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Toyota Tacoma 2008 Starter Problem

I have Toyota Tacoma 4cyl, 2WD, automatic transmission, 45K miles. After I took it to the dealership for one of the recall replacements I got problems with starting the car. The problem is intermittent - it starts without problems for a month or so then it is dead and I had to turn the ignition key on and of for a couple minutes until it cranks again. And then another month or more of fine starting. I had suspicion that it was a bad starter which was confirmed by the technician at the dealership. However, I am reluctant to change the starter since it could be some minor issue, that could be easily repaired, like solenoid change or such. Any suggestions?

The next time the starter won’t operate, with the ignition switch on, step on the brake pedal and place the transmission into neutral and then try starting the engine. If the engine starts there’s a problem with the park/neutral safety switch on the transmission.


For some reason starters seem to be a recurring problem on Tacomas, for years. Try using Google “2008 Tacoma starter problems”. There are lots of hits.

I assume by “not start” you mean “won’t crank”. Diagnosis whether it is the starter or not involves measuring the voltages at both terminals of the starter during attempted cranking. If it IS the starter causing the problem, there is an excellent chance it is simply the solenoid contacts (part of the starter ass’y) that are burned out). These can be replaced (by an intrepid DIY’er, or better, have an auto electric shop do it) without replacing the entire starter.