Lexus ES Engine Questions

xcheck85xcheck85 Member Posts: 1
I am planning on buying a 2000 lexus ES300 from a family friend with 179,000 miles on it. It had the regular maintanence done on it serviced by the local Lexus dealership. I have been told that Lexus engines if properly maintained last well over 200,000 miles. Is this a good car to be getting myself into or is it a death trap? How long are these engines supposed to last?Thanks!



  • bottomlinerbottomliner Member Posts: 6
    Josh, I have a 1999 ES 300 with 142K, mostly on the interstates. No problems at all. I've heard of another 300 with around the same milage that had had the transmission rebuilt or replaced. It's a bit of a crap shoot, and probably depends a lot on how the car was driven.
  • sean300sean300 Member Posts: 41
    I have a 1998 ES 300 with 123K on it. I got it used in February '06, did all maintenance on it. About three weeks ago the engine light (MIL) began to stay on. I took it to my mechanic who hooked up a scanner and he said that there is a problem with the evap system purging. Also said that it is usually the charcoal canister or solenoid. He reset the engine light and said that if it came on again then we'll have to take care of it. A few days ago the light came on and has been on since. Anybody ever experience this problem? I priced canister and it is expensive (almost $300). Can I use reman parts or used parts? Would really appreciate some help.
  • rcallahanrcallahan Member Posts: 9
    My transmission just went out on my 1999 ES300. It had 110000 trouble-free miles on it. The Lexus dealer whent to Lexus US and got them to pony up a new transmission but I had to play 1200 labor. I traded the car in as-is.
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Member Posts: 1,134
    )) "I am planning on buying a 2000 lexus ES300 from a family friend with 179,000 miles on it. It had the regular maintanence done on it serviced by the local Lexus dealership." ((

    An oil forum, "BobIsTheOilGuy", has quite an extensive posting archive about past Toyota 3L V6 engine problems. Toyota had sludge troubles on that 3L V6 engine from ~1995-2002. The culprits were the recomended 7,500 mile oil change intervals Toyota advised at the time combined with questionably engineered small diameter oil return galleries from the heads (hot oil in the heads tended to remain there too long - a perfect breeding ground for varnish and sludge). At first Toyota denied culpability; but after being threatened with a class action suit by infuriated owners of affected cars whose motors had seized, Toyota extended the engine warranty to ten years, unlimited mileage, as long as an owner was able to show evidence of at least ONE oil change per year. If the car you're contemplating has up to date service records, you should be ok in case of problems - up to and including a replacement engine with all subsequent engineering improvements if necessary out to 2010. As a result, Toyota scaled back the recommended oil change interval to 5,000 miles, and Toyota enlarged the oil return galleries to promote quicker return of hot oil in the cylinder heads to the sump where it would be cooled by under-car airflow. Interestingly, the owners of affected cars who'd grown up changing or having their engine's oil changed at 3,000 mile intervals, and continued with their customary oil change interval in spite of the recommendations in the owner's manual, never developed sludging problems. The only Toyotas of the era that had a snowball's chance in the Sahara of not becoming sludgemonsters on Toyota's original 7,500 mile oil change intervals were those which routinely ran full synthetic motor oils or routinely ran easy highway miles. (Urban crawl is an oil killer - ask any fleet mechanic.) You might wish to inquire of your friend whether he/she opted for synthetic oil at the specified changes.

    (Oh, and by the way, with regular oil and filter maintenance, there isn't a motor made over the last ten years, regardless of automaker*, that couldn't make it out past 300,000 miles if driven reasonably. In general, engines and motor oils have now gotten that good.

    *with the possible exception of some Korean subcompacts masquerading under GM nameplates)
  • kumarkumar Member Posts: 22
    I own a Toyota SUV, V8 4.7L, and has mileage of 30K. I have routine oil change at 3,750 miles.

    The service center tells me that I should pay ~$310 :confuse: , just to flush the engine and fuel system. They will also charge me the other regular 30K services for about $410.

    Do I need to do this kind of service? any recommendation?

