Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Are you under 40 and think that you might not be able to afford a brand new vehicle when you purchase your next car? If so, a reporter would like to talk to you. Please reach out to [email protected] by 12/16 for more details.
Did you get a great deal? Let us know in the Values & Prices Paid section!
Meet your fellow owners in our Owners Clubs

Toyota Avalon Starting Difficulties



  • 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.

  • finfin atlantaPosts: 594
    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.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    This does sound like a starter motor issue. The sound you here might be the starter "motoring", that is, spinning like a motor but not throwing the starter gear into the flywheel. So I'd say starter solenoid is your issue.
  • thanks for the advice.. i will remove the starter and check it out.. i just hope that there isn't any damage to my flywheel.. thanks again
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I doubt it.
  • Ok..leave work the other night, jump in my 07 xls, throw the key in the ignition and nothing... not that it wouldnt fire... the key wouldnt even turn.. cleaned the key, tried again, nothing.. had the wife bring spare key, same result, nothing..end up leaving the car at work overnight. next morning I call my local toyota dealership and the service manager says they'll have to tow it in..later in the day still waiting for the tow so I call the dealership again, only this time I get a different person in the serv. dept. he asks me whats the problem, I tell him and he kinda laughs and then asks, "is the steering wheel locked".. I go out to my car, jiggle the steering wheel and she fires rightup.. glad it was nothing, but sure wish the service dept manager had told me to check that...but then again, they wouldnt have been able to charge Toyota for even a "diagnostics charge" if I get it resolved out on the street... sure appreciated the second service dept. guy... So I've learned 2 things in the last 6 months... when the key wont turn, check the steering wheel, and on my wifes 06 Envoy, when the engine light comes on, check the gas cap.. her gmc has been in the shop 4 times since we bought it march all because of the same thing... finally they put a new gas cap on last week. FINALLY.

  • rbarbotrbarbot Posts: 19

    Had the arbitration hearing yesterday at my Toyota dealership. It was quite the experience. Actually, It was less adversarial that I expected. Anyone considering doing this and selecting an ORAL hearing should be prepared to deliver their case via a thorough oral presentation. The company rep then gives his side of the case. Personally, I was not impressed with Toyota's position or with their representative's delivery. The arbitrator only asked a few followup questions to clarify some details. For the most part, the only people who talk are the customer and the company rep. The arbitrator mostly listens and takes notes. The arbitrator was very hard to read and showed only glimpses of body language. I got a few nods that seemed positive but not having gotten any results yet, I can't say if my observations were accurate or not.

    I generally hate oral presentations, but I'm pretty happy with myself on this one. I did my homework beforehand, took a lot of notes, and am confident in my recollection of details.

    If I can give anyone advice on doing this: Do NOT select an oral hearing if you are not confident in your speaking abilities. Select a teleconference or documents only hearing instead. I'd be more than share more details to anyone who has an interest. I wish there had been more information out there on this for me.

    I'll UPDATE you again when I get a result, supposedly within 10 days.
  • ski1003ski1003 Posts: 41
    I'm sure that you presented your case well but was there any discussion on their part in regards to "why" this hard starting occurs? Was this arbitration being held to discuss your dissatisfaction with the car and getting a replacement or just trying to find out why this problem occurs?

    Keep in touch.
  • rbarbotrbarbot Posts: 19
    The arbitrator doesn't try to determine the problem. there wasn't really any discussion of what the problem might be, only what had been done thus far. the arbitrator can do the following:

    1.) Order repairs or another repair attempt
    2.) Nothing
    3.) Or order the re-purchase of the car

    We were looking for a re-purchase.
  • The Avalon has 90K miles and was serviced a couple of months ago. Recently it has not been wanting to start. It cranks just fine, but the engine won't fire. The battery is fairly new and seems ok from checks with a voltmeter & hydrometer. Any ideas what I should check next?
  • netwonnetwon Posts: 53
    Check for spark, then check fuel pressure, etc.
    A common problem on Toyota's if any air can infiltrate the air intake piping they will not start as the car will not be able to calculate the right air/fuel ratio. More on that note a dirty Mass Air Flow sensor can cause the same problem. A little isopropyl alcohol and a q-tip can clean it up fairly easily.

