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Refurbishing A 97 Es 300


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My family has a 97 ES 300 that is soon going to become my car. It is in great condition overall but you can deffinatly tell that the car doesn't work like it used to. We are planning to put a couple grand into it and I was wondering if any of you veterans could tell me what I need to do. I heard that new battery and wiring will make it start better. I guess that is a good start. The brakes are not working incredibly well and are making a good deal of noise. There are some asthetic flaws in the interior. The radio display has some "bleeding" there are numbers showing through. On top of that the radio does not work at all, it seems as if there is no antenna. I would appreciate your help greatly, the car only has 70 thousand miles on it and I strongly believe that it is good for another 100,000 more.

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I would start with checking when the last engine oil change was made.

If that was a long time ago, I would change to oil and go for a good syn. oil, like Mobil1.

Then I would put a bottle of Techron in the gas tank, to clean the fuel system, replace the spark plugs, check the timing belt.

Note that you need to have a good performing car before starting with modding :)

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Don't assume that you need a new battery and wiring. You need to get the car to someone who can pull the computer codes to tell you what needs to be done to get the engine running smoothly and starting immediately. If not a Lexus dealer, then a Toyota dealer (the car is really a top of the line Camry anyway), or a repair shop that you know can service Japanese imports. From what you write its obvious that you are not a backyard mechanic or do it yourselfer, so get them to check your brakes as well. Have them bleed the brake system too. As far as the radio goes, ask your Lexus/Toyota service people to check it out. It could be a simple wire unplugged, or in need of a new radio. I'm not aware of any aftermarket replacement units that can be dropped into the console in its place, due to its size. Maybe someone else has info on that. Toyota used to have a replacement swap program a few years ago, whereby you gave them your old radio to be repaired, and they gave you a remanufactured one to drop in for around $750 or so. Maybe that still exists. You'll have to ask. As far as the modifications go (advice from a 54 year old retired teacher coming here), save the money and use it for maintenance, tires, insurance, next car, or a house.

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