1994 ES 300 V6 - Cranks, won't start - ClubLexus - Lexus Forum Discussion

Notices
ES - 1st to 4th Gen (1990-2006) Forum for all 1990 - 2006 ES300 and ES330 models. ES250 topics go here as well.

1994 ES 300 V6 - Cranks, won't start

Old 01-11-19, 09:41 PM
  #1  
mtnes300
Driver School Candidate
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: UT
Posts: 3
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default 1994 ES 300 V6 - Cranks, won't start

I bought this as a second car a few months ago. It drove fine for the first week or two, and then one time I drove it somewhere, it it took a few seconds of strong cranking to start. I chalked it up as a fluke, but a day or two later, it did it again in a parking lot, but this time, it took longer and multiple tries. I parked it for a few days, and downloaded the service manual. I went through some steps, and thought that I couldn't hear the fuel pump running, and also I didn't see the fuel pulsation damper screw come out when I jumped the B+ to the FP positions on the little diagnostic port on the passenger side of the engine. I decided that the fuel pump was dead.

I replaced the fuel pump, and the car still refused to start. I did put my hand on the fuel pump when I was trying to start the car (still had the back seat and fuel pump cover removed) and I could feel that they were still pumping. At this point, I let the car sit for a while, and it managed to start up. I drove it around the block, and parked it and then immediately tried to start it again. No dice. I let it sit for another day, and it started again. I would take it for a loop around the neighborhood, and then return to my place. Sometimes it would start again, sometimes not.

I kept reading in the manual, and it told me to check the fuel pump circuit cutoff relay. I dug that out of the glove box area, and opened it up. The internals looked okay, and I used a bit of fine sandpaper to remove a tiny amount of black material from the contacts. I put it back together, and the car started up! I was hopeful that it was the problem, and drove it around a bit, and it seemed to start and run fine. I then left it sitting for some time, and when I came back, it started just fine and I drove it around for a while, but returned back home without turning the engine off. It had good power, all systems worked fine. The one thing I did notice, is that it smoked a tiny bit on first startup? Wasn't sure if that was just from sitting for a few weeks.

I went to drive it yesterday, and it wouldn't start. It cranks strong, but no sputtering or anything. I went online, and talked to a couple guys, and one guy said that it was probably a camshaft position sensor. I went out and bought one of those, and installed it, and still nothing. I printed off the pages from the service manual that dealt with cranks, no start, and it had me looking back at the ECU and the fuel cutoff relay.

I checked that the ECU is getting power on "run" and that the fuel cutoff relay is getting power on "crank". I re-conducted the test with the "B+" to "FP", and listened more carefully for fuel flowing in the system. It seemed like it was. It would make a flowing sound for a few seconds, and then make a different sound, but like it was still flowing.

I pulled off the little air chamber box off of the side of the intake hose, and sprayed some starting fluid into it. I went in and cranked the engine, and it cranked and then stumbled for a half a second like it was trying to start. I did this a couple times, but no start. I pulled the top cover off of the engine, got at one of the coil packs, and then pulled it out and connected an in-line spark light to see if I was getting spark. I don't know whether it was user error, or if I got a bad one from AutoZone, but it didn't light up. I'm not sure if the coil packs ground through the bolt that holds them down, but I couldn't have them in place and use the spark detector.

So, that's where I'm at. I'm hoping it's not ECU, but it looks like theres a "Sia Electronics" on eBay that people on this forum seem to have good luck with. Any other ideas? In all of this, I've had no codes or lights come up. When it runs, it runs like a champ. When it doesn't, it's totally DOA.

Thanks in advance for any ideas!
mtnes300 is offline  
Old 01-11-19, 10:10 PM
  #2  
Lexus2000
Lexus Champion
 
Lexus2000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Alberta
Posts: 4,798
Thanked 156 Times in 153 Posts
Default

I would check the EFI relay they tend to run hot so the terminals corrode over time.
Lexus2000 is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to Lexus2000 For This Useful Post:
mtnes300 (01-11-19)
Old 01-11-19, 10:13 PM
  #3  
mtnes300
Driver School Candidate
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: UT
Posts: 3
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Is that the one in the engine bay, directly behind the driver side headlight? I'll have to check that out.Thank you!
mtnes300 is offline  
Old 01-11-19, 10:22 PM
  #4  
Richardsr
Driver
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Georgia
Posts: 185
Thanked 21 Times in 21 Posts
Default

I read this three times while eating a couple of sausage dogs with hot mustard and thought about it, and my gut feeling is a fuel filter. If you can shoot startup fuel into the air box and get “fire”, then it needs gas and sometimes the owner’s manual assumes too much. Without the owner’s manual somewhat distracting suggestions involved, my money would say buy a cheap one to test it out and if it works... replace it again with a Genuine OEM filter.

BTW, I fixed two cars doing just that and your description here matches both instances.

