2002 ES300 Starting Problem - Club Lexus Forums


2002 ES300 Starting Problem

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Old 10-12-10, 11:01 AM   #1
redtie
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Default 2002 ES300 Starting Problem

It started about one week ago. The car wouldn't start, no cranking, no clicking sound, nothing. All the lights are on the dash, radio works, PW, PL, PD works just fine.

Give it a jump start, nothing happned. Took the battery to Autozone and got it test. All the reading were good and battery was at 100% charge. Except the cranking rate on battery says 670 but the Autozone reading shows 550!?
I tapped on the started few times and still nothing.

While was parked for about 30 minutes, tried it again and you guessed it, it started just fine. It was good for about 1 1/2 day and did it again.

Took it to my mechanic and he missed with it for about 1 hour and it started everytime without any problems. Next day, drove it to gas station and when finish pumping gas, it did not start again. you get the idea....


I would appricated if anyone has some idea of what might this be. I'm guessing perhaps its is sensor issue. Thanks
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Old 10-12-10, 02:20 PM   #2
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Have u tried starting it in neutral? My old car would start like that (when it wanted to) BUT i figured out it always would if it was in neutral
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Old 10-12-10, 05:08 PM   #3
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Check out your starter. Could be on its last leg. How many miles on the ODO?
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Old 10-12-10, 08:06 PM   #4
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No I have not tried it in neutral. I'll let you know. Thanks
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Old 10-12-10, 08:08 PM   #5
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I already got the starter to replace it. It only has 102K on it, it's a great a car. I'll keep you posted. Thanks
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Old 10-13-10, 06:54 AM   #6
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I put it in neutral and nothing. I think I am going to replace the starter and see what happends.
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Old 10-13-10, 04:53 PM   #7
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You tried hitting the starter before? Not hit but tap you know. Tap it all around the starter, maybe its something else
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Old 10-16-10, 07:09 PM   #8
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Replaced the starter and everything works GREAT! The replacement took exactly 1 hour and 15 minutes. Thanks for all the help.....
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Old 10-16-10, 10:32 PM   #9
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Yaaaay! She's rolling again...
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Old 05-12-11, 11:49 AM   #10
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Default My Starting Problem Solved

This problem had been sporadic throughout the past couple of years. Car would run fine for a few weeks/months then all of a sudden not start. A couple times just tinkering with it would get it going, or repeated attempts. Note that it wasn't trying to start. You turned the key over, hear the fuel pump come on, and that was it. All lights/radio/electronics worked at full power. Battery is recent, electric draw is spot on. Car wouldn't jumpstart, nothing.

Being a handy guy (motorcycles and trucks) I was a bit hesitant about the supposed complex systems of my girlfriends Lexus, so we had taken to a couple very reliable (supposedly) mechanics who worked specifically on high end imports. After a few hundred $$ of work and still recurring problem I fixed it myself. My issue (not saying this is the only cause), was the wiring harness that plugs into the starter.

As I was pulling everything out (the manual says simply remove the battery and take out the 3 bolts on the air cleaner; not quite) I went to remove the starter, but checked it's current condition first. I notice that the retaining clip on the wiring harness was broken, and the harness was loosely plugged in. On a hunch, I secured it with some tape, put everything back and voila! worked like a charm. Now although I can't PROVE it, I have a very strong hunch that this was the cause the whole time, I.e hitting the right combination of bumps on ****ty LA roads would either help or prevent the starter from making a solid connection due to the wiring.

I would also like to apologize to my starter for beating it with a hammer in frustration, trying to get it to start.

this is my first post on here, but I'm active on quite a few forums. A lot of good info on this site!
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Old 05-19-11, 07:35 PM   #11
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Same exact thing happened to my '99 RX300. Replaced the starter and all was good. Starter on an RX 1st gen is a little more involved but not much - did it myself and couldn't have been happier.
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Old 06-01-11, 08:37 AM   #12
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I have a 02' ES300 with 84K miles and had the same issue described within this post where the car would sporadically not start. I would turn the key and the interior lights, power locks, and power windows all worked, however the engine would not turn on (no crank). I also tried jumping the car with no luck.

I read this post and took it to a garage who also confirmed that the starter needed to be replaced. After replacing the starter, the car seems to be running fine.
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Old 06-01-11, 09:15 AM   #13
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The same exact symptoms plagued my RX300. Replaced the starter myself and the problem went away. I'm pretty sure your '02 ES shares the same engine as my '99 RX. The 1MZ-FE's starter is pretty easy to replace.
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Old 06-01-11, 08:11 PM   #14
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The contacts in the solenoid are the problem with the Toyota starters -- this is the smaller cylinder on top of the starter motor. It is a very common failure in higher milage cars.

Inside is a plunger and two contacts -- you can get all three on e-bay for around $25.00. You can also buy the parts from the dealer -- a bit more. Normally the contacts are the real cause but for a couple of bucks more you eliminate the plunger.

The starter is very easy to remove and you can replace the parts in 30 min. The starter is of high quality - better off fixing the OE unit than getting an inferior replacement.
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Old 06-20-11, 06:09 PM   #15
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I've got the same problem and suspicion it's some kind of modual in the shifter that requires the car to be in park to start. If I move my shifter around a little the car will start. I'm on line now trying to see what this gismo looks like so that I can change it to see if it solves the problem?
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