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Toyotapro, ASE master tech
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 9974
Experience:  ASE Certified, 10+ years Lexus and Toyota Certified
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My 2002 tundra wont start

This answer was rated:

my 2002 tundra won't start

Hello and welcome to just answer


can i get some more info


engine size

will it crank over





Customer: replied 8 years ago.
it is a 2002 toyota tundra with 59,000 miles. It will not turn over, but it does "click" when I turn the key. When I let go of the key (when trying to start it) it makes a "clunk" sound like it is releasing the solenoid.
I replaced the starter relay and the starter (which has the solenoid as one system), and cleaned the battery terminal cables. but it still does the same thing. The battery also has plenty of charge.
any ideas?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
also, the engine size is 4.7 liter V8

can you turn the engine over by hand with a beaker bar , if not the engine might be seized.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
it will rotate with a breaker bar.

Was this a genuine toyota brand starter that was installed?

Did you test the signal wire and cable connection before completing the installation of hte new starter? Did you bench test the new starter?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
i got the starter from a certified toyota dealer and no I didn't bench test it. I was under the impression it was new and did not need to be tested. The problem is the exact same as before I changed the starter though, which makes me think that either the new starter has the exact same problem as the old one, or more likely the starter wasn't the problem.
I did not test the signal wire or cable connection before the install.

I hate to say this but the intake needs to come back off.

If you can rotate the crankshaft with a wrench then the engine will rotate and this is related to starter or starter circuit.

You need to test the small wire to the starter to be sure that the solenoid is recieving proper power.

Then bench test the starter to be sure it works, it would be very rare but the starter may likely be defective, any time I have to install a starter that is not a simple install I ALWAYS bench test it with a jumper box.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
First of all, thanks for the help, if I can get my truck fixed, it will be worth a great deal to me.

the intake manifold isn't that big of deal to take back off, I just want to figure out what's wrong with the truck. Just let me know what I need to do. I'm an Air Force Jet engine mechanic, so I understand mechanical things, but unfortunately jet engines are a lot different than the 4.7 in my toyota. Right now I'm stumped.

how do i test the wire to the starter to make sure it is getting power, and which is the "small" wire? looking aft from the front of the engine, where is the wire located and how do I test it? There are two main connections, one at about 7 o-clock and another at about 4, but they appear to be the same size.

If the solenoid is not receiving proper power, what are the possibilities at that point?
I have not had any problems (besides this issue) that would make me think it could be a neutral safety switch and when I turn the key, the dashboard lights dim as if power is going somewhere.

Does it seem like a wiring issue? I drove the truck 13 hours from KC to San Antonio with no problems a month ago and an hour and a half to Austin and back 2 days a go with a trailer. When I got back, I parked the trailer I was pulling next to the house and after I unloaded the trailer, I tried to move it and it wouldn't start... just click. Now $360 later after a new starter and $30 later for a new starter relay, it still has the same problem.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
did you give up on me?

No sir I did not give up on you, most experts on this site are professional full time technicians with day jobs and post here in the evenings and freetime.

There are 2 wires at the starter on your truck.

The big fat one that is bolted to the starter with a 12mm nut is the constant hot wire from the starter. The smaller wire that plugs in with an electrical connector is the signal wire. When the key is in the "start" position you should have power at the small connector wire. If you have power at the small wire and constant/hot power on the big wire then the starter needs to be bench tested. Let me know if you need more input here, I try to check my messages often but cannot always do so during the day with a full shop.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Cool, I understand. I just had someone else drop me without telling me so I thought maybe the same thing happened.
Thanks for all the helpful info and I appreciate your patience with this complicated issue. I wouldn't normally use something like this but I'm stumped and so far it seems well worth it if I can get it fixed.

Just one more question before I go and start tearing it apart, What are the other possible problems if I do not have power?
Is the only possible problem at that point wiring?
thanks again
I have a feeling that the starter is a issue or that the connections are not made properly when you reassembled the truck. Really don't see other issues on these but I can walk you through the complex wiring diagram if needed. Just test the 2 wires in the "start" position for now and tell me what you find. I will be online again around 6pm (eastern) thank you
Toyotapro, ASE master tech
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 9974
Experience: ASE Certified, 10+ years Lexus and Toyota Certified
Toyotapro and 3 other Toyota Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
so I got my truck running. Here's what I think happened...
Originally I think it was the starter as the truck wouldn't start even when I tried jumping it (when I thought it was the battery). However, after several days of trying to start it over and over again while troubleshooting and leaving the door open while working on it, I ran the battery down enough that the accessories worked but the starter wasn't getting enough power creating a very similar problem. So I tried jumping it again and it started right up. I drove it around a little bit and now the battery is charged enough that it starts every time.
What a weird series of events.

So I have one more question that you would really be helping me out with if you could answer. If you don't want to get more involved, then that's fine and I'll just click "accept", but it would really help me out and I'll keep that in mind when checking out.

now that it starts every time, it consistently stalls after a couple of seconds. On the second attempt it starts and stays running every single time. It always takes 2 attempts, no more, no less.I know this has to be something that I didn't put back together correctly when I put the intake manifold back on, but I wonder if you might guide me in the right direction as to what to look for. It never did this before I started messing with the manifold.
Also, the check engine light is on now.
Thanks again for any help you can provide.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
never mind.
I found the problem. A hose clamp wouldn't hold tension any more so a hose on the intake manifold came off. I replaced the hose clamp, tightened it down, and everything works great.
thanks for your help and patience
Thank you for your follow ups, let me know if the idle acts up again as there may be one other thing to do there, thanks.