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2001 Lexus trouble starting

I have a 2001 Lexus. It is a hand me down of a pre-owned car, so I don’t know it’s history. My Father-in-Law (deceased) took care of it well though. We got this car from my his widow, I don’t think she ever did much with it for the two intervening years before we got it.

The problem: When I stop to get gas I cut the engine, get gas and attempt to start up. However, … It frequently, acts as if it is not going to start. Once I found the alternator disconnected (my husband had been messing around and forgot to reconnect.) I got a jump and was back on my way.

Since then, possibly not every time, I have to continue to hold the key in the on position longer than usual to get the engine to catch. Any ideas? My husband and I are stymied. Do you think it has something to do with that alternator debacle? I do not know the age of the battery either.

Since you don’t know the maintenance history, we certainly don’t know anything about its past.

Poor starting is usually caused by electrical or fuel problems. You should really have this car checked out by a good independent mechanic to determine if the ignition system and spark plugs are up to scratch, and also the fuel delivery system. You also may need a new air filter.

Lexus cars are generally good cars but at that age a number of things will likely need to be replaced. And I don’t believe your husband is the one to do it.

Just to be clear: when it doesn’t start, the engine is turning over?

What model is it? How many miles?


To me, it sounds as if there may be a fuel problem.

Specifically, the fuel pump check valve may be failing

Here’s what I would do to help confirm it:

Cycle the key a few times from off to on before turning the key to start position

This is known as priming the fuel rail

If it starts up quicker that way, you definitely have a fuel problem

I would have the battery and alternator tested. If the battery is more than 5 years old, start planning for the next one