Starting Problem

We have a 2000 Toyota Sienna, with 135K miles, that has an intermittent starting problem. When it won’t start, all you hear is the click of the starter and nothing else. Sometimes you can wait a minute and try it again and it will go ahead and start.

We’ve changed the battery, thinking that was the problem, but it came back not too long afterwards. I had thought if it was a bad starter that it just wouldn’t start no matter what. Is that not the case, or is the cause somewhere else in the ignition circuit?



Your problem is a classical situation with Toyota starters. The contacts in the solenoid become so worn that the contactor disc does not make a reliable contact every time. It will begin as a missed crank only once in a while and advance to multiple key turns before a crank is obtained.

The contacts and disc can be replaced or a new or rebuilt starter installed.

Hope that helps.

Agreed. I’ve changed a few on friends’ Toyotas and one or two on my own.

Thanks for the info.

How hard is it to change out the starter? I’ve done brakes and some other car maintenance before, so as long as it doesn’t require special tools or knowledge, I can do it instead of taking it into the shop.

Here are the instructions for changing the starter. Sorry, no pictures.

Thanks to all for the help. I was able to swap out the starter with a reconditioned one without too much hassle. No problem on starting it up now.