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97 Rav 4 Starting Problem similar to dead battery symptoms

I have a 97 Toyota Rav 4 with 190k miles. It’s been a great car and well maintained. I’m having a strange issue lately where I turn the ignition and nothing happens. No clicking, no lights dimming which would lead me to believe that it’s not a weak battery. I have to try a few times and MAYBE coincidentally when I tried to start and hit the gas it turned over and started. That may just be a coincidence, but it’s happened twice that way. I am unsure if I kept trying if it would turn over on it’s on.

Does this sound like a loose wire on the starter? It doesn’t to me because the car eventually starts. I have no idea on this one except loose ignition wire but I have no way to pull that out and see.

Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks.

This is the way Toyota starters say good-by. It could be the way a neutral safety switch says good-by also. To find out, go to the neutral starter switch and put a jumper between the hot wire and the one going to the starter solenoid. If you connect the hot wire with the wrong wire your backup lights will be on.

Would holding the key in the start position with my left hand and then moving the shifter from park to neutral also eliminate that as a culprit?

or when the problem occurs, hold the key in the start position while an assistant lovingly taps on the starter. dont beat the living daylights out of it just tap. if it starts you found your culprit.