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The Last Few Weeks


CanadaCraig
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Hi Guys!! :)

As some of you may have noticed - I've been away for awhile. The reason being - I sold my home and moved into an apartment. I'm sure some of you can appreciate what I'm about to say. I will NEVER MOVE AGAIN!! lol

Oh well...

A little while ago [before I moved] I brought my 93 LS to my local Lexus dealer's service centre to have something done about a constant droaning sound that occured [most obviously] at around 50 mph. They couldn't figure out what might be causing the noise - so they sent my car 'out' to some other shop to have the entire drive-line balanced. They had my car [for one reason or another - not sure what] for 2 weeks. No big deal. I got to use [free of charge] a fairly new RX300. The cost? About $1500 - mostly labour. How much of that did I end up paying? Nothing!! "We decided to 'eat' that bill since we were unable to completely fix the problem?" Pretty good - don't you think? True - the droan was less obvious - but still there. But now there was an obvious [to me - at least] 'sucking in of air' sound just off idle AND two other problems that made the droan sound 'problem' become a distant memory. I was in the middle of a short trip when I pulled over for gas. As I left the gas station - I noticed a very distinctive rattle coming from under the car. It was loud enough and disturbing enough that I called BCAA ['AAA'] to have a look at the car. My little trip was over - that much I knew - but I wanted to make sure that I could get back home again. [nothing but a mountain pass between where I was - and home] The BCAA guy told me that although the noise was disturbing - he couldn't see any obvious reason why I couldn't make it home. He was right - and I did. [make it home - that is] In fact - the noise disappeared half-way home. I suppose that something cooled down a bit and THAT calmed everything down. [if that makes sense] In fact - that horrible rattle never did happen again - at least not that badly - but a similar noise would happen after the car got very warm. [like after I'd pass someone or something like that] I brought the car back to the dealer. They realigned the entire exhaust system [from manifold to tailpipes] and sent me on my way. [after 4 days and yet another courtesy car - this time an IS300] I took my car home and soon realized that the problem had not been fixed - so I brought the car back - two days later. Again - I was given another courtesy car [an ES300] which I kept over the weekend. Got my car back on Monday. [or was it Tuesday - can't remember] This time - the 'sucking in of air' problem was resolved by using silicone to compensate for a slightly warped exhaust/manifold flange - but NOW my car had a NEW problem. Now there was an annoying buzz or rattle [or whatever] coming from within [or under] the centre console. Back I went - the next day. This time - the 'tech' went with me for a drive so I could point out to him what, exactly - I thought was wrong. Of course - as is always the case - the 'noise' was not nearly as LOUD with HIM in the car. How frustrating. I felt like that poor cartoon guy with the singing frog. [some of you will know what I mean] Well.. at least he DID hear 'it' - so that was good. I also mentioned [during our drive] that the car alway makes a clanking noise whenever I back up and then go forward again. He told me that THAT was quite common and had to do with the front brake pads moving. I asked them to fix the console noise AND to install the 'fix' for the brakes. Yet another courtesy car for me. This time - a year 2000 LS400 with the 290 hp engine. [which made MY car feel like a slug - but that's a whole different message!!] The very next day - at about 10:30 AM - I get a call telling me that my car is ready. The problem? [at least with the console noise] Apparently - someone left some packing tape wrapped around the driveshaft when IT was being balanced. [i suppose the new 'weights' came in some sort of wrap] They removed the wrap and the annoying console sound disappeared. They appologized and told me not to worry about the cost of the front brake pad kit they installed. Everything - so far - is much better. There is an odd sort of rattle upon starting the car [which I hope doesn't get worse] and the gas pedal and shifter still 'buzz' a bit [above 1500 rpm] but that seems to be it. Total cost for all of that work and all of those courtesy cars? About $260. But that was for the 93,000 km service. [in other words - I paid for NOTHING other than the routine maintainence] Oh yeah - they also flushed out the fuel lines - so that's better now - too. Hopefully - I'll soon be able to trust my car. I guess only time will tell - but I certainly can't complain about how I was treated. The Lexus Service guy was always very polite and always made sure that I got a Lexus to drive when MY car was in the 'shop'.

As an aside ... if you'd like to know what I think of the RX300, ES300, IS300 or a 2000 LS400 - don't hesitate to ask.

Craig!! :)

ps I hope that I got all of the above in the right order!! I think so!!

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Thanks 99lsguy and chips229!! :)

I truly was given the 'red-carpet' treatment. Now I have another problem. I can't see how I'd ever be willing to give that up. The free courtesy Lexuses alone would be very hard for me to ever say good-bye too.

Hi SW03ES!! :)

Thanks for asking!!

