Tundra won't start

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Thread: Tundra won't start

  1. #1
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    Default Tundra won't start

    Would appreciate any suggestions about my 2003 Tundra that periodically won't start

    About a year ago I started having this problem -- turn the key and tick-tick-tick -- it won't start.

    Replaced the battery, replaced and cleaned up the battery cable connectors -- same problem recurs. It's not every time I try to start it -- but every couple of weeks. Seems to happen most frequently when truck is left for several days, such as at an airport parking lot. Hard starting a time or two after that, then OK for a couple of weeks. Sometimes it is very hard to start -- no tick-tick-tick, just dead -- requiring jump-start charging with another car for a half hour or so. Sometimes it is so dead I have to re-set radio, clock, etc.

    Battery tests OK, but I fear constant drain will wear it out.

    I've read several posts that suggest fuse or alternator problems. Any suggestions? This is a very frustrating problem with a truck I otherwise just love! Thanks!

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    Junior Member ejsharp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tundra won't start

    Sounds like something is draining your battery because you say that the tic tic stops after you drive the truck for awhile. Which means that charging system is working properly.

    Has the truck had any modifications?... like rewiring of cargo light, sound system or other electronics? Maybe a new circuit that is wired directly to the battery... one that is not turned off when the ignition is turned off. Do you have a cap with a switched ceiling light?

    Earl

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    Default Re: Tundra won't start

    sounds like parasitic drain, you can test for this if you have a Digital Multimeter. I can explain the test if you have one available.

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    Default Re: Tundra won't start

    yep parasitic drain. Take a volt meter and set it to Milliamp mA then disconnect the positive cable from the battery connect the volt meter in series to the positive on the battery and the cable you should see less then 50 mA drain with nothing on, doors closed to kill lights. Any more then that and you have excesive drain.
    2003 Tundra 4.7L
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    Default Re: Tundra won't start

    ejsharp: no modifications, but thanks.

    v6er & kcstott: "parasitic drain" might be it. I can take it to a shop and try those tests. But question: what could be causing a "parasitic drain," how to diagnose and fix it? Thanks.

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    Default Re: Tundra won't start

    well yours just gonna have to look around for things like lights staying on, maybe check the glove box if you have a light in there, it is possible that your battery cable has some high resistance causing it to slowy take power from the battery. Do a voltage drop from terminal to end of cable for both pos. and neg. you shouldnt read more than .5 volts at the most. Another thing you should check when you have a Multimeter handy is Surface Discharge, take the voltmeter and put the positive lead on the postive terminal and the negative in various places on the battery case. if you get any substantial reading clean the battery case there might be dirt, corrosion or water on it. Go all over the battery. As for the parasitic drain i would recomend using a jumper cable just ot protect the DMM fuse if its not yours, not nessacary though, if you have one put it between Negative cable and post, and then the DMM like kcstott said above (mA), remove jumper and wait for the computer to time out and the reading settles down, might take a few seconds. Again it shouldnt be more than 50mA.

    Hope thats not to confusing, lemme know if you have any questions and how it goes.

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    Default Re: Tundra won't start

    I just bought a used 2005 iForce Tundra and having the exact same problem after 1 week of ownership. Tick, tick, tick - won't start. Mechanic looking into what is draining the battery. I would like more info on this please if anyone has found a solution. Thanks.

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    Default Re: Tundra won't start

    Sounds like to me the starter contacts are bad.

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    Default Re: Tundra won't start

