Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

My Lexus 330(2005) needs a new starter

Dealer is recommending replacement of exhaust manifold at the same time. Apparently manifold is removed to replace the starter. Why would the manifold need to me replaced? Is this legit?


I replaced my ES300 starter with simple tools in my garage. Unless things have changed RADICALLY there’s nothing needed as far as the exhaust manifold goes. I would get a second opinion from a good independent shop (click on ‘mechanics files’ above, and a Toyota mechanic would be fine, your ES is pretty much identical to a Camry with a V6). Sounds very bogus to me.

Ur car is running rich so the manifold got hot and cracked and also overheated the starter. Sounds like u are days away from complete engine overhaul. Lucky dealer is watching out for you. Haha.

The starter motor is not blocked by an exhaust manifold on this car, it extends above the transmission. It is necessary to remove the air cleaner assembly to access the starter motor.

The exhaust manifold includes a catalytic converter, is your check engine light on?

Sorry, guys I had a major senior moment and used the wrong car! It’s a 1998 Lexus GS 400 that need a new starter. Now who can advise the labor time allotted.

thanks. and sorry for the confusion.

It requires 4 hours to replace the starter on that vehicle. The intake manifold has to be removed.


Note to OP: the intake manifold is not at all the same as the exhaust manifold.
Why did he say you need a new intake manifold?
Or do you have a seperate problem which was diagnosed as needing a new exhaust maniffold?

Exactly why did you bring the car into the shop? Were there any fault codes? What were they?
Can you tell us exactly what he put on the shop order? Or provide more detail?

My gut says we don’t have the whole story here.

My often made point about having the entire story.

3:49PM and 3:50PM…man, we’re thinking in unison here!

The starter is located in the center of the engine between the cylinder heads and under the intake manifold. You should also request that any hoses that need to be removed or are now easily accessed be replaced.

I would quote 6 hours for that job. My labor guide shows 4.6 hours, I’d add some time to that based on the age of the car (the older they get the harder things come apart), and add half an hour to replace the coolant pipe o-rings that are under the intake manifold. Given the age of the car, if they’re not leaking now they may start soon, or just the act of disturbing the pipe while changing the starter may cause that 14 year old o-ring to leak. Better to replace it now than have to pay the $540 labor all over again to replace the $1 o-ring.

I don’t know anything about your Lexus but a lot of cars have a plastic intake manifold. Maybe it is hard to remove and replace one without damaging it. Or the dealer just wants to get all he can out of you.

Is it the Intake manifold or the Exhaust manifold??? OP says Exhaust (which makes sense). But others are saying Intake.

I’ve seen some vehicles that where the starter is very close to the exhaust manifold and pipes. While I’ve never had to remove the exhaust manifold…I surely had to wait until it cooled down.

@MikeInNH, original poster changed vehicle ID, it’s actually a GS400, with the starter located in the valley under the intake like the Northstar engines. Intake has to come off.

@MikeInNH, original poster changed vehicle ID, it's actually a GS400, with the starter located in the valley under the intake like the Northstar engines. Intake has to come off.

That to me is a POOR design. Luckily the last starter I ever had to replace was on 84 S-15. But I don’t like the idea of a part like the starter being buried like that. Makes no sense to me.

Well @MikeInNH, there’s a lot of empty space under the intake in a V engine with OHC, and frankly in the Northstars there’s no other place to put it. Front side of the engine/bellhousing area is full of water pump, motor mounts, ABS assy and some sensors, rear area full of trans final drive, and the underside has the exhaust. If I remember the Lexus setup, there’s no room for a starter in the conventional locations either. The only time I like designs like this is when I make good time doing the repair.

I don’t think there’s a car made that doesn’t have a few components that are difficult to change and even many of the older cars from the non-electronic era could be included in this category.

Quite a few years back a guy approached me about a starter change in a Renault LeCar and after taking a quick look-see I could see no obvious way of accessing it. Locating a manual I found that the recommended procedure was to pull both motor and transmission out of the car.
The customer balked at this as the car was just an old daily beater he used for work and left it with me to see if I could figure out an easier way; meaning much cheaper.

I removed the drivers front carpet, cut a hole in the firewall underneath the clutch and brake pedals, and fished it out that way; followed by making a plate and riveting it back into place to cover the hole.
Somewhat crude, but it worked and was not noticeable.

Seems to me I remember having to remove the brake master cylinder to replace the starter on a Chevette. And a Lincoln that had the power steering pump as a gear driven unit in the timing cover. Ah, the good old days.

Our Olds with the Northstar engine has the starter under the intake manifold too. I always figured if the starter went, that would be the end of the car. Yeah and I would guess its the plastic intake manifold too that don’t stand up. So hows that-a $1500-2000 to replace a starter by the time you’re all done?