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Won't start, loses voltage

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by desert_rat, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. Jul 19, 2010 at 12:23 PM
    #1
    desert_rat

    desert_rat [OP] Member

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    Drove my truck for an hour yesterday, parked it in the driveway and now it won't start. A little history about the truck. I picked it up a few months ago with 226k on it. It is a 97, reg cab, 2.4, 5-speed. It now has 231k on it, and runs fine (when it starts). This problem first started about 2 months ago. It failed to start and the battery read 9 volts, so I replaced the battery. Two days later, it failed to start again, I had the infamous starter click but no crank. So I replaced the starter. Two weeks later it lost all electrical power (no lights, no start, no stereo, etc.) So I replaced the first foot of battery cable and part of the wire going to the fuse box since they were both really corroded. It has been running great, always started right up for the last month. Yesterday, click, then nothing. So I held my meter to the battery while the wife tried to start the truck. Click, and no voltage drop at the battery. It read 12.44 volts the whole time. However, once the key is turned to start, the dome light shuts off, stereo shuts off, it all stays off until the key is turned off. The voltage at the fuse box reads 1.8 volts, unless the key is in the off position, then it reads 12. It also reads 1.8 volts at the battery clamp, but the battery itself still reads 12.44. What else could be wrong? Do I have a short somewhere? Could it be the starter relay? What would cause everything to drop in voltage when the key is on?
     
  2. Jul 19, 2010 at 12:28 PM
    #2
    Zombie Runner

    Zombie Runner Are these black helicopters for me?

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    corrosion on the battery between the connection and terminal? I had that problem
     
  3. Jul 19, 2010 at 12:32 PM
    #3
    desert_rat

    desert_rat [OP] Member

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    There is no corrosion between the battery and terminal, the terminal and the battery are both brand new, they are sparkling clean. The ground looks fine.
     
  4. Jul 19, 2010 at 2:01 PM
    #4
    Firefighter160

    Firefighter160 Well-Known Member

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    Check your cable that runs from the battery to the starter, run a jumper from the positive battery terminal to the positive terminal on the starter and see if it starts.
     
  5. Jul 19, 2010 at 2:44 PM
    #5
    desert_rat

    desert_rat [OP] Member

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    Would that cable cause a drop in voltage at the fuse box? I could understand no voltage getting to the starter, but it causing a voltage drop? I don't understand, somebody school me.
     
  6. Jul 19, 2010 at 2:49 PM
    #6
    BradleyScottETC

    BradleyScottETC Class IV Category 8 Elite VIP Member (Only)

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    He's talking about load increase causing him to read a voltage drop at start-up. If you've replaced the starter, the battery, and the cabling and you're still having a problem, then all you've got left is the alternator.
     
  7. Jul 19, 2010 at 3:31 PM
    #7
    desert_rat

    desert_rat [OP] Member

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    How would the alternator cause a voltage drop while attempting to start? How can I test for that?
     
  8. Jul 19, 2010 at 3:36 PM
    #8
    Firefighter160

    Firefighter160 Well-Known Member

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    Test your battery while the truck is running and see what the voltage is, should be around 14 volts if the alternator is working right. The cable from the battery to the starter could be corroded and trying to pull too much to start. My truck was clicking when starting and I replaced the starter and had the same problem, it ended up being the power cable coming from the battery.
     
  9. Jul 19, 2010 at 3:41 PM
    #9
    desert_rat

    desert_rat [OP] Member

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    Unfortunately, I cannot get the truck running. That is the problem lol. The battery cable was corroded at the top but I replaced the upper foot of cable. The rest looks fine, although I won't know unless I strip the whole cable. I have checked the voltage before when the truck was running and it read 14 volts.
     
  10. Jul 19, 2010 at 3:51 PM
    #10
    Firefighter160

    Firefighter160 Well-Known Member

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    If the top cable was corroded I bet the bottom is too, get a piece of cable long enough to run from the battery to the starter and connect it at both ends and see if it starts, you will see where the positive cable hooks to the starter. Also try jumping it with another vehicle and see what it does...
     
  11. Jul 19, 2010 at 3:54 PM
    #11
    crazyasu45

    crazyasu45 Well-Known Member

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    Internal Voltage Regulator? Fusible link?
     
  12. Jul 20, 2010 at 7:06 AM
    #12
    desert_rat

    desert_rat [OP] Member

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    I'll have to check the battery cable going to the starter then, I won't get to it for a few days though. I really appreciate your guys help, I will report back later.
     
  13. Jul 21, 2010 at 9:20 AM
    #13
    desert_rat

    desert_rat [OP] Member

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    Found the problem, the solenoid in the starter was getting stuck and drawing current. Took it back to checkers and they replaced it free. Gotta love the lifetime warranty, I just hope this starter lasts a little longer than 2 months.
     
  14. Jul 21, 2010 at 3:15 PM
    #14
    Firefighter160

    Firefighter160 Well-Known Member

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    Good deal
     
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