Question about 1997 Lexus ES 300

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My car ran out of gas and then a few days later when the fuel light came on, the check engine light quickly followed. More details inside...

The car sputtered and started shaking. I added more fuel. The check engine would flash sometimes and solidly lit at others. Threw codes P0303 and P0302. I changed the spark plugs, wires, and coils and still running the same. Rough, noisy, and misfiring. I've got a compression tester and about to test that and also a kit to test the if the fuel injectors are getting power. I am also putting fuel injector cleaner in it. My questions are: What should the compression values be -What will odd results look like and/or indicate? - If it is a fuel injector that needs to be replaced, will it be obvious through the compression test? - What else could cause these codes? - I've cleared the codes but cannot get the check engine light to come back on to see if there are more codes or what the deal is now. Why won't it come on? -Did driving the car cause damage that would be evident by the compression test? I'm trying to decide whether it's reasonable to give up on this car and get a different one or fix this one. Any advice would be appreciated!

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Google the codes you have posted here
codes P0303 and P0302 lexus 300
these are cylinder misfire codes. There is a procedure for this but I would suggest you rad that and follow directions before going the compression test route. The other thing you said was that all this started when you ran out of fuel. Could be you burned out the fuel pump or the pump sucked the junk up off the bottom of the tank and is now plugged up. So many choices but if it was me, I would start with the fuel pump before I started tearing into the motor.

Hope this helps.

Posted on Jun 06, 2016

  • Kay Gramm
    Kay Gramm Jun 06, 2016

    Do you think changing the fuel filter is a good idea? How can I determine if it is the fuel pump?

    Thanks for your assistance!



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When you erase codes you erased all codes so unless theirs another fault it wont throw a code ---before ripping into engine check fuel pressure to injectors usually done at fuel rail --- other problems can be probably full or partially clogged the fuel filter or over heated fuel pump --throttle body dirty also new wires and plugs doesnt mean free from defects or improper installation

Posted on Jun 06, 2016


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Car sputtering badly. Codes P303 n P102 show on diagnostics and have replaced both parts associated with these codes,PLUS, new fuel filter, engine still sputtering badly.


I hope I can help with this. This could mean the engine spark plugs or plug is the issue. Also check the exhaust pipe. White smoke indicates a coolant issue. Check your coolant reservoir. Black smoke indicates a Fuel issue. Blue is an oil issue. Also, speaking of your spark plugs there very well could be a misfire.

the code P303 could be cylinder 3 misfire
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The flashing check engine light and the symptom you described indicate you have an engine misfire. The most common problem is the coils. You have two options. You can either scan the engine computer for trouble codes that will help you identify or narrow down the possibilities. I'm going to bet that there is one or more of the following codes. P0301, P0302, P0303, and/or P0304. The other option is to get a spark tester and test each coil one at a time to see which one is not working.

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using gas conditioner sometimes works but in many cases it dislodges gunk that blocks the tip
At this point I would get a fuel pressure test done to check the pressure regulator , pump and filter condition as everything you describe points to fuel and injectors
AS a point of interest- with ECM controlled engines, the ECM tunes up the engine 60 times a minute to keep it within parameters and the plugs will last the life of the engine
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Have a 2001 ford expedition with a 5.4 triton has a misfire in the number 3 cylinder i changed the spark plug and the coil pack on it confused on what it could be that keeps throwing these codes

Vehicles: Any vehicle with the above symptoms.

You have a bad spark plug wire on #3, or possibly a clogged/malfunctioning fuel injector on Cylinder #3. Or, less likely, some of the other possible culprits mentioned below (exhaust valve/O2 sensor/Catalytic converter/ECC).

I'm presuming the OBD-II DTC code from the Expedition's computer is P0303.
Always try resetting the code and see if it returns - your new spark plug and new coil pack may have fixed the problem, but if the P0303 code isn't reset, it'll remain stored,and the CEL (Check Engine Light) will remain lit.

If I were standing in front of the vehicle right now, the 1st thing I'd do is put my "mechanic's stethoscope" on the fuel injector with the motor running to verify correct operation. Why would I do this first? Its free, and informative. You'll hear both the explosion in the cylinder, and the "tic" sound of the fuel injector solenoid as the injector operates. Auscultate the properly functioning cylinders first, so you know what to listen for.

If all you have is a medical/Sprague-Rappaport stethoscope. remove the auscultation bell, and replace it with a 12-inch (36 cm) long wooden dowel or solid/hollow metal rod as a substitute. Sound will transmit just fine through the wood/metal. Prefer metal, if you have a choice.

Here's the "official" P0303 write-up:
P0303 Code - Cylinder #3 Misfire
Technical Description

Cylinder #3 Misfire Detected

A P0303 code means that the the car's computer has detected that one of the engine's cylinders is not firing properly. In this case it's cylinder #3.
Symptoms may include:

the engine may be harder to start
the engine may stumble / stumble, and/or hesitate
other symptoms may also be present


A code P0303 may mean that one or more of the following has happened:

Faulty spark plug or wire
Faulty coil (pack)
Faulty oxygen sensor(s)
Faulty fuel injector
Burned exhaust valve
Faulty catalytic converter(s)
Running out of fuel
Poor compression
Defective computer (ECC)

Possible Solutions

If there are no symptoms, the simplest thing to do is to reset the code and see if it comes back.

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