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Lexus ES 300/ES 330



  • Has anybody had any transmission, engine problems or any other problems with the 2000 Lexus ES 300?
    I am considering the option of buying a 2000 Lexus ES 300 off a lease! Thanks! :)
  • sr97sr97 Posts: 1
    I've had my 2002 ES300 for two months now and also noticed the transmission problem. I reported it to the dealer at the 1000mi check-up and they "could not reproduce it at this time".
    Except for the transmission, I'm very happy with the car. It is very quiet and the interior has a rich, luxurious feeling.
    My previous car was a 97 Camry V6 with the 4-speed automatic which was much smoother than this new 5-speed in the 2002 ES300. We should organize a petition to Lexus Corporate to investigate and fix the transmission.

  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    You could give Lexus headquarters (not just your local dealer) a call, let them know about the transmission, and ask them if Lexus has planned to do anything about it. Try to get past just the receptionists if you can...they usually don't know much of anything.

    I'm not far from their headquarters in Torrance, CA. So if I ever pass by, I'll go in and bug them in person. =)
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    '02 ES pricing seems to be at the lowest point thus far. If you're in an automotive hot spot, I wouldn't pay any more than $800 over invoice for a low to mid-level package. Internet sales departments appear to be the most willing to deal, and it's the most hassle-free. Good luck.
  • amkenamken Posts: 1
    I am considering buying my first Lexus,a 1995 ES 300, from a private party, for $8750. It has 136,000 miles. Any advice about this model and whether or not you think this is a good price for the miles etc, would be very much appreciated!
  • cwdavis1cwdavis1 Posts: 31
    Just to let you know....I have checked with about 20 dealers in the midwest region from Oklahoma, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tenn. and even North and South Carolina and I think that is it. I finally put my order in on a 2002 ES 300-Silver with light charcoal and Nav/ML and was given a $3,000 discount. I was able to get that price from a dealer in Missouri and again in Oklahoma (the latter very reluctantly)---otherwise most discounts were in the $1000-2000 range. Others would not budge off list. Amazingly, dealers are not aggressively pricing the ES and very few have any in stock at least from those I checked (I actually emailed 40 dealers). I am moving to LA in the summer but thought I would get it now (scheduled to come in June) rather than wait and see if I could get an even better deal in LA. We are now getting closer to the end of the 2002 model year so depreciation will become a factor. I did consider waiting until the 2003 model came out but felt pricing discounting would lessen. How is everyone else doing on pricing?? I am somewhat bothered about the recent transmission comments however.
  • rebelskrebelsk Posts: 65
    I used the Zaino Z-2 and am quite pleased with the results. The car feels quite smooth and has a great shine. I have another question for ES owners. I got my 2002 ES in January and will be reaching 10000 miles in a few weeks. Do most of you get the service from Lexus dealers or do you go to independent places. The independents are certainly a lot cheaper and I wonder if it will make much difference to go to a lexus dealer. What are the advantages of paying the premeium when bringing it to a Lexus dealer?
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 854
    You have 10K miles already? Have you had any troubles and what kind of highway mpg have you been getting? Do you use premium fuel?
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    10K service for '02 ES is basically an oil change and a tire rotation. The price you're going to see for that at a Lexus dealer is $90+. If they charge even more and tell you that's because they do more, they just want more of your money. Also, Lexus dealers like to charge a premium on checks and inspections when they'll gladly do it for you for free during an oil change if you ask. After all, if they find anything wrong, that just means they get to rip you off again to fix it, or have Lexus corp. pay for it if it's under warranty.

    What you do get at a Lexus dealer is a nice loaner car for the more expensive services, a much nicer waiting area for the shorter services, and maybe friendlier service for those who don't mind paying to be treated more nicely. I took my LS in recently for an oil change because they were willing to give me an '02 ES loaner car while they were doing the change. I baby my '02 ES for the most part, so this let me test out the ES more aggressively.

    You can have other places do the same oil change/tire rotation service for about $30. If you don't have any idea about oil quality, oil filter quality, or tire rotations, I wouldn't take it to just any independent service place though. Try a place that works only on Toyotas, or your local Toyota dealer. As long as the service advisor there isn't a complete moron (like the one at my local Toyota dealer), he'll know that something as easy as an oil change and tire rotation can be done on an ES just like if it were a Camry V6.

