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Lexus ES 300/ES 330



  • On the first night of driving into my 2001 w/HID's, I too noticed that the angle was too steep and that the lights only illuminated a pool about 40 feet out. The factory marks on the levelers are very conservative at the risk of not pushing out the light that we paid for. I tuned them right then and there. Well, the owners manual shows how to adjust the things. Just drive out to a flat unused level road at night with a full tank of gas and adjust away with a slotted screwdriver. I then turned the car around to make sure that the road was level. I would suggest that a person take it very easy at first and work the lights up a little at a time if they are not sure where they should end up.
  • rob175rob175 Posts: 19
    "goodlanding"....I agree! the lights are too factory set too low, but I didn't understand how to adjust them myself....the book was very "criptic" to say the least. It appears that i would have to remove the black plastic panels that are above the lights. Is that correct?....and is this done with the lights turned on or off??
  • rob175rob175 Posts: 19
    One more item (maybe "goodlanding" could help me) owners manual for my 2000 ES300 only explains NON-HID adjusting. It makes no reference how to adjust the HID lights that have the automatic adjusting lights...........does anyone have any suggestions, other than going to the dealer? I'd like to do it myself.
  • The book is pretty good. I would suggest that you first check out where things are under the hood during the day and sort of scope things out. There are two level indicators, one on each side. They remind me of a carpenters spirit level. They do not level for going up and down hills as some would have you beleive but are set up for braking and take offs. The motor looks like the stepper motor Toyota uses to regulate the bleed air to maintain the idle speed. I think these level indicators are being reference by the dealership techs and are being left exactly centered. They seemed worthless for the sort of driving I do. (If I were living and engineering the car where the national speed limit is 45 mph I would have them pointing 40 feet out also.) The adjustments are behind the lights and appear to be some sort of cast alloy material. They have teeth that your slotted screwdriver is intended to bite into against a stationary part. It makes for some mighty fine adjusting. On the center of this cast thing is an 6 or 8mm nut. If you want to get it over with in a hurry this is the thing to carefully turn with a rachet. You would do this at night with a flashlight and possibly have someone with about your weight in the driver's seat. I just went back and forth until I got them where I liked them. You do not have to take anything apart or lift off anything. Good luck and happy lumens.
  • rob175rob175 Posts: 19
    Thanks, "Goodlandings" worked like a charm!...just aimed the lights against a wall, maked it, pulled out a wrench and raised them up a few degrees...took all of 5 min. ...Thanks agian for your help.
  • vernlewvernlew Posts: 87

    Since, the four small patches produced by the tires are what connect your car to the road, I do not consider this an area you should try to save money on, for obvious safety reasons.

    Personally, I would not go down to a -rated tire for the S. I believe the tire companies have probably sacrificed traction and temperature ratings (important to me) to increase mileage (not so important to me, high mileage won't help me avoid an accident) be by using a carder rubber compound. On the other end of the spectrum, really high performance tires be AR rating and above offer performance really beyond the capability of the AS, are too soft a rubber compound... and will therefore wear out much faster than I would like. Therefore, the rating I would choose for an AS is a H-rated tire...and I really like the OEM Michelin Energy MXV4 Plus which came on my 00 ES. They offer very good performance, balance well, and there Michelins! (Tireguys favorite brand in the Tire forum)

    I previously tried Dunlop D60A2s and BF Goodrich Touring TAs (both received good ratings by Consumer Reports), they offered very good performance, but, never could get them to balance out right on my 97 Camry. And I didn't like spending my free time getting tires rebalanced (and my wheels possibly damaged by the kid doin the rebalancing).

