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Lexus ES300 problems



  • unpolireunpolire Posts: 7
    We have experienced this exact same, really disturbing behavior, on a dealer maintained, 1992 ES300 with just over 100K miles. At times it feels as if the rear of the car wants to literally "hop" into (and has tried to!) the next lane. I immediately put a new set of Z rated Yokohamas on, with NO change whatsoever. Lexus parts department informed me that the factory OEM struts are shot, "definitely" at 100K miles, often earlier. I will replace all strut bearings, struts, and strut mounts, inspect the suspension bushings all around, and expect that this will completely eliminate the problem. When I questioned the servicing dealer as to why they never mentioned that the struts wear out at this mileage or earlier, the official line was that they check them, visually, but unless they are clearly leaking, do not recommend replacement! My parents live in Chicago, and with the questionable condition of heavily pot-holed road surfaces there due to salt usage and snow plows, I would not be surprised to find that your OEM struts have failed at 40K miles.
  • raddboy41raddboy41 Posts: 249
    I too have a '95 ES300 that had a couple of the backlights go big deal. Instead of just replacing the ones that went out, I went to the dealership and bought a whole new set (6-8, I can't remember). It took a total of 1/2 hr. to replace them. Drop the steering wheel to it's lowest position and look at the upper inside part of the cluster bezel. You'll see two little trap doors that can be popped open with a small flatblade screwdriver. Once these two little panels are flipped open, you can remove two screws then pop the instrument cluster bezel (finishing plate) forward from the dash. You'll then clearly see maybe 4 phillips head screws that actually secure the instrument cluster to the dash. Remove those screws and slide the cluster forward out of the dash. Remove wiring harnesses and back cover from the cluster and the bulbs are easily identifiable. Good luck!!
  • q45manq45man Posts: 416
    Oem and aftermarket shocks are all worn out by 40-50,000 miles -- things really have not changed in the last 15 years in shock design.

    Since most drivers don't know the feel of a good shock unless they bought the car brand new and the decline is so progressive and slow ...... Lexus and Infiniti have adopted the leak test which is far from make these cars appear less costly to maintain and to avoid the hassle and cost by not covering them as a wear and tear item.

    Rubber isolated suspension pieces also wear and need replacing to reduce the initial slop in the first 1" of body movement.
  • q45manq45man Posts: 416
    When you buy a used lux car [over 50k miles] this should be the number one question were the shocks replaced -- 99% of the time the answer is no.
    Just do it and you will return the ride to close to new.

    The rebound stiffness [the force opposing/slowing the bump compressed springs return and overshoot is critical........without it the rear sways and jumps up excessively.
  • svier1svier1 Posts: 6
    thanks, will follow your advice.

    Do you know if disconnecting the wire harness erases any info such as the digital mileage info?
  • mgimelmgimel Posts: 2
    After I park a hot car for 5-20 min, I am unable to start it unless I wait another 30 min to considerably cooldown the engine. When I try to start it hot, the engine is chocking just after a 1 or 2 starter cranks. Cold start is not a problem. Other than that the engine performs excellent when started. I have changed the fuel filter (the old one was very dirty), and cleaned the air intake after the air filter, but it didnt help. The car has 56K miles, never skipped a service, very well kept and maintained. The dealer asked me for ~ $1500 to identify and to fix the problem (for only this they have already charged me $105).
    Guys and girls, can anybody suggest a possible cause? Appreciate your inputs!
  • daytona01daytona01 Posts: 46
    mgimel: Lexus warranty for powertrain is 6yr/70K miles... Are you supposed to have warranty cover for this problem (powertrain) ?
  • mgimelmgimel Posts: 2
    Thanks a lot, daytona01, appreciate your suggestion. The car is a 97 model, but was made in Sept. '96. Still, this is a good idea, and I'll definitely check with the Lexus dealer.
  • daytona01daytona01 Posts: 46
    I think... (not 100% sure) .. even if 6 yrs or 70K miles passed... But if you can "prove" that the problem have occured before that... then I think you still eligible for warranty...