  • I have a 2001 Avalon that won't let me turn the ignition. The wheel isn't locked. Actually, I can lock and unlock the wheel by trying to turn my key. The key will only turn to the accessory but not to on. This is the third time in 3 months this has happened and last weekend when it happened, the car sat for 2 days at my house until AAA got there. Then the driver got in the car and it started right up. I am now up at my parents house (350 miles from home) and can't get it to start. Any suggestions for a quick fix to get me home would be appreciated. Thanks.
  • gomst1gomst1 Posts: 58
    Try spraying some WD40 lubricant inside the key hole. Insert/re-insert the key several times. Also, try wiggling the key when it's inside the ignition cylinder. It worked for me. Might work for you. Good luck.
  • netwonnetwon Posts: 53
    Electrical contact cleaner may be a better choice as it won't gum up and works 100% with electronics

  • Thanks! We actually got it working today without the cleaner but I will try it to avoid this in the future.
  • jvc1jvc1 Posts: 1
    I bought a 1997 Avalon in 1999 and it has worked perfectly until now. Starting about March 15th, 2007 it has been starting the engine itself at odd times at my house. And the theft deterrent alarm activates for no reason. The horn has also beeped twice for no reason. I just checked the OBDII and there are no codes stored in the system. I need to know how to prevent the car from starting itself.
  • The problem with my 2000 Toyota Avalon XL sounds similar to the issue "#63 1996 Avalon won't START!!!" discussed in this forum
    Forums>Sedans>Toyota Avalon>Toyota Avalon Solving Starting Difficulties

    Problem: My car makes ONE click sound every time i try to turn ignition. I try it several times before i get lucky and the car starts. It might sound strange but I discovered that the car would start immediately when I open the door and start the car. Normally the starting problem used to happen the first thing in the morning and never during the rest of the day. but lately it happens any time of the day. I figure that since it does eventually start, I could do it for a while until i had time to check it out and see what's wrong with it.
    The other day, i tried to start the car again, but this time it won't start. the battery is good (I got it checked), all the lights are on. I can't even get it to start with my trick of opening the door and cranking it.
    Can anyone help me identify what the problem could be and where I should take it to for getting it fixed i.e., a normal repair shop or an auto electric repair shop? I really appreciate your input.
  • Search the avalon forums and google for "IAC cleaning toyota".
  • gomst1gomst1 Posts: 58
    If it makes a sigle click, it's probably the starter solenoid on the starter itself. The starter solenoid has to make the contacts inside the solenoid in order to turn the starter motor. Usually the starter solenoid only comes with the whole starter assy.
    Good luck.
  • 2ndcoming2ndcoming Posts: 2
    I recently purchased a 2000 Toyota Avalon that had the same problem. A click each time i turned the key, I had the starter changed at a local repair shop and the clicks went away. I noticed at first that I had to hold the the key a bit longer before it actually turned over and started the engine. Three days later which is today Im holding the turn key a bit more longer and when it finally turns over it resets my dash computer causing it to read JAN 1-12:00 and causes the gauges to jump up and down before they settle. Could they have sold me a faulty starter, or has my battery drained from all those clicks, or could it be more than that? should I take it in to a Toyota dealership to get it checked out... Any help would be greatly appreciated as you can imagine how annoying this problem is. Thanks a bunch...
  • skypilot3skypilot3 Posts: 2
    You're Lucky. Mine was a little worse. About 3 weeks ago the car would not start.
    Turned the key, and it was't so much clicking (Some might Think that) sounded more to me like electrical arcing. Wiggling the key switch and turning the key started right up. I had a similar issue about a year prior to that, which required replacing the key switch. So Assuming it was the switch again, I took it back to where it was installed (in warranty) and was informed that my connections on the starter and battery were bad, They charged me 50 bucks to clean them....and I got the the big lecture about clean terminals, Ohms law etc. I met this with a certain amount of skepticism, especially; as I had already cleaned said terminals. Yesterday my son took the car a couple of blocks, and while driving, the starter began to engage. He turned around came right home, turned the key off and the starter continued to engage over and over. By the time I got out to the car, (it was still turning the starter) a large plume of black smoke began to rise from beneath the hood. I got in the car turned key switch to on, the engine actually started, then I turned it off immedaitely (to no avail) it continued to turn over, I scrambled to find a #10 wrench to connect the battery, and by the time I had the terminal off, the starter was actually on fire...I had to put it out with a fie extinguisher. The wiring is damaged, some hoses's a mess. I suggest anyone with this year/model carry a fire extinguisher and keep that battery wrench handy. Ghosts? Naw...bad solenoid design, or a WIRING ISSUE. Not sure just what it is at this point. I'll have to sift thru the charred remains and thenget an expert opinion, ahem and not the guy with the dirty terminal theory, obviously; I had no problem pulling enough current to melt the starter.
  • gomst1gomst1 Posts: 58
    My guess is you may either have a bad battery or poor contacts at the battery terminal. Have the battery tested and check for corrosion at the battery terminals. These are the basics. If this is not the problem then, you may have to take it to Toyota.
  • My Avalon went completely dead: keyless entry does not work, no ignintion, no dashboard power, nothing. I tried jump start and at first attempt horn came alive, but then again nothing: as if power from battery is just not going into electrical network of the car. Any ideas?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Dirty battery terminals?

    blown fusible link or links?

    totally dead battery (dangerous to jump start by the way).
  • In My case it was the ignition key switch and associated relay. The battery is easily checked.

