1997 Lexus ES 300 from North America - Comments

22nd Aug 2008, 07:11

I agree with these conditions and will conform.

24th Jan 2009, 07:41

Hi guys I am back. I wrote the 12th Apr 08 comment earlier. My car has 241000/- KM reading on it (Canadian model) and had no issues since my last write up. Screeching sound that I mentioned on taking left turn has nearly disappeared on its own. No mechanic was able to figure out any way so I left it alone and now I hardly hear it. I relocated to the USA now and did a drive down over 17 hours of drive with no problem. Still drives silky smooth. One more thing I would like to share with you is that I use MOBIL1 10w-30w engine oil always. Go for oil change once in a year only. This grade is not recommended by the manufacturer, but I used it on my Chevy Lumina, Dodge Grand Caravan and now this one. I find this oil works like a magic and engine related problems just disappear on its use.

I also saw a comment by someone that car hesitates to start if it is turned on and turned off and then turned on again. I face this issue too. It used to happen with my Chevy Lumina too but never happened on Dodge van. It seems like something linked to heat and residual oil in engine. On a gap of nearly 5 minutes, car starts with absolute no problem so I do not worry about this problem.

Thanks for reading...

28th Feb 2009, 07:34

To the original poster, I have a 1994 ES300 and it has 322.000 km on it. It runs perfectly, and the car was treated like hell by the previous owner. It took less than $600 to put the car on the road. I made 45.000 km last year and no problems so far. Engine and transmission are perfect and everything works on the car. When you buy a 10 years old car don't expect a new one. Bushings front and back are wear and tear, it's just rubber buddy (10 year old rubber).

21st Jun 2009, 09:01

I own a 2000 Lexus RX300 car. Bought it in 2006 and the only thing I ever had done to it was cam sensors replaced. This car has never let me down.

I just also bought a 1996 Lexus ES300 car, which has 176,000 and it runs great. You can't even hear the engine. These to me are truly the best auto built, and I will buy them unless proven otherwise.

21st Aug 2009, 11:52

I own a 94 Lexus ES300, with 258,000 miles on it. Runs perfect, I had it for 2 years and with normal maintenance and water pumps, timing belt, I spent about 3 thousands in 2 years. This is my first Lexus and I am staying with Lexus for the rest of my life. Best cars ever.

My car still looks goods and runs great!!! Original engine and transmission.

My mom's Ford Five Hundred engine just went out last week with only 95,000 miles on it. So that just shows you American cars suck.

28th Sep 2009, 02:30

I purchased a 1997 Lexus ES 300 in June, and it has been an extremely enjoyable experience. The car is quiet, classy and very stylish.

The only few issues I have are the engine light is on, various mechanics tell me that it is one of the heat sensors and that I should not worry about it. Today I started her, and her engine sounded so loud, could it be an issue with the muffler? Her oil is well.

Could someone please help me on where to go to get the engine light issue fixed, as well as where to go find out why so much sound is coming from the engine?

30th Sep 2009, 20:55

I'm in the process of trading my Honda Accord for a 1997 Lexus ES300. Guy tried to start it, would not start. So I gave it a jump, started like butter except for the hole in the exhaust LOL. Took it for a drive, and as soon as I hit a bump... rumble rumble... he said no big deal, but I'm gonna have a mechanic look at it.

1st Oct 2009, 17:54

Keep the Accord while you still can!!

21st Oct 2009, 05:28

Hi, I am same guy who wrote Jan 24th, 09 comments. Own a Canadian model. Current reading 257K KM. No problems till now. Car is running smoothly and I did switch over to Mobil1, full synthetic 5w-30w oil now from 10w. Since it gets super cold in MN, I noticed that 10w was keeping engine cold for a long time, but now it is OK.

I have started noticing oil leakage, which is coming from steering pump. I got an estimate to replace it for $500, but instead I am trying Lucas steering leak stop. I have not seen any improvement yet, but under observation. I will come back to share after few months if it helped or not, in the meanwhile if anyone else has faced this issue, then do share the repair experience.

23rd Feb 2010, 08:45

I have a 97 ES 300 that ran great until last week. The problem is the oil light goes on and off. The oil light goes on mostly when going up hill, put it in neutral, race the engine a little, it goes out. I think it might be the oil sensor, but cannot locate it. Does anyone know where it is?

23rd Feb 2010, 12:40

To the original reviewer: Your Lexus is running like crap because all it is underneath the "fancy" clothing, is a flimsy Toyota, and nothing else.

22nd Mar 2010, 12:22

The Lexus was 10 years old when you bought it - I don't think you should be complaining about light bulbs and rubber seals.

20th Jul 2010, 19:16

I have had a 90 ES. Sold it to my mom when I got my 95. She had an accident with it.

Had a 95 ES300, went 254000 miles and broke down, only because I ran it hard after it dropped to below freezing and blew a seal; coolant ran out. I sold that one while it was broke down with no title in another state. It's still on the road over 300k miles.

Just recently was in an accident where my 1997 ES300 was totaled (very good car to survive a crash in by the way). It had 114k miles; I was going to ride that one up to about 200-250 if didn't sell it first. And I'm looking at a 1997 and a 2000 now.

All the cars needed was regular maintenance. Tires, oil, trans fluid, rotors, brakes, etc.

The 1997 did have an issue where traction control turned off, and it turned out to be an oxygen sensor on the back of the engine. This engine has three sensors; when you read it with the computer, a lot of people mistake which one to replace. For me it was the one on the back, but it can be all of them.

The 2000 I'm looking at has the same problem, but I think I'm going to get it anyway and just fix it myself.

I would recommend an ES300 of any year to anyone. It has a lower cost of overall maintenance over the course of its life, than an Accord, Civic, or Corolla.

The ES300 and the Corolla share a lot of the same parts. I have even heard of people putting parts labeled for the Corolla on the Lexus ES300.

I would buy an ES300 from 94-2002 or whatever the year was that they changed the body style. I have driven all of mine up and down the east coast, my dad drove it to Florida a few times, these cars are highway cruisers and comfortable, quiet, and classy.

If you're going to spend 4-5 grand on a car, look at a 95-2000 model, you won't be disappointed.