Last post on Aug 14, 2010 at 8:21 AM
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Lexus ES 300, Lexus ES 330, Sedan
#731 of 5443 Observations on my ES 300
Mar 19, 2001 (4:47 pm)
I purchased a 1998 ES 300 last week and have the following observations to make :
1. High quality finish, both interior & exterior. My car was sitting next to a brand new 2001 3.2 TL Acura and the superior finish & layout of the ES 300 was obvious to me (though I will say that the 3.2 TL is one of the great values in the market today, especially with the 2002 just out).
2. Smooth and powerful engine, more than adequate power unless you lust after an M3/M5 or a 911 turbo .
3. Looks refined and sporty at the same time. I don't think it resembles a Camry as many in this forum have stated.
4. My CDs sound great on the Pioneer CD changer/system
5. Comfortable leather seats, easy to adjust to suit your frame
6. Excellent dashboard and control layout. Controls are intuitive and easy to reach.
7. Put 300 highway miles on the car yesterday and had no problem with wind noise, as many in this forum seem to have experienced. Yes, you could hear the wind at 85 miles an hour (barely), but in now way was this excessive or obtrusive.
1. I found the two compartments on either side of the trunk filled with water. Apparently there are tubes in the frame which channel the water away from the moonroof through the trunk to the road. Someone had pulled these tubes out and when it rained on Friday almost 6 inches of water had accumulated in the compartments. Imagine my surprise when I opened the trunk to check on the spare . Anyone else have this problem?
2. The front tires look semi-deflated. This may be due to the ES 300' s long nose or the weight of the engine. But still, the difference between the rear and front tires is substantial. I initially though there was a problem with both front tires and replaced them with new Michelins. The new tires looked a little better, but if I don't know better I would still think they needed air (they are at 32 psi as per Lexus's reccomendation)
3. Only one setting on the heated seats. This was changed to dual levels on the 99 model so buyers of newer models will not have this problem.
4. I find myself slipping forward in my seat sometimes, when I apply the brakes suddenly. This may be a universal phenomenon with all leather seats.
5. The ride is too smooth, too polite (probably not a negative for most but I prefer a tighter ride)
6. The seat belt does not pull itself taut when I unhook it.
7. The ashtray rattles when I go over bumps. I leave it open half way to avoid the rattling.
(For those of you who have faced similar problems, I'd appreciate your feedback)
All things considered I'm extremely happy with the car. The fit and finish is superb, the engine powerful & smooth, and the ride excellent. Lexus's attention to detail really has paid off, and this manifests itself wherever you look. Yes, there are minor problems that need to be ironed out, but then which car is 100% perfect? The bottom line is that its difficult to go wrong with the ES 300.
Mar 19, 2001 (5:38 pm)
It's a '98 --
You have to expect these things to crop up on your new car. I expect you'll have many more miles of enjoyment with your new car -- I wish you the best luck.
For some of the rattle -- try wedging black pieces of felt between plastic parts to eliminate -- then close the ashtray.
Air pressure -- i noticed a similar phenomenon on my '94 -- set air pressure to manual specs -- and maybe a little higher for crisper steering.
I've had both ES300 seatbelts in the front replaced under lifetime warranty because they wouldn't recoil. It's a common problem on many vehicles -- mostly on my '94. They will and should replace this no charge.
Those tubes should have been replaced under the Certification Agreement -- that is, if you bought it Lexus Certified. Check into it -- otherwise, take it to the dealer. I have never had a problem typing out a list of things wrong w/ my '94 ES and handing it to the service. rep., and just driving off and trusting they would take care of all of them.
#733 of 5443 New Coach 2001
Mar 19, 2001 (6:58 pm)
I finally pulled the trigger (after six months) and drove off the lot with my new Coach Edition. I was very pleased with the way I was treated and also with my salesman. The Coach travel bag is very nice and the Lexus travel mug and Lexus Cross pen given to me are all great extras. My salesperson is also going to send me a cargo net as soon as they get some new ones in. I'm very glad I spent a little extra for the Coach. The dark badging and different wheels look great against the black paint job. I think the wheels look just a little like the ones used on the LS. All in all a good experience.
Mar 20, 2001 (5:30 am)
It is possible to change the steering wheel in your 2000 Es300 to a wood/leather steering wheel like in the 2001 model. But buying the factory wood/leather wheel is expensive(very). I would expect you are looking at about a $1500 bill. Check with your dealer on the exact price.
