Intermittent starting problem

I have a 1999 4runner with about 90K miles. Over the last few weeks, I’ve had trouble starting it up. There is a single click but no more. The radio, wipers, etc. work fine. One or two more tries has done the trick to engage the starter and turn over the engine. However, it’s happening more frequently now. Any thoughts would be most appreciated.

Many auto part stores will check the battery and charging system for free. I would start there.

It also could be a bad connection (check both ends of the big wires running to the battery and starter).

If the click is comming from under the hood it sounds like the starter solenoid, esp. if there is no rrrrr sound after the click. If it is coming from under the dash or from on the collum it is the ignition sw. or a bad connection at the battery. The first thing to check is the terminals and lugs on the battery to make sure there is not corrosion or oxidation. If that is all good and clean, and the ignition sw. is good, then it looks like the starter solenoid to me.

Sounds like the solenoid contacts are worn down - fairly typical on 4Runners with about 100k miles. Without repair the no start clicking may increase in frequency until you may get stranded. If it is the solenoid contacts, you can repair the contacts OR replace with a new/rebuilt starter.

Check this website -

You may have a dead battery cell or one that is deteriorating. I would take it to your friendly local dealer, shop, mechanic or rocket scientist and ask him/her/it to do a load test on your battery, before you go looking for something more exotic. Your battery doesn’t have to be old for this to happen; I’ve had it happen on a three month old battery.

I think the problem lies with the starter. The longer you wait to get it fixed, the worse it will get. And, like Ola says, you will eventually get stranded somewhere inconvenient.