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Car starts only after 3 or 4 tries... why?

Hi. Any help appreciated ! 2007 Solara, 220k miles, coupe, starts only after 3 or 4 tries intermittently. Goes days with starting on first try and then does not start after 3 or 4 tries. Battery and Alternator are 1 year old. I will change starter soon but not sure if it is that. All spark plugs were changed at 175k with high quality Toyota plugs. Should I change fuel filter? If I do, what else should I change with fuel filter? Any ideas?

Fuel may be leaking back into the tank while it sits. Try the key dance: turn the key to Run (not all the way to Start) and wait a couple seconds. The fuel pump should run then shut off. You may hear it. Key to Off then back to Run and after a couple seconds back to Off. After a few of these “dance” steps there should be enough fuel and fuel pressure at the engine. Turn the key to Start. And…?

Good luck and please let us know.


I was thinking weak or dying fuel pump myself.

Is the starter motor cranking? If so replacing the starter motor would not be my first choice. Key dance as suggested above.

If it’s intermittent no-start, nothing happens when you turn the key, then it’s probably the starter solenoid contacts, a common problem on Toyotas once they’re over 100k miles. Is this the original starter?

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