3rd Feb 2006, 13:55

The engine problem that is described above, (burning excesive oil and black smoke out the tail pipe) is known as a "sludge motor" to Lexus and Toyota. "Sludge motors" are caused by lack of oil changes! This causes build-up of contaminated oil on vital engine parts, decreases oil flow, and will destroy your engine. Although this engine is more prone to the problem then others, if you do REGULAR OIL CHANGES, you will never have an issue. Just read all the positive comments about these cars, and their engines. CHANGE YOUR OIL!

15th Feb 2006, 16:16

I agree with the comment that said change your oil!! If you do your oil changes regularly, you will never have a problem. I bought a supposedly certified preowned 96 es300 and, after driving it for a month, it had the known sludge problem. After Lexus replaced the engine block at 91,000 miles, (1000 miles after I bought it) I never saw another problem at all with the car. Currently, it has 210,000 miles and still drives like new; unbelieveable car. Nobody can believe it has that many miles; well in actuality the engine block only has about 120,000, but the rest of the engine is original. One thing is I always use full synthetic oil and premium gas. It will run the engine better and cleaner, but definitely don't miss those oil changes!

28th Jul 2006, 17:38

1st, I'm an independent dealer who specializes in Lexus products.

There have been a very small percentage of cars through Lexus that have had the "sludge engine" issue. Most were proved to be neglect by the owners, but not all.

It is very important to have receipt's (these come in very handy if you should need them at a later date.) and make sure that you not only are changing the oil, but also doing the recommended services. ie 10k 30k, 45k etc..

If you ever have a situation like this with any car company, go directly to their North American Head Quarters Customer Service Centers (800#) and start there. (especially if you have issues like these). This will get better results and help you so it will not be so frustrating as well.

It is too bad that the dealership didn't treat you right and do what should have been done, unfortunately that does happen. When trading the car in, you can't expect more than "trade in value" (which really is only a guide for the dealerships and individuals to use.) because you have had all this work done to the car. The expectation is not realistic. If you think that the car is worth more, sell the car outright to someone privately.

The KBB and NADA books are only guides, they are not written in stone. Each car is different and the books only reflect an average number. The car market is very much like the stock market, what's hot, in demand, not in demand, maybe not so desirable all play a part in how pricing plays a part in your transaction. Good luck on your next purchase.

25th Aug 2007, 21:07

I'm in the process of buying a es300 (2000). Please someone give me your honest opinion, so I don't waste my hard earned $$$.

30th Aug 2007, 14:01

Don't worry. The ES300 won't let you down. It is a top notch vehicle that is very reliable - always ranked first in used car reliability. It burns more gas than you might think, which is its only shortcoming. Snatch it up before someone esle does.

3rd Mar 2008, 08:32

I have just purchased a 2000 Lexus ES300, my first Lexus. I really enjoy the car, but now that I have read some of your comments, I am a little concern about it. I did my best to research the car and there were no problems with it. Clean records and Carfax. It has 60,000km on it and from what I understand it should last 200,000km.

What do I need to do other than service it regularly for that to happen and is the problem with the "oil sludge" only on different years and model types? If someone can ease my mind a little I would appreciate it.

11th Dec 2008, 15:33

I have a 2000 ES300 and have had numerous problems. Idle air control valve cost 450.00. Now the transmission is out; cost 3200.00 since the transmission repair shop cannot obtain parts or used items. Our only option is to purchase from Lexus.

The repair shop advised me he has had soo many of these cars whose transmissions have gone out. The car isn't worth much more than the transmission is going to cost us.

12th Mar 2009, 17:53

I own a Lexus ES300 1998. Lately it has started vibrating on and off. I took it to my mechanic to whom I was was taking it to, since I bought the car and cannot tell me what is the problem. The vibrating only happens sometimes. Can some one say what is my problem?

19th Apr 2009, 17:08

I have a 2000 ES300, the car will start and then stop. Has anyone had this problem and what should I do?

23rd Jul 2010, 09:49

I have a '97 ES 300 and smokes like crazy on start-up. After roughly 30 seconds, the smoke dissipates and everything seems fine. It will also smoke after being idle at a stop light. Burning a lot of oil; 2 quarts from a trip from NJ to Ocean City, MD. Is my engine done? Do I have to replace it?

Someone please advise.

1st Dec 2010, 11:03

Please someone let me know if there is any sort of recall on the smoking burning oil problem? No one can seem to find out what problem is, and it is time consuming to continually take the car in to find out. 300 2002. Please help.

29th Nov 2011, 13:47

Try and replace the PCV valve and rubber grommet. My 96 ES300 that I bought 3 weeks ago, started smoking blue smoke from the exhaust on start up and after accelerating from idled stops as you mention. I read that the PCV could cause this, but was thinking, can't be that simple for me as things never are. But a $3.99 PCV valve and $1.99 rubber grommet purchased at Advanced AutoParts did the trick. I burned through 10 quarts of oil in 2 weeks and about 1500 miles, but now after changing PCV valve my MPG increased from 22.5 MPG to 25.6 MPG on the last fill up, and no extra oil burned and no more smoke in the last 6 days.

BTW: The idiots that owned the car prior to me, had the PCV valve broke in the grommet and put some orangish/reddish sealant goop all over it to try and hold it in place.

9th Nov 2013, 02:49

I had this same problem. Mine was a "stuck" brake caliper. I replaced both calipers and it happened again. Pull the caliper pins out, clean them, and lube them up with grease.

19th Oct 2015, 16:26

I have a 2002 ES 300 Lexus. Used 3 quarts of oil on a 1375 mile overnight trip. Seen a puff of smoke on start up the last couple of days. I may sell the car.

20th Oct 2015, 04:41

I love reading the above comments where the sludge problem was caused by a lack of oil changes.

The real problem was faulty PCV and crankcase ventilation where the engine couldn't breath properly.

This affected the 1.8, 2.2 and 3.0 engines, along with a couple of others.

No "import bashing" here; Chrysler had the same problem.

20th Oct 2015, 17:59

Before you sell it, make sure it's not something simple like a bad PCV valve, bad EGR valve or an oil cooler line that is leaking, or an oil cooler that is leaking into the cooling system. Sometimes seals and gaskets get old and they start leaking. Sometimes causing it to get into the induction system, where it's burnt along with the fuel out the tailpipe.