    Good Luck,

  • vernlewvernlew Posts: 87
    The spell checker got me...
    In the previous post:
    "I would not go down to a -rated tire for the S"
    should read:
    "I would not go down to a S-rated tire for the ES"
    "carder rubber compound"
    should read:
    "harder rubber compound"
    "tires be AR rating"
    should read:
    "tires rated VR and above"
    "beyond the capability of the AS"
    should read:
    "beyond the capability of the ES"
    "choose for an AS"
    should read:
    "choose for the ES"
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    fortunately, you used spell-checker, so it saved you all that time that you would have spent manually correcting all your spelling errors (hoe does one convey a sarcastic grin for the obvious absurdity?) :):):) (always can add my smiley faces)
  • jwfslkjwfslk Posts: 9
    I'm trying to negotiate a good deal for a 2001 ES with Value Pkg, heated seats, wood steering wheel, 16" whls (not chrome), trunk mat, wheel locks. MSRP is $34,913, last offer from dealer was $31,400. This car doesn't have Nak sound or HID lights. Does this sound reasonable? I'd appreciate any advice from this forum. Thanks in advance for your help!
  • Really appreciate your post.

    I've got Goodyear Eagle GAs, H rated on my 96 ES. I went down to an "H" because I'll never drive over 90 and didn't think the speedrating was that important.

    What is your opinion on these tires compared to Michelin.

    I've enjoyed the Goodyears because they're very quiet. I'll need new ones in a few thousand miles and wondered if I should stick with them or switch.

  • From what I've experienced (in the south), I think that's a pretty good price--especially so early in the year. Shopping for similar myself (without the heated seats). Out of curiosity, is that through a regular dealer or through a Costco program or similar?
  • rickc5rickc5 Posts: 378
    I recently installed Dunlop D60A2s on my '97 ES, having used them previously on a '93 Camry and a '96 Camry. The Dunlops have phenomenol grip in the dry, great traction in the snow, have all been EXCEPTIONALLY quiet and are a bargain from Discount tire. My last set of four were around $300.

    I never experienced any balancing (or vibration)problems, but then Big O and Discount will re-balance every time you have them rotate the tires, if you request them to do so.
  • vernlewvernlew Posts: 87
    If you are happy with the Goodyears...I would probably jus stay with them...they are reasonably priced...but, offer only average performance...go to the website and read owner's reviews of this tire.
    I think I will only buy Michelins after changing over to them...on both my car and my wifes. I put Michelin Pilot XGT H4's on her GS (did not like the OEM Bridgestone Turanza's)...and they perform very well...they are more expensive than the Goodyears ie $100 vs $50/each...but, to me the increased performance and quality of the Michelins are worth it...Good Luck...
  • Gentlemen....thanks for chimeing in on the tires for my 96 ES.

    It's really strange...I paid $100 each (including installation, balance, valve stems, etc.) when I purchased my last set of Goodyear Eagle GA's from the Goodyear store.

    I shopped all over Houston and that was the best price I could find. Am I missing something here?
    I'd love to pay $300 for the whole set. Where can I do that?

    Thanks. Your information is worth $$$ to me.
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    Those are all nice cars. With your requirements being near luxury, reliability, fuel efficiency, safety, roomy, I think your on the right track thinking about the Lexus. The Toyota underneath should be more reliable than any of the other cars you mentioned, and the interiors are realy nice. The only trouble with Lexus is that they are a bit boring. (I can say that since I own one.) The BMW is a lot more car, (and include the MB E320 here too), but it started out in life being a much more expensive car, and it will be a much higher maintanence car over the years. I've spent more time with Lexus, BMW and MB, but never Audi. The A6 seems like a nice car, but I believe the reliability is no better than BMW.
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    That's not a bad price if that includes destination and add fees, and everything except TTL, and is exactly the car you want. But that still puts you about $660 over invoice with a 2% holdback still in effect. I'd be looking to knock a few hundred off that deal still, especially if you are in an area with several dealers. Or wait a couple more months if you can for the best deals as this body style gets phased out. Trouble is, selection will likely get limited.
  • jwfslkjwfslk Posts: 9
    stuartwo: I didn't get that price through a price club. I just walked in, although I have bought 2 Lexuses (Lexii?) from the same salesman I was dealing with.

    sddlw: The $31,400 includes transportation and advertising fees. I can wait and try to get a better deal, but as you pointed out, there may not be as great a selection. Do you happen to know how much longer the 2001 will be shipped to dealers?
  • vernlewvernlew Posts: 87
    PS...saw that price at when I punched in for OEM tires for your year model ES...but, of course that price does not include shipping, mounting, and, guess your price is in-line...but, I think for sure you can get the Dunlop D60A2s (try NTB) more reasonably than the GY GAs, if you wanted to try something additional $0.01...
  • I think I'm going to give the Dunlop D60A2s a try. You've never "steered" me wrong before.

