1996 Lexus ES 300 Long Term Road Test

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1996 ES 300: Could Not Duplicate

January 25, 2013

1996 ES 300

We heard that our long-term 1996 Lexus ES 300 had trouble starting one afternoon, and since Phil and I have become the go-to guys for all ES 300 issues, we went to take a closer look. A colleague told us that the Lexus' engine cranked, but wouldn't hold an idle and would consequently shut off.

Phil tried starting it himself, but he pressed on the gas pedal to keep the rpm high enough to prevent the car from stalling. He held the pedal for a few seconds and when he let go, the engine idled normally. I took the car out to lunch later that day and it started without issue.

"Things seem to be fine for now," I said to myself. "I'll check back on it next week."

No one took the car over the long weekend, meaning that it sat for three days. I started it up by using the "trick," stepping on the gas pedal immediately after turning the key. It worked fine. I drove it home that evening without any issue at all.

But I realized I should try to duplicate the problem for a mechanic so that we can get the problem taken care of permanently. After all, we thought we had this sorted with the repair in Fresno.

The following morning, the Lexus started normally. Of course. At this point, the best we can do is wait until the rough idle occurs again and then take it in for service.

Ronald Montoya, Consumer Advice Editor @ 153,100 miles

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