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Turn key.... but engine won't turn over ...sometimes!

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Old 10-16-2006, 04:52 PM   #1
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Cool Turn key.... but engine won't turn over ...sometimes!

Sometimes she starts, and stalls immediately after start-up. Other times, I turn the key and the dashboard lights up, but the engine doesn't crank at all. Usually, when she's cold. Oher times, she's fine. No codes showing up when the computer was hooked up. New timing belt recently. Any help is appreciated. A mechanic, I ain't. But if I follow the Hanes manual, I can do most jobs.
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Old 10-16-2006, 05:14 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by FLArunner View Post
Sometimes she starts, and stalls immediately after start-up. Other times, I turn the key and the dashboard lights up, but the engine doesn't crank at all. Usually, when she's cold. Oher times, she's fine. No codes showing up when the computer was hooked up. New timing belt recently. Any help is appreciated. A mechanic, I ain't. But if I follow the Hanes manual, I can do most jobs.
Bad contact somewhere. Can be mechanical or electrical. Ignition switch, starter relay, ring gear with a bad tooth or two.

If you hear nothing when it does not start, meaning no cranking, and no click (the starter relay), then it may be the ignition switch or the starter relay. If you hear a click, but no cranking, I'd suspect the starter motor, assuming the battery is ok.
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Old 10-16-2006, 05:23 PM   #3
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Thumbs up Thanks, Rich.

I tested the batt., and it was good. Turn the key, and no clicking or turn-over whatsoever. I'll look further into your suggestions - thanks for your help.
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Old 10-18-2006, 06:22 PM   #4
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FLArunner, I actually just had the same issue with mine.
I changed the batt and all of that and ended up having to change the starter.
I got it back from the shop a few hours ago and it seems as though I'm still having issues....

Now the engine seems like it is about to stahl and I need to gas it so that it doesn't. Also, the exhaust is kicking out some smoke and is more odoriforus than normal

Any suggestions from anyone?
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Old 10-18-2006, 06:47 PM   #5
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i am having this issue, but it always eventually turns over. only hasnt started up twice, and both of those times it started on the 3rd try

im gonna put in a new starter, though its likely the contacts
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Old 10-18-2006, 06:50 PM   #6
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My problems started right after replacing the timing belt/ waterpump. Just like you lee, it would eventually turn over after a few tries but then one day...she only gave me a click, nothing else.
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Old 10-18-2006, 07:08 PM   #7
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start cheaply with the starter contacts. no real need to buy a new one, i made that mistake. search around the forum, there is a write up somewhere.

heres a good write up for it
http://www.4x4wire.com/toyota/maintenance/starter/
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Old 10-14-2008, 10:01 AM   #8
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connections between batt. and starter (check for loose / corroded wires) Also check Batt. ground. Kev
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:42 AM   #9
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im having this problem too...got power but it wont turn at all.
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Old 06-14-2009, 11:00 AM   #10
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wow i thought i was the only one having this problem... everytime i turn my key though i hear a click, so i know it is the starter contacts. i already have new ones just waiting on time to tear it down.. local alt/starter shop had the contacts for $5 a set so $10 dollars and she will start everytime again!
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Old 08-23-2010, 05:27 AM   #11
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My 4runner has just developed a similar problem. It has a fairly new battery and I also tried cleaning the terminals and chassis ground.

I don't think I'm getting a click when turning the key (I'll have to check when I get home) although the dash lights do light up.
It will eventually start but sometimes requires quite a few tries.

Does this sound like a starter relay or starter contacts?

