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Skyvisions, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 14446
Experience:  Toyota Master Diagnostic
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My wife's sienna periodically won't start. We had the

Customer Question

My wife's sienna periodically won't start. We had the battery replaced, the alternator tested and the starter tested. All appear to be ok. It stopped on her yesterday and the battery appeared weak but I was able to jump it off after leaving the cables on awhile. Any ideas
faulty alternator cable or starter relay?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Skyvisions replied 1 year ago.

When you say that she could not get the vehicle started can you give me a better idea of what's going on? In other words when she turns the key to the start position is there absolutely no noise no click nothing? When this happens are all of the normal warning lights illuminated on the instrument panel? Does the starter engage and the engine turns over and just does not fire up? Have you had the battery retested recently since it was installed? Are there any aftermarket remote start or security systems added to the vehicle?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
no clicking or anything when we turn the key. The normal warning lights illuminate on the instrument panel. Haven't retested the battery. When I put the jumper cables on it and touched them together it gave just a weak spark. No aftermarket security or remote start systems on the vehicle.
Expert:  Skyvisions replied 1 year ago.

Are you saying you have the jumper wires attached to the battery on your van than the other end of the jumper cables before putting it on the jumpstart vehicle there was very little spark across the connectors coming from your battery? When you turn the headlights on and the wipers and heater blower does everything work at normal speed or does it appear to be extremely slow or dim?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the jumper wires were attached to the van prior to putting on the other vehicle with a weak spark as opposed to a very strong spark when just attached to my car
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I didn't try the headlights or wipers
Expert:  Skyvisions replied 1 year ago.

This would indicate a low state of charge in the battery in your van. I realize that it is new but we've had a rash of new batteries that have failed recently. It is also possible that there is a current draw for parasitic draw on this battery causing it to drain down prematurely. In order to check for that you need a milliamp tester. It should be less than 50 mA but typically this Van is about 25 mA. Another way to check that is to use a good quality test light then place the test light between the positive or negative battery terminal and then put the end of the other side of the test light on the cable. Use a jumper wire to connect the cable to the terminal to parallel the test light this will allow the capacitors to charge in the computers leave the jumper wire on for about five minutes then take the jumper wire off without interrupting the connection of the test light. At that point the bulb in the test light should not be on or if it is it will glow very dimly. It's kind of a rough way to check it but it will tell you right away whether there's a draw more than if you are 100 mA. I would take the battery out and have it tested also.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My wife says the headlights, blower and even radio work fine when she turns the key. Van just won't crank
Expert:  Skyvisions replied 1 year ago.

It it does after the jump start it indicates the battery as the issue. If the cables are hooked up cleanly. Do you have a voltmeter? I have to step out of a Bit I will be back shortly.