Starter clicking

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 12:25
ThreadID: 13357 Views:1766 Replies:10 FollowUps:1
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Hi all, I have a 3 lt diesel Hilux. A couple of times it has just "clicked" as I tried to start it. Toyota Serviceing says it is the contacts in the solenoid on the starter. I thought it might be a sign the battery is on it's way out. Anyone got any thoughts?
Thanks in advance, Wayne
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Reply By: Member - Pesty (SA) - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 13:20

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 13:20
Hi Wayne
Sounds like solenoid or poor electerical connection somewhere to me.
AnswerID: 61170

Reply By: rob1 - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 13:40

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 13:40
Remove the positive & negative leads from the battery, give the battery terminals & leads a good clean, replace, clean the terminals at the starter and see how that goes, otherwise it may be the solenoid. (auto electrician time)

AnswerID: 61172

Reply By: floyd - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 13:50

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 13:50
Sounds like a problem that I have had intermittantly with my 3 litre. I found that it is actually a connection problem in the steering column. The only way that I found out is that I nid my narna and belted the steering wheel with my left hand while holding the key on and it started. It mainly happened when it was cold and all I did was held the key in the start position, loosened off the adjustable steering lock and banged the wheel up and down until it started. Turned out to be bad contacts in the steering column.

If this fails then it sounds like a power supply thing. Check all connections for corrosion, tighten up all nuts and bolts and check condition of battery.

Electrical starting problems usually happen when the weather gets cold as this puts more load on the components.
AnswerID: 61174

Reply By: Anthony - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 14:29

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 14:29
Hi Wayne,
Your problem appears very similar to a poor electrial connection to the battery etc, as said above.

I have a 2.8D 3L hilux, in which the battery recently failed when I started to crank the engine. The battery went open circuit which caused the starter motor to make a very slight clicking noise each time I turned the key.

I got the auto electrician out, as I thought it was a solenoid/starter motor problem, but he found the battery was at fault. In my case the problem was not intermittent like yours. For what its worth - cheers Anthony
AnswerID: 61177

Reply By: Member - Ken - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 14:44

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 14:44

Agree with all of the above.

I've had this type of problem with my vehicles over the years and it was because of either:

(1) Dirty Battery terminals. Cleaned posts and inside of terminals - all okay.

(2) Loose and dirty connections on the solenoid. (some have a plastic covered push/pull connector and this was the problem area). AutoElect just squirted with INOX and tightened with pliers and re-attached.

(3) Stuffed Solenoid. Remove starter and have Auto/Elect rebuild it.

Definitely try 1 & 2 first as its dead easy to do and out of all the times this has happened over 35 yrs of driving, its only been the solenoid once.


Ken Robinson
AnswerID: 61179

Reply By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 14:51

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 14:51
I've heard of this problem with the 1kz-TE 3.0L TD's, the starter motors can die prementuarly, I am only guessing that the 5L in your's has the same starter motor. If it's under warranty I'd get them to replace the starter motor. Check surf forums for more info, they have lots of good info for you hilux as people have been thrashing them out bush a lot longer than yours has even been on the market! ;-)
AnswerID: 61184

Reply By: Rob - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 18:32

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 18:32

I had the same problem for a while on a diesel 80 series. After clicking
a few times it would eventually catch and turn over but i eventually decided
to do something about it after a sweaty time below high tide line on Fraser!

I am not sure if the Hilux has the same system as the '80 but this may be
of some use..

The high-current solenoid contacts inside the starter motor had worn out.
I parked outside an auto electrician. Disconnected the battery.
Removed the cables from the starter motor.
Unbolted the large bolt/nut holding the starter on. The bolts are
easy to get to from underneath. Careful, as the motor is heavy.

Drop the starter out. Strip the solenoid end and remove the 2 copper contacts.
If the diagnosis is correct - visit the auto electrician for new parts & replace ($15) with new ones. Reverse the procedure to reassemble.

It was an easier job than I had expected and taught me a bit about that part
of the engine. And it only cost $15, a skinned knuckle and a celebratory can!

AnswerID: 61230

Reply By: Wayne - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 20:18

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 20:18
Thanks for all the quick responses guys. Looks like I'll combine them and I'll let you all know how it goes. Thanks again.
AnswerID: 61253

Reply By: bob - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 21:12

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 21:12
I agree with Rob. I have replaced the solenoid contacts on my Toyota Cressida twice (in 10 years). Easy job, rest of starter (20 years old, 250000km), still in good nick. 1hr, $15 vs $200??
The original problem presented as an intermittent fault "click, click" etc, but I knew battery, terminals etc were all OK.
AnswerID: 61258

Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic) - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 22:03

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 22:03
Yes Bob and Rob, agree with you.

Can do some patch up jobs like these if you can get the solenoid apart. The contacts will arc and the current eats into them. Just file the contacts for a time to get passed to a new one another day..... Done it to old Yota and tractors in my days. Otherwise a solenoid is not too expensive in comparison to the costs you can incur.

A quick tap with the ball pein out of your tool kit can provide relief too.....
FollowupID: 322796

Reply By: Member - Frank - Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 21:43

Tuesday, Jun 01, 2004 at 21:43

do them all you cant go wrong start with the ones that dont cost

scrooge mc frank
AnswerID: 61265

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