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About Chip

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    New Club Member
  • Birthday 01/30/1955

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  • Location
    Iowa (IA)

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  1. We just parted with our faithful 02 ES300 with 225K miles and acquired a lovely ruby 2008 ES350. I looked at the manual but have just a few basic questions: 1. does the ES350 engine have a replaceable timing belt or is it a permanent chain in this engine? 2. does the tranny require service? if so, what fluid and how often? or is it a sealed for life unit? 3. are there any special tools you recommend I'll need to do basic maintance like changing oil and filter? thanks guys!
  2. Bambi might not have been the culprit that took out the ambient temp sensor as my wife has over the almost 10 years we have had this car had up close and personal contact with not only the deer (which ran off after the incident) but also: a fox, a goose, a racoon, and several small birds ( all fatalities )resulting in trips each time to the body shop to replace plastic front end parts broken by the impacts. thinking on this and being reminded of the history of carnage with this this car, it now seems more likely to me that the damage was done by one of the smaller victims which could have better penetrated the rather protected location of the sensor...a bird going through that lower grill at 65 mph could have done it....precision bombing in effect.
  3. OK. the ambient temperature is now displayed in the digital readout on the dash as it should be. I think this sad story began several years ago when the '02 ES300 collided with a deer. I beleive the ambient temp sensor must have been damaged at that time and the body shop performing the repair super glued the sensor back onto the stub of the anchor left sticking out of the bottom surface of the bumper. My theory continues.... after several years the glue-job failed and the sensor came loose and dangled. subsequent flexing of the wires in the breeze generated by highway speed driving fatigued them but before they broke completely there was intermitant connection and fucntion. Then they broke completely releasing the sensor and the section of wire with the connector plug attached- off onto the surface of some desolate stretch of forward to fall of 2011 and the events as related in my earlier posts. Now the repair- after much thought and deduction I finally found the ends of the broken off wires sticking out of the bundle of wires running along the top of the bumper, I stripped them back and connected some jumper wires , pulled the stub of the old anchor out of the bumper and inserted a new sensor. Because I didn't have the plug connector to click onto the back of the sensor, I found some very small female spade connectors that slid onto the terminals in the sensor. I attached the jumper wires to the spade connections and- VOILA- a functinal ambient temp readout on the dash. I beleive my theory accounts for everything obseved and I hope my repair is durable. moral of the story- don't give up. thanks all.
  4. Paul, thanks for going the extra mile for me. Armed with the info from the master tech that it had to be there, I crawled under the car again tonight and noticed for the first time on the bottom surface of the bumper, there is a hole with what looks like the end of a white plastic snap-in anchor in it. I am thinking this must be the bottom view of the anchor that attaches the sensor to the bumper but to get at the sensor, it looks like the plastic bumper cover has to come off the front of the car. I am assuming now that the bumper must be shaped like a a square 'C' channel which has it's open side against the bumper cover and the sensor must be on the inside of the bumper. I suppose the wires are running out of sight inside the bumper to the elusive sensor. This hole is located slightly past the license plate on the driver's side. There is a corosponding hole in the bottom surface of the bumper on the passenger side of the plate but it is empty. It looks like a job for a body shop to take that bumper cover off. I just hope if i do take it in and have them remove the bumper cover, that the sensor will be there and replacing it will fix the problem. It might be after the holidays before I can get the car in to do this but if I do, I will report the outcome. lenore, your diagram was superior to the really crude drawing that came with the part. Your diagram bears out what Paul reported. Thanks so much for sending the diagram! Thanks again guys and Merry Christmas to you and your's! Chip
  5. Paul, thanks for the reply. The screen on the dash started acting flakey last summer- once in a while displaying a couple of horizontal lines instead of the temp. Eventually it got worse and for quite a while now there is no read out of the temp- just the lines. When I ordered the part, a pretty crude diagram came with that showed the location of the sensor to be where you indicate. I spent an hour looking, took it to a local shop where they put it on the hoist and removed the under body panels and we looked everywhere and could not find it. I called the service desk at the Lexus dealer in Des Moines and they told me it was behind the bumper about the middle of the car. I told the tech who was kind enough to try and help me that it was not there and he said soomeone must have removed it. That can't be as even if it has been removed there are no wires or connectors there. I wonder if in 2002 they put that ambient temp sensor somewhere really weird? Anyway it would be nice to have the temp read out this time of year to know if the roads are water or ice.. thanks again. Chip ps we have kids that went to both ames and iowa city so I have to be careful about rooting for college teams :)
  6. I have spent a good deal of time trying to find the ambient temperature sensor on my 2002 es300. I have seen a couple diagrams that show where it should be but I can't find it. I am assuming if I find it and replace it, the outside temp will once again display on the dash. Anybody have any experience with this? thanks!
  7. We have a 2002 ES 300 with 165K miles. Lately it has been making a 'bearing noise' when it starts cold. It seems to be getting louder as the temp drops here in Iowa (or maybe the noise is from whatever is causing it getting worse and the colder weather is coincidental?) The noise disappears when the car warms up. It is in the general area of the alternator so had it re-built with new brushes and bearings and replaced the drive belt but the noise persists. The only other thing in the area of the noise is timing belt cover so I wonder if the noise is coming from something to do with the timing belt. The timing belt annd water pump were replaced at 100K. Any ideas what it might be and how urgent it is or if the noise is only 165K miles talking on an older car? Thanks!
  8. A/c Problem

    my problem was the clutch relay. the new one is ordered and should be here tomorrow. thanks again!
  9. A/c Problem

    I was going to send in the exact same problem with the AC on our 2002 ES 300. I really appreciate this group and the help I have gotten on this issue and others. I wish I had something to bring to the table to help others!
  10. any special tricks to replacing the battery? are there any system memory issues when you disconnect the old battery? do I need to keep battery power to the car when I remove the battery? thanks
  11. Alternator Bearings

    thanks guys but it turned out to be the water pump. it had a bad bearing that made a growling sound. luckily I had the water pump changed when they did the cam belt at 100K so it was under waranty
  12. my 2002 ES 300 started making a noise I beleive is coming from the alternator and suspect it may have bad bearings. the car has 120K on it. What is the usual or expected life for alternator bearings on these cars and has anyone had expereince rebuilding theirs vs buying a new or a rebuilt and the costs they encountered? thanks. Chip?
  13. thanks guys. I feel better and I really appreciate the wealth of information and the willingness of the group to share it. Being part of this community has saved me some $$$ :D
  14. I thought the windshield wipers on my ES 300 used to 'park' down under the edge of the hood but when I drove it last ( this is my wife's car) I saw that when shut off, they remain up a ways on the windshield like at the bottom of a stroke. Are they supposed to 'park' down under the hood? What is the problem if they don't? thanks.
  15. Sludge In The Transmission Pan.

    interesting discussion. I have 02 ES 300 with 71 K on it. Every 30,000 I have been just pulling the plug on the tranny pan and adding back 4 qts of new fluid. Question- I have so far been going and paying the dealer $ 4.00 per quart for the Toyota Type IV Fluid they told me I had to have... I don't find any after market or parts house brand ATF that says it meets this spec. Has anyone just used regular ATF like Dex III/Merc in the Lexus tranny?