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Lexus LS 400/LS 430 Starting Problems



  • cneumancneuman Posts: 55

    Not sure how much this will help, still not sure why I had this problem. All I can tell you is that after having the Lexus Link disabled per Lexus and also I stopped setting my alarm at night(it's garage kept, but I just had this habit), I no longer have the problem. I have not tried setting the alarm just to see if I would still have this issue, after having the Lexus Link disabled. I just haven't had the time to mess around with the chance of it not starting. I do plan to do this at some point. It may have nothing to do with either situation, I just can't be sure. Of course I'm just happy not to have the problem. :)

  • paul83paul83 Posts: 3
    Have a 1990 LS 400. Had Engine problems and had mechanic replace engine with a 1992 LS 400 (low miles 20,000). He also put a new alternator. Ran for 150 mile and car stopped because was running on battery only. He did not hook a wire on the alternator. All the lights went on on the dashboard. Fixed the alternator. He took cable off battery and lights went off. Charge battery. Drove car. Next day battery was dead and all lights were back on. Do you think it could be faulty battery cables. Car runs perfect but lights will not go out on dashboard and I can not get it inspected with all the lights on the dashboard lite up. Do all the lights go on on the dash board when the alternator goes bad. Any suggestions. I appreciate any help. Thanks, Paul
  • Paul, I am not a mechanic, but I know that many old cars has electric leaking problem. One of quick and cheap way is to spray some electric insulation liquid onto all electric wires. They are sold in auto stores. Try it first. If not work, replace any possible wires will be the next easy job to try. Let us know your result.
  • Hello everyone. Glad to join this club.

    I bought this 1998 LS last year with 105K miles on it. Everything looks great, except there are couple of times it wouldn't start. Most of time it happened on raining days or very cold days. But after couple of hours, it can start without jump cable.

    I heard a clicking sound when it had problems. I asked a guy in auto parts store. He told me that it should not be alternator or start motor problem. He think the electrical connection on alternator or start motor is loose since my battery is brand new and connection on battery looks very good.

    I asked my lexus dealer, they want me to replace start motor, which cost about $1000. I really don't trust them. When I bought this car, they asked me to replace brake pad and rotors for $750, but my mechanics told me the rotors are almost new.

    So if you have any experience on this model, please help me to make a right decision. I don't depend on this car so I try to find the best way even if it take some time.


  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Replacing the battery (Costco) is a very cheap trouble-shooting technique.

    The clicking sound is most likely the starter solenoid picking up the starter load and then quickly dropping out, repeating rapidly, since the battery (or cables/connections) cannot sustain the load.

    Were it me I would first remove the battery terminals, clean and burnish the connections and the posts, reconnect and then try if for a time. Also check to be sure the heavy duty wire from the negative side of the battery is well grounded/connected to the engine. The cable from the positive side of the battery connected to the starter solenoid is nice and tight as is the cable from the other side of the solenoid to the starter itself.

    If the problem repeats replace the battery.

    It is not unusual for a battery to be intermittent due to metallic debris piling up in the bottom and sometimes temperarily shorting out a cell or two.
  • Hello everyone this is my first post. So here goes nothing.

    I have 2003 LS 430 that I just bought. My navigation al system is outdated. I went and bought the DVD Navigation Map that just came out. I bought off a guy who had a GS. The DVD is in perfect condition and my screen keeps saying that it cannot read the DVD. Someone let me know what to do. The guy promised me it would work. If need be I can bust his face up for lying. But, I think there might be something wrong with my DVD player but it plays the older version just fine what should I do. Also can that DVD player play regular DVD's?
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    What you need is the map update for a Gen III Nav Unit which is what a 2003 car would probably have in it. I think that 2004 to 2006-7 cars use the Gen IV Nav system and have different update part numbers. What year (and version) was the GSthat donated the DVD?
  • Did you resolve this issue? I have the same problem with my 1998 LS400.
  • my 94 LS400 windows will not go down, all windows
  • twice in the last year on a cold mornings the motor cranks...won"t start (floods) let sit for 1-2 hours starts right up. Is this a bad cold start solinoid? or? Thanx for any Input.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,422
    On a car that old it's important to check your records for basic tune-up maintenance before you get into esoteric reasons for a non-start in cold weather. A strong battery, good spark plugs, the right weight oil, can all make a big difference. Also if you still have your owner's manual, check on the recommended procedure for cold starts.


  • I've been having starting issues with my 2003 LS430 for a few months now and have gone as far as to have the battery, spark plugs and starter replaced within the last month. I thought that would take care of it, but I was wrong. My car starts most of the time, but sometimes when I turn the key nothing. At these times, I have to turn and hold the key in order to get it to start. Once the car starts, everything is fine.

    I spent a lot of $ having the starter replaced. What else is there? A few days after having my starter replaced, I turned the key to start the car and while the car started, it took a few seconds for the engine to turn over. Before I started having these issues (months ago) all I had to do was turn the key and the car would instantly start. Now, it always seems to take a second or two from when I turn the key to have the engine turn over.

    Any suggestions or hints would be greatly appreciated. I've tried everything and I really like the car and don't feel like getting rid of it.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Ignition switch? Relay? If you changed the starter and the battery, and the alternator is doing its job, it has to be another electrical component.
  • Yes. It was starter. Replaced it by my mechanics. $200 parts, $500 labor. The starter locate inside engine, that's why it cost more to repair.
    My LS400 98 has 162K now, no any other problems. It is the most economical car I've ever had, yet most luxury, powerful and comfortable.
  • mike1981mike1981 Posts: 1
    I have an 04 LS 430 .. Does anyone know where relay for fog lights is located ...
    Thank you
  • alpopalpop Posts: 2
    I have the same problem with my 2003 Lexus LS 430. When I turn the key to start the engine I have to hold it in start position for a few seconds (while there is no noise from the starter, initially I thought the battery is dead), and then it starts. When I bought it, a month ago, when I was turning the key all the way it started, without the 2-3 seconds of delay. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  • alpopalpop Posts: 2
    cneuman, could you tell me how much you got charged to remove/disable the Lexus link? I would like to try it, too.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,422
    Engine Room Relay Box #2, just behind the left side (driver's) headlight.


  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Clean and burnish the battery posts/terminals.
  • 1995 LS430 with 170,000 miles. Normal maintenance has been given but now it's dead. Put a new battery in it on Monday but it still wouldn't even turnover, oh and by the way, it won't jump start either. It's a great old lumbering beast of a thing, but it has been a very good car. What else should I check - don't want to spend a ton!
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