    If you plan to take it elsewhere, here's some things to keep in mind:
    1. Check what brand and type oil they are using. It should be 5W-30 or 10W-30, new (not recycled) oil, and from a name brand you recognize.
    2. Make sure the oil filter is of acceptable quality. This is what helps keep your oil clean. Most independent places use cheap $1 oil filters (Fram, Champ, etc.) that just plain stink. Some good brands of oil filters are: Purolator PureOne ($5), Mobil1 ($10), and the Toyota OEM filter that is made in Japan by Denso (90915-20003 or 90915-20004, the latter filtering better. I've seen it for $7 at Toyota, $14 at Lexus for the exact same filter) The domestic-made Toyota oil filter isn't as good, but it's much cheaper at $3-5 and is certainly better than the ones used at most independent shops.
    3. For tire rotation, make sure that your wheel bolts are hand-torqued to 76ft-lb, in the appropriate criss-cross pattern. Overtightening will cause problems.
  • rebelskrebelsk Posts: 65
    So far, knock on wood,I have not had any problems and have been very happy with the car. I do a lot of driving and have been using premieum fuel and averaging 27-28 highway mpg. The engine is very responsive and I really enjoy the Levinson Stereo system. I got the car in starlight pearl as a special order as I had not seen the color on a car and am very happy with the color as it changes depanding on the amount of sunlight.
  • 66tall66tall Posts: 3
    Hi all,
    In considering the ES300 I've been watching this space with great interest over the past few months, but there are still three questions for which I have not yet found answers.
    Perhaps someone out there can elighten me??

    1. What Internet sites (such as would you recommend buying through (if any)? Or, would you recommend sticking with simply emailing dealers directly for best results?

    2. Speaking of dealers, can anybody recommend (or warn me about) any dealers in the PA/NJ/DE/MD area?

    3. Finally, how would you say the Air Conditioning does when the weather gets hot? My current car's A/C is HORRIBLE, so I'm hoping to upgrade with this car...

    Thanks a LOT for any insights you can provide!
    I really could use your help!!! :)
  • woobahwoobah Posts: 21
    Hi, nice board, with a lot of useful information. I was curious as to what age brackets are buying the ES 300. Which one of these brackets apply to all you ES 300 owers:
    under 28
    65 +
    me, I am in the 36-45
  • justfind6justfind6 Posts: 30
    If you can afford the maintenance, and the car is in good condition, and you really want an ES 300, it's probably a good buy.
    My friend just had his 130,000 service on a '93 ES 300, and although it needed $1200 worth of replacement suspension parts (not bad after almost ten years), the tech told him it should last another 130,000 easy.

    However, if you're buying this car on a very tight budget, I'd say don't do it. If a sudden $1000 repair bill could break the bank, you're probably better off going for something else - like a much cheaper, newer car (say a recent Corolla or Civic, etc).

    Just as an example, I left my '96 ES 300 in for a service, and it had a slight fuel leak - needed a fuel rail (if I remember correctly). Also needed a couple of other minor things, but a $70 service bill turned into a $700 repair bill.

    Basically, you have to make the right decision for you.

  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    1. Use them all. This gives you the best chance of landing a good deal. E-mailing the dealer directly with a specific purchase offer is probably your best bet after you've done a little research into how much these cars are selling for in your area.
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    I'm in the "under 28" category, but according to Lexus the stereotypical ES buyer is a married, 50 year old male. Guys that have gotten past their sports car craze and want a smooth, peaceful ride. Or buying the car for their wifee.
    Basically, an old fogey's car. haha.
    Of course, you'll probably find more of the younger owners talking online about their ES. I don't quite see my grandpa chatting about cars online.
  • gambiamangambiaman Posts: 132
    Very funny. 50ish. Bought a MY02 last week for wifee. Traded an MY00. Car does have a very smooth/quiet ride.
    Fuel type? I used 89 octane in MY00 and in my 01 RX 300. Premium not required or needed. Right? What do others use?
  • Do you like your RX 300? I am considering buying a 2000 RX off a lease! =)
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    I'm in the 28-35 category.

    In my area, the ES 300 is extremely popular with people (mostly men it seems) in their late 20s/early 30s.

    To provide some examples, the following people I know drive ES 300s:

    1. Friend from growing up (33, on his second ES)
    2. Roommate from college (33)
    3. Brother's friend (36)
    4. Friend from graduate school (32)
    5. Another friend (30)
  • rtorrecartorreca Posts: 74
    I'm 29 but already suffering from mid-life (quarter-life?) crisis :( . Before I bought my '02 ES, I considered the BMW 325 - a car I perceive is more appropriate for my age. I asked most of my friends and family which car they would choose and most guys (ages 28-33) liked the BMW better and most women (ages 27-32) liked the es300 better. My mom likes the es300 better. She likes it so much she's picking one up in October.

    If I could do it all over again, I would pick the bimmer and pick the es300 5 years from now. I feel old driving the ES.
  • texas83texas83 Posts: 107
    I bought my 2002 ES about a month ago. From time to time the transmission feel like it slips. Mostly notice it at low gear. Feels like it spins and then finally kicks. Causes a bit of a delay which can be dangerous when changing lanes or wanting to enter traffic. Anyone else notice this?
  • rebelskrebelsk Posts: 65
    I took my 2002 ES for a 500 mile roundtrip between Masachusetts and New York and averaged over 30mpg for the trip. I have about 10000 miles on the car and maybe when they break in, the mileage goes up. I did use premieum fuel for the trip. By the way, I am 48 and have only driven Hondas, Toyotas, Acura, And Lexus over the past twenty years.
  • rtorrecartorreca Posts: 74
    I experience the same problem with my 02 es300. This is actually one of my major gripes. When slowing down to make a turn, I feel the transmission "kick." I am definitely not impressed with the passing power of this car. Not very confident when passing or merging into traffic.

