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94 Es300, Suspension, Transmission Problems


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Just purchased a 94 ES300 with 135K mi on it.

Interior looks GREAT. Exterior is very good (around 20 rock chips on the hood).

Runs smooth.

I have two concerns though:

1. Suspension: I'm getting a creaking, low volume clunking sound from the rear when I go over pot holes or speed bumps. I think the struts are gone. Replacing each strut could run around $150, right? Can I make do without changing the struts? Did I mention the car runs smooth when I'm not turning?

Any advice in this regard?

2. Transmission. When I start accelerating from a stop, or when the car shifts gears automatically there is "thud" noise just before I feel the pull of the engine.

What is this a symptom of? Would I need to do anything to fix this?

How long will this car run if I do spend some $$ on it? I use it just for touring purposes, I don't even take sharp turns.

Thanks for all your time.


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First off, Welcome to the club :D! Tell us about your car...color, pics???

Your suspension problem is a very common one. I have it too; I just haven't gotten around to repairing it yet. I really get it only when I pull into the driveway to fast. The struts are most likely still good if they aren't exhibiting the common symptoms of a bad strut like floating, bottoming out, etc. I believe your problem lies in a suspension mount or swaybar mount back there.

Something is wrong with your tranny. The quality of the engine/tranny is why I've turned into a Lexus freak. In my '94, I floor it at a light, and the car shoots off with out a flinch or thud; then she effortlessly shifts at the 6k redline marking B)...funnnnn! To start off you might want to change the fluid this weekend. If that doesn't help it might be a tranny mount or other tranny malfunction.

Not a DIY'er? Luckily JPI is a Texan too. I think he's near Dallas. If you can't get the tranny figured out, take it to him, and he'll get you fixed up for cheap!

As 1 owner put it when some asked about the longevity of a cared for Lexus: "you might as well put it in your will!"


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Blake918 thanks for the info.

will see if things get worse before heading off to a mechanic.

I'm actually quite happy with how this 10 year old car drives, but from reading all the posts on Lexus, I feel I should be expecting more from this not so ordinary vehicle.

ta ta,



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