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95 Es300 - Few Questions


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Hi

I have a 95 es300 which i bought a year back. It is doing 85k miles now and in a very good condition. I have not yet given to a service, unless for changing oil and coolant. So i plan to give it to service now. I have few small problems as follows:

(1) oil leak: little oil leakage is there and the toyota dealers said the rack and pinion and some other oil filter has to be replaced and it will cost $2000. if it is really the problem, i want to service it and am not sure how much it would really cost.

(2) I get a "hiss"ing sound, when i try to turn the steering more than 180 degree around. This happens when the engine is started from cold and once or twice after that.

(3) I get air noise when i drive in the freeway, above 50 miles speed. From this forum, i think it is probably due to weatherstripping.

Can anybody help me find out how much all these and the routine service cost and is there any good mechanic in the bay area, california ( sunnyvale, santa clara, mountainview, milpitas ) area who charges nominal fee for this?

Also i get a mileage of around 17-18 (mixed city + freeway), is it ok? Is there anything i can do to better it? I always use premium gasoline.

Thanks

Sri

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First off welcome to the club Sri(it's the best one on the net!) ;) . The wind noise on the freeway is completely normal, and it comes from both or one of these: bad weatherstripping or your "wonderful" pilarless windows have gone out of alignment from people using the glass to slam the door shut. I spoke to my Lexus dealer about getting the windows aligned, and they told me that runs no more than $200, and they also quoted me $250 per door for weatherstripping :blink: . I think I'm going to have them realign the windows soon; I'll let you know how it turns out.

Depending on the severity of the creases/cracks on your weatherstripping, silicon spray or Meguiars Tire Endourance can revive the stripping to eliminate the hissing a little bit. I personally prefer the Endourance simply because it's easier to apply; I did notice a little improvement. Plus, I have it around the garage for detailing time!

I get 18mpg in mixed city and highway driving, and I'd say that about 60% is city; I only use premium Shell gasoline. Steviej added a K&N airfilter to his '02 and picked up a couple extra mpg's in the city and on the highway(correct me if these figures are wrong!). Also, depending on the maintinance history on your car, an injector flush might be help pick up a few extra miles. However, I had it done and noticed no improvements whatsoever...my car's previous owner kept the ES in pretty good mechanical shape with regular maintinance.

I save the more mechanical stuff for those more mechanically inclined....

:cheers:

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Thanks Very much Blake. Your feedback is very useful. I think i will try window aligning or weatherstrapping.

Is there anyone around in bay area that can refer me to a good mechanic ( i am really tired of the big numbers the lexus and toyota dealers give me).

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the weatherstripping is a major problem with these early ES's it happens on my car too, but i've gotten used to it before i got a new hu, but now i just let my stereo drown it out. it's mostly because there's no full frame on the doors, so if the stripping gets folded under or cracks or anything, it gets bad.

the oil leak and steering problem i've never run across before. and if the rack and pinion are needed to be replaced... that may be the problem that you are running across with the steering. the oil leak may come from really bad seals under the car. i had mine replaced recently and they were worn to almost nothing. the original seals don't last very long.

the gas mileage is about right. i get about 16-18 but i'm about 85-90% city and the rest highway b/c i'm just a student and only take highway for maybe 10-15 minutes max if i'm ever on it. plus, the car is nearing 11 years old, so gas mileage is gonna depreciate sooner or later.

good luck with the fix. i'd say $2000 would be a bit steep. try finding a lexus mechanic who does work outside of the dealer for cheaper. i know one down here in tx, so i take it to him. i did the 90k service, oil change, alignment, tranny flush, new seals, fixed foglights, cleaned engine, changed bulbs behind speedo, replaced rear bulbs and everything for only $500. the 90k service would have run at least that at the dealership. ask around. there's a few lexus mechs on here i think. not on here as much as i used to. just try asking around.

btw, Welcome to the Club, Sri. you're gonna like it here.

kev

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First the gas mileage question:...were the platinum spark plugs changed at 60 000 miles? If they weren't you should notice a big difference when you put in new ones. Question for you,...why do you use premium fuel? My wife's 97 (Canadian model) runs like a charm on regular and goes like a rocket when you mash the throttle. Your computer will calibrate for whatever octane you put in the tank, so why waste money if you can use the cheaper fuel? My Subaru Outback runs fine on regular, and I see no difference when I put in premium, so I run regular. My Nissan 300ZX must have the premium to run at all, and the owner's manual as well as the writing on the fuel guage tells you so. As far as the steering rack is concerned, why not look for a used one from something with low miles. The Toyota Camry is the same car and I'll bet it uses the same rack. Try to find a used rack from the auto recyclers from a Lexus first, but then check out if the Camry one is interchangeable. I'm betting it is.

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heh actually higher octane is just better for the engine overall. i've had premium in my '93 since i got it last year from my dad. i actually get better mileage. if you try premium for a long period of time and find mpg... and then compare it to regular after a long period of time... my dad ran regular a lot thinking it didn't make a diff too... when i upped to premium at request of my mom (She pays for gas anyways), i noticed at least 40 more miles per tank. i guess it depends... but don't know... that's my experience.

kev

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there is a really big threa in general maintance on octane levels

if you find it is ok to run on regular gas then go ahead.

i don't think the toyota engineers were in bed with the gas companies to lie and make you buy premium.

So who am i to reengineer my car to lower standards

put it this way.

we all know premium gas is better.

it is just how much better for each car

but does it really matter to save a buck in a tank of gas when it is going through all the most inportant and expensive parts of the car?

i get the best milage on this board and i drive hard

600 km a tank ,but i use it from full to almost empty.

all highway and i am pushing 900-1000km of straight hwy long trips. with 1 person in the car and minimal baggage.

you decide

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I was just looking around on this forum and saw the issue with the ES300 weatherstrippin. I'm kind of looking for a car for my daughter and of course favor a Lexus. What year did they change the design so that the wind noise problem is eliminated? The other thing that surpized me was that you can run regular in the 300 and not have it make all kinds of bad noises. I know you can never put regular in the 400.

Denny

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What year did they change the design so that the wind noise problem is eliminated?  The other thing that surpized me was that you can run regular in the 300 and not have it make all kinds of bad noises.  I know you can never put regular in the 400.

Denny

Denny, They didn't put full door pillars until the 2002 model. It's not so much an issue with the stripping, but rather an issue with the doors with out full pillars. The windows fall out of alignment over the years because people use the windows to slam the door shut. When the window fall out of alignment, is when you hear the awful wind noise.

You can burn regular, but very few of us actually do. I've never put anything put Premium Shell or Chevron in my tank. Saving $2 per fill up just isn't worth the risks to me. ;)

What years are you looking at?

:cheers:

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Not sure what year. My daughter will need a car this summer. She is in college and living on campus right now so she doesn't need one right now. If I don't get her something, she will be driving my truck all the time. I'll probably end up getting her a Sentra as she wants a stick. I can get a nice SER for around 8 or 9 grand, but I am considering another Leuxs. I like my 400 so much that I might try to talk her into one. From what I've seen, only the SC models ever came with a stick.

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