branshew

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About branshew

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  • Lexus Model
    '02 ES300 (prev '93 LS400, '95 ES300)

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  1. First and foremost, I do NOT recommend using a screwdriver to remove any trim pieces.. You will easily scratch something. Use some sort of plastic pry tool instead. If I recall correctly, you need to first remove the gearshift surround trim. This will pop up when lifted. I believe that there are 4 clips on the corners so pry near a corner on either the driver's or passenger's side of the console. Once you pop one side, gently pry the other side of the same end and firmly and evenly lift the other end out. Remove the bolts that hold the ashtray in place and then you will see the bolts that hold the radio in place. Remove these bolts and slide the radio forward. Reach around the back and unclip the wiring harness. You will now have access to the climate control bolts. Remove those and you're done.
  2. I think that I have posted about this before after I did the repair on my '95, but I think that this will be beneficial to put it out there again since I can now confirm that it is a multi-generational problem. I have had this same problem on my Gen2 and Gen 4 ES300s and my mom had it on her Gen 3. When going over uneven pavement, I would get a clunk sound from the rear suspension. It started around 150K miles on all three vehicles, but YMMV. It's not a rattle or a squeak and usually it is a double clunking noise. I noticed that the sound would not appear when both back wheels went over the uneven spot simultaneously (like a speed bump or the dip at the end of my driveway). I will also say that after 150K miles, I am still on my original struts. I had the car at the tire shop getting a new set recently and they commented that I should have my struts replaced due to the clunking noise in the back. They still work well, aren't leaking, and rebound without bouncing so I haven't had the need to replace them. Some strut manufacturers will have you believe that you should replace your struts after a specific interval - that's BS. If you have this problem, replace your sway bar bushings. For those of you not well versed in suspension, the sway bar is a solid metal rod that runs across the width of the car linking the rear struts together. It is attached to the struts with sway bar links and it is designed to improve handling by keeping the struts aligned and decreasing body roll in corners. The sway bar is attached to the body by two brackets (one on each side) and inside each bracket is the rubber bushing that surrounds the sway bar and keeps it from knocking around. The sway bar is designed to slide back and forth in a controlled fashion inside the bushings. When the bushings age, the natural lubrication properties of the bushing material dry out and there is more friction against the sway bar so it can't slide as freely. When this happens, it binds momentarily and then releases, thus causing the clunking sound. The double clunk is caused when it moves in one direction and then returns back to normal, binding both times. The set of two for the Gen4 cost me $6 from partsgeek and shipping was $9. (This was a couple of dollars less than the local Lexus dealer and I didn't have to go out of the way to pick them up). I think that the Gen 2 are larger (and may cost more) and they are ridged on the inside. The Gen4 are smaller and smooth inside. On the Gen4 I had to remove 3 bolts on each bracket and then I could remove the link. Gen2 was only 2 bolts. I sprayed a little lithium grease on the bar and put the new links around and then put the bracket back on. Total was less than 30 minutes. The Gen2 is easy to access without lifting the rear. I did the Gen 4 tonight while it was on the ground without my ramps (out on loan) and it was cumbersome, but doable. If you're not the wrench turning type, have your mechanic do this before replacing anything else. Apologies for not taking pictures or providing a more detailed write-up on this procedure, but it was getting dark and I was in a hurry. If I get motivated I may add them later.
  3. ...is going downhill? I've noticed recently that the interior of other Japanese luxury brands isn't quite as nice as Lexus. I still think that Lexus is behind the Germans (esp. Audi), but they seem to be better than their competition. I am in no way trying to sound snobbish, but I have been looking at used cars recently and I'm just not that impressed by the Acuras and Infiniti's that I have seen. I have an 02 ES300 and that model range (02-06) was really well done. Looking at a 2010 TSX and TL and neither was as nice on the inside. The Honda Accord EXL looks better. Same goes for the Infiniti G35/37 sedans. Moving to the M-Class in Infiniti makes a big leap, but the TL still leaves a lot to be desired. I'm thinking about getting back into another wagon and the 2010 Passat that I drove was nicer than all of the aforementioned models. Even the brushed aluminum trim in the Passat was better than the faux painted plastic aluminum trim in the TSX/TL. Maybe if they had some wood grain trim on the inside of the lower end models it would look nicer. I can honestly say that even the new Lexus models aren't quite as nice as the older ones. I've also looked at newer ES350s (09) and they aren't as nice as mine. My Dad's 2010 LS460 drivers door armrest is cracked and split and that car is barely 3 years old. The quality of materials used has definitely gone downhill almost across the board.
