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Old 08-07-2022, 08:24 AM #1
joshd_bh joshd_bh is offline
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Angry Inconsistent Starting

Howdy, I know this is a topic that has been beaten to death but I can't seem to find a solution despite my best efforts. I have been trying for about 2 years to solve why my 4Runner occasionally fails to start. On most attempts when the engine is cold, she starts up just fine. I usually have problems when I drive somewhere and then it will not start when I try to get back home.

The issue is that when I turn the key, I get a click from the starter relay, but then no movement in the starter. I have read on and on about replacing the contacts and checking ground wires, but not much else. I replaced my OEM starter with a OEM Denso reman to try and get the best replacement. I have also replaced the starter relay with an OEM unit. In terms of checking grounds, I replaced the applicable wires with Jeep Cable's big 7 to remove any cables that were internally corroded and cleaned the mounting points for a good connection. I feel like I am running out of things to replace as eventually the whole starting circuit will be new. I don't believe it is a battery issue as it starts fine the first time, but only struggles with subsequent starts and when it is hot outside, and the battery is only a year old anyways.

Is there something I have overlooked? My next guess is the ignition switch behind the key cylinder, but frankly I am getting tired of throwing money at a problem that seems to have no end. Any help would be appreciated! I love this truck dearly and want to keep it for a while, especially given the current car market.. Thanks in advance!


For those who are curious, the big 7 kit:
Toyota 4Runner Big 7 Complete Kit (Gen 3 - 1996-2002)

Last edited by joshd_bh; 08-07-2022 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 08-07-2022, 09:01 PM #2
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Cleaning the park neutral safety switch could help.
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Old 08-07-2022, 09:43 PM #3
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When the back of my ignition key connector failed. It acted just contacts warn out in the starter. I actually swapped in a refg denso and 2 days or a week later I had the exact same problem. Luckily, I had a parts rig and I just put it's ignition connector in many years ago and my starting issues went away.

Very good thought on the park neutral safety switch as well. As they only will engage the starter in park and neutral in the automatics.



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Old 08-08-2022, 04:08 AM #4
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Next time it happens check for voltage on the small wire of the starter. Itís easy to simply do this with a test light. A volt meter if you got one.

If you have a bright bulb or 12v on the small wire the problem is in the starter or the feed to the starter has a bad connection somewhere.

No power on the small wire means a problem with the key switch, relay or P/N switch in the trans.

You could put a wire on the small wire of the starter and run it into the cabin and connect it to a light bulb, or read it with your meter so no help is required.


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Old 08-09-2022, 06:15 AM #5
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Thanks for the great ideas! I'll report back after some tinkering.
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