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Lexus ES 300/ES 330



  • larry1larry1 Posts: 29
    There is always going to be a hard shift when you first start up the car and put it into gear immediately. A cold engine will run at a faster speed (revolutions per minute) than a warmed-up idling engine does. This is because the whole system is trying to quickly heat up the emissions system to keep pollution levels down. My 2000 ES300 does that when I start up a cold engine.

    I am glad you got the engine mount fixed and that they demonstrated the problem for you.
  • sean300sean300 Posts: 41
    Thanks for your reply. I am still just a little concerned about the engine movement. I was provided with a sound, reasonable explanation by the mechanic who said that there will be a little movement when shifting throughout the various gears due to the mounts being made out of rubber. Is this the way that ES300 was designed? Also, should I flush the transmission. The car has 152k and I am not the original owner - did a tranny tune-up when first purchased (105k) and dropped the fluid twice since.
  • larry1larry1 Posts: 29
    I am not sure what you are referring to when you say "engine movement", but after replacing the engine mount, everything should be fine.

    If you have done three trans fluid changes in the last 47,000 miles, I don't think you need any trans flush in the near future.
  • sean300sean300 Posts: 41
    What I mean is that there is still an unusual amount of movement. When the car is shifted into reverse or drive (with someone holding the brake) I can see the engine lifting a little and moving back and forth. I went back to my original mechanic and addressed this and told him that the torque strut was replaced; I was also honest with him and told him that another shop checked the other mounts and said that they were ok. He still maintains that the other mounts are still bad and said that you can not tell condition of mounts by just trying to move them with a pry bar because the mounts are hydrolic. I told him that I would reconsider but probably get parts on my own (ebay, etc.). What would happen if I do not change the mounts? Will the engine and transmission drop out of the car? I mean, they lasted 150k miles.
  • larry1larry1 Posts: 29
    I think your car is fine. Look at ANY car's running engine while someone puts the trans in and out of gear, and the engine will move. Enjoy your Lexus.
  • sean300sean300 Posts: 41
    Thanks for your advice. Are you a mechanic? I am just concerned because I need the car to last at least another two years and I drive long distance with my daughter and do not wish to have any problems, especially with the drive train. I know the car is reliable but want to make sure no problems.
  • No, I am not a mechanic, but I have owned my 2000 ES300 for two years and a 1992 ES300 for 5 years before that. (And other cars for 23 years before that). The 1992 ES300 was still running with the original engine and transmission when I traded it in on the 2000. The 1992 had 255,000 miles on it. I think that your ES could join the quarter million mike club eventually. Lexus=reliability, although it is still a man made product.
  • Hi. I've posted a few things here. My question to all is this: if a binding caliper is fixed (cleaned and lubed) is it necessary to still replace the caliper. My mechanic recently unfroze one of my front calipers and said that I should not replace it. What is your advice on the matter?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Take the mechanic's advice.

    It was likely the "slider" bolt that was at fault anyway, nothing to do, really, with the caliper itself.
  • sean300sean300 Posts: 41
    Yes, the mechanic did say that the slider bolt was causing the caliper to bind, but my concern is if this will happen again. Winter is coming and I am concerned that salt and other contaminants will cause it to dry up and bind again. I really would like to avoid having to replace the rotors and brake pads so soon again (last ones replaced at 18k miles due to this problem). Also, what will happen if the timing belt is not changed at 90K? I know that Toyota engines are non-interference which usually is good.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Most commonly what happens is the rubber "boot" preventing contaminants from getting into the slider bolt frictional area are compromised. Make sure these "boots/gaskets" are in good condition and you will be "good to go".

    There currently are 5 91/92 & 95 LS400's within my realm of knowledge or control that are well over 150,000 miles and have NEVER had the timing belt issue addressed in any way. The one's in my control will remain that way.
  • sean300sean300 Posts: 41
    I am sure that the rubber boot that you mention is in good condition; the mechanic who did the brake job said that the calipers looked good in general. As for the timing belt, I had a 95 V6 Camry and a friend has a 95 V6 Camry. When the belts were replaced at 100k there were no cracks or deterioration at all - we examined them carefully. Also, all the teeth of the belt were in place. A co-worker who recently retired never changed the belt on her 95 Avalon, the car has 135k on the clock. And I know someone who allegedly has almost 200k on their belt and it never went. So, what you're telling me is that I should not worry about this.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Personally I would have a looksee, myself, at the rubber boot/gasket that covers the head-end of the slider bolt. It is VERY easy to damage, takes two wrenches, when tightening the caliper on to the mount.

