Toyota Sienna Forum - siennachat.com banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
2022 Toyota Sienna XSE | Celestial Silver
Joined
·
50 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I searched through this forum, but I might be dealing with a very weird issue that I can't seem to diagnose. For reference, this van is at 191,000 miles, it's the daily beater.

Yesterday, I backed the van into the driveway after driving it around to work and errands. Jumped back into the van later to go somewhere, turned the key, and...

CLICK.

That's it.

One single click, no cranking.

Now I am mechanically inclined and have done all the work on this van, so I was first thinking the starter had gone bad. No other issues with the van, but considering the mileage, was not too surprised that the starter could be dead.

I was wrong.

Here is what I have tested, confirmed, and attempted to try:

  • new alternator, replaced 6-8 months ago. Pulled out and tested again... confirmed working.
  • Old starter tested, confirmed working.
  • Battery replaced 6-8 months ago, also removed and tested. The battery is good.
  • Checked Starter Relay, swapped to new relay... still one Click and no crank.
  • Checked ground cables, inspected, cleaned, wiring all in good condition
(To note: this van doesn't have any leaks, oil-coated engine, it's as clean as it could be with these miles)

Just to eliminate the idea of something being broken I replaced each part above with a new one, JUST to test, and each and every time... the same. CLICK. No crank.

So, unless the motor seized when I backed into the driveway, highly doubt it... I'm at a loss for what could be the issue. No warning lights, bad driving behavior, running rough, etc. Everything is normal. No rodents in our area eating wiring harnesses. All electrical components work, radio, window, light, automatic door, trunk, sliding doors, no dimming lights when attempting to start.

Just CLICK. And nothing.

Maybe ignition switch, but that hasn't exhibited any of the tell-tale signs your ignition switch is going. The Key isn't worn down. Maybe it's a passlock-type system issue?

Any random ideas are welcome...
 

·
Registered
2022 Toyota Sienna XSE | Celestial Silver
Joined
·
50 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Tap the starter with a hammer, while you attempt to start it, more than likely you'll need a starter
This was my train of thought, tapping the starter did nothing. Testing the starter outside of the van, showing the gear spin, and extending out/engaging.

I even went so far as to buy a new starter and the same one-click happened.

I even went FURTHER... I took back the new starter and bother another starter... same thing.

Now, the idea I have somehow ended up with 2 bad brand new starters is about zero in my opinion.
 

·
Registered
2022 Toyota Sienna XSE | Celestial Silver
Joined
·
50 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Everything almost surely points to a bad starter or battery, but in my OP I already swapped out every one of those parts with a new part. Same story. This is where even my own mechanical brain is failing to understand what is happening. Lol.

Also, I forgot to mention, that I even tested this off a jump pack to the battery, in case it was an amp/power issue. Seeing as how I've had bad alternators or batteries in this van. I know the behavior you will see with those parts failing. I'm not getting this here. The whole car turns on with full power, no dim lights, windows roll, and up-down quickly, and no slow drag/movement, yet the starting part is like something is failing to rotate.

That is where the seized engine theory came in, checked the oil, and levels, and nothing is burned or low, given it was driving 15 minutes before I jumped back in, I wouldn't believe that to be the case unless I'm dealing with a freak accident or failure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
903 Posts
Maybe neutral safety switch? You could try shifting in and out of gear and see if maybe it's just sticky. I've also had it happen where pushing the shift lever up towards the park indicator and it starts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
Check what gear the dash says that it is in. Very well could be your shift linkage bushing went south and you are not in park or neutral. Its a $2 part and pretty easy to change, but it will put a cramp in your day really quick.
 

·
Registered
2022 Toyota Sienna XSE | Celestial Silver
Joined
·
50 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
What clicks when you hit the starter?

Do the headlights dim when you hit the starter?

Have you tried to turn the engine by hand?

Sixto
‘04 LE FWD 194K miles
No headlights are dim.

All power doors work (not slow), radio, A/C fan turns on... all electronics function as normal.

Tapping the starter you can hear it engage. Repacing the starter with 2 new starters produced the same exact sound. The sound from tapping the old starter is the same sound just from turning the key on the old starter and the new ones I tried.
 

