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Old 07-09-2019, 12:50 PM #1
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Possible Starter Issue

Every so often I will turn my key in the ignition and nothing happens. I turn it back to off and back on and it starts up with no issues. From the searching I've been doing it seems like whenever people have starter contact issues you can hear the clicking of the starter, but mine is just silent almost as if it's not getting power. I haven't been too worried about it as it always turns over on the second try. I would say this happens maybe once a month, but this is not my daily driver and I drive it maybe one or two days a week.

Before I go and change the starter contacts, does anyone have any other ideas on what might be the issue?
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Old 07-09-2019, 12:57 PM #2
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Sounds about right. I'm guessing you have a 3rd gen 4Runner? Worn Starter contacts work intermittently and eventually it won't start at all.
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Old 07-09-2019, 01:15 PM #3
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Had this exact same issue and after running around and chasing it down it turned out to be bad contacts on the battery terminal. Start simple first, clean up the battery contacts, then work to the starter relay, etc. If you hear no click at all, I would suspect either bad battery terminals (need cleaning), or the starter relay going out. You will hear a chattering bunch of clicks if it was the starter contacts.
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Old 07-09-2019, 02:23 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weekendclimber View Post
Had this exact same issue and after running around and chasing it down it turned out to be bad contacts on the battery terminal. Start simple first, clean up the battery contacts, then work to the starter relay, etc. If you hear no click at all, I would suspect either bad battery terminals (need cleaning), or the starter relay going out. You will hear a chattering bunch of clicks if it was the starter contacts.
Thanks, I'll try this out first and see if issues go away.
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Old 08-22-2019, 07:46 PM #5
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I had the exact same problem on one of my 3rd Gen Runners.. I thought for sure it was the starter... It turned out to be warn contacts on the ignition switch. So if your rig has higher milage, I would verify the key contacts are good before replacing the starter. Or you can end up changing the starter and still have the issue like I did.. :-(
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Old 08-27-2019, 03:59 PM #6
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I seem to be having the same issue.
I know it's not the battery and those contacts.
So now I move on to the starter relays?
Is there a post somewhere on the schematics for this. This would be my first dive into something like this. I'd like to try this before buying a starter.
Thanks for your help.
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Old 08-27-2019, 05:19 PM #7
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Here's one thing that I used when running down my issue I recently had:

Toyota/Chrysler/Mitsubishi - Nippon Denso Starter Solenoid Repair

First question I would ask you is what do you hear/see when you turn the key to start the motor?
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Old 08-27-2019, 07:29 PM #8
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I see the dash lights come on and just one click when I turn the key.
No constant clicking or anything else.
And no dimming of lights on dash or anything.

Btw thanks for that link...very helpful and I’m learning stuff.
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Last edited by TrexRunnerGirl; 08-27-2019 at 07:35 PM.
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Old 08-27-2019, 07:37 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrexRunnerGirl View Post
I see the dash lights come on and just one click when I turn the key.
No constant clicking or anything else.
Do the dash lights dim when you hear the click? The click is the starter relay engaging or the starter motor solenoid engaging. If it's the starter motor solenoid you'll hear it from the passenger side of the engine. If it's coming from the fuse panel in the engine compartment, that's the starter relay.

I would posit that you are most likely you're not hearing it from the engine bay fuse panel.

Schematic (ignore the red circle for now):
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Old 08-27-2019, 07:40 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrexRunnerGirl View Post
I see the dash lights come on and just one click when I turn the key.
No constant clicking or anything else.
And no dimming of lights on dash or anything.

Btw thanks for that link...very helpful and Iím learning stuff.
That's the starter contacts...

-Charlie
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Old 08-27-2019, 07:57 PM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phattyduck View Post
That's the starter contacts...

-Charlie
I would add that it could be two things: 1. Starter contacts as you mentioned 2. Starter wire that comes off the battery.

Easiest thing to start with would be to eliminate issue #2 first. To do this, take a set of jumper cables and connect them to your battery. Clamp the negative jumper cable to the case of the starter and the positive cable to the lug on the starter (it has a plastic cap that covers it). This will effectively bypasses both the engine ground and the positive starter wire that comes directly from the battery. Try turning it over. If it starts, then it's either a bad engine ground or the starter wire from the battery. (This is one of the steps in the link I previously sent that helped me when I had this issue recently).
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Last edited by weekendclimber; 08-27-2019 at 07:58 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 08-27-2019, 08:00 PM #12
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Also, check out @mtbtim and @infamousRNR 's youtube channel (Timmy the Toolman) for starter solenoid contact replacement if you have not already. You'll get a real good idea of where everything is at, starter motor wise, if you don't already know.
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Old 09-05-2019, 08:44 PM #13
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Mine was the starter. the copper connections were quite worn and pitted. Had it rebuilt.
The guy that did it said it took forever to get it out because he had to loosen up stuff and unhook stuff. I passed on some knowledge from here and it did help him get it out and back in.
I didn't mind the price to pay for him to do it bcuz it would have cost a ton any place else I think. It was only $375. Most of the cost was the rebuild.
I'm just glad it's done and I hope that it will be easy to start the rest of the winter.

Next project coming up in spring. Relax awhile now and go drive around and look at the fall leaves soon.
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