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Not My Starter? Then What?


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Hey all. Not sure if I'm remembered on the forum. It's been a while and that's a testament to these cars! I just rolled over the 300k

mark a couple of months ago on my 98 LS. At 250k miles the starter went. I replaced it with an OEM Denso that I purchased from Toyota.

A few days ago when I turned the key in the ignition there would be total silence, and then by trying again it would start. This lasted only about 2-3 days, when finally no response. Classic starter failure, right? The battery is at full charge, and the car never died while driving so I assume no alternator. I spoke to a guy I know at Lexus, he states that it is rare to see an ignition problem and he suspected the starter. I just tore the engine apart and replaced the starter (I know I could have tried the contacts) and the same darn thing is happening. Could it be a security system malfunction? Almost seems like the starter is being cut off. The dash lights would all light up initially, but after trying a couple of times there are no lights at all, seems like a security starter kill.

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Actually no, not classic starter failure symptoms. If it were the starter solenoid, you would get a single 'click'. Assuming you get no click at all, I would target the ignition switch first and then the starter relay. No real reason to suspect the anti-theft system yet.

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