  4. I apologize for the poorly written and gramatically structured response. I must have been trying to type and compose while taking a nap at the same time.As before, I suggest going to a Lexus dealer and have them check out your master key. You can't just repair one, if it is the problem you'll have to buy a new one. Having said that, "cduluk" is very good with these areas and It sounds like he might have a different idea/solution in mind. I wasn't referring to your post. There was originally another post by a new member below yours with some jabber about LiON batteries for hybrids steering towards a link to some sort of aftermarket warranty. That appears to have since been deleted. To answer cduluk's question, this is for my 02 and I only have one Master key. If the issues gets worse, I'll have to do something, but I could go through a lot of batteries before I would hit the cost of a new master key.
  5. ^^ Appears as though some moderation is required in the post above.^^
  6. Recently my remote key seems to be burning through batteries. I have replaced the battery 3 times in the last 6 months and it is starting to go again. I am using both Duracell and Energizer brand batteries. I have made no additions to my keyring and have been carrying my keys the same way for the last 4 years so I don't think that anything is accidentally pressing on the buttons. It's almost as if there is some sort of parasitic drain happening. Any thoughts?
  7. I'd have to concur. The "clunk" tends to be sway bar related and the "clank" is the strut mount. Usually you hear the clunk when turning as the car is leaning and putting stress on the sway bar.
  8. An out of balance wheel typically presents itself at certain speeds (and is not always present at others). I know that you said that they were balanced, but I would check them out again.
  9. I have a problem with my right headlamp. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. If it is not working, turning the lamps off and back on using the control stalk will usually turn it on again. (i typicall leave the control stalk on 'Auto' mode.) When I cycle the lights, the bulb goes through the standard "warm-up" phase as if they were just turned on and then looks normal. Regular halogens will just burn out, but this is my first experience with HID bulbs. Is this a sign that the bulb is going bad or do I have an issue w/ my ballast? I would hesitate to spend $100 on a bulb to find out it's the ballast. I have visually inspected the wiring harness around the headlamp and don't see any signs of fraying, loose wires, or water intrusion. My next step will be to switch the bulb to the opposite side and see if the problem follows. Any thoughts?
  10. True, but you could end up replacing a lot of other things. While an ES is nice, I hesitate to recommend to anyone that they buy a high mileage one just to get a Lexus. You would be better of buying a Camry with lower miles. With high mileage and age comes wear and tear. While the engine may be good, there are a lot of other mechanical parts to consider. I would look it over with a fine tooth comb. CVs, brakes, tires, suspension, battery, etc. If there are no records then plan on immediately spending $600 on a TB & WP job (regardless of what the owner says was done). When it comes to the TB, no records = not done.
  11. I wouldn't worry about it too much. The seals should be pretty sludged up by now so they probably won't leak. - Just Kidding... In all seriousness, The potential is there for a leak. I would run a treatment of Auto RX through it first. This will will help de-sludge and condition the seals. After the rinse phase (use regular dino for rinse), I would probably run a 50/50 blend. If that works with no leaks, switch over to full syn at the next change.
  12. Swapping will change the odometer reading to match the new cluster... Here in the US, that's illegal.
  13. Interesting that you were able to go backwards from 7.1 to 4.1. I have heard that you can't go back to a previous version once you have upgraded. This site may have some info: http://coastaletech.com/LOCKPICK_MAIN.htm
  14. I believe that if you lift the hood on your 2003, you will see the VVT-i logo on your engine cover. This designation implies that in fact you do have an interference engine. In any case, you can rest assured that changing the belt at the recommended interval will be OK. I would suggest that you also change the water pump and tensioner at the same time.
  15. Seems to me that the refrigerant is good since the AC is blowing cold when it works. My office park floods during flash rain storms. When I had my 95 ES, I had driven through some deeper than average puddles getting in and out of the parking lot and if I recall correctly, my A/C light would flash when I did that and the system wouldn't blow cold air for a short term afterwards. I am guessing that the water shorted out the compressor until it dried. So..... Check the wiring to the compressor. Make sure it is not corroded or abraded or shorted, and is otherwise able to deliver enough juice. If yo can't find it, take it to a Lexus dealer and have them diagnose. I'd rather pay $100 to find out exactly what it is before paying $1000 to fix the wrong thing.