  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    No I do not know how the end of the 2001 mgf line will play out. I'd expect they will have to stop the line and retool to get cars ready for the Fall introduction of the 2002s. That would imply that th 2001s should start to get scarce in the summertime. Maybe someone else in the discussion has more info.

    BTW: The Costco/Price Club prices here in San Diego have always been very aggresive. I'd look into this if you have one around you.
  • Toyota has some amazing technology on their assembly lines. In the past years they have retooled over a weekend, over an evening or even a shift change. In most likelyhood, they will not stop the line for the change. The last of the 2001's will be followed by a 2002. The really strange thing may be that they are pumping out some LS's then some who know's what for their domestic market, like an Arista or a Windham (the right hand drive version of the ES) and then the 2002 ES while the line is still running all during the same shift. I understand that they have no standing inventory and that if you order a Toyota in Japan on Monday they will have the car to you by Friday.
  • taylorttaylort Posts: 31
    Any spy photos of the 2002 ES300? or any ideas of changes? I will be looking for a new car in May and want to know if it is worth waiting for. The Acura TL Type-S (due out late Spring/early Summer) sounds good right now but I would like to see what the ES will look like.
  • Has anyone had experiences with their stereo volume increasing by itself? It doesn't happen everyday. I can't fully explain when it happens, just that it seems to come up quite a bit. Enough to be noticeable, but not enought to have to turn it down.

    I have the Pioneer with the 6 cd changer in a 2001.
  • rob175rob175 Posts: 19
    Goodlanding.....the fact is that the volume does change, and it's supposed to. The radio automatically senses road noise (especially when you roll down the windows) and it increases the volume. The owners manual makes only one brief mention of this feature, so you might have missed it.
  • I think entry #295 probably has the best preview of the ES300's (can't be anything else). Even though it's in Japanese, you can cancel the translation programs if you don't have them, and click through the site to find the page that has "Photo" listed all over it (I think it's about in the middle of the page). You can get front and rear exterior shots as well as interior ones. Helped me in my decision to go ahead with a 2001 or wait for 2002.
  • bufny1bufny1 Posts: 4
    I recently bought a Lexus es 300 and I offered
    31,500, which i got it for. the car was value pack, heated seats, wood
    steering, wheel locks, trunk mat and 16" tires.
    There is only one dealer in the Buffalo area. Do you think this was reasonable? About tires, I have used the Dunlop d60a2 and it is a good tire for dry pavement and with reasonable gas mileage.
    However, I do not recommend this tire for winter driving. my es has bridge stone re2 potenza and I am a bit disappointed. the car i test drove had michlens. Anyone else have thoughts?
    PS.. the car is a 2001 es.
  • Wow, automatic volume control.

    I felt sort of bad last night after "trashing" the best car I have ever had. I realized that if that's the only thing that causes me problems, then I don't have very much to gripe about. My last new car was a packed top of the line Chrysler. I counted 15 things wrong with it but was not too concerned as this was the average for the car. We bought a white one because you could not see as many paint defects on it. (All counted as one defect.) On the third day it would not start and the Auto Club could not start it. The dealers never did fix the problem. After 30 days in the shop over 10 visits to different dealers I ended up changing the starter motor with my own hands and out of my own pocket. I figured it was better than having a stroke. It has had 5 transmissions and controllers changed under warrantee. One dealer once said my warrantee was void for transmission number 4 because I had not changed the transmission fluid. I told him "Gee, you got me, I've been very busy. I like to change the fluid every other oil change but never got around to it. How often should I have changed it? Oh really, but the transmission only has 1,200 miles on it. How much will I have to pay?" I understand that the average car has had three transmissions. The first question the trade in guy asks is when the transmission was changed last. The wind noise is so great that the owner's manual says to drive with the window down about 1 inch.

