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Starting Problems 87 Toyota Celica

My daughter’s Celica GTS is experiencing some occasional starting problems. At the end of last summer when we bought the car, sometimes it would act as if it were completely dead when turning the key. It had a fairly new starter in it, but the housing was cracked on it so I replaced it with a new one. The car started just fine thereafter. However, as the weather has warmed a bit, some starting problems have recently returned. The problem also seems to be worsened by periods of sustained driving.

My son who was driving the car until just two weeks ago has a “system” for getting it started. It goes something like this:

1. Turn the key to the on position

2. Turn off all electical components in the car, including the radio.

3. Pump the clutch while turning the key

The clutch may have to be pumped several times before it will take, but it usually starts. Of course the other option is a push start if you can get it headed downhill.

The starter is good. Could this be a problem with the safety switch on the clutch? The clutch pedal has to be fully pressed in order for the starter to engage. Could it be the ignition control module? Anything else come to mind that I should look at?

This is a classic problem with contacts in the solenoid. You could replace just the contacts with a ‘stud kit’ from Toyota, or just take the starter back for a warranty replacement. It did have a warranty, right? The solenoid is built into the starter case.

BTW, I had this problem with an '82 Honda and 2 Toyotas ('88 Supra and '90 P/U) with the same design Denso gear reduction starter. For some reason, the brass contact on the battery terminal gets beaten out of shape, and will intermittently fail to send battery power to the starter motor when the solenoid is activated.

Thanks for the reply. The starter does have a warranty, so I’ll have to check this out.