Question about 1990 Toyota Pickup

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My 1990 2wd pick up will not start. When I turn the key you can here a single click. I changed the starter and it started one time then went back to the click. I had the new starter and battery checked and they were good so I changed the relay it again started a couple of times then back to the click. Days later the truck started to start with no problem for about three weeks now it?s back to same click. Help!

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Check the fusebox/relay for moisture or water.
Check the starter Power wire for fraying/wear that contacts the engine or body somewhere.

Most likely it is the wire - not a component causing the failure.

Thanks for using FixYA!!

Posted on Sep 11, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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1 Answer

2004 pontiac aztek wont start!


You appear to have what is known as a dry joint in the armature commutator bars . When that bar stops under a brush the current is prevented from turning the armature as there is a degration of the circuit. . Repeated clicking of the key eventually gets the armature to move enough to allow the brush to touch on another bar and so the car starts .. It is repairable in an accredited auto electrician shop but be careful of the cost as you will need new brushes and it may get beyond the price of a new starter. Second hand starters from a wreckers if you are sure that they come out of a relatively new engine would be ok but a new starter comes with a warranty . It is your choice . Make sure that all the terminals are shiny clean and tight all the way to the starter as well before you decide

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I would not think starter , maybe park neutral switch > It's a safety switch that won't let the vehicle start if in gear . If it doesn't start again try an put in into neutral an see if it starts . But to make sure starter is not bad do a starter circuit voltage drop test . Starter Voltage Drop

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If it comes to having to buy a starter, I'd recommend a new starter over a used one.

As for the *click* then nothing that's been happening... if the battery is bad, you would hear a *tick-tick-tick-tick-tick* sound. That's the starter solenoid magnetizing and hitting the starter connection. If you hear just one single *click*, I'm guessing you either have a bad starter or a bad connection.

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1 Answer

Turn key, click from engine compartment but starter does not engage


Hi Thomas,
First things first. Any time you have an automotive question please include the year, make, model and engine size of the vehicle in question. This will help give you the most accurate information I possible can.

To generically address your problem....

A single click every time you turn the key to the start position usually indicates a bad starter. There are a couple things you can check.

1. Make sure there is twelve volts on the large wire to the starter when you try to start.
2. Make sure you can turn the engine over by hand

If those two pan out than tap the starter with a small hammer while a helper holds the key in the crank position (be prepared for the vehicle to start!). If the starter cranks over replace it.

If its a single click and everything goes dead until you let go of the key and wait a couple of seconds, check the battery connections.

A series of rapid clicks when you hold the key in the crank position usually indicates a bad/weak battery.

Let me know if you have any further questions and I'll be happy to answer them. Thank you for using Fixya.com!

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1 Answer

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One single click when you turn the key to start the vehicle usually indicates a bad starter.

A series of rapid clicks when you turn the key to start usually indicates a weak or bad battery.

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You said you tightened the battery cables, did you check the other end of the negative where it bolts to the engine. When you tightened the cables you also used a battery brush and cleaned the posts and ends?

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your starter is bad.... the two contacts inside the solinoid are worn out only way to fix is replace the unit as a whole bet ya you get click click click then my start.. bet my life on this one been fixin toyotas for 20+ years

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sound like a starter solenoid check with a test light . follow your positive battery cable to the solenoid check voltage on both big ternimals has some one turn the ignition to start and it should click and have voltage on both large terms. if you do have voltage on both sides you have a starter problem

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sounds like starter relay or solenoid.

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