  • ray_h1ray_h1 Member Posts: 1,134
    )) "The service center tells me that I should pay ~$310, just to flush the engine and fuel system. ... Do I need to do this kind of service?" ((

    At just 30,000 miles? Not unless you're feeble-minded. ;) (The fact that you're skeptical about your dealership's sales pitch tells to me your wits are very much intact.) Your question would probably have been more appropriately directed to one of the Toyota SUV forums than this Lexus oriented discussion, but I'm going to answer it anyway since I suspect a good number of Lexus' upscale owners get this salespitch from their dealer's service departments, too, and given their affluence and willingness to spend what it takes to keep their cars healthy may acquiesce unquestioningly to service writers' well-honed scare tactics. With your conservative oil change intervals and todays high detergency motor oils, I'd be willing to bet that your engine's internals are already clean enough to eat off of. As for the fuel system flush, gasoline sold in North America is government mandated to carry a relatively high additive content to protect fuel system components from the effects of moisture and corrosion. Additionally, your fuel system has very efficient fuel filtration. The reason automakers go to this trouble is to prevent a partially clogged fuel injector from dribbling or spraying non-uniformly into the intake port area just ahead of the combustion chamber which, in turn, would contribute to excessive exhaust pollution. These augmented dealer-advocated "flushings" with overpriced chemicals of questionable effectiveness rarely come anywhere close to doing what they claim, but they're a very profitable sideline for service departments. (One of the dirty little secrets of dealership service departments is that service writers get monthly bonuses over their salary based on additional make-work service they can pad the service invoices with.) The car dealerships (not just Lexus, by the way) buy this stuff at steep discounts, but charge high prices for it since the exclusiveness of dealership-only availability gives car owners a false sense of assurance in the products. The reality is these products are no better than the buck-seventy-nine supplements sold at WalMart, and maybe not even as good. Then the dealer also adds its customary $80.00/hour flat rate labor charge as a further assault on common sense. If you're using a major brand of recommended API "SM" motor oil and good quality oil filters such as Toyota's own brand at your customary oil change intervals, and major brand gasoline, you're doing all that's necessary for the continued health of your car's mechanicals. If most of your driving through the week involves short trips and/or urban crawling, get the car out on the weekend for thirty minutes or more of driving at legal freeway speed to let the engine stretch its legs to blow out any accumulated moisture and fuel contamination in the oil. In a sense car engines are somewhat like people - getting routine, moderate exercise does more long-term good than throwing chemicals in the mix.
  • kumarkumar Member Posts: 22
    Ray, Thanks for providing this extremely information and explaination! I appreciate!
    I'm not going to spend the extra $310 bucks!

  • revsrevs Member Posts: 5
    I looked over the Owners Manual to do this myself. Does anyone have a "how to" guide to change bulbs on a 1999 Lexus ES300.

    Thank you.

  • pruckerprucker Member Posts: 2
    How often should I change the oil and what oil is best for this car? 115K - Thanks
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Member Posts: 1,134
    I personally won't go over nine months or 5,000 miles between oil and filter changes. As to the best quality oil, the answer isn't as clear cut these days. When your car was new I would've unhesitatingly suggested a full synthetic oil to achive maximum engine service life in whatever viscosity range Toyota/Lexus advised at the time. But current conventional oils have improved so much over the past fifteen years (especially the past six) that they'll easily handle a 5,000 mile oil change interval. If winter temperatures where you live are particularly cold (-20 deg. F. or lower), that would still make the case for a full synthetic motor oil, however. Any recognized name brand in whatever recommended viscosity and in whichever refining method you prefer should suffice. My personal favorite full synthetic is Pennzoil Platinum (watch for sales/rebates). My personal favorite mineral oil, and what I use, is Phillips 66 TropArtic (itself, labled a "Synthetic Blend", by the way, yet priced lower than most other name brand conventional-only motor oils). There are three other identical oils blended and distributed by parent company ConocoPhillips: "Conoco Super All Season", "76 Super", and "Kendall GT-1 High Performance". Generally the particular brand you'll find will be based on regional considerations, though most WalMarts carry the TropArtic. ConocoPhillips also blends and bottles the Motorcraft line of motor oils for Ford for U.S. distribution. Guess what - it's the same goo, too. Only the labeling and in some cases, the color of the plastic bottles, differ.
  • pruckerprucker Member Posts: 2
    Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my question.
  • teragabteragab Member Posts: 2
    Almost two years ago I started the purchase of my 92 Lexus ES300 it had almost 190,000 miles (I still owe $600) The car engine light came on and then the car started to overheat- There is water coming from underneath the car and out the tail pipe- it runs but because of the loss of water becomes hot within 15 minutes- Took it to the Lexus dealer and they said it was the block being cracked-head blown- power steering pump out and would cost me $8,000.00- way more than what I paid for it- I love that car and the body/interior are in great shape- what should I do and are there any suggestions? Thanks :sick:
  • jaspalbjaspalb Member Posts: 84
    Obviously previous owner(s) allowed the engine to overheat (possibly due to less/no oil or coolant), which resulted in engine head cracking, and collant getting into the cylinder. $8000 doesn't seems to be a prudent choice, when you can get similar car at a lower price. You can try with private car garages and/or wrackers for replacing entire engine, and other broken parts. Best of luck. With normal maintenance 200,000M should not cause any major problem with these engines
  • teragabteragab Member Posts: 2
    First let me Thank You for your reply! You are right- when I took the car to the shop they said that the head gasket was a different color meaning it had been rebuilt before- I did not know this when I bought it- this has been a great car as I live in Missouri and it has taken me to California and back with 4 kids! I love this car!!! I have looked everywhere for a replacement engine and Im finding no luck:( If anyone has any good engine dealers that ship please let me know- I greatly appreciate any suggestions! Thanks
  • tammy10tammy10 Member Posts: 15
    I'm new here, I'd really appreciate some advice.