Interestingly enough - the ES300 I drove was just like yours - except for the interior - which was Ivory. [or 'tan' or whatever their calling it these days] I have to admit - I was VERY impressed. It has a lot of 'off-the-line' power. No doubt the ES330 would be even more impressive. At first - I wasn't too fond of the red wood interior trim - but after a couple of days - it grew on me!! Surprisingly rich looking interior. More so - even - than my '93 LS. The door armrests - however - looked a bit homemade. I know that may sound odd - but that was the impression I got. Not that the quality of those armrests were inferior - or anything like that - it's just how they looked. The Mark Levinson sound system was very impressive. Easily the equal of the 'Nak' in my car. [which is saying something - as far as I'm concerned] The seats were very nice and so was that wonderful leather/wood steering wheel. I LOVE the feeling of wood. [there's a joke there - somewhere!!] I enjoyed playing around with the shock adjusting thing. I think it was quite effective. The car was obviously 'sportier' and obviously smoother when switched between the two. The car was also very quiet. I felt like I was in a very luxurious car - something I didn't really expect. In fact - I'd quite willingly swap my LS for it.

The same can't be said for the IS300. It's a nice enough car - but a little too much work. [if that makes sense] The steering is very stiff and so is the suspension AND the seats. It's also not all that easy to get into. [at least for a 6'3" tall guy like me] Admittedly - the one I drove was obviously the base model. It had cloth seats [with no adjustable lumbar support] and no sunroof. Lot's of power - though - especially off the line. But no more so than the ES300. [at least that's the feeling I got] I always felt as though I were driving one of the nicest Corolla's ever made. It didn't feel like a Lexus. Still.. I'd say 'thank you very much' if you wanted to GIVE me one!!

As for the year 2000 LS400... wow!! I love that engine. I LOVE that [290 h.p.] engine. But the rest of the car was very familiar. [to my '93] The one I drove was a little over done - as far as I'm concerned. It was white with a 'tan' interior and everything that was chrome on the outside was painted[?] gold. I'm not a big fan of that look. It made the car look cheap. It also had chrome wheels. A little too glittery for me. But the car itself was very nice. Unfortunately [as is the case with most courtesy or rental cars - sadly] it hasn't been treated very well. And it must have been side-swiped at one time in it's life because the driver's door took two or three tries [each time] to shut properly. The seats were obviously more supportive [than the one's in my car] and quite comfortable. But because they are more supportive [and a little less 'squishy'] I had a little less headroom. Otherwise a very nice car. But I wouldn't swap it for mine. [i would willingly do an engine transplant - however!!]

If I didn't mention something - don't hesitate to ask.

Craig!! :)

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Basically all of the LS' up to the brand new 04 ride and drive pretty much the same, the "LS ride" is legendary and they don't mess with success.

Glad you liked the ES. I know a couple people who have traded their LS' on them because the ride/drive and feature content of the new ES and the median LS' are so similar, and the ES is so much cheaper than a new LS. They set out to make the ES into a "baby LS" and they definately succeeded. The granet/ivory like your loaner is pretty common but the car with the black interior like mine is fairly rare. Lexus prefers to ship their colors with "contrast". Dark interiors light exteriors, dark exteriors light interiors etc. Thats the reaction I get from everyone they say it looks and feels like a much more expensive car than it is.

Which armrest do you mean the door armrests or the center one? The door armrests are synthetic leather that may be why you had that reaction, its a pretty good synthetic leather though...

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Which armrest do you mean the door armrests or the center one? The door armrests are synthetic leather that may be why you had that reaction, its a pretty good synthetic leather though...

The door armrests. Beautifully put together... don't get me wrong. 'They' just look a bit aftermarket or homemade. I know that sounds odd. [even to me - and I'm writing this!!] I just remember the first time I shut the door on the ES. It felt overly padded [or something] like what you might find on a boat. [a very nice boat - but a boat none-the-less] But seriously. If THAT'S all I can come up with on my 'hmmm... not sure I was very impressed' list - than obviously the ES impresses indeed. In fact - I kinda wish I bought one instead of my car. And the gas mileage was noticably better - too. Oh well...

Speaking of my car.. I guess I'll have to take it back -again. Can you believe it? They should have replaced that warped flange thing and not just patched it up with a bunch of silicone. Oh well. It's better - but not yet good enough. I don't want ANY unnecessary rattles. [and it rattles underneath everytime I start it - when it's warm] I also need shocks - I think. My LS is far too floaty. At highway speed - it always feel as though I'm driving in a big wind storm - even if it's perfectly calm.

Craig!! :)

ps no doubt - your granet/black ES would look VERY nice!!

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