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Lexus ES 300/ES 330



  • alston28alston28 Posts: 97
    Thanks. You're right. Pressing and holding the unlock button does that. Now that we know it's there, we like it. Thanks again.
  • jimbresjimbres Posts: 2,025
    We always went to our local mechanic for required maintenance on our '99 ES 300, partly to save money but also because our guy is just a few blocks away - a pleasant walk in good weather - while our dealer is 15+ miles away. As long as all work is properly documented & you retain the receipts, you should have no problems with warranty claims.
  • uffdaoleuffdaole Posts: 37
    MANY MANY thanks larry1. Very helpful, should be no problem. Good thread! :)
  • tomdtomd Posts: 87
    This question probably belongs in a different forum but I was wondering if it is possible to have tires mounted/unmounted without damaging the alloy wheels. Over the years I have had the tires on my 99 ES changed by Lexus and Toyota dealers and also several different tire places. Every time, there are new scratches and chips in various places on the wheels. These are the older wheels that still have the wheel weights on the outside so I realize that there will be marks where the weights were but I am talking about chips and scratches all over. What gives? It is the mounting equipment or just careless handling? Any recommendations as to how I can prevent this in the future when I get a new car?
  • richbf2richbf2 Posts: 73
    Do you guys know how to replace the air filter(not cabin filter)? I have 30k miles on my odormeter. Is it time to replace it yet? please adivse. Many thanks :confuse: :confuse:
  • richbf2richbf2 Posts: 73
    :confuse: Do you guys know how to replace the air filter(not cabin filter)? I have 30k miles on my odormeter. Is it time to replace it yet? please adivse. Many thanks
  • motownusamotownusa Posts: 836
    Found this article on Edmunds on how to change engine air filter. Here is the link. I cut and paste the relevant part of the article. Hope you can do it on your own. Good luck.

    How often should you do this? A good rule of thumb is once or twice a year, or roughly once every 12,000 miles.

    Changing the Air Filter

    If nothing else, learn how to change your own air filter. It's quick and easy and saves you money.

    How so? Well, think about it: When was the last time you went to the Quick Lube-n-Tune place and had the mechanic hit you up with, "Hey Bud, you need a new air filter." After which you nod and watch as he adds it to the invoice. How much? $7.99? $9.99? $12.99? Heck, we've even seen $14.99.

    There's an old joke about the creation of the universe with the punch line, "Well, somebody had to pay retail." Maybe so. But not necessarily you.

    One of our jobs here at is to empower you. Don't let them stick it to you. Learn to say no -- there's no law against it. Just say, "I'll pass for now," or, "Thanks, I'll look into it," and go home after the oil change and perform this procedure yourself -- if, in fact, it really needs to be done.

    First, park your car in the shade and pop the hood. Prop it up so it doesn't bang you in the head, then let the engine cool for a few minutes.

    While it's cooling, go get your tools. You'll need very few for this procedure -- you can probably do it with a butter knife. If handy, though, grab two medium-sized screwdrivers, one standard and one Phillips, and head back to the car.

    The air filter is typically enclosed in a black plastic casing near the center-top of the engine (sometimes, especially in larger vehicles, it will be off to the side). It should be the largest non-metal assembly you see, about the size of a breadbox. Find it? Good. Now, open it.

    How? Well, most of them are held together by a couple of large metal clips on the side. Slide the butter knife or flat-headed screwdriver between the casing and the clip and pry the casing open. Occasionally you'll find one held together with several long screws, in which case you'll have to unscrew it to get at the filter. (Many of the older cars use a cylinder air cleaner held inside a circular black case. It's like a giant doughnut that sits at the direct top-center of the engine.)

    Anyway, crack it open. You'll find the air filter inside. It's usually bright yellow or orange or red, the better to see the collected dirt.

    Pull it out. It's typically flat, elongated, usually about a foot long by six inches wide by two inches high. It's made of paper filament, with rubber edges along the bottom to seal it against the casing.

