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2000 Tacoma Starting issue

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by GutsRage, Jun 15, 2016.

  1. Jun 15, 2016 at 2:42 PM
    #1
    GutsRage

    GutsRage [OP] Active Member

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    Chris
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    **EDIT and problem solved**
    It ended up being a faulty ECM due to water damage coming in through the windshield not being sealed properly.
    I had checked/replaced the ignition coils, plug wires, new plugs, crank and cam sensor, fuel filter, and used sea foam. I finally took it in for Toyotas 60 dollar diagnostic and they found it to be the ECM not putting out a signal on the "no start" times.

    **Original Thread**
    Hey guys! New here and hoping you guys had some helpful info or if anyone else ran into this problem.

    Truck info - manual 2000 3.4l Tacoma 4x4 SR5 that has a K&N intake and is lifted (don't know what lift it is but don't think it matters)

    I got 3 weeks ago and some times it'll start right up or not at all for a bit. When it's running I don't notice any issues as far as its run-ability. Sounds and runs solid. So far with what I've tested it doesn't matter if its on a cold or hot start, had it where it fired right up at home on a cold start and drove somewhere then it struggled when at the store. Being on a flat surface or inclined either way doesn't matter also. Starter sounds fine and there are new plugs. In my search I almost changed the fuel pump thinking that was the problem but I don't have the signs of bad or failing fuel pump when driving so I didn't change it. I came across checking the Fuel Relay and fuse under the hood and under the dash and both checked out fine. After checking them it started no problem for a week with no issues so I thought maybe one wasn't in properly and my problem was solved, but then after a week it started having issues again so I went and got a new relay and fuse for them but still having the issue. It's also hard to test myself if the relay activates when the key is turned since I cant turn the key and touch the relay at once lol.

    I didn't want to have to spend the time and money changing the fuel pump if it wasn't the issue since I have none of the symptoms of a bad one when running. I don't have any loss of power or surging when driving and have gone high way speeds with no issue. Under hard acceleration seems normal also. I also cleaned the intake filter (has a K&N intake) and MAF sensor thinking maybe it wasn't getting good enough air when trying to start but still no changes. But one thing that does lead me to believe it is the fuel pump is I tried the whole "someone turn the key while someone listens at the open gas cap for the buzzing of the fuel pump activating" and couldn't hear anything. When I did that it was before checking the relay and fuse. Haven't been able to test it more than just that day but there are times I can start the truck 4 to 5 times in a row about 10 minutes apart and it start fine (by myself so I cant do any other tests).

    I had a friend mention it might be the ignition control module but I haven't had any issues with it running for long periods and shutting itself off due to overheating/not working properly. I also thought about changing the plug cables but wouldn't a bad plug cable affect normal running operation?

    I have a new fuel filter that I haven't changed yet because I figured the pump would be more of the issue and not the filter. I will change it so I know it's new but just haven't gotten around to it.

    I was also wondering if it's possible for the key to turn on and activate everything else but the fuel system.

    Phew that was long! I'm sure I'm missing some things and I'm glad to answer any questions. I guess if I have to change the fuel pump to rule that out I will. Thanks for your guys time and help!
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2016
  2. Jun 15, 2016 at 5:08 PM
    #2
    tan4x4

    tan4x4 Well-Known Member

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    Rick
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    Bilsteins, OME 881's, 3-leaf AAL, Detroit TruTrac, Tundra brake swap, Michelin LTX AT2, Tranny skidplate, TC skidplate, CBI rear bumper, TG sliders, UltraGauge, PowerTank, Reverse Camera
    Lots of words, but few that describes the actual non-start symptom.
    - turn key and nothing?
    - turn key and one click?
    - turn key and many clicks?
    - turn key and starter engages but does not crank the engine
    - turn key and starter cranks slowly?
    - turn key and starter cranks normally but motor does not catch at all (or sputters a bit?)

    Any work done just before this started happening?
     
