1997 Lexus ES 300 Base 3.0 litre V6 from North America


Angry: At BMW for detouring me from Lexus!


When acquired, it had 226,xxx miles I found.

Stereo display has faded/dead pixels (still sounds fantastic, but cannot see the display).

Driver seat was barely worn (1 small rip on driver's butt).

Suspension worn (knocks on hard bumps, and the suspension makes a very faint rattling noise on bumpy roads).

Power steering (when the steering wheel is all the way cranked to the right or left side, I can hear it whining).

Windshield washer fluid tank had a crack on the side. Would not hold fluid past 1/4 tanks.

Slight electrical problem (the dome light would stay on always if it was set to "Door", so I leave it off. Also the trunk light assembly was missing???)


When I took it to my personal mechanic the next day:

Valve cover gasket oil leak: quote $400.00 replacement.

Oil pan leak: Quote $400.00 reseal.

Transmission pan reseal: Quote $300.00 reseal.

Recc coolant flush: Quote $120.00.

General Comments:

If you read the above, you could easily count up the immediate $1,220.00 repair bill directly after I got it. It should be known that I purchased the car for $2,900 with a 3 day old timing belt and oil change (they had receipts to prove it, and my mechanic concurred).

So I asked my mechanic which were the worse. He said although they are all fairly minor, the largest was the valve cover gasket, which was leaking onto the engine. The other leaks and coolant flush were very minor (he recommended to wait on the leaks, and do a coolant flush in the near future).

I had him replace the worst (valve cover gasket), and he also installed a new PCV valve grommet, and resealed my spark plug ports. $424.05.

I went home and did the coolant flush myself with coolant that was recommended by ClubLexus. I'm sorry for hurting the environment to save a hundred bucks. $15.00 and some guilt.

I just check the oil and trans fluid every time I gas up, and so far the leaks are extremely minor; I don't even really need to (but I do) top off between oil changes, and I intend to have the trans done in the future after shopping around for some quotes (AAMCO trans?)

As for the washer fluid tank... I put some duct tape on it. $5.00 only GORILLA GLUE DUCT TAPE. The trunk struts? What about them? And car's base model has courtesy lights on the sides of the doors, so the dome isn't critical, but is still perfectly functional; on still works, off still works, it just will stay on when the doors are closed and it is set to "door". I rarely need a light for my trunk.

The knocking/rattling of the suspension rarely occurs, and cannot be heard if the radio is on low, the windows are open, or a very quiet conversation is occurring.

Overall the car is:

Incredibly comfortable.

Very roomy, yet not HUGE.

Handling was slightly boat-ish due to old suspension.

Stock sound is fantastic!

Awesome climate controls/ courtesy lights in the cabin.

Keyless entry rocks.

Got tons of compliments on my previous car, a 5 Series BMW, from strangers, but my family and friends hated it! (poor reliability). Now with my Lexus I get compliments from strangers, and my family and friends love its comfort, reliability and class looks.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th October, 2011

1st Aug 2013, 16:31

If you wish to try something for leaks, then try ATP AT-205 stop leak (reseal); this goes in the engine and transmission too (same bottle).

For the rattling sound, look for a rusty or broken shield cover below the car covering the catalytic convertor or gas tank area. These loose shields make a noise. I got mine removed.

Spray ATP AT-205 under the hood on both sides (left and right) on the tops of the shockers.

1997 Lexus ES 300 3.0 V6 from North America


Perfection - achieved


Nothing big. Just brakes and front linkage kit. Regular maintenance.

General Comments:

Beautiful, beautiful car! I mean that in terms of reliability, looks, handling, interior, leg room, sound system.. should I continue?

The best thing about this car is ownership experience. Repairs aren't that expensive, because it uses a lot of Camry parts.

I would definitely NOT recommend this car to anyone!!! Why? Because I'd like it to remain my little secret :)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th December, 2010