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Toyota Avalon Starting Difficulties

24

Comments

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,835
    When you say won't "start" you mean it cranks and cranks but won't fire the engine or do you mean you turn the key and nothing at all happens?

    MODERATOR

  • Thanks for replying. Nothing at all happens. The lights come on and that is all.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,835
    Do the headlights go dim or out when you turn the key to the "start" position? Try this and report back.

    MODERATOR

  • Hello,

    I have a similar issue with a 1998 Toyota Avalon XLS but it's intermittent. When it happens all the lights come on and looks fine but instead of hearing the starter turning I just hear a semi-loud click coming from the engine compartment if I have the window down. My lights do dim when this happens. I have tried turning off all the accessories, lights, etc but it does not seem to matter. I have also had the battery tested good. When the car fails to start I usually have to try another one to 5 times and then instead of a loud click the starter finally turns over the engine and it starts. It has happened for the last 10 days and is happening more and more each day.

    Any suggestions? I thought possible starter problem or some other relay/ignition control module type thing? I've brushed/cleaned the battery contacts and the battery store said the battery tests good.

    Thanks!
    Stan
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 588
    In years past we have discussed at length in this forum the problem of excessive corrosion around the *negative* battery post in Avalons. Most likely, it is a function of joining different types of metal and electricity. It may also be caused by the ground cable itself. You might try replacing the ground cable, and make sure you clean the negative post completely. Corrosion may occur at the other end of the cable also, but most should be at the battery. The white corrosive material blocks electrical current. A battery that tests "good" still may not have enough power to overcome the corrosion/connection problem and start the car. Try a new battery at the store and see if the car starts easily....it might be the battery. ( My '03 XL is now on the THIRD battery! ) Hope this helps... :)
  • dswingdswing Posts: 2
    I have a 1996 Avalon with 170,000 miles. Car would not start-just clicks when ignition turned on. I had the battery
    tested-one year old-ok. Replaced the original starter.Still
    hear just the click-all accesories and lights work so I have ruled ouy the alternator. I cleaned the battery clamps and checked and cleaned neg and pos wires for corrosion. i
    have checked fuses. Also I cannot jump start vehicle either.
    Any ideas? Thanks.
  • tlkoertlkoer Posts: 7
    I also have a 1996 Avalon with about the same amount of mileage (180,000) and with the same problem. It will go for days with no problems and then will only get a click when trying to start it. Someone who came to my yard sale thought it could be a loose wire but where to start! I love my car (except for the days I get the clicking sound). Somebody help us please!!!!!
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 588
    Remove and clean the battery cables where they attach to the battery. Clean the terminal posts also. Corrosion may be building up and causing a poor connection. This is a common problem in older Avalons... Clean the posts with fine sandpaper. Dip the ends of the battery cables in CocaCola...briefly, then dry completly, reattach. Hope this helps. Note: If you cannot jump start the car, a cable may be bad, not the connections.
  • tlkoertlkoer Posts: 7
    My hubby replaced the terninal posts thinking that was the problem. I guess next would be the cables. The only thing like the other message, everything works (lights, radio). I wouldn't think these would be working if I had a bad cable. I am I wrong on this?
  • dswingdswing Posts: 2
    Thanks for the replies-I had all but given up and was going to have the vehicle towed to a shop. The wrecker driver
    removed 2 bolts to the positive clamp(where two wires come together to the clamp)Even though I had dilligently cleaned the external area-these two small metal plates had corrosion
    where they sandwiched between the two bolts)He cleaned them
    and the car starts beautifully.Even though I needlessly replaced the starter- I would have needed a starter eventually...It's always the small things I overlook----- Lessons learned............
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591
    Probably emery cloth would be better than sandpaper. Take off the battery holder/stabilizing arm(cannot think of its name) and if it is corroded, take off the corrosion on a bench grinder using a wire brush too. Prime then paint.

