 14
    The Dealer didn't fix it right the first time, they actually fixed the problem the second time after they applied more foam. Two of my colleagues have the same car but they haven't experienced any rattles.
    I also had a rattle from the dash but my dealer pinpoint it right away from my last visit. It was a cover from the windshield wiper.
    This car has more rattles than any car I owned. My wife's cheap 01' Honda Civic is rattles free!!
  • londinelondine Posts: 32
    Hmmm...if the RX 330 does in fact use the same trans as the ES 300 (330 in '04 model?), it'll be interesting to see if Lexus sorts out any shifting glitches.

    Post #6801: "Car and Driver magazine ( tested the ES300 in August 2002. They state that the new ES300 has the five speed U150E transmission. The previous generation ES300 has the U140E four speed transmission. I am not sure what transmission is in the RX300.
         "C&D states that the U150E contains revised clutching which allows for two overdrives. The problem is that it is reluctant to give them up. Toyota and Lexus used to equip their cars with a sport/economy button for the transmission, but that button and the extra lines of software code are gone."

    And this:
    "In my post #6801, I mentioned that I do not know what transmission is used in the RX300. I did a Yahoo search on "RX300 U140E transmission," and it appears that the U140E is used in the FWD RX300, and the U140F is in the AWD. Since the previous generation ES300 used the U140E, and the 2002/2003 ES300 now use the U150E, there is a possibility that the new RX330 will also use the U150E."
  • esaodesaod Posts: 4
    I have a 2003 ES300. Whenever I turn on the car after sitting in very cold weather (Upstate New York winters), the backlight on the radio is extremely dim until the car warms up~about 10-15 minutes or so.
    When I asked the dealer, he stated that the display is temperature dependent and that this is normal. Other people I've asked with the same car have not had this problem, and the climate control display never dims with cold weather. Doesn't this also have a similar type of display? Anyone else notice this problem?
  • rparisrparis Posts: 368
    1)I was thinking of trading my 2000 ES with 42,000 miles, in great condition, for a 2003 model. My present car has heated seats, cd player, etc, but no nav. The dealer tells me they want $13500 plus my car for a new car which lists for $36552. How does this sound? The salesman said he thought the manager was giving me about $20,000 for my car. If anyone bought without trade, about same list price, what did you pay?

    2) The saleman also said if you use premium fuel the mileage will be much better? Presently I use regular gas. Any thoughts?

    3) Also, I understand for 2004 the new cars will have a larger engine-is it worth the wait? Is the present car sufficiently powered? Has anyone heard of other changes?

    4)Finally are there some other owners who have traded to the 2002 style car from an earlier version-is there a big difference in the ride, etc. ?

    Thanks everyone
    Thanks everyone for your thoughts.
  • I seen on Motor Trands website that the ES 300 is going to be called the ES330 with a larger engine. 20 more horse power.

    Are there any other changes?

    Also the same website states that the GS is going to be redesigned?

    Of course the Lexus dealers I spoke too know nothing about either the ES or GS

    I hope the Es300 transmission shutter is fixed in 2004. I test drove the 2003 model and was able to feel the shutter 5 times. In fact it was easy to make it happen if you "floored" the gas pedal.

    I love lexus and lease a GS300 now. I want to stay with Lexus (with a lower monthly payment)
    So I was looking at the ES300.

    So far if I had to decide right this minute I would choose in the following order.

    GS300 (Number one for me ,but price too high)

    I35 (Infiniti nice car but not as nice as Lexus)

    ES300 (comes in last because of transmission Shutter, Wood wheel, Loose wheel, and short front seats)

    It is a shame the Es300 is not as good as I hoped. The price is right at $399 a month at 48 months with 12k miles a year.
  • rparisrparis Posts: 368
    Do drivers of the present Es feel there is sufficient power? Next year's modelis supposed to have a larger engine-what do most drivers think-is it worth waiting for?
  • tmarttmart Spring, TXPosts: 1,203
    My '00 has more than enough power for me. How much do you REALLY need to go 70-80 MPH? I didn't get the car for the power. If you're wanting 0-60 in less than 6 seconds, get another car. How often do you drag the car next to you at the light?
  • londinelondine Posts: 32
    Well, it depends.

    LIKELY (but no guarantees :-) changes to '04:
    1. 3.3L engine, more hp, maybe 20 more lbs. torque.
    2. Radio controls on steering wheel.

    If they boost the hp, maybe 1 notch up in tire width.

    The above is all speculation. It'd be nice if they also added power telescoping to the steering wheel, and added that to memory, but maybe that gets too close to the LS? Who knows.

    IF more hp, the added torque MAY reduce the amount of downshifting needed, which MAY reduce any hesitation problems.

    I test-drove the '03 twice, just driving fairly normally, which for me is fairly brisk but smooth -- not hard-charging. Car had plenty of pickup -- for me.

    I want to say it's easier for, say, Honda to crank their 3L up to 240hp (on regular, no less) than it is for Lexus, since the ES 300 has to be tuned for a quieter and smoother ride, and for the ULEV emission rating that Lexus covets.

    BUT -- big but -- Honda's engine also is ULEV rated. So I think Lexus has to respond. They have to keep their lux car a notch ahead of mass market cars like Accords, in ALL areas, not just interior appointments, comfort and ride quality. This means staying at least in the neighborhood horsepower wise. And if Hondas have steering wheel radio controls...

    Of course, Lexus HQ may disagree with me. :-))
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    is LEV certified, as per the website and Accord brochure. The 160hp 2.4L, however, is ULEV.
  • 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?
This discussion has been closed.