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Starter Problem


ntp888
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My starter will engage nicely for a few weeks then it will do nothing, no click, no noise, nothing. If I try to start it for several tries, the starter will engage and I'm good for a few more weeks. My friend said I may be hitting a flat or "dead spot" on the starter. I am assuming that I may need a new starter or could it be a selnoid? Where is the starter located on a 2000 ls400? Is changing the starter easy for DIY?

Thanks in advance

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My starter will engage nicely for a few weeks then it will do nothing, no click, no noise, nothing. If I try to start it for several tries, the starter will engage and I'm good for a few more weeks. My friend said I may be hitting a flat or "dead spot" on the starter. I am assuming that I may need a new starter or could it be a selnoid? Where is the starter located on a 2000 ls400? Is changing the starter easy for DIY?

Thanks in advance

If you do not hear any "click" whatsoever, then it is likely your ignition switch that is getting worn. Usually, if the starter is bad, you will get a single, rather distinctive "click" when you turn the key to the start position.

The starter is located under the intake manifold and is fairly difficult to access. Not your "typical" starter replacement and takes about 8 hours for someone who is reasonably seasoned at DIY. First, eliminate all of the possibilities before going after the starter itself. Be very astute and careful in your observations and you should be able to nail this one down thus saving yourself a bunch of guesswork.

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Or possibly a Neutral Start issue. Look at this tutorial on diagnosing a faulty starter before throwing parts at it:

http://www.lextreme....dx-starter.html

While I won't say it's an "easy DIY", it can be done. You 00 doesn't have the EGR tubes to worry about like on my 95, so you'll have an easier time of it than I did. If you want to get an idea if you can tackle it yourself, give this a read:

http://www.clublexus.com/forums/ls400/324890-95-ls400-starter-dead-diy-replacement-in-progress.html

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If you don't hear the starter motor turning then its probably the solenoid.

thanks for the quick response. I will have to wait until it happens again to hear if starter motor turns.

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My starter will engage nicely for a few weeks then it will do nothing, no click, no noise, nothing. If I try to start it for several tries, the starter will engage and I'm good for a few more weeks. My friend said I may be hitting a flat or "dead spot" on the starter. I am assuming that I may need a new starter or could it be a selnoid? Where is the starter located on a 2000 ls400? Is changing the starter easy for DIY?

Thanks in advance

If you do not hear any "click" whatsoever, then it is likely your ignition switch that is getting worn. Usually, if the starter is bad, you will get a single, rather distinctive "click" when you turn the key to the start position.

The starter is located under the intake manifold and is fairly difficult to access. Not your "typical" starter replacement and takes about 8 hours for someone who is reasonably seasoned at DIY. First, eliminate all of the possibilities before going after the starter itself. Be very astute and careful in your observations and you should be able to nail this one down thus saving yourself a bunch of guesswork.

Ok, when it happens again I'll see if I hear a click. I guess I can only wish it is the ignition switch. lol

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Or possibly a Neutral Start issue. Look at this tutorial on diagnosing a faulty starter before throwing parts at it:

http://www.lextreme....dx-starter.html

While I won't say it's an "easy DIY", it can be done. You 00 doesn't have the EGR tubes to worry about like on my 95, so you'll have an easier time of it than I did. If you want to get an idea if you can tackle it yourself, give this a read:

http://www.clublexus.com/forums/ls400/324890-95-ls400-starter-dead-diy-replacement-in-progress.html

Thanks for the attachments. I would not attempt this DIY. After reading and seeing what you had to do, I'll pass.

If it was a neutral start issue, why after several attempts (without moving shift lever) would it then engage?

Hell of a place for a starter to be located!

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Any intermittent electrical connection can be working one moment and dead the next. That is the very essence of and difficulty of troubleshooting intermittent issues. The next time your car acts up, trying putting the shifter in the Neutral position or push in on the knob while in Park when you are turning the key to see if you notice any changes. It is pretty simple to do.

Yes, the starter is in an inconvenient place for replacement but the location makes sense from a design standpoint given all other constraints. It would have made a lot of sense for Lexus to use a starter designed for a remote solenoid and to locate the solenoid in a more accessible place such as the firewall.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well its a good news bad news kind of story. If you hear a slight click then maybe the starter solenoid is moving but there is a burned spot on the contactor plate such that current doesn't flow to the starter motor. This is a common wear item after several years (all the arcing on the plate and contact points). In fact you can buy a rebuild kit to replace the contactor plate and two contact points on the starter motor. That's the good news. The bad news is the starter motor is located in the valley of the V-8 engine. Underneath the intake manifold. So its pretty major disassembly to get to it. Further you must use a new intake manifold gasket upon reassembly.

So it is DIY but a probably more like an 8-9 out of ten on the DIY difficulty scale.

Now if you don't even hear a faint click it might just be loose wiring at the battery contacts (but that usually gets you the machine gun clicking noise from under the hood). It could be ingition switch too.

Its too bad lexus didn't locate the starter elsewhere. I guess space is just too limited. It would have helped also if they used a separate contactor (Relay) for the starter and mounted it under the hood readily accessible. Then you only have to go for the manifold remove if the motor was bad.

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if i hear the starter just turning like a dynamo on the right above the tranny in my '03 es300 and the engine dont start what does it mean??? pls.

That you are not going anywhere? :P

Means the drive gear isn't engaging. You'll have to replace/rebuild the starter.

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ok got the sarter out. On the '03 es 300 it is above the tranny (fwd) on the right side in engine compartment. looks like the gear on the starter is not extending out and engaging the engine to turn it over. What would cause that please if anyone knows. BTW it takes around 15 minutes to get to the starter and pull it. Kudos to Toyota on this one!!!

Any tips on rebuilding the starter please??

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sorry curiousB did not refresh screen so saw your post after i posted mine. Thanks and i will get right to it. Love this site!!! Has saved me so much time and money and I have gotten to know my car better!

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