    I just did mine. It looks like new. The battery is going on its 5th year.

    abfisch
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 588
    Yes, emery cloth is a better choice if you have some handy. This is the same discussion we had in this forum at least once before. Avalons seem to generate a lot of corrosion at the battery posts. And that battery holder you describe can almost dissolve after a few years. But, they are still great cars. :)
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591
    Thanks man. Getting my axles, both sides, replaced now at 83K, as the car has started to wobble at the front end again. Painful but that is what it is. Getting to love front driving cars less every year, although the comfort of this vehicle is hard to beat.

    To my embarassment, I may have filled the battery with a little bit too much of distilled H20, and then sitting in the heat, expanded it, came out of the filler holes and onto that center metal holder, hench the corrosion. Since then I noticed on the side of the battery, which is slightly tranlucent, a mark that says min and max to keep up with the maitenance. I did not notice this before but anyone who just does simple battery maintenance once a year, this is what you should look for and go buy. I am going to see if I can get 8 years on this battery just by doing the simple maintenance on it.

    The rear PU(polyurethane bushings) needed regreasing as well, which at my age, is becoming a little painful. But smooth and quiet after getting under there, cleaning the inner diameter and outdiamter and then applying blue marine grease which is hydrophilic. The sway bar bushing seem to get the most work out as the bars are constantly pivoting in the inner core. Rubber after 70K has to be degraded especially in salt areas. I do think these PU bushings are an effective, and inexpensive upgrade to the handling of this vehicle, although they do require greasing once a year and transmit just a hint more vibration but nothing unacceptable to a 40-50 year old bad back.

    abfisch
  • nosretepnosretep Posts: 3
    It takes a lot more current to start the engine than to run the radio or lights. A bad cable or even a somewhat bad ground connection (where the negative battery cable connects to the car chassis) can limit the amount of current so that the starter won't turn over, lights, headlights, etc. work just fine. I have a 2000 Avalon, but encountered this on my Jeep.
  • alkricalkric Posts: 9
    Hi there,

    My Toyota Avalon 2001 has 95000 miles. Sometimes, when it stays idle for while, it gives me starting problems. I start the car and the pressure in the tachometer doesn’t go over 1. The car jumps a little and dies. To start the car, I have to start the ignition while pressing the accelerator. When I came to my mechanic, the car had no start up problems. He said that it could be anything, and all I can do is wait until my car dies. I can’t really do that because I travel a lot and would rather not be stranded in upstate New York on the road :-) I tried ignition clean up liquid but it didn’t help.

    Thanks
  • What may work even better is if you own a Dremel with the small wire wheel attachment. Still soak the wire ends in coke or solution of water mixed with arm and hammer baking soda.

    Thanks,
    Steve
  • Yeah, I am having the same problem when starting the car. I have a Toyota Avalon XL 2000. When put the key in and crank the ignition, once in a while the engine doesn't start. I have to crank again and hit the gas a little to get the RPM's to go over 1,000. I am bringing it to Toyota Dealership San Diego. Possibly fuel injectors.
  • alkricalkric Posts: 9
    I put "Dry Gas" and then I changed gas filter. I don't really know if that helped, but since then the problem disappeared. Good luck to you. Please keep me informed. Thanks

    Alek
  • bkgkbkgk Posts: 2
    I have a 2000 Toyota Avalon xl. I have not had any problems. Yesterday my car would not start. It makes a loud clicking sound and it can't be jumped off. I read in the previous messages that a cable may be bad, but what cable?
  • The cables that goes from your battery itself. The large red one goes to your starter, black one is the ground. Where each one connects may have corrosion in them which keeps the juice from your battery from reaching the starter. You may even have enough to run your acc like radio, int lights, maybe even headlights but, not enough to turn the starter. The accessories and headlights draw between roughly 1-10 amps. A starter draws 150-200 amps.

    Steve
  • bkgkbkgk Posts: 2
    Can anyone tell me how to replace a starter in a 2000 XL Avalon? Thanks.
  • May I ask how did you came to the conclusion the starter is bad? I am making an assumption that you have no auto service backround or you wouldn't be asking how to replace it(Not a put down). Did someone diagnose it for you? Most folks on this forum who had replaced their starters only found out afterwards that it was a corroded cable terminal or bad battery all along. I'm not telling you it's definately not bad, but just wondering how you arrived at that diagnosis? I would hate to see you put out money for a starter if it's not needed.

