Clutch Starting New Vehicles

Submitted: Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 12:24
ThreadID: 96906 Views:2243 Replies:7 FollowUps:19
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I'm in the process of upgrading the old wagon and have looked at 200 and 150 series toyotas. Both feature a push button start. I haven't read the instruction books on either of these vehicles so my question may already be answered there. Does anyone know if you can at all clutch start these vehicles or is this going to be a long forgotten practice in the years ahead?
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 13:21

Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 13:21
I wouldnt have a clue, Tim.

But I'd suggest that if you're towing the venicle, because it won't start, you would need to hit the "start" button once you are being towed, and have released the clutch. This should open the fuel solenoid, and arc up any other needed electrics. And success would be dependent on the SOC of battery.

Think it was the 2H engined toyotas that needed a hit on"start" as you let out the clutch. This opened up the rack further, providing ample fuel for a start.

Maybe you're right, Tim, clutch starting might go the way of the dinosaurs eventually.


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AnswerID: 491076

Reply By: Aussi Traveller - Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 13:37

Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 13:37
The 200 series is an auto, so quick answer is no, if the 150 series is an auto, it will be the same answer.
AnswerID: 491077

Follow Up By: Tim - Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 18:51

Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 18:51
Yeah the prado GXL and GX still come with the option, the VX and Altitude are all autos.
FollowupID: 766527

Reply By: olcoolone - Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 13:48

Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 13:48
They have these new things out now called jumper cables whereby you connect them to a donor battery and then yours and presto..... it starts your vehicle.

The last time I clutch started a vehicle would have been at least 30years ago.

AnswerID: 491078

Follow Up By: landseka - Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 15:32

Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 15:32
I would love a dollar for every computer that has been fried or other electrical damage done by inexperienced well intentioned people doing just that.
Done properly jump starting is certainly the best way to go though.

Cheers Neil
FollowupID: 766510

Follow Up By: PJR (NSW) - Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 16:34

Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 16:34
And that's why we carry our own jumper leads that are supposed to negate the problem.

Don't know for sure if they do or not but we try. Do they Neill?
FollowupID: 766513

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 18:43

Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 18:43
Landseka.... we run an automotive electrical business and I have only seen happen a few times and zap the ecu's by connect the negative to the positive and positive to the negative..... my customers must be lucky.

Never seen it happen from a positive to positive jump start even with no anti zap box.

But if it does happen it's an easy fix..... you can buy refill cans of smoke because everyone knows when the smoke runs out it stops working..... replace the smoke and all's sweet.

Had a call out a 6.30am one morning form an earthmoving contractor who had replaced the battery and the machines still would not start...... "must be a dud battery" he said?

Got a phone call about 30 minutes later as this guy had grabbed another battery from another machine...... he said to me " the one with the cross is the one the black lead goes on to."

And I politely replied "AAArrrhhh NO!"

Then there was silence for a few seconds and this faint voice came back and said "Oh".

PJR most electrical gear have quenching circuits inbuilt can withstand power surges but like most things they can only handle so much.

Surge protectors at home are the same...... get one big surge and it may save your gear but get another surge shortly after and you'll be on the phone to your insurance company.... that's if your phone still works.

The funny thing with surge protection is you never know when it has saved you and if it still works..... unless your checking it every few minutes.

When a surge protector works it basically blows it's self up but power still flows..... and it does is dump the surge to earth.
FollowupID: 766524

Follow Up By: PJR (NSW) - Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 19:00

Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 19:00
True. So we use them in the hope our assumption is correct.

Who would be thick enough to connect jumper leads in positive to negative way. I have never seen that before. Bloody ouch.

Maybe this blond on a TV game show. She wanted to go backwards so she put it into "R" and waited. Nothing. Seems that she forgot to start the engine.
FollowupID: 766528

Follow Up By: Tim - Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 19:03

Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 19:03
You better read the original post again.

It wasn't a question of "What to do if...." It was a question of "Can it be done?"

FollowupID: 766529

Follow Up By: PJR (NSW) - Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 19:38

Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 19:38
Personally I am a little off topic as I thought that we were discussing and had successfully answered the battery jumper issue in this "side thread". Not the clutch starting.

As for the "clutch starting" part of the question I wasn't even going there as I do not know the cars.

Battery jumping - yes with the correct leads that you should always carry. As I and others do. Use your own is a good policy.

That sum it up for you?

FollowupID: 766534

Follow Up By: Aussi Traveller - Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 23:28

Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 23:28
FFS it isn't rocket science, its an auto there is no clutch.
FollowupID: 766545

Follow Up By: PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 09:07

Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 at 09:07
What on earth does FFS stand for. Don't hide behind abbreviations. Speak english.

