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Old 09-26-2022, 02:56 PM #1
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Intermittent Starting Issue

So for the second time in about a month, I go to start my 4Runner and...nothing. No click, no noise, just silence.

The first time it happened, I popped the hood, took a look around the engine bay, didn't see anything unusual. Went back in the truck, turned the key and it fired right up as normal as could be.

Last Friday morning I went to start it and it did the same thing. Turn the key and nothing happens. I let the car sit for two and-a-half days and Sunday evening it started up again like it normally should. I hadn't touched it since trying to start it on Friday.

The battery is new from last November, so I'm fairly certain it can't be the issue. The internal lights work, radio, etc.

Any takers on what could possibly be the issue? Could the starter be failing? Alternator? It's 2006 SR5 with about 140k miles.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-26-2022, 03:17 PM #2
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Check out this thread.

Turn key absolutely nothing happens. tranded waiting for tow truck.

Start with checking the EFI fuses before you do anything with the EFI relay. My problem was one of the EFI mini-fuses.

The exact same thing happened to me in my 4th Gen.
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Old 09-26-2022, 08:47 PM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shanep4db View Post
Check out this thread.

Turn key absolutely nothing happens. tranded waiting for tow truck.

Start with checking the EFI fuses before you do anything with the EFI relay. My problem was one of the EFI mini-fuses.

The exact same thing happened to me in my 4th Gen.
Thank you shanep4db for that link. That is a very interesting thread and a great place for me to start. Thankfully, unlike the OP in that thread, this issue is new for me, and I haven't yet been stranded needing a tow, or having my 4Runner stall in the middle of a highway.

I'm glad you were able to fix your issue as well.
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Old 09-26-2022, 09:31 PM #4
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Mine did that recently. It turned out to be a bad battery even though it was only 6months old. Got a new one and no issues since. I've had my 4runner since purchasing new in 2005. this thing eats batteries. I've probably gone though 8 batteries in that time. I dunno why but it does
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Old 10-02-2022, 08:45 PM #5
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I have a 2011 4runner that has starting issues. Just takes a while to crank and crank before it will finally start. Once it starts it runs great. No idle issues.

Tested battery itís good
Cleaned mass air flow sensor
Replaced plugs

Still takes a while to crank before it will finally fire up. Any ideas?
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Old 10-03-2022, 05:31 PM #6
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Surprised no-one suggested starter to the OP.
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Old 01-23-2023, 08:00 PM #7
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Quote:
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Surprised no-one suggested starter to the OP.
Thanks Ripper for mentioning this. I have ruled the starter out and am resurrecting this thread from when I started it.

After still having this issue after my original post, I finally brought the truck to my mechanic in late December. I explained to him that each day has been a 50/50 chance as to whether the truck will start.

After having the truck for a week he said he was unable to replicate the situation (of course, that's how it always is). The truck started every time he tried starting it. The only thing he said was that my starter looked like it had been sitting at the bottom of the ocean. He said he couldn't rule out a bad starter and that even though the truck started, the internals could possibly be bad. He ended up putting in a new Denso starter and relay from Toyota.

I picked the truck up from him and, sure enough, three days later the problem still persists. Come back 20 minutes later and it fires right up.

I'm at a loss here. It's obviously not the starter or the battery. Could it be something in the wiring? When the truck starts and runs, it drives perfectly - no other symptoms at all.

Again, when I go to start it, nothing happens. No click, no turning over, nothing.

Any further suggestions are greatly appreciated. This 4Runner only has 140,000 miles. The engine is strong and runs great, but these other gremlins are driving me mad.
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Old 01-23-2023, 08:26 PM #8
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Originally Posted by Pale Rider View Post
Thanks Ripper for mentioning this. I have ruled the starter out and am resurrecting this thread from when I started it.

After still having this issue after my original post, I finally brought the truck to my mechanic in late December. I explained to him that each day has been a 50/50 chance as to whether the truck will start.

After having the truck for a week he said he was unable to replicate the situation (of course, that's how it always is). The truck started every time he tried starting it. The only thing he said was that my starter looked like it had been sitting at the bottom of the ocean. He said he couldn't rule out a bad starter and that even though the truck started, the internals could possibly be bad. He ended up putting in a new Denso starter and relay from Toyota.

I picked the truck up from him and, sure enough, three days later the problem still persists. Come back 20 minutes later and it fires right up.

