2000 ES300 Engine Replacement
I have a 2000 ES300 that suffered from the oil gel issue and the engine is basically blown. Seeing that I drive all of about 4000 miles a year, it seems smarter to replace the engine and keep the vehicle going.
I gave up dealing with Lexus in the lawsuit issue even though this car showed all the symptoms prior to the suit and prior to the expiration of the settlement. I have talked to a few places about replacing the engine and felt the pricing was extremely high.
I have a mechanic that has worked on our vehicles in the past and he has replaced numerous car's engines. I am not sure if he has done a lexus though.
I can find numerous engines ranging in price for under 1k to 2k. In my conversation with a few places the truth came out that they can not tell me exactly how many miles are on a used engine, but they can tell the rough mileage by looking at the engine. I think I have settled on an engine that 'supposedly' has about 50k miles on it for 1500.
One of the companies I talked to gave me a long list of things they were going to do. This was to help justify the fees. I am trying to make sure that this makes sense.
Water pump and gasket check/replace
Check oil pan seal
Flush the coolant
Flush Fuel Injector
Put new plugs in
Compression test the engine
Install new timing belt.
This I can not read the writing on the paper . . .
Flush eng ix lof (yeah it looks bad, can't figure it out)
So for the mechanic, I am supplying the following:
1. Supply Engine
2. Supply new plugs
3. Supply radiator coolant
4. Supply timing belt
5. Supply oil and filter
6. Possible oil pan seal
7. Possible water gasket seal
8. Possible thermostat
Is there anything I am missing?
Are the platinum plugs worth the price?
Should I go with the 'red' radiator fluid?
Should I just replace the water gasket seal?
Should I just replace the oil pan seal?
Should I just replace the thermostat?
Should I go with Mobil One synthetic oil on it?
Thanks for all the help!
You need iridium plugs, not platinum.
Yes, go with Toyota coolant.
Not sure what you mean by water gasket seal.
You can replace the oil pan gasket if you want to, but if it's not leaking I don't see the need.
You might as well replace the thermostat while the engine is out of the car.
I'd suggest using Pennzoil Platinum 5W-30.
One thing you are missing: Replace the rear main seal.
If you're looking at engines at a scrapyard check out www.car-part.com
Thank you very much for the reply.
I found another thread about plugs and yep . . . denso iridiums :)
The water gasket seal, was for the water pump.
I am confused - I know not hard! - what is the rear main seal?
I am not that far out of Los Angeles and there are a TON of places offering JDM engines. I am seeing prices in the 1400-1800 range for the engine. This is part of the reason to keep the car. Are there issues going with JDM engines?
how much is the labor for the replacement engine installation. how often do you change oil. how many miles on the car before it got into the sludge issue. what were the symptoms. i was told by Lexus customer service that they would honor outside the warranty period for engine sludge issues.
don't do a JDM engine... find one out of a wrecked US engine... cheaper and they will be able to tell you the exact mileage... you think people here are hard on cars and lack of maintenance, the reason there are so many used engines out of Japan here is because of mileage issues - over there, it is much more expensive to maintain an older engine (taxes and emissions type fees), than it is to simply buy a new car... because of this, many lack even the most basic maintenances...
toyota coolant is not completely necessary, there are plenty of aftermarket coolants that will work just fine in your car, just don't pick one that says anything about dexcool on it... Any of the others will work just fine though...
I agree with hypervish above - look at car-part.com there are many engines in the 70-80k mileage range for less than $1000... also, you don't have to worry about possible incompatabilities from a JDM motor - many times sensors and things are completely different than their US version...
Right now, I can tell you I will never, ever purchase another lexus in my life. Their customer service at corporate is pathetic.
This car has 105k miles on it. I am the original owner. It was bought in December of 99. I changed the oil anywhere from 4k to 8k miles on it. I had a guy who is a mobile repair service take care of all my cars. When I thought the job was more involved than just an oil change / brakes, I would take it to a place called Independent Lexus here in Santa Barbara. The closest dealership was about 55 miles away, so this guy got nearly all the Lexus work in town. His guys were all former Lexus dealership mechanics and were trained and certified. In 2006, he was documenting the symptoms of the oil gel issue on my invoices. But I kept changing the oil. In 2010, one morning, I went to start the car and the big puff of smoke was coming out. I posted about it here on the forums. I took it to him and he said, "Scrap the car or replace the engine."
Earlier this year, their finally was a Lexus dealership in town. I had pretty much parked the car as it was now a spare car and it had added 200 miles since 2010. When I saw the dealership it got me thinking . . . So I came back on these forums, and saw someone mention the oil gel settlement. I had never heard of it. Yep, Lexus NEVER notified me of it :( I read up on it and then went to the dealership. The dealership made me wait for over an hour in the little office room while they checked on things. They came back and said that my vin fit within the timeframe. However, I was to call the 800 Lexus number to talk to them.