Automatic gearboxes in the past could be jump started. Just because a car does not have a clutch does not mean that it can not, definitely NOT, be jump started.

We could jump start our 1960 odd Humber Super Snipe. It had an automatic gearbox. So how am I to know without doubt whether it is possible or not to jump start one of these cars if it had an automatic gearbox. At least well enough to reliably advise Tim.

As for automatic gearboxes not having a clutch is concerned, ever heard of double clutch and seamless gearboxes. They have been around for a while and it seems that Honda and others are improving them. How am I who have never bothered to look at the two cars in question in detail know what they have. They may have one of these transmissions. Neither of these innovations have a clutch pedal either.

I also believe there is a third option or something in the newer Nissan Maximas involving a roller on a conical drum mechanism and no gears at all. Not positive though.

I will thus not advise either way. Is that plain enough for you or do I have to resort to abbreviations for you.

To the regulars don't pick me on this. This bloke asked for it.

FollowupID: 766553

Reply By: The Bantam - Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 16:32

Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 16:32
I have no hope of remebering how many times clutch starting a vehicle has got me out of trouble quickly, easily and with help from no one.

I have clutch started everything from a flogged Vespa scooter(which would not start anyother way) right up to a fully loadec 22.5 tonne GVM Mack R600 tip truck...and probably at one time or another every single vehicle I have owned.

Jumper leads are no good to you if ya starter motor is on the fritz, and I have encountered a couple of vehicles, for one reason or another simply wont start from jumper leads.

Quite a few auto vehicles can be tow or hill started, but ya need quite a bit of speed and some distance to do it in......some could tow start a mini or morris 1100 auto, you could tow start a Leyland Worldmaster buss.

I have clutch started my fuel injected petrol long as there is sufficient schnaps to run the ECU and open the injectors it will run...normal procedure no problems.

lots of these vehicles with pushbutton start...its just a con.....they just shifted the start contacts from the key switch to a pushbutton....I don't get why its so wonderfull.
Lots of cars had push button start back in the 40's & 50's rolling onto the 60's.

As ya self the do ya turn the thing off.

But I guess that lots of people don't think we should be able to help ourselves and even the most simple of problems should be put on a tow truck and fixed by the dealer.

I'd be more concerned about what happens when the transponder in the key fails to work and you are up at bamiga.

There is a classic example in a roothy video, of a vehicle that had to sent back to cooktown by barge because the transponder in the key went on the keyfob transponder, antitheft means the ECU wont play.

Ya very right to ask ya self, do these vehicles belong in the bush, or should they stay in the suburbs dealing with the off road hazards in shopping centres and taking traffic calming obsticles at full speed.


AnswerID: 491085

Follow Up By: PJR (NSW) - Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 16:42

Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 16:42
Good points Tim. Leave all the gimmicky stuff out. Some like bags are okay but lets not go there.

How do they turn the motor off on the ones with push button start?

My older brother ( by 16 years!! ) had a button on the dash to start the old 1940 something Studybaker. The type Elliot Ness used. That's a huge backward step if you ask me for these ginmmicky cars. Am I calling a Ferrari gimmicky!!! Ouch..
FollowupID: 766515

Follow Up By: Tim - Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 18:50

Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 18:50
The push button start I would has at a guess is just a computer input, closing of the contacts sends a pulse to the computer. The computer works out if the car is already on or off and starts or stops it accordingly. A bit like to power button on your TV remote I guess.

I'm not a huge fan of the idea either but I guess that's the price you pay for a new prado.
FollowupID: 766526

Follow Up By: PJR (NSW) - Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 19:07

Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 19:07
It had to be something like that but I was wondering if they had another switch or whatever. Something pretty and with bling around it.

We will not be buying another car. This one will see us out unless it's destroyed in a prang etc. I hope not anyway. She is a good car. Got a pre-trek inspection done on it today. Always good t get someone elses eyes check it out. They also went for a test drive. Absolutely nothing to do. Now that's what I call a good car. All I need to do it fit the second fridge, roof top tent on top. Firewood box on top as well and food and clothes. Oh and the trek tyre set put on the car.

And yes the can opener is in the back with the other two that we replaced after we forgot them.
FollowupID: 766531

Follow Up By: SDG - Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 00:12

Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 00:12
It's probably no different to a push button start on a motorcycle. Turn key on, push button. Clutch start bike by turning on key, roll and release cluctch. No need to push button.
FollowupID: 766615

Follow Up By: Tim - Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 08:09

Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 08:09
From my limited exposure, the transponder must be inside the car and then it is just a case of pushing the start button. There is a way you can get just the accessories on however there is no way of having the setting on "on" with out activating the starter motor. So where in a normal vehicle you turn the key until the red lights on the dash come on then get the car moving and let the clutch out, there is no such setting you can get to with the push button.

