1996 Lexus ES 300 Long Term Road Test

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1996 Lexus ES 300: A Couple Other Minor Issues

October 19, 2012

1996 Lexus ES 300

In an earlier ES post, a commenter noted that our gauges were looking pretty bad. And true enough, they are.

Actually, I think they've gotten worse since we bought the car. Carroll took an earlier picture of them, and while the needles were always flickering/burned out in that picture and video, it seems the number illumination was fine. But now we've lost illumination for part of the speedometer. It's not a huge problem, but it can be annoying not being able to easily tell what speed you're going. (And in daylight, it's actually worse than the above photo would seem to indicate.)

Ron Montoya's done some basic research. The fix entails pulling out the gauge cluster, disassembling it, and installing new bulbs. It looks like we've lost two bulbs so far. (And while we'd be at it, we probably just replace all of them.) Alternately, we can pull out the cluster and ship it to a guy in Wisconsin who repairs them for $99. He can also put in LED bulbs if you want, and will also fix the needles.

We haven't decided what to do yet.

The other thing possibly needing attention: our ES has got a couple leaks (oil, I think). Not terrible, and not unexpected for a car of this age. But it's also something it might be worth checking out during its upcoming 150,000-mile service.

1996 Lexus ES 300

(Pictured: about two week's worth of drips)

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor

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