  3. Jun 15, 2016 at 8:13 PM
    #3
    GutsRage

    GutsRage [OP] Active Member

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    Changed the fuel filter tonight since it was getting cooler. Started up just fine. Banged the old filter on the "out" end on a soft surface to see if anything came out and nothing noticeable did, really just a bit of fuel, no gunk or any discoloration of the fuel. Also I didn't notice any discoloration in the fuel that leaked out of the lines.

    I knew I would forget some details. Rick I'd say its your last option. Turn the key and the starter cranks normally but the motor does not catch. Hard to do the whole "spray starter fluid in the intake when trying to start test" since I don't always have another person with me when I have this problem. The starter sounds good and also I've been told that by two different people on two different occasions.

    No work that I did before the issue started. Bought it that way for pretty cheap and was thinking maybe it was because it sat for about two or three months before being started. It struggled that first start but then I tried again a few hours later and it fired right up. (Got it from a friend so we went out to dinner to catch up. That's why I was able to start it again a few hours later before getting it) Some work she said was done back in December though was a normal oil change and something with the battery cables she thinks. Everything else powers up fine and the battery cables don't look new so I'm thinking it's something else that was done. She didn't drive it on the daily but the person that did apparently didn't have any issues since it was relayed to my friend.

    I read another post where their issue was solved by the starter solenoid but I think theirs wouldn't start at all where as mine is just intermittently with the starter cranking.

    I was wondering if its possible that there could be something else beside the fuel relay not getting activated which is causing the fuel pump to not work or maybe something not allowing the injection process to do exactly what its supposed to? Is there anything on the key ignition side that could cause the relay to not activate sometimes? Once again when the truck is running there is no issues when driving. Seems to accelerate fine, no rough idle, and when cruising its fine.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2016
  4. Jun 16, 2016 at 1:42 PM
    #4
    NvrSyNvr

    NvrSyNvr Well-Known Member

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    One common pattern goes like this... the vehicle always starts fine cold. It will start OK hot when it has been off less than around 10 minutes. However, it is hard to start (will not easily catch) over 10 minutes (or so). Does this fit with your situation?

    One general idea is that when you shut off the vehicle the engine cooling system (fan and water pump) stop as well. Parts that were getting cooled... temporarily get hotter. Parts that are nearing the end of their life may not work well in this heated state (solenoids, ignition coils, injectors etc…).

    Also, on my 2000 3.4, the fuel pump does not turn on just with the ignition on. The vehicle has to be started (Tested this with a fuel pressure gauge). On mine I had a bad fuel pressure regulator. The truck ran fine after started. The problem was that the pressure regulator returned all the gas from the fuel rail back to the tank when the vehicle was shut off (it should maintain pressure when off). In this state cold starts were OK. Hot starts required more time to start.
     
  5. Jun 16, 2016 at 2:01 PM
    #5
    GutsRage

    GutsRage [OP] Active Member

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    Chris
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    It does it on cold starts and hot starts. Just random when it doesn't want to start. I did read somewhere that someone said the tacomas pump doesn't activate till you actually try to start the truck like you're saying but wasn't sure if that was true or not cause the next post was someone else saying the pump activates with the key in the on position. My buddy listened last night with a stethoscope near the pump and he said he heard it when activate when it was started. The truck started no problem that time also and he said the pump sounds normal like there was no weird sounds or anything.

    Where would I check my fuel pressure at? Also after changing the fuel filter last night it started fine then this morning it started on the third try. I had it before where it didn't start until the 15th or 20th try in a day and other than looking around the vehicle I didn't make any changes or touch anything and it finally started and ran normal.
     
  6. Jun 16, 2016 at 8:15 PM
    #6
    NvrSyNvr

    NvrSyNvr Well-Known Member

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    Hey Chris,

    I am pretty sure your pump is turning on when it is supposed to.

    The intermittent problems can be tough. It can be easy to to start throwing money at them and end up spending more than if you took it in. I have had problems related to spark and some with fuel but unfortunately not the issue you describe. On the occasion that you need to turn it over multiple times, I wonder if you can smell gas from the exhaust? Also, no check engine light?

    In regards to the fuel gauge, I bought the Arctron CP7838 Fuel Pressure Gauge on Amazon. The 3.4s do not have a Schraeder valve on the fuel rail, but this gauge comes with one that can be installed at the end of the rail (passenger rear corner). Once the valve is installed you can connect the gauge.
     
  7. Jun 16, 2016 at 8:26 PM
    #7
    GutsRage

    GutsRage [OP] Active Member

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    With your spark and fuel issues, could you also tell/feel it while driving? There has been two times that I can remember where I smelt gas in the cab right after starting. All the other times I didn't notice any. Hard for me to check the exhaust by my self. I guess after it starts I could run back there real quick and hope I get something lol.

    There's no check engine light but if I hook it up to a reader could it possible show something that doesn't turn on the CEL?

    Is there a good fuel pressure gauge you know of that I can install and have in the cab permanently since the problem is random?
     
  8. Jun 16, 2016 at 9:10 PM
    #8
    NvrSyNvr

    NvrSyNvr Well-Known Member

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    Almost all of my starting issues showed up hot first and then progressed...

    - Bad ignition coils eventually threw misfire codes... truck eventually ran rough after hot start
    - Bad injectors eventually threw mixture too lean codes... truck ran rough after hot start
    - No codes with the bad fuel regulator... just took a little longer to start and build pressure (just a few seconds).

    I am not sure on the permanent fuel gauge. I laid my gauge on the window so I could see it in the cab. I did not try to close the hood and drive around but it might be possible to do.
     
  9. Jun 17, 2016 at 7:33 AM
    #9
    GutsRage

    GutsRage [OP] Active Member

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  10. Jun 18, 2016 at 8:19 AM
    #10
    GutsRage

    GutsRage [OP] Active Member

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    Im gonna replace the starter tonight. I'm thinking maybe the pinion isn't popping out and engaging the flywheel.
     
  11. Jun 19, 2016 at 8:33 PM
    #11
    GutsRage

    GutsRage [OP] Active Member

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    Not the starter. Had the battery tested 4 times at 4 different places and they said it's good. I tried looking up if an alternator affects starting not just the battery and I interpreted it as it does affect initial start up or am I just interpreting two different posts wrong and the alternator has not affect on start up? Like it does its job on keeping the battery charged but not doing what it needs to on start up if it affects start up?

    I'm gonna pull the plugs tomorrow evening and check the gap. I found that the FSM (field service manual?) says they should be gapped to .043?
     
  12. Jun 20, 2016 at 10:10 AM
    #12
    Zer0

    Zer0 Well-Known Member

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    My 99 was doing the same thing at one point. Not sure if it was my spark plug wires or the spark plugs themselves but after changing both car started fine now.

    I would also run some fuel injector cleaner or octane booster through a full tank of premium gas to more less flush out and clean your fuel system.
     
  13. Jun 20, 2016 at 7:29 PM
    #13
    GutsRage

    GutsRage [OP] Active Member

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    Thanks for the info zer0. I have new coils and plug wires coming and should be here Wednesday or Thursday. I went ahead and got factory plugs to see if anything changed before the new coils and wires came but to no avail it's still acting up. Good thing I changed the plugs though cause I believe the previous mechanic was lazy and only changed three plugs and told my friend he changed them all.....

    Driver side
    Yuck!

    Passenger side
    Looks a hell of a lot better.

    Im hoping the new coils and wires fix the issue. I've also ran injector cleaner through it three times now about every other tank.
     
  14. Jun 23, 2016 at 6:38 PM
    #14
    GutsRage

    GutsRage [OP] Active Member

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    Put the new coils and plug wires in and I'm still having my same issue. Everything turns and cranks but just wont catch. It did start the first try after installing them and I drove around fine like all the other times. Did a few tests of shutting it off and back on and at first it was fine then after about 30 minutes of waiting I tried it again and it wont catch now. I have no idea now. So really nothing has changed. It's hard to start throwing parts at it because when its running there are no issues at all. I've had other people ride in it and drive it and they don't notice anything either when driving.
     
  15. Jun 27, 2016 at 9:03 PM
    #15
    NvrSyNvr

    NvrSyNvr Well-Known Member

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    Hey Chris, did you ever have any luck on this? When you are having the starting issue does it ever run rough at first?
     
  16. Jun 29, 2016 at 7:08 AM
    #16
    GutsRage

    GutsRage [OP] Active Member

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    Found a post of someone talking about their crank or cam sensor causing their issue. They seemed to have the same problem I'm having with the intermittent starts but when it's running it runs like a champ! So I went ahead and pulled both and replaced them. Even after changing them nothing has changed. Still intermittent starting but runs fine when it does. Also every time after changing something I take it for a short drive to see if anything is different when driving and still the same, no noticeable issues and seems smooth. I was going to take it for a long drive this morning but when I went to start it, it didn't start after about 10 tries so I just said forget it and here I am typing this up lol.

    Old cam sensor.

    After seeing the old sensor I was sure this was the issue but I was wrong. Blah! Now I definitely don't know where to go from here. It's just weird there's no issue when running to help point me to other things. I also rented out a OBD reader last night to see if there were any codes being thrown that wasn't setting off the CEL but no codes are showing.

    So far what I've done
    cleaned the MAF
    replaced the fuel relay and fuse
    replaced the fuel filter
    replaced the spark plugs
    replaced the plug wires
    replaced the coils
    replaced the cam sensor
    replaced the crank sensor
    checked the battery 4 different times at 4 different locations, all said the battery was charged and good
    checked the voltage going to the battery when the truck was running and it was reading 14.5ish volts
    checked all the fuses I could pull and nothing was blown.

    Is it possible the timing is off slightly so its causing the intermittent starts but runs fine when its running? Or could my battery be reading/testing fine but actually be bad? I thought about getting a new battery that has mad cranking amps to see if anything changes. Right now my battery is rated for 540 CCA at 0 degrees and at one of the tests they said it was reading in the 700's. Any other ideas?
     
  17. Jun 29, 2016 at 8:00 AM
    #17
    bldegle2

    bldegle2 OldPhart

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    Pretty much stock for now. New Navigation DVD/CD/TV/AV/Bluetooth Stereo and seat mod spacers added so far.
    I suspect you are having problems with leaky injectors...this type of problem is a biatch to diagnose....if you know someone or have the skills yourself, do a leakdown test on the injectors...just a thought....you should be running a dual tip plug.
    K16TR11is the one I use...and it is what Toyota recommends...Hope you solve your problem with a minimum of additional hassle....
     
  18. Jun 29, 2016 at 8:01 AM
    #18
    127.0.0.1

    127.0.0.1 AKA ::1

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    TPS sensor too, 50 buck part, about time to change it

    can make it run like arse ! my 99 4runner bucked and bitched for a while 2 years ago, drove me nuts, cheap aftermarket TPS fixed it for a month, then probs came back. got an OEM TPS, rock solid now
     
  19. Jun 29, 2016 at 9:47 AM
    #19
    GutsRage

    GutsRage [OP] Active Member

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    the K16TR11 is what I put in, the pics of the plugs from above were the old ones. Would leaky injectors cause problems running? When it does start it'll fire up within like 1 second of turning the key. Its happened before when I got in the truck first thing in the morning and it fired up 1st try multiple times with no hesitation. Which I've found it weird that people say these trucks take 3-4 seconds to start when this is one of the fastest starting vehicles (when it does start) I've ever driven. Also holding it for long periods (5-10 seconds) doesn't do anything.

    Wouldn't the TPS sensor affect its running and idle not the initial start up? I've looked into it a bit before and it didn't seem like that was the case for me. No really rough idle or loss of acceleration or sputtering when driving.
     
  20. Jun 29, 2016 at 9:52 AM
    #20
    bldegle2

    bldegle2 OldPhart

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    Pretty much stock for now. New Navigation DVD/CD/TV/AV/Bluetooth Stereo and seat mod spacers added so far.
    Leaky injectors, normally will cold start fine, but warmed up can be a biatch because of fuel leakage at tip of injector, basically kinda flooding the engine like in the carburetor days...
     

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