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Lexus ES300 problems

wait777wait777 Posts: 2
edited March 2014 in Lexus
I bought a CPO 98 Lexus ES300 at 36,000 miles two weeks back. Today the check engine light comes on. Since it is a certified pre owned I take it to the my delaer and he gives me some yarn about "Oh it's just out of the standard factory warranty and I will have to check with the company who handles the warranty after the standard factory warranty(which is 4 yrs/50,000 miles) to see if they will cover diagnostics for $90/hour and parts and labor"

The whole attitude was that, as if buying a CPO car was sub-standard.

And this from Lexus who tout their customer satisfaction and attitude towards customer to be the highest.

Anyway, they had to replace the throttle body under warranty(Thank God for samll mercies!). I was dissappointed that a "supposedly reliable luxury car" is having such problems so soon.

All I can say is "Buyers beware of the Lexus reliability"!!!It is slipping......


  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    This should be covered under the emissions warranty which is still valid.
  • flapjack21flapjack21 Posts: 3
    The entire stereo except AM radio had been going in and out, and finally stopped altogether.

    I had the stereo looked at and was told it needed to be sent in for repair, or replaced altogether.

    Is it possible it's just a possible wiring or fuse problem, not the stereo itself? Why would the AM continue to work if the rest of the system doesn't?

    Thanks for any input...
  • pontoiselepontoisele Posts: 16
    My son had an accident to my wife ES 300 -97 w/ 27,000 miles on it last Sunday morning. The car still under warranty.The impact so bad the whole front and side is gone.Luckily no bad injuries to my family.And so amazing, both airbags,driver and passenger side do not work.Stayed peaceful in their enclosures.It happened once during last year w/ my brother 91 LS 400 accident.The car was totally lost and the airbag still intact.So this time I want talk to the Lexus people before bring it up by my lawyer.Some one have Lexus representative in US email, phone # so I can call or email to them w/ all supporting pics.
    Thank you- Can email me @ :""
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Before you go and talk to a lawyer or yell at a Lexus rep., I would call and talk with a body shop to get some background information on crashes. It could be that the impact of the crash was so that it did not trigger the air bag sensor. Meaning the impact could have been the front quarter panel and still have taken out the side and front.

    Also this way you have some knowledge about accidents and crashes when you talk to a Lexus rep. as well.

