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jakemj8402

Maintenance Questions

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I just bought a '97 ES300 w/ 56,000 miles. I assume that it has an interference engine since it is a Toyota, when should I get the timing belt changed? Also, I can't find in the manual when you are supposed to change the transmission fluid. Any input you can provide will be greatly appreciated, thank you.

-Jake

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With your engine, they suggest at 90k. You'll need to do the drive belts while your at it- as it will save some money later. Drive belts are about $8 for one, and $20 for the other. They Toyota shop may be a little cheaper, at least it was for me: $240 for the Timing belt installed, and drive belts were about $30. Hope that helps!

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Oh, sorry Jake, the tranny should be serviced every 30k miles. I think it cost me about $60 to have them drop the pan, drain about 4.5 quarts of fluid, and put a new gasket on. If you wanted to power flush it, your looking at about $200, and my tech told me I didn't need to do it as it wasn't looking that bad.

When I did my Tundra tranny oil about four months ago, I ended up running all synthetic Red Line. I just pulled the return line off, cranked it over for a minute untill I filled a couple of quarts- then replaced 2 fresh quarts. Then I repeated the process until the entire 12.5 quarts had been replaced with new. It's kind of like a power flush, only not hooked up to a machine. It sure made one hell of a difference in power! I'm just not sure if you can do it with the Es 300?

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i went to the dealership..they said "change timing belt when the car has 120k"

250 for timing belt change isn't bad at all, i paid 860 for my last car for the 100k service.

which included timing belt, oil seals, accessory belts, thermostat, water pump.

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Geez, Lexus of New Orleans told me $900 for just the timing belt and water pump :wacko: . I think I'm going to take mine to a Toyota dealer...I wish I knew when it was last changed. I think I'll just change it anyways at 120k.

:cheers:

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Jake, the 97 ES has a "non-interference" engine.

They became "interference" in 99 with the advent of VVT-i.

Lexus will tell you to change the tranny fluid every 15k. This has been the topic of heated discussion. The owner's manual(s) for the ES and other lines are not specific as to when to change or even inspect the fluid. The lexus service shops will try to persuade you to do it every 15k miles and they will offer you the power flush.

At least once every two years or 30k miles seems to be the widely accepted industry recommended standard.

The decision is always that of the owner not the service shop.

steviej

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non-interference engine is the one that is safer one right?

when timing belt snaps, valves don't get bent (looking like little mushroom patch)

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right.

however, I have never seen an OHC engine from Japan not hit something when the timing belt breaks, interference or not.

steviej

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What I thought was interesting, was that Toyota told me that the 97' Camry V6 needed a Timing belt at 60K miles, and I talked with the Toyota/Lexus Guru mechanic personally, who told me the timing belt needed to be changed at 90k for the ES 300?? Something about it being different? I've never heard of any Toyota timing belt being changed at 120k unless it's the second one, and I've owned several. (Interestingly, the early straight 6 Land Cruiser doesn't need the timing belt changed at all).

I also think you need to verify the non-interferance, and I also think $250 is cheap insurance for a timing belt!

Ya, you guys are right about the tranny oil being a hot topic. It's up to the owner, and I just run my vehicles hard- so, I try to at least drain the four quarts every 15k. I just wish the drain pan had a plug in it like the Tundra does! After talking with people I work with, and family, some havn't changed the tranny oil at all- and mostly cause they had no flippin idea?! I don't think it's that big of deal? Good luck man!

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