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Es 250 Engine Rotates But Won't Start!

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I have this problem on a Lexus ES 250.

Motor cranks easily over but will not start. Thought it was the Fuel Pump, But that didn't bring the car to life. :chairshot:

Checked Inspection plate of the Timing belt, Its in good shape.

Checked for spark on the plug(s) - Those are fireing. - So Ignition Coil is working, along with Ignitor inside of Distribitor. (never took distribitor off and inspected inside or around inside of cap for cracks)<-- will check that next.

Replaced Fuel pump - thought it was this. Ummm Nope, Guess Again!

Formula = Gas + Air + Spark = Engine Runs.. musta messed up somewhere! :wacko:

While reading a note from the fuel pump install - it said something about a "Oil Pump Switch", if unit is faulty, Fuel pump will not operate. Hmmm. <_<

From reading a post on another forum, I'm going to go Take the back seat out and connect a Ohm's Reader to the Fuel pump Electrical feed and see if im getting enough power or pulses to the pump. All -N- All , Either one could be the problem.. Arrrggg.. *note- do smell gas while trying to crank car Sometimes, Maybe when its flooded?*

-Fact is, where the heck is the "Oil Pump Switch" Or "Oil Pump Sensor".. or whatever the gizmo is that will make this ES Car Go!

Also, Does anyone know in reference to what Toyota Camry Book has the 2VZEF Motor, so i can find a book on this thing? (Will the Toyota Camry 89 - 91 Book give me some Insight to finding the problem, or can I use that book for this car?) Maybe something that would help trouble shoot this problem?

Please Help!


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My suggestion would be (there are not very many members with an ES 250) try to ask the exact same question on www.toyotanation.com (sign up & go the the Camry forums) since your ES is the same as the early 90's Camry.....someone there might be able to suggest mor options. It could be something simple perhaps like a clogged fuel filter? :unsure: You mentioned the plugs were firing......when was the last time you had a complete "major" tune up? Could possibly be carbon build up in the throttle body :unsure: It could be a numer of possibilitites......if you can't seem to fix it, do you have a reliable mechanic?


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Yeah, Its a Old Model - Since It was my first NEW car ever bought and now my hobby car - I'm still the only owner the car's ever had. :D

Hmmm.. Clogged fuel filter, Nope. Has been changed. The Spark Plugs have been changed along with the Wires; about 3 months before this happened. Carbon build up is a Good idea, I'll have to remove the Intake to clean that part of it.. Simple Carb Out Spray wont work unless the motor is running. Otherwise I'd spray and run what carbon is removed into the block.. Tis Not Good. Reliable Mechanic, That would be Me. Most common problems I can solve and do the work to which ever part that needs it. Most of all, This problem by far has brought me to scratching a hole in the top of my head! I'll figure this out.. mean while I'll just drive one of the other five cars I have.. But I Miss Mah Baby!!

BTW, Came up with the idea of a Crack in the Distribitor- *Sigh* wish the car was in my driveway, instead of 80 miles away.. Uggg!

Thanks for the Input :D , I'll Follow up with the link that was provided.. Maybe the fokes over at Toy have an idea. :wacko:


Forgot to ask again... Will a Toyota 89 - 91 Repair Manual be Same as the lexus 250 ES .. uurr atleast Help troubleshoot the problem?? I NEED A BOOK!

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6/26/2004 - decided to try getting my car to start once again. To my amazement the car started to act like it was trying to start. Finally after connecting jumper cables to my truck to keep the battery from dieing, this gave me enough cold cranking amps to get the car to start for maybe a Minute!! RPM's reached 3000 then the motor stalled and wouldn't Restart.. *Alot of bad words here*

I've checked to see if fuel is reaching the rails by removing the return fuel line hose. Yes, fuel is moving nicely. Not sure if the Injectors are droping fuel into cylinders..*scratches head*

after reading a post about a 92 ES, Im starting to wonder if I'm having the same problem. The "MAF", Big metal thing that sits on the top of the air filter.. I think.

If thats the reason why this car isn't starting, I'd Be So HAPPY! Cause I hate My Truck!!

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6/29/04 - today I made my way over to a salvage, bought a AFM, MAF .. Whatever. Big metal thing ontop of the air breather. Well, needless to say, That wasn't the problem. :censored:

- Noticed today while the car had the Ignition on, Fuel rail was hissing.. (this I know now is the Fuel Flowing through to the Return line to the Tank. In other words, Fuel Pump Works.)