    I've only seen one timing belt removed, 92 LS at 153,000 miles, and that belt looked good to go another 100,000 miles.
  • I had a meltdown with my es300 the other day and was curious if anyone has had similar issues and what the results were.

    When traveling during a constant rate of speed the car would began to shift "hard" and the RPMs would jump from 2600-4500 and back down quite erratically at which point the VSC light would come on.

    I took the car to the dealership who said they could not recreate the problem and that the computer chip recorded no problems. After picking up the car and driving on a short trip the problem resumed at which point the car began to shift extremely erratically again and the RPMs redlined and would drop, as the car began to lose acceleration I pulled over to the safety lane as the car bucked. The car would not move even when put into gear but sounds fine. I have always had the maintenance done etc...

    I am extremely frustrated with the dealership as they did not seem to take the issue seriously only to have it repeat with more serious results. I would appreciate anyone's input.
  • sean300sean300 Posts: 41
    I had a similar problem with my 98 es300 in March of this year. It was raining when I was driving on the expressway and the car decelerated and would not go past 25-30 mph. It felt as if the transmission was straining. I suspect that I hit a water puddle which somehow got into the intake system. The next day the car would not start. I took it to my mechanic (took three days to start over the weekend) and he replaced the mass air flow sensor and put a concentrated fuel system cleaner in the car (not the store-brought stuff like STP or Techron). The car is now running like new, I could even feel an improvement in the acceleration. So, it may be this sensor. There was a code in PCM that indicated an airflow condition (don't remember exact code) - my check engine light however was on. Hope this helps.
  • w35773w35773 Posts: 1

    I have recently purchased a '93 ES300 with 160k miles on it, hoping to get a year or two out of it. Anyway, when I pulled into work this morning, it sounded like elves with ball-peen hammers were working under the hood. This tapping sound was different from pinging, it sounds like a hard metallic noise.

    Anyway, I had it towed home and started it for a short time and pulled the spark plug wires one at a time and when I pulled the front left wire, the noise lessened to almost nothing. I realize that the car probably has a serious problem, but I was hoping some one could give me a likely cause (or causes) for my noise.

    The oil was changed less than two months (2000 miles) ago and I verified oil level was "Full" on the dipstick.

  • sean300sean300 Posts: 41
    Does anyone know how to resolve cloudy, hazy headlights? Is there some type of product on the market that can restore the plastic to its original clear finish? I have a 98 ES 300 (have posted here several times) with this condition, and it is driving me crazy. Also, is there another cleaner/solution on the market that will preserve the headlights' original finish? Lastly, will my vehicle have a differential that is separate from the transaxle?
  • larry1larry1 Posts: 29
    I did get my headlights to look much clearer on my ES300, but it was a few years ago. I think I used polishing compound (normally used on a car's paint) applied with a rag, but I may have used rubbing compound (that is coarser). Try the finer polishing compound first. There is a product specifically designed for what you want, though. It is called Meguire's Plastix, or similar.
  • loungerlounger Posts: 32
    Agree with larry1. Meguiar's PlastX is good stuff. It will clear up your headlights. You will have to polish them often (once every month or two if you live in a sunny region) because the UV light will start yellowing the plastic lens since the lens has lost the original UV protection that it originally had.
  • loungerlounger Posts: 32
    sean300, my girlfriend has a 99 Camry with a 2.2L engine, hence my experience with PlastX. The 99 Camry has a separate differential fluid fill hole and drain hole. Just look at the differential of your car and see if it has a separate drain bolt from the drain bolt from the transmission pan. If it does, they both will be a 10mm hex bolt.

    I changed the fluid. It is kind of a pain to refill. I used a 2 cycle oil syringe to refill the differential; squirting close to 2 quarts with a syringe was a pain. Just make sure you can open the fill hole (also a 10mm hex bolt) BEFORE you drain the fluid. The bolts were torqued on hard and I needed a breaker bar to open the fill hole bolt. The fill hole is on the back side of the differential.