Good luck

Last edited by Richardsr; 01-12-19 at 09:01 AM. Reason: Info
Richardsr is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Richardsr For This Useful Post:
mtnes300 (01-17-19)
Old 01-11-19, 10:27 PM
  #5  
Nad1370
Lead Lap
 
Nad1370's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Illinois
Posts: 484
Thanked 14 Times in 14 Posts
Default

Dont throw anymore parts before diagnosing.
3 thing to start any vehicle.
Air
Fuel
Spark

If any one is missing, it wont start.
Granting you have fuel and pressure is ok, check for spark.
If i remember, early 1MZ uses a 2 wire for the coil pack.
It gets its ground from the igniter so i dont think you need to ground it to check for spark.
Nad1370 is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to Nad1370 For This Useful Post:
mtnes300 (01-17-19)
Old 01-11-19, 10:27 PM
  #6  
Lexus2000
Lexus Champion
 
Lexus2000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Alberta
Posts: 4,798
Thanked 156 Times in 153 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by mtnes300 View Post
Is that the one in the engine bay, directly behind the driver side headlight? I'll have to check that out.Thank you!
Yes.

A clogged fuel filter is possible also the ECUs do sometimes go bad when they do you'll have all sorts of odd problems like no starts, stalling, misfires.

Lexus2000 is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to Lexus2000 For This Useful Post:
mtnes300 (01-17-19)
Old 01-12-19, 04:34 AM
  #7  
Oro
Lexus Test Driver
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: wa
Posts: 1,131
Thanked 129 Times in 119 Posts
Default

This may help you neck-down the problem with the above.

http://www.ifitjams.com/starting.htm

This will get a car started if you work through it. I agree, don't throw any more parts at it w/o really diagnosing it.

a) You can go to about any auto parts store and get loaner tools. You can get a fuel pressure tester and it will let you know if that's adequate.

b) to check for spark, just take out the plug, put it back in the coil boot, and lay the ground electrode on a solid ground, and crank. You will see spark, or not. No need to buy gadgets for that test.

Determine those two things and then go from there.
Oro is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Oro For This Useful Post:
mtnes300 (01-17-19)
Old 01-12-19, 07:52 AM
  #8  
Nad1370
Lead Lap
 
Nad1370's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Illinois
Posts: 484
Thanked 14 Times in 14 Posts
Default

^^^^
What...!
No beer breaks? 😔
Nad1370 is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to Nad1370 For This Useful Post:
mtnes300 (01-17-19)
Old 01-12-19, 11:12 AM
  #9  
Lexus2000
Lexus Champion
 
Lexus2000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Alberta
Posts: 4,798
Thanked 156 Times in 153 Posts
Default

I forgot to mention the igniter (LH strut tower) sometimes goes bad this part is almost always overlooked.
Lexus2000 is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to Lexus2000 For This Useful Post:
mtnes300 (01-17-19)
Old 01-12-19, 10:06 PM
  #10  
Richardsr
Driver
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Georgia
Posts: 185
Thanked 21 Times in 21 Posts
Default

Still got that gut feeling about the fuel filter. Often overlooked and gets no codes when they clog up, recede, clog up and recede. A cheap aftermarket filter is a “tool” that is simple and easy to use, can be kept for re-use, and beats more “invasive” and burdensome testing. If the test filter doesn’t change things, put the old one back on. If it solves the problem, get a Genuine OEM, install it and keep the “tool” for another day.

Almost every electrical engine device throws a code or two when they die. The fuel filter doesn’t and it is a big “common” point when troubleshooting fuel delivery problems in a no start condition.

The ignition igniter is also very “common” to a no start scenario, but they throw codes and a Maint Reqd light at you.

And as far as throwing parts goes... filters and fluids are like flowers and candy, and when your car isn’t happy, you ain’t happy. How many here haven’t performed “extra maintenance” in the name of being an enthusiast? And besides, with 180+K miles and no idea of previous maintenance in mind, replace the filter and know you should have when you bought the car to begin with.

Cheers

Last edited by Richardsr; 01-12-19 at 10:16 PM.
Richardsr is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Richardsr For This Useful Post:
mtnes300 (01-17-19)
Old 01-17-19, 11:27 AM
  #11  
mtnes300
Driver School Candidate
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: UT
Posts: 3
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Latest update. Thanks, guys. Here's what I've done since my last post:
  1. Got a noid light and a spark plug light from Autozone.
  2. Plugged them in, cranked engine, and nothing. No lighting up. So, no spark and no fuel injector signal.
  3. I pulled the back seat out, and pulled the fuel pump cover. Put my hand on the top of the fuel pump assembly/lines and cranked and also turned the key to "run", and it didn't feel like it was pumping (which I've felt before).
  4. I'm going to check the ECU fuses and relay now, and will report back.
mtnes300 is offline  


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us About Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

© 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: