How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Davo Your Own Question
Davo
Davo, Master technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 3253
Experience:  ASE Master Technician/Advanced Automotive Diagnostic Technician
112340
Type Your Car Question Here...
Davo is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

1990 Toyota: that is intermittant..ignition key and the engine starts

Customer Question

I have a 1990 Toyota Pick-up EFI engine. I have a starting problems that is intermittant. At times, I turn the ignition key and the engine starts as normal. Other times, I get all the dash lights and indications that the engine will start, but, I here a click at the starter but the engine won't crank. However, if I smack the starter motor a couple times with a pipe or hammer while someone turns the key, it will start or sometimes if I just try again in a few minutes it will start. So far nine different "Mechanics" looked at it. I am on my tenth NEW Starter, I've changed the wires, changed the battery, changed the ignition switch, installed a heat shield around the starter and even changed the flywheel. Yet the problem persists.
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Joe Barcus replied 11 years ago.
have you checked the ground strap from the motor to the cowl? also is this a automatic or standard? either way you have a safety switch on the transmisson. not sure where they are located, but if its a automatic will be easy to locate. standard may be on the inside around the pedal. by you hitting the car with a pipe you can jar it in position to work.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Joe Barcus's Post: We have checked the safety switch which is activated while in Park or Nuetral. Found no problem there. The starter will engage when I hit the starter, not the car. I am not sure about the grounding strap, but the truck is at a garage right now I will make a phone call and have them check.....Grounding wires are connected.
Expert:  Joe Barcus replied 11 years ago.
well have you looked at the wiring harness that connects at the firewall. usally only has one bolt in it, sometimes connections fail in that area. if the starter isnt kicking in than it has to be a wire not getting its ground or +
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Joe Barcus's Post: The entire wire harness from the ignition switch to the starter has been replaced two months ago. If, you place your hand on the starter while the problem is occurring and someone attempts to start the truck, you can feel and here a thumping in the starter as if the pinion gear was hitting the flywheel rather than meshing the gears properly. However, the starter itself does not activate. It is as if the gear of the starter might be getting stuck in the out position on the flywheel. My thought was that was why when I smack it with something, it starts to work. The smack jars it free. I will double check the harness connection. Keep in mind that you can attempt to start the truck for hours with no luck, then come back in five minutes and the truck starts as if nothing was wrong.
Expert:  Davo replied 11 years ago.
Is it an automatic or standard trans?Where are you buying the starters?
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Davo/diablo666's Post: Thanks for your reply.
It is an automatic. The starters have come from serveral different sources including Toyota. Four were purchased "NEW", six were rebuilds. However, two of the garages that worked on the truck are over 150 miles from the others, and one was a Toyota Dealership. So I dought they are using the same supplier for the starters.
Expert:  Davo replied 11 years ago.
You must have a power or ground problem.An electrical motor that is operated with low voltage or current flow will overheat and burn itself out.I would replace the battery cables just in case they are corroded inside the insulation.The starter may not even be bad it could be a current flow problem.Be full aware that the gound path is just as impotant as the power supply.If you know how or the garage knows how some one needs to start voltage drop testing the electrical circuits on your truck.Please click on accept if this answer helps you.I f it helps you very much you may add a bonus if you wish.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Davo/diablo666's Post: The entire wire harness and ALL cables and the battery have been replaced in April. The starter that is on the truck now has been put on three weeks age together with a heat shroud to keep any manifold or engine heat off it. I'm not real sure what voltage drop testing entails, but I do know they did alot of checking with an OHMS meter.
Expert:  Davo replied 11 years ago.
The battery cables may have been replaced but if you are buying quality starters and not house brand junk you still have a voltage drop on the power or ground side of the starting system.If the engine has any aluminum components that could be the problem with a ground that can't flow current.If you bought a battery that is rated less than what the vehicle came with it could cause you problems.If the flywheel is not being chewed up there are only 5 things that cause early starter death.#1 low current to the starter(voltage and current are different)#2 cheap off brand starters to save money(never works)#3 misalignment of the starter with the flywheel(should damage flywheel)#4 Operator error(starting vehicle after its already running)#5 vehicle running at a temperature above the normal operating temp(overheating).

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I would (and have) recommend your site to others I was quite satisfied with the quality of the information received, the professional with whom I interacted, and the quick response time. Thanks, and be sure that I'll be back whenever I need a question answered in a hurry. Stephanie P Elm City, NC
< Previous | Next >
  • I would (and have) recommend your site to others I was quite satisfied with the quality of the information received, the professional with whom I interacted, and the quick response time. Thanks, and be sure that I'll be back whenever I need a question answered in a hurry. Stephanie P Elm City, NC
  • used your service this weekend with "Trecers" help. thank you ,thank you, thank you. replaced an A/C fan motor. Local Auto Zone had part. $15.00 "tracer" fee and $40.00 for parts, I saved several hundreds of dollers at a shop. i will recommend you and use you in the future. David L. Richmond, TX
  • 9 dollars, 2 hours of my time, and I drove away. Your diagnosis was right on the mark. Thank you so much. Phil Marysville, CA
  • Lurch. Thank you very much. I had real doubts about this website but your promptness of response, quick followup and to the point answer with picture was incredible. Charles Walnut Creek, CA
  • As a single woman, I really appreciate an excellent and affordable opinion.
    Thank you Geordie, I will not hesitate to contact justanswer in the future!
    Sue Charleston, WV
  • Another great insight to what may be the problem. I will have my mechanic take a look at it tomorrow. Thanks again, Frank...you do indeed know your stuff. Jim Castleberry, FL
  • Excellent reply, and also very quick. Really sounds like the Expert knows what he is talking about. I will be back to use your service when I need more help with my RV. Dutch USA
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Chris (aka-Moose)

    Chris (aka-Moose)

    Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1006
    16 years of experience
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/muddyford/2012-6-13_1204_1.64x64.png Chris (aka-Moose)'s Avatar

    Chris (aka-Moose)

    Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1006
    16 years of experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TE/TedG/2012-6-15_14759_avaLarge.64x64.jpg Ted G.'s Avatar

    Ted G.

    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1694
    20 years auto repair experience, ASE Master Tech, Mechanical Failure consultant, Expert Witness
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/joecamel90/2008-11-13_03615_head_shot.jpg George H.'s Avatar

    George H.

    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1447
    ASE Master Tech 15+ yrs, AAS Automotive Technology, Factory trained Asian specialist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BL/Bluegorilla/2012-6-21_16298_cam.64x64.JPG GM Tech (Cam)'s Avatar

    GM Tech (Cam)

    Auto Service Tech

    Satisfied Customers:

    669
    GM Grand Master Technician 2007. 14 years experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AM/amedee/2013-10-24_23656_Amedee1.64x64.jpg Amedee's Avatar

    Amedee

    Former ASE Master Tech

    Satisfied Customers:

    2406
    ASE certified tech advanced level specialist. Wisconsin certified emissions state inspector
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/SU/supermechanic/2013-8-23_03546_500.64x64.jpg Jerry's Avatar

    Jerry

    Master Mechanic

    Satisfied Customers:

    2123
    ASE master, 30+ years. All makes and models. Trouble shooter, shop forman, service manager
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CR/crzydrvr00/2013-11-3_12123_246347.64x64.jpg Richard's Avatar

    Richard

    ASE Certified Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    992
    12 years Ford Lincoln/Mercury Jaguar dealership as a technician and shop foreman reparing all makes