There is no actual key barrel in the car.
FollowupID: 766618

Follow Up By: PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 08:26

Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 08:26
I don't normally watch the show but one I saw ages back was interesting.

Jeremy whomever is outside and the short bloke was in the restaurant/junk food place with the key/sender in his pocket. Jeremy hops in the car, pushes the start button, car starts and off he goes. Didn't get far though but the car could not be seen from inside. Maybe there is just enough range for the car to be started and driven onto a tilt back truck and then the whole cat and caboodle driven away.

I hope things have changed with the range shortened. Wouldn't the receiver have to be outside the car for a keyless entry option.

I don't like it. I would like to be able to see my car for security.

As usual I am OT. Catchya
FollowupID: 766620

Follow Up By: Tim - Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 08:29

Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 08:29
I think we tried this with my old mans 200 series and it was "smart" enough to know the difference. I will give it a try and get back to the forum, ordered the prado yesterday.
FollowupID: 766622

Reply By: Member - Captain (WA) - Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 19:21

Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 19:21
Hi Tim,

First of all its very unlikely ANY modern vehicle can be clutch started these days with a dead flat battery. Reason being is that the ECU needs to have ~12V to work, so unless the ECU is powered up, doen't matter how fast you can push/tow the vehicle, it won't start if the electronic brain is off! As others have said, far better to simply jump start the vehicle.

As for the push button start, when I bought my 200 I thought what a gimmick. But after having it for severl years now, it is simply that convinient that I would buy any model with that as an option in future now.

The transponder actually has a "hidden" key inside, it opens a door to let you in, in case you have a flat vehicle battery and the central locking is dead. And the transponder has a RFI inbuilt in case the transponder battery is flat. Simply hold the transponder to the start button and press it.

I have had both a flat vehicle battery and a flat transponder battery at different times and being a keyless pushbutton start was simply not an issue.

Like many new things, people are wary of them until they have been around for a while. I remember when fuel injection was going to be the death of vehicle reliabilty - but who would buy a carburetter vehicle today (in fact I dont think there are any new mainstream cars around today that has a carby!).


AnswerID: 491098

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 21:04

Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 21:04
Have to agree with you on the push button start, others with out it seen out dated.

Same goes for the no button/no key entry and locking.
FollowupID: 766537

Follow Up By: Member - Tony V (NSW) - Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 23:16

Monday, Jul 16, 2012 at 23:16
With you there Captain,

I don't believe that any modern vehicle can be push started, ECU's need voltage to run the injectors and also the fuel solenoids plus many have electric fuel pumps, plus all the other sensors that have to align with the gods before being able to start. Also modern alternators need to receive some voltage from the battery before they will work correctly...

FollowupID: 766544

Reply By: mikehzz - Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 06:08

Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 06:08
I don't think it will work. On my push button start, the fob goes in the slot, foot on the brake, push the button and the starter cranks. Foot off the brake, push the button turns the ignitition on without starting the car. This means that the switches are all electrical relays that require power to operate in the first place. If there isn't any power, you wouldn't be able to set the ignition circuit to on because it's not a mechanical link. It might work if the battery is not completely dead and has enough juice to flip the relays open. It doesn't worry me because mine is an auto anyway.
AnswerID: 491180

Follow Up By: Tim - Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 08:12

Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 08:12
Yeah that makes sense. If the battery is totally dead then there is no chance. I'm just not sure how to get it to the "run" position without it automatically engaging the starter motor which would then drop the battery voltage back down to nothing and the system would reset itself.
FollowupID: 766619

Reply By: The Bantam - Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 10:14

Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012 at 10:14
With so many of these new cars having "electrical everything", the clutch start issue aside, if ya battery is dead ya buggered.

Ya got keyless ya cant get in, cant lock it, cant unlock it
Electric windows...... so ra cant wind the window down
Ya got electric power ya got bucklies of steering the bugger

and chances are it has a computerised auto ya probably wont get the mongrel thing out of park just to drag its sorry ass onto a tilt tray let alone use a tow rope.

Realy these vehicles are just getting too smart for our good.

I spoke to my brother a while back & he had done some work on a western property where they have a lot of flash new vehicles.

They all sit lined up under this long car port...each vehicle has it own battery charger straped to the posts of the carport.....and if its not driven that day itt stays on charge till its driven

Because if the battery is flat the vehicle is buggered.


AnswerID: 491185

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