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Fixitman, Master Technician
Category: Toyota
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Experience:  ASE Master Certified, AA Degree Auto/Diesel Tech
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1999 Toyota 4Runner. Sometimes wont start. Battery is good.

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1999 Toyota 4Runner. Sometimes won't start. Battery is good. I hear clicking coming from the inside fuse box area and also from the horn...but just a clicking sound. Suspect factory anti-theft device has something to do with it.
HelloCustomer does the temperature of the engine change when this happens? Is the vehicle equipped with a manual or automatic transmission?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Yes, the only thing that moves on the dash is the temperature gage. Everything else acts like it is dead. This is a standard transmission.
Most of the time when this happens it is either due to a bad starter or a bad starter relay. You would need to check for voltage at the small starter wire when cranking the engine. If there is voltage then the starter is the problem. if there is no voltage then you either have a problem with the starter solenoid or the ignition switch.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Yesterday, to eliminate it being a bad battery, I tried hooking up jumper cables and got some amazing sparks! Yikes! So, I knew it wasn't the battery. When I shut the hood, the alarm went off. I used the key fob remote to stop the alarm. Everything worked after that and I could start it. I left it until about 4 hours ago and started it and drove it to a different location. 30 minutes later, everything on it is dead/disabled. The anti-theft light is flashing. I think it must be something to do with the anti-theft system killing everything. The hazzard lights don't work. The power locks don't work (from the door switch or from the key fob remote)...even though the battery is fine. Are you stumped?
The security system will not shut down the electrical systems on this vehicle. You need to start by checking all of the fuses on the vehicle. One of the fuses may have blown due to the pervious battery issue.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I checked all the interior fuses already. They are good. The ones under the hood seem to be bigger stuff that doesn't relate. Why do you think that setting off sparks "reset" the system and allowed me to start it? Would you suggest I take it to the dealer or to my mechanic?
WHen the sparking happened it may have gotten a fuse hot enough to damahe it but not completely cause it to fail until the vehicle was used this time. The large fuses under the hood are the more common ones to fail. It may also be a sudden ignition switch failure. If you do not have a voltage meter to run thru some electrical checks I would take it to a mechanic.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Well, I had come to the same conclusion too don't think you've earned my $9 yet. :o) Let me ask your opinion on another topic and if it is a thoughful answer, I'll accept it and pay you. Sound fair? Have you ever worked at a dealership? Do dealerships generally over-charge for repairs? I feel like they rip people off. Is it true that most garages don't have the computer diagnotics necessary to get good readout of problems that the dealerships have? What are some repairs that you would definately take to a dealership rather than a gararge? Thanks!
I don't have a problem answering other questions for you. As for the dealer, they do charge quite a bit more for parts and labor that an independent shop. I would not say that it is to rip you off, but it is more because they have a very high overhead. You will typically get better prices from independents. When it comes to equipment, most shops do now have access to the same tools as dealers. Most of the time an independent can do just as good as a dealer. The only time you may want to use the dealer is when you have a module problem that noone else can figure out.
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