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Discussion Starter #1
Over the last few weeks my IS has decided that it wants to be difficult to start. The cranking time has increased noticably, from the norm of maybe 1-2 seconds to 4-6 seconds. This probably doesn't seem like a big deal, but something is definitely wrong here. This change happened all of a sudden and is now very consistent. The only time it doesn't happen is when re-starting within a minute or so of shutting it off. Also, often it fails to start even when it sounds like it caught.

The dealer doesn't want to look at it because they claim they can't do anything if the 'check engine' light hasn't come on. They are apparently clueless if the computer doesn't tell them what to do. Come on, this should be something that isn't too hard to diagnose, isn't it? Any techs out there?

Thanks for any pointers!

Rob
 

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Could the cause be low battery? My old Civic had the same long crank time, then several weeks later the engine failed to start at a gas station. I replaced the battery after that.
 

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Just an idea. Engine immobilizer???

Try a different key, see if anything's different.
 

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have you touched anything under the hood, at all, ever? did you do any of your own work to it or anything?

the dealer can look at, regardless if the check engine light is on or not. if you had a grinding noise coming from the wheel hub, would they have to wait for the check engine light? no, because it wouldn't come on. there are plenty of things that could cause your starting issue, that wouldn't trip a code. tell that dealer you are going to report him to lexus customer satisfaction for being such a bull****ter, and an asshole.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all the tips. I guess it could be related to the battery, but it has no other symptoms. I know it isn't the key because it happens to both my wife and I. I haven't done any work on it other than normal maintenance (oil changes, fluids and filters). Never wrenched on anything.

I plan to be a little more persistent with the dealer this week and get it in to be looked at.

Later,
Rob
 

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Try a good fuel injector cleaner.....could very well be clogged nozzles. (Castrol Syntec fuel system cleaner, for example)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Follow up and resolution to my problem (FYI):

After pressing the dealership service manager to take a look (he originally didn't want me to bring it in because the computer hadn't thrown any lights or codes), they agreed that I should bring it in. They were pretty nice about things. Since I don't get my car to the dealer very often I decided to have them do the TRAC/ECU fix too. When I set up the appt. the service manager also mentioned that they were doing a campaign to replace the passenger underbody plastic panel too as a preventative step.

So, the vehicle was brought in and I told them how to duplicate the problem. Fortunately they did duplicate it (repeatedly), so they had to set out on a good, old-fashioned brainstorming session to find the problem. They picked the fuel system as the likely culprit and hooked up some sensors. Eventually they pinpointed the fuel pressure regulator as a potential point of failure. They cannibalized an FPR from a new IS off the lot and voila! it worked. Things seem to be fine now.

Thanks to those who offered ideas and thanks to Lexus of Maplewood for coming through on this!

Rob

[ August 11, 2001: Message edited by: MNSpectraBlueIS ]
 
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