    So check with dealer... or ask around...
  • mrmarginmrmargin Posts: 1

    I have the same problem with my 97 ES300 stereo readout. It works fine, but it almost completely black now. Have you sent yours in for repair? Are there any other options you can think of? What action do you plan to take to resolve your problem? Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
  • bledwithbledwith Posts: 1
    I have the Mark Levinson stereo and love it, but sometimes I hear a buzz from the stereo -- from the rear, passenger side -- when the volume is loud and there is lots of low bas.

    Anyone else hear this?

    Otherwise, I love this car. Bestluxury for the money.
  • akw3akw3 Posts: 14
    HI Guys, My 2002 have a faulty smell from the air conditioner everytime when it is on. I complained to the dealer and all they did was sprayed air freshener in the air duct to cover it up. That was last September when my car was 2 months old. The smell is still there. Anyone has the same problem? And how often the cabin air-cond filter need to be changed?
  • edmar1edmar1 Posts: 3
    I see that gary10000 and mrmargin have both commented on this subject. I hope they can offer some new input. The Carlsbad dealer tells me that they don't do the repairs on these Pioneer sound systems found in '97 ES 300, so they will pull the unit and send it out for repair and reinstall for $520. To replace instead of repair would be an additional $100. That dealer may be the only option, but my guess is that direct contact with a repair facility would save 40% or more. I would consider any facility south of L.A., the closer to San Diego the better. I will appreciate any good input from anyone. By the way, I will be selling this car as soon as the read-out is fixed. Who would buy it without the read-out? Thanks and regards to all. A good group.
  • antiosamaantiosama Posts: 62
    I have a 1995 ES300 with about 120K miles. For about the last 6 months, some mornings the car won't start. I know it's not the battery because all the lights, windows, etc. operate properly and about 2 months ago I had the battery replaced just to make sure. When the car doesn't start, I give it a quick jump start and it starts right up.

    What could the problem be? the electrical system went under a load test and the battery and alternator checked in fine. Now, the dealer did say it may be the starter. Basically the tech at the Lexus dealer said that the starter may not be making the electrical connection. Now, of course, when I took it to the dealer it starts perfectly. Therefore, they can't say for certain if it's the starter or not.

    Any ideas?
  • kingken89kingken89 Posts: 13
    I aint a mechanic, but my first guess would also be the starter having a problem, good luck
  • Hi, I'm hoping there is someone out there who might know what to check when the "check engine" keeps coming on. The car is driving fine and the code that keeps coming up is PO446, which has something to do with emissions/vagor leak etc. The light has been cycled off 3 times but keeps returning. The lexus dealership doesn't act like it's much of a problem, but their latest thing is it might be a clogged Exhaust Gas Recirculation Valve whatever that is. Anyone have any ideas on this?

    The other thing is I thought the fuel filter was due to be changed in the 60k mile service but Lexus is saying that it is a "lifetime" filter and if/when it is changed, the fuel lines will need to be changed as well. I've never heard of anything like this before.

    Any info. will be appreciated. Other than the check light, I like the car. Thanks.
  • raddboy41raddboy41 Posts: 249
    What other symptoms occur when you turn the key and it doesn't start? Do the lights dim? I'm assuming that someone has checked that the battery has clean and firm connections to the cables. Will it absolutely start every time with a jump start? The reason I ask is because if the battery connections are a little loose this might account for lower amperage being passed to the starter occasionally. When you throw a jumper cable on the battery terminal, this will "snug up" the cable as well as provide additional amperage from the other battery. Also make sure that the negative cable is not loose or fraying where it attaches to the car frame. Outside of these obvious checks, my guess would be a bad starter selenoid or ignition relay.
  • lisalexlisalex Posts: 1
    I have a 95 ES 300, it seems to have a smell like gas or oil whenever I put on tbe heater. does anyone have any solutions or similar problems.
  • x093352x093352 Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 es with an air conditioning problem. The smell occurs during any of the following conditions:
    1. The weather is humid.
    2. It rains.
    3. When the air conditioner is in use.

