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Lexus ES300 problems



  • Can I replace a valve clearance shims? Is it very expensive? That's mean is it a time to sell the car! or still can keep for a while. Thanks for your advice.
  • bobw15bobw15 Posts: 4
    I lease a 2002 es300 & I'm not happy with the car or the dealership. I started having problems with the windshield creaking when the outside temp fell below 40 degrees. I also hear other rattles and creaks in the car off and on.

    The automatic windshield wipers that are supposed to come on when raining come on when they feel like it, sometimes when it's dry outside. Then, the steering wheel started to shake when coming to a stop.

    While stopped in my driveway and engine running, I got out of the car and was locked out. I went into my house for the spare remote key, but the only way to unlock the car was to insert the key. The clicker wouldn't work.

    The service department wasn't very helpfull, so I called the Service Director. On the steering wheel problem, he said that it's a rotor problem that is common with this vehicle. On being locked out, he just about accused me of doing something to cause the problem.

    Service changed the rotors and that corrected the shake. They also reprogrammed the way the car locks, but at times with the key in my pocket, just walking around the car, I hear the doors lock. So I try to carry a spare on me at all times.

    I waited two hours for a oil change. When I complained, they said that next time they would pick up the car. So when I made a appointment, they broke it 3 times before the car was picked up. When there are problems, it seems that I don't get a call from the Lexus helpdesk or a survey in the mail asking how everything went.

    Now I find out that at the 5000 mile checks, the oil change and other things that they do costs $200, except at 15000, 30000, 40000,
    the cost is $379. Why so expensive?

    I don't feel like I'm driving a car that is special or different. The customer service is no different than a Ford dealer. They sometimes try to make you feel that way, but in a phoney kind of way. Give them a problem and see what happens. I feel like, when inside the car, it's a FORD.
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    Sorry to hear about your problems. Overall most people do not experience too many problems with Lexus or their dealers, but there is always an exception. Some thoughts. I too have had to R&R the brakes/rotors at 25kmiles on my 2000 ES for rotor warpage. The problem stems from the manufacturers having to elimiate asbestos in the brake pads. Nowdays the pads have either ceramin and or metal in them or that black stuff that makes all the brake dust. Lexus uses ceramic and these tend to last a really long time, often greater than 50k miles but do get hotter and thus tend towards more rotor warpage. My local performance tire shop will turn the rotors and put new OEM pads on for $125. The dealer wanted $300.

    I use an independent Toytota/Lexus mechanic. The dealer in north county San Diego wanted $500 for a $30K service! My independent charged $275. Why so expensive? Well it is more than an oil change, but the shop is a huge profit generator for the dealer and they have the price up as high as the traffic will bear. Many people don't think twice about shelling out whatever the dealer asks. In all fairness my independent doesn't have a fleet of 2 year old Lexus loaners either, and don't come out and pick up the car.

    I was just at the auto show last weekend and I've got to say that if your shopping for an intro level lux car with a full lux interior and lots of room, there isn't that much to see in the low $30ks.
  • bobw15bobw15 Posts: 4
    Ever since I have had this Lexus, I don't feel that the value of the car is there. Articles in some magazines have called the Lexus es300 the so-called luxury auto. I have been looking at the Maxima and when the lease is up, I may switch.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    it's labor intensive, so it gets expensive. If the ticking isn't causing any performance problems, then don't worry about it.
  • hoorayhooray Posts: 15
    I have a 2002 es300 with only 6,000 miles. I had a leak show up under the left rear floor mat. It took the dealership a week to discover that the leak was coming from a bad seal in the top left corner of the rear window. I think that they practically took my car apart to find the leak. They took up the carpet and when reinstalling it got glue on my rear seat which took off the finish. Now I am waiting for new leather for the seat. They also messed up the driver's seat belt so that it no longer adjust and the anchor is no longer properly aligned with the door pillar. They also put a nick in the wood of my steering wheel and the plastic trim that seals the rear carpet is not properly aligned.

    On my first service visit, the "less than one hour wait" turned onto a two hour wait with no explanation.