I'm at a loss here. It's obviously not the starter or the battery. Could it be something in the wiring? When the truck starts and runs, it drives perfectly - no other symptoms at all.

Again, when I go to start it, nothing happens. No click, no turning over, nothing.

Any further suggestions are greatly appreciated. This 4Runner only has 140,000 miles. The engine is strong and runs great, but these other gremlins are driving me mad.
Just speculation on my part...but maybe the ignition switch has a intermittent short/bad connection in it, sometimes works correctly and then not, the only other thing I can think of is corrosion on the relay connections but I would think that would be causing the issue more often since there're no moving parts involved as there is in the ignition switch??
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Old 01-23-2023, 09:21 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuSeeker View Post
Just speculation on my part...but maybe the ignition switch has a intermittent short/bad connection in it, sometimes works correctly and then not, the only other thing I can think of is corrosion on the relay connections but I would think that would be causing the issue more often since there're no moving parts involved as there is in the ignition switch??
The ignition switch is definitely a possibility. When I spoke with the mechanic prior to him installing the new starter and relay, he said an intermittent starting issue could be caused by four separate things:

1. Starter
2. Starter relay
3. Ignition switch
4. Neutral safety switch

I don't recall whether he said anything further regarding the ignition switch and whether or not he checked it out. I think he was leaning towards the starter being the culprit since the outside appearance of the starter was in really bad condition. He said if I was going to replace the starter that I might as well also replace the starter relay (it was a $90 Toyota part). He also said he was going thoroughly lubricate the neutral safety switch as I noticed shifting was a bit stiff.

What's the best/easiest way to test an ignition switch?

I guess I'll need to call the mechanic tomorrow and ask what, if anything, he did to test the ignition switch.
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Old 01-24-2023, 03:27 PM #10
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Does anyone think it would be a waste of time for me to change out all the fuses in the truck? Or at least the ones that could potentially be tied to the ignition/starter parts?

They are at least 17 years old.
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Old 01-24-2023, 05:28 PM #11
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Does anyone think it would be a waste of time for me to change out all the fuses in the truck? Or at least the ones that could potentially be tied to the ignition/starter parts?

They are at least 17 years old.
Others smarter than I will chime in but as far as I know, fuses are work or don't work devices. The overload melts the piece that completes the circuit. I don't think it can complete the circuit sometimes and sometimes not.
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Old 01-27-2023, 09:55 AM #12
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Quote:
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Does anyone think it would be a waste of time for me to change out all the fuses in the truck? Or at least the ones that could potentially be tied to the ignition/starter parts?

They are at least 17 years old.
It would be useful to remove each fuse and relay, and inspect the legs and panel female terminals for corrosion/dirt. Clean as necessary with electronic parts cleaner...I really like DeOxit spray as it leaves a protective film to prevent corrosion. Re-seat each one firmly but don't go crazy pushing them back into seat.

I've seen intermittent starting, fuel pump failure misdiagnosis, etc. troubleshot back to loose and/or corroded fuse or relay connections.
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Old 01-29-2023, 02:15 AM #13
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Did you take your battery cables off to inspect? corrosion on battery post or loose wire could do this.
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Old 01-29-2023, 01:53 PM #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waypoint View Post
It would be useful to remove each fuse and relay, and inspect the legs and panel female terminals for corrosion/dirt. Clean as necessary with electronic parts cleaner...I really like DeOxit spray as it leaves a protective film to prevent corrosion. Re-seat each one firmly but don't go crazy pushing them back into seat.

I've seen intermittent starting, fuel pump failure misdiagnosis, etc. troubleshot back to loose and/or corroded fuse or relay connections.
This makes sense. I will start to do this.

In the meantime, I called the mechanic on Friday. We are next going to install a new OEM neutral safety switch. When I brought the truck to him in late December, the shifter had been stiffening up. He lubricated the shifter cable thoroughly when installing the new starter and relay and it is shifting normally now, but the persistent intermittent starting could also be related to a bad neutral safety switch.
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Old 01-29-2023, 01:54 PM #15
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Quote:
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Did you take your battery cables off to inspect? corrosion on battery post or loose wire could do this.
I did, thank you. Cables and battery posts look good. No corrosion.

My battery is new from January 2022 when I had a new ECU installed.
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