1996 Lexus ES 300 Long Term Road Test

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1996 Lexus ES 300: Repeat Business

March 6, 2013

1996 Lexus ES 300

The key to keeping maintenance costs down on a car is to find a reputable mechanic and build a working relationship. Seems like a no-brainer piece of advice, but for us it hasn't always been easy to follow. We've taken our 1996 Lexus ES 300 to a number of mechanics, based on who was driving the car and where we were at the time.

We really liked the service we received from our most recent mechanic, Alberto Garcia, who repaired our gauges. We decided to have him examine the cause of a pesky check engine light.

To recap, the Lexus was giving a P0441 code, which was related to the evaporative emission control system. The mechanic called us to say it was fixed about an hour after we dropped it off. The problem was the exact same one that commenter "mdj61254" experienced in his car: a leaking vacuum hose. While the commenter had to pay $180 for the diagnosis, we got a nice surprise when we asked what our tab was.

"It was just a small hose, you can have it," said Garcia, of A&M Motors. "Consider it a Christmas present."

This was a low-cost part for him and not charging us was a nice gesture that makes us want to go back to his shop for any future repairs.

Days out of service: 0

Total Cost: $0

Ronald Montoya, Consumer Advice Editor @ 153,713 miles

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