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2008 Rav4 not starting

Two days ago I went to start my 2008 Rav4 and it wouldn’t turn over. Lights inside the car were nice and bright. Friend of mine said try starting it in neutral, so I did and it started. He then told me to put it in park and shuttle it off. Then he said to try starting it in park, and it started. I drove to my destination with no problems. Parked for several hours, came back and it started fine. It started fine to and from work yesterday as well. Went to my mothers for dinner after work last night and the car wouldn’t start when I went to leave. At that point it was dark and very cold outside so we have decided to wait until today to troubleshoot. Does anyone have any idea what might be wrong? I’m not a mechanic and I don’t have much money so I might trying to figure this out the cheapest way possible. Any ideas would help. Thank you!

Toyota intermittent start problems (if it’s not the battery or loose/dirty battery cable connections) are often caused by worn contacts in the starter solenoid, often cropping up after 10 years or so. Is this the original starter?

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Yes, but what the OP described could also be symptomatic of a wonky Neutral Safety Switch.


The starter went kaput in my 20 year old Corolla last year.I replaced the solonoid contacts and all is good now.

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" Yes, but what the OP described could also be symptomatic of a wonky Neutral Safety Switch."

Could be, but the starter solenoid contacts is a known problem. Mine matched the OP’s symptoms.

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I taught of that to when I had issues.Sometimes it would start, other time it would not.I made some tests by unplugging the NSS and it was good.

I don’t. Know if it’s the original starter. I just got this vehicle in October and I believe I am the third owner. It came from a dealer who got it at an auction. The dealer doesn’t know much about the history of the car…

Replace the park/neutral safety switch.