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Dj, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 1910
Experience:  ASE Master Tech, 30+ years in automotive repair.
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4runner: Problem with a 1999 Toyota 4runner 4 cylinder engine.

Customer Question

Problem with a 1999 Toyota 4runner 4 cylinder engine. Not starting - that is no click at the starter and a minor click from the big starter relay in the "fuse section"
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Dj replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for trusting us with your question. I'm DJ.
There's a couple of things that can cause this, so first let me explain how the circuit works.
There is a large wire that goes from the positive battery post to the starter, this caries about 125 amps and runs the starter motor itself, but not the starter solenoid. When the solenoid engages, it pushes the teeth from the starter drive into the flywheel ring gear. When the solenoid gets to the very end of it's stroke and the teeth are fully engaged, metal contacts switch on the starter motor and turn over the engine.
So if the starter solenoid is dead, the starter motor won't turn.
But to get the solenoid to activate, there is a completely separate circuit.
Power goes from AM2 fuse, (large scale fuse in the box under the hood) through the ignition switch to the 7.5 amp STA fuse.
STA fuse is inside the cab, left side of the dash.
From the STA fuse power goes through the neutral start switch. If the neutral start switch is in neutral or park, power is passed to the starter.
So here's the order to check things. You'll need a test light.
Try starting the truck in neutral and park both. Sometimes one half of the switch will work.
Next, see if you have power at the STA fuse with the key in the START position. You should have power on both sides of the fuse in START. This will test AM2, and the ignition switch, plus the wiring in between.
If you've got power on the STA fuse with the key in the start position, next check the large black and white wire that goes to the starter. If it has power with the key in the start position, then the starter solenoid is bad. If it doesn't, then the problem is most likely the starter solenoid, but before you replace it, we can do another test just to make sure it's bad.
I know this is s lot of information, so please let me know if I didn't explain something clearly or if there is anything more I can do to help you.
Let me know what you find and we'll figure this out.