1996 Lexus ES 300: DIY Troubleshooting
May 24, 2012
Our long-term Lexus ES300 left us stranded last week. Jay suspected the idle air control valve was the culprit. I ran a Google search on this and found a YouTube video that had a familiar scenario. The car in the video is a Camry, but it has the same engine as our Lexus.
Bloody knuckle aside, it seemed simple enough. And if a $4 bottle of carburetor cleaner would solve our issue, why not give it a try? The goal of our Debt-Free Car Project is to duplicate the average person's ownership experience. As such, we want to keep costs down and find alternative solutions. So we opened the hood, propped it up with our makeshift prop rod, (Yes, the car needs hood struts) and went to work.
It took Jay less than five minutes to remove the air intake hose. He sprayed the small opening in the throttle body as the video had instructed. We waited for the cleaner to dry, put the hose back on, and started the car. No go.
I was disappointed that this fix didn't work, but I'm glad we gave it a shot. Otherwise, I would have always wondered if we could have avoided a potential costly repair.
I called a tow truck and had them take the Lexus to an independent shop a few blocks away from the office. Neither Jay or I had AAA, so we had to go out of pocket on the tow. The nine mile trip cost $141.
To be concluded.
Ron Montoya, Consumer Advice Editor @ 138,780 miles