    I am the second owner of a 1998 ES 300 with approximately 86k miles. I purchased the car 12/01 when it was 4 years old and had 35k miles on it so I've had it a little over 5 years. So, the car is 9 years old as of last December.

    I have never taken the car to the dealer for service because it is quite far from my house.

    My "check engine" light has come on three separate times, starting in May of 2005. The first mechanic said it was the O2 sensor and he reset it.

    Later it came back on.

    The second mechanic replaced that sensor.

    The engine light came back on but the same mechanic said it was the "knock sensor" P-330 and he reset that because the "condition wasn't present at that time."

    Now the engine light is back on and I am aware that in addition my engine has a significant sludge problem. I've changed the oil every 3-5k miles.

    Unfortunately, neither of the mechanics mentioned the sludge problem to me.

    My question is this- is the oxygen and/or knock sensor possibly related to the sludge?

    I ask because I have a claim with Lexus/Toyota re: sludge only if I can show that the sludge problem existed within 8 years of purchase. If the engine light reoccurence will demonstrate that (it started within 6-7 years of purchase) it may help my case.

    Thanks so much!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    If I were you I'd petition Toyota for relief and just leave out the engine light issue altogether. I don't mean lie or anything. I mean that it's probably not related and driving around with the engine light on is not a great thing to reveal to Toyota. And your mechanic blew it, because an error code for an 02 sensor doesn't necessarily mean a bad 02 sensor at just tells us that the 02 sensor is unhappy for some reason.

    Are the engine light and sludge connected? That's impossible to say with any certainty at this point, but it doesn't help your case I don't think to mention it and I don't see any moral reason to reveal it. It's not like the oil pressure light went on , or the overheat light, which it seems to be would relate directly to a heavy sludge issue.

    Find someone who can fix the engine light issue and then petition Toyota. Maybe they'll help you out.
  • tammy10tammy10 Member Posts: 15

    I didn't actually drive around for a long time with the engine light on, I did take it in when it went back on twice, albeit not to the dealer. It would be fine for a while, and then go back on. I only drive the car to work and back.

    The thing is without the engine light "evidence" (and I guess it's really not!) I have no potential proof the sludge problem existed before the extended) warranty regarding this problem expired.

    I just didn't know I should have been looking out for the problem because I didn't get the letter Toyota sent to the owners of these cars in 2002. If I did get a letter, I would have found a way to take it to the dealer to make sure my car didn't have the problem. I know sludge is a monster.

    Instead, I drove around for the last few years and I'm sure made the problem worse despite getting oil changes regularly!

