Why Won’t My Lexus ES 350 Start?

TaxiHack is reader-supported. This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more.

The Lexus ES 350 is a mid-size sedan that offers luxury and comfort in a sleek package. It got a powerful engine, automatic transmission, and an impressive array of standard features.

With its long list of amazing features and high-end interior design, this sedan is worth remembering.

It may be luxurious and Lexus-made, but there is no denying that this model is prone to issues.

There have been a few complaints over the years, with the most prominent one leading to people asking the following question, why won’t my Lexus ES 350 start?

There can be many reasons why below:

  1. Corrosion On The Battery Terminals
  2. Faulty Starter Motor
  3. Malfunctioning Fuel Pump
  4. Clogged Fuel Filter
  5. Complete Engine Failure

Let’s start with the article, so you can figure out exactly why your car will not boot up.

It would be right for you to worry about some of the issues in the list above. You might be panicking, but I can assure you that it won’t help with anything.

What Would Cause A Lexus ES 350 To Not Start?

Let's diagnose the issue with your Lexus ES 350 starting

The introduction states many reasons that could lead to the engine not starting. Some of them are alarming, while others are not so.

This section will discuss them in detail, so you can know more about them.

1: Corrosion On The Battery Terminals

A corroded battery terminal is a very common reason. This is because the corrosion builds up on the terminals, making it difficult for your car to get a good connection.

When you try to start your Lexus ES 350, it may not be able to get enough power from the battery and will not turn over.

The problem does not occur suddenly but happens over time. Early symptoms can be that the car does not crank in one go, slow electronic accessories, and malfunctioning sensors.

This may indicate a corrosion issue but can also happen due to issues or problems with other parts. Regardless if it is corrosion, the solution is pretty simple.

What Should You Do About It?

Here’s what you need to do if you find that your battery terminals have become corroded:

  • Using baking soda and vinegar solution break up corrosion on the battery terminal posts.
  • Make sure to let the solution sit for at least an hour to be effective. Be sure to wear gloves when doing this.
  • Use a wire brush to clean off any remaining corrosion, being careful not to damage any wires or other parts of the battery terminal post.
  • If any corrosion remains after using baking soda, vinegar solution, and a wire brush, you may need to repeat the process.

2: Faulty Starter Motor

The starter motor is the part of your Lexus ES 350 that starts the engine. It is a small, electric motor that uses the battery to run a gear inside it to turn over the engine’s crankshaft.

A faulty starter motor will cause your car some starting issues. This could occur due to any electrical problem or mechanical problem.

If you have replaced your battery and it is still not starting, your starter motor may be faulty. There is a low chance of something like this happening, but the possibility remains.

Symptoms of a faulty starter motor are clicking sounds when trying to turn the key in the ignition. Sometimes there can be grinding noises too.

If that is the case, then there is a good chance that the starter motor is break.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If the starter motor is faulty, you can replace it.
  • The first step is to remove the battery. Then, remove the mounting bolts that hold the starter motor using a screwdriver or wrench.
  • Once you have removed these bolts, detach the starter motor from its bracket and pull it out of its housing.
  • Next up, you need to attach the heat shield from the old starter to the new one. Finally, install it, and you should be good to go.

3: Malfunctioning Fuel Pump

The fuel pump is responsible for getting fuel from the tank to the engine and sending it to the injectors.

When this part fails, it can cause several problems, including preventing your Lexus ES 350 from starting up.

If you notice that your car is taking longer than usual to start, or if it won’t turn over at all, you should not drive it until it is clear exactly what the source of the issue is.

A faulty pump can also result in the engine stopping while running, which can prove very dangerous.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If you are experiencing a problem with your Lexus ES 350 fuel pump, you should contact a qualified mechanic to diagnose and fix the problem.
  • If you do not have access to a qualified mechanic, or if you would simply prefer to fix the car yourself, then follow these steps.
  • Disconnect the battery.
  • Locate the fuel pump and take it out. You need many different tools. Consult your car’s user manual to help you with that.
  • Compare both fuel pumps to confirm they are the same.
  • Replace and tighten all bolts.
  • Make sure that there is no source of fire nearby. Even a cigarette can lead to a deadly explosion. Before you ask, yes, a new pump will cost you a lot.
  • You can expect to spend money in the neighborhood of $500 for a new OEM pump.

4: Clogged Fuel Filter

When it comes to starting issues, one of the common reasons is a clogged fuel filter.

It’s important to remember that the fuel filter isn’t just there for decoration. It keeps dirt, debris, and other things from getting into your engine and causing damage.

A filter is put in, in the first place, because the fuel you put in your gas tank is not completely clean. It has contaminants that can wreak havoc on the engine.

