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Cel/trac Off

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Please help! I know there are several post regarding issues like this, I can not found one that has the exact syptoms as mine. I usually find all my answers without ever having to post. I have a 1999 ES 300 Coach w/ 80,000K. About every 2 weeks the car will begin to Idle rough and when accelarating it appears to missfire and hesitate. It also smells like a rich fuel burning smell from the exhaust and from under the hood. There is White smoke sometimes. I usually can tell when it will start acting up because i can smell it first and then shortly after it will begin to shake or Idle rough. There is no flucuation in RPMs. After a few hours and highway driving it retuuns to normal and after 3 cycles the CEL and trac off go away.

When this began 3 months ago, I replaced the coil pack, fuel filter, spark plugs, and had fuel injection cleaner services done. (2 pieces on the coil pack were melted and firing out of the side). The check engine light came on and I returned to the mechanic. He re-checked all spark plugs, coil pack and sensors. reset the light and everything was good for a couple weeks. The light retruned, I took it back and he re-checked everything and completed diagnostics. He came back this time with this.

PO300 Random Misfire

PO301 Misfire#1

PO303 mifire #3

PO305 misfire#5

PO171 Sys Lean Bank 1

Possible Leak @intake Manifold or restriction in Fuel Rail.

He informed me that he caould not figure out what was casuing this and recommended Lexus Dealer and reset the light again. He did state that he checked the intake manifold for leaks and it may be a possible leaks but he could not find one.

Everything was good for about a month. The problem returned. I run Fuel injection additive every other fill up and it seems to only happen when i am running on the tank without the additive. I always have used 92+ octane.

It seems to be getting worse. Yesterday, It began shaking and would not go for about 5 second and then violently shook and went but with extreme hesitation.

In reverse the RPMs jumped and engine would sputter out. I had to pull over and turn off the car and wait for 15 minutes. Then it ran fine with a little hesitation. Woke up this morning and started and it idles smooth, no problems. Light does flash sometime during this process (meaning misfire). If anyone can provide some input at least I can tell lexus and sound like I know what I am talking about. Sorry So Long. Please help this is very aggrevating.

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I would venture a guess the fuel injectors may be shot given all the additive that you use. Too much of this stuff is bad.

Since the coil packs, plugs and wires are fairly new, then I would start thinking fuel starvation to bank 1.

This leads me think fuel pressure problems, faulty fuel delivery (injectors) and more:

This is what the manual lists for P0171 as possible problem areas:

Air Induction system

Injector Blockage

Intake air flow meter

EFI engine coolant temp sensor

Fuel Pressure

Open or short in A/F sensor Bank 1 Sensor 1

A/F sensor Bank 1 Sensor 1

PCV hose connection


All the P30# codes lists the same as the P0171 codes plus these addtional:

Open or short in engine wire

Connector connection

Vacuum hose connection

Compression pressure

Valve clearence

Valve timing

At this point take it to Lexus and tell/show them everything you had done.


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Steviej thanks for taking the time to respond. I will be scheduling an appointment with Lexus soon. At Lexus of Jacksonville you have to schedule an apppointment with the service department and it is like 2 weeks out. That's crazy

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Apparently that was not the problem. It is still doing the same thing and the CEL/TRAC OFF is on again. They got for that $300. I guess it will have to go back and I'm sure i'll end replacing everything before it will get fixed. any suggetstions?

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  • 1 month later...

I know this is a repetitive subject but does anyone have any idea. This only happens once or twice a week for 10-15 minutes now. The car will idle rough and shake, hesitate and black smoke pours out the tailpipe until I get to a bout 60 MPH and then it smooths out. It will do this in stop and go traffic for 10-15 minutes. Now if I I stay at about 60mph for 10 minutes or longer idle returns to normally next time I stop. Sometimes when this happens I floor it and the cars hesitates and smokes for about 3 seconds and then finally catches and goes from 0-60 in like 2 seconds.

The light will go out sometimes and it will stayt out for a few days and then it happens again. It has to be fuel related.

I hate sensors, I had a ford expedition and battled the check engine light for a year and replaced nearly every sensor. The CEL never decreased performance on the expedition. I have already replaced MAF sensor, I have had fuel injection cleaning, PCV replaced, The car is in excellent condition. Please help.

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Don't hate sensors, sensors have fractions of the failure rate.

Your problem is people are randomly replacing stuff without troubleshooting becaus they don't have any idea on what they're doing.


They want your money.

I coulda told you none of that was your problem LoL!

Take a multi-meter and test the three coil packs

make sure the wires are not grounding

Test/replace the bank 1 o2 sensor

Check fuel pressure

Check fuel injectors with the multi-meter

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Toysrme thanks for your response, I will definitely be going back to the dealer with your information. Based on your knowledgable responses to other questions on the forum, I hope you have this one right. I have been battling this issue for a while and I just want it fixed correctly the first time. Thanks again for your time.

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