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Thread: Click-No-Start (Starter, Ignition Switch and other Culprits)

  1. #41
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    Re: Left for Japan for 2 months and now I turn the key and get 1 click.... fml

    I just got home from a 1600 mile trip, on mile 200ish I turned the key and click... Tapping the starter is your best bet in this situation. It shocks the starter. Hope it works out. It worked out for me I made it all the way

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    Re: Left for Japan for 2 months and now I turn the key and get 1 click.... fml

    replaced the starter, apparently advanced auto parts has starters (if it breaks we'll replace it) type deal

    i sometimes can start the van in PARK, but sometimes I have to start it in NEUTRAL and move it into PARK. (weird) might have to adjust that cable.

  3. #43
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    Re: Ignition switch question.

    Quote Originally Posted by timsrv View Post
    I wouldn't waste my time in a salvage yard for a part like this. Due to corrosion these have a limited life span. The one in your picture is not a stock Toyota terminal (it looks more like the light duty WalMart variety). I believe the stock Toyota ones are still available (Toyota part #90982-05030) because I got one recently. I get the Toyota ones just because I'm a stickler for details. Toyota is expensive though (about $10 - $15 depending on the dealer), so unless you really want it to be Toyota, I'd save your money and get one of the heavy duty WalMart jobs. Here's a picture of their marine grade terminal:


    Of course you don't need to go to WalMart, this is a common problem on all cars (or anything that uses a car size battery), so they are available almost everywhere. Just make sure the eye terminals on all the wires and cables look clean and shiny before hooking them up. Also, since our battery covers are made of metal, I'd probably get rid of the wing nut and use a regular nut (because it will be easier to tighten down and it won't stick up as high). Tim
    From the forklift dealership: there is a positive and a negative terminal, because the negative post is slightly smaller. I believe the negative terminal part number is the same but ends with a 1 instead of a 0. It has a black plastic piece on the bottom side, where as the positive has no plastic. They do not last long at all, i think they are aluminized copper, so if they get corroded, they almost always have to be replaced with the battery.

  4. #44
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    Re: Ignition switch question.

    Quote Originally Posted by timsrv View Post
    The starter has 2 wires going to it, the large battery cable & the smaller trigger wire. If you got a mechanic's remote starter switch, all you have to do is unhook the small wire (pulls right out of the starter), put one clip of the switch to the vacant starter terminal, and put the other clip to the stud for the big wire. Now when you push the button the starter will crank. If the starter goes "click" then the problem is in the starter. If it cranks, then the problem is in the trigger wire circuit. If you mess around with this, I'd recommend not making it permanent. Switches like this are helpful for troubleshooting, but not as a permanent solution. Bad things can happen if the vehicle is started accidentally at a bad time. Vehicle could also be started in gear.......with you underneath it......stuff like that can ruin your whole day.

    Three weeks later, when I got the one click sound again, I couldn't believe that the starter had died again. I kept turning the key, and after about the 5th time, it started right up, no problem, and I moved parking spaces. The next morning, however, we had the same problem. Click, click, click, start. The lights never dimmed, and when it finally did crank it seemed to have full power. So all that day we were able to start it after turning the key several times. The next morning, however, we tried many more times than usual, but couldn't get it to start. So I got under the car and removed the small ignition wire with the plastic clip, and touched that connection on the starter to the big command terminal on the starter. Doing that, it has started every single time, no problem. The trouble is, I don't like to have to crawl under the van every time it won't start, in a grocery store parking lot or after getting gas.

    Someone posted this for a 91 Previa. would this work on my 1988 van. I'm just trying to get it home to be able to diagnose the starter problem.

    Thanks




  5. #45
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    Re: Ignition switch question.

    Quote Originally Posted by eb4973 View Post
    Three weeks later, when I got the one click sound again, I couldn't believe that the starter had died again. I kept turning the key, and after about the 5th time, it started right up, no problem, and I moved parking spaces. The next morning, however, we had the same problem. Click, click, click, start. The lights never dimmed, and when it finally did crank it seemed to have full power. So all that day we were able to start it after turning the key several times. The next morning, however, we tried many more times than usual, but couldn't get it to start. So I got under the car and removed the small ignition wire with the plastic clip, and touched that connection on the starter to the big command terminal on the starter. Doing that, it has started every single time, no problem. The trouble is, I don't like to have to crawl under the van every time it won't start, in a grocery store parking lot or after getting gas.

    Someone posted this for a 91 Previa. would this work on my 1988 van. I'm just trying to get it home to be able to diagnose the starter problem.