I called the Lexus corporate number and honestly, they were pleasant this round. They told me that the settlement had ended and they had no more responsibility to do anything per the agreement. They stated however, they would look at this as they had on case by case basis. They requested every invoice for anything that had ever been done to the car. This took me a while as I bought the vehicle in South Florida and moved here in 2003. I still had boxes full of paperwork in Florida. I wound up getting almost all the invoices from Florida timeframe and then the invoices from here. I sent them in. I got a call back later and was told to bring the vehicle to the dealership. The dealership was going to check it out and make sure it had the symptoms.
The dealership took 2-3 weeks to come back and tell me it had the symptoms. They then let corporate know. After they let corporate know, I got a call later on and was told that Lexus would, as a courtesy, pay 25% of the repair bill, but only at the dealership. The dealership wanted 10k to REPAIR, not replace. I was pissed at this solution.
I found out that I could appeal the decision. I had to deal with the attorney in Louisiana who settled with them. He wanted tons of paperwork from me and from Lexus. He took a few weeks to come to an answer and he stated, "Seeing that NO INVOICE explicitly stated 'Oil Gel' on it, he could not approve them handling the settlement" I argued back stating that the phrase 'oil gel' was not coined until his lawsuit with them in 2007 and that all the symptoms and descriptions were stated on invoices dating back to 2006. It ended up with him stating that if I didn't like the results, I could file suit outside of the agreement.
That is why I will never purchase another Lexus in my life. I have told everyone in my family and friends circle the story and they will not either.
There are a few solutions I am seeing out there. This group will charge me $1100 for all the labor as long as I supply everything that is needed. There is one firm in Orange County that was interesting. They import engines and sell them for 1795. However, they will install a JDM engine for 2530. I need to talk some more to them, but they do this all the time. I wish they were not 150 miles away!
Mitsuguy - that is interesting about the JDM issue. When I first read what you wrote, it made a lot of sense, then when I thought about it, the local repair shop recommended a JDM, their competitor 25 miles away recommenced a JDM, I didn't think it was that much of an issue.
For me, the mileage almost doesn't matter. If I drive this 5k miles a year it will be a miracle. So if I get a 50k mile engine and drive it 10 more years, it will have 100k miles on it. I think I am going to have to change what I was doing in the past and not necessarily change oil based on miles, but date as well.
You really have me thinking about this engine choice now.
So you're telling me it's Lexus' fault that you changed your oil every 8k miles??:egads:
LOL, some people...
Yeah . . .
The ONE time that I changed it at 7700 miles AFTER it had the diagnosed issue . . . The ONE time it went past the BOOK recommended 6k.
It caused it.
LOL - some people are cultists.
The dealership service is great. The company service is terrible. Considering this was a class action suit, I was in the class that they would have notified me. They never did. That was brought up to them and they ignored it. See, had they notified me about the settlement, I could have taken my vehicle to the dealership 55 miles away to have it looked at and voila, I would not be in this boat. Even after the dealership told corporate that it had the oil gel issues and that THEY felt the car was well maintained (without the benefit of receipts) they chose to deny it based upon a phrase not being on an invoice. You know, the OJ defense, the glove didn't fit, therefore, they must acquit.
I have no problem with the car. This is purely a design defect and thus they should support it. If you feel it is not a design defect, then you are in the minority and the courts have proven it is a defect.
Now that we have had our tit for tat . . .
I sincerely appreciate the help that you have offered.
I have a few issues with your story.
1. You want Lexus to pay for a completely new engine on a 12 year old car.
2. I believe the settlement was only valid for 10 years.
3. According to your mileage, you only drove around 10k/year. You mentioned that you changed the oil every 4-8k miles. I'm going to assume that it was about once a year. Low miles and infrequent oil changes are a recipe for disaster.
4. Are those highway miles or city miles? If you drove very short distances, that opens up a whole new can of worms.
5. I think Lexus Corp. were completely reasonable about their decision. You should have just replaced the engine, instead of wasting your time dealing with them.
With all due respect MrBooby, let's get the facts correct.
1. I wanted lexus to notify me of the defect as they were ordered to by the courts in this case. They were instructed to do this, iirc, in 2007.
2. The rest points back to number 1.
Had they done what the court had ordered them to, as I mentioned, I would have brought it into the dealership, been under the timeframe that the agreement was in place, and thus, would not be in this situation.