    I expected a better built car and a better level of service than this. I am kicking myself in the rear for selling my 1996 Infiniti I30 for this car. The I30 was the most trouble free car that I have ever owned and the Infiniti service and loaner policy is far superior to Lexus. When the new I35 comes out, this ES 300 is history!
  • vader4vader4 Posts: 15
    The I35 is and has been out since 2002 Test drove the 2003 I35 got the ES300 instead IMO the ES is much more plush on the inside, I will give the I35 performance advantage though. Felt the interior was much cheaper than the ES but I was going for luxury not performance. Sorry you have had such problems with your Lexus I myself am grateful more each day I chose the Lexus.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    Why are you paying for the 5000 mile service? This service is free for buyers of the car. Is that not true for leases?
  • r1_97r1_97 Posts: 181
    I also live in San Diego (north county). Who is your independent Lexus/Toyota mechanic? Like you, I also have a Benz E320. Do you also have an independent MB mechanic to recommend?

    Would very much appreciate your response.

    Steve in Encinitas
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    We're neighbors! I live near La Costa Canyon High School. But I work in the Miramar area.

    MB first. I have used Ziggy's for the last 8 years for 3 benz that we have owned. I can't say enough good things about Ziggy and his crew. They've been together for years and I have found them to be very professional at prices about 50-70% of dealer. (Ziggy Von Rathmann 858-450-1501)

    Lexus: I just stopped going to the dealer about 6 months ago so I only have a short history with TLC in Clairmont. But the day I stopped in for the first time, Jim, the owner drove me back to the office in my car so he could get to know the both of us. He was charging $275 for a 30k service. Lexus Carlsbad wanted $500. I'm stopping back by this morning for a 35K service. The service manager's name is Fred Webb (858-541-0852).
  • bobw15bobw15 Posts: 4
    To atoews. You are right, the first oil change is free, but at 10,000, they charged me $209.00, and at 15,000, they indicated it would be around $379.00. They rotate the tires, check fluid levels, dust out my brakes (didn't know they needed dusting), and various other tasks which probably takes them about ten minutes. If I don't have them do it, I don't know how it affects my lease.
  • r1_97r1_97 Posts: 181
    We are neighbors. We live in Olivenhain (Encinitas). My step-son is graduating from LCC in June. I plan on trading my '98 E320 when we return from vacation in Feb. My wife is interested in new RX330 or ES330 whenever it comes out. My preference is for another E320 so I'll be interested in independent mechanics for both brands. I'd like to ask you more about you evaluation of TLC's 35k service.

    Maybe this discussion is too narrow for the group and we should continue in private email. My address is s3r6@adelp***.net (***=hia).

    Thanks, for your advise.

  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    Steve, let me know if my e-mail reached you.

    I just returned from TLC. They charged $95 for the 35K service (a minor service). That included LOF, overall inspection, fluids, etc and rotating and balancing the tires. They did it in less than an hour. But I had arrived early and waited for the tech to get in.
  • I see that message #25 here reports the same problem I'm having with a 97 ES-300, namely exhaust smell through the ventilation system. We had the Lexus dealer proffer a fix by changing the air cond. filter for $90. but the smell is still there. Any ideas ? The pipes in the exhaust system seems fine.
  • 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!!

    I'd just like it 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?
  • pulakpulak Posts: 2
    I have 2002 ES300. I noticed that my car lurches forward if my AC is on and while stopping in 'drive' mode. I took it to dealer. Upon investigation they told me that this symptom is common in all 2002 and 2003 ES300 but they did open a case with Lexus Factory finally.

    Is that true, is this symptom common to all ES300. Why has Lexus not provided any fix to this yet. Have other people noticed this ? Is n't this a serious problem which should be addressed. It could be personal style also but I am especially concerned when parking my car inside my garage since I have to be dead slow to avoid hitting the walls due to lurching.

    Has anyone else opened a case with Lexus ?
  • While leaving my 2002 ES300 running to check the mail, the car locked itself.

    Other instances, when the car is parked and just walking by it, I hear the doors lock. This has happened about 5 times.

    Has this happened to anyone else????

    I think the dealer thinks I'm crazy when I explain this to them.
  • rparisrparis Posts: 368
    Have you contacted the national Lexus office with your concerns. They are generally very helpful
  • lmerklmerk Posts: 3
    I'm curious if it's normal for the ES300's battery to drain if the car is not driven for 7-10 days. I have a '98 model (low mileage 30,000)and several times over the last year I've had to jump the battery to start the vehicle when it hasn't been driven for > 1 week. The battery readily jumps and the car continues to start thereafter without a problem as long as it does not sit for a prolonged period. (The battery is new and not defective.) Is there a potential problem with the charging system or is this normal?