·
Registered
2022 Toyota Sienna XSE | Celestial Silver
Joined
·
50 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Maybe neutral safety switch? You could try shifting in and out of gear and see if maybe it's just sticky. I've also had it happen where pushing the shift lever up towards the park indicator and it starts.
I thought this exact same thing... moved the shifter in and out of P, N, and pushed up on Park to see if it was an issue with a sensor telling the van it was not in park. All gears work. Same result.
 

·
Registered
2022 Toyota Sienna XSE | Celestial Silver
Joined
·
50 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Check what gear the dash says that it is in. Very well could be your shift linkage bushing went south and you are not in park or neutral. Its a $2 part and pretty easy to change, but it will put a cramp in your day really quick.
Dash represents the correct gear for the shift lever, putting it in Reverse you get reverse lights, Neutral the car rolls, Park, allows the key to turn and you can hear that one Click from the engine. Moving the shifter through D, and R, won't produce that sound. Neutral will allow the van to roll. From that, I can only assume it is working as expected.

I did check the shift linkage and could not see any damaged/broken parts.
 

·
Registered
2022 Toyota Sienna XSE | Celestial Silver
Joined
·
50 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I dived a bit further into this issue over the weekend. Went as far as replacing multiple solenoids/relays to test if bad ones were working in conjunction with the issue.

Nothing.

So I returned those, as the result from the ones I already had was the same and I wasn't having an issue with the starter or any part of the ignition giving me faulty codes from a reader or not operating. This was simply a "let's see what happens" attempt.

On one attempt to get the van to start, I was able to get the codes for Cam Sensor in Banks 1 and 2 to display. This may be due to me attempting to start with just the starter, I didn't have every sensor from the airbox, etc. connected. Though those are more about airflow, etc. so the van would still start and just throw a code.

I researched these cam sensor codes and testing those sensors and swapping one to a new one resulted in the exact same sound/issue.

So the mystery continues...
 

·
Registered
2006 LE
Joined
·
1,933 Posts
Are the +ve and -ve battery cable connectors in good condition? Note that they could look good but internally corroded. What is the condition of the starter cable where it connects to the starter? Can you fashion a cable , or purchase a ready made one( at least 4 -6 gauge ) of appropriate length from the +ve battery to the post of the starter and see if the starter will turn over just MOMENTARILY. Caution , that cable to the starter from the battery is always "hot" so take care how you maneuver things around. Best yet disconnect the negative cable from the battery before proceeding.You don't have to assemble back the air box and such you removed to access the starter. You just want to eliminate the cable. It seems the solenoid is doing its thing but the hot battery terminal on the starter is not getting sufficient juice for it to turn over. Worth a shot. Also , do you have a voltmeter? If you do connect it to the battery . Before start it should read above 12V. When you start and get the "click" what voltage do you see then. Above 12V like before ? or below , like 10v ish?
Have you tried to turn the engine by hand?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
320 Posts
Well.. Toyota starter is most faulty at this mileage... Since you replaced it and not work.. Onky thing left is signal chase wiring.. Take look at wiring diagram and check for voltages, ground, relay signal and wiring harness.. Try jump battery too.. I dont trust battery packs strenthgh in hard time troubleshootings.

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
'04 XLE-L 2WD
Joined
·
1,031 Posts
Also , do you have a voltmeter? If you do connect it to the battery . Before start it should read above 12V. When you start and get the "click" what voltage do you see then. Above 12V like before ? or below , like 10v ish?
This. A VOM along with a helper should diagnose the problem fairly quickly. I think I'd jump the negative battery post to a good engine ground using one half of a set of jumper cables to rule out an internally open ground cable.
 

·
Registered
2006 LE
Joined
·
1,933 Posts
That would definitely work as well. Great suggestion! I also think the post clamps should be taken apart and brushed clean
I think I'd jump the negative battery post to a good engine ground using one half of a set of jumper cables to rule out an internally open ground cable.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BillG

·
Registered
Joined
·
48 Posts
I would suggest trying to turn the engine with a socket to confirm it's not on a compression stroke or something. You could also take out the 4 front spark plugs to relieve some pressure from the starter just to see if it's an engine problem and help the starter out a bit. You could also apply direct voltage to the starter from a different battery or jumper pack and then engage the solenoid. If it's a theft control issue, you should see the theft light illuminate on the dash and not go out if I remember correctly. These type problems are hard to run down but I'll take them over a sporadic problem any day. Good luck and let us know what you find.

I just dealt with a neutral safety switch issue on an 06, and I can tell you from experience, that if it's disconnected, your starter won't even click.
Tom
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top