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Old 07-06-2009, 10:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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How to test if starter is good

Alright so sometimes (not always) my 4runner will decide it doesn't want to start. It hapens about 35% of the time I go to start it. When I go to start it all the lights on the dash are bright and the little buzzer thing is loud. WHen I turn the key there is one individual click and thats it. I tried hitting the starter with a tire iron to try and knock the bristles loose (friends advice) and it worked 1 time, but not the 10 other times this has happened to me. If I get a JUMP from another car, the yota starts up perfectly, but I do not believe the battery is dead because the lights, radio, etc all work great. Basically, how can I test the starter to tell if it works so that I can move on to the next step. I have a multimeter.
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:52 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Here is a simple test you can do:
- http://www.4crawler.com/4x4/CheapTri...shtml#EasyTest
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Old 07-06-2009, 11:32 AM   #3 (permalink)
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As a thought, it sounds like your battery terminals are tight enough or have some corrosion built up. Check the terminals for any build-up of white or whitish blue deposits and for tightness. Even if they feel tight, take a wrench to them and snug them up even tighter.

If you have something that looks like salt, put on rubber gloves, eye and breathing protection, and use a solution of baking soda and water to clean them. Coat them with battery terminal goop or something similar.

If it boosts fine, this leads me to believe it's a loose terminal.
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Old 07-06-2009, 12:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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also check the connections on your starter.
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:55 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Crawler View Post
Here is a simple test you can do:
- http://www.4crawler.com/4x4/CheapTri...shtml#EasyTest
excellent link, way better than what the Haynes manual says. I bookmarked that for future reference, but hopefully I won't need to look at it
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Originally Posted by RobD View Post
As a thought, it sounds like your battery terminals are tight enough or have some corrosion built up. Check the terminals for any build-up of white or whitish blue deposits and for tightness. Even if they feel tight, take a wrench to them and snug them up even tighter.

If you have something that looks like salt, put on rubber gloves, eye and breathing protection, and use a solution of baking soda and water to clean them. Coat them with battery terminal goop or something similar.

If it boosts fine, this leads me to believe it's a loose terminal.
So THATS why the previous owner gave me that battery terminal protection spray when he sold it to me. I did this and it starts up strong now. Fires really quick and feels like the starter is getting 100% juice.
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Old 07-08-2009, 03:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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It's been my experience that when the lights and everything else works, but all you get is a click from the starter occassionally, it's usually a loose terminal.

Glad that's what it was in your case. It's a cheap, simple fix.
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Old 07-08-2009, 04:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If your connections turn out to be good, you can also have a dead spot or bad bus bar on the commutator, the brush contact point of the amature.

This is what it should look like.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Last edited by James Dean; 07-08-2009 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 07-11-2009, 10:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
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i had the same problem i just cleaned the main connector cable on the starter and it would fire right up but now my starter is totally shot so you might need to get a new one in a few months if it continues
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Old 07-11-2009, 10:13 AM
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