The filter prevents that. In doing so, it can get clogged. It gets clogged to the point that it cannot let any fuel through. This can result in starting issues.

A clogged filter can also cause the engine to stop while accelerating. When your fuel filter becomes clogged, it can cause your Lexus ES 350 to lose power while accelerating.

You may also notice that the engine does not turn over reliably. The solution is pretty simple and not expensive, either.

What Should You Do About It?

  • When replacing or cleaning your fuel filter, follow these steps.
  • Turn off the engine and let it cool down for at least 10 minutes before beginning this process.
  • Place a bucket under the fuel filter housing to catch any fuel leaking during this procedure.
  • Remove the appropriate retaining bolts from around the fuel filter housing and remove them by hand or with a socket wrench.
  • Replace the filter and install all the removed nuts and bolts. Tighten them as necessary.

5: Complete Engine Failure

This is when all of the components of your Lexus ES 350’s engine—from pistons to valves—fail at once.

It usually happens because of a problem with an internal part, such as a bad piston or a cracked cylinder head gasket.

There are many reasons why your engine could fail: corrosion, overheating, or even an oil leak can cause this type of failure. Yes, all it takes is one bad part of making this happen.

Regardless of the source, an engine failure cannot be dealt with by just replacing a few parts.

It needs an extensive diagnosis to see which specific parts failed and which ones were also affected due to this failure.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If your Lexus ES 350 has a complete engine failure, there are two options: replacement or rebuilding.
  • If you choose to replace the engine, you’ll get a brand-new one with all the latest technology that will help keep your vehicle running smoothly for years to come.
  • This is more expensive, but the better option is the two.
  • However, if you choose to rebuild the current engine, it will cost less than replacing it and will allow you to keep any parts that are still in good condition in place.
  • This is much cheaper, but it still makes the engine unreliable.
  • Make sure to get the work done by a certified professional so your engine, either the new one or the rebuilt one, can last for a long time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Why Won’t My Lexus ES 350 Start With New Battery?

If a new battery has not solved the starting problem, then there is a good chance that it is drained.

This is common with new batteries on the shelf for several months.

You can charge it or jump-start the engine once, so the alternator can charge it.

Q2. Why Won’t My Lexus ES 350 Start Even With A Jump?

Whether it is a new battery or an old one, and the jump-starting got you nowhere, you need to check the starter motor and the fuses.

If a fuse has blown, you need to get one with similar amperage. In the case of the starter motor, you will need to replace it. Make sure to get an OEM one.

Q3. Why Won’t My Lexus ES 350 Start But Lights Work?

If the lights of your Lexus ES 350 are working fine, and so are other electronics, then this could mean that your battery is drained.

This could be due to a faulty alternator or the battery closing in at the end of its lifespan. Either way, that failing part needs to be replaced.

Q4. Why Won’t My Lexus ES 350 Start But Cranks?

The engine produces a cranking sound if there is an issue with the combustion process. This can be due to faulty spark plugs, a clogged fuel filter, or a faulty fuel pump.

I have listed them in the order of their likeliness of happening. If anyone fails, you will need to replace it.

Q5. Why Won’t My Lexus ES 350 Start Just Clicks?

The issue could originate from the battery or the starter motor. If it’s battery, you will need to check corrosion on the terminals.

In the case of the starter motor, you will need to replace it in its entirety.

Q6. Why Won’t My Lexus ES 350 Start In The Cold Weather?

A battery that works in cold weather conditions has at least 800 CCA.

This stands for cold cranking amperes and represents the ability of a battery to reliably start up the engine in cold weather conditions.

If your battery cannot start the engine in such conditions, it probably lacks the cranking amps to do so.

Q7. Why Won’t My Lexus ES 350 Start After I Get Gas?

You should solely be focusing on the fuel pump or the fuel filter of your Lexus ES 350 if the issue comes after getting gas.

The filter, which is more likely to be the culprit, could be clogged. If it is the fuel pump, then it has likely completely failed. In that case, it will need to be replaced.

Q8. Why Won’t My Lexus ES 350 Start But Radio Works?

If the radio works and the lights are also working, then it could be that the battery is low on charge.

It may have sufficient juice to power the electronic but not enough to power the starter motor. You will need to attach a charger or get the engine jump-started to get it going.

Related: What Are The Worst Years For The Lexus ES 350?


Finally, I hope you got the answer to your question, why won’t my Lexus ES 350 start?

It’s possible that your Lexus ES 350 can have several reasons when it comes to starting issues. The most likely culprit is the battery.

In addition to that, other issues like an exhausted starter or a faulty fuel pump can also cause this problem.

If you’re having trouble with your vehicle, don’t hesitate to get it checked out at a local repair shop!