    I hope that this issue isnt dead because this is what I'm looking for under Tundra Solutions. If I leave my truck parked for more than two weeks and it hasn't been started it will drain the battery down so much that the battery is shot. You cant jump start it, put it on a charger or anything to revive it. It has to be replaced with a new one. I took it to a Toyota Dealer in Appleton WI. and told them what was happening and that I didn't want it back until they could find the problem. They kept it for about a week and said that there was nothing wrong. They said that it is only drawing 25 milliamps and Toyota claims that as long as its under 50 milliamps theres no problem. I finally got tired of replacing the battery and put a quick disconnect on the negative battery post and disconnect it if it's gonna be parked more than a few days. I have disconnected every thing that I can think of (Brake Controller, DVD Player, GPS) and still have this problem. The last week or so I've been driving this truck more often and 3 times now its done the tick, tick noise like the batery is dead and on the 3rd tick its started right up. and thats just after leaving it overnight.
    This has been by far the best vehicle that I have ever owned, and I dont want to admit that there might be a problem with my Toyota. But what gives with this battery issue? It's making me CRAZY!! I wont get rid of this truck because I've never had any problems with it other than this. Someone please help. I've talked more friends into buying a Tundra instead of all the other crap on the market and will continue to because I believe Toyota makes a superior product.

    Thanks in advance for anymore info on this.

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    Default Re: Tundra won't start

    These sound like starter contacts going bad. It starts out intermittently, and then gets worse. If you hear no noise at all, then you have to replace the whole starter assembly. I speak from experience only.
    Antipas likes this.

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    Default Re: Tundra won't start

    If it jumps it shouldn't be the starter. The battery draining down is easy to check. Put a volt meter on it when the car won't start. The solid state regulator or diodes in the alternator is the most likely culprit of leakage if you can't find an obvious source of something being left on.

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    Default Re: Tundra won't start

    hello first post, new member. I just bought a used 2001 Tundra SR5 and it has similar problem. Used car lot specifically said "sold as is" and now the battery slowly seems to go dead, then clicks at about 8 volts when trying to start it. I bought a small charger, that brings it up to allow it to start if left on for a day, using another vehicle with jumper cables, starter spins fast and starts right up, repeatedly, over and over, its obviously not the starter motor.
    very similar problem description as described by so many above, anyone ever figure out just what the exact problem is?
    I do have volt meter, and will check for parasitic drain, battery has sticker from 5/10 ( i presume it was sold about a year ago).
    when started, volt meter on dash jumps up to high range, like charger is working.
    any suggestions greatly appreciated, or else it'll go to someone who has experience with this problem.
    thanks
    Last edited by uncle ernie; 07-16-2011 at 10:20 AM.

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    Default Re: Tundra won't start

    something is staying on.To verify this,disconnect the battery when not in use to verify it stays charged.If not,might need to replace While checking for drain,I would R&I fuses 1x1 to determine what circut the drain is on.
    Last edited by Greasygreg; 07-16-2011 at 10:36 AM.
    2005 Tundra D/C Full of sand/out of gas.. Off to work I go...

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    Default Re: Tundra won't start

    good idea, i'll try that, disconnecting the battery while charging, that would isloate the battery from the vehicle, and if charged would stand alone, allowing to see if the battery itself can indeed come to full charge, with out other outside action questioning whether it has a drain or not.

    i did clean the terminals, and they were not bad, seemed like someone else was in there before me, i'll try and post pictures, if i can.
    charger showing charge


    when engine is started, dash volt meter shows charging,



    battery terminal condition, and outside volt meter showing battery condition while charging.


    UPDATE, after letting the charger do its thing, and with battery disconnected, i re connected battery and after initial small spark at contact, (i presume for something telling the truck it has a battery now) there seemed to be no more spark (when it first happened it was very very small) at ground cable connection.
    i tried to start truck, and it did so willingly, with a fast spin on the starter.
    this was repeated 3 times, each getting slower and slower.
    on the 4th try it clicked, which seems to me to be a simple battery problem.
    using jumper cables, from another vehicle, starter spins fast and repeatedly multiple times without any slowing of the starter.

    gut feeling right now is that its a battery problem.
    Last edited by uncle ernie; 07-16-2011 at 11:32 AM.

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    Default Re: Tundra won't start

    K.I. S.S. boys! Keep it simple stupid Not flaming. Pull your starter, pull the back cover off the solenoid. Go to Dealer and buy starter contacts! I belt my left one on this!n 10 dollar fix and all toyotas do it!

    You're welcome! PS never buy a battery that has fill caps.
    Norm

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