    Good luck with that
  • Well, after having a week or two of intermittent starting issues, (i.e. . 1. turn key nothing happens, turn key second time car starts; 2. turned key car started, driving down street spinning sound coming from under hood but went away after a couple of minutes). Wife started the car at work yesterday and the car went up in smoke within a minute or so after it started. It appears right now that the starter either shorted or somehow stayed engaged. After she turned the key off the motor stopped but the starter keep spinning or so she thinks. Parking garage was filled with smoke, fire department was called and they said it appeared to be an electrical wiring and fire issue in the area of the starter. After looking at the car just below the starter, there is what appears to be burnt oil or plastic melted all over the frame and mounting rail for the cruise control module. It appears the starter may have gotten so hot that it caused the housing of the CC module to melt. All electrical circuits are non functional, so I believe the fusible link is shot as well. Battery is less than a year old, (replaced the original after 9 Years), cable from battery to starter seems to be okay, wiring around starter appears to be okay, Car was towed to local Toyota dealers for an estimate of repairs, but I am sure it will not be pretty. BTW - car is one owner with 76K miles. Have a 2004 Tundra quad with over 90K, and have really had nothing but routine service issues on either vehicle up until this event. After this event, the wife was so scared she is afraid to buy another Toyota. From reading all the web info, it does appear that the starters on the Toyotas are their weakest link. One would think that a fuse would pop or the fusible link will go before the starter would get so hot that it would cause a fire to surrounding items :confuse: . Oh, yes, I checked all the fuses and everything is okay including the one for the starter circuit. Unfortunately, the lead going to the starter only has the fusible link, I suspect.
  • Well, it turns out I was luckier than I expected. The starter was toast and needed to be replaced. It also took out the battery. Battery was a year old and was covered by warranty, so there was no charge to replace it. Total cost $220 labor and $330 for a Toyota REBUILT starter. Charging system was checked out, all electrical items seem to be working as expected. I kept the starter and when I torn it apart the inside of the armature was melted unbelieveably. Only remaining issue is the smell from the burning plastic, windings, etc. The home garage smells of an electrical fire with the car sitting in it. I suspect I will need to steam clean the engine area and wait a few weeks to get rid of the foul smell. My suggestion to anyone coming across this post, is to replace your starter if you begin to have similar symptoms. It appears to me that the average mechanic could replace the starter in less than an hour. There is only one power plug and two bolts holding it in place. I would have done it myself but I was concerned that other wiring may have been burnt as well. Luckily it wasn't.
  • Did you ever find out what the problem was and more important how to fix the starting problem. I am now having the same problem with my '99 Toyota Sienna.
  • My dad's car needed charging. After i charged it, the car won't detect the key. When I get in, and press the button, nothing. The no-key icon keeps flashing. It is really cold with like 6" of snow on the ground. Anyone know why this is happening and how to fix it?
  • Have you checked the battery in the key?