  • rparisrparis Posts: 368
    Sometimes a new battery might be defective. Do you know is the battery holding a charge?
  • The door locking options are programmable (unfortunately, by dealer only) - there are 4 choices available. At no charge, your Lexus dealer will program it to your desire. You need to ask the service department about this. Good luck, and have a great day!
  • lmerklmerk Posts: 3
    The battery is (purportedly) holding a charge. Sears replaced the battery (the first time I needed a jump after having a new battery for two months-no questions asked)with an upgrade 7 year battery. I'm just wondering if there is enough of a drain on the battery if the car is not driven for 10 days to require a jump. Would a defective battery be more likely then a problem with the charging system? Car starts fine as long as I drive it every few days and don't let it sit for more then a week.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    A charging system quick check is to put a voltmeter across the battery terminals with the engine at fast idle. Should read 13.8 volts or higher. If ok, it's not likely you got 2 bad batteries in a row (but anything's possible). More likely a parasitic load draining the battery. Common items are trunk, glove box, and underhood lights. Real diagnosais involves connecting an ammeter to the battery and pulling fuses until the ammeter reading drops to close to zero. That identifies the circuit with the drain.
  • lmerklmerk Posts: 3
    Thank you, Alcan, for your input. I've brought the lexus to the autoshop (an independent I've used for years)and they say there is a circuit that is draining the battery but have not isolated the problem yet. They have not ruled out one of the *six* computers that reside in the car. If one of these is faulty, this could be an expensive repair. I will wait and see - have not checked whether this is out of warranty yet (this is a '98 Lexus ES300) with 29,000 miles. Will wait and see what they diagnose.
  • pry2pry2 Posts: 1
    I have a 5 month old 2002 ES300. The mileage on the car is around 4800 miles. On three occasions, in the past three months, the battery is totally dead when I try to start the car in the morning. On the first occasion the dealer diagnosed the problem as a bad battery and replaced it with a new one. The second time the dealer ran tests and said he did not see a problem. This morning was the third time. The dealer asked me to leave the car with them for the next couple of days.

    I am pretty sure that I shut the car doors last night (as always).

    While I like the car, it is proving to be less than reliable. Every morning when I get into the car, I keep my fingers crossed. I have owned many cars in the past (Accord, Camry), and have never had the battery ever die on me.

    The car also has a buzzing sound around the passenger area. Dealer has acknowledged the problem and has tried to fix it on two occasions. No luck

    The car has been to the dealer 5 times in 3 months for the above problems.

    Any ideas. Do I have a possible lemon?

    Thanks for your help
  • The LED screen has become garbled and has turned a dark blue/black. The stereo/radio continues to function normally. I have checked with the local dealer and with local auto stereo shops...seems they both have to remove the entire stereo from the dash and send off for 6-8 weeks. Cost $400 with a 30 day warranty. I have never had a problem like this previous.
  • akw3akw3 Posts: 14
    Hi pry2,
    My 02 also has the same buzzing sound in the front passenger area but it comes and go. Last time it last more than 30 minutes and it was loud enough to cause me a headache. But it was gone by the time I got to the dealer. Anybody has a fix?
  • 14611461 Posts: 2
    I own a 2002 es300. I purchased the car 3/02 and have 44,000. I used to own an Avalon and kept it until I had 190,000 and loved it. In my opinion, the Lexus has been a major disappointment. The vehicle makes wind noise over 65mph. The transmission does hesitate when changing gears. I had the brakes worked on when I took it in for 10M service; and finally, and most annoying of all the car would shake when it idled. I took it in for service and they couldn't help, not until I brought it in for 30M service and paid for replacing the plugs did it stop. My advice: don't let your ego get in the way of common sense. You will be overpaying for a car with nice interior trim, but mechanically challenged.
  • svier1svier1 Posts: 6
    I have a 1995 ES 300 with 51,000 miles on it and (2) of the back-lit bulbs on the speedometer and (1) at the fuel gauge seem to have gone dark on me. The needles on the gauges are still going strong.

    My question is, how hard is it to replace them?
    What would be required to do to remove the instrument cluster to get to the old bulbs? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
This discussion has been closed.