Hi all, I am having serious starting problems with my 1986 toyota van. The van will not start but the lights, audio, etc will turn on. the only way it starts is when jumped, after being jumped it will start on it’s own for a couple times and then it won’t start again. When i go to start it I just get a clicking noise. I have replaced the battery, alternator, starter, and even put a push button in. What could the problem be? Thanks!
For the car to crank, a lot of things have to be working correctly. First off: The battery must be good and fully charged. Next in the suspect line are the battery connections, the thick wire from the battery to the starter, the ignition switch, the clutch safety switch (if manual xmssion), the neutral start switch (if auto), the starter relay (if used, often used on manuals), the connections at the starter motor, and the starter motor being properly installed so it is grounded. And if the car has been in an accident, has rust problems, etc, there’s a possibility of a grounding problem. Make sure the engine & xmission is well grounded to the chassis.
Where I’d start is checking the voltage at the starter motor itself. There are two wires, a thick one, and a thin one. When cranking the thin one should be at least 9.6 volts with respect to the starter motor case. Is it?
First check and make sure it is not a bad battery or charging system. Then check the voltage at the starter motor. If it all checks out ok then you might want to see if the contacts at the starter can be replaced. This is relatively inexpensive and, if they are worn out, will probably fix a “starter issue” more cheaply than replacing the whole starter. If your van doesn’t have replaceable contacts then you may get stuck buying a starter.