    I have the 5th recall notice on the kitchen counter right now. I wonder where I should send it.

    What a joy the Lexus has been. I called the wife after the 1K service and told her we have to buy another. To have people treat people like people instead of stupid idiots that got suckered into paying too much for junk... wow, what will they think of next.

    Thanks Rob175, for your quick reply. I will RTFM.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    I don't believe post 295 is the new ES. The car shown is the Mark II, while the ES in Japan is the Windom. Since the Windom is also shown on the site, I doubt the Mark II is the new ES. Why would they be selling both the old and new versions at the same time? Also, being more of a luxury car, I don't think the new ES will switch from a foot brake to a hand brake (the Mark II has a hand brake). Then again, I could be wrong.
  • lievliev Posts: 93
    that is a very good price. I got mine with same options you described in late Oct for 32150 before TTL. go for it. don't wait too long you won't be able to get a certain color you want. I had this problem last year waiting for the 2000 model pricing to go down and ended up to get a 2001. Also, I heard that the number of 2001 ES300 will be limited this year because the manufacturer knows that a lot of people want to wait for the new 2002 model.
  • Lenscap is correct.

    In the US we had the Corona, then the Corona Mark II, which became the Cressida in the late 70's. There were 3 body styles until the early 90's when they dropped the name with the MX83 Cressida. It was a wonderful RWD, 3.0L 24 valved inline 6 car. The next year the GS300 came out with the same running gear. What we are seeing on the link is a GS.

    The Windom link is:

    You might check it out if you have time. They show a DVD capable GPS and either 3 speakers or two speakers and a port on the rear deck.

  • taylorttaylort Posts: 31
    Thanks for the info. The Windom looks like it could be the next ES300. I wish Lexus would put it in the showrooms early summer and not wait until Sept/Oct. I believe Acura may get some of their customers with the TL type-S.
  • It starts downloading for me then self destructs at 39% every time ( and I'm on a T1 line ! ).

    If anyone can I'd relaly appreciate it if they could find some interior dimensions on the 2002 Windom/ES300. I'm considering the car ( against mostly A6 but poss Avalon XLS and even Seville too ) but find it a little snug for my 250lb weightlifter build. Given even an inch or two more shoulder room it could be much more likely I get one. It has cost, reliability rep and resale value over the others by a long shot.
  • Could someone do me a favour and check in the manual and tell me what the exclamation ! light means on the dash. (after moving I haven't been able to find my manual.
    While driving home today the light came on for a few seconds and then went off so I'm a little concerned. The car runs great, and just had a tune up only 10,000 m ago.

    Can someone tell me what this light means, and should I be concerned since it only went on for a few seconds?
  • If it turns out like this:

    I am new to this topic. I was wondering what the ES 300 will look like.

  • First off, I would like to say "hi" to everyone. I got a lot of great information from
    this board before purchasing my ES 300.

    I purchased my Certified Per-Owned 98 ES 300 in December. I guess, you can say it was my Christmas present. This car replaces my 89 Nissan Maxima which now has 245,000 miles on it.

    The rainy season has finally hit San Francisco. So, in the last couple of weeks, I noticed that the front passenger car mat was getting wet during heavy rain storms. At the top left corner of the car mat, where the mat meets the dash, I placed my finger in the small opening where the carpet joins, and felt drops of water. I suspected that somehow water was getting into the car. I called the Dealership and brought the car in today.

    They hosed down the car three separate times, focusing on the moon roof, windows, and all the seals. But no leak... The mechanic mentioned that since I live in San Francisco, and there are quite a bit of hills that if the car was parked on an incline and during the rainstorm, the moon roof drain would overflow and drain toward the front of the car.

