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Ask Shane Bassetti Your Own Question
Shane Bassetti
Shane Bassetti, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Lexus
Satisfied Customers: 109
Experience:  ASE Master Technician
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I have a '08 Lexus IS350 that when I go to start the car, it

Customer Question

Good morning,
JA: Hello. What seems to be the problem?
Customer: I have a '08 Lexus IS350 that when I go to start the car, it says to start engine, depress the brake pedal and the brake pedal is very hard to depress. I can go and jerk on the negative battery cable and the car will eventually start up. It will run fine for a few times and then go back to not starting.
JA: Have you checked the battery, particularly the terminal connections? Are they corroded?
Customer: I removed the battery cable and cleaned the terminal and the cable clamp really good.
JA: What is the model of your '08 Lexus?
Customer: IS350
JA: Are you hoping to fix this yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: Yes I would like to try and resolve this myself. I put new batteries in both of my key fobs to make sure they weren't bad and this did not resolve the issue. I am going to try a new negative battery cable today, but I was curios to see if you would have any other thoughts.
JA: Anything else you think the mechanic should know?
Customer: I found a similar case on here that is was giving the same exact issues. I will copy their symptoms and paste in here. The only other thing I would add is by jerking on the battery cable I can resolve the issue temporarily. I have also checked the battery voltage and it is at 12 when not cranked and 14 when the car is running. I also noticed the negative cable was hot to the touch after trying to start the car several times. I will follow up the symptoms shortly.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Lexus
Expert:  Shane Bassetti replied 5 months ago.

Hello and thanks for using the site. If you can "jerk" your negative cable then there is a loose connection at one end either the battery or where the cable is grounded to the body. I would inspect both ends for corrosion and clean and tighten them. Please let us know if replacing the cable worked for you. I would also have your battery tested while its disconnected just to make sure the cells and amperage output are good.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Ok thanks. I am going to be putting a new cable on this afternoon. I was just curious to see if you had any other recommendations or things to try.
Expert:  Shane Bassetti replied 5 months ago.

Your welcome, yea there really is not anything else to bother looking at right now if jerking the cable fixes it then the cable, terminal connection themselves. I forgot to note your brake pedal, but the pedal only becomes stiff due to pressure buildup from pressing the pedal before the engine provides the vacuum for the system so there is no concern there.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Ok thanks! I will follow up an let you know how it turns out.
Expert:  Shane Bassetti replied 5 months ago.

Have you gotten a chance to replace the cable yet?