-- Sooo, Checked Spark One More Time! No Spark! ... Changed the Coil and Igniter (Igniter is located under the Coil) That didnt help either. Still no spark. Am I Missing Something here? :wacko: Suppose tomorrow I'll Remove the Rotor Cap and see if there is some kinda part that's needed to be replaced.

Anyone else know why there wouldn't be any spark ? IF I get spark, I bet the car will start.. :D

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definatly change the cap and rotors if the have carbon it might be overheating the coil and shutting down

there may be a small cap with a tire vavle looking thing called a schrader valve,it is used to check fuel pressure

the hissing might be the VSV which is for the fuel rails and adjust using vacume

take out a plug and turn the engine over

look for the spray of fuel shooting out if the gas is getting there

but if you have no spark you are on the right track

if you have maf problems you should be able to just disconnect it and the car will go into open loop for the sensor to run in safe mode.

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Until you mentioned not gettin spark, I was gonna suggest the air intake hose, as these are a common cause of heartburn with the ES300 and I'm sure the same could happen to an ES250. This is because they'll often times develop a hole, usually in one of the expansion areas, that is behind the MAF sensor, causing un-metered air to enter and confuse the ECU and thus either not running at all, or running poorly to say the least. However, I don't think I've ever heard of this being the cause of the car not starting at all...it usually causes the car to die immediately after startup or upon acceleration. About the fuel rail "hissing"; I know that the only time mine ever did that-and do keep in mind that my car is a 300, but an engine is an engine-was right after I'd replaced head gaskets and I failed to get an injector seated well, causing it to actually spray fuel atop the heads and make all sorts of mess, not to mention causing the car to not wanna start...oh, and a gas odor that you could smell a mile away. You could check your cold start injector too, just as a precaution. Be careful if you do though because that thing squirts like you wouldn't believe-I left mine off accidentally when I was putting my engine back together and I swear that SOB got 10 feet of distance across my garage! Yeah, mine was obviously working :lol: Most of all, good luck to ya and keep us informed! Hope I've been of some help somehow... ;)

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Until you mentioned not gettin spark, I was gonna suggest the air intake hose, as these are a common cause of heartburn with the ES300 and I'm sure the same could happen to an ES250. This is because they'll often times develop a hole, usually in one of the expansion areas, that is behind the MAF sensor, causing un-metered air to enter and confuse the ECU and thus either not running at all, or running poorly to say the least.

I wonder if this is the cause of my rough idle and engine hesitation under acceleration?

I am not too mecahnically inclined . . . is the air intake hose the big 3" (or whatever diameter it is) ribbed black plastic hose?

If there is a hole, do you just fix it with glue or silicone or something?



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6-30-04 Okay Here we go, Won't Believe what I found.. BUT the GREAT news is - It's ALIVE!

Took The suggestion to remove the Cap - Was in the process of doing this from last post. I knew that the cap and rotor was already replaced and didn't give it thought to those parts being the cause to the problem. However, After removing the Cap and inspecting it. Came to the conclusion that it looked to clean and without carbon buildup.. Hmmmm got me thinking, decided to remove the Rotor and give that an inspection (for whatever sake) Removed the rotor and found a small crack under neath the head of the spindal head or at the top of the rotor shaft. As far as i can tell, once the cam started to spin the rotor, something about gravity would force the rotor head to drop and Miss the metal contacts.. Go Figure!

After replacing the rotor, Wal-La And HOTDAMN! :D :lol: :D B)

Tell Ya what though, After replacing the parts that I have, The car has Alot more Giddy-Up-N-GOOOOoooooo!!!

Hmmm- 3" Airduct Tube is what connects the Airbeather to the Intake.. If it has a Hole in it, Ummm Useing something to close the hole could be done Or going to a salvage and getting another one would be just as easy. Knowing me - I'd Use duck Tape, LOL.

I noticed when I had the Air Intake Removed and not placed correctly on the airbreather to intake, the car started fine. Noticed stepping on the gas the car didn't accelerate Correctly. Agreed about acceleration, but disagree that would of kept it from starting.

Gas smell was from flooding the intake with too much gas (No spark+too much Gas+Backflow of Air=Gas Smell).. however, would be a good idea to buy some carb cleaner and clean the heck outa the intake.

Special Thanks To, Lexusfreak,skperformance and Lex3486 For some helpful suggestions and advice. Thanks!

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