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Toyota 4runner will NOT start no matter!

Hello Everyone,
A few months ago I purchased a 2.7l toyota 4runner 1999 with about 144k from original owner. a few weeks later, the vehicle won’t start. when I turned the key in the ignition, nothing happens. my mechanic from toyota dealership have checked or changed everything; the relay, battery, starter, switch module and neutral switch sensor. Any idea what it might be and how I can get it fixed?

I don’t know what your car needs but you need a new mechanic. This should be a simple diagnosis for anyone with a wiring schematic and a simple voltmeter. After replacing all these parts with no results I would start over from the beginning. It could be something as simple as a poor battery cable connection, a faulty relay or switch, or even a faulty starter. All these items are easily tested and verified as good or bad before replacement.

You need a shop that’ll do diagnosis rather than throw parts at the car. This one should be simple to troubleshoot. Someone needs to track back through the schamatics from the starter asembly and find out where the voltage gets lost.

Pet peeve of mine. Will not start is too vague. I know it means car will not run BUT does that mean car will not crank motor? Is it a battery issue or stater issue or ignition issue or fuel pressure issue? Ur car has to start first, than it can run.

when I turned the key I got nothing, no sound at all. but when the mechanics goes under the vehicle to the starter, he was able to get it to start manually

Check the ground wire from the starter to the ground. A common issue at this age and mileage is to have the ground wire fail due to corrosion.

after two hours at the dealership, an expert said there is no current between the main circuit box and another place. finally, they said it’s voltage lost problem. however they still don’t know where specifically.

IMHO a real expert would be working with the schematic. And would be able to determine where specifically the voltage is failing to get through. And why.

The possibilities are too numerous to guess here, and include a simple blown fuse, bad starter relay, blown fusible link, and chafed/shorted wire. It could even be the key cylinder or the security system. GM used to use a system that measured the resistance through the key, and if it was incorrect the starter circuit would not enable. Worn and dirty keys used to cause problems with these systems. I don’t know if they were still in use in '99.

There is no real “main circuit box” other than the fusebox, but I’m assuming that’s what he’s referring to.

The good news is that since “nothing happens”, that pretty much eliminates the fuel system and the ignition system and points to the starter circuitry.

Find a new mechanic. This is basic 101 level stuff.
You may need a new starter.
Clean all connections. Dirty battery?

At this point, what do you guys suppose the cost for fixing this issue might be? considering that we know it has to do with electric circuit from the main box to another place in the car ( don’t remember the name of it)

Toyota often uses a spade connector on the starter for the ignition wire (the small wire from the ignition switch). The female end is on the wire and it can push up into the insulator so even though it looks like it is connected to the starter, its not.

When this happens, you can pull the wire off the starter motor, then push on the wire at the back of the insulator until you push the female connector out of the front of the insulator, then hook it up to the starter and slide the insulator back in place. Then see if it starts.

If you know how to use a test light or multimeter, see whether you see a voltage on the fat lead of the starter. It should be there all the time.
If you see that voltage, move the light or multimeter on the thinner lead to the starter. Start the car. See if you see a voltage there.

Report back.

just want to report to you all that this problem has been resolved and it feels great to finally turn the key and hear that engine running with no restraint or else. I now know that electric problem in car can manifest itself in many ways. Thank you all for your inputs.

@Mywindow9 thanks for the update.

What was the cause of the problem?

I’m assuming it doesn’t crank. Maybe it makes a sort of clicking noise is all. Or not. Sometimes you have to roll down the window to hear it click. Anyway, click or no click, this is a common problem. It usually appears first in cold weather. It is most likely the starter selenoid contacts have worn out. These frequently go bad somewhere around 100k, so yours are overdue. A mechanic should diagnose this by measuring the voltage at the two starter terminals during attempted cranking. If both are above 10 volts, and it doesn’t crank, the starter needs to come out and the selenoid contacts inspected.

If either is below 9.6 volts during attempted cranking, and it doesn’t crank, most likely there’s an electrical problem before the starter. It could be the battery, the battery connection, the ignition switch, the neutral start switch, or a connector has come loose. On some Toyotas, esp those with manual xmissions, there’s a starter relay in the circuit that could fail too. But unlikely.

This is a high current circuit. The resistance has to be less than about 0.01 ohms from the battery to the starter for it to work correctly. Sometimes there are multiple problems, where there is higher than normal resistance, but distributed about, at more than one point in the circuit, which can make it difficult to diagnose. Perhaps this is what is happening with your car. But while it might take some time, any electrical-qualified mechanic should be able to trace down where the fault(s) are eventually.

About the starter. I replaced the starter in my Toyota and got a bad rebuilt one in the process, which caused me no end to the grief. So there may be a quality problem with rebuilt starters. To get my car back on the road I ended up taking my old starter to a local auto electrical shop in town here and had them simply replace the selenoid contacts, which cost me all of $10, and it worked prefectly.

Best of luck.