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Thread: Help locating the starter relay

  1. #21
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    Re: Help locating the starter relay

    Thanks for the reply, I have the old Denso starter and opened it up today. The contactors were definitely worn down. I will buy the contactors from Toyota and get it rebuilt as a back up unit since the Denso I bought did not have a core charge.

  2. #22
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    Re: Help locating the starter relay

    Since this evolved into a starter problem issue thread here is a link to another one with pics of the internal contacts going bad, for those browsing in the future. The individual contacts cost about $5. It's the one at the positive terminal which sees most of the wear.
    https://www.toyotavantech.com/forum/...1117#post31117
    jw

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    Re: Help locating the starter relay

    Quote Originally Posted by man_btc View Post
    Typically for a bad starter plunger you'll hear a "click" as it jumps forward and it's conductive ring smacks into two starter-motor contacts, BUT the electrical connection doesn't get made because of corrosion & wear.

    If it doesn't "click" it might be because the starter solenoid coil that magnitizes to shove the plunger forward is broken, but the intermittent nature argues against that because it'd be a permanent failure. More likely is the contacts in the ignition switch when it's turned to the "start" position are flakey. It might explain your sense of a quicker start sometimes as an intermittent connection in that section of the switch might not always occur at the same key position. For all you know, you've acclimated to having to turn the key farther than normal to get it t..
    no bad key connections found, but the keyed start wire to my starter has a 0.375 spade terminal connector that wasnt fully locked.
    along with this, i found my original starter connections and grounds seeped into by diesel oil.
    starter bench tested fine, so i opened it up and sanded the crusty contacts for the ring.
    all connections cleaned up and its not hesitated to start.

  4. #24
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    Re: Help locating the starter relay

    Iíve got to say, this forum is super helpful. My 1991 Previa just started displaying intermittent starting problems yesterday (of course in the most inconvenient of places and times) and after reading through this thread Iíve got a much better grasp of why Iím having such difficulty finding the starter relay.

  5. #25
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    Re: Help locating the starter relay

    I agree, and this is in no small part due to the way this site is administered. Users are encouraged to search first, and if they do post, to try to find a relevant existing thread to post in before starting a new thread. This results in a more condensed, information-rich and navigable site. It's a positive feedback loop versus other sites where people post new threads without searching, and those of us who do search are then faced with the increasingly arduous task of sifting for information in hundreds of threads rather than just a few - which encourages even more new threads because you can't find the info you need.
    Re: your starting problem... while relays can fail, starting problems with the Previa are usually caused by other things. Unless you have already done it I would check the starter motor itself when it is acting up. For this you would need to carry in the vehicle a thick starter jumper cable (to first attach between the battery positive and the starter motor positive terminal) and a little jumper cable (to *momentarily* touch between the starter positive and the little starter coil terminal). This bypasses all the starting circuitry and verifies whether the starter is good. When you touch between the two starter terminals the motor will turn if it is good, regardless of whether you have the key in the ignition, so make sure the vehicle is not in gear or you'll get run over. Apologies if you already knew all this.
    Last edited by Jonny; 07-26-2021 at 11:14 AM.

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    Re: Help locating the starter relay

    This is appreciated information, thanks. Iím pretty much a newb when it comes to working on cars. Grew up working as a bike mechanic, then carpenter, so all the info I can glean from sources I am thankful for. Iíve got a relay from the local auto parts store, so Iíll try this approach first, although itís a bit of a bear to access the relays.

    I take it this could be a way of starting the engine in an emergency (if the starter is good and the relay is shot?)

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    Re: Help locating the starter relay

    Ok, after more exploration/digging/cursing, Iím pretty sure that my Previa is one without a starter relay. Guessing itís the contacts. Itís only failed once so far, and is starting just like normal, but Iím guessing the issue will only increase in frequency.

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    Re: Help locating the starter relay

    Yes, regarding emergency starting.
    If it was me I'd get myself the necessary jumper cables and do the connections mentioned above so that you know what to do/expect while the starter is actually working. It's a bit scary first time - that starter is really loud with your head next to it. Just make sure the hand brake is on and you're in neutral/park, and that you don't let that main jumper touch anything else except battery positive and starter positive (the big one at the starter) as you're setting it up.
    Carry the jumpers with you and if the starting acts up again at least you'll be able to verify whether it's the motor or not.

  9. #29
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    Re: Help locating the starter relay

    Thanks for the help! Iíll do this. 👍

  10. #30
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    Re: Help locating the starter relay

    Thank you everyone who has posted.
    New member, first time poster (this is where everyone says "Hi" )

    Problems with my starter got me to join this group. Makes just the "click" sound when I turn the key. Replaced battery and starter and still the same (though it has cranked maybe 2-3 times. So, follow this thread to locate the relay. Buy the round one and replace what's in picture. Same thing. Removed and same thing. So, notice there isn't the square relay. Just two round ones. Seeing it is a 91 Previa, I see a build date of 1990. So, might be one without relay.