    It sounds like the car was totaled in the accident and luckily no one was badly hurt. Since now was hurt seriously, you may have better luck chasing the other persons insurance (assuming they were at fault) then Lexus on this one. Good luck
  • pontoiselepontoisele Posts: 16
    Thanks for your thoughts "hyperopt."(a member in LS400 problems)
    As a car owner, I thought when someone purchase the car, he think about safety first by always picking the car w/more safety feature if they can afford it.Basicly seat belt first and after came air bags .Driver air bags,next is passenger side airbags side airbags. No one told me that in order to make airbag working, the car must met a certain parameters as you said.Only they said that to provide more safety for oeople.Luckily no one want have opportunity to test the functioning of their airbag by involving into an accident.If not lucky, during a bad accident like mine, they lost their live and no one complains that his air bag do not meet some parameters to deploy and he not here either to understand why.
    I'm not against Lexus,actually I driving a LS 400, and I still planning upgrade it to LS 430 this coming september.But before that,I will pursuit this matter till it's solved friendly or legally.
    It's nt first time, it happened once w/ my brother 91 LS 400 last year which is totally lost and airbag not deploy.He got a 97 LS and forgot it because may be it's too old so airbag can be mal functioned.
    Mine is different, it had two,driver and passenger side and none is deployed.
    My goal is very simple, just to get the refund of the non functioning air bags when they are not working as advertised , secondly want lexus people provide some place, some way to test the air bag functioning of mine and other lexus owner (including you too,if you own a lexus.) So every one will be sure that their car are reliable and SAFE.
    I don't want make any money on them.We are so lucky that no serious things happened to us.If some one tell me how to post pics in this page I will post them so lexus owner will understand why I wrote these lines. Thanks.
    This accident happened during a curved turn in a 2 lanes drive, to avoid an other car head on us, we moved to the right and lost control, hit to a tree, bounced to an other tree......
    Is it the purpose or airbag to protect us in these circumstances?
  • pontoiselepontoisele Posts: 16
    Thanks to Alpha01 for your thoughts in ES 300 topics.
    Yesterday I already talked to Lexus satisfaction department and they will send some one to inspect it within 2 WEEKS.I'm not yet know what's decision of my insurance 'bout the car now,only 2 days after the wreck, the appraiser back from towing yard, give me call telling that my car might be totaled.So you can guess what kind of impact the car already suffered.I'm waiting on Lexus inspection results and I guess will be similar with your opinion.Think about Ford Explorer problems , do they accept their mistake ? Obviously,never they recognize their mistake .They afraid of their consequences. My case very simple.Good things ubder God protection no serious things harm us.What I'm asking for very simple and easy too.My goal is for the safety of myself and all other Lexus owners.My self I'm a Lexus fanince 91, my actual car is a LS 400-96, 3rd revised model,my 1st was a 91 LS 400. Because they are so great, I got a ES 300-97 for my wife and planning trade mine in to get a LS430.Never checking paper work to find out air bag problem or some thing else, because I trust on their reliability and their safety.Thanks to GOD.Since 91 till now, no accident to me.And I'm sure that no body wish to have an accident to test the functioning of their air bags,so they can examine point by point as your opinion if they do not deploy.Remenber that, can test once only, second time if they are lucky enough to survive.Last night on TV there is an ad for a car, I forgot the brand name, the car just been hit by an animal, and driver airbag, passenger airbag, side air bag, every thing deployed.They do not mentioned anything 'bout accelarating or decelerating. Just saying to protect people . An other gentleman told me that in order to get it work, the speed must be 15 miles/hr min.Actually on the roads now , none driving that speed, may be in parking deck or garage.
    I want mentioned one more time that never I want make money on this matter.God already gave me enough so I enjoying luxury cars now, not a Yugo.Just to ask Lexus to act now, how? don't know beside What I'm asking.Do not wait until dozen of lexus owner been killed or recall required by National safety Transportation Board or some thing else happened.Do we need bring cars within a certain years old in for inspection or ...
    My ES 300 still under warranty.I copied these line for info to all actual or furure Lexus Owner.
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    I have a 2000 ES300 with 27Kmiles. I am beginning to have an occational problem with steering wheel vibration when braking at high speeds. It feels just like a warped rotor, but the thing of it is that it might only happen once every several days to a week. It seems to be more likely after having driven the car for a while. But after a particularly shaky braking, the problem will disapear only to come back at some future time.

    Anyone have any idea what this might be? I hate going in to the shop with a problem that the mechanic cannot observe for himself.
  • ratdaddyratdaddy Posts: 4
    How do you replace a bulb that is burned out in the right rear tail light?I have the 1157 replacement bulb, just dont know how to get to the burned out bulb.
  • carperscarpers Posts: 8
    The check engine light just went on on my '98 ES300 (86,000 mi). The local (NJ) dealer did a diagnostic and said I needed a new charcoal canister ($315), a "VCV Rail" ($198) and labor ($255) for a total of $768!!! (whew!) I can get the canister cheaper from Lexus Parts Mall (in WI) for about $237, but they have no idea what is a VCV Rail. Dealer said it was some sort of tube with a sensor, but the fellow at Lexus Parts Mall could not identify it from the schematics. Some thoughts on this would be appreciated.
  • carperscarpers Posts: 8
    Re: my prior post, does anyone know how to shut off this light? I'm hoping that perhaps our recent heat wave caused my charcoal canister to malfunction and now that it's cooler it may be OK. Thanks again for any help
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    In the engine compartment, locate the fuse box.

    Inside you'll find the "EFI" fuse. Pull it out and about 1 minute later plug it back in.

    Run the engine at idle for a few minutes.

    VCV rail? Don't know.

    Charcoal canister, since you know the part number, see how much it costs at a Toyota dealership. Charcoal canisters, rarely go bad also.
  • carperscarpers Posts: 8
    Thanks 8u6hfd!!!, I'll try it. Re: the VCV rail, the Lexus dealer did not supply a part number, and the lexuspartsmall couldn't identify it either (or anything similar to what the dealer described as being related to the canister).

