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Lexus ES 300/ES 330



  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    Most worrisome is the 1-3 second hesitation I hear about when you're most in need of quick power. This could prove to be quite a danger if you have a semi coming at you and you're flooring the gas pedal but the car doesn't respond instantly.

    I don't know how Lexus can pass that off as a characteristic of the transmission, and that it's working within normal operating parameters.

    By the way, I know of someone who deemed their '02 ES unsafe due to what I mentioned above, and got their dealer to buy back the car for the full price paid. Far better than selling at a significant loss, that's for sure.
  • kymmy123kymmy123 Posts: 15
    Maybe I should pursue this option first, because my car litterally does nothing for a couple seconds then it kicks in, meanwhile I'm literally motionless, and in direct danger. Quite frankly, the dealer can do a much better job selling my car than I can, because they have alot of trafiic in their for people seeking to buy this specific product. Any furtehr info will be appreciated!
  • mz1234mz1234 Posts: 8
    Hi All,

    I noticed a while ago there're a few postings taking about what kind of gasoline should be used for ES300. I remember someone mentioned that dealer recommended mind-grade (89 octane I assume).

    Here is a piece I copied from today's "" an article called "20 ways you waste money on your car"

    Premium gas instead of regular. Buy the cheapest gasoline that doesn’t make your car engine knock. All octane does is prevent knock; a grade higher than the maker of your car recommends is not a “treat.”

    ES 300 spec says to use "regular unlead" which I believe is just "regular" (87 Octane).

    Here is the question: does mid-grade gas offer us any REAL advantage at all over regular gas? Not perceived advantage, real advantage. I don't beleive premium gas (91 or 93 octane) buys us anything based on all the info I can gather.

  • rtorrecartorreca Posts: 74
    I registered and sent a letter to lexus using planetfeedback. Hopefully they actually do something about it. Anybody else that experience the problem, please send.

    Would it be possible to claim my car under the lemon law? I really do not feel safe putting my baby daughter in this thing.

    I'm not going to give this to my mother anymore either (as I previously mentioned). If anything happens to her while driving this car, I won't be able to live with myself.
  • rtorrecartorreca Posts: 74
    I use the middle-grade gas (89). I tried 91 but could not feel any real performance difference from 89. The dealership did not recommend 87.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    The ES300 is designed for premium (91+ octane).

    Though thanks to knock sensors, you can safely run regular or mid-grade fuel. You may feel a performance or fuel economy degradation though.
  • shakeelshakeel Posts: 1
    Does anyone know what the AF button on the Nav radio do?

  • mmccloskeymmccloskey Posts: 168
    As the new owner of an ES300 I have been following this transmission issue with great interest. I have a bit over 1,200 miles on the ODO and haven't noticed any problem in passing when I need to do so. On the way home yesterday, I was approaching another vehicle that was pulling off the side of the road and into the lane I was in. I pressed the accelerator and the car moved with authority and I easily passed the other vehicle. I went from 60MPH to 80MPH in short order. This was on a 2 lane country road and I had sufficient time for this manuver just in case the car didn't respond as it did/should. The engine sound (such as it was) was very well muted and there was very little drama overall.

    I find it odd that nearly 60,000 2K2 ES300's have been sold/leased and the transmission issue is not more prevalent. I guess we will see if the 2003 models contain any update/fix that can be applied to those who are encountering problems with their 2002's.

    Regards -

    M. J. McCloskey
  • tk_dettk_det Posts: 21
    Good question. As you know, your radio has FM1, FM2, and FM Type options. FM Type is used to pick up RDS (Radio Data System) stations which you acquire by using the RDS search option.

    [As an aside, this is a handy way to program your radio to good stations when you travel to a new city. When you get home just RDS search again and you get all your home RDS stations back]

    AF stands for alternative frequency function. When listening to an RDS station, a new station providing good reception is automatically selected if the current reception worsens.

    I know your next question. How did I find this out. AF is NOT explained in the 2002 Lexus Navigation System Owners Manual in section V (five) where you would expect to get all the info about your audio system.

    It is covered in your regular owner's manual in section 2-2, audio system (type B) page 199. Just luck that I found this although I do write programs and read and write documentation for a living. Obviously it was an editorial omission leaving it out of the NAV manual.

    The feature itself is pretty esoteric and was undoubtedly invented and written by a programmer in love with his code and WAY TOO MUCH time on his hands.

    Have I done things like this in applications I've written? Of course!

  • shakfu3shakfu3 Posts: 4
    Thank you for the reply!!! Of course, as luck would have it, there are only 3 RDS stations in the New Jersey/New York are where I live.
  • rtorrecartorreca Posts: 74
    browsing through msn carpoint, one of the reader reviewers of 02 es300 mentioned a software update scheduled this november. I hope he's right.
  • tk_dettk_det Posts: 21
    Can you send a link to this?
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    article stated that the new ES330 would have 240 HP, not 220...I have misplaced the magazine, so I cannot check the, all they need to add is a sport suspension package, and it could be the ideal car for, when you think about how cheap a sport suspension package really is ( stiffer shocks, larger F&R anti-roll bars, maybe stiffer springs), they could create 2 versions of the same car for VERY little money difference.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    then the Maintenance & Repair section....the TL doesn't look too promising either to some people.
  • bartalk2bartalk2 Posts: 326
    Marsha, they do have a sport suspension package. It's called the IS300.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    They do offer a sport suspension option of sorts with the AVS (adjustable variable suspension).