    Now, let's check it for cleanliness. Hold it up. Bend it back, so the paper ridges of the filter flutter like the pages of a book, and look inside the crevices. Do you see a lot of accumulated dirt and grime? Now hold it at arms length and look at it straight on. Is the orange or yellow paper mostly dirty in the center? If so, let's replace it. No big deal -- the replacement only costs about five bucks. Remember that $14.99 price at the Quik-Lube place? Here's where you get even.

    Close up the casing. Then put the old air filter in a plastic grocery bag. You're going to want to bring it with you, to compare old with new and make sure you get the right replacement, so toss it in the car and go clean up.

    By the way, it's okay to drive a car short distances without an air filter (something you can't do with a missing fuel filter).

    Here's what you need to buy at the auto parts store:
    new air filter

    new fuel filter

    new gasket(s) for the fuel filter -- they normally come with, but ask
    When you return, go ahead and install the new air filter. Seal it up and you're done.

    Fuel Filter Replacement

    This is a little more problematic procedure, since finding the thing can be half the battle. It's typically located near the top-center of the engine, close to the air filter, although sometimes, with more modern cars, it's actually built into the fuel tank and is a job more suited to your mechanic.

    First, if you value your life, extinguish any smoking materials while doing this procedure.

    Second, for better access, remove any oversized, plastic coverings from the top of the engine. They usually come off with a large, flat-head screwdriver.

    Now search for the fuel line, which comes from the rear of the car. It's about the same diameter as a thick finger, and will be soft and pliant, not a hard metal shaft. It will come into the fuel filter from the rear of the vehicle.

    Find it? Okay, now grab a couple of # 2 pencils. You'll also need several different sized screwdrivers, both flat-head and Phillips, and a small ratchet set.

    Here's what you're going to do. When you work the fuel line free of the filter, you're going to jam the pencil into the free end to keep gasoline from spilling all over the engine (and yourself).

    The fuel line will normally be secured to the fuel filter with a little clamp. Work it off with a screwdriver -- usually a Phillips -- and stop-gap it with the pencil. (Sometimes you'll need a larger diameter object than a pencil. You'll have to be resourceful here, since we don't know what you have lying around in your junk drawer at home. One of those first-grader primer pencils is perfect.)

    After you've plugged the fuel line, you can set to work removing the fuel filter. It's normally secured to the engine with a couple small bolts. Find the right-sized socket and remove the filter. It will have a hose coming off the other end (this goes to the engine), so remove this one the same way you did the other ones, and plug it with the other pencil.

    Compare the new filter with the old filter, and make sure you position it in the same way, so that the fuel is flowing in the right way. Sometimes there's an arrow on the filter showing you which direction the fuel flows.

    Put the assembly together in reverse of the way you took it apart. Before you do, though, take a quick look at the new filter.

    You'll note that there two metal (or plastic) shafts coming off the filter where the hoses attach. They have little nubs or ridges near the ends. Make sure to slide the rubberized lines onto the filter as far past the nubs as you can get them.

    Also, pay special attention to the clamps on either end of the filter. Position them between the nubs and the body of the filter. Then get them snugged down good and tight (but not so tight as to strip the screw), to prevent leakage.

    One last thing. If the hoses are getting brittle and frayed, make a mental note to buy some new hoses next time you change your filter. If they're really bad, replace them now.

