No, there should not be any changes to the ES 300 for either 2003 or 2004. Typically Lexus gives their cars a mid-life update in year four (which would be 2005).
No, the sludge problem does not bother me at all. Toyota/Lexus has received 3,400 complaints to-date on the problem. If all of these complaints are legitimate, that represents less than .01% of Toyota/Lexus owners in the US (according to Automotive News). Further, Toyota/Lexus has said they will pay for any repair within eight years of ownership related to this.
I'd be a little worried if the car were going to someone who only changed their oil every 7500+ miles with no idea about the quality of the oil and oil filter (i.e. going to a gas station or quick lube place that uses a $1 oil filter and/or recycled motor oil).
Other than that, no.
I'm not sure whether this applies to the 2002 ES. I read in an article that this affects:
"Toyota models equipped with 3.3 million 1MZ V-6 and 5SFE inline 4 engines produced between July 1996 and July 2001"
The new engine may appear in 2004, with an exterior fascia update in 2005.
"If Toyota plays their cards right with the 5 year plan...with the 3rd year of production of usually powertrain revisions even introduction of a new motor and or tranny, and the 4th year of production exterior fascia update, Toyota should be using that new 3.3L in the whole Camry and related line i.e. Solara, Avalon, Sienna, Highlander, ES300 and RX300. 2004 is the target year for a new powertrain...unless Toyota marketing does something unconventional "
I mentioned in a previous post that I ordered an ES 300 in Starlight Pearl with a charcoal interior. I placed the order knowing that Lexus usually only equips it in ivory or black. The dealer called me today to tell me the car can only be ordered in ivory. Has anyone else had this experience with a factory order? Am I being hoodwinked?
Stej: I also factory ordered a starlight pearl. When I did, it was explained to me that although it is a factory order, you CANNOT order a combination that is not in the brochure. The reason you factory order is to get options that may not be available in your region or a combination that is not in the current build cycle (such as ML without Nav).
Lexus1 is correct. It is my understanding in regards to the Starlight Pearl that Ivory or Black are the ONLY two interior colors that one can get. This information is directly from the sales brochure. You cannot get any other color unless Lexus decides to change colors in the middle of the model year which is highly unlikely. Of course, a car manufacturer can make changes at any time. In the past Lexus dealers only get a certain option package when they arrive at the dealerships. Lexus Corporate determines what they think sells best in a certain geographical area. Recently and apparently Lexus is allowing perspective owners to "order" ES300s with any options that they want as long as it meets the allowable color combinations. For example, one could order cloth interior, but still would have to follow the brochure interior colors as they are available with their respective exterior color. I hope this helps. It is my understanding from people on this post who have special ordered an ES300 that any available option can be ordered but it takes approx. 3 months to get the vehicle.
#2486 of 5443 kreativ: 3.0 Engine Modification
Apr 10, 2002 (6:31 am)
This is a direct quote from a Toyota representative concerning the 3.0 engine:
"No engine is immune to damage when the oil breaks down after time. However, in response to the growing industry problem of deferred oil maintenance, Toyota has initiated a revision to the crankcase ventilation system that will help it tolerate sludge buildup somewhat longer. The design change was to the cam cover's interior baffle. The holes that allow oil vapor carried by the PCV system to condense and drip back into the cylinder head were enlarged. Still, if oil changes are deferred, this change will not eliminate the build-up of sludge. It will likely just delay the onset of engine damage."
There is a very interesting discussion going on at the "Engine Sludge/Oil Gelling- Toyota Customer Response" topic under the "Maintenance and Repair" section of Edmund's Town Hall. The above-mentioned Toyota representative is answering questions from the posts. This is very informative and you would probably need to start from the beginning of that discussion.