Last post on Aug 14, 2010 at 8:21 AM
You are in the Lexus ES
What is this discussion about?
Lexus ES 300, Lexus ES 330, Sedan
#3154 of 5443 ES 300 Tranny/Steering
Sep 11, 2002 (11:47 am)
I replaced my wife's 99 ES300 in Jan. for a 2002 ES300. The demo drove like a dream. The one we got is something else. The steering has pulled to the left since the day we got it from the dealer. It is in the shop today for the fifth time. Tires have been switched from L to R, been realigned twice. They are putting on new tire today - which I don't think will correct the problem. This "pulling" exaggerates an already excessively "quick" steering ratio that requires one to constantly "drive" the car on the highway vs. directing it down the road. This is not supposed to be a sports car! Why the quick ratio? It is remindful of driving a WWII Jeep. According to the service mgr., this is not a unique problem to this car.
Another major problem is the transmission. This also has existed from day one. This apparently also is not unique to this car. Shifting between 1st & 2nd gears is sloppy - both up & down. Between 40 & 70 mph, it shutters when you let up on the accelerator. When accelerating over 30 mph, you feel little jerking motions like the torque converter is not locking up, or is searching for another gear. The service mgr. says that he has word from the Lexus factory that they are working on this problem with a modified transmission computer program that they hope to have ready in Nov. 2002. However they have to get EPA approval before they can make the actual modifications. A by-product of this current aggravation is, I believe, a reduced mileage performance significantly below the stated Lexus EPA levels.
I also have experienced some skid control problems with the SCD in the winter when on ice. I get an unusual sensation of wheel spinning that I have never had in my 50 years of driving on Minnesota winter roads. Works great in the summer however!
Other than these problems, I love the car. It's just a matter of how much patience I can sustain until they get the problems worked out. Right now - I am on the edge of having them replace the car.
#3155 of 5443 Lexus service at the Toyota dealer...
Sep 11, 2002 (3:08 pm)
I have all of the service of my 95 ES300 done at my local Toyota Dealer. I do this because everything is cheaper vs. the Lexus dealer. The Toyota dealer is happy to service my ES and they want all the business they can get from me. They have done all of the service to 100k miles. However, when it was time for the timing belt change, Toyota told me that they could NOT do it. They said that the Camry and the ES300 do have some engine differences and that I would have to take it to the Lexus dealer because Toyota dealer did not have some of the parts/equipment needed to do the job. So bottom line, I think the dealer is giving you a straight story as far as the fact that there are differences. Whether or not it should cost more at the SAME dealer is a wholly different story.
#3156 of 5443 Lexus/Camry
Sep 11, 2002 (5:34 pm)
For those who have driven both (hopefully more than just test drive). In term of noise level, are they much different at all?
Sep 12, 2002 (1:17 pm)
My dealer charges approximately $60 for 1/2 hour of labor (Dallas/Ft. Worth area). Dealer service has gotten to be ridiculous.
Sep 12, 2002 (7:08 pm)
After having driven 1,000 miles, the only real tranny issues I have deal with stop and go traffic which in LA is frequent. I find that the car jerks in stop and go traffic--doing 2-3 miles then 10 etc. It is aggravating but other than that, I too love this car. It is a real joy to drive and so luxurious. But for $35K, I would expect the tranny to be seamless--both up and down. This needs to be corrected and when I go in for my belated 1,000 mile service, I will let my dealer know. Sounds like this is common with most if not all 2002 ES owners.
#3160 of 5443 Dealer Service
Sep 13, 2002 (6:12 am)
I've got a 2000 ES with 30K on it. Lexus Carlsbad, CA wanted $500 for a 30K service! The Toyota dealer next door will it for $279.
A couple of months ago my front brake rotors warped. 27k miles and only 50% of the original brake pads used up. The dealer would not consider trying to work this up as a warranty issue and wanted $300 to turn the rotors and put in new pads. I performance tire shop I use did the same job for $125.
But you get a loaner and a car wash!
Absolutely ridiculous. Fact is that most if not all dealers make more money in the shop than they do on the lot. And some of them are getting greedy.
Sep 13, 2002 (6:51 am)
In the case of true intrinsic value, the ES300 is probably not worth $5000 more than a Camry XLE...but no one said anyone had to buy into the "status and exclusivity" of the Lexus, it is voluntary...is an Acura TL worth that much more than an Accord???...to those that buy the TL, yes, to those that say "I'll save $5K and buy an Accord," no, it isn't...all they did was do the same thing that Ford and GM did when they created Lincoln (a fancy Crown Vic, or Ford Galaxie, if you are old enough to remember) and Cadillac (a luxury version of a full size Buick or Chevrolet), except that the Japanese did it better than we did, and apparently make more money at it...also, the Japanese attract buyers in their 30s and 40s for their upscale vehicles, ensuring them a market for many years...Lincoln and Caddy buyers have an average age, I believe, in the 60s...demographics for the USA Big 3 do not look promising over the next 30 years like it does for the imports...just my thinking, of course...
Sep 13, 2002 (8:38 am)
Thanks for your input. The information you provided is true. I guess the same thing could be said about any major purchase. There are cheaper ones and more expensive ones.
I happened to notice that you are interested in the 2003 RL. What, if any, changes are on the 2003 vs. the 2002? I see that one can get an RL for about $35K and that is approx. the price of the ES300. How do you see the ES300 vs. the RL?
#3163 of 5443 Transmission/Using different gears
Sep 15, 2002 (10:24 pm)
Someone posted, way back, that they were driving in 4th gear sometimes. For fast speed-up getting on a freeway, my dealer advised using 3rd gear. I've been doing that for the last few weeks, and then I shift to 4th, and sometimes stay in 4th for a stretch, usually not more than 10 miles. I'm wondering if anyone has any information about whether staying in 4th is okay for the car or if it's harmful. Thanks.