vndiisrey

1998 LS 400 intermittent starting.

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I am faily new to the club, but we have owned this car for the past 13 years. 

i love the car very much, It has just rolled over to 160k with heavy traveling recently. 

im having an issue with starting the car, especially since we just had some heavy rain the past few days.

Lately its been a struggle to start, put the key in, set the ignition to on, wait for the beeps to stop, and then turn.

Only now it will click and not crank over. I pull the key out, repeat steps, and nothing.

Only a third time try will this actually start up.

Then on some occasions when it does turn over it will start up very roughly, id say it'll crank for about 2 seconds longer than it actually should.

Once the crank starts rolling on, it'll catch it self and slowly start. 

After started, the car runs totally fine, without any hiccups.

At first i thought it might have been a fuel related issue, that wasn't the case. Fuel pump primes and relay is in good working order.

Then i moved onto spark, checked that and spark was good. (coil packs were changed out in 2014) I was at a loss for a moment, and decided to check the battery/alternator. (starter was replaced in 2010, had never given me an issue beforehand)

The alternator was fine, but the battery was "bad" in auto zone terms.

My question's are, would a bad battery be the cause of the bad/spotty starts? Would the drive through low to mid level high rain have caused something to go bad? 

Much appreciation in advance.

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Probably the Starter contacts are worn....see this    http://www.nationsautoelectric.com/instructions.html

now the bad news, I believe the starter is real hard to get to on your car...Maybe somebody else will reply.  I thought it was toward the back of the engine under the intake manifold on your car.  By the Way I just did this repair on a Toyota Camry with the denso starter and it fixed the exact problem you are describing....However do have your battery and cables checked.

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29 minutes ago, lenore said:

Probably the Starter contacts are worn....see this    http://www.nationsautoelectric.com/instructions.html

now the bad news, I believe the starter is real hard to get to on your car...Maybe somebody else will reply.  I thought it was toward the back of the engine under the intake manifold on your car.  By the Way I just did this repair on a Toyota Camry with the denso starter and it fixed the exact problem you are describing....However do have your battery and cables checked.

I did not think about checking the starter contacts, thank you. I will have to get to that this sunday, since it is under the manifold in an awkward position. Would water getting into that area affect it? As ive said before we just recently had some insane rain/flood weather here in ks. Onto the cables, visually my battery cables are in great shape (no gashes or tears and no rusty wires, the terminals however are a little worn down. I will be replacing those as well as the battery. i will keep update.

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What happens to the starter contacts is that the solenoid which has a round contactor disk wears the two separate starter contacts.  They are copper and wear, sometimes unevenly.  By the way found the kit for contacts and solenoid on Amazon.  Cost less than $13. 

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4 minutes ago, lenore said:

What happens to the starter contacts is that the solenoid which has a round contactor disk wears the two separate starter contacts.  They are copper and wear, sometimes unevenly.  By the way found the kit for contacts and solenoid on Amazon.  Cost less than $13. 

Oh god, thank you. I was going to go about buying a whole new starter. But if i can get away with replacing just the contacts i would be in less of pinch. I will be picking up a battery and new terminals tomorrow, i will leave an update on the current situation after wards. if that fails i will be leaning towards replacing the contacts as well. Thank you again!

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The biggest task is getting the starter out...Takes tens minutes to take the starter cap off and look at the contacts.  Highly suggest ordering not only the contacts, but the kit with the solenoid also as it has a contact plate on it for the other two contacts.   This is what I ordered...

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007FR89FY/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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Just looked up your car, and it is a toss up, here is the kit for your car

https://www.amazon.com/Victory-Lap-NDS-01-Starter-Repair/dp/B000CFGRG4/ref=sr_1_3?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1473946196&sr=1-3&keywords=Lexus+LS400+starter+rebuild+kit

That being said, a new starter (rebuilt) is not a whole lot more for your car on Amazon.

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5 hours ago, lenore said:

Just looked up your car, and it is a toss up, here is the kit for your car

https://www.amazon.com/Victory-Lap-NDS-01-Starter-Repair/dp/B000CFGRG4/ref=sr_1_3?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1473946196&sr=1-3&keywords=Lexus+LS400+starter+rebuild+kit

That being said, a new starter (rebuilt) is not a whole lot more for your car on Amazon.

So ive got the new battery in, along with terminals. Now i get no starter click, or any sound for that matter. There is a faint click from the relay but thats about it. Now i am for sure that its something more to do with the starter. Sad day for sure, but i did order the rebuild kit from amazon. I am definitely not looking forward to this task.

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Here's a video of the current situation. Relay will indicate it is working for the starter but I would like to make sure. Before I go about taking on this task. 

here is the link:

 

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The sound level of the click is quite low to me and it makes me to think that it may be caused by the neutral safety switch. Have you tried to start at the AT position "N"?  

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27 minutes ago, Yamae said:

The sound level of the click is quite low to me and it makes me to think that it may be caused by the neutral safety switch. Have you tried to start at the AT position "N"?  

Yes, i have ran it through the gear selector. I have even tried and put it in N then start, still nothing. I have unfortunately already started on the tear down. But hopefully will be done by tomorrow.

 

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I have gotten about this far. All that's left is removing the manifold and fuel rails. 

 

Harness on both ends have been unhooked. 

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Hi Andii

Welcome to the forum

Nice maintained LS! thumbs up

Now coming to your problem i had the exactly the same issue, i replaced my started with an old one (found one from the junkyard) and now it starts like a lion

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I have gotten the starter changed Out and it starts like a charm. It kind of sounds like it's got too many cranks but it's nothing to worry me about. Thank you again all who've helped and has input on where I should look. I appreciate it greatly! 

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wow its great and pictures are worth millions! thanks for posting everything up..... just curious what is that low washer fluid?!

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I will be changing starter on my 1999 LS400 soon, does anyone have part # for coolant bridge gaskets/seals? 

I have 221K miles on my LS, will be changing throttle body gasket, do I need to change any rubber hoses? 

I will need to flush the cooling system, shall I replace radiator hoses? Or its unnecessary? If yes, aftermarket OK or only OEM?

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did this job back in December, pretty easy. The only pain in the @ss part was getting to the driverside starter mount bolt. The rest of it is cake. Total job cost me $35 including the cost of the starter contact rebuild kit and the 14mm flex head ratcheting wrench I used to bust that bolt loose. 

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