    Thanks



    Based on what you said it sounds as if the starter itself is fine. Probably bad/failing contacts in the ignition switch or perhaps a bad connection somewhere else in the trigger circuit. With intermittent issues, the problem areas typically drop (lose) voltage while under load. The starter solenoid needs at least 10.5 volts to reliably engage, so if this circuit loses any more than 3 volts, the starter will become unreliable or not function at all.

    I was also experiencing this same issue on my 86, but every time I started troubleshooting, the problem would remedy itself (sometimes these issues will vary based on conditions or other factors & can be hard to track down). Since I knew the circuit was functional (just weak), and since voltage loss is directly proportional to load, I took the load off the circuit by installing a Bosch relay. Now all the trigger circuit needs to do is activate the coil of the relay (very small load) and the relay supplies power to the starter directly from the battery. I can't guaranty this will work for you, but it completely solved my problem. Before the relay mod this was happening about once a week. I installed the relay over a year/15k miles ago and the problem hasn't come back since. Good luck. Tim

  6. #46
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    Re: Ignition switch question.

    Quote Originally Posted by timsrv View Post
    Based on what you said it sounds as if the starter itself is fine. Probably bad/failing contacts in the ignition switch or perhaps a bad connection somewhere else in the trigger circuit. With intermittent issues, the problem areas typically drop (lose) voltage while under load. The starter solenoid needs at least 10.5 volts to reliably engage, so if this circuit loses any more than 3 volts, the starter will become unreliable or not function at all.

    I was also experiencing this same issue on my 86, but every time I started troubleshooting, the problem would remedy itself (sometimes these issues will vary based on conditions or other factors & can be hard to track down). Since I knew the circuit was functional (just weak), and since voltage loss is directly proportional to load, I took the load off the circuit by installing a Bosch relay. Now all the trigger circuit needs to do is activate the coil of the relay (very small load) and the relay supplies power to the starter directly from the battery. I can't guaranty this will work for you, but it completely solved my problem. Before the relay mod this was happening about once a week. I installed the relay over a year/15k miles ago and the problem hasn't come back since. Good luck. Tim




    Hi Tim,

    I guess I'm not asking the question in the best way. My van is stuck down the road. It is the starter issue with the single click sound when trying to turn it over. The first thing I want to do is get it home. I't may or may not start when I get back to where I left it. So I saw this information about a Previa that was started by:

    "So I got under the car and removed the small ignition wire with the plastic clip, and touched that connection on the starter to the big command terminal on the starter."

    I'm wondering if I can start my van this way if it wont turn over with the key. I'm just trying to get it home so I can fix it. I have no money so this is an emergency fix on the fly. I have another started that was pulled from an 84. I think if my starter is beat I can replace it with this one.

    Thanks for your time, eb4973

  7. #47
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    Re: Ignition switch question.

    Quote Originally Posted by eb4973 View Post
    So all that day we were able to start it after turning the key several times. The next morning, however, we tried many more times than usual, but couldn't get it to start. So I got under the car and removed the small ignition wire with the plastic clip, and touched that connection on the starter to the big command terminal on the starter. Doing that, it has started every single time, no problem. The trouble is, I don't like to have to crawl under the van every time it won't start, in a grocery store parking lot or after getting gas.


    So I'm confused.........if you are saying it used to start this way but now it doesn't , then you may have 2 problems now. If applying power directly to the trigger wire stopped working, assuming all your cable connections/terminals are clean and tight, then now it has also become a problem with the starter........tough luck. So after you repair/replace your starter you'll still have the trigger wire circuit issue to deal with. Good luck. Tim

    PS: In re-reading I can't help but think I still don't get it. Are you talking about 2 different vehicles? If you're talking about a Previa, it doesn't matter. Although physically non-interchangeable, Previa and van starters function the same (same rules apply to both). If the jumper wire trick and/or banging on the housing doesn't work, then you'll either be pulling your starter in a parking lot or you'll be having it towed.

  8. #48
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    Re: Ignition switch question.

    Quote Originally Posted by trestlehed View Post
    I had the starting problem for a year and a half before I finally had a bypass starter switch installed.
    2 new starters, new ignition switch, new neutral safety switch, several electrical trouble shooting campaigns, new battery cables, rebuilt starter with new copper contacts & new plunger, fusible link checked and tested ok, new big-ass battery, etc. But in the end the starter bypass switch was the only solution.

    Check this thread on TVP which explains the story:

    http://www.toyotavanpeople.com/forum...p=58927#p58927
    Add me to the list of can't figure it out. I'm about to by-pass the whole system. For the past year my van, that I've only been using on weekends, has had the click issue. I did what I always do and blamed the starter since that is exactly how the issue presents itself. Went from having to tap it gently once every 50 starts to having the beat it every other start. My free times been a little short the past six months and we do have another vehicle that runs fine so it was put on the back shelf.

    Yesterday I got around to replacing the starter. I pulled it and put in the new one with less then the usual amount of swearing. So that went pretty smoothly. Got out from under the van, hooked the battery back up and she fired over. Yeah, big smile on a job well done. So, I shut her down and went ahead and put all my tools away. Came out a few minutes later and "click". That's when the swearing really began. I've already apologized to the neighbors for the rapid and long string of expletives that followed.

    I went to get my wife so she could crank it over while I tapped the BRAND NEW starter. One little baby tap and it kicked right over. Now I can't re-produce the issue. As you all know the issue will wait till the best time to present itself. I'm willing to bet that time will be when I'm up in the mountains fishing with not a sole around. My vans evil like that.

    I didn't think to check the site until after I got the van fired back up and now I can't re-reproduce it to follow Tim's guide for diagnosing. I'm gonna go out and trace and volt meter what I can and see if I can find anything. And keep starting the van to see if I can re-produce to make my life easier with chasing this thing. Any ideas are welcome.

    @trestlehed, the reason I quoted you was I'm to lazy to sign up for the other site and read your adventures. So how exactly did you bybass the system?

    Thanks guys.

  9. #49
    Administrator timsrv's Avatar
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    Re: Ignition switch question.

    If you bypass the system, you will also be bypassing safety protocols. Probably not a big deal if you're the only one to drive, but bad things can happen if it's allowed to start while in gear. This is why I fixed mine by installing the Bosch relay (my post #41 this thread). I recently explained it in more detail on another thread:

    http://www.toyotavantech.com/forum/s...0678#post20678

    Since you're having the same problem with a different (new) starter, this makes me think your problem is the ignition switch or perhaps an "accumulation" of losses in multiple parts of the circuit. This is the perfect scenario for the Bosch relay mod. Mine used to act up with about the same frequency as yours. Since adding the relay it hasn't acted up once......and that was over a year ago. Tim

    BTW, if you haven't already, make sure your battery posts & all cable connections are tight and clean. The big cables should be checked for tightness/cleanliness at the other ends too (both positive and ground).

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    Re: Ignition switch question.

    Quote Originally Posted by timsrv View Post
    If you bypass the system, you will also be bypassing safety protocols. Probably not a big deal if you're the only one to drive, but bad things can happen if it's allowed to start while in gear. This is why I fixed mine by installing the Bosch relay (my post #41 this thread). I recently explained it in more detail on another thread:

    http://www.toyotavantech.com/forum/s...0678#post20678

    Since you're having the same problem with a different (new) starter, this makes me think your problem is the ignition switch or perhaps an "accumulation" of losses in multiple parts of the circuit. This is the perfect scenario for the Bosch relay mod. Mine used to act up with about the same frequency as yours. Since adding the relay it hasn't acted up once......and that was over a year ago. Tim

    BTW, if you haven't already, make sure your battery posts & all cable connections are tight and clean. The big cables should be checked for tightness/cleanliness at the other ends too (both positive and ground).

    Thanks for the input Tim. I should have pointed out that all posts where clean and tight. Grounds are oversized and clean and tight as well.

    I was able to reproduce the issue just now. I went to the starter trigger wire and had my wife turn over the van. 11.85 at the trigger wire. Then I went to the ignition switch to check there. 11.85 and 11.95 so there within .1v of each other.

    Thanks to your guide I'm pretty sure I just got a bad starter. Now to go yell at the auto parts store.

    Thanks again man.

  11. #51
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    Re: Ignition switch question.

    Yes, unfortunately these starter cores are getting old and even after "rebuild" they can be problematic. After experiencing this a few times myself, I actually consider the old OEM original units better than the rebuilds. This is why I recommend replacing the contacts & maybe the plunger rather than changing starters. If by chance new contacts and plunger don't solve, and you can verify correct trigger voltage (like you just did), only then will I give my OEM starter to the parts guy as a core........just pull your new parts out of it before letting them have it Good luck. Tim

  12. #52
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    Re: Ignition switch question.

    So happy I got to rip out this starter bypass hackjob today!!! Having to push in a finnicky high current switch every time I started the van was getting old. Tim's lengthy post in this thread was very helpful.

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    I had to make up a wire that goes from the harness to the small signalling connector on the starter. I am not too satisfied with using disconnects/spade connectors like I did though. Feels kind of flimsy. Does anyone know where I can get the male end of these connectors? Pick n pull my only option? This is probably an obvious answer but some quick web searching and a trip to the auto parts store didn't yield anything. I have circled said connector in the photo. Thanks!

