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Chris (aka-Moose)
Chris (aka-Moose), Auto Technician
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 842
Experience:  16 years of experience
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My 2000 Toyota Sienna stopped running while my wife was

Customer Question

My 2000 Toyota Sienna stopped running while my wife was driving.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Genchi Genbutsu replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for allowing me to help you with this concern today and am sorry to hear that this is happening. I will have to ask you a few questions so that I can get a better understanding as to what may be going on with your Sienna.

It looks like we may have more than one problem with this Sienna.

Does the car start now?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No. The battery was dead. The lights do not turn on. When attempting to jump start there are very large sparks as if the positive and negative battery cables are shorted.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I disconnected the battery cables and then tried to charge the battery and it worked. When I tried to reconnect the battery cable there were very large sparks. Every once in a while over the past year turning the key to start position would result in nothing (no sound, no dimming lights, just nothing), then a few tries later the car would start normally.
Expert:  Genchi Genbutsu replied 1 year ago.

They could be shorted due to a bad cell inside the battery. Then again it is not usual to see sparks when connecting jumper cable to the battery.

Do you have an extra car battery or an auto parts store nearby? A new battery should solve this part or the problem.

Now as for the no start thats been going on for some time, when the key was turned, do you remember hearing just one click type noise?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If I disconnect the battery cables and then connect jumper cables directly to the cables (no battery in the circuit) there are very large sparks as if the positive and negative battery cables are directly shorted.In the past when the car wouldn't start there would be no sound of any kind, I could turn on the headlights and they were bright. Then a few tries later the key would engage and the car would be fine for months.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will be offline for about 40 minutes.
Expert:  Genchi Genbutsu replied 1 year ago.

If you are getting sparks from the terminals with no battery connected then the starter itself is doing this. That is the only load between the two. What it sounds like is the starter contacts are fused together. Is this the original starter or an aftermarket one?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The starter was replaced around 5 years ago.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Why would the contacts fuse together? Do we need a new starter or can it be repaired?
Expert:  Genchi Genbutsu replied 1 year ago.

I see. Thats' about the life expectancy with these.

Do we need a new starter or can it be repaired?

With this major of an issue, I would not try and have this one rebuilt. I would recommend a new or re manufactured one.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Why did the wires not burn up? The battery was dead, but at the beginning the full battery was shorted by the fused starter motor.
Expert:  Genchi Genbutsu replied 1 year ago.

Why did the wires not burn up?

Because of the battery. These wires are designed to carry quite a load, with a weak battery and the fact that the starter still had resistance in it to absorb some of the electrical current.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your help.
Expert:  Genchi Genbutsu replied 1 year ago.

My pleasure and please take the time to rate my help. I strive to give Excellent Service!