Question about 2000 Lexus ES 300

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Gear shift and dashboard lights wont light up.

The gear shift and the area surrounding the CD controls wont light up at night.

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This isn't a definite solution , however, I had the same issue when I got my 2000 ES300. The previous owner had installed a cellphone into the car that was wired into the stereo so that it would be heard through the speakers. It seems ridiculous now but back in the late 90's and early 2000's this was still a very common add on as cellphones were still pretty large, earpieces hadn't become common, car chargers weren't the norm, and battery life was horrible. This screwed up a lot of wiring. My gearshift light wouldn't come on and would sometimes flicker and my climate control lights wouldn't come on but would if i tapped it. I had the cellphone wiring removed and never had anymore problems with the lighted buttons on the radio or climate control. More than likely a wire is loose or has been tampered with. The 2000 and 2001 ES300's had solved all the led issues with the radio and dash so more than likely it's the wiring and not the actual lights in the radio and/or climate control. The gearshift bulb however turned out to just be bad and needed replacing. Its the same size bulb that goes into the glove box. It's a 1.2w type F bulb also known as a T5 bulb It's easy to replace, just pop off the wood bezel surrounding the shifter using a small flathead screwdriver prying it up from the bottom part of the wood closet to the cupholders in the armrest. Be gentle and work it loose and manuever/angle it so that you can get it past the shifter. (It will slide over shifter) Then locate the plastic retainers on your lettered/numbered shift indicator and pry it loose with the same small flathead screwdriver. You should now be able to see the bulb. You will probably need to use some needle nose pliers to get it out as it is a pretty narrow area surrounding the bulb. You might want to go ahead and throw an LED in there from eBay instead of a regular bulb. you can get a green one to match or go for a white led to have a nice contrast between the red, green and white letters on the indicator. (Note a green LED wont be that washed out light green color that is the scheme of the car, it will be a true green so it wont match perfectly.) If you opt for the normal bulb and the green rubber nipple on the old bulb is damaged or cannot be removed you can obtain a new one from Lexus or Toyota for a dollar or two. While your in there you should check the wiring harnesses to make sure its simply not disconnected or loose. Check around for other wiring issues s well. If it turns out there use to be a cell phone installed things can look like a tornado ripped through. If your comfortable removing the radio yourself to check for the lighted button issues you can do so removing the ashtray while you already have the wooden shifter bezel removed by removing the two screws at the bottom of the ashtray, then pop off the small wood strip directly above the ashtray, underneath the climate controls by inserting a small flathead in the top of the wooden strip in between the strip and the climate controls( middle of strip seems to work best, GENTLY) this will give you access to the screws retaining the climate controls which you will also unscrew, for the top radio screws pop off the clock/air vents above the radio using a pry/pop technique using a small flathead screwdriver and that will give you access to the top screws retaining the radio.

Posted on Jul 22, 2009

  • wardeezy Jul 22, 2009

    "then pop off the small wood strip directly above the ashtray, underneath the climate controls by inserting a small flathead in the top of the wooden strip in between the strip and the climate controls" NOTE, ON 97-99 MODELS THE SMALL WOOD STRIP BENEATH THE CLIMATE CONTROLS WILL SIMPLY BE A SMALL STRIP OF BLACK PLASTIC. oNCE CLIMATE CONTROL IS REMOVED THE BOTTOM RADIO SCREWS SHOULD BE EXPOSED.

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