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Gen 3.5 Starter Replacement

1296 Views 12 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  mandyfig
I searched among the vast DIY files...no starter replacement DIY! Has somebody done this? I think my starter died this morning....it was doing the click-click-click. I have new battery, it has to be the starter.

Anybody?

STARTER replacement DIY, I will do this, with some help...where to get the best cost wise replacement?
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First take off your battery terminals and scrub them with a wire brush. Clean them up real good. Then put a light coating of dielectric grease on them. Or vaseline.

The click usually means that the starter isn't getting enough power from the battery. It could also be the electrical contacts in the starter itself not supplying the power. But, I've found in most cases when its happened to me, it's usually been the battery terminals, especially if I have had the terminals off recently (recently changed battery or put battery in another car temporarily).
Yeah, what was said before would be a good part of a DIY.

Diagnosis is just as important as actually getting the job done. Maybe your alternator wasn't charging your battery. Check your belt, terminals, condition of alternator and battery (take it to O'reilys or Advanced Auto Parts for a test) Then maybe you can rule out the starter.

As for replacing the starter - it's right on top where the engine connects to the bell housing... at least on the 5S-FE.

On my engine, all you have to do is take off the air cleaner and surrounding parts and bolt it off and put the new/rebuilt one back on and replace the taken off parts.
I just found the directions on Advance Auto Parts website. Pretty straighforward. Ebakl sells the repair kit that claims it solves all starter problems....pretty cheap....I am checking how true....looks like, true...that the only components that will fail are the contacts......assuming you do not have a bound up starter.....thanks guys.
I contacted The Electric Connection (one of our vendors linked) and was given the parts I needed to replace if teh contacts were the issue. But first I will get the terminals cleaned. Thanks.

I also downloaded the Manual, thanks guys!
If you are hearing multiple rapid clicks when attempting to start the car, then it is most likely the battery itself, corroded or loose connections at the battery or the starter, or the alternator not recharging the battery due to a defective alternator or loose alternator belt. If you are hearing 1 click, then you could have a problem with the starter's solenoid contacts.

Mike
^+1