    I was really hoping there was a potential link either to the O2 or knock sensor (the mechanic said the car did not knock so I guess something else made that one activate)

    Anyway, thanks for the advice : )
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Well ask around but I don't think the 02 sensor is evidence of's just circumstantial. You need proof of services done. What if they say "Oh, your engine light was on...why didn't you bring it to a toyota dealership immediately?"
  • shelloshello Member Posts: 8
    I purchased a '97 ES 300 in 2000 with 31,000 miles on it. Currently, the vehicle has 83K miles on it. During the past couple of years, I've used the car intermittantly, which I guess threw me off my regular maintenance schedule.

    I periodically checked the oil and other resevoirs and had no problems, other than air conditioning, with the vehicle.

    On a frigid January evening this year, I started the car at night after leaving class and I noticed what I thought was a plume of smoke in the rear view mirror. I convinced myself that it was just the exhaust tempered by the cold weather, and drove home with no incident. A few days later, I noticed the smoke, again and while driving home, the car started to stall and idle almost violently at a stop light. This would happen at every stop light. I made it home and checked what I thought was the oil dipstick, which was full. I noticed the car was very hot and unscrewed the top of the oil resevoir and steam and smoke poured out of it for minutes. It was late and dark in my garage and I decided to revisit the situation in the light of morning. I took the manual in the house and realized that I had been checking the dipstick right next to the oil resevoir, but that this was the power steering dipstick. The oil dipstick is located on the other side of the engine, towards the back. There was singed oil on the inside of the oil resevoir cap and the oil was nearly gone. I put 4 quarts in the engine and decided if the problem persisted, I'd take it into the dealership.

    The problem perisisted, I took it into the dealership explaining same and they called saying I needed new plugs and wires. They charged me $400 and sent me on my way. The car drove beautifully, though there were hints of minor exhaust smoke a few days later.

    After 2 months and 600 miles, the car started exhibiting the same exact symptoms as before. I took it back to Lexus and they then said I needed new rings on the engine pistons. They said the rings are failing and oil is mixing with the gas and the engine sensors are detecting it. He said the idling and near engine shutdown was caused by the wires falling out and the plugs being dirty with oil. When I questioned him as to what they did the first time to get it running back smoothly, he said they replaced the bad plugs, cleaned off the good ones and replaced the wires. He said the plugs were again oily and the wires were again fallng out. They told me they could get me a rebuilt engine for $7,800. Not an option.

    At no point during this debacle did the oil light ever illuminate, other than when the car was idling violently and threatening to shut down.

    Unfortunately, I don't have much confidence in the Lexus service repair department to tell me what is acutally going on, as I find it hard to believe that they didn't discern the problem was internal to the engine the first time I took it in, rather they felt it was unlikely I'd get the engine repaired there, so they sold me what they could to get what they could out of me. Call me paranoid (OK, along with stupid for checking the wrong dipstick all these months).

    Finally, here are my questions: Does this diagnosis sound legitimate? What should I look for in terms of credentials and experience in an auto mechanic when/if I take it in for a second opinion or repair? What is a 'reasonable' charge to replace the rings on the pistons?

    I'd really appreciate your help.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    What needs to happen is this: A Cylinder Leakdown Test.

    This gives a quantitative measurement of internal engine wear, and will tell you if its the rings, the valve guides, the valve stem seals, or just excessive crankcase pressure.

    Without this test, everyone's just guessing.

    If the test has been done, they should be able to show you actual results on a print-out.
  • shelloshello Member Posts: 8
    Excellent! Thanks for your help. I can assume this test can be performed by Lexus. Can other mechanics specializing in foreign cars perform this test, too?

    Thanks, again!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Yes any mechanic who found his or her way out of their house this morning should know exactly how to do this test. I'm sure a Lexus dealer has this tool in their required tool shed they buy from Lexus when they open a dealership. It might be dusty (sounds like it) but they have one.

    But any good import shop knows how to do this.
  • shelloshello Member Posts: 8
    Thanks for your timely response.

    I called the dealership today and they have yet to return the call.

    Say that they did use this test and it does in fact reveal the rings need to be replaced. I know prices vary from shop to shop, but what is a reasonable price for this kind of repair? I need to decide whether to invest further in the vehicle or to trade it in.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    It will all depend on the condition of the pistons themselves and on the true-ness of the cylinder bores. Re-ringing an engine with 87K on it is tricky because you may want to do work on the cylinder heads as well, and the bearing clearances should be checked as well. It's one of those "while we're in there" kind of jobs where the costs are hard to control.