    I first complained to the dealership. Their solution was to execute some ambigous cleanup procedure and spray a freshener which proved only to be a temporary solution. After a few months dealing with the problem with the dealership, they left me with an impression that there was nothing they could do. Which meant I would be would be either sweating to death on a hot summer day by not using the air-conditioner or braving the obnoxious fumes while the Lexus people set in the comfort of the offices breathing fresh air conditioned air. I called the Lexus customer satisfaction line which gave me the run around several times. They insisted that it was a problem with the type of fuel (supposedly high sulfur content) being used on the east coast. As far as they were concerned the car was operating normally and that there was nothing to be done. The only thing they suggested I do was to find a better type of fuel and run a few tankfuls through the car. The conversation with Lexus left me puzzled. I was breathing car exhaust fumes throught the ventilation system and that was considered normal. I explained that the problem was only when it was damp outside or when I use the air-conditioner. Lexus (customer service) was hearing me but they were not listening to what I was saying. After a few more phones calls to Lexus and drilling my experiences with the car into their heads was when they understood what I was saying. My situation was now referred back to the dealership where they replaced the air conditioning filter (05/15/03) assuring me that the action be the final solution to the problem. Well, it was'nt. Now it's back to dealing with the Lexus service manager and if necessary Lexus Customer Satisfaction. If they do not come up with more concrete measures, then I will have little choice but to start the arbitration process. Stay tuned!

    PS. I haven't mention the transmission problem and various creaks and rattles in a 38+k car. I can't beleive I passed up a Acura RL and a MB E320 for this adventure.
  • akw3akw3 Posts: 14
    Hi 093352,
    That is exactly the same suggestions the Lexus dealer and Customer Satisfaction gave me. I was also told that is what a new car's air conditioner suppose to smell like. I owned total 9 new cars over the last 25 years, Japanese, domestic and European. Nothing smell like this Y2K ES300's air conditioner.
  • edmar1edmar1 Posts: 3
    I have THE SOLUTION to the stereo problem. The dealer told me it would cost $525 to $625 to make it right. I have heard other estimates that were even higher, all from Lexus dealers. My wife found an Audio shop in La Jolla that did the job in 1/2 hour at a cost of less than $200. They repair so many of these panels that they have difficulty keeping the replacement panels in stock. The engineer there, named Cleeve, also has an electronic solution to the needle illumination problem, but I did not have that problem so I don't have the details. I hope gary10000 and mrmargin were able to solve the same problem at an economical cost. Regards to all.
  • rtorrecartorreca Posts: 74
    I took my car in for this issue today and was informed that a TSB has been issued as well as a fix. They performed the fix on my car and the smell seems to have gone away. Whether it will come back in a couple of days is to be determined.
  • suabrahamsuabraham Posts: 6
    I have a 98 Es300 46000 miles. Now have wet windows for a few days after a rain storm or washing. If I do not put the windows up-down for a few days, they do dry out. There is water getting inside my doors. I called Lexus -- they said nothing. The local mechanic told me to do hand cleaning rather than drive through. However, I am unable to avoid rain!!! Has anyone had the problem, was it fixed, what was the cost? Appreciate any input.
  • swish44swish44 Posts: 1
    Car develops "white chips" in paint on an ongoing basis under normal driving conditions. Something to pay attention to if you have this color.Have loads of them.Looks like "chicken pox."
  • toydrivertoydriver Posts: 227
    I own a '95 Toyota Avalon with a very similar engine/transmission to the ES 300. I recently had a similar smell ("burnt oil") coming into the cabin when the heater or A/C was on. I had the valve cover gaskets, intake gaskets and PCV gaskets replaced recently and that fixed the oil smell. Can't say for sure, but it might be worth asking Lexus service or your mechanic. The Toyota service people quickly new what the problem was by looking under the hood while the engine was hot. Good luck.
  • texas83texas83 Posts: 107
    I found another website where people are complaining about the ES 300 '02 and '03 tranny like crazy. ;t=1276&st=15

    Also, complaints on the tranny can be called into the National Transportation Safety Administration.
    1-888-DASH-2-DOT. It's easy to do. I would urge you to do it if you're having problems.
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