    I'm just wondering if anyone else has encountered this problem? and what the solution might be. Any help would be appreciated!!
  • vernlewvernlew Posts: 87
    What you experienced regarding the different sets of OEM tires is a common practice with all auto companies. They usually have several tire vendors, so it is hit-and-miss as to what brand your particular car will come with. I always check out the tires on the car I am going to deal on, and usually if it does not come with the wheels and tire brand I prefer from all the others I see on the vehicles on the lot, I will make a deal with the salesman to purchase the particular car I want, IF he changes out the wheels/tires for what I prefer, from another car, BEFORE I take delivery. Most dealerships will do this if you insist.
    The Bridgestone RE2 Potenzas, however, are supposed to be very good tires.
  • the Toyota Mark II Fortuna... Yeah yeah yeah... Toyota comes up with the weirdest names... Actually all Japanese manufacturers... Here's a link to the Toyota Mark II Fortuna's website:

    This is just a beefed up Toyota Mark II...

  • akid4ever - I suspect the dealer is barking up the wrong tree in trying to diagnose your leak. You say that you feel wetness when you touch the rug up under the dash, at the corner of the mat, but you didn't mention wetness anywhere else on the rug. Therefore, it would seem very unlikely that it's a leaking moon roof or windows, which should wet the carpeting in many places if it's running along or under the carpet. Sounds more like a leak either from the heater or through the floorboard or firewall. If there is a small weld separation or other crack or hole in the floor or firewall, rain could be driven in when driving on wet streets. I suggest that, if possible, you spray some water from a garden hose onto the firewall near the carpet area where you feel the leak, taking care not to get it all over the engine or components. See if that shows anything. The other thing to try is to turn the heater and fan full on and see if you can feel any additional moisture coming onto the carpet. If it is a heater problem, you would eventually notice the radiator level going down (though probably over a long period of time) and possibly notice a greenish or orangish tint on the carpet, under a strong light, from anti-freeze coolant.

    Good luck and let us know what happens.

  • alexualexu Posts: 1
  • Anyone in the Dallas/Fort Worth (Texas) metroplex bought a 2001 ES 300 lately? I am looking to make an offer on one and wondered if $30K would be a decent starting point for one with the Value Pkg added (no other options)? Also, does anyone think the body style will change so drastically that it will be embarrassing to be driving the "old style"? There's nothing worse than having a brand new car that already looks dated!
  • That link I posted was a computer touched picture of a new Toyota.

    No, it's not the Mark II, as the magazine is usually pretty accurate in their prediction.
    (Actually, the spy picture of Mark II was posted in their previous edition of spy scoops).
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    The link from post 295 isn't a GS either, since that's the Aristo in Japan. Post 295 of the Mark II appears to be the Cressida (as it was called here), because on the history page the cars shown are the Cressidas that were sold in the U.S. Of course, when Lexus began they dropped the Cressida here. If the Camry photos above are correct, they look like the new Mark II/Cressida. However, with the Cressida being RWD and the Camry FWD, I guess they couldn't be the same car.

    Some notes from my dealer on the new ES 300: There's a 20% chance it will be at the Chicago Auto Show on February 8, the doors will have frames around them, and other than the front end there is almost no resemblance to the current ES 300.
  • slesssless Posts: 10
    Well, it's the end of the month and I'm getting a great deal on an ES. The question is . . . would anyone not recommend this car or everyone happy with theirs. The style isn't great, but it sure is comfortable and the reliability and resale value is important to me. Any comments are appreciated. I'm a bit hesitant to bite the bullet only because I'm afraid after the 2002 comes out I'll regret not having waited. The 2001 style is very conservative and looks like so many other sedans. Thanks.
  • jwfslkjwfslk Posts: 9
    I picked up my new Lexus on Saturday, it's my 3rd. White pearl with Value Pkg, heated seats, wood steering wheel, 16" whls (not chrome) and all-season tires, trunk mat and wheel locks for $31,250. I also got the salesman to throw in a cargo net for the trunk. I thought about waiting for a 2002, but changed my mind when my salesman told me the style will be more evolutionary, rather than revolutionary! All sheet metal will be changed, but not drastically. Guess we'll have to wait and see!
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    I just bought my first Lexus in August. A 2000 ES300, VP, HID, 16" chrome wheels. There are good and bad points to any car, regardless of how much you spend, but I think the ES300 for $31K is a good value and that is really what drove my decision.

