Toyota Tundra: How to Install Engine Start/Stop Button

This modification will require a button press and switch to be turned on in order to start the truck. This article will show you how to do this modification.

By Jared Hammond - February 11, 2016

This article applies to the Toyota Tundra (2000-Present).

It's easy to be a little jealous of those cars that come with keyless entry and push button start. Unfortunately, Toyota has not included this on the Tundra. But if you just want the satisfaction of pushing a button to turn on your truck, it's pretty simple to wire a button or a switch to the ignition. While it may not make much practical sense, it's still a neat little modification and it's also a great idea if you're considering installing a kill switch to prevent your truck from being stolen.

Toyota Tundra How to Install Engine Start/Stop Button

Materials Needed

  • Start button/switch
  • Relay
  • Dremel with hole cutter attachment
  • Multimeter
  • Wire stripper
  • Soldering iron and solder
  • Heatshrink or electrical tape.

Step 1 – Plan out your modification

It's a good idea to plan things out before you start cutting. First, you need to decide where you're going to put your switch. If you're planning for it to be a kill switch, you should have it somewhere hidden that's not too difficult to access. Make sure that there's enough space to put the switch, and that there will be a way to route your wiring back to the ignition switch.

Step 2 – Install your switch

Once you have everything planned out, you're ready to cut out a space to put your switch. A Dremel with a hole cutter attachment would work, or even a drill. Just make sure not to cut too deeply or you'll risk cutting something you shouldn't have.

Once you have the hole for the switch, it's time to install the switch itself. Insert the necessary wiring into the hole and route it towards the front of your truck near the steering wheel. If your switch doesn't come with an inline relay already attached, you should connect it now.

engine start button
Figure 1. Simple engine start button.

Step 3 – Connect switch to the starter wire

Pry off the panels around your steering wheel. Now look at the ignition switch. You should see a few different wires there. You'll need to find the wire that goes to the starter. In order to do this you could either follow the wires and see where they go, or you could use a multimeter to see which wire receives power when the key is turned to the start position. Have your multimeter's negative terminal touching a ground point and the positive terminal touching the leads on the switch. When the key is turned to the start position, the starter wire should receive 12 volts.

multimeter set to DC volts
Figure 2. Use a multimeter set to volts DC to find the starter wire.

Once you've found the starter wire you'll need to solder your switch wires to the wires of the starter circuit. Make sure that your truck battery is disconnected before you start soldering. You'll be connecting the ground wire on your switch to the ground wire on the starter circuit, and your positive wire on the switch to the starter wire itself. Use your wire strippers to strip the wire covers. Then wrap your switch wires around the bare copper of the starter wire. Solder the two wires together then wrap the connection in electrical tape or heat shrink wrap.

connecting ground and starter wires for engine start button
Figure 3. Connect to the ground and starter wires.

Reconnect your truck's battery and try using the start button. It will still require the key to be in the ignition switch in order to work. This is because most ignition switches on modern trucks have complex security measures that are difficult to bypass. If it tests good, then you just need to put back the panels around the steering wheel and enjoy your new start button.

Pro Tip

If you're going for a secure kill switch setup, many people prefer to tap into the fuel pump wires instead of the starter wires. A knowledgeable thief will have much harder time bypassing a fuel pump kill switch than a starter kill switch.

Featured Video: How to Install a Starter Button

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