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Engine Failure


harlowv
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1999 RX300 AWD 158000 miles. I was driving at 70 mph for approx 1 hour when the engine failed. The symptoms were a loss of power, decrease in speed, no warning lights. I was able to steer off the freeway and then all warning lights came on and the engine was off. I attempted several restarts and the engine would turn over and sputter but then die. After AAA arrived, the driver "wiggled" a small socket located beneath the fuse panel under the drivers side dash board and the engine started and operated normally. There was plenty of fuelin the tank. I was able to drive home (70 miles) with no problems. I have tried "wiggleing" this outlet to duplicate the problem but the car works normally. Any ideas??? I suspect the engine immobilization system.

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Engine immobilization system checks the electronics in the key during starting only. If it is not the proper key the security light is on and the car won't start. Once the car is started you could remove the electronics from the key and the car will continue to run. So I doubt engine immobilization system has anything to do with the actual problem. Did you try to start the car directly before AAA wiggled the socket? Did that really fix the problem or was it coincidence?

Also it sounds like the car would start but sputter and die. This is often an Idle Air Control Valve problem. Usually depressing the accelerator while cranking will get it started and keep it running. Did AAA possibly use this method and you were not pressing on the accelerator when you previously tried it?

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1999 RX300 AWD 158000 miles. I was driving at 70 mph for approx 1 hour when the engine failed. The symptoms were a loss of power, decrease in speed, no warning lights. I was able to steer off the freeway and then all warning lights came on and the engine was off. I attempted several restarts and the engine would turn over and sputter but then die. After AAA arrived, the driver "wiggled" a small socket located beneath the fuse panel under the drivers side dash board and the engine started and operated normally. There was plenty of fuelin the tank. I was able to drive home (70 miles) with no problems. I have tried "wiggleing" this outlet to duplicate the problem but the car works normally. Any ideas??? I suspect the engine immobilization system.

Keep in mind that the "wiggleing" might have NOTHING to do with the engine starting.

It took an hour(??) for AAA to arrive and that's lots of time for some component that was, had, overheated to cool down. Modern day fuel injected engine aren't as subject to vapor lock as was the old carburated engines but it does still happen. Or a "clogged" fuel line that "cleared" by pure happenstance??

Had you by chance just recently run the fuel tank to an unusually LOW level..??

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I am not sure how AAA compensates their contract drivers but is it possible that he gets compensated more if he does an electrical repair such as "wiggling" the socket opposed to just hoping in the car, giving it some gas and starting it.

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I am not sure how AAA compensates their contract drivers but is it possible that he gets compensated more if he does an electrical repair such as "wiggling" the socket opposed to just hoping in the car, giving it some gas and starting it.
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1999 RX300 AWD 158000 miles. I was driving at 70 mph for approx 1 hour when the engine failed. The symptoms were a loss of power, decrease in speed, no warning lights. I was able to steer off the freeway and then all warning lights came on and the engine was off. I attempted several restarts and the engine would turn over and sputter but then die. After AAA arrived, the driver "wiggled" a small socket located beneath the fuse panel under the drivers side dash board and the engine started and operated normally. There was plenty of fuelin the tank. I was able to drive home (70 miles) with no problems. I have tried "wiggleing" this outlet to duplicate the problem but the car works normally. Any ideas??? I suspect the engine immobilization system.

If you recently had any kind of service done to where they may have had the need to disable the fuel pump, (performing a fuel injection clean requires techs to disable fuel delivery) the connector for the fuel pump is located by the left side kick panel and they may have not pluged it in all the way. It is very unlikely that a AAA tech would know exactly which wire to wiggle and fix a car without some diagnosis. There are soo many wires in a vehicle. After a vehicle's engine starts and is running, there is no input from the immoboliser to the engine control module any further. I am in Northern Virginia area, email me if you have any more technicle questions.

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Thanks for the suggestions. The car had plenty of gas and since the tow truck driver started it, it operates completely normally. I called 3 local shops and the Lexus dealer and all of them told me that this may be difficult to troubleshoot because the car is now working. All said that the engine immobilization system has nothing to do with it and that the wiggle on the outlet probably had nothing to do with the problem going away. Apparently there are several sensors that could shut the engine down and the plan is to have a shop try and shake wires/inspect components to see if they can duplicate it. If they cant find anything, then I'm faced with wondering when it will happen again. I use this car to travel between Fresno and SF which is 180 miles of freeway with services not that available so I may be faced with trading it in. Too bad because it has been an absolutely trouble free vehicle until now. I have done all services including timing belt/ H2o pump. All shops here in Fresno recommended taking it to the dealer so that is the plan. The dealer has treated me pretty good and they give my wife a brand new loaner car. Their trouble shooting estimate is $108.00. I'll let you know what they find or don't find.

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Thanks for the suggestions. The car had plenty of gas and since the tow truck driver started it, it operates completely normally. I called 3 local shops and the Lexus dealer and all of them told me that this may be difficult to troubleshoot because the car is now working. All said that the engine immobilization system has nothing to do with it and that the wiggle on the outlet probably had nothing to do with the problem going away. Apparently there are several sensors that could shut the engine down and the plan is to have a shop try and shake wires/inspect components to see if they can duplicate it. If they cant find anything, then I'm faced with wondering when it will happen again. I use this car to travel between Fresno and SF which is 180 miles of freeway with services not that available so I may be faced with trading it in. Too bad because it has been an absolutely trouble free vehicle until now. I have done all services including timing belt/ H2o pump. All shops here in Fresno recommended taking it to the dealer so that is the plan. The dealer has treated me pretty good and they give my wife a brand new loaner car. Their trouble shooting estimate is $108.00. I'll let you know what they find or don't find.

I wonder if your problem was a result of bad fuel? I had a similar situation a couple years ago. One morning the RX would not start. After several tries I gave up. Next morning same problem. But, after several tries,it did start, ran ragged and shut-down. After a few more tries it started and slowly smoothed out. I always assumed I got a slug of water or some other contaminant which worked its way through the system. Never had a recurrence. Go figure.

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