    Set on the sport mode the car feels much sportier. Unfortunately this option is in low supply, but it can be had (mine has it).
  • bartalk2bartalk2 Posts: 326
    The reviews I've read say the adjustable suspension doesn't really work that well and the standard suspension is fine and works better than any adjustment you can make. What's your experience?
  • bartalk2bartalk2 Posts: 326
    According to Motor Trend, the ES330, with 240hp, will be introduced sometime in '03 as the '04 model.
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,703
    yes, I am aware of the IS300, it's just that they never offer the combinations that I would if I was the person in charge of marketing...I kinda consider myself the "car guy" that is often said needed to run a car company, as opposed to a bean counter...a true sport option on their luxury car, once it has 240 HP, should be an interesting combo for minimal money, that's all I was trying to imply...

    Lenscap...I will keep your suggestion in mind...thanks...but nothing will help body roll better than larger anti roll bars for cornering, IMO
  • bartalk2bartalk2 Posts: 326
    When the ES300 came out, interviews with Lexus people said the sporty IS300 allowed them to produce the ES300--a pure boulevard cruiser with no sporty pretentions. I guess Lexus wants to keep the two types separate rather than combining them in one car. I agree with you that it would be nice to combine them, or at least offer alternate suspensions so you can tailor the car according to your own taste, but I guess that wasn't their plan.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    I love the AVS feature. I first became familiar with it because my friend got it on his 1997 ES 300 (the first year it was offered as an option). They don't make many cars with this feature because most people don't care. But I do, and got AVS on my 2002. Note AVS on the 2002s is a little more advanced than that offered in the 1997-2001 cars since it adjusts each wheel independently instead of as a group.

    There is a switch on the center console that has four settings. 1=cushy, 2=standard ES 300 suspension, 3=a little sport, 4=sport. Switching between the different modes you can really feel a difference. I drive about 50% of the time in #4, and the car feels real tight. The other 50% of the time I'm in #3. Body roll in cornering is greatly reduced. It's hard to describe, but even driving straight the car feels more like a driver's car (if you can say that about an ES).

    While I would be happy with a non-AVS car, it would not be as firm, or handle as well, as I would like.

    We all know the ES 300 is not meant to ride or handle like a BMW. But this option really lets me change the personality of the car whenever I want. Plus it allows me to have the firmer feel I like.

    Hope this helps.
  • I only put 93 Octane in my ES.

    More specifically...."Texaco's" brand of 93 Octane.

    Here in GA we have gas stations called "Quick Trips". As alot of people know, GA is ranked the cheapest when it comes to gas prices. QT's are even lower than the National Brands and they are guaranteed, but my ES acts as if it is "stoned" on cheap gas. (Non-Brand Name....and anything less than 93 octane.)

    I personally can tell a severe difference in the performance and gas usage of the car. This is from a guy that will hit 100mph atleast once a day on GA's highway's.

    All in all, I think my ES is just a little "uppity". :wink::

  • 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.
  • bartalk2bartalk2 Posts: 326
    Thanks for your experience with the variable suspension. If it really does change the character of the ride and handling, I might buy one after all (if they fix the transmission!).
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    I don't know if you have test driven an ES300. Your comment above on the AVS leads me to believe you have.

    My view is that the vast majority of owners do not feel a transmission problem at all. I believe that if you are going to feel it, you can recreate it on a test drive. There will be no surprises with the transmission if you test a vehicle before you buy one.

    To me the problem is most pronounced and repeatable in the following driving scenario:
    1) Cruise at 40 mph.
    2) Draw back on the accelerator slightly for about 1 second.
    3) Then apply the acceleration as though you want to quickly pass someone.

    In all cars I have driven (4 so far), there is a noticable delay when trying to accelerate after pulling off the accelerator.

    I challenge all of those who say they don't feel the problem to try this test.

    I will periodically test drive new ES300s to see if I continue to get the same response in all the cars.
  • atoewsatoews Posts: 637
    In California, the AVS comes packaged with the Nav and ML. Navs can be found in Camrys and Avalons. The AVS and ML, along with the aesthetics of the interior, truly contribute to the specialness of the ES300 over the Toyota line.
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    The transmission problem you mentioned above in your test sounds very much like what I've experienced in older model LS and GS, along with other owners. The difference is that I didn't reapply the gas as if I wanted to pass someone.

    Someone else described it as the feeling of the transmission hesitating between 2 gears...not quite knowing which one to select.

    Do you also get a shuddering sensation when you reapply the gas?
  • kreativkreativ Posts: 299
    Replacing AVS shocks on an older Lexus has proven to be a very expensive proposition. If you plan to keep your car for 6+ years, you probably don't want to go with the AVS option.
  • mmccloskeymmccloskey Posts: 168

    I posted a msg awhile back regarding the misalignment of the door trim as it blends into the dash panel. I have attached an image for visual reference.


    Have any of 2K2 ES300 owners noticed a similar situation? The right door trim has the same issue, but is more evident.

    M. J. McCloskey
This discussion has been closed.