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uologan

New Es300 Owner Needs A Bit Of Help

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I am the new (as in 3 days) owner of a 93 Lexus ES300 and really like the car, however, I have been faced with two problems. The first problem is that the car overheated on me while I was in some serious stop and go traffic for about 15 to 20 mins. There were no warning lights on the instrument panel I just happen to see a tiny bit of steam coming out of the hood which prompted me to look at the temp gauge that was now almost red lined. I parked it and later filled it up with water. If the car is in park for an extended period of time or in stop and go heavy traffic it will over heat but, in regular driving it seems to be just fine. I did check the fan and it was working...so any advice on this would be appreciated.

Secondly I feel this weird 'clunking' noise when I am at a red light or when the car is in park. The rpms do not change but I hear and feel this 'clunk' periodically like once every 30 seconds or so. It makes the sound as though I am shifting into gear but I am not, and it is all coming from the engine. Aside from this I love the car and would appreciate any input.

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I am the new (as in 3 days) owner of a 93 Lexus ES300 and really like the car, however, I have been faced with two problems. The first problem is that the car overheated on me while I was in some serious stop and go traffic for about 15 to 20 mins. There were no warning lights on the instrument panel I just happen to see a tiny bit of steam coming out of the hood which prompted me to look at the temp gauge that was now almost red lined. I parked it and later filled it up with water. If the car is in park for an extended period of time or in stop and go heavy traffic it will over heat but, in regular driving it seems to be just fine. I did check the fan and it was working...so any advice on this would be appreciated.

Secondly I feel this weird 'clunking' noise when I am at a red light or when the car is in park. The rpms do not change but I hear and feel this 'clunk' periodically like once every 30 seconds or so. It makes the sound as though I am shifting into gear but I am not, and it is all coming from the engine. Aside from this I love the car and would appreciate any input.

I'm not sure about the 'clunking', but, check your oil level in the engine and make sure that it is not over-full, and that it doesn't resemble 'coffee with cream' or a 'frothy chocolate milkshake'.

(That would show water or anti-freeze in the oil.)

IF the oil looks as described, do NOT run the engine. Water and oil do not mix and the internal parts COULD be damaged. . . badly.

I got my '93 es300 because of the same issue.

The radiator had cracked because the previous owner (my sister) didn't have routine maintenance done. (She went 10 years without flushing/draining/refilling the radiator!)

She thought that the engine had blown up. The car only cost me a towing bill; a radiator; and an intake manifold gasket (and the labor to install, of course).

Back on track. . . .

Check the coolant level when the engine is cold.

Check the oil condition as mentioned above.

Allow the engine to warm up to operating temp.

Look under the car to see if there is any obvious leaking.

My semi-educated guess is that (could be either/or):

1. The radiator is cracked.

2. The head gasket(s) are blown. (Water could be entering the 'bottom end' of the engine.)

3. The water pump is leaking or has gone bad.

4. The thermostat is stuck and the fluid is overfilling the reservoir.

5. Bad upper or lower radiator hose(s).

6. Bad fan switch(es).

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I had similar problems with my 96. Perhaps yours have the same cause ?

The overheating turned out to be a broken rubber gasket on the bottom of the radiator cap (even though, of course, its not located on the radiator). Anyways pop the cap, flip it over, and make sure the gasket is not broken or cracked.

The clunking at idle on my car turned out to be a bad upper engine mount. Pop your hood and it should be on the left side above the strut. See if the rubber bushing is still intact.

Hmmm.. another idea on the clunk... Perhaps its the electric clutch engaging on the AC compressor ?

- Rich

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There s some good advice going on here. I ll just add that if its not any of these other possibilities ie. the hose, cap, rad, thermostat etc. and the steam was burning off AFTER overflowing from the expansion tank ( not from somewhere else) than it could be the problem that i recently had; air lock in the system. Get the proper steps to fill the system . I let everything cool and with the cap off , motor running, topped the system squeezing the hose slowly , getting air bubbles to exit. When it was hot and the thermostat had opened and ready to overflow i put the cap back on. I added fluid (water) to the expansion tank but only when it was cold again and only to the cold level shown on the tank. I haven t had a problem in 1500 miles and all types of traffic. . I keep an eye on the exp tank levels and find that its always fluctuating but being consistent.ie;higher level when running hot and back down when totally cooled off. Again, this is only the way i did it,on the road at the time. Hope this helps.

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Thanks for all the replies and excellent trouble shooting tips. I did fill the coolant as suggested and have not had any temp spikes as of yet. I'll check on the engine mount this weekend.

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