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ihateduke

99 Rx300 Ignition Switch Problem

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Over the past 2-3 months, when I would crank my car, sometimes the switch wouldn't do anything. To be clear, the power is fine and the Accessory and On part works fine. It's only when I turn it to crank the engine that nothing would happen. Usually if I tried it again, it would work fine. Just to be safe, I got a brand new battery this weekend because the old one was leaking really bad.

On one specific time, when I cranked the car, it continued to crank even after I removed the key (which is kind of the opposite of the general problem). Anyway, I'm pretty sure the ignition switch is simply warn out or some related component. I ordered one of these: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=400160051969&viewitem=&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWNX%3AIT, although it hasn't arrived yet.

As of today, I can't even get the car to crank. Does anyone know if this is definitely the part that I need? If it is, any suggestions on how to replace it. I ripped the dash apart and I see a long silver cylinder and I assume the switch is under it somewhere. I haven't gotten any further, because without the switch it won't help.

Thanks for any advice!

Chris

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One other note. I did test with multiple keys and that had no effect. Also, when I turn the key to START there is a clicking sound that comes from the motor area. That makes me wonder if the ignition switch is fine but maybe the starter is failing.

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Before you completely focus in on the ignition switch, you might want to consider the starter solenoid or the starter relay. The following post has a lot of similarities to your problem.

Lotsa luck.

Starter Issues

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One other note. I did test with multiple keys and that had no effect. Also, when I turn the key to START there is a clicking sound that comes from the motor area. That makes me wonder if the ignition switch is fine but maybe the starter is failing.

I'm with Filehorse on this one. I just ordered a set of contacts for my DIL's RX and am putting them in tomorrow as a matter of fact. I have repaired them about 50k mi ago, now that they're easy to get, I'll replace them. This is where I got mine. Really nice quality and an outstanding price. Both contacts were $4.95 for the pair and $5.25 shipping. Can't come close to that anywhere else. I'll try and post the link. http://www.iowamotorparts.com/denso_starter_solenoid_parts.htm The part # should be DSSCS-12

One way to tell if it's the starter solenoid contacts is have someone HOLD the key in START position while you take a hammer handle or similar and give a good "rap" on the starter solenoid. If the starter works then, you know it's the burned contacts. The starter is easy to take off, and the contacts are easy to change.

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You guys are life savers! I believe you're exactly right. Just to think that this could end up being repaired by a $5 part, which probably only cost a penny to make!

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You guys are life savers! I believe you're exactly right. Just to think that this could end up being repaired by a $5 part, which probably only cost a penny to make!

I did change the contacts today and the # I posted was the correct contacts. T/L used solenoids that were centered on the incoming (hot) contact, leg left and leg right. If you have a '99 it should be leg left. That's what my DIL's was and I used the part # off the starter to determine the correct contacts from the linked listings from the off site catalog. The $4.95 is for both contacts and the shipping is $5.25 and they shipped it in a small flat rate box. Super deal I'd say.

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I found the following directions on how to replace the starter. Just curious, do you have to remove the starter to replace the contacts or can that be done while it's still attached? I'm sure it will make sense when I get in there, but I wanted to prep as much as possible. My contacts are on the way!

The starter is surprisingly easy to replace. First take off the air filter box. Open the air filter box and remove the filter. Disconnect the air line from the air filter box which connects to the throttle body (this is done using a 10 mm socket or Phillips screw driver and loosening the clamp). Disconnect the sensor and vacuum line which connect into the air filter box. Next, remove the 3 bolts from the bottom of the air filter box. Once this is done you should be able to remove the air filter box as one complete piece and take out of engine compartment (place bolts inside the box and place to the side of your working area). Next disconnect both battery terminals. Remove battery bracket which holds battery in place (this runs across the top of the battery and bolts into the sheet metal along the front of the engine area). Remove battery from engine compartment. Remove rectangle casing surrounding the battery.

Once the air filter box and battery have been completely removed, you will see the starter just to the left of where the air filter box and battery were. The starter is approximately level with the base support of the battery. The starter has 2 bolts to be removed along with the contact terminal and sensor. Remove the two bracket bolts which bolt into engine (should be 14 mm I think) which are locate on each side of the starter (look at the replacement to locate exact position). Next remove the contact terminal (should be 10mm) connected to starter. Next remove sensor clip (this is done by squeezing the end and pulling off). \

Once starter is removed:

Bolt contect connection onto new starter (should be 10mm). Re-insert sensor clip to new starter by pushing it in until you hear it click or until it is securely in. Next, line up starter bolt holes with bolt holes on engine block and start threading BOTH bolts before tightening one down. Snug bolts securely. NOW YOU HAVE REPLACED THE STARTER!!!!

Replace Battery and terminal connections (red to + and black to -) and battery bracket.

Replace air filter box and reconnect all connections taken loose. Bolt 3 bolts at base of filter box back to original position. NOTE: when replacing filter box, make sure the opening on the right hand side of box (large open hole) lines up with air intake opening from right side of engine compartment. Connect hose back to throttle body by tightening clamp. Replace sensor connections and vacuum line to air filter box. Replace air filter if needed in filter box. Clamp air filter down.

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Yes IHD, you need to remove the starter to work on it on the bench. It's quite easy to remove and the directions are good, though not totally correct. You will need to remove the 2 starter mounting bolts and then turn the starter around to easily get to the hot cable nut on the starter. I think it is either 12 or 13 MM, not 10MM. You can more easily get to the plug to release it also. Make sure when you pull it apart to replace the contacts that you don't drop the ball bearing out that is behind the long spring. My suggestion would be to leave the spring in and you don't have to worry about that. Sand the burned contact ring where it contacts the 2 contact surfaces. It's really not bad at all. Make sure you put ALL the parts back in the order they came out, including the small rubber "O" rings on the copper bolts.

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