    I was driving a 92 MB 300E that I had purchased used in 1997 with 36K miles for less than the ES300 cost me new. In August 2000 it had a total of 75K miles on it and still looked practically new. If I could spend $55K on a new car and not feel the financial hit, or if I was comfortable spending $2,500 each year on maintanence for my older E-class, I'd never have left the E-series MBs. (The C-class just doesn't do it for me.)

    I think the ES300 styling is very boring, but the car has a really nice balance of interior amenities and rides pretty well. Not as stiff as a sports sedan, but not a boat either. Also the residual value is good, maintanance is low and the overall cost of ownership over 5 or so years is rather modest.

    However, if styling or performance are your most important criteria, this car might not be for you. There are many cars on the road with more inspired styling than the current ES300. There are quite a few with better performance. Many with nicer interiors, but few alternatives with the balance I was looking for at the price I was willing to spend.
  • lievliev Posts: 93
    what did you have to do with your MB? Why did you have to spend at least 2.5K every year on maintenance?
  • sunamisunami Posts: 2
    Hello from a new member and thanks for your comments which helped me to decide to buy a 2000 ES300 in September. After the first oil change at 5000 miles ,.the oil level on the dip stick now reads about a quarter inch above the full dot. The service writer says not to worry but the manual states anything above the mark is too full and could lead to engine damage. Any comments on this from you veteran owners and experts?. Also ,the rear brakes are squealing more when they are applied rather than just when backing up. The dealer says this is the type of metal used in the pads and there is no permanent fix.He states that this happens during the cold weather in the upper mid west and the noise will disappear with warmer temperatures. It's embarassing to pull up to a stop sign with the brake noise. All else about the car is great . Thanks for your ideas and an interesting Town Hall.
  • lievliev Posts: 93
    how cold is the weather where you live? I live in Virginia where the weather is around low 30's during daytime. i don't have the kind of problem you have. i have couple of friends living in Minnesota that own Lexus, I don't hear from them any complaints about the brakes. A Lexus should not make any noticeable noise, in my opinion.
  • Agree with liev that a Lexus should not make noise under any normal condition, and cold weather surely is a normal condition in the North. It sounds like whoever you talked with at the dealer is being dismissive and doesn't want to work with you.

    I suggest that you telephone your Lexus dealer, ask for the service manager if that's not who you dealt with before, and explain your problem. If you did deal with the service manager, ask for a service technician or someone other than the manager and see what he/she says. If you don't get the answer that you want (ie., the brakes should not squeal noticeably in the cold and there's a problem if they do), either call another Lexus dealer if there is one in your greater area, or call a Toyota dealer service department or two and ask the same question. Maybe even call a brake shop or two. What you want is one or more authoritative sources to tell you that your brakes shouldn't squeal, so that you can take that info from that source(s) to your Lexus dealer service manager, your sales rep, or dealership management. If nothing else works, call the Lexus Customer Service Help Line which serves as a go-between for the customer in getting problems resolved with local dealership.

    And I'm also mystified about your statement that your brakes are squealing when they are applied, "rather than just when backing up." Lexus brakes (and as far as I know the brakes on any other car as well) should NOT squeal or make any noise when backing up. You might also ask those you call about that too if it is happening with your car.

    Good luck.
  • bufny1bufny1 Posts: 4
    I also notice a squealing when applying the brakes, specifically from the left rear. I thought it was because the car was new. (It only has 800 miles.) I have my 1 month check this week so hopefully someone can give me an answer. I thought also it had something to do with the type of metal used in the pad. With a 2001 es, I wasn't expecting this kind of nuisance. Anyone have other opinions?
This discussion has been closed.