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Intermittent Failure To Crank When Started


lrf125
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My 1996 Lexus ES300 has been running just fine until last Saturday. I left a friend's house and the car would not start. The starter would not crank, three of the doors were locked and wouldn't unlock with the remote key, but the instrument panel lights came on. I called AAA and the driver tried to jump it--didn't do a thing. He said the battery was fine. Two strange things happened on that same day. One, I put on the emergency flashers when I stopped to let a friend out before I parked, earlier in the day. As I drove off to park and hit the switch to turn off the ER lights, they kept blinking. I pulled over to try to turn them off and then they just stopped. Two, as I was walking to the car and clicked the door opener I heard a sound like a car alarm (and my car has none). The AAA driver towed it to my house. We put an OBD2 scanner on and found no faults. The next morning, when we tried to duplicate the OBD2 scan, the car started! So it appears to have intermittent problems. Since then it seems to start reliably but I am afraid to drive it to work (70 mi. RT) and am using a friend's car. Does anyone have a clue?

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My 1996 Lexus ES300 has been running just fine until last Saturday. I left a friend's house and the car would not start. The starter would not crank, three of the doors were locked and wouldn't unlock with the remote key, but the instrument panel lights came on. I called AAA and the driver tried to jump it--didn't do a thing. He said the battery was fine. Two strange things happened on that same day. One, I put on the emergency flashers when I stopped to let a friend out before I parked, earlier in the day. As I drove off to park and hit the switch to turn off the ER lights, they kept blinking. I pulled over to try to turn them off and then they just stopped. Two, as I was walking to the car and clicked the door opener I heard a sound like a car alarm (and my car has none). The AAA driver towed it to my house. We put an OBD2 scanner on and found no faults. The next morning, when we tried to duplicate the OBD2 scan, the car started! So it appears to have intermittent problems. Since then it seems to start reliably but I am afraid to drive it to work (70 mi. RT) and am using a friend's car. Does anyone have a clue?

Just a thought. . . .

I had an '81 Corolla that did the same thing.

When the engine was cold, the starter would work. Hot. . . . had to push it to start it.

Ultimate bottom line. . . .

The 'hot' wire from the solenoid to the starter motor had corroded to the point where only a couple of strands of wire were intact.

When the engine was cold, the current would flow, allowing the car to start. Hot. . . increased resistance in the wires.

The wire is a stranded cable, about the diameter of a cigarette.

Just a hunch. . . . . .

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My 1996 Lexus ES300 has been running just fine until last Saturday. I left a friend's house and the car would not start. The starter would not crank, three of the doors were locked and wouldn't unlock with the remote key, but the instrument panel lights came on. I called AAA and the driver tried to jump it--didn't do a thing. He said the battery was fine. Two strange things happened on that same day. One, I put on the emergency flashers when I stopped to let a friend out before I parked, earlier in the day. As I drove off to park and hit the switch to turn off the ER lights, they kept blinking. I pulled over to try to turn them off and then they just stopped. Two, as I was walking to the car and clicked the door opener I heard a sound like a car alarm (and my car has none). The AAA driver towed it to my house. We put an OBD2 scanner on and found no faults. The next morning, when we tried to duplicate the OBD2 scan, the car started! So it appears to have intermittent problems. Since then it seems to start reliably but I am afraid to drive it to work (70 mi. RT) and am using a friend's car. Does anyone have a clue?

Just a thought. . . .

I had an '81 Corolla that did the same thing.

When the engine was cold, the starter would work. Hot. . . . had to push it to start it.

Ultimate bottom line. . . .

The 'hot' wire from the solenoid to the starter motor had corroded to the point where only a couple of strands of wire were intact.

When the engine was cold, the current would flow, allowing the car to start. Hot. . . increased resistance in the wires.

The wire is a stranded cable, about the diameter of a cigarette.

Just a hunch. . . . . .

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