Car not starting (or clicking) then turn the key again, starts

99 toyota 4runner

when i turn the key, nothing-including no clicking from the starter

turn again, turn again - then car fires up and runs fine

just started the day before yesterday

i think it’s the battery and not the starter or alternator, am I right?

i’m taking the car to goodyear to get the battery tested today. but would still love replies / advice because this is a '99 and i’m not ready to buy a new car & tired of replacing all the parts and my dealership started off the bat about a new starter - which is why I’m taking it to good year first.

revision - stepped outside, turned key fired right up.

the difference btwn this morning - last night and the last 2 mornings, it was COLD, today - not so much.

what is the COLD effecting so I’m unable to start it in COLD weather? there is also a touch of corrosion on the battery

“There is also a touch of corrosion on the battery.”

The first thing to try is remove both battery cables and clean the cable ends and the battery posts. Then reinstall the cables onto the battery and make sure they’re tightly connected.


I’d Definitely Try Disconnecting, Thoroughly Cleaning, And Reconnecting The Cables.

That could be it.


Yep, sounds like poor battery connections!!! But Goodyear will sell you a battery or starter. Peobably already have by now!!

Or both…

I don’t know whether this will make you feel better or worse, but last year my wife’s car had the exact same problem.

With the car sitting in the garage, it started OK. When we visited a friend, and the car sat out in the cold, just a click, and no start! Our battery was less than a year old,and fully charged, so we took the car to our mechanic, who tested out the electrical system and concluded that the starter “had a flat spot in it”. This was the original Nissan starter with over 100,000 miles on it and 14 years old. We installed an rebuilt starter and the car is fine now.

I hope your “Goodyear” shop knows how to DIAGOSE electrical problems, because you may end up with a new starter, battery and alternator if they are just GUESSING!

Please stop guessing yourself, since only a corrrect set of tests will determine what the problem is.

The same thing happened to my manager’s 92 Taurus a few months back. Sometimes would not start, but was easy to jump. The diagnosis was a flat spot on the starter. Replaced starter, no problems since.

Ed B.

THE END OF THE STORY: after reading the initial responses, I decided to go with cleaning the posts and clamps. A trip to the auto store for the wicked cool tool that will scrub the corrosion off the posts and clamps + a battery grease to put on when complete + they sold me these felt pads ($1.19) to put down around the posts, he said something about helping stop corrosion? Plus a little more research on the internet and I had my goggles to protect the eyes, good quality gloves to protect my skin, baking soda/water mix to pull out and clean the battery, outside on the drive. In conclusion, Battery starts like a Charm, even in a cold morning.

I am not ready yet to give full credit to replacing the starter due to a “flat spot”. Just what is a flat spot? I presume the reference is to where the brushes make contact with the commutator. This makes no sense because each brush has a spring behind it to maintain contact.

Secondly, any mechanic worth his salt would also have removed the battery cable when replacing the starter, and subsequently cleaned the connector and post. If post connection corrosion had been the problem, the cleaning would have fixed that and the starter may not have been needed.

Just my thought.

The OP didn’t say he replaced the starter, were yopu refering to someone else?
After checking I see that franc was refering to edlb. Sorry!

Francizek, you get stars for remaing skeptical on the Taurus fix, I am also skeptical.