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Check engine light and traction off light on

- Lexus-ES 300Page 1Page 2Page 3Page 4

This forum post has messages dated from 01/16/09 through 03/21/13, please be sure to read all the messages. If you feel it is old or outdated, please follow up with a question or comment and someone may be able to update it, or reply with newer information if you have it.

Forum Post
01/16/09 09:27

Check engine light and traction off light on

2000 Lexus ES 300 check engine light and traction off lights are on, car running rough. Spark plugs changed without improvement are lights going out. Misfires of calibers 5 & 6-HELP
02/22/09 00:18

Same problem with Lexus ES300. Had #4, 5, 6 coils replaced and ran fine and then going up small hill light came on and then started flashing and the engin ran rough.

Had it in twice going for a third. My be computer problem. Help

04/28/09 20:17

My 99 es300 had a misfire detected codes from cyl 1-6, a shop recommended that I change all 6 coil so I did and my car is still running rough no power especially on hill and burn a lot of gas please help.

09/01/09 10:24
Abe George

A week ago, on my Lexus ES 300 (2001), "Check Engine" and "Trac Off" lights came on. This coincided with me filling the gas tank to the brim to round the dollar to be paid. Some websites suggested that the "Trac Off" is related to the gas tank cap not being tight. I cleaned the gas tank cap and the tank opening. However, both lights persisted. On the same day, when I turned on the car again, there was a hesitance, a stuttering to come on, like the battery was going down. Both "Check Engine" and "Trac Off" lights were still on.

The next day, the car wouldn't come on at all. It sounded as the battery was dead. I couldn't even jump start the car. Usually, if the battery is completely drained, jump starting will not work. So, I got a new battery from Costco ($56.99) and put it in. (There is a $9 fee if you do not turn in the old battery).

It took 15-20 seconds of cranking to get the car started. Once it was started, the engine sounded fine and the RPM was normal. The "Check Engine" light was off. However, the "Trac Off" was still on. I cleaned the gas tank cap one more time.

The next morning, when I turned the car on, there was no problem at all. It came on instantly as it used to be, didn't have any warning lights, and drove smoothly.

The gas tank cap getting dirty and the battery being down are unrelated things, which just happened on the same day. I do not know which one caused which warning light to come on though.

10/05/09 02:15

once you replaced the battery you reset the computer and cleared all the error codes, causing everything to appear normal again. mine did the same thing and progressivley got worse. had the dealer hook it up and they told me the throttle position sensor was bad. this is located under the hood on the drivers side of the throttle body, part is $60 through
11/08/09 23:46

In reference to 1999 lexus ES300 misfiring detected oil control valve not opperating properly from cold to hot c/k engine lite and trac-off illuminate also you lose your overdrive will not go passed 65mph shows cylender misfiring , very misleading, after many hours researching on code p1349 or p1352 replace cam oiling solenoid on rear of head, problem solved. repaird at A&C Automotive 713-782-3808
11/21/09 01:56

The same thing happened to me on my 2004 IS 300. The first year that I had the car, the "check engine" and "traction off" lights began flashing. I drove straight to the dealer. Since the car was under warranty, there was no charge for replacing the part that caused the lights to flash. Now, it's happened again. This time, I will be charged for fixing the problem. I'm hoping that it won't be too expensive, as I've just spend quite over $500 to have a new key made (recently, lost my keys). I had heard that leaving the gas cap loose could cause this problem. Right away, I checked the gas cap. It was on tightly. So, that couldn't be the problem. I'm wondering why this keeps happening???
02/08/10 15:59
anthony cammaroto

i have a 1999 es300 lexus same thing happens tracoff and engine light is on car runs rough had the mass air flow sensor change at the dealer 600 hundred bucks . that lasted a couple of months. it doing the same thing all over again PLEASE HELP.
02/08/10 18:19
charlie winstead

the oil control valve is sticking causeing the variable vavles not to work right there are 2 of them located at the rear of the head there is also a screen that may be cloged at the rear of the heads
02/12/10 21:38
anthony cammaroto

the mass air flow sensor has about 10, ooo miles on it could it be dirty ? also my trans does not want to shift to overdrive.does the maf have any thing to do with shifting.
02/24/10 22:41

2000 Lexus ES 300. Same problem, not burning gas or running rough, but my car's check engine and trac off lights came simultaneously. I cleaned the gas cap and disconnected the battery for maybe 10 seconds and reconnected. Upon restarting my car both indicator lights were off.
02/26/10 19:04

1999 rx 30 0 P-0300 0302 0304 0171 1153 all these codes were detected please if anybody knows what all these could be.


