Odd electrical issue '96 ES300 - Club Lexus Forums


Odd electrical issue '96 ES300

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Old 07-31-15, 01:01 PM   #1
DaveNay
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Default Odd electrical issue '96 ES300

The other day I tried to start my '96 ES 300 to go to work and there was no battery power. Being in a hurry, I didn't spend any time investigating and I just hooked up my portable battery jumper and it fired right up and drove to work with no issues.

After work, I had to do the same thing (hook up jumper, started right up, drove home).

When I got home, I turned off the car and wanting to see if it would start again, I immediately turned the key to start it again.

Here's where it gets odd...when the key is in the ACC or ON position, I have electrical (gauges, lights, radio, door chime, etc). But as soon as I turn the key to START, everything cuts out and there is absolutely no electric on the car.

If I hook up the jumper, then everything is fine. All accessories work, and the car starts immediately.

I have never seen a car where the entire electrical system cuts out due to a low battery. Is this some security aspect of a Lexus where it shuts down? Since all it takes to clear the situation is the known-good jump battery, I am leaning towards the likelihood that the car just needs a new battery, but like I said I have never seen a car that cuts out completely and I wanted to check if anyone knows about this.

Thanks,
Dave
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Old 07-31-15, 01:49 PM   #2
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here's what's happening, .. .

when you shift to 'start' there is normally not power to anything but the engine and starter motor, that's normal.

at a guess: the solenoid for the starter motor has excessive carbon build up on the connection point's it's shifting. When you try and start the car there is not enough power to breach the carbon build up so the car isn't starting, and it's acting line a dead short.


We had a similar issue, we replaced the battery, then we started to notice the starter would take several tries before it engaged, then it locked 'on' one day and turned while the engine was running until it drained the battery.
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Old 07-31-15, 03:29 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ES300NZ View Post
at a guess: the solenoid for the starter motor has excessive carbon build up on the connection point's it's shifting. When you try and start the car there is not enough power to breach the carbon build up so the car isn't starting, and it's acting line a dead short.
Thanks for the input, but that answer doesn't satisfy me. I can't see how that scenario accounts for my car going completely electrically dead when I turn the key to START position. And it stays completely dead until I connect the jump battery.

I have seen cars behave like you describe not having enough power to engage the contacts, but that isn't what I am experiencing.
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Old 07-31-15, 07:10 PM   #4
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no suppose it doesn't, but atleast it's one idea. another would be a bad termination connection at the battery or in the main cable (drain=leap).
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Old 08-01-15, 10:12 PM   #5
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+1, starter solenoid needs rebuilding. Easy enough job. Did this a year ago. the old was really worn down.

Next time it does not start, tap on the solenoid with a jack handle.
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Old 08-02-15, 10:21 AM   #6
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+1, starter solenoid needs rebuilding. Easy enough job. Did this a year ago. the old was really worn down.

Next time it does not start, tap on the solenoid with a jack handle.
Well, I tried to verify any starter or solenoid issues as both of you have suggested with no luck. I gave the starter body and solenoid several good thunks with a 22mm wrench with no result.

After that, I was going to go back to my original theory and pull the battery to take it in and exchange it. That's when I noticed the negative battery clamp was completely loose! The clamp nut was completely tightened as far as it would go, but I could lift the clamp right off the post with my fingers.

Two minutes of reconstructive surgery using a pair of 12" channel lock pliers, and the clamp is now tight on the post.

No more starting problems.

Case closed.
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Old 08-02-15, 10:29 AM   #7
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Nice :-) Congrats
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Old 08-02-15, 07:40 PM   #8
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hey that's awesome, it's sometimes the simplest of things, cause the biggest of headaches.
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Old 08-02-15, 09:35 PM   #9
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my 911 neg connector had a hair line split, would not keep a charge.
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