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graziemile

Oil Change, Fuel, And Other General Questions

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Hi,

I just purchased my first Lexus (used, 2003 ES 300) and would like to ask a couple of maintenance questions, please.

Since I just bought it, what kind of initial check/maintenance should I do?

Should oil/filter change be done at Lexus or local Sears / Jiffy Lube, etc are fine?

If it is okay to do oil change, etc at local service shops, should I ask for Lexus parts and pay more, or what they are offering is fine?

What kind of fuel should I use (89 or 91)? All the time? Sometimes? Once in a while?

Does the gas brand matter (Mobil, Shell, Arco, 76)?

Thanks very, very much!

-graziemile

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Hi,

I just purchased my first Lexus (used, 2003 ES 300) and would like to ask a couple of maintenance questions, please.

Since I just bought it, what kind of initial check/maintenance should I do?

Should oil/filter change be done at Lexus or local Sears / Jiffy Lube, etc are fine?

If it is okay to do oil change, etc at local service shops, should I ask for Lexus parts and pay more, or what they are offering is fine?

What kind of fuel should I use (89 or 91)? All the time? Sometimes? Once in a while?

Does the gas brand matter (Mobil, Shell, Arco, 76)?

Thanks very, very much!

-graziemile

Welcome to the LOC!

Here are my opinions and others will probably log on and give you theirs. Each has his own particular likes and dislikes, just pick the ones that suit your situation the best.

Since you just got this ES, I would takes it to a Lexus dealer for it's first oil and filter change and in the process tell them you just bought the car and ask them to look it over while checking the fluids, tires, brake pads, etc. After that, I personally do not trust a Jiffy Lube or Sears etc. for regular maintenance. I prefer to take mine to the dealer because in my humble opinion, even though it cost more, I feel they know more, catch more things, and in my dealers case, are honest.

As for parts, many on here use Lexus, Toyota, and aftermarket. Generaly posting your situation and parts question here can get you an expert recomendation.

I had a 2005 ES330 and I used 89 octane gasoline with no problems. Here in the midwest I used Amoco and other major brands.

Hope this helps.

Paul

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Grazie,

Welcome. I agree w/ Paul, that answers are variable and based on your level of skill and/or willingness to get involved with your vehicle. Firstly, milage would be helpful, as a low milage lex will require less than a high one.

Whether you're like me and enjoy wrenching, or not, it's useful to know as much about maintaining your car, the better to help you avoid being victimized by expensive repair shops. I suspect they see a lexus and think it's gonna be worth more to fix than a camry, and that you being a lexus owner will be expecting and willing to spend more....

The oil change thing is generally a total rip off at the dealer, costing 2-4x's as much as jiffy, etc, but you have to be careful about the oil swap shops as Paul is right, they can really screw up. BEst bet is to do it yourself, or find a local mechanic whom you either trust, or can obtain a reference. Another option is to assume the Walmart kid is ignorant, and watch what he does, and then check engine oil regularly and check for leaks that night by putting cardboard under the car for the next few days.

Lexus parts tend to be pricey, and are rarely different than less expensive but identical parts branded as Toyota. Seeing as the es series is very similar to a camry, there are tons of aftermarket parts available and are a good value. For instance, spark plugs at the dealer are usually well over $10 a piece, but I just bought comparable NGK iridium plugs for $7.

Other things to be checked: brakes (can usually get a free brake check at sears, precision tune, etc, althou if told you need them, have the mech show you why, just don't take his word for it, remember, its a Lexus....), belts (can be visually inspected for wear), tires (visual..), suspension and steering linkages (can be checked on a lift for wear in ball joints/tierod ends/axel joints), exhaust (on a lift, visual).

If all that checks out, you should be good to go. At 100K you should get a transmission oil change, and probably ought to get a timing belt as well.

A good $10 investment on Amazon is a Haynes manual (not sure if it's for an es300 or a camry in '03), which has a chapter on routine maintainence. Again, the more you know, the less you're gonna get ripped off.

LL

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1. buy the oil and filter(toyota) separately and take it to the local oil change center or look for oil/filter change coupon specials at local toyota dealerships.

2. ocatane rating 87 (as per the manual recommendation)

3. For all replacement parts use oem . it may be cheaper to buy the oem parts online. eg lexus pembroke

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