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Help! My 96 Tacoma starter not turning over.

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by joeyabisa, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. Dec 22, 2011 at 6:37 PM
    #1
    joeyabisa

    joeyabisa [OP] Member

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    Hi everyone, I'm trying to figure out if my starter needs to be replaced. I was leaving work today and found my truck wouldn't start. I thought it was the battery so I had one person in a Honda Fit give me a jump. That didn't work so a half hour later I had another person with a Chevy van jump me, then a third person with a Tacoma all to no avail!

    Between jumps when I wasn't connected to another person's battery I turned on my headlights (which were bright), radio, wipers, etc. and they all worked as they would be if the engine was running. I checked the contacts, took them off cleaned/sanded the contact points on the battery and cables, put them back together and tightened them back up- still nothing!

    Then on my third attempt at jumping them with another Tacoma I noticed that when I turn the ignition to try and start it that the starter didn't even click or make clicking noises. Is this a sign that it's a starter issue?

    I finially had to get two drunk guys to help me push start it and get me going after sitting for an hour and a half. Lol! Anyway, any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. Dec 22, 2011 at 6:44 PM
    #2
    NelsonTacoma

    NelsonTacoma This is my derpawayinator!!!!!

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    Def sounds like a starter to me. A simple way to test it is to hammer on it while someone cranks it over. Sometimes this works sometimes not.
     
  3. Dec 22, 2011 at 6:46 PM
    #3
    RAT PRODUCTS

    RAT PRODUCTS RAT Products

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    Yes sounds like a bad starter. You can take it off and bring it to auto zone for a free test.
     
  4. Dec 22, 2011 at 6:47 PM
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    joeyabisa

    joeyabisa [OP] Member

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    I did bang on it with a hammer but not while trying to crank it over. It's raining now so I'll try it in the morning.
     
  5. Dec 22, 2011 at 11:42 PM
    #5
    TacoMX

    TacoMX TW's Official anti body-lift pundit

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    If it is the starter (sounds like it is), dont buy a new one. You can get a rebuild kit (plunger and contacts) and have a "new" starter for about $30.
     
  6. Dec 22, 2011 at 11:48 PM
    #6
    Blackdawg

    Blackdawg Dr. Frankenstein

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    Okay i have had huge starter/battery issues before.

    1)if its a bad starter, it will click and nothing happen. Or click a bunch then try and turn but won't start. Then it'll finally work at some point.

    2) To me, it sounds like your battery is toast. Take it out and go get it tested at an auto shop. This happened to me too, but i had just replaced the start so i knew that wasn't it. got a jump and it was fine. till it died again. yanked the battery and got it tested, was fully charged but only held 2.1v lol Bad battery. Got a new one, fired right up.

    Test the battery first man. Doesn't cost you anything but time. If its bad, get a new, if its fine, get a starter. But to me, sounds like a bad battery since you can still get jumped.
     
  7. Dec 23, 2011 at 5:57 PM
    #7
    joeyabisa

    joeyabisa [OP] Member

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    Thanks everyone! I will do the things you've mentioned above. I'll get the battery tested first and if it's ok voltage-wise and it's definitely the starter- I'll rebuild it myself. Again- thanks for all the input! Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas! Joy to all!!
     
  8. Dec 23, 2011 at 6:03 PM
    #8
    Airun

    Airun Well-Known Member

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    Yeah what Jonathan said. I pulled my 96 T100 starter and removed the cover and copper contact which was too worn to make contact. Went up to local garage and found one close enough and bingo fixed for 0$. That was over 10 yrs ago and no prob since.
     
  9. Dec 23, 2011 at 6:16 PM
    #9
    joes06tacoma

    joes06tacoma Well-Known Member

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    Bad starter usually clicks.

    If it's your battery and everything else is okay, the headlights should dim really low or go out when you try to crank the truck.

    Given what you have already tried, I would do the following:

    Check all the connections at the starter and battery. Also check your engine ground cables.

    If it still won't start, unplug the small wire at the starter and connect a jumper wire on that terminal. Make damn sure the truck is in neutral, stay clear of all the moving parts under the hood, and touch your jumper wire directly to the positive terminal of the battery. If it cranks over, the problem is in the ignition switch, starter relay, clutch switch, etc.

    And for gawd's sake man, don't get under the truck while someone tries to start it. In my experience, whacking the starter with a hammer does not work any better while trying to start. Too much risk involved.
     
  10. Dec 24, 2011 at 8:51 AM
    #10
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    Solenoids on the starter could be bad - not the entire starter.

    I've replaced the solenoid on my 96 when I owned it.
     
  11. Dec 24, 2011 at 8:46 PM
    #11
    trdracing5

    trdracing5 Well-Known Member

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    The "click" sound is the key. We need to know if it goes "click click click" when you try to start it.
     
  12. Dec 25, 2011 at 1:19 PM
    #12
    Changeling

    Changeling Well-Known Member

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    Very true! On my 1999 TRD Tacoma it turned out to be the starter! Then I found out that my taco 1999 had starter brushes that only lasted 50 to 60 K miles usually. So I installed new after market brushes and it tested perfect! Now I have a spare.
    Hope this helps everyone.

    Changeling
     
  13. Dec 27, 2011 at 4:43 PM
    #13
    thetaguy

    thetaguy New Member

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    The starter Click of Death. As stated earlier, if the starter just clicks but the battery seems otherwise okay, then it is likely the solenoid built into the starter. A copper contact wears down. The dealer sells a "starter rebuild kit" or similar wording, for less than $20 as I recall. I have rebuilt mine twice on my 1998.
     
  14. Dec 27, 2011 at 4:51 PM
    #14
    IDtrucks

    IDtrucks Just out for a rip are ya bud?

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    Just went through a starter fiasco...seems to be a lot of these recently. I'm getting a new one too. Fyi don't take it to auto zone for a test. I did and it passed and then took it to an actual mechanic and it faild instantly...the free check at auto zone places are pointless.
     
  15. Dec 29, 2011 at 2:10 PM
    #15
    joeyabisa

    joeyabisa [OP] Member

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    Hi everyone! Just to update... I was about to pull out the starter after checking a bunch of things but what was bothering me was that the starter wasn't clicking. So I thought I'd have my mechanic friend take a look at it also. Luckily my driveway has an incline and I could pop the clutch and start it in reverse.

    So I drove it down to his shop, I told him everything I did and he replied that there was one thing I didn't check- the clutch switch. I'd thought about it early on but then forgot about it. Dummy!! Anyway, that's what it was, the freaking clutch switch!! So just a reminder to all, next time you think it's your starter and it's NOT turning over or clicking when you have your clutch pressed down and you're turning the key in the ignition to start- Check the clutch switch!

    Thanks again everyone for your all your input!
     
  16. Dec 29, 2011 at 4:32 PM
    #16
    Airun

    Airun Well-Known Member

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    Sweet....was it repairable or did u replace switch?
     
  17. Dec 29, 2011 at 5:11 PM
    #17
    NelsonTacoma

    NelsonTacoma This is my derpawayinator!!!!!

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    Doh!! I forgot about those since I don't have a manual anymore. My old 4Runner had that cancel switch on the dash for the clutch to disable the need to push the clutch to the floor. Glad it was that simple. :thumbsup:
     
  18. Dec 30, 2011 at 3:13 PM
    #18
    joeyabisa

    joeyabisa [OP] Member

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    Replaced it.. Also, since he figured it out I gave him the work and pay him for his time.
     
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