    The Haynes manual has pictures which are quite good.
  • sean300sean300 Posts: 41
    OK, I tried to clear up the lens using a polishing compound. It cleared it up a little, so then I applied Turtle Wax rubbing compound. The light looks better than it did before but still has a fair amount of haze. What store carries the PlastX? Auto Zone? Pep Boys, Aid Auto Stores (can't locate it - just the Mothers Plastic wax which does nothing)?
  • sean300sean300 Posts: 41
    Lounger, I think that I do have a separate differential. However, reading your post I think that I'll leave it alone. According to Haynes Camry manual (which also covers ES300, Avalon and Solara models: all have the same v6) the 99 and up es300's differentials are not a closed system. It was a pain getting the drain bolt off of the pan (which has a slight leak, by the way - think its the pan bolts). And I am trying to locate the PlastX in the auto stores but can not find it. Can you tell me what store I may find it at (I am near Pep Boys, Advanced Auto and Auto Zone)?
  • loungerlounger Posts: 32
    I think I bought PlastX at Pep Boys, but I would call before driving over. Good luck.
  • sean300sean300 Posts: 41
    I bought it today at Auto Zone but will have to wait until tomorrow to try it out - raining today. Does this stuff work? I tried Mother's Plastic wax but it just made the lens somewhat shiny, not clear. There's stuff on eBay but I think that it is cheap stuff that is probably worthless. I really want to avoid buying a new lens (bought drivers side used on eBay from a Lexus dealer in Georgia: $100).
  • I have a Lexus es300 and i was wondering if anybody can expalin what the problem might be. The VSC engine light and VSC off indicater lights are shown on the dash, and now the car wont go into four gear and the o/d wont engage. I
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Do you mean you have a CEL, Check Engine Light..??

    If so then VSC/Tc off is a normal default indication resulting form a CEL as is the lack of the system to use OD.

    Tighten the gas cap or fix the engine....
  • I recently replaced all four struts on my '98 es300. Bought kyb's off of ebay - got a really good deal. Last week (after having them installed by my mechanic) I was going over the Throgs Neck Bridge when all of the sudden the car began to shake violently. I was lucky to get the car back to my mechanic, told him what had happened and asked why my car was shaking like that. He took the struts apart and I was told that the replacement struts have slightly larger mounting holes for the bolts (to connect to control arm) than the original lexus struts that were replaced. He said that he put washers on to eliminate the play. Has anyone dealt with this issue? Is this a safe fix? I also had an alignment a few days before; my guys are trying to blame Mavis but I told them that an alignment has nothing to do with loose struts. I welcome any input/opinions or facts. Thanks.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Ebay.....Got a really good deal....

    Still think that..??

    Many mechanics (Firestone -- Goodyear) would take what you have just done as something of an insult and while maybe not directly sabotage the effort they might very well overlook some flaw in the parts you bring to them.

    Sound familiar..?
  • No, I don't think that I am insulting anyone. My mechanic has said from the very beginning that he does not have a problem with customers buying their own parts. He is more than willing to put them on and he is very professional. Also, he is getting paid for his labor. While it is true that he may receive more money by supplying parts to the customer, he is not like your ordinary mechanic and his fees are within reason. And as for the parts being "flawed" the ebay buyer that I purchased the struts from has a 99.9 percent positive feedback rating and is a ebay Power seller, which mean that he does not sell crappy automotive parts. If he was selling junk then be assured that no one would buy from him and he would not be selling auto parts or anything else for that matter on ebay. I sent the seller an email about the problem and he replied immediately; he even offered to send a new pair of front struts without hesitation. In addition, I believe that ebay has customer resolution services and a guarantee on purchases up to $2, 000. So, I do not think that the parts were defective. Actually, I think that the seller was doing the right thing and backed his product with integrity.
  • I have a 2001 ES 300 w/77K miles. Recently it has developed a rumbling noise from the suspension or tires when traveling at low speed over slightly rough roads. Toyota said the struts are fine and recommended replacing the tires (only 25K on tires) which I rotate regularly and have plenty of tread remaining. My tire supplier (Les Schwab) just rotated the tires without mentioning new ones. They also mentioned the bearings look fine. Very annoying since it has otherwise been a smooth carefree car. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
This discussion has been closed.