My friend has a 1995 Toyota Avalon. She thinks her starter is going on. Are the starters typically expensive to replace? OR is it a website where she can purchase the start (if that’s the problem) and have a mechanic put it in.
Starter problems are common on that vintage Toyota. Does she have a mechanic she trusts? Assuming it is the starter, and not the battery, bad cables, or bad cable connections, I would change the solenoid contacts in it, which requires removing the starter and taking apart the solenoid, easy for any mechanic. The parts are cheap. Or she could more simply have the starter swapped out, but that’s more $$.
I don’t believe she does… I guess with her budget she’s trying to find out if it’s easier to buy the part and have him install it or have him do it all together.
Say she buys a starter. Takes it to a mechanic, or course the mechanic will install it and charge for the labor. What if the problem isn’t really a starter at all? Now she still has the problem, is out for a starter and labor.
Buying parts on your own is risky when you are not certain of the diagnosis. Most people who buy their own parts put them on the car themselves also. Very often the result is what they thought was the problem isn’t and they have to go on to the next possible and buy some more parts and replace them until they get it right. Trial and error is expensive, more so when you are paying for someone else’s labor.
A mechanic will charge about 2 times what you could buy the starter for yourself. Then they will charge to put it in. Changing a starter is not a very big job so labor should be 1/2 to 1 hour. In the end you get some extra expertise that means problem solved.
I agree with UT. She needs to find a mechanic, you can help her by using the ‘mechanic finder’ here:
I agree the starter solenoid contcts are the likely problem. An auto electric shop can quickly take apart the solenoid and replace the contacts. You can take the starter to them, or have them remove and reinstall it. Probably no need to buy a new or rebuilt starter.