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  13. #53
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    Re: Ignition switch question.

    I've had this same problem of the starter only occasionally working on 2 of my vans. Selenoid would click but starter would only crank if I jumpered a wire to it. Previous owner had one rigged up with a push button start. After tracing the circuit (provided by Tim, thanks), cleaning, temporarily bypassing fuses, pulling and checking neutral safety switch, etc., what seems to have worked is I left the rubber seals out of the connection to the neutral safety switch. I could be entirely wrong and something else was corrected in the process but it worked on both vans. It might be something worth trying (not too difficult) before you get too far involved. Jim Z

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    Re: Ignition switch question.



    Mine started acting up as well and the voltage drop was in a wire connected to the neutral safety switch, once the corroded wire was removed/replaced and all cleaned up the van is starting the way it should

    JDM

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    Re: Ignition switch question.

    my van recently had intermittent starting issues. turning the key all the way to turn the engine over resulted in nothing but dash lights. moved the steering wheel mechanism up and down, checked the battery connections and inspected the ignition switch harness. only happened rarely and then got progressively worse. worrisome for my wife and kid getting stranded

    it was the two electrical connections to the starter! the maintenance records i inherited with my van showed the valve cover gasket replaced couple years ago. there was some crusty goo on some of the underside of the van. i cleaned the connections to the starter with electrical cleaner and a brush.

    all has been good since then!
    Last edited by PNW vanwagon; 11-19-2017 at 12:57 PM.

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    Smile Re: Ignition switch question.

    That could have been the problem with mine and just working with the plug jostled the wires inside but I really didn't find corrosion anywhere - I cleaned anyway. Jim Z
    p.s. tore the starter apart and cleaned contacts, tore into ignition, took apart fuse block (behind p.s. resevoir) etc. etc. etc. - click click no start - bang head, bang head, go at it again and again and again - then it works with doing something simple . Jim Z

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    Re: Ignition switch question.

    i've done a lot of research recently on installing a bypass starter switch - to get a better power draw to the starter and as a theft deterrent. i think i roughly understand how to install myself:

    do you just run an appropriate gauge wire from positive battery terminal into a push button / switch and then run another wire out of the switch to the big fat post of the starter? do you turn the key and flip switch simultaneously with this set up or just flip switch to start?

  18. #58
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    Re: Ignition switch question.

    while its probably not 'safe' mine came with a remote starter switch and ive left it...you want to wire from fat terminal to switch back to smaller spade...when you unhook the trigger wire going to the starter spade the key no longer activates the starter..so keu to on then hit your remote button to start...problem is, the engine will crank anytime the button is pushed regardless of key on or off..

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    Re: Ignition switch question.

    Quote Originally Posted by timsrv View Post
    If you have 11.7 Volts at the starter trigger wire and all it does is click, assuming the starter case is grounded, the problem is in the starter. If the starter case isn't properly grounded, that could explain a few things. Check your battery ground cable. It goes from the battery to the frame, then over to the driver's side motor mount bolt. If there's any corrosion, loose connections, frayed wires, etc, replace it. the stock ground cables are okay when everything is new & shiny. They can become the source of issues like yours when they become 20 something years old. Here's a few pics of my old cable next to a new one I made up.
    Tim, mind if I ask the length/gauge of wire you used? What about the lugs, what size are those? seems like 3/8" and 5/16" are the common sizes.

    I'd like to fab up a new negative battery cable, my original cable is showing its age.

    If its not too much I might do the positive battery cable as well, how long is that one and where does it run? Sorry, id go look but I don't have a garage so my vans sitting in a snowy/muddy driveway right now :P

  20. #60
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    Re: Ignition switch question.

    Toyota uses metric wire size, so not exactly sure what that was, but their battery cables fall somewhere between #6 GA - #4 GA. For battery cables, I'm all for overkill, so I went with 2/0 wire. Here's a picture of the ground cable I fabricated (sitting next to the original) . I don't remember size of eyes, just go with the smallest size that the bolt/stud will fit through.







    Regarding the Bosch Relay mod, I didn't take a picture of that, but it's a simple mod so I just drew it up (electrically) from memory and attached it in a PDF format here: Bosch Relay Starter Mod.pdf.

    It doesn't matter where you physically put the relay, but I'd try to find a cool & dry location. I ran a separate 12 GA wire directly from the battery to the relay, but you could also grab that power from the big starter wire (then 14 GA would be fine and you'd have everything right there). Good luck and please post pics/give updates with your results. Tim

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