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RX330 won't go faster than 10 MPH... help!

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Old 06-23-07, 09:00 PM   #1
ArbysNight
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Default RX330 won't go faster than 10 MPH... help!

My wife is on a getaway with a friend and valet parked her 2004 RX330 at a resort earlier today. She went to get it and the valet came back and said they needed to jump start it. The car is now showing the Check Engine Light and VSC light. Further, it will only go about 10 mph. The engine doesn't rev, it just lugs along and won't go any faster regardless of how far you push the gas down. Anyone see this before?

Help a newbie!

Car details:
62k miles
2004
RX330
Battery died once before when door was left open overnight. No other issues ever.
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Old 06-23-07, 09:05 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by ArbysNight View Post
My wife is on a getaway with a friend and valet parked her 2004 RX330 at a resort earlier today. She went to get it and the valet came back and said they needed to jump start it. The car is now showing the Check Engine Light and VSC light. Further, it will only go about 10 mph. The engine doesn't rev, it just lugs along and won't go any faster regardless of how far you push the gas down. Anyone see this before?

Help a newbie!

Car details:
62k miles
2004
RX330
Battery died once before when door was left open overnight. No other issues ever.
I once had an issue at a resort with my RX300 similar to this. Involved vapor lock. I had come down in altitude (Mexico City to Veracruz) and the next morning, we could not start the vehicle. We waited a while and then started up after I push on the accelerator for what seemed the longest time.

It is too bad she isn't near a mechanic that could read the engine code and then I could help even more.

Other issue may be a faulty/dirty MAF sensor, though faulty would be more likely.
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Old 06-23-07, 09:52 PM   #3
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The getaway is just for the weekend, about 50 miles from our house. The problem is not vapor lock: the car starts with a jump, but seems to be in some sort of safety mode that allows it to limp along. Anyone else?
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Old 06-23-07, 10:00 PM   #4
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Bad ignition coil will also do this.
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Old 06-23-07, 10:39 PM   #5
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Your engine is apparently stuck in a "limp home" mode possibly caused by something the valet did. (I'm always quick to accuse these guys) The CEL has tripped this mode to protect the engine against possible damage - the root cause you can determine by having the codes read by your dealer or by AutoZone.

Having had one deep cycle, your battery is probably on its way to the scrapheap. If it is defective, it can cause a variety of problems, but I don't know of one that would throw a CEL code.

For tonight, try disconnecting the positive battery cable for ten minutes or so, then carefully re-connecting. This will allow the ECU to reset and should clear (temporarily maybe) the check engine light, allowing the engine to run normally. IF the problem recurs, call the dealer and make arrangements to have your car towed.
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Old 06-24-07, 05:20 PM   #6
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I second Lil4x advice. .. specailly that is the scope of work that can be done. The jump start can cause strange beahviour.

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Old 06-24-07, 06:06 PM   #7
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Well the problem is resolved. First, thanks to Newport Lexus in Newport Beach, CA for diagnosing and fixing the problem for free. And shame on The Island Hotel in Newport Beach for having numbskulls in their valet crew.

According to the dealer, the battery was drained by someone having left the ignition in the on position for an extended period of time. Then, they connected the jumper cables backwards, blowing a fuse. All is fixed now, but the event kinda took some of the fun out of my wife's weekend getaway.

Thanks for the help here!
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Old 06-24-07, 06:50 PM   #8
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Good grief. I'm very glad to hear it worked out okay. Yet another reason I dread having to entrust my vehicle to a valet.
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Old 06-25-07, 03:09 AM   #9
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Well, I am impressed that you can connect the jumper cables backwards and not blow out everything in the whole car! I guess the electrical system was well designed at least!
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Old 06-25-07, 06:32 AM   #10
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Good lesson here, beyond the obvious fact the valet left the ignition on (probably enjoying the stereo), killing the battery, attempting to jump-start a sophisticated electronic system, and not telling you the whole story of what he had done. Any one of the above should be classified as capital crimes. Of course he didn't manage to mention that that jump included a fireworks display, he seems to have conveniently left that part out.

Newport Lexus deserves a big round of applause for their service!

The lesson here is a good one for all of us in this age of computer chips: When strange things suddenly happen to your engine that don't involve large bits of twisted wreckage, go to the simple (and cheap) stuff first . . . check your fuses! You wouldn't think that someone who has even the remotest connection with auto service could manage to cross-connect a battery, but there is probably a reason that yahoo is parking cars for a living . . .

I imagine the EFI fuse was the culprit, but it could have been something else that sacrificed itself to save the ECM. Another good lesson here too - be sure you carry spare fuses for critical circuits. We tend to count on circuit breakers and other "reset" features a little too much, when a glance at the fuse panel(s) could be instructive in an emergency situation.

Welcome to CL, ArbysNight! We hope to be a bit more helpful in the future, so stick around. Your experience meanwhile may save someone else. Thanks for your contribution.
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Old 06-25-07, 07:06 AM   #11
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They are suppose to connect the neg. jump cable to a chaasis ground, you were luck that they didnt do more damage.
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Old 06-25-07, 07:26 AM   #12
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Quote:
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You wouldn't think that someone who has even the remotest connection with auto service could manage to cross-connect a battery, but there is probably a reason that yahoo is parking cars for a living . . .

I have seen intelligent looking people walk right over and connect the red to black and start connecting the black to red before I stopped them!

A corrolary to this all is that if you are giving someone a jump start, make sure YOU connect up the cable, not them!
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Old 06-25-07, 01:56 PM   #13
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Keep note of the NEG to the chassis, this gives you the best amp transfer. I used to believe the NEG on the battery was sufficient...no....the chassis of the car is the best place for the NEG. Learned the hard way. Tried to jump start a Civic.....could not, because I did not put the NEG on a chassis connection (like a bolt on the car, usually the strut bolt).
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Old 06-25-07, 01:56 PM
 
 
 
 
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