02/26/10 23:13
Un Moo Shin

I own the year 1999 Lexus ES300 and so far have driven 70, 000 miles. Last year I had the exactly same problem of check engine and track off, so took the car to the dealer and it cost me $460. No problem since then, but again few months after, the same story was happening again. Today I happend to read #Repl 10, right away I went to my garage and followed exactly the same steps and it worked perfectly. I disconnected battery for about 20 seconds and reconnected it. Bingo !
03/04/10 20:33
Un Moo Shin

Please refer to Reply#12 - Fri Feb 26 2010

Few days after, the same problems are reoccuring, so I corrected these problems by the same methods - disconnected battery and reconnected some minutes later. it is working fine and normally. But my question is How long it will last. If it happens again, what is the available answer. I do not trust the this car dealer. Please help. I personally believe this problem has been caused by the car software glitch.

03/12/10 23:29

1999 Lexus EsS300, with 140, 000 miles - I have been having the same misfiring problems now for the last year. I just had another coil changed two weeks ago, and again this week it misfired again. The check engine and track off lights come on periodically without the car misfiring, only when it's blinking, then the car misfires. Have had four of the coils changed thus far. Please help!
03/25/10 15:39

I have a 93' Lexus 400 & I'm experiencing the same problem with the trac light coming on with the engine light coming on occasionally. This has started this week & I need a solution to this problem quickly.
04/06/10 22:43

I have a 2000 ES300 and about 3 or 4 times the check engine and trac off lights have come on. This happens about every 20, 000 miles or so. Some of the times the engine runs rough when these lights are on. All I do is disconnect the battery, romove the air flow sensor (two phillips screws) on the intake plastic horn, then spray the sensor with CRC electronic cleaner, reassemble, problem fixed (for another 20K miles).
04/11/10 21:00

My check engine light came on, which had me pretty stressed me out. Thanks to this forum, I got the problem fixed. I also followed #10's advice and disconnected the battery for a few second & lo and behold! The check engine light went out! I know the slimy mechanics would've charged me an arm and a leg to fix this problem. Thanks Chris!
04/13/10 23:13
David Bass

1999 300es has two sensors one on each side the fire wall side is 1 3 5 the radiator side is 2 4 6 cylinders these Sensors control valve timing as you drive mine has abad one for the firewall side controling the timing on 1 3 5 cylinders I will replace it tomarrow and also check the timing belt to make sure it hasn, t been knocked out of time
04/20/10 00:05

I took it to the lexus dealer here in memphis. i told the guy i was leaving town the next day and wanted the lights off. he unhooked the battery and the lights

went off. He didn't charge me anything. they stayed off for about 10 days

but one day they came back on. the service guy told me when the lights are on, the tracking computer doesn't work. i guess i'm going to have to unhook the battery again to get them off. besides the lights, my 2001 lexus 300es has 145, 000 miles and runs perfect.

04/22/10 18:55

#10 Chris-thank u! On my drive home from work two days ago the check engine and trac light suddenly came on. The trac light blinked constantly. We have not had the car washed after this rough winter and I had just purchased gas that morn. After cleaning the gas lid and around the tank opening and cleaning corrosion from one battery terminal-both lights went off!

Try this before heading to the repair shop!!!

Thanks again!


06/06/10 08:07

my LS 400 has [ check engine - trac off - trac ] what's the problem. I feel like my car doesn't run very well as before the appearence of such lights. HELP
06/10/10 18:51

Had the same problem and after taking it to 3 different mechanics(lexus dealer was one of them) and $1300 they figured it out. It was the variable valve control(front). $86 part $112 labor.
07/02/10 12:29

Been having this same problem with the check engine and trac off lights since spring. Doing the battery disconnect only temporarily eliminates the lights, but re-appears a week later. Just heard that Toyota/Lexus issued a massive recall with engine issues. Does anybody have futher info on this? Much appreciated.

07/09/10 11:24

I had a 99 ES300 "Track off" with "engine light" code P0171, which "system too lean", I replace the fuel filter, clean the MAF sensor, clear the code and drove the car for 15 miles, nothing appear again. so hope this help.
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    Lexus ES 300 'Check engine light and traction off light on'