Toyota sienna starter



My toyota sienna doesn’t start the first time, all thee time. The battery has been replaced and the electrical system is ok. When I turn over the starter won’t turn over the engine. Last night I took turning the engine key about 10 times and then it started. The same evening it also did this one time and started and also started the first time. Any idea of what could be wrong? Thanks The van has 120,000 miles and is a 1998 van.


Do you hear the starter whirring, but the engine does not crank?


No. Its like there’s no power to the starter. It clicks and than nothing.


Try jiggling the shifter in Park or see if it will start in neutral. The shift interlock switch may be out of adjustment.

Ed B.


The starter solenoid (or, relay) has to have enough voltage to operate, and thus, to energise the starter motor. How can anyone know if the voltage at those points is adequate if they don’t measure it with an electrical multimeter?
Disconnect the small wire at the starter solenoid (or, relay), touch the multimeter test lead to the wire and measure the voltage as someone turns, and holds, the ignition key to START. If the voltage isn’t near the battery voltage, check the circuit back to the ignition key.




Sounds like a classic case of a starter saying good-bye.


It sure does, doesn’t it? Of course, it could also be a problem with the switch, glad I don’t have to make the call, heh, heh.


Toyota starter solenoid contacts wear out after a while, this sounds just like that (google “toyota starter solenoid” for more info). If you or your mechanic is up to it, you can get replacement contacts for about $30 and put them in the starter, or you can just replace the starter. Same work either way (contacts are easy to replace once the starter’s out). Just make sure you replace both the side contacts and the center round disk/rod.


Anyone bother to remove,clean and reinstall wrench tight both ends of both battery cables or check the grounds?


It’s a brand new battery.


Let us know what you, eventually, come up with. And, let us know HOW you come up with that solution. It might be something we said?!


The solenoid voltage was Ok. It was the starter. Tanks to everyone.


OK. Great! The WHAT was the starter. What was the HOW? Failure of the starter solenoid to energize even with adequate voltage?
I find that it’s part of being a mechanic to want to know the HOW, even more than learning the WHAT. That’s a difference in perspective between mechanics and non-mechanics, I suppose.


Unfortunatly, I only know that the solenoid was OK. I don’t know what was broken on the starter and that it was much more un-reliable when it was cold and reacted faster when the car was run for a while and at operating temp. Being warmed up didn’t stop it from malfunctioning, it just reduced the malfunctions.


Based on the description of a solenoid that was OK, and a starter that was, for awhile, intermittent, I’d guess a wire as wearing through in the windings of the starter motor OR (FAR more likely in a Toyota with “only” 120,000 miles) the $30 brushes were worn and the mechanic didn’t want to screw around with replacing them. Instead you get the $200 rebuilt starter. Hey, what does the hired wrench care, it’s not HIS money!