    After you have everything reassembled and secure, run the engine for a few minutes. Inspect the hoses and connections to make sure no fuel is
  • silleck330silleck330 Posts: 19
    Just got my 15,000 service on 2005 Es-330. $700 !!!
    They did wash the car and replace the cabin filter
    The new one does not smell like an electrical fire.
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 857
    What did they do for $700.00? Can you give us the details? Did you have them do just the required maintenance items that are listed in the maintenance schedule?
  • dlb123dlb123 Posts: 1
    I recently bought a 99 ES300. I would like to fix the little cosmetic problems but can't find the parts. Center counsel drink holder is broke, passenger window control trim missing and speaker in back deck broken. Can I only get these from a dealer? Also, needs new tires, what are people using for best performance. 205-65-r15 Turanza is currently on the car. Car is in WI.
    And lastly, my insurance co. says it's a coach,????
  • tmarttmart Spring, TXPosts: 1,383
    You might be able to get the trim parts from a junk yard. The dealer would be the last place I'd go because of the cost, but he'd have the part or be able to get them. Can't help on the tires, I'm in Texas. Interesting that "coach" shows on your insurance papers. :confuse: It probably means you have the Coach Edition, a limited edition that Lexus makes periodically. If so, you have Coach leather, instead of regular leather, different wheels, and an emblem between the front wheels and the doors that say Coach Edition. Also, the Lexus emblems are a smokey gray instead of chrome.
  • silleck330silleck330 Posts: 19
    Cabin filter $155
    Wiper blades
    rotate and balance tires
    check and clean belts,brakes,etc.
    Car Wash $495
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 857
    Thanks for the info. That does seem like a lot of money for a relatively few items. I have a 2006 and I am just going to follow the required work that is listed in the Maintenance Schedule. In my book these are the things listed for the 15,000 mile service:
    Oil and oil filter change
    rotate tires
    check brakes
    inspect shaft boots, ball joints, brake lines, coolant level, exhaust pipes, rack and pinion assembly, and steering linkage and boots. My book says there are a couple other things that need checking but only if the vehicle is primarily operated in desert, on dirt roads or while towing.
    Your vehicle shouldn't need wiper blades or cabin filter at this point unless they are in bad shape from extraordinary use. You could save some money by replacing those items yourself if you wished. I hope this has helped.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Cabin filters can easily be "too" clogged even at 8,000 miles excluding dusty road drinving. And here in the Seattle if you get 15,000 miles from a set of wiper blades you're "pushing" it. But those, together, should have been more than $75-$100 w/labor.
  • silleck330silleck330 Posts: 19
    They did change the cabin filter at 8,000 but
    the one they used had an electrical smell when
    the climate control was turned on. (also reported
    by other owners on the board). Now there is no sign
    of any spell. Took her out on the parkway this
    weekend and she is running smooth and quiet.
  • bholtbholt Posts: 1
    Just joined this forum for 1st time. I have a 1995 Lexus and the one big problem is the headlights. They are not very bright at all. One repair shop said to try high beams too. I thought I'd try it and see how the on-coming traffic reacted. Did not get any flashing lights so I guess they were not bothered. Something is not right with the brightness of the 95 Lexus lights. If anyone has any ideas please let me know.

  • dwinerdwiner Posts: 13
    Just had my 15K service on a 2005 ES330. I thought the $110 charge was outrageous for an oil change, tire rotation and car wash. I can't imagine how you tolerated $700. I waited for the car, and had to chuckle as the service writer came into the waiting room for each person trying to sell them up for assorted services. EVERY person was told their air filter and cabin air filter were dirty and needed replacement. Cost about $100 for both. Makes you wonder about the coincidence. When it was my turn for the pitch they tried to sell me tire balancing and new filters too. The line was "your air filter and cabin air filter are dirty". I asked if someone drove the car and determined that the tires were out of balance. Response was "no, we just recommend it for good maintenance". Gee, why would anyone balance a tire that is already balanced? The factory maintenance sched for air filter is 30K miles and cabin air filter is 10K. They never looked at the filters, just hoped everyone would just say yes. when I got home I checked both filters, both were fairly clean, just vacuumed a few bugs and leaf particles out. It took about 5 minutes to check each one.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Buy new filters, look through them at a 40 watt incandescent bulb and then do the same with your used ones. IMMHO 30k is too long, by twice, for the engine intake filter but 10k is about right for the cabin air filter.
  • dwinerdwiner Posts: 13
    Excellent idea! I'll try that. I'm wondering if that comparison will be useful for the cabin filter as I think they are charcoal loaded, which makes the new ones look dirty. Might you have any experience with the washable engine air filters?
  • pai7pai7 Posts: 35
    I saw something about the headlights getting clouded
    and that there was a product that can help remove some
    of the clouding. Symptons of clouding were low/dim lights.
    You could try searching on the web for the product
  • curt2005curt2005 Posts: 70
    I was looking tonight at the used ES 330s on a dealer lot and noticed that a couple of them have a rocker switch on the console next to the shifter.