    Currently I am frustrated and will try jumping the little spade terminal. If I am correct, that will tell me if my starter was DOA. Didn't do a bench test for fear of damaging it.

    Thanks for letting me shed a few tears wit y'all.

  11. #31
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    Re: Help locating the starter relay

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyB View Post
    ... Problems with my starter got me to join this group. Makes just the "click" sound when I turn the key. Replaced battery and starter and still the same (though it has cranked maybe 2-3 times. So, follow this thread to locate the relay. Buy the round one and replace what's in picture. Same thing. Removed and same thing. So, notice there isn't the square relay. Just two round ones. Seeing it is a 91 Previa, I see a build date of 1990. So, might be one without relay.

    Currently I am frustrated and will try jumping the little spade terminal. If I am correct, that will tell me if my starter was DOA. Didn't do a bench test for fear of damaging it. ...
    What you should have learned from this thread is that the common problem is not the starter relay, but worn contacts in the starter solenoid. That "click" is the solenoid plunger moving without making the contacts.

    That's why I'm surprised to hear that you changed the starter (which includes the solenoid) with no change in symptoms. What did you use to replace your starter? - a new (or rebuilt) starter? If it was just something from a salvage yard, you likely got the same problem. Our Previa never got more than ~120K miles per set of starter contacts -- but that was no big problem, because replacing those contacts is a cheap and easy job.

  12. #32
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    Re: Help locating the starter relay

    Just in case you are getting the "Click" intermittently and it is not the contacts in the starter solenoid, maybe this Toyota Truck/4Runner video could be the fix or at least help with diagnosing.
    How To: Toyota 22RE Starter Click NO START ISSUE FIX! (Pickup, 4Runner) - YouTube
    Not sure but would think this might only apply if have a starter relay. Then again, more experienced person might be able to figure out wiring w/out relay. and LOL if you do have a relay and can actually find it.

  13. #33
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    Re: Help locating the starter relay

    Having the same starter problem. I turn the key i just hear the click. replaced the starter with a new one (granted it was a Napa name brand rebuilt) same problem. just a click. thankfully they let me return it and get my old one back (old one was a remanufactured starter installed a little over a year ago). they suggested a starter relay switch. i've never gone into the guts behind the stearing wheel so i've not changed out the relay yet. I also don't seem to have the square relay anyway. Napa sold me a circular switch claiming it's the starter relay for my 93 auto. i haven't installed it yet and after reading this thread i'm thinkin it's not the problem. but having put in a new starter and still nothing but a click, i'm not sure how to proceed. spoke to a mechanic and they said to check that enough power is getting to the solenoid when the key is in the "start" position. will try that. also want to try the wire-across, jumper-cable jump start thing but i don't think i understand how to do it right.
    from a previous post: do i remove the boot from the wire going to the solenoid, use an external piece of wire to touch both that wire and the wire going to the starter??

  14. #34
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    Re: Help locating the starter relay

    Quote Originally Posted by fuzzyjuggler View Post
    Having the same starter problem. I turn the key i just hear the click. replaced the starter with a new one (granted it was a Napa name brand rebuilt) same problem. just a click. thankfully they let me return it and get my old one back (old one was a remanufactured starter installed a little over a year ago). they suggested a starter relay switch. i've never gone into the guts behind the stearing wheel so i've not changed out the relay yet. I also don't seem to have the square relay anyway.
    It's not a square relay. See posts #3 and #6 in this thread for good views of this.

    Napa sold me a circular switch claiming it's the starter relay for my 93 auto.
    If it's the round can, it sounds like they sold you the right one.

    i haven't installed it yet and after reading this thread i'm thinkin it's not the problem.
    If you hear any kind of click in response to the key's START position, it is either the starter solenoid (on the starter) or the starter relay. There are no other mechanisms between key and starter.

    but having put in a new starter and still nothing but a click, i'm not sure how to proceed. spoke to a mechanic and they said to check that enough power is getting to the solenoid when the key is in the "start" position. will try that. also want to try the wire-across, jumper-cable jump start thing but i don't think i understand how to do it right.
    from a previous post: do i remove the boot from the wire going to the solenoid, use an external piece of wire to touch both that wire and the wire going to the starter??
    Is that "previous post" #20? If yes, what don't you understand about it? If not, please take a look at it; I think the explanation is clear.
    For convenience, I attach the factory service manual's PDF of the starter wiring (044047-(12) Starting_and_Ignition.pdf) and picture of the starter relay in situ (016017-(7) Relay_locations.pdf). Both were also copied from the paper FSM in post #3, and post #6 (as well as post #11) has great pictures of the relay.

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