Screech in a 99 Toyota Tacoma

My car makes a screech when we start it up in cold weather. You turn the key once and it makes the screech, then you turn the key back, and try again and it starts right up. Since this doesn’t happen to often, is this something we can ignore?

No, with no further information I’d guess your fan belt / tensional is worn so it’s only a matter of time before it breaks and you have to Uber home.

So with the first turn of the key the engine doesn’t turn over but you hear a screech? And the next turn of the key it turns over and starts up?

It could be a problem with the starter and flywheel: the small “Bendix” gear on the starter spins before the solenoid has pushed it all the way out. You hear that gear against the edges of the teeth of the flywheel. You don’t want to break gear teeth on that flywheel - a labor-intensive repair.

A local auto electric shop can diagnose and fix that starter if you can take it to them and reinstall it. They might or might not do the remove and replace. Good luck!

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Hmmm… maybe… but I think that Shanonia’s explanation is more likely:


That era Tacoma has a history of issues with the starter. They just don’t last forever like the rest of the truck does. There are a lot of them around and somewhere maybe not too far from you there is a mechanic who knows them well. Time to search that shop out.