    Good thought also about going to Toyota rather than Lexus. Lexus price for the '98 ES300 air filter is $23.50. Toyota's price is $11.33 (usually $14.16, but it's usually on sale) for EXACTLY the same one (#FA-24) - both come in the same box!
  • HELP!

    I have changed the water pump and the thermostat and the car is still overheating especially when the car is not moving. I have spent over $600 and problem not solved.

    Any suggestion.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    I have had two vehicles in my life that had chronic overheating problems. In both cases, after the mechanics' attempts to do everything under the sun, I ended up getting a new radiator.
    One was a 1970 Plymouth Duster (over heating at 10 years old.) and 1980 BMW320i.

    Both cars were pretty old, around 10 years, when they started over heating.

    Funny, but in both cases, I wanted a radiator right away (I have never seen a chronic overheating problem fixed by doing something with the thermostat). It was the mechanics that insisted I try other options. In both cases, I got a new radiator at my insistence. You'd think they'd be smarter, wouldn't you?
  • I have an 99 ES300 that was overheating. Just replaced the radiator and everything is great. I had 110,000 miles on it. If everything is working ( fan, pump, thermostat) it is the radiator. Cost about $700 for a rebuilt one. Worth every penny so I can get back on the road.
  • ohloneohlone Posts: 55
    My 1998 ES 300 warranty will expire this month.

    I have had no problems through my 32,000 miles but was thinking I should have Lexus see if there is anything that I do not know about.

    I wouldn't normally maintain my vehicle at Lexus, however I would like to think they could replace under warranty anything I might not know about.

    Any opinion is appreciated.
  • For Lexus Owner info: talked to Lexus Customer Satisfaction Dept.3 days after accident asked for an inspection.Lexus promised will do within 2 weeks.Insurance co.officially declared car total loss 3 weeks later and moved car from the towing site.5 weeks after the call, lexus Rep, in atlanta called and said can't find the car for the inspection.Provided phone info of insurance Co.rep. in charge of this case, same time w/ pictures.Wrote 3 pages letter including 3 pics then certified mailed it on 7-18-2002 to Lexus according to "Lexus Owner Manual Lemon Law Info".End of July ,received calls from Lexus said no problem found on air bags (of course ).Do not say why does'nt work. Asked copy of report and new location of the car.Answer negative.Asked for a written response.Will update when answer letter come.
    If some one want see pics, please get to this site :

    Ps: This Lexus ES 300-1997 bought w/14000 miles on 1-12-2000 as preowned from Hennessy Lexus in Atlanta, GA,and serviced by same dealer.
  • wingckowingcko Posts: 1
    I also have a 2000 ES300 and when I apply the brake at > 40 mph , I can feel a pulsing vibration thru the brake pedal and steering wheel.

    I am positive that it is not the ABS. I was not stomping on the brake. I brought it to the dealer and they said that it was the wearing brake pad while I still have 3 mm left. I believe that it is a warped rotor too... I have had this problem since the first day... anyone knows if it is covered?
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    It tuned out it was indeed a warped rotor. The rotors need to be machined to remove the warp, or if bad enough, replaced altogether.

    The dealer would not give me any satisfaction. I thought it was poor design that I should have such problems at 27Kmi. Before I changed my first set of pads. But they said too bad. Wear out parts...

    So I ended up letting a performance tire and front end shop I use do the work. New pads and turned rotors at Lexus Carlsbad, CA was $300. At the tire shop it was $120.

    The problem these days seems to be that the asbestos is no longer allowed in brake pads. There are mostly 2 alternative formulations. One gives softer pads that leads to lots of black brake dust, pads that don't last very long, and chew up the rotors such that they require replacing at relatively short intervals. Many high performance cars use these. MB and BMW use these kinds of pads. We've had 3 MBs and replace pads about every 20k miles, rotors every 60-80k miles.

    The other has ceramic or metal in the pads. These last a long time and give off little dust, but get very hot and lead to rotor warping. These are the ones we have. The brake pads might last 50k miles or longer ......... if you do not warp the rotors.
  • plu1plu1 Posts: 1
    I had a overhaeting problem on my 92 ES300 a year ago. The hot coolant was forced to overflow the resservaor. I have spent $500 to get replacement of water pump and timing belts. Later, the problem was gone after flushing and refilling the cooling oil of power steeling fluid nearby the cooling fan, another $300 out of my pocket. I did not get this done by a dealer. Because they qutoed me around $1800 for replacing radiator, water pump and etc(Based on their trial and error). I was lucky otherwise the same problem presists.