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Old 08-23-2010, 08:53 AM   #12
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Easy way to check out what the problem may be:
- http://www.4crawler.com/4x4/CheapTri...shtml#EasyTest
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Old 08-23-2010, 09:08 AM   #13
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Easy way to check out what the problem may be:
- http://www.4crawler.com/4x4/CheapTri...shtml#EasyTest
Thanks for the link. I think I ran across it early and it seems to be one of the better places to start. I guess I'll get out the multimeter and start digging around this evening.
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Old 07-10-2012, 05:45 PM   #14
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I know this thread is way old, but it is one of the first ones that comes up when searching for answers to this issue. I had the same thing, once in a while it would turn over, i thought it was the battery. Jump started no problem. lights worked, and i had the starter click, but no turn over. I thought for sure it was a starter issue, but just to be safe i cleaned the wires first that connect to the battery terminals. Amazingly, just a little bit of crud that has built up was the issue. A little bit of sandpaper and i am back to immediate crank and start. Start there before tackleing more expensive/difficult issues.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:33 AM   #15
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wow same problem for me,too. cleaned battery terminal 4 runner started fine for a couple of days. Just went to start and nothing. I get the lights and the clicks, what's going on?
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:39 AM   #16
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wow same problem for me,too. cleaned battery terminal 4 runner started fine for a couple of days. Just went to start and nothing. I get the lights and the clicks, what's going on?
Could be the starter solenoid contacts or starter relay (if you have one). Easy test to find out which:
- http://www.4crawler.com/4x4/CheapTri...shtml#EasyTest
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Old 02-28-2015, 03:41 PM   #17
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My husband is having almost the same problem with his 1985 Toyota PU Fuel Injected. He had to replace the timing chain, glides, gears etc. and when he put the cover on, it cracked. So he replaced the cover, installed new gaskets and put the blue gasket stuff in a tube all around the edges. Then he installed the pulley and belts. Now when he tries to start it, he turns the key and hears a humming sound. I'm a lady so my description of the sound is like a motor trying to turn over but only hums and can't continue to turn over. He tried to turn the belts and they are froze up. None of the belts are free turning. Has new battery and clean cables. Just won't start. He also noticed oil running out of the front by the bolts that are behind the timing chain cover. He replaced the oil filter and new oil so he's catching the oil so as not to have to buy more. Can't anyone tell us what to do now? He doesn't want to have to take the whole timing chain stuff off because that means another new gasket and repeating what he has already done. TIA for any help............
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Old 03-08-2015, 03:00 PM   #18
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My husband is having almost the same problem with his 1985 Toyota PU Fuel Injected. He had to replace the timing chain, glides, gears etc. and when he put the cover on, it cracked. So he replaced the cover, installed new gaskets and put the blue gasket stuff in a tube all around the edges. Then he installed the pulley and belts. Now when he tries to start it, he turns the key and hears a humming sound. I'm a lady so my description of the sound is like a motor trying to turn over but only hums and can't continue to turn over. He tried to turn the belts and they are froze up. None of the belts are free turning. Has new battery and clean cables. Just won't start. He also noticed oil running out of the front by the bolts that are behind the timing chain cover. He replaced the oil filter and new oil so he's catching the oil so as not to have to buy more. Can't anyone tell us what to do now? He doesn't want to have to take the whole timing chain stuff off because that means another new gasket and repeating what he has already done. TIA for any help............
If he puts a breaker bar on the crank case pulley bolt can he spin the engine over? If not he might have to take it apart again. If so it could be the starter. Did her get all the ground connected back up? A lot and I mean a lot of people miss those.
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Old 03-18-2015, 08:48 AM   #19
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Regarding the Starter contacts

Most times I'd either get a new one, or a boneyard one. Way back, and it was on an 82 Tercel, and I was into "rigging" things together.. the contact disk had worn almost through, took it out and cleaned it off well and soldered 2 pennies in the worn places, caveat they must be real (old) copper pennies, not the zinc.
Drove it for another 45K, then sold it..
Might help if stuck out in the boonies, but then again do you have a high wattage soldering iron out there?
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Old 03-18-2015, 02:26 PM   #20
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Got the timing cover back on and all is well with it. Still can't get it to crank over. I'm thinking maybe I have to replace the ignition igniter. I hear tell if I replace the control module, I'll have to take it in to have it reprogrammed and don't have the $$ for that. Has anyone installed the igniter? Are there any tips or tricks to the installation? The guy he bought an igniter from said you have to buy the whole assembly which is the igniter AND coil together. They have to match.
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Old 03-18-2015, 02:26 PM
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4runner, 93, clicking, engine, ignition, imediately, key, motor, small, start, times, toyota, turn, turning, turns

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