Do Not Sell My Personal Information Jump to content

2003 Es 300 Brake Fluid Contamination


Simpion
 Share

Recommended Posts

Our 2003 ES 300 has 13,000 miles. While my wife was left front break seized up and the wheel began smoking while going 30 MPH (Thankfully she was only going 30 MPH). The Lexus dealership says the break fluid is contaminated and the entire break system (hoses, valves, calipers, pads, master cylinder, etc.) need to be replaced at a cost of $5,200 plus tax. My non-Lexus mechanic tells me replacing everything is not necessary. He would inspect the system and replace parts as needed.

The dealership says none of this is covered by the warranty because they believe the contamination is oil. The warranty is void if fluids other than those recommended in the owner's manual are used. We don't have a full service history on the car as we bought it in an insurance company stolen car auction. However, they Lexus dealership was able tell us the car had the 6,000 mile service.

I have researched brake fluid contamination. Everything I read tells me the most likely source of the contamination is water, not oil. My research indicates the oil would cause various parts to deteriorate almost immediately. We had the car for 6 weeks with no signs of brake trouble. Also, the car sat for over 4 months on the insurance company's lot.

We have appealed the dealership's decision with a regional Lexus service rep. Has anyone had to deal with this type of situation before? We don't want to take it elsewhere for fear that Lexus will not pay for the repairs if they are done elsewhere.

I have read about services that can analyze brake fluid to determine the source of the contamination. But, by the time we get the kit to do the extraction, send it off to the service and get the results it could be 6 - 8 days. Meanwhile, we are paying for a rental car.

Any thoughts, advice would be appreciated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You might want to get the test kit anyway, because it may be that long before you get a decision from Lexus anyway.  How did the dealership do their tests?

We don't know. We think it's an assumption based on the color of the fluid.

Thanks for your reply.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You might want to get the test kit anyway, because it may be that long before you get a decision from Lexus anyway.  How did the dealership do their tests?

We don't know. We think it's an assumption based on the color of the fluid.

Thanks for your reply.

When I had my 30,000 mile service I asked why they do a brake fluid flush and change. I had never had that done on a car before. It was explained to me it was because of the possibilty of water contamination. This agrees with what you posted earlier.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If a significant amount of motor oil or other petroleum substance like that was ever added to the brake system then the Lexus dealer is correct that all the expensive hydraulic componets of the brake system might be ruined and have to be replaced.

Personally I would buy 4 quarts of DOT 3 brake fluid and flush the brake system out myself and hope that the new fluid restores brake system performance.

To do a real thorough job you should try to suck a quart of fluid out of each brake bleeder valve located on each of the 4 brake calipers.

You might want to also check the other lubes and fluids in the car too (coolant, engine oil, transmission oil, power steering fluid) for signs of accidental or intentional contamination / sabotage.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

what color is/was the fluid that they think was contaminated and fluid analysis would answer some questions.

If it is not contaminated then you would have to think mechanical defect. Could have been a faulty caliper or brake line that got crimped or clogged.

I guess with smoke being created then the caliper on that side has damage now and any defect may be masked. Are the pads done to nothing on that side?

Check the rubber gasket/boot on the caliper for any tears and check the brake line under that wheel well for any crimps.

this will be interesting to see how it plays out.

steviej

Link to comment
Share on other sites

buy a vacume bleeder and suck out all the old fluid through the bleeder screw and replace it with new and then take it to another Lexus dealer and have them check it out and see if you can get them to fix it.

also the most part that costs the most in replacing the system would be the abs unit. rather then new you can get them online for about 200 with a 1 year warranty that would save you a 1000 bucks or so if u end up having to have the job done.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Well it turns out the State Farm (from whom we bought the car in an auction) did not run a history on this car. The Lexus dealership ran one and we discovered the car was considered totaled and had odometer issues. The date of the totaling was right around the time of a major hurricane in Sept 03. Our theory is the car was caught in a flood and the owner decided to have the car stolen and relocated.

We had received a notorized letter from State Farm prior to the sale stating the car was not a total loss vehicle. We can't believe State Farm had not run a history on the car. State Farm recently settled a case in which they were found to be sellling cars with falsified histories. After we contacted them with the car's history they agreed to take the car back and make us whole on any costs associated with the sale and ownership of the car, as well as the cost of a rental car while we search for a new car.

We are car shopping this weekend and will consider another ES 300. We loved the care while it ran and our experience with Lexus of Cherry Hill, NJ was very positive. I may be back on this board as a Lexus owner.

Bye for now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Forums


News


Membership