How to Test a Starter on a Lexus ES300

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The starter on your Lexus ES300 helps to start the motor by engaging the teeth on the flywheel of the engine. When you turn your key, the starter motor gets an electrical signal to start turning. This is essentially a small motor that runs to "jump start" your ES300's engine. When this component fails, you won't be able to start your Lexus. There are many indirect methods to test your starter, however, the easiest way to test your starter is by sitting in the driver's seat.

  • Get in your Lexus and turn the key to the "II" position. Verify that all of the dash lights come on and wait for the warning buzzer to stop. This will indicate that all other systems are functioning normally.

  • Turn the key as though you were trying to start the engine.

  • Listen for an audible clicking sound. If your starter has failed, you will not be able to start your Lexus. Although there is a small possibility that the starter solenoid has failed, on the ES300, 99% of the time it is the starter motor itself that has failed.

    If you hear a clicking sound and your Lexus does not start, your starter motor has failed. If you hear a loud grinding sound, stop cranking the engine immediately. Your starter motor is still functioning (still getting power), but the teeth on your starter are grinding against the flywheel and could damage the flywheel. At this point, the starter motor will have to be replaced, and the flywheel will need to be checked for damage by an experienced mechanic.

References

  • Toyota Camry, Avalon, Solara, Lexus ES300/330 Repair Manual 2002-2006; Jay Storer, John H. Haynes; 2009
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