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Lexus ES Engine Questions



  • shelloshello 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 Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    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.

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  • shelloshello 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 Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Yes that all sounds like good advice to me.

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  • hello
    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.
  • 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.
  • 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

  • Check to see if you have a hydraulic cooling fan or (electrical )that uses the power steering fluid to run.
  • 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 Posts: 10,421
    Glad you got it fixed. Thanks for reporting back.
  • 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
  • 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 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.
  • 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 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?
  • 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 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 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 Posts: 1
    O2 sensor heater Bank1 Sensor 1 Code PO135 Can anyone direct me to location of this sensor? erich
  • snowzsnowz 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.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    The ECM diagnosis is plausible. However, is sounds to me like your thermostat isn't closing properly, allowing the engine to overcool, which will put you into cold mode and make your engine run without computer feedback. This can cause it to run irregularly......

    Did you already proceed with the ECM repair? If not, you may want to get a second opinion......
  • snowzsnowz Posts: 4
    Thanks for the feedback. My mechanic said it wasn't thermostate related since that was my initial thought also. I couldn't get a second opinion since my car was on the verge of breaking down and couldn't go further without stalling. My mechanic ordered the part and in the process of installing it. Do you know whether it's worthy to keep the car or this is just the beginning of many problems for a 10 year old car with 94k miles?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    It would be unusual, extremely so, for your engine to first warm to operational temperature and then have the thermostat remain fully open enough for the engine to noticeable cool. Your guages are driven by the engine/transaxle ECU via D/A converters. Replace the ECU, keep the car.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Well, mine is a 96 with 100,000 miles on it and no signs of quitting since I rebuilt the engine, so I'd keep it too.
  • dbinaldbinal Posts: 1
    The CEL/TRAC OFF lights came on while I was driving on the interstate. I disconnected the battery for a few hours hoping to clear the lights. No such luck.
    I took the car to Advanced Auto. He used the OBD II and the code was P1135. I was told that I needed to replace the MAF Sensor. I did that and the lights are still on and the OBD II came back with the same code. Any ideas?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Your MAF is giving a BAD reading due to something ELSE being wrong.

    Leaking injector maybe.
  • I have a 2007 ES350 with 30K on it. From when I bought it used about two years ago I noticed an engine tapping noise when starting the engine cold. After driving a short distance this noise goes away and car drives fine.

    The Lexus maintenance people at the dealership I purchased this car from acknowledged that they too hear the noise but claim it is either piston slap or fuel injectors, both of which are normal for the car and are not harmful.

    Does anyone have any insights on this situation?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    edited November 2011
    Well piston slap is quite a different noise than injector noise, so those are two pretty wild guesses. Both can be "normal"--some engine designs are prone to piston slap (such as Subaru) but I never heard of a Lexus being particularly prone to it. Injector noise is more like a buzz.

    Are you using full synthetic oil? If not, switch to that and let us know if that cures the problem. You might need just a bit quicker oil pressure in the upper cylinder and valve area.

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  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I had an ES with that engine. Mine did the same thing. I used Synthetic oil. Still did it. Didn't sound like injectors to me, or as bad as piston slap. It would go away in a minute or two though, and run fine after that. Seemed to only be a cold engine problem. I didn't worry about it, and it never became an issue. That's all I can tell ya.....
  • My 2008 ES350 with 41K miles on it also makes a clicking-type noise when cold. As other posters have mentioned, it goes away quickly. There are threads/posts on other Lexus forums about this noise and the concensus seems to be that it is the injectors.

    I've only had one car with piston slap, and it was MUCH louder than this clicking, and only audible at idle--once off idle, the noise vanished. However, my clicking noise continues at any rpm until the engine warms up.

    I've chosen to not worry about it.
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