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Smokesfan

New Lexus Owner Needs Advice! :)

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Hi, All!

My wonderful hubby surprised me early today and bought me a 2003 ES300 (it's beautiful!!) with only 55000 miles on it and it is great! I have already read the entire owners manual and have a couple of questions that I am hoping other owners will help me to answer. :)

The book says that I can use 87 fuel in it, but recommends 91 or higher. Which is better?

Secondly, I just filled up the car with 87 and the fuel range gauge only showed 256 miles left in the tank, which bothered me because it says 21 and 29 mpg, so that doesn't add up to the fuel range? Is there a problem with a sensor or the fuel tank? Help?

Thanks!

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Congrats! Its a great car, I've had mine since new and it just rolled over 146,000 miles and it runs and looks as great as it did when it was new. If you take really good care of these cars they last a really, really long time.

I have always run 93, and thats what I would reccomend you do also. The cost difference is pretty small.

As for the range, the DTE display is pretty innacurate. You'll find after you've been driving on a long highway trip and fill up you'll get a higher range...and if you disconnect the battery for 5 minutes or so it will reset the ECU and you'll find the range will read 320 miles or so when full. Over time it will drop back down though. If you actually calculate it you'll see the actual range is more like 350 miles.

I get 18-19MPG around town and 26 or 27 on a highway trip.

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Hi, All!

My wonderful hubby surprised me early today and bought me a 2003 ES300 (it's beautiful!!) with only 55000 miles on it and it is great! I have already read the entire owners manual and have a couple of questions that I am hoping other owners will help me to answer. :)

The book says that I can use 87 fuel in it, but recommends 91 or higher. Which is better?

Secondly, I just filled up the car with 87 and the fuel range gauge only showed 256 miles left in the tank, which bothered me because it says 21 and 29 mpg, so that doesn't add up to the fuel range? Is there a problem with a sensor or the fuel tank? Help?

Thanks!

Don't worry. I have heard it always displays a safe expected mileage based on how you were driving in past. It will give you 16-18 in city based on your style of driving. My 99 ES300 gives 14-16 in city, but almost doubles it in highway, I drove a little above 200 for 1/2 a tank and ended up with 350 when I had to drive in city+highway(still had 2-3 gallons left when i refilled).

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I presently have 3 vehicles with trip computers and their accuracy varies. I've learned to use them as a guide only.

As far as using premium fuel versus regular 87 .... my wife's last 97 ES300 (269 000 kms), her present 04 ES330 (102 000 kms), and my 90 Nissan 300ZX (77 000 kms) all advise using premium fuel. We have always used regular in all of these vehicles with no adverse effects in any way. That said, we do not drive our cars hard. The on board computers compensate for the lower octane and adjust engine parameters accordingly.

But if you are the type of driver who is always driving hard, putting the pedal to the metal demanding as much acceleration as possible, you would be wise to use premium fuel to prevent preignition. Severe preignition burns holes in the tops of pistons. How can you tell if you have preignition? Under hard acceleration you'll hear what sounds like someone inside the engine wrapping on the inside with a wrench. I have never heard this on any of our cars from using regular fuel.

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But for the small savings...why take the chance?

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Still to this day...most people don't understand gasoline and burn rates - your car is designed to run on 87 - if you run any higher rating than that you are throwing money away - for decades people have misunderstood how gasoline burns and what octane readings are and what they mean especially in relation to gasoline and its burn rate. If you put a fuel in that has a higher octane number/rating, not only are you wasting your money but the engine will have less power - you want the FASTEST burning fuel you can get away with not the slowest - my grandfather used to do the same thing for decades and I finally got around to telling him "Grandpa...this thing is designed to run on 87...why are you wasting money on "premium" ... so he finally realized after I explained what you see in this blog and he stopped doing that and started saving money - what happens is people get fixated on the word/term "premuim" and back in the old days...there was some merit to the "quality" and cleanliness of the fuel, plus most everything in the old days was high compression so higher octane fuels were necessary - but in modern day...the three grades are basically identical fuels with identical cleanliness (required by auto manufacturers and the feds) and then compounds are added to change the burn rate/octane rating.

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Still to this day...most people don't understand gasoline and burn rates - your car is designed to run on 87 - if you run any higher rating than that you are throwing money away

Right, but the ES isn't designed to run on 87...it is designed to run on 91+. The manual clearly states that premium fuel should be used, but if it is unavailable you MAY substitute unleaded fuel of down to an octane rating of 87 but may experienced reduced performance. It certainly doesn't say "use regular".

My Prius says "use regular" so I use regular. The Lexus says "use premium but if you are out of gas and only can find regular, it will probably be okay"...so I use premium.

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Still to this day...most people don't understand gasoline and burn rates - your car is designed to run on 87 - if you run any higher rating than that you are throwing money away - for decades people have misunderstood how gasoline burns and what octane readings are and what they mean especially in relation to gasoline and its burn rate. If you put a fuel in that has a higher octane number/rating, not only are you wasting your money but the engine will have less power - you want the FASTEST burning fuel you can get away with not the slowest - my grandfather used to do the same thing for decades and I finally got around to telling him "Grandpa...this thing is designed to run on 87...why are you wasting money on "premium" ... so he finally realized after I explained what you see in this blog and he stopped doing that and started saving money - what happens is people get fixated on the word/term "premuim" and back in the old days...there was some merit to the "quality" and cleanliness of the fuel, plus most everything in the old days was high compression so higher octane fuels were necessary - but in modern day...the three grades are basically identical fuels with identical cleanliness (required by auto manufacturers and the feds) and then compounds are added to change the burn rate/octane rating.

With all due respect, I use premium gas only on my ES300 97 because it gives me a huge boost in performance comparing to the lowest unleaded fuel. I think the money we pay for premium is well worth it.

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With all due respect, I use premium gas only on my ES300 97 because it gives me a huge boost in performance comparing to the lowest unleaded fuel. I think the money we pay for premium is well worth it.

And because its what the manufacturer reccomends...

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