    According to the owner's manual (do you have one) if the key battery is dead touch the Toyota logo on the key to the start button. This is supposed to start the car. All this is on page 395 in the 2008 manual under section 5/2. Also, do you have 2 keys and are both inoperable.
  • My avalon has been having trouble starting for awhile now, at first I thought it was just because it was cold, but its did it throughout the summer as well. I didn't think much of it and jumped it to get it going, but one day while driving it just turned off on me and I lost all power steering and brakes! All I had to do is jump it and it turned on immediately. I took it into a shop and they said they checked all the wires for me and if it did it again it was the computer that would have to be fixed. It started fine for a few months and then the other day after a 18 hour trip it just died again in a parking lot. When I turn the key all the normal lights come on, including the "door open" ding but when I turn the key it ticks and thats all. My sister and I messed with it this afternoon, took off the battery connections and cleaned them and just took a look at the wires and it suddenly started just fine. Then four hours later I went out to start it and it wouldn't start. I just don't know what to think about it, I doesn't make sense to me that messing with the wires and jump starting it would have anything to do with the computer.
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 594
    Sounds like a poor connection to the battery. But this is 14 year old car and electrical problems could be anywhere. If the battery is good you might try replacing the cables that go to the starter and various other places. Corrosion was a big problem in the first generation Avalon. You have indicated that cleaning the cables helped.. but the cable itself may be failing after all this time. Just a guess, others may have more ideas....
  • I had the starting system checked and the battery, starter, and alternator all checked just fine. I've tried looking at some of the wires connecting to them and they look fine to me, no corrosion. I have been having to start it most of the time now with a jump box and only occasionally does it ever start on its own. I changed to battery in it today and it did not start over. When I use the jump box it takes a minute or two of before it starts and I have to turn the key at least four or five times. It has not stopped while driving so far, and seems to drive just fine even when lights, AC, and radio are on. I always try to start it before jumping it and a few times it has tried to start but then quits. Pretty much at a loss right now, the only explanation I've come to is it is possessed- by what I do not know.
  • I have a 2000 Avalon XLS w/76,000 miles. It is garaged and receives regular maintenance. Yesterday, I tried to crank it and the key would not turn in the ignition, the spare key would not turn either. I played with both for a while, removing them and trying again and it finally started. This has never happened before, but I am a little concerned as I am about to take it on the road for an 800-mile trip and don't want to be stranded away from home. Has anyone else ever had this happen? The keys just did not turn--no sound, just as if I had put the wrong key in the ignition. THANKS

  • tfeltontfelton Posts: 80
    This happens to my wife's Sienna once in a while. All that has to be done is take the steering wheel and forcefully turn it left and right (even though it's been locked). Actually, it just happened to me today in her car and the situation was quickly corrected.

    I was told to do this by my Toyota Service Department.
  • finfin atlantaPosts: 594
    Post #97 above is right and it also happens on the 2003 models. Best guess is that it happens on all the '00 to '04 year model Avalons. Not a problem, if you know the secret. My wife had it happen to her also.... ;)
  • tjc78tjc78 South JerseyPosts: 9,284
    My '03 did it as well. Seemed to happen when parking on an incline and the wheel wasn't perfectly straight. Nevertheless, the first time it happened it took me a second to figure it out.

    2017 Buick Enclave / 2019 Volvo S60 T6 Inscription

  • Hi,
    I have had a little issue starting the vehicle lately and first time I am always unable to start and I see the front defrogger light flash non-stop and I try to start the vehicle again and it starts. Not sure it's related to the battery that makes the defrogger light flash? Anyone has the same experience? Please advise. Thanks.
  • Hello. I have a 2002 Toyota Avalon with 103,000 miles. Car is running fine and starts fine on a daily basis. But, if I have to start and restart the car several times in short period of time, it will sometimes have problems starting. It will always crank and turn over but, the engine will not idle very strong and then it will just die. This only occurs if I have to make a lot stops and need to restart the engine several times in a short period of time. It starts fine if the engine is cold. Any ideas what might be causing this? I appreciate any and all responses. Thanks for you help.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I'd certainly have the fuel pressure regulator looked at. Sometimes you can test this yourself by pulling off the vacuum line that regulates it---if that line has fuel in it that dribbles out, or if it dribbles out of the regulator, it's toast. What happens is that the fuel pressure in your fuel line bleeds off as the car sits, requiring the fuel pump to re-pressurize the entire fuel system every time you start.
  • Recently put a new motor in my 95 toyota avalon. The car won't start on the first try. On the second try it will start but won't stay running. Have to keep starting about six or seven times in order to stay running. Once it stays running and you put it in drive and step on the gas it just seems like it won't take its gas. The tach will go up but the speedometer doesn't. When you step on the gas the car will bog out; let off the gas and it will pick it up some. It does not do this when the car is in reverse. Any suggestions.
  • jackdoe36jackdoe36 Posts: 1
    I'm writing this on behalf of my grandparents and their 1996 Avalon that has 30k miles on it. It has recently been serviced for fluids and the battery has been tested. The problem as described to me is that sometimes, not every time, Grandpa tries to start the car there is dead silence. No clicks or turning of the starter. Then after some fiddling it starts up. He tells me that when he has this problem he has to push in on the shifter (not sure if there is a button or if he is just pushing it up further in gear or something similar), and when he gets the right spot, it will crank and usually turn over. He thinks alternator/battery are both fine. Anyone have any clue what else we can look into before bringing it in to the service shop? One local mechanic already looked at it and was puzzled by the description and was unable to duplicate the problem when he was looking at it.
    Thanks very much!
Sign In or Register to comment.