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UA324042

98 Gs400 Problem Starting

19 posts in this topic

Hey guys/gals,

I've got a 98 GS400 with 52,5K miles on it. Recently it started acting weirdly when starting.

-Put key into ignition, and turn it

-All dashboard lights come on, CD player works, fan works

-I can hear a clicking noise when key is turned to the start position

-Car doesnt start

If i play around with the key (i.e take it out several times) or try to turn it to start position several times, the car will start eventually. Also, If i drive it frequently during the day it starts with no problems. If it sits in the parking lot for a while, then i get this problem.

I've tried replacing the battery on the key and got my car battery checked at a local AutoZone, both of those are ok.

The local dealer says the starter needs to be replaced and they want to charge me $1000 (parts + labor).

Does anybody have any suggestions or does anybody know how easy is it to replace a starter on a GS400 ?

Thanks in advance!

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This appears to be a typical problem... The exact same thing happend to me at 98K on my 98GS4 and I had to get the starter replaced. The dealer asked for $800+, I got it done for a little less than $500 at a local shop.

SK will probably tell you this, because its true, if you do a search you should find tons of info.

Let me know if you want the number to my local guy.

CW

Hey guys/gals,

I've got a 98 GS400 with 52,5K miles on it. Recently it started acting weirdly when starting.

-Put key into ignition, and turn it

-All dashboard lights come on, CD player works, fan works

-I can hear a clicking noise when key is turned to the start position

-Car doesnt start

If i play around with the key (i.e take it out several times) or try to turn it to start position several times, the car will start eventually. Also, If i drive it frequently during the day it starts with no problems. If it sits in the parking lot for a while, then i get this problem.

I've tried replacing the battery on the key and got my car battery checked at a local AutoZone, both of those are ok.

The local dealer says the starter needs to be replaced and they want to charge me $1000 (parts + labor).

Does anybody have any suggestions or does anybody know how easy is it to replace a starter on a GS400 ?

Thanks in advance!

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your right i would tell him that :)

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CDubb and SK thanks for your replies. I've been searching on the forum for a while, and cant seem to find an answer to these questions:

Does the intake manifold have to be removed first in order to remove the starter? Lexus dealer said that's the only way to get to it and it requires a full day of work.

Also, is the starter solenoid the same thing as the starter relay?

Thanks in advance!

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The manifold does need to be removed to access the starter unless it is a tech who does them all the time and knows the trick to getting it out the back.

The starter solenoid activates the high powered motor.

A relay can be related to a solenoid as it is basically a small current field to turn on a larger one.

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I recently did this on my 98 Gs 4.I rebuilt my starter and I think the whole thing cost around 200-250.The gaskets were most of the cost.I took mine off peice by peice but a tech I talked to said you could unbolt the lower intake and take it off as one peice.Since I have higher mileage I took it all down and cleaned the upper and the throttle body while it was opened up and the performance increase I got was incredible.It felt stronger than any mod. I have done.Anyway this can be done very affordably if you dont get raped on the gaskets.

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Are you guys sure the problem is not the alternator? I am experiencing this exact same starting problem and would hate to spend the cash on a new starter is it is only a new alternator I need. Thanks for any help!

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Are you guys sure the problem is not the alternator? I am experiencing this exact same starting problem and would hate to spend the cash on a new starter is it is only a new alternator I need. Thanks for any help!

I'd bet 99.999% on the starter if you particularly are not having any problems like dead or weak batteries. Here's the instructions from Lexus. It does look like a project.

GS_400_Starter_Replacement.pdf

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I'l bet 100% it's the starter

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I think this is a starter. As noted before, some dealerships charge around $800. An independent garage with oem part may be around $500. You could probably get an aftermarket starter for around $200 and do it yourself. It would be worth you time to triple check your battery and connections before making a commitment to replace your starter.

I am kind of in the same situation myself. Over the holidays my 99 gs400 w/ 49,000 miles would not start - just got the CLICK. I initially thought it was the battery because it started with a jump. After charging for several hours in hope of resolving the issue, it would not start again. I took it to an independent garage that said the battery was dead. They also verified the draw was normal when the car is not running. After their charge it started perfectly for one month. Now it sits in my garage with nothing but a click.......

At this point, I need to get it back to the shop to test further an probably replace the starter. This seems to be a common problem, very disappointing

I'l bet 100% it's the starter

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It is called carbon tracking and happens on the starter's solenoid.

When a low voltage situation keeps happening over time it leaves a trail of carbon making it harder to start progressivly getting worse.

Making sure the battery is always good is much cheaper than a replament starter.

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once you have the starter in your hand, you can replace the solenoid contacts with oem kit for about $15 and the starter will work perfectly again.

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Are you guys sure the problem is not the alternator? I am experiencing this exact same starting problem and would hate to spend the cash on a new starter is it is only a new alternator I need. Thanks for any help!

I'd bet 99.999% on the starter if you particularly are not having any problems like dead or weak batteries. Here's the instructions from Lexus. It does look like a project.

Found what I need in the search. Thanks.

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Are you guys sure the problem is not the alternator? I am experiencing this exact same starting problem and would hate to spend the cash on a new starter is it is only a new alternator I need. Thanks for any help!

I'd bet 99.999% on the starter if you particularly are not having any problems like dead or weak batteries. Here's the instructions from Lexus. It does look like a project.

One question:

Is this procedure the same as for the LS 400 98 engine? It does look very similar.

Thanks for the info in advance?

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It is pretty much the same as it is the exact same engine.

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once you have the starter in your hand, you can replace the solenoid contacts with oem kit for about $15 and the starter will work perfectly again.

The gaskets will be the most expensive part of the repair if you d.i.y.You can take the upper and lower intakes off as one unit although if you have higher mileage you might consider taking it apart and cleaning the upper and the tb.I had about 110k when i did mine and couldnt believe how responsive it became.I felt more of a power gain than any mod. Ive done.

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The manifold does need to be removed to access the starter unless it is a tech who does them all the time and knows the trick to getting it out the back.

The starter solenoid activates the high powered motor.

A relay can be related to a solenoid as it is basically a small current field to turn on a larger one.

What's the trick to taking it out the back?

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I have an 01 430 with the same "click" problem. Does anyone have the info to change or clean the starter on my year? where do we get the solenoid kit from?

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Definitely the starter... learned the hard way with my 98 GS400 cuz its starter gave out at roughly 85K. The dealer charged $1K for starter and labor due to the manifold issue.

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