2008 Toyota RAV4 intermittent failure to start

On aproximately 6 occasions since mid February, my 2008 Toyota RAV 4 purchased new in 5/08) has not... initially... started in the mornings. I turn the key and the dash lights come on but there is no engine turnover...complete silence. After a few attempts and/or waiting a "magical" 5 minutes, I turn the key and the engine starts right up and is raring to go!  

I took the car in to the Toyoto dealer service department on 3/2/09 after the 3rd episode and they thought the symptoms to be “unusual” but performed a thorough diagnostic assessment and found no cause for the problem. From my perspective, I tried the optimistic attitude that it was a “fluke” and that just having it checked out would end the problem.

Unfortunately, that has not been the case. It has happened 3 more times in the past 3 weeks, including this morning. Now I am completely aware that today is April Fool’s day and I felt like a fool when I called & spoke with the shop foreman at the dealership. This morning both my son and I tried to start the car…with no luck after several tries and minutes. I borrowed my husband’s car to get my son to school. As anticipated, my car started right up when I returned.

As I completely understand from the dealership perspective, they cannot do much from a diagnostic standpoint when my car malfunctions so intermittently. Leaving it there for an extended period to be started every morning to seek a symptom reenactment while I pay for a rental is not palatable. And yet now my denial mechanism re “it won’t happen again” is breaking down as I wonder whether or not I will have reliable transportation in the mornings…

Do you have any any ideas at all as to what might be causing this intermittent failure to start. The shop foreman was going to report it to the Toyota manufacturer and get back with me but meanwhile I’m wondering what else I might do…

Grateful for any thoughts/suggestions, SJ

Bad connection at battery, starter selenoid, ground, etc. Unfortunately the only way to find an intermitent problem like this is if acts up when you’re looking at it. I’d start with removing and cleaning all the connections associated with the start system.

I appreciate your input. I believe that the service technician told me that they had checked and, I believe, cleaned the connections. Even it they had not, I am confused as to why a bad connection would behave this way…occurring only in the mornings and so inconsistently? Thanks… I will bring that the start system connections next time I speak to the shop foreman.