Question about 2000 Toyota Avalon XLS

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2000 Toyota Avalon XLS intermittent starting problem

In Feb of this year, my car failed to start one morning. I got a jump, went to Walmart, they tested the battery, found a cell was bad, so I replaced the battery. About 2 months ago, after a chilly (but not freezing) night, the car failed to start, so I got a jump. No issues again until about 2 weeks ago, when after another chilly (but not freezing) night, it wouldn't start, I got a jump, went to Auto Zone and had them test it, everything tested okay, so I went to Walmart and they gave me the option of replacing the battery or getting my money back. I opted for the battery replacement. About 3 days later, again after a chilly night, the car wouldn't start. This time, I put my left foot on the ground and pushed the car an inch or so, and tried the ignition again. The car started. A day or two later, same thing (wouldn't start, foot, started). Since then, no issues. Starts right up, despite how chilly it was the night before. So... is this a starter issue? Or...? Should I proactively get the starter replaced? The car has about 187,000 miles on it and works great except for this. Thanks! Carol

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If the car does not crank at all then the anomaly could lie with the starter motor. These suckers have carbon brushes that over time will wear. Usually there are springs that keep pushing the brush onto the commutator but it is possible that the brushes are so worn that the springs have reached the max on their spring and the brushes make intermittent contact at times. That explains why it is dead sometimes and starts after you jostle the unit.

Or if you have an auto transmission you can also check out the switch that is part of your transmission that prevents car from starting unless it is in neutral. The neutral safety switch. If the latter is bogus you can either replace it or just bypass it and save the dinero.

Avalon is a great running car and ................

Posted on Nov 23, 2013

  • 8 more comments 
  • cdclark707 Nov 23, 2013

    "Avalon is a great running car and..........." ??? LOL What's after the "and"?

  • cdclark707 Nov 23, 2013

    "Avalon is a great running car and..........." ??? LOL What's after the "and"?

  • cdclark707 Nov 23, 2013

    Thanks for the info, Richie. How do I check out the neutral safety switch? (Yes, it's an auto tranny.)

  • richie46 Nov 23, 2013

    To check the switch you use an ohm meter and make sure that when the tranny is in the neutral position, the switch is closed (the meter will show zero resistance). When you move the tranny to a gear position you will notice that the switch opens and the resistance goes to the infinity side of the scale. If the switch operates erratically then that is definitely the culprit. U can take a short cut - since that switch is really nothing more than an on/off switch and should have only two wires going to it just disconnect the two wires and splice them together effectively bypassing the switch all together. If that cures the hassle then it was definitely the problem. And any person smart enough to write what you did would not attempt to start the car in a gear other than neutral so there is really no need to replace the switch.

  • richie46 Nov 23, 2013

    Re the other comment- the car you have is wonderful and should last past the next millenium - my buddy has one with 300,000 miles on it, runs like new, does not burn oil. The Florida sun has toasted some of the door handles but other than that and a cloudy lens here and there, it is a keeper!!!!!!!!!!!

  • cdclark707 Nov 23, 2013

    Thanks again, Richie! Uh... what do the asterisks mean at the end of your comment above?

  • richie46 Nov 23, 2013

    Huh, they are exclamation marks ! ! !

  • cdclark707 Nov 23, 2013

    Well, that's weird... here's what I see: "And any person smart enough to write what you did would not attempt to start the car in a gear other than neutral so there is really no need to replace the ******.

  • richie46 Nov 23, 2013

    I see it now - the word missing was "switch." How those asterisks got there is an ACT of God! LOL

  • cdclark707 Nov 23, 2013

    LOL!

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