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1990-94 Owners... How Does Your Car Start For The First Start Of The D


90LS400Lexus
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This is mainly a question for the 1989/90-94 owners, but others may chime in. I am wondering how does your car "respond" when you start it for the first time of the day? My old 1990 Lexus LS400 started identical to the way that my 1991 LS400 starts, but I wonder if its normal... when I start it for the first time of the day, after the engine actually starts, I hear what sounds like the starter continuing to turn for a couple of seconds.... when that whirring sound comes to a stop, the dash warning lights will brighten. Again, my old LS400 was identical, so I am wondering if its just normal and if it just takes the starter a couple of seconds (well its more like one second) to disengage after the car starts. Seems like it would damage the starter, but it does not seem like its grinding against anything. The rest of the starts of the day are fine... it stops instantly.

So, since both of mine do this, I wonder if anyone elses does the same?

Thanks in advance.

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My 92 doesn't make that sound, although my beater Volvo does. The Bosch starter it that car has a weak solenoid return spring, so the pinion stays engaged for a moment before the spring drags it out of engagement with the ring gear, and by the time it does the pinion is whirling pretty good. I would think the same is happening in the Denso starter, but I don't know for sure. Like your starter, the Volvo only does it on the first start of the day.

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This is mainly a question for the 1989/90-94 owners, but others may chime in. I am wondering how does your car "respond" when you start it for the first time of the day? My old 1990 Lexus LS400 started identical to the way that my 1991 LS400 starts, but I wonder if its normal... when I start it for the first time of the day, after the engine actually starts, I hear what sounds like the starter continuing to turn for a couple of seconds.... when that whirring sound comes to a stop, the dash warning lights will brighten. Again, my old LS400 was identical, so I am wondering if its just normal and if it just takes the starter a couple of seconds (well its more like one second) to disengage after the car starts. Seems like it would damage the starter, but it does not seem like its grinding against anything. The rest of the starts of the day are fine... it stops instantly.

So, since both of mine do this, I wonder if anyone elses does the same?

Thanks in advance.

Mine does exactly the same. Ill deal with it when it goes out. for now i dont really care.

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There was a TSB, might of even been a recall for the starters on some of those gen 1 models. I know on my 95', the previous owner had the starter replaced under a recall, or possibly warranty item. I remember the techs telling me that Lexus replaced the starters because they were burning out. That people were standing on the keys too long, spinning the starters past the point of ignition. Smells like crap to me, but oddly enough, it was mentioned to me.

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The LS has an 'auto start' feature when the motor is stone cold. Try this: in the morning, turn the key for just a second and let go. the starter will continue on its own until the car starts. This is a featur on all new toyo's, including my 2004 4 runner.

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Thanks for the replies... I was hoping it was normal. I am never that lucky though... lol. As mentioned, my old LS did this the entire time I owned it (about 2 years/25K miles) and it never got any worse. <_< I was wondering about it however.

The car is now 17 years old with 209K... I doubt they will honor any recall now. :unsure:

There was a TSB, might of even been a recall for the starters on some of those gen 1 models
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Yeah, I just turn it for a second and release and it turns over until it starts, but it seems after it starts and even when the key is released, it continues to stay engaged for a second. I just wanted to be sure it was not damaging the starter everytime it does this.

The LS has an 'auto start' feature when the motor is stone cold. Try this: in the morning, turn the key for just a second and let go. the starter will continue on its own until the car starts. This is a featur on all new toyo's, including my 2004 4 runner.
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Well,its not perfect...it works on the same principle as a remote start feature, the computer engages the starter for like .6 of a second, wether it starts or not. They all do it, I am sure it wont hurt anything. Hell, a starter is only $1200! You'll be fine.

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Neither my 92 nor my 98 has this "start" feature you describe. The starters stop when the key is released from the spring-loaded position. Neither owner's manual describes it.

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The LS has an 'auto start' feature when the motor is stone cold. Try this: in the morning, turn the key for just a second and let go. the starter will continue on its own until the car starts. This is a featur on all new toyo's, including my 2004 4 runner.
The LS400 does not have this feature. My '95 doesn't, and nor did the umteen other LS400s that I've driven. Every single one required that you hold the key until it has started. It's a twist and hold instead of twist and relsease. I sure wish the LS400 had that feature because the auto start and lane change turn signals are some of my favorite things in German cars.
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sounds like the starter clutch does not disengage properly. sticks to the flywheel and thats why u get this noise. never heard bout that on LS tho, but my friend had it on his wrangler.

it sure does damage both your starter and the flywheel. starter is not designed to rotate at the speeds of the cold idling engine. it can also mess up teeth on the flywheel.

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