    But since they haven't really tested it they don't know yet, or they didn't tell you properly what they found. Perhaps you have worn valve guides or valve stem seals, which would give the exact same symptoms but only require removal of the cylinder heads---perhaps a $1,500 repair.
  • shelloshello Member Posts: 8
    I'm learning so much from your responses.

    Do you think the rings or seals or guides could have been caused from not having enough oil? There was a lot of steam and heat built up in the engine when I took off the oil resevoir cap and noticed the singed oil on the underside of the cap.

    I'm assuming that the cost of replacing the rings and/or the other ancillary things you mentioned would cost more than the $1,500 for guides or stem seals? Much more?

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I think engine wear from lack of oil is pretty rapid and catastrophic. I don't think being low on oil causes subtle wear issues like worn rings or loose valve guides...if an engine is starving for oil, it will destroy itself pretty fast, not keep running in a mildly degraded state like yours.

    The wear on valve guides could be construed as within "normal" wear at 87K....quite premature but not unheard of...maybe there should have been more frequent oil changes. I have no idea of the car's previous service records.

    I think if they bust open the entire engine, that is "go into the lower end" rather than just stay on the "upper end" (cylinder heads", then you will surely exceed $1,500 unless it's some kind of down and dirty patch job. Most of the cost is a) the labor to disassemble and assemble the engine and b) the machining costs. The actual parts are not very expensive---rings, gaskets, hoses, clamps, belts, etc.

    Offhand, I'd say your car is an excellent candidate for a used engine, should the cylinder leakdown test show excessive ring wear. Remember, you cannot successfully install a new, perfectly round ring on a worn piston running in an oblong cylinder bore. It won't last but a few thousand miles before burning oil again. Everything must be "trued up" and made factory tight again.
  • shelloshello Member Posts: 8
    I just LOVE what I'm learning about this whole procedure. Of course I'm less excited about how costly this is turning out to be :-(

    I finally heard back from the Lexus Service Manager.

    He stated that they didn't arrive at the ring failure determination from performing a cylinder leakdown test. Instead, they determined that it had to be the failure of the rings because oil was 'fouling out' the spark plugs, even the newly installed ones, and the only way that oil could get to the spark plugs was if the rings had failed.
    He said the rings were failing on multiple cylinders.

    Like you, he also told me that is was highly unlikely on a "Lexus engine" that the trouble was being caused by a valve problem.

    He went on to articulate what is involved in rebuilding the engine and said that with the labor involved (40-50 hours), it would exceed the cost of even a factory new engine from Lexus ($7,000).

    So, now I guess my only option if I'm going to keep the vehicle is getting a used engine.

    My only experience with such an endeavor is when I had a new transmission put into a Hyundai Excel. I shopped around at auto salvage yards and found a mechanic to install it. I then promptly drove it from his shop to an auto dealer and traded it in.

    Should I just start calling auto salvage shops and shop around for engines? Are there internet sites where I can shop for the engines?

    I know the price will vary depending on the mileage, but can you give me a ballpark figure of what is a good price given a certain mileage range? Also, what should be a reasonable labor charge for removing the old and installing the new engine?

    I remember when I had the transmission done, the warranty for the transmission was only 90 days and the mechanics work was only guaranteed for 30. Would the warranty be much the same on engines?

    I know I'm probably asking a lot of you, but any help you can provide will help me make a decision.

    Thanks for all of your help and patience.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    "Instead, they determined that it had to be the failure of the rings because oil was 'fouling out' the spark plugs, even the newly installed ones, and the only way that oil could get to the spark plugs was if the rings had failed."

    I'm sorry, but they are wrong about that.

    Bad valve guides or valve stem seals could certainly foul spark plugs, and in fact could do so more easily than bad rings. Why? Because with bad valve stem seals or guides, the oil can drop into the combustion chamber with the engine shut off, putting a lot more oil onto the cold plugs than bad rings can do on warm plugs.

