2000 toyota avalon starting troubles

my 2000 avalon has occassional problems starting. i replaced the battery to no avail - symptoms persist.

here’s the symptoms and what happens.

i turn the key to on and nothing happens, no crank sound, nothing.

i then turn key to off and then pump the gas hard and hold down the gas pedal then turn key to on - it starts.

sometimes I have to turn off, pump gas, turn on 2-3 times in quick succession for it to start.

it then starts and runs fine.

this seems to happen most often after car is not used for several hours or overnight. it has not happened when running errands with frequest on and off starts.

what might be the problem(s)?

I did put in a few cans of gas cleaner, enhancer lately with no noted advantage or problem on my car start symptom.

I bet this has nothing to do with the gas/throttle/pumping/etc. These Toyotas often have problems with the contacts in the starter (my ES did at about 8 years of age). Check it out here: http://www.4x4wire.com/toyota/maintenance/starter/

Have your starter checked, or, if you’re handy, you can fix it yourself for about $30 (for the new contacts).

p.s.- replace both side contacts and the round contact on the plunger if you want the repair to last. I skipped the round contact, and had to re-do in 3 years.

I suggest the first thing you do is clean the battery connections using a battery post cleaning brush. Even if the connections look ok this kind of thing can happen due to dirty connections. If that doesn’t clear the trouble then you need to check the safety switch. You can try moving the shift lever around in the Park position to see if that makes the switch connect. You can also try shifting to neutral and try that. If either of those things helps then the safety switch may need adjustment or replacement.

is the starter piece you refer to where the key is slid into?

what is the safety switch? so you suggest trying to start the car when in neutral (without the gas pumping)?

No, these are contacts within the starter motor. Do you have an independent mechanic you trust? They could give you a quote on this. Most would likely prefer just to pull the starter, test it, and replace it if necessary. That would be some extra money, but would solve the problem if the contacts are bad.