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Technician Chris
Technician Chris, Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 271
Experience:  I am a certified ASE Master Technician with L1 Advanced Diagnostic Specialist and over 15 years experience.
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Tundra: The starter in my 2012 CrewMax had not been engaging

Customer Question

The starter in my 2012 CrewMax had not been engaging while the power-adjusted steering wheel was in the stowed position but it would when the wheel had extended slightly away from the dash. Today I removed the steering-column shroud to look for a loose connector. Now, the starter no longer engages period. There is power and a clicking sound when I turn the key. Could there be a loose wire underneath the steering column towards the front which I think have been spliced and joined with the remote
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Technician Chris replied 6 months ago.
how many miles are on the tundra?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
22,000
Expert:  Technician Chris replied 6 months ago.
That is good news. You have a 3 year / 36K mile warranty that will apply. Just visit any Toyota dealer and they will repair the issue for you at no charge. I would highly recommend reinstalling any panel or parts that you have removed. Do not inform the shop that you have tampered with anything yourself, just let them know of the problem with the truck and they will repair it for free.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.


Yeah, I knew it was under warranty. I thought there was a chance it would be easier for me to repair it myself then it would be to have it towed into the dealership. They can't get me in there for a week. Trying to figure out what is more convenient.

Expert:  Technician Chris replied 6 months ago.
I really don't think the steering wheel position has anything do to with it. Sounds like the starter itself just needs to be replaced. Have you tried jumping the battery? I would do that just to make sure the battery isn't the issue. Always a possibility that is just low on charge enough where it won't turn the starter over, but will turn on the dash lights, radio, etc. Try jumping the battery, and if it still doesn't start, you can be 99% sure the starter is the problem.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.

What makes me think it is the steering wheel position is that, for about a week, it simply would not start with the wheel in the stowed position. If I extended it just enough - no problem. Immediately after moving the shroud, it not longer started at all. I'll try to jump it but it I'm doubtful.

Expert:  Technician Chris replied 6 months ago.

The only part near the steering column that would prevent it from starting is the ignition switch. Do you have any play (looseness) in the key or switch when turning? When you put in the key in, does the chime start and all dash lights come on? How about turning the key to "accessory" position. Does the radio come one? If all this checks out, the ignition switch is not a fault. At this low of miles, I don't think this is the problem, but there is always a possibility of a faulty part from the factory. One more question, do you have an alarm on the vehicle? If so, is it factory or aftermarket?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.

I have not noticed any play in the key or switch. All the dash lights come on and the chime starts when I put the key in. The radio comes on. I agree, it's not the ignition switch. I don't have an alarm (that I'm aware of) but the dealer did install an aftermarket remote starter. Whether I try to start the truck with the key or the remote starter, the same action occurs. Everything lights up and I hear a clicking sound coming from the right. Would that be the solenoid?

Expert:  Technician Chris replied 6 months ago.
Very likely it is the solenoid sending the signal to the starter to engage. Being the remote start system is aftermarket, I do not have access to the wire diagram for that. However, I am 99% confident the issue is either with the starter itself or the remote start system, and either way, it will be a warranty repair at the selling dealer. I would lean to the starter, and at $412.63 for the part alone, I do not recommend you replacing it yourself. The part number is XXXXX
Customer: replied 6 months ago.

Do you think it's still worth a try to jumpstart it? Also, is it typical for a remote start system to have something in place between the solenoid and the starter that would interfere with the signal? I won't attempt to undertake any major repairs myself.

Expert:  Technician Chris replied 6 months ago.

Yeah, if you have access to jumper cables, and another vehicle, for less than 5 minutes of your time, that will tell you if the battery is low on charge (if it does start,) or if it does not take the jump, then you can eliminate the battery as a possibility. It certainty won't hurt anything. Just make sure you have all lights and accessories turned off when jumping - radio, A/C, etc. Also, make sure nothing is plugged into the power point (cigarette lighter.) There are quite a few different remote start systems out there, so I can't say for sure, typically but no there should not be anything in between the solenoid and the starter.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.

Maybe the steering wheel position is just a red herring if it is the solenoid clicking. It only clicks once and it sounds like it's coming from under the dash on the passenger side. Does this make sense? I've arranged for it to be sent to the dealer but I'll try jumping it before it's towed. Do you mind if I keep this thread open until then? I'm at work right now.


 

Expert:  Technician Chris replied 6 months ago.
You should not have anything under the passenger side of the dash related to the remote start. Everything should be under driver side. Thread will automatically time out with in 3 days, so if you are happy with my service, please go ahead and give me a rating (obviously excellent is preferable, but please rate whatever you feel I deserve.) You can always reopen the same thread (without paying twice) and I will respond, but if it is just left open, it will time out.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.


I thought maybe the click was the solenoid but there is only one click as opposed to a rapid clicking (which I think is more indicative of a battery problem). Where is the solenoid in these vehicles?

Expert:  Technician Chris replied 6 months ago.
what engine is in the truck?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.

The big one. 5.7


 

Expert:  Technician Chris replied 6 months ago.

the starter solenoid is on the starter itself, but your remote start system my have one as well, and if it does, it would be under the driver side dash

graphic

Technician Chris, Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 271
Experience: I am a certified ASE Master Technician with L1 Advanced Diagnostic Specialist and over 15 years experience.
Technician Chris and 19 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 months ago.


I got home a little while ago and was able to take a look at things in the light of day. After removing some tape I did indeed find a broken wire where the remote starter wires join the wires coming from the ignition switch. I reconnected and turned the ignition on and presto - the truck started. I could see how the movement of the steering wheel caused the wires to move just enough to touch and then not touch. I just need to solder them back together and I'm good to go. Thanks for your help.

Expert:  Technician Chris replied 6 months ago.
I'm glad you were able to find the source of the problem. Thank you very much for the rating. It really is appreciated. Please do ask for me again in the future, if you need any more help.

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