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Help - Fuse Panel Intermittent Open

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Hi, my wife has a 1995 Lexus ES300. We had a aftermarket remote start system put in about 4 years ago (don't know if that is related to this problem or not). When it gets cold (coming into winter), the vehicle will crank and crank, but no start. The first time this happened, I noticed the check engine light was not coming on, so I pulled the ECU fuse and it was ok. Still cranked and cranked. For some reason I banged on the fuse panel, and the car cranked and started fine. Every now and then this would happen, and a bang on the fuse panel would cure it. Last night we started it up fine, drove to store, as we were driving, I noticed the lights were really dim while driving and would get bright when I stepped on gas. I parked, and left it run, while I went in store. While I was in the store, my wife said the heater controls started cutting on and off, so she shut the car down. When I came out, it "clicked", battery was dead. I got a friend to jump me. With jumper cables hooked up, car cranked fine, and no start. Check engine light was on this time while cranking. Seemed like ECU was getting power. So I banged the fuse panel, and it started. Lights bright, and everything acted fine. got home, shut off, started fine. Put a new battery in, and tested voltage, 14.4 at idle. Alternator seems fine. Wife came out this morning. Cranked and cranked, no start. She hit the fuse panel, and no luck. I told her to "PUSH" on the fuse panel with the flash light while she was cranking, and it started. Has anyone seen a problem like this?

Is the fuse panel hard to remove (how)?. What in this fuse panel would cause this problem? Would it also cause the alternator not to charge if the ECU wasn't getting proper power? Should I try to bypass the ECU fuses with external fuses?

Any help would be really appreciated. I have to address this when I get home, in the driveway, in 17 degree weather. Hopefully someone with good direction can make this easy.


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First of all, don't bypass fuses.

You first should check (or replace to be sure) the fuses, if contact between holder and fuse feels tight.

I strongly suspect that the aftermarket remote start kit is partly tapped into your wire-loom (@driver's kick panel/fusebox). These connections may have become loose or bad over time, also depending on how professional the connection was made (soldered, taped, fuse-spreader?).

So, kicking the panel may temporarily restore the 'connection', but you need to sort this out asap to prevent further damage or worse, fire. The driver's kick panel/fusebox is usually mounted with some bolts or clips. Make sure u unclip your battery, before doing any modifications to the wiring. If you're not much into electronics and wiring, I strongly advice you to see a dealer or shop for further assistance and diagnose.

Below you find a diagram with wire-description, which might be helpful:

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