Replace starter on 1998 Toyota Avalon


#1

I have a 1998 Avalon. It recently started to make a CLICK sound every now and then and sometime it takes up to 20-30 tries before it starts. The mechanic says it’s the starter. Can anyone tell me how I can replace the starter and where is it exactly located on the car. Thanks


#2

Troubleshooting is the art, and science, of turning a GUESS into a KNOW. Did your mechanic do any of this TROUBLESHOOTING stuff?
What did you DO, and what were the results, when “sometimes, it takes 20-30 tries before it starts”?
Just a click is often caused by low voltage reaching the starter solenoid. You would be tired, too, if, after you left the battery (like the voltage does); and, you went through the power distribution center; then, the ignition switch: and, then, the neutral safety switch; and, maybe, you went through more switches. By the time you got to the starter solenoid, you’d be POOPED! Your urge (voltage) to do things could be not enough! You might have only enough OOMPH to “click” the solenoid. Poor thing!


#3

While I was in the mechanic shop for oil change, it started to make the “CLICK” sound. He tried about 10 times until in finally started. There is power and enough juice in battery. While still in the shop, it happened again and this time he tapped on the starter and then started right away. Over a week ago, it started again. This time, I was not able to get it start. Just “CLICK” when I try to start. I tried every 30 min but nothing. It finally started yesterday after trying for good 10 min. It works find now but I like to replace it before it stop again.


#4

So it just started acting up when in for an oil change? Nothing before?

Start looking at things that could have been touched/hit during the change. It very well could be a starter - some cars (not sure about the Avalon), like my Taurus, have the starter motor directly beneath the oil filter. If you don’t take some precaution when removing the filter, you’ll spill oil all over the starter motor. Do that enough times and you’re bound to foul it up. Keeping that from happening isn’t hard - it just takes a little more care…


#5

Toyota starters often give this symptom for this reason: one of the two copper contacts inside the solenoid (which is built into the starter housing) is worn down. The contacts can be replaced fairly easily once the starter is removed. If you are unsure about this repair, read about it in a Haynes or other manual. It’s usually not too hard to get a starter motor out, but they are heavy. You should disconnect the battery first, and before you do that you need to know to reset your radio’s antitheft code. Call an auto electric shop and ask if they can fix your starter, and find out if you need to bring it in or if they can do the removal and reinstallation. It’s not a very expensive repair. I think you’re better off getting it repaired than installing a different rebuilt (iffy quality) or brand new (very costly) starter motor.