    Thanks,
    Steve
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 588
    Odds are the battery, cable(s) or connections are the cause of a hard starting problem . Check the battery. Remove and clean the terminal clamps. Use sandpaper or emery cloth on the battery posts. Remove then retighten connections at the other end of the cables.

    Yes, a 6 year old car may have a bad starter. But do the easy things first. You might be happy you did... :)
  • I'm ripping my hair out over an ongoing problem with my 2006 Avalon XLS. Anywhere from 1-10 times per week when you turn the ky to start the engine, it will crank continuously and not start the engine. If you turn the key back to OFF, then try again, it starts right up. When it does this, you can crank the engine seemingly forever, and there is NO sputtering or effort to actually start the engine, just cranking only. The dealership and Toyota "experts" are stumped; however, they did at least verify the problem on one visit. The funny thing is, most of the times it does this when the key is left in the ignition after shutting down, like when the car is parked in the garage. It seems silly, but shouldn't I be able to leave the key in while pumping gas and then expect the car to start again on the first attempt? I've come across 2 other owners on forums who have the same problem, but no solution. I'm interested in any suggestions,please.
  • gomst1gomst1 Posts: 58
    I wonder if this is a built in protection to prevent battery drain. I'm talking about the immobilizer system temporarily going to sleep mode in order to conserve battery power. Why not try this method: When you first try to start the vehicle, turn the key on but do not start the vehicle then switch it back off (to wake up immobilizer), then turn key back on and start the vehicle. If engine starts, my guess is right.
  • Yes, the car does start when you turn it back to off and then turn to start again. A Toyota rep tried to say that this was built in security, too. Do you work for their lawyer? Just kidding, but I have contemplated that their was some reasoning behind the car not starting. Unfortunately, nobody else's Avalon does this, and anybody who designed a car to immobilize itself in the time it takes to pump gas should be banished from the planet. It's some sort of anomoly, software glitch, or alien conspiracy. I've found only 2 other online owners in the country with the same issue, all undiagnosed and unrepaired. I think Toyota should get 3 new cars ready.
  • gomst1gomst1 Posts: 58
    I work for another Japanese car dealership (not toyota)as an Auto Tech. Our new vehicles equipped with Smart Keyless Remote does go to sleep mode when left on the vehicle that's why I was thinking that you might have the same system as ours.
  • I haven't had a problem with the same starting issue in a couple of weeks. This past week, it happended 4 or 5 times. In one day, it happended 3 separte times. I have tried all kinds of solutions (keeping keys out of ignition, change key to spare key, reported many time to Toyata, etc.) with no results. It's crazy for a 30,000 car to react this way!!
    Let me know how you are doing in your search for a correction.
  • I've submitted a claim form for arbitration requesting that the vehicle be repurchased. If successful, I will get a Limited with keyless ignition to aleviate fears of a repeat. I will keep you updated. I believe there is a problem with the engine immobilizer and/or ECU malfunctioning. Unfortunately, there is not an error code indicated and Toyota won't replace parts without a diagnosis.
  • hello, i'm new to the forum. Been tryin to search on the internet to find a solution, no luck yet. Hopefully someone in here will be able to help me.

    Problem: My car makes ONE click sound everytime i try to turn ignition. I try it several times before i get lucky and the car starts. I figure that since it did that, I could do it for a while until i had time to check it out and see what's wrong with it. but the other day, i started the car again, but this time it won't start. the battery is good, all the lights are on, alternator is good. only thing i could think of is starter or bad connection. BUT what's weird about this problem is that NOW it has this other noise where it sounds like something is rotating kind of like a wheel when i try to turn the ignition. I have no idea what that is and it only happened yesterday and now today it doesn't start. Can some1 help me???? Thanks.
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