2020 Tacoma Startup Grinding Noise

Any thoughts on what this grinding noise is? I’m thinking starter teeth on fly wheel.

Dragging startup, only when warm, after sitting for about 30 minutes up to several hours. Starts fine cold.

Injector #1 has been replaced due to leakdown, along with all 6 injector seals, all 6 spark plugs, and a brand new Optima Red Top battery. All OEM parts aside from the battery.

Have ran plenty of tanks of gas with no improvement and have tried injector cleaner and the whole nine yards.

I guess this is not a 2020 or you would be at the dealer for warranty work . Might help to say what year this is and how many miles .

Sounds like the starter is not disengaging on start due to a defective or broken bender spring, the starter needs to be replaced. It probably isn’t chewing up the teeth on the starter or flywheel yet based on the current sound, but if not replaced, it could.

It is a 2020 with 14,500 and I have been to the dealership 7+ times and they always have a different reason not to fix it. The latest reason was “the truck is learning how to startup more efficiently”. I have gotten to the point where I am so sick of Toyota’s BS that I am just doing it myself.

That’s what I thought as well. I have a starter on the way. Just wanted to get some other opinions to confirm my suspicions before I put in the work.

Then go to a different dealer or call the help number in your owners manual .


Why are you doing the work and buying the parts? A 2020 should be under warranty.


I’ve been to three different dealerships (completely exhausting any options in my area) and have had a case opened with Toyota corporate for months as well as complaints filed with the NHTSB and the BBB. I wouldn’t be posting here unless I was at my last resort. Understand that you reach a certain level of frustration when dealing with jerks before you decide it’s not worth the trouble and handle it yourself.

Just when you think you’ve heard it all! :roll_eyes:



Understand that if you do it yourself, you could void the remaining warranty. 7+ times, I’d threaten them with the lemon law and if they don’t respond immediately, invest in a good lawyer.

Edit: If they say something like they all do that, tell them to show you another vehicle on their lot that does that.


A lawyer costs a lot more than a starter motor. It will be difficult to win a lemon law case over a starter noise.

Exactly. If people understood the seriously monumental level of crap that I have been through with Toyota up to this point, they would understand why it is easier for me to crawl under my truck for an hour and a half than talk to one more useless service rep.

You have my deepest sympathy, my 20 Camry has been great, the to closest Toyota dealers are the worst dealerships I have ever dealt with in 60 years of dealing with car dealerships.

These dealerships have lied to my face so many times that I would not believe it if they told me the sun was shining and I could see a big bright ball in the sky.

I bought ny car with an extended warranty that was supposedly fully refundable if not used. (the only reason I bought it.)

I won’t go into detail because I posted it all here, but I finally got my money back because of intervention from the NY Attorney General’s office.

The only other dealer I had problems with was a VW dealer.

The various Chrysler dealerships I dealt with over the years all did what they should do, had the car ready when they said it would be and the job was always done right. I guess I bought those cars before they had seminars on maximum wallet extraction from their customers.

I saw my Toyota dealer charge a woman $90 because they saw a little corrosion on one battery terminal and she needed a “battery service”. This after they charged he $60 for a cabin filter they ere being paid to clean by Toyota at her 2 year free oil change.

I have been there with the dealer. One was a Honda CRV with a nasty rattle and the dealership’s attitude was “It is a new Honda, it could not rattle”. After wasted trips to the dealership I found the reason, the rear seats were not bolted in properly and were loose. It was actually a coincidence because I noticed on days that I drop off my kid to school, the ride to school is very quiet but then it gets noisy. She would always sit in the back seat.

I suggest you go to the dealer and have them start a new Truckl with their logic since the newer truck’s started has not gone to school at all, it should be even noisier. Then send your video and a letter to Toyota headquarters. You can call them and ask to talk to a regional rep too.

Obviously, the easier path is to change it yourself, but maybe you can send the bill to the Toyota headquarters with a before and after video. Nowadays, bad reviews on car specific forums really gets their attention.

1 Like

The problem isn’t a noisy starter, it is a long crank time, likely because of a leaking fuel injector.

Did you provide the video to the dealer so they would understand what they are looking for? I have seen a few of these direct injector problems and they usually take a few visits before the problem is duplicated, communication is the key.

You should return to the dealer that replaced the injector so they can follow up on the repair, technical assistance will likely instruct them to replace all of the direct injection injectors.

Sorry to hear that dealer is so lame. try another dealer.

A forth dealer? No. The problem with going from dealer to dealer is that you will be starting over with each dealer. These problems can be difficult to duplicate but once the technician understands the condition some progress is made. If you never return, the technician will believe the repair was a success. If you return with the same problem the technician is expected to open a case with Toyota’s technical assistance office.

I sincerely appreciate the help you’re trying to offer but I’ve already returned to the same dealer 3 times (as well as other dealers a total of 5 other times prior to that). The latest dealers technicians have seen the problem many times over and they know how to duplicate it. They replaced fuel injectors and injector seals. My last trip there after it wasn’t fixed, the technician told me that there’s nothing else they can do and that it’s just my trucks ECU learning to start more efficiently. I have also had a case opened with corporate for months and the techs opened up a case with the corporate field service techs several months back. Still not fixed and the effort being put forth is declining. I intend to file for lemon law. Based on my research the law seems to lean largely in favor of the consumer in my state.

I cannot see why the dealer is having such a hard time with this, it is a classic case of a stuck bendix or weak/broken bendix spring. I guess they can’t troubleshoot anything that doesn’t have a code attached.

Edit: I have actually seen this only in new starters, I don’t know why but when starters fail due to age, in my experience, it has always been do to something else. The bendix is one of the most reliable parts of a starter motor so when they do fail, it is usually due to a defect, not a wear issue.

Yeah, that’s very understandable. But here’s the problem: If you do it yourself, then they’re going to deny future warranty claims if they can at all point to what you did as a potential cause of whatever’s wrong with it.

I agree with those who say you probably shouldn’t get a lawyer because it’ll be hard to recover enough to pay the lawyer, much less your damages. However, the blatant lying from your dealership would warrant a complaint to your state’s Attorney General. And many businesses are afraid of the AG, because the AG is a lawyer who’s free to sue any business he/she thinks deserves it and who doesn’t have to worry about collecting enough damages to make a profit.

If this dealership is feeding you BS like “it’s learning how to start,” then it’s guaranteed you are not the only customer they are screwing. The more customers who complain to the AG, the more likely the AG is to take action against them.

Finally, while I personally find social media to be the height of obnoxiousity, it can be a useful tool in cases like this. Start posting on the dealership’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Ask them why they’re refusing to service your truck under warranty. If that doesn’t bear fruit, go to Toyota’s social media pages and ask them why they’re letting the dealership get away with refusing to honor the warranty.

1 Like