    I drove a 00 es loaner and it had a much smoother tranny than the 02. I hope the 02 can be fixed.

    Some people here say the tranny "learns" your driving so it should get better. I have 600 miles on mine and it still hasn't "learned" how I drive. Sounds like BS to me.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Hasnt there been a TSB issued for a programming fix on early production ES300s? Perhaps I am imagining things, but it is something you ES owners may want to look into.
  • hk2lahk2la Posts: 53
    I've read most of the posts here regarding Zaino and printed their website pages, and looking at all their products gave me a headache. For those of you who have used this product on your new ES, can you please tell me if the following are the steps you took?
    1.) Wash car with standard laundry detergent (did you use something else? I think kreativ said not to use Dawn.)
    2.) Use Z-1 (Polish Lok)
    3.) Use Z-2 (Show car polish for clear coated finishes).

    Do you recommend ZFX? And then did you also use Z-6 Ultra Clean?

    I've had my ES washed and hand waxed already. I would greatly appreciate it if someone would take a minute and let me know what steps you took when you used Zaino. Thanks in advance.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    I've used Zaino and love the results. Here's what I did:

    1. Washed with Dawn to remove any existing layers of wax (only do this for this first wash; after the first application of Zaino use a wash recommended for cars).
    2. Applied Z-2 (to which I added ZFX drops). Note: You do not need Z-1 with the ZFX, which is good because that eliminates a whole extra step.
    3. Waited about 30 minutes and wiped off the Z-2.
    4. Sprayed and wiped Z-6 on the car.

    The whole process took abot 1-1/2 hours.

    Good luck.
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    I would not think a laundry detergent would be a good idea. They usually have a bunch of additives. Use soap formulated for cars, or as recommended by all the Zaino folks, a first wash in a high alkaline liquid soap like Dawn to remove any wax the dealer might have used in prepping the car.

    The true fanatics will clay or polish the car before applying Zaino to remove any other environmental contaminates and smooth the surface for the best shine possible. ....remember this product came from the show car people... and many of the Zaino afficianados (sp?) are absolutely nuts about their car's appearance.

    I've used Zaino now for about a year and a half and love it. I use the older formulation which sometimes requires more dry time. The biggest mistake most people make in getting started with Zaino is that they use too much. It then takes a long time to dry and buff off. I like to wet the applicator with the Z-6 and then use only a few small drops of Z-2 at a time. I can barely see the haze when it drys.

    Check out the Zaino chat group over in Maintanence. Your sure to get good advice there.
  • tclemonstclemons Posts: 31
    I am in the 58 year old category and rapidly approaching the 59 level (May). My wife has a 98 ES 300 (CPO) that we have had for about 2 1/2 years and we both really like it. I usually do not drive the car unless we are going out of town. My wife likes to do her needle-point and tell me how to drive. We have always used 91 octane and we usually average 28-30 highway (at 70-80, depending on speed limit). Around town, she averages 16-17 with a 6 mile commute to work.

    Re: Transmission - I notice sometimes when driving on the freeway and slowing down, there is a slight "pause?" that almost seems like I have touched the brake and gas at same time. Never had a problem (24K+ miles), but still just barely noticeable.

    I like the '02 ES-300 but my wife doesn't particularly care for it. She said her next vehicle will be a RX-300. Wants a SUV and doesn't have any rational reason for wanting it. Do they ever have a rational reason? We all know wives usually get what they want. After all, they got us!
  • gs4rx3gs4rx3 Posts: 25
    I am about to buy a 2002 ES300 and need to decide on a few options. First, I cannot decide if VSC is worth it. I can understand wanting it in a rear wheel drive car. It makes sense to me to cut the power to a spinning wheel to prevent the car from sliding. But with a front wheel drive car I don't picture that being as worthwhile. If it is icy or raining out and the tires slip, they usually just slip until they catch some traction and go in the direction I have them facing. Has anyone here had any experiences with their VSC that would make them think it was a worthwhile option? It isn't cheap. If it helps to know, I live in Chicago.

    Also, just curious how many people on this board have chosen the chrome wheel option with their ES300. I am trying to figure out if it is a popular option or not. In some ways I think it makes the car look more sporty, and in other ways I think it is too glitzy for the more corporate nature of the car. I know it comes down to personal preference, but I'm curious what others have to say about it.
  • gambiamangambiaman Posts: 132
    Yes I love my RX. Not as quiet or as peppy as ES but still very nice and more flexible. Can't say more than that here or else someone will remind me that this is the "ES300" board. Go to RX board for more info.
This discussion has been closed.