turnbowm

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About turnbowm

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  1. The owner's manual for the wife's '98 ES300 specifies 87-octane (i.e., regular) unleaded. Have tried premium, but there was NO difference in performance. Same thing with our friend's 2000 and 2001 ES300. Am surprised that your manual said to use premium. Recently, looked into buying a new 2005 ES330 and it called for regular also. Martin
  2. The hesitation and tranny shifting issues were a deal-breaker for me. After driving several '04 and '05 ES330s, decided that my wife's '98 ES300 was the one with the advanced technology. These issues aside, the Lexus ES330 is a quality automobile with an excellent reliability record. Martin
  3. SW03ES, Totally agree with you regarding the styling (headlights, etc.) and the cheap-looking "faux aluminum" dashboard. Can't believe how Lexus has screwed up the ES-series. Hesitation and tranny shifting issues in the newer ES-series make my wife's '98 ES300 seem like the one with the advanced technology. The driveability problems in the new ES-330s are a deal-breaker for me! Martin
  4. IMHO, Lexus lost the ES-series "recipe" after 2001. The pre-2002s had great styling and much better driveability. Serious hesitation and transmission shifting issues have surfaced in the newer ones, with numerous complaints filed with the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA). For reliability and low operating costs, the ES-series is hard to beat! A clean, low-mileage 2000-2001 ES300 might just be what you're looking for. Martin
  5. Other companies did better, but Lexus actually did WORSE than the previous year. The 9 problems per 100 cars for model year 2003 INCREASED to 11 problems in MY 2004. This represents a 22% increase in problems for 2004. Martin T.
  6. The L.A. Times had an interesting article in the Business section today regarding Consumer Report's latest quality/reliability survey results, which did not look good for Lexus. As indicated, Lexus fell from top place last year to fourth place! The Reliability survey also showed Lexus in fifth place with 11 problems per 100 cars for model year 2004, even trailing sister-division Toyota. From what I understand, owner complaints regarding hesitation and tranny shifting issues in the ES-series cars are largely responsible for the Lexus decline in CR's quality/reliability survey. Let's hope that Lexus finally gets the message and takes appropriate action! Martin T.
  7. Why get rid of a well-maintained '95 ES300 for an S-class, GS300 or LS400 of the same vintage that you know nothing about? You may end up with someone's headache! Martin T.
  8. Recently, while driving the wife's '98 ES300, noticed an engine knock when stopped at traffice lights. Was very disturbed by this, since the car only had 55,000 miles and had been regularly serviced (oil & filter change, etc.) every 5,000 miles. Fearing the worst, took the car to the Lexus dealership where we bought it and left it with them to diagnose the problem. Several days later, got a call that the Service Dept. had determined the knocking sound to be caused by drive belts with the felt(!) lining worn off. It's interesting that the factory was aware of the problem and had presented the info at a tech seminar. Equally interesting is that the engine knock occurs on some cars and not on others. Have never encountered anything like this before, but happy to report that new drive belts completely corrected the problem. Kudos to the Service Dept. at Longo Lexus (El Monte, CA) for their accurate, professional diagnosis and correction of the problem. Sometimes it pays to have a car serviced/repaired by those who know it best! Martin T.
  9. The air filter on my wife's '98 ES300 has the same exact part number as the one for my '97 Camry V6.... the Lexus dealer wanted twice as much! Recently called local Lexus and Totota dealers for price on 4-wheel alignment for the ES300.... $129 at Lexus and $79 at Toyota. They both use the same laser-based alignment machine. The Toyota dealer did a great job. Martin T.
  10. After initially cleaning the IAC valve on the wife's '98 ES300, got an rpm increase with the jumper, but the increase was about half of that indicated in the Hayne's manual. Did the cleaning a second time and the rpm increase was much higher. At this point, I knew that the job was done. 10,000 mile since, with NO problems. IMHO, you will encounter the problem again if the IAC valve is not thoroughly cleaned. Martin T.
  11. Just drove a new ES330 today and the throttle lag and slow downshifts were very prominent. Also drove another BMW 530i and there was NO lag whatsoever. I must say that the new ES330 provided an ultra-comfortable ride and the new seats, derived from the LS430, were very plush with good side bolstering. A very strange feeling, however, is that I felt almost totally DISCONNECTED from the car. A very different driving experience from the wife's '98 ES300. For those who value comfort above all else, the ES330 is an easy choice. Martin T.
  12. Have read every post in the Tranny issue thread and on numerous other websites. As for the loaner, others have indicated that the problem seems to vary from car to car. As such, the only thing that I would learn is whether or not the loaner had the problem. As you have indicated, many manufacturers are embracing electronic throttle systems. It appears, however, that some have been more successful than others. Recently drove a BMW 330i with electronic throttle and 6-speed tranny. There was no hesitation and upshifts/downshifts were flawless. If BMW had the reliability of Lexus, I would buy one in a heartbeat. Infiniti also has electronic throttle control and they have refined their systems to eliminate the throttle lag. It can be done with good engineering. Martin T.
  13. There has been a considerable amount of discussion and media attention regarding the problems associated with the "drive-by-wire" throttle system and the 5-speed transmission on 2002-2004 ES cars. While there is a theoretical advantage of the 5-speed over the 4-speed, jerky shifts and uncertain upshifts/downshifts seem like a big price to pay. The slow response of the "drive-by-wire" system, compared to a direct mechanical control of the throttle, also makes one wonder why Lexus chose to go that direction. Technology is good as long as the positives outweigh the negatives. The question is whether or not these problems have been satisfactorily corrected in the 2005 ES330? Some say yes, others say no. Am reluctant to purchase a new ES330 if I have to live with built-in problems that aren't there in our '98 ES300. From what I gather, the tranny problem varies considerably from car to car. Also, the slow response of the "drive-by-wire" system is just something that one has to get used to. This almost makes the pre-2002 ES300s seem like they're the ones with the advanced technology! Martin T.
  14. melhadri, The idle problem is quite common on Toyota and Lexus cars and is usually caused by a dirty Idle Air Control (IAC) valve. The same problem occurred on my wife's 98 ES300 at 45,000 miles. Cleaned the valve (and throttle body) myself, with no further problems. Some dealers clean the valve, while others replace it to minimize callbacks. Toyota and Lexus dealers are well acquainted with the problem. Martin T.
  15. skeemer, The idle problem is quite common in Toyota and Lexus cars and is usually caused by a dirty Idle Air Control (IAC) valve. The same thing happened to my wife's 98 ES300 at 45,000 miles. Was able to take care of the problem myself. Some dealers will clean the IAC valve and throttle body, while others replace the valve to minimize callbacks. Toyota and Lexus dealers are well acquainted with the problem. Martin T.