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LexusPro, ASE Master Certified
Category: Lexus
Satisfied Customers: 1303
Experience:  Lexus Master Certified, 11 yrs w/ Lexus Dealership, Elite of Lexus 2000-2011, 17yrs Auto Industry
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2007 Lexus ES350: VSC light, check engine light are on..ignition coil

Customer Question

Hi, I have a 2007 Lexus ES350 that supposedly has a problem with the head gasket.
The VSC light, check engine light are on. When they diagnosed the problem, the code reads ignition coil #3. Changed that and the lights still went back. Then they changed the sparks around the ignition coil and that still didn't work. Then they tested for the injectors and that wasn't the problem either.

So the mechanic is saying he's 100% sure that there must be a crack in the gaskets so they'd have to remove half of the engine to check.

Now my question is it worth the amount of money to repair this car or just dump it?

Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Lexus
Expert:  LexusPro replied 5 years ago.

LexusPro :

Hello and Welcome to JustAnswer. I am reviewing your question and will be back with you in just a second.

LexusPro :

Several things to mention with your issue. First of all is your car at a Lexus dealer?

Customer: It was serviced at a lexus dealer
LexusPro :

Is a dealer performing the repairs related to the check engine light? A blown head gasket on that model is uncommon.

Customer: They said its likely a crack...not a blown gasket. But in order to determine, they have to remove half of the engine to check. I havent back yet on the estimated price.
LexusPro : Still need information if a dealer is performing the repairs. There are several checks that can be performed before removing the head. They should perform a compression check to see if there is diffrence in the cylinder. There are also several ways to check for a blown/cracked head gasket with out removing the head. NAPA sells a kit that will with check for combustion gasses in the coolant. They should start doing that before removing the head. That car has metal head gaskets and will be dificult to determine a head gasket problem by inspecting the head gasket.

No, I'm going with an independent mechanic. I went with Lexus prior and they weren't of much help. They were the ones performing the ignition coil change, sparks plugs change, and injectors change....none of that helped.


So what could it be if it's not a cracked gasket??? This problem is extremely annoying, the VSC lights, Check engine light, and the skidding light are all lighted. I always suspected that it could be the computer that is the problem. Also, at which price (repairs) do you think it's not worth it and just trade in the car?

LexusPro : Do you know what code/s are stored in the computer?
LexusPro : Sorry if there is a delay. Working on a cell during the holiday.

It always link back to the ignition coil error #3. But they looked at it and changed it multiple times.

LexusPro : I would have them perform a compression check and use a block check or strips to confirm a leaking head gasket before removing the head. If you could get the trouble codes that would also be helpful.

I can't remember the codes. But what the codes pointed to, ignition coil #3, wasn't the problem. So if they performed those checks you advised above and it's negative, what problem could it be? I've basically exhausted all possible problems and still haven't figured it out. The mechanic said it's misfiring, and it's only misfiring when the engine is cold but is fine after it warms up. They performed something, like putting pressure or something and they are confident that it's the gasket. My concern is that is it worth it? Most online comments I've read said the cost to do the head gasket is so great that they might as well get a new engine. In that case, I would rather get rid of the car. What are your thoughts?

LexusPro : If the head gasket is blown it is easier to replace it with the engine removed from the car. Either way replacing the gasket or the engine will be an expensive repair. You will need to consider the value of the car, mileage, before repairing the car. I would also see what a dealer is willing to give for trade in value.

Can you think of a few possible problems aside from the head gasket based on the systoms I've described? VSC light, Engine check light, Skidding light all lighted code reading P330 or something (ignition coil area) but it's actually not that problem. And what is an acceptable price to pay for the repairs? I don't really want to trade it in because then I'd have to take a big hit. Also, is this not covered under warranty...powertrain?

LexusPro : I would make sure they changed the right coil. Ask what codes exactly that your car has. Then ask which coil they changed if you were standing in front of the car looking at the engine.
Expert:  LexusPro replied 5 years ago.
If you need further assistance please reply to this link.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The codes always point to ignition coil #3 but that's not the problem. It must be either the gaskets or the block as explained by the mechanic. I still have powertrain warranty. Would Lexus honor their warranty? And how should I go about the warranty? Dealers are reluctant to cover warranty.
Expert:  LexusPro replied 5 years ago.
If your car is still covered by warranty it should be at the dealer now. They should not be reluctant to repair your car. If it is covered under warranty, which is 6yrs 70,000miles for the powertrain, it should be free and they will provide a loaner car during the repairs.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I puchased the car used from lexus dealer. Previous owner had a minor accident but kept driving, causing the car to overheat and stalled. Radiator broke and coolant was leaking and thats all fixed now. After I purchased the car, I could not shift the car into reverse and lexus dealer honored the warranty by replacing the transmission. After months of diagnosis and multiple mechanics, I am almost certain it is the gasket or computer. Can the dealer not honour the warranty by blaming on the accident? There is no way that they can proof 100% that it is from the overheating and not a defeat, correct?
Expert:  LexusPro replied 5 years ago.
Head gasket failure on that model is very uncommon. But it will also be impossible for them to determine what was the cause for the failure, the accident or otherwise. If the dealer sold you a car with a warranty it should not matter what caused the failure. They sold you a car with a warranty and it should be honored. If they give you problems call 1-800-25-LEXUS. That is the number for customer service and that should help you get your issue resolved.
LexusPro and 3 other Lexus Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you