    It is a black two-position rocker switch with what looks like three horizontal squiggles on it in white.

    This isn't the four-position switch for the variable suspension.

    What is it?

    (I forgot to ask the sales rep.)

  • olddaveolddave Posts: 21
    I have a 2005 ES330 -
    It has two "switches" next to the shifter. One is the control switch for the "electronic modulated suspension". It is a 4-position switch with "SPORT" labeled at the top and "COMFORT" at the bottom. The other switch is spring-loaded and it is the rear electric sunshade switch.
  • curt2005curt2005 Posts: 70
    Thank you!

    Does the rear electric sunshade really work?

    Is the variable suspension worth having or does it just add complexity to the car?

  • dennydenny Posts: 17
    I suppose opinions will vary, but I haven't used the sunshade once in the two years I've had the car. Maybe in Florida or Arizona type climates it would be useful, but here in the midwest I find the sunshade a useless feature.
  • olddaveolddave Posts: 21
    I use our sunshade all of the time - we have a 9-year old son who always has to ride in the back seat. I live in a Denver suburb, and today we took a 190-mile round trip up into the mountains. My wife was also riding in the back seat today, and I specifically asked her if the sunshade helped to cut down the glare from the sun, and she told me that it helped a lot. Last summer we took a 3900-mile round trip to the east coast and we used it a lot on that trip as well. Ironically, shortly after we returned from that trip, I discovered that the sunshade was broken. I had it replaced under warranty. The dealer said it was an $1100 warranty job. I have not had any trouble with it since then.
  • olddaveolddave Posts: 21
    I hope the variable suspension does not become a maintenance/warranty nightmare - I noticed that Lexus has discontinued it for 2007. But we use it for very specific circumstances, and it seems to work well. My wife was recently driving in a severe cross wind situation. She said after she switched the control to "SPORT", she immediately had much better control of the car. Today on a long trip into the Rocky Mountains, I used it in "SPORT" mode on most of the mountain highways and two-lane roads, and the car felt much more responsive, and the sway on mountain curves was greatly reduced.

    Just my opinion for what it is worth.....
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 857
    Great post. I too have an ES330 and plan to do the routine maintenance items myself(oil, rotation, and filters). I was aware that Lexus charges outrageous prices for their maintenance before I bought the Lexus. I suppose most people just grin and bear it but not me. Did most people ok the filter changes at the dealership?
    Almost always the owner's manual is pretty close when it comes to the recommended maintenance items. However 30k miles might be a bit much for an air filter. I usually change mine at 15k. You can buy them yourself(Fram). I do not have any experience with the cabin air filter as of yet. However it depends on the driving conditions that you are in. Some people drive on gravel roads and/or are in dusty/dirty environments. That certainly will make a difference.
    I don't have an answer on tire balancing either. I have not done mine yet and have not thought about when I will do it. You could talk to a good tire shop and see what they recommend about when to re-balance them.
    By the way, what kind of mpg are you getting? I got 27.4 actual on my last tank of mostly highway driving.
  • fredvhfredvh Posts: 857
    I just got back from vacation and have not yet read all of the past posts on the new ES350. What is the latest info on the new 6-speed trans problems?
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Hi Fred - are you looking for Lexus ES 350?

This discussion has been closed.