Mar 20, 2001 (5:38 am)
Good to see you're happy with your car. Those are 7 small complaints.
I'll try and address some of your complaints.
2) the tires on the front do tend to look underinflated. Why? The ES300 is a FWD car and a heavy FWD car at that. If you put the same tire pressure on both ends, the front tires will look more underinflated because more weight hangs over the front wheels. As long as the cold PSI in the tires is what Lexus recommends, you are fine.
4) Yup, it's a phenomenon with leather seats on "most" cars.
5) Ride too smooth? Easy to fix that. Buy some 16" wheels/tires & buy some stiffer shocks/struts. That is if you want to spend the money.
7) Never heard of this problem. DOes it rattle with coins in it?? You could try to glue some thin foam strips to the bottom of the ashtray. It may get rid of the rattles.
#736 of 5443 r3fico: Possible answers (?)
Mar 20, 2001 (6:38 am)
1) The missing drain tubes might be an indication of a rear-end collision that was improperly repaired. I would have a Lexus dealer look at that one.
2) A number of months ago, there were many folks complainig about rattling ash trays. You might look back and see if there were any home-grown fixes you could apply to yours.
3) Try using Lexol on the seats. It cleans, moisturizes and protects them without leaving them slick.
4) As remus mentioned, you can modify a car to ride and handle any way you prefer. All it takes is money.
Mar 20, 2001 (7:49 am)
I was thinking of changing out the leather steering wheel on my MB to a wood/leather one as well. Another guy posted that he did that and the MB dealer charged him +/- $1000 for total parts and labor. Hey for $1000 you at least get to hang your old one up in your garage somewhere. But it just wasn't worth the money to me. Good luck.
#738 of 5443 JUST BOUGHT AN 98.
Mar 20, 2001 (8:07 am)
I just bought an es300 with less than 14,000 miles from a Lexus certified dealer. (in black)
I also got a 3 yr 100,000 mile Lexus warranty.
The dealer initially said 24,900, I got him down to 24,000 and signed on the spot.
I picked up the car on Friday and it looks great.
just wondering if this is as good a deal as my dealer said I was getting.?
One more question I am interested in making my car radio a little stronger but I heard it is difficult to upgrade a Lexus stereo system. any advice?
#739 of 5443 Re: Problems with my ES 300
Mar 20, 2001 (11:00 am)
remus26, tlswhiz, rickc5 : thanks for the input.
I will look into replacing the struts/shocks/wheels and provided this is not obscenely expensive I will seriously consider going ahead with the upgrade. The car has 50K miles on it and could use new shocks/struts anyway. What shocks/struts do you suggest?
rickc5: the tubes are there they just weren't inserted into the holes (no pun intended ). But your point about a possible rear-end collision is noted and I will get this checked out by the local nexus dealer over the weekend if possible. Will also give Lexol a try.
remus26: the ashtray rattles when it is empty. Maybe "rattles" is too strong a word to use, but there is a mild rattling/clicking sound nevertheless. This happens only when I am driving over a bump road, on smooth stretches there is no problem. I've found that leaving the ashtray half open completely eliminates the rattle. Will try sticking sorbothane or felt in the gaps as you suggested and see if this helps.
tlswhiz : will check w/ the Lexus dealer about getting the seat belts replaced. Unfortunately this is not a Lexus Certified car (bought this at the Acura dealer) so this may present a problem but I will try anyway. The markup for a Certified Lexus ES 300 was huge and at that price it makes more sense to sustain the extra damage of $6000 and spring for a new ES 300.
Will keep you updated ....
#740 of 5443 some comments
Mar 20, 2001 (5:06 pm)
great sense of humor. thanks for your concern
but it's all good. actually my car has had
problems but all minor. no major ones like tranny,
engine, suspension, brakes, belts, etc.
hey congrats on your new ES. welcome to the
I had a slight noise in the ashtry area, like it's
coming from a small rattle snake, but I could
never pin point the problem. then it just
disappeared. I didn't think it was the ashtray
until I read about it on this forum. I'm still
not sure whether it was the ashtry. but it's gone
so mine is ok.
I never had a problem with water in the trunk or
about the leather seats, I only find it slippery
when I try to moisturize it with synthetic cleaner
that is used on leather. now I usually wipes it
with warm water and it's fine.
congratulations! you can try to upgrade to
Nakamichi but I have no idea how much it would
cost. if the upgrade is not done by lexus, it
may affect your warranty. only way to be sure is
to ask the dealer.