    Anybody has a good idea how to get leather seats repaired? Thanks in advance,
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    What kind of repair?

    I've had an older 380SL interior restored. Found a shop that recovered the leather seats for about $800 per seat. That included new pads and some minor repair work to the frames.
  • mevandemevande Posts: 190
    I am considering a new ES300. I heard one person here( sddlw) got to a tire shop for pads/ rotors from a tire shop for a much better deal. Does this is any way mess up your Lexus warranty. Also, I have a dumb question!:) Is the ES300 with its increaded HP and 5 speed auto trans (and other nicities) worth ten grand more than a Carmy? Thanks for any info!

    Mike V.
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    Hey Mike,
    The ES is a great car. It was redesigned for 2002 and is quite different from the earlier model. I drive a 2000, so do not have day to day experience with the latest model. However, over on the sedan board, there is an ES discussion group that is really focussed on the 2002/2003 model. One thing they seem to complain about is a glitch in the transmission shifting that has been blamed on a software problem. You might want to check the discussion out.

    Is it worth more than the Camery? You'll get many opinions on this. The difference may be closer to $5K once you get that Camery upgraded to the same level of the ES, and do some hard negotiating. At least here in So Ca, the Lexus dealers are having to deal. But still it is a lot of money. I think the ES is a better ride with a little more attention to detail and a little nicer trim. Both cars hold their value very well. Both cars are very reliable.

    BTW: The brake rotors and pads are not covered under warranty. They are considered wear-out parts. As long as the periodic maintanence is done and you have records, you should be fine. You are not required to have the dealer do the service work. Now, is the dealer going to tell you that?....yeh right. In the last 2 months, I had that brake job that I wrote about earlier and a 30K service. Dealer = $300 and 500 respectively. Independant = $125 and $272 respectively. Heck, a simple 5k OLF and fluid inspection at the Carlsbad Dealer here in San Diego is $160..... but you do get a car wash and a loaner!!

    There is a Toyota shop right next door that quoted me $275 for a 30K swervice if I had a Camery instead of an ES. So you have one shop charging $500 and the guy next door for a very similar, but not exactly the same car, engine wise. Some Toyota shops will service Lexus, others will not. I actually prefer an independent. For the price and because I like to get to know the mechanics and the shop owners....Try to do that at a dealer.
  • sevaseva Posts: 5
    I have 98 ES300 with 47,000 miles.
    Sometimes, especially at the beginning of the ride, I fill exhaust smell inside the cabin.
    What it could be an how to deal with it.

    Thank you for the answer.
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    You must have an exhaust leak somewhere. It could need nothing more than tightening some bolts or replacing a gasket. Or you might need a new section of exhaust pipe or a new muffler or catalytic converter. If the leak in the system was big, and before the muffler, the car would likey be much noiser than it should.

    You need to take it into the shop for a couple reasons. First, exhaust and carbon monoxide are toxic at high concentrations. Second, a leak in the exhaust system can effect the back pressure of your engine and lead to bigger problems.
  • We just bought 95 300ES. Only problem is needle lights on Speedometer and Tachometer do not light up. We hear this is not uncommon. Dealer wants $600 for complete new dash unit and $300 to install it. We had them painted a light color, but this does not work at night. Any suggestions?
  • q45manq45man Posts: 416
    Get one for $250-$300 from a junk yard and have any Toyota tech install it. We sometimes buy the whole assembly and just change the needles.
  • See my response on the regular ES300 board.
  • Hi Folks,

    I'm driving a 88k ES300 right now. All my maintance & regular oil change is not doing in Lexus dealer. 1 year ago I replaced a OEM timing belts & water pump. I find that the engine noise is very noisy than normal & also the ticking sound comes out. Is anyone know how to reduce an engine noise and also the ticking sound. Is it the timing belt installed to tight or too loose?Thanks
    Except the sounds ES300 is running pretty good.
    Until now I still think Lexus is more reliable then European car.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    the ticking sound may be from the valve clearance shims being a little too worn.
This discussion has been closed.