    I'd still say that without a cylinder leakdown test, Lexus is just walking around with a blindfold throwing darts at your checkbook.

    One step at a time. First, "nail" the problem. Automobiles are science, they are not sessions with a psychic.
  • shelloshello Member Posts: 8
    I'm so glad I asked you. As stated before, I didn't have much confidence in the service manager at this point. I can easily see him saying something HAD to be the problem and it not necessarily being the case.

    In the meantime, I talked to a company that specializes in engine auto parts. Their rep told me that the engine on the Camry and Avalon is the exact same engine as the Lexus ES 300 and can be used interchangably. Is that correct?

    He told me he could get me a Certified Used Camry engine for $1,650 (no tax)delivered to a commercial address. He said that engine has 41K miles on it.

    He had a certified Rebuilt Lexus engine he could get me for $3,500.

    He also had a certified Lexus engine remanufactured by Jasper, for $2,800.

    According to them, each engine is thoroughly inspected, leak-down and run-tested. Their warranty covers the ‘long block’(cylinder block, cylinder heads, valves, crankshaft, connecting rods, pistons, bearings, rocker arms, camshafts and all of the internal moving parts).

    Can the Lexus, Camry and Avalon engines be used interchangably? Since I have a baseline for the engine prices, what is a ballpark figure for labor for installing the engine?

    I will call the Lexus dealer back and see if I can't get a leakdown test, free of charge, since they misdiagnosed the problem the first time (charging me $400 for new wires) and just guessed the second time I brought it in.

    I think I'm getting close to being able to navigate these waters.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I would want to speculate on engine swapping from different models. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it because you will invariably find differences in how things hook up in the different cars. So you'll need a shop that can improvise that kind of thing....wire too short, bracket in wrong place, hose too long, red wire meeting black wire instead of two red wires, coupler A not mating to coupler B, that sort of thing. So it might add 10 hours to the job. I really don't know.
  • shelloshello Member Posts: 8
    OK, I understand. Well, last question: If I got a Lexus engine, about how much or how many hours should the installation take, if there are no unforeseen problems?

    I need to get a range on either the hours or the dollar amount so I can shop with some knowledge of what is reasonable and what is outlandish. As a woman, some auto personnel will often try to take us to the cleaners, assuming we know nothing about cars, which is why I'm trying to learn before actually shopping for what I need.

    You assistance has been invaluable.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I'd guess that a used engine replacement will be running you about $3,500 if all goes well. The hidden costs are what you choose to replace while the engine is going in, and that's hard to estimate. This type of installation requires you to keep a close check on costs and to require approval from the shop for any unanticipated costs. For instance, do you want new drive belts and hoses? How old is the battery and the cables.

    Then you'll probably want a coolant flush for the "new" used engine.
  • shelloshello Member Posts: 8
    Wow, thats pretty pricey. I had said I'd invest up to $3K in it to keep it.

    When I took it in, Lexus said I only had @ another 500 miles on the drive belt. They wanted $500 bucks to put a new one on. I wasn't sure I was going to keep the car so I took a pass.

    Luckily I have another car I can borrow so I can afford to spend some time shopping around for a reliable shop that's not going to steal me blind.

    The company I called about the used engine recommends that new spark plugs, water pump, thermostat and fan belts be used. They also recommend using the car's existing oil pan to minimize problems.

    Does all that sound necessary to you?

    OK, so I guess I lied when I said I had no more questions :-)

    Thanks for your help.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Yes that all sounds like good advice to me.
  • tgransingertgransinger Member Posts: 3
    I have a '98 ES with 135K well taken care of miles. How many of you have had your belts replaced? Some mechanics have said the belt does not need to be replaced.
  • jdpspanjdpspan Member Posts: 3
    can someone tell me or give me some kinda clue on how the pwrsteering pump an the high pressure hoes work wit the cooling or radiator for the engine. becuz im leaking fluid, an after awhile the car starts to overheat. someone help!!! by the way i
    got a 93 es300.
  • abuhamdiehabuhamdieh Member Posts: 3
    I have 1995 ES 300. Runs very well. The cooling fan is always on when you the car is running, because it runs on power steering pump (no electric or engine attachment).

    It supposes to rotate slowly when the car is idle and as you push the gas paddle, it will go faster.

    The fan in my car is running fast on idle and will run even faster when I push the gas paddle. It is noisy, no heat problem.

    What is the problem?

    I heard there is a solenoid mounted on the steering pump that controls how much hydraulic fluid gets to the fan motor.


    Is there a control valve, and where does it sit?

    Any help

  • abuhamdiehabuhamdieh Member Posts: 3
    Check to see if you have a hydraulic cooling fan or (electrical )that uses the power steering fluid to run.
  • abuhamdiehabuhamdieh Member Posts: 3
    OK. The previous discussion helped me solve the problem.

    It was the solenoid mounted on the steering pump that controls how much hydraulic fluid gets to the fan motor.

    I replaced the steering pump with the solenoid mounted on it. It solve the problem. The fan now runs normal.

    I bought the power steering for $230 (Remanuf.) with shipping from the auto parts at
    1888-231-5286. The dealers price is in the range of $500.

    Yes you can buy the solenoide sepratre, but the dealer price is about $200.

    Maval P/S Pump
    1994-1996 Lexus ES300Complete with hydraulic cooling fan solenoid.. FITS (ENGINE/CHASSIS) SKU PRICE QTY
    1994-1996 Lexus ES300 W0133-1604107 $208.99
  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    Glad you got it fixed. Thanks for reporting back.
  • mihubb13mihubb13 Member Posts: 1
    I have a lexus es300 I just bought with 44000 miles its burning 3quorts of oil in 500 miles and under drive train warr. But lexus said they would not cover due to sludge. We do have all maintaince records from previus owner any help out there
  • jason1999jason1999 Member Posts: 4
    Sorry to hear about your situation. I don't know if this helps much...but I have a 1999 ES300 that had the same problem. I purchased it used with 79K miles, nearly 5 years ago and it had serious engine sludge. Fortunately Lexus repaired the whole thing at no cost for me in a "Goodwill" gesture. After the fact, I received a notice from Toyota regarding the whole engine gelling issue. For the ES300, years 1997-2002 were covered, provided the car was within 8 years of its original sale. It looks like you missed the year cutoff by one year. I would still bring it up to the dealer service manager and see if you can get it fixed under the goodwill gesture. it may take a little convincing, but if you have the previous records and it documents regular oil changes, they certainly may do it for you. Lexus prides themselves on service and they will bend over backwards to keep their customers! Good Luck!
  • aub789aub789 Member Posts: 19
    After being a long-term Honda/Toyota owner, I am considering sticking a toe into the Lexus waters by buying a 2001 ES300. Of course, I am concerned about the infamous engine sludge problem. My question: can an honest dealer or independent mechanic reliably tell me whether such a vehicle has (or has had) this problem? If an inspection report says "no problem found" can the sludge problem be avoided in the future by simply changing the oil frequently? Thanks in advance for your insights.
  • jason1999jason1999 Member Posts: 4
    Aub789...I do not feel that anyone could tell you if the car had this problem in its history (assuming its has already been corrected). My vehicle informed me pretty easily of the problem.....Cold startups revealed a nice little poof of bluish smoke from the exhaust. In addition, the car drank oil to no end. I was not even able to travel 300 miles without the low oil light illuminating on the dash. If your car has any of those 2 signs, then likely its a current problem. Once my problem was corrected (36000 miles ago) I have not had any of those signs. I change the oil every 5000 miles. I understand that you may be able to see oil gelling/gunking up in the oil reservoir, or on the underneath side of the removable cap if it is a problem, though that was not the case for me when it happened. Keep in mind, a 2001 would just be hitting the limit of Lexus's goodwill gesture, as it is valid from 8 years of original purchase.
  • aub789aub789 Member Posts: 19
    jason1999... thanks for the comments. Should I assume any 2001 ES300 has the basic engine defect causing the problem, and therefore is risky, or could I assume if the car already has 60-70k miles the problem either does not exist for this particular vehicle, or has been corrected? By the way, what was the correction that resolved the problem for your vehicle 36k ago?
  • 2000es300mn2000es300mn Member Posts: 1
    I've owned my 2000 ES300 for 4 years now (after having my '95 es300 totaled after 6 weeks of ownership..gotta love that toyota retail value), and a few issues I've had I wanted others to know about and a couple of questions I'm hoping to get answers for. I should mention that I bought the car in 2004 with 142000 miles on it and it's now just over 195000. :) I have regular 3-4k oil changes, all recorded, and I'm taking the car in on Tuesday to be checked for the sludge issue just to be safe but I don't think that it's effected my car...I hope :confuse: :P .

    Current Problems:
    1. In hot temperatures (75-80 degrees or above) in city traffic when I have the AC on, the temperature gauge can get right up to the overheat zone so, I'll intermittently turn the AC off to get it to go back down. And a few times I had to turn the temperature to HOT and the fan on High and it brought the engine temperature back down to where it normally sits, which is just below the middle line. This started last fall in '07 but had no issues during the winter months. My mechanic thinks I should replace the radiator thinking there's crystallization build up causing the issue. Someone else thinks its just the thermostat. Any thoughts out there?

    2. I've also started noticing a lack of gusto from the engine when the AC is on. Any one else have this issue and know why?

    Past Problems:
    1. I've had 2 cylinders replaced due to what my mechanic claims was a burnt out coil. Supposedly water somehow got into the cylinder and the coil corroded and 'spun out'. I'm afraid that this is going to happen again and at $300 a pop, not cheap. The symptoms were the CEL flashing and the car dropped in speed, barely being able to do 10-20mph along with chugging and no response when you tried to press the gas.

    2. The current CEL code (for several months now) had been that the Catalytic Converter isn't working as well as it should and so, in the infinite wisdom of Lexus Thinking, the Traction Control is disabled. Which bites in the winter time here in MN. ha! :P

    3. The previous owner rarely changed the transmission oil and it was severely burnt when I purchased it. My mechanic has been keeping an eye on it for me and I'm nervous that it might go out in the next year or so as it will tend to slip in the cold weather when I first get going or even when I yield for stop signs that are on a decline and flatten out or go uphill.

    Hope this post helps others and that others can help me out. I know this was long but I though it necessary for the public's use.

    I'd love to keep this car running another year at the least! Any suggestions and thoughts are welcome! The car get's all kinds of compliments and people are surprised by the high mileage and think it's only a couple years old! :)
  • jason1999jason1999 Member Posts: 4
    Aub789...Sorry I didn't see your question earlier...I know its months later and you have likley already figured things out......but if the car has 60-70K on it and you dont have any history on the car, then there certainly is potential that the oil gelling problem could arise at any time...or never at all. From what I understand, if somewhat regular oil changes and maintenance is performed, the huge majority of toyota vehicles never experience the oil gelling. If lexus had already fixed the problem, if that particular vehicle had one, then Lexus could pull that information up by the VIN number. I don't have the invoice in front of me, but from what I remember many engines parts were removed, including the oil pan, and thoroughly cleaned inside to out. They kept the car for 3 days or so...and gave me a rental.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    You NEVER had an indication on the instrument panel that the oil was low yet you put 4 quarts of oil in the engine...


    Oil contamination and fouling of the plugs could be a direct result of over filling the engine with oil. Not only that, subsequent failure of the oil rings could have also resulted from over filling.

    In other words.

    "you screwed the pooch...!!!"
  • erichnerichn Member Posts: 1
    O2 sensor heater Bank1 Sensor 1 Code PO135 Can anyone direct me to location of this sensor? erich
  • snowzsnowz Member Posts: 4
    I own a 99 ES300 with approx 95k miles. Recently, I noticed the needle in my temperature gauge drop to almost cold when I maintained the speed at 40mph or above. Engine hesitation follows after 15 minutes of cruising above 40 and it appears my engine is running on 3 or 4 cylinders since the engine was straining. The check engine light and Trac Off lights came on. Once I put the car in park, the idling was very high. Took it to my local mechanic and they were baffled for 2 weeks. Finally discovered the issue lies with the ECM malfunctioning. I just want to get everyone’s opinion to see if the diagnosis is plausible and whether this is common. I’ve read on other sites that Toyota and Lexus’s that are built in the 90’s do have ECM issues. Also, I’m planning on getting a new car, would this cause future issues even if we replace the ECM or are we better off trading the car in? Thanks.
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