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Yesterday morning my Tundra had a complete dead battery. Worked well the day before and no electrical systems left on overnight. Since battery was original and 5 years old I bought a new battery from my Toyota dealer. Did a DIY installation cleaning all cable ends with baking soda and water and then emery cloth before reconnecting. When I tried to start it I got a "click, click, click" and no start. Rechecked all connections and put an overnight charge on the new battery. Searched archives for others' problems with starter. Did all the recheck and recleaning of ground connections as someone said. The truck started once after that. Next time "click, click". Pulled the relay. Looked at it, bemused, turned it around in my hand and reinstalled. The truck started. Still, I'm confused as to what the problem may be.
Some described 1. Replacement of starter-Worst case since it sounds like dealer work and mega $$$;
2. Replacement of relay- I think this is a DIY but how do I determine it is bad?
3. Cleaning/replacement of solenoid-also sounds like dealer work and $$$$$.

HELP! Any suggestions short of bemusement would be appreciated.
 

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If I were you I would replace the relay first, why? First it is easier to get to and probably cheaper and quicker than the other two IMO. If not a least you will know where the problem is. I'm betting its the relay.
 

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The truck started once after that. Next time "click, click". Pulled the relay. Looked at it, bemused, turned it around in my hand and reinstalled. The truck started. Still, I'm confused as to what the problem may be.
Assuming that your new battery is good, and that the charging system on your truck is also good, your symptoms are almost identical to the classic "bad starter contacts" symptoms. Having a bad relay is also very possible as Gort11 said.

Just to clarify, the "bad starter contacts" symptoms are:
- You hear multiple clicks every time you try to start your truck, but it will start within 4 or 5 times of doing this. Sometimes it will start on the first try.

Are these your symptoms? If so, you can buy new contacts and replace them yourself. Unfortunately, our starters are under the intake manifold which makes getting to them a bit of work but not impossible. The dealer will want to replace your entire starter and charge you for all of the labor to get to it.

There should be a way to test the relay by powering its circuit and seeing if the relay switch closes.

Let us know what you find.


Paul
 

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TNX Gort11 & Picasso
After rechecking all connections and testing it was determined that the new battery was defective. Strangely, it first tested OK -12.8V-then after a couple of hours and without cranking, 10.8V. AND then, without charging, tested 12.8V. That was what added confusion to the diagnostic process.
New battery fixed the problem and thank goodness it was not a starter.

:cry: Anyone need a new/slightly used $75 starter relay for half price? Only 5 starts on it.
DrP
 

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That's strange. Haven't heard that happening much. Glad you were able to find the problem.

Thanks for letting everyone know.


Paul
 
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