The driving of the vehicle was not much after 2005. It was seeing 5-6k miles per year then. After that, it was under 5k per year. I am in Santa Barbara, CA. This is basically a beach resort town and the farthest thing is about 12 miles away. Most of the driving done here is 4-5 miles one way. That is why this place is perfect for a Chevy Volt and a scooter :)
The settlement was not valid for 10 years. It was valid for a range of cars and then the settlement went to 2008. According to the settlement, cases brought up after were to be looked at on a case by case basis. Again, I point to the fact, that by the settlement agreement they were to notify all owners who fell into the category. They failed to notify me.
Lexus was not reasonable to deny in my opinion. There statement was that the car did have the issue. The car was maintained to their satisfaction. Again, there reason for denial was that NO receipt ever stated, "Oil Gel or Oil Sludge," on it. Even though there were invoices stating all the symptoms of it going back to 2006. This is a legal tactic in playing semantics. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, ****s like a duck, it's a duck. When the dealership, which is fantastic, told them the car was well maintained and it definitely had the issue, the ball was in their court.
I have no problems with the car, I have no problems with the dealership. I have problems with the company and how they treated a customer. For that, I have chosen to vote with my wallet and I will never purchase their product again.
Now back to your very first point . . . Actually, that I felt would be overkill at this point. Had I made the decision to not take it in, had I made the decision to not maintain it, then I would agree, I am entitled to nothing. However, I made no mistake as they had every possible way to contact me, but didn't. I did all the maintenance. I would have been satisfied with a compromise. A simple solution of shared pain would have been fine with me. But they chose a binary solution and admitted no culpability for their design failure as well as their customer support failure as they were dictated to in the settlement agreement.
Thank you for your concern though.
I have located a firm in Southern California that has a JDM engine in stock, does this type of work for a living and will get my Lexus back on the road. Of course, I will be back to my 4-5k miles per year and probably will just have to adjust my oil changes to every 6 months instead of mileage based.
We can agree to disagree. I tend to think that you did not maintain the vehicle the best you could. Short trips don't warm up the oil enough to burn off any moisture that is left over from the combustion process. After a while, that moisture turns your oil into sludge. As far as I know, the owner's manual states that the oil should be changed at x-amount of miles, or 6-months, whichever comes first.
As for the communication, you said that you moved from Florida to CA. Could it be that they did not know where you lived? All they have to do is send out a letter. They are not required to track you down and get a signature. Maybe that letter got lost?
You are correct, we will agree on some points and disagree on some.
Do short trips help? Nope. We agree.
Is there a defect? I say yes, you say no.
Did Lexus have a responsibility to contact me? Yes. You are making unfounded excuses to defend their action. Both Lexus Corporate and Lexus Financial had my addresses since the day I bought the vehicle. They got them from me and from the dealership when it was brought in for repair. They failed in notifying me. When I confronted them about the notification, they did state they did not send me one. My only remedy is to go through the class action settlement procedures. Seeing that I was not satisfied there, my only remedy now is to eat the expense or take them to small claims court. I think time will cool me down a little on the small claims issue. As of today though, I am seriously considering going down that path. The facts are quite simple:
1. There was a defect.
2. There was a court ordered opinion that there was a defect.
3. There was obligations by Lexus to notify.
4. There were obligations by Lexus to cure.
5. There were timeframes imposed in the agreement.
It was in Lexus' best interest to NOT notify anyone. It was a calculated gamble that by not notifying they would not have to pay anything. However, what makes our country the best one in the world is that we have laws in place and a judicial system. Thanks for motivating me more to file a claim against them.
I have no problem with you filing a claim, I just feel that it's a waste of time. From what you have said, I feel confident that the oil sludge issue in the 1MZ engines comes from user error. While there may be a higher tendency for these engine to develop sludge, it's not as bad as everyone thinks it is. As long as you drive the car for more than 10 miles at a time, and change your oil regularly, you should have no issues.
Good luck with your repair and keep us posted, I mean it.
Most independent testing organizations agree. It may be maintenance that agrees with manufacturer recommendations, but, depending on the quality of oil used, it may just not cut it... Sludge is simply the oil breaking down, it won't sludge or gel without that happening.
A higher quality oil and/or more frequent oil changes would have solved the issue completely, IMO.
And, from Lexus' website, there is a recommendation even that requires 6 month service intervals, and 5,000 mile, not 6000 mile intervals: "*To ensure that you receive the greatest number of miles of satisfying operation from your Lexus, certain maintenance procedures must be performed. Scheduled maintenance is recommended every 6 months or 5,000 miles, whichever occurs first. For a full listing of minimum maintenance requirements and applicable special operating conditions, please refer to your vehicle's Warranty and Services Guide"
On top of that, and I don't see where Lexus recommends it, but, the OP's driving style, short trips of less than 5 miles, etc, would qualify as severe service, shortening suggested service intervals even more...
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