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1995 Es300 Series Of Problems...


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I'm new to this forum but this seems like the best place to get info for my lexus. I purchased a 1995 ES300 from someone two days ago for about $2300 the car has 127,000 miles on it. and seems to be in pretty good condition. I took it to a mechanic yesterday there are a few minor issues around 4-5 or so that would need to be fixed but all in all it was a steal/good buy for that price. Anyways i'm having other issues also that i would like to get help on if possible.

1. The power windows switch for the drivers side does not work, i can control everyone else's window but my own also the passenger window behind the drivers side I need to apply force for that to work on my panel. Aside from replacing that panel since it is a switch maybe the wire is loose or it might need to be cleaned... I guess I could try that out first...

2. The hood will not stay open i see it's using some type of compressor method i don't know what it would be called... Could i resolve those or at least get those parts from autozone or a junk yard i guess would be best.

3. The cassette player will not work when i get free time i will try to take it out and try to fix it... I have to force the tape in there and eventually i get it in there has an ejecting problem aside from it not wanting to play. it tries to play then stops, tries then stops, then eventually switches to the radio.

4. Cigarrete lighter port is not working, my friend said it might be my fuse but he said they seem to be fine. I don't know how to remove the port to see if the wires are loose or something of that nature.

5. Passenger floors... This issue makes no sense to me both the passenger floors are wet/damp... I don't know if there was a spill and since it's been pretty cold lately it has not been drying up. I checked the sunroof area and of course the passenger seats but there seems to be no sign of rain seeping through so i am unclear as to how that could have occured unless it has to do with some type of liquid that passes on the under side of the car.

6. I need some type of rubber cement I tried one but it didn't seem to work around the back window and drivers side window there seems to be areas where water will seep through and i'm trying to patch those up.

7. a few of th elights are showing up dim like the speedometer lights and parts of the radio lights i don't know if it's fuse related or battery related. I guess i'll just replace most or all the fuses and that should hopefully resolve it.

8. there are a few other issues such as the car jerking a bit but the mechanics told me that would stop after they replaced some part i can't remember te name of, just waiting for a list of issues and an estimate from them.

I think that's basically it can't think of anymore problems yet but if anyone could help me find tutorials or pictures or just can help me try to resolve any of these issues that would be of great help.

Thanks for your help and your time.

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I'll take a stab at a few of your issues.

1. Power window switches eventually get dirty and refuse to work. Sometimes it can be cured by spraying electrical contact cleaner into the switch and cycling the switch several times. You might have to do this two or three times. Do this with the ignition off .... and wait 5 minutes for the liquid to evaporate ..... before you turn on the ignition to try the switch, otherwise you may cause an electrical short that will fry the wiring. If this doesn't cure the problem, try getting a used switch from an auto wrecker. Remember that a Camry switch from the same model series should be interchangeable. I have no idea as to what "you are applying force to" in order to answer that question.

2. The gas strut that supports the hood is shot. An auto parts store will suggest a replacement. Be sure to get the correct one for your year.

3. The cassette drive may have a slipping or broken drive band. If you can get to the old one and get it out, a audio repair store will have a replacement, if they have yours for a comparison.

4. Replace the fuse with a known good one. Sometimes the fuse is bad even when you can't see that its burned through. Otherwise pull the panel and trace back the wiring. The ground wire may have come disconnected from the socket.

5.If you have snow like we have snow here in southern Ontario, Canada, the water was snow from someone's boots that the heater melted. Even if they had good rubber floor mats, the water sloshed over the mats into the carpeting. You can't do anything about this until spring. Then you'll have to remove the carpeting from the car, air out the interior, and when the carpeting is dry reinstall it. If this isn't your problem, and the water is still coming in, your windshield may be leaking, or the front drain tubes of your sunroof may have come disconnected.

6. Your rear windshield needs to be pulled and resealed, if its leaking. There is no other fix for this. If your front driver's window leaks, the driver's door seals need to be replaced.

7. Any dash or radio lights that are dim when the remainder are bright, indicates that these dim bulbs need to be replaced. Some Lexus vehicles that exhibit this problem require the entire dash panel to be replaced.

Good Luck!

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Thanks for the info yea i think with the floor that something has leaked there my friend said it might be a leak in the trunk like somehow water is trickling down into the floor mats and i should check under the seats also...

I will try contact cleaner and see if that does help if not then yea i'll go find a switch...

Gonnareplace all he fuses and get a mechanic to replace the dash bulbs seems like a pain if i were to try.

Thanks for the info and the time man I really appreciate it, probably get most of these things done this friday and i'll let you guys know how it went.

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For your cigarette lighter--after checking the fuse you can replace the lighter. Its easy to do, I did it on mine.

You can remove the cig lighter/ashtray unit without removing the stereo. You will need to remove the wood trim around the shifter console. You will also need to remove a little plastic cover above your ashtray/cupholder, its rectangular, about 1.5 inches by 6 inches or so. Both of these just clip in place, just pull em off. Then you'll see 4 screws holding the cig lighter/ashtray assembly. Remove those screws. Then pull it out and unclip its one wire harness as you pull it out.

Ta da!

If the lighter is dead, pick up a new one at an auto parts store or a walmart. Usually 4-6 bucks.

Take apart the ashtray assembly by removing the screws that hold it all together.

Remove and replace cigarette lighter. Reconnect/splice the wires. Only two. Very easy.

And reinstall everything, and you're done.

My '93 ES300 had a dead cig lighter (fuse was fine, wiring was fine, just the lighter had died over time), replacing it is important so you can charge your cell or ipod or whatever.

And new hood struts are easy to find and replace too. I bought mine off ebay to save a little $$ and because they were a direct fit, no drilling, just unbolt old ones and replace with new ones.

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Good stuff. Those look nearly identical to the ones I bought. The bolts holding my old hood struts where a PAIN to get out. Had to be real strategic to pull it off without stripping the heads of them. Be careful on that, use some penetrating lubricant.

Also, your dimming gauges, if its the guage needles, thats a common problem. Fuse won't fix that. Do a search for it, you'll find a DIY for fixing them. Also, theres a company you can mail them off to who will fix em for bout $100, I think its name is Lextech, can't quite remember. If you're good with sodering, do it yourself its only about $5 for all the parts.

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One other tip--I had an '88 Chrysler New Yorker before my Lexus. It used to have a problem with leaking during rain at the top driver's side corner of the windshield. I let it dry very well first (waiting for a long patch with no rain), and then I used some clear silicone sealant on the exterior of the car at all nearby lines and cracks where water could get in. This worked for me. The sealant tended to breakdown over time--I had to repeat this every 6 months or so. Its not a true permanent fix, but it does buy you some time before paying more $$ for someone to remove the windshield and replace the trim.

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alright got the parts list and estimates on what's wrong with the car that would need to be fixed engine wise.

This is with or without labor for some of the stuff can't remember. He's giving me documentation tomorrow.

He said I need a:

valve cover gasket which will cost me around 373 and I think that's with labor.

my crankshaft seal is leaking at the bottom and that's going to be 275 with labor

I need a o2 sensor which ranges from 100 - 200 and 75 for labor

He said I would need a tune up which is going to be around 425 - 450

Motor mounts two of them 175 a piece and 200 to put them both in.

I don't know which motor mounts he's referring to i'll ask him which specific one's but he said those will fix the jerkiness that occurs when i change gears sometimes or floor it or just driving... But he said i should get those done first along with the crankshaft seal since it's leaking at the bottom the gasket can wait...

I took a look on autozone for the parts they're cheaper so i'll probably just buy the parts from there and depending on the labor try to find someone cheap to do them.


Valve cover gasket: 25 to 45

Crankshaft Seal: 27.99

O2 Sensor: 65 - 125

Motor Mount: 33 - 112

Also found something on ebay


300 dollars and 24 dollars to ship it to me but... it's a timing belt package that would have a camshaft, a crankshaft seal, water pump, timing belt, valve cover gasket, and spark plug seal. so two of the 4 or so things i would need would be in that package but I wouldn't need the other stuff not yet... so it'd just be a waste of money right now.

Gonna keep looking around and find a place to get the cheapest labor if possible.

Yes the needles for the rpm monitor and the speedomitor don't come on. i'll look into the diy, not something big for me to worry about $100 dollars seems crazy though lol, also would need to replace the bulbs for the dash half of it are dim or going out. I don't know I'll look into it...

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Replaced the Gas struts what a pain that was... I Tried to fix the cig lighter. can't find the port anywhere they're saying i have to go to the lexus dealership and all. I tried cleaning it i checked the connections they seemed fine and the fuse is new, but nothing... I don't know if it's the port itself or the wires that connect to it. I hope it's not the wires since the light for the port works...

Spent too much time on the gas struts and the lighter to get anything else done...

Tried to fix the window switch on my side but yea that thing is definitely broken, my new one should be here hopefully by tuesday. Also getting another radio and just gonna sell mine on ebay. also ordered the disc cartridge for the cd player.

Just gotta take care of the leaks those engine issues need to be resolved, new brakes, new battery, need to fix that lighter, need to get the radio antenna to go up....

sigh costly costly costly

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alright my power window switch came in... the passenger windows all work well even the back left window which on the other switch i had to apply pressure to get that window to go down... but the drivers side window is still not going down. the item was used


Now i don't know if it's the windows motor regulator being broken or something, or if it's just the button itself. i do have my old window switch here illl try to figure out a way to reroute it to a button i know that works and pop it back in the car and see if that window will go down or not... but other than that i'm at a lost as to how i would be able to test the window to see if it's the motor or the button

Anyone have a possible pin out for the window switch on the drivers side? or a way for me to test to see if the buttons actually work or not. that would greatly be appreciated.

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  • 2 weeks later...

hey, does anyone happen to have a tutorial on removing the side door i guess. trying to check out my left front window motor to see if it's bad, and if so then i'd have to replace it... also for removing the dash if someone has a tutorial or that, that would be greatly appreciated.

thanks for your time, and for your help

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I replaced the lighter nothing, not working it might be the sha tray i got from ebay cuz the lights that light them up when the car lights come on don't come on for that one. I'll put the old one back in and see... I guess it's probably the wires gotta get in there somehow and replace it.

The leaks i didn't seal them up because i couldn't find any. it has rained a little and i've gone through the car wash. still no signs of leaking and the back floor seats aren't wet anymore...

The car has starting up issues sometimes. it comes on and all but then the engine stops the rpm drops to 0 as if i didn't start the car just merely turned it on so i can use th elights or radio... i think it might've been the cable that was attached to the gas strut. might need to tighten it or something. Someone else told me it might be my O2 sensor i'm not sure though.

I still have to open up the drivers side window to check out that motor definitely a goal for tomorrow, because that's just a pain going through drive thrus.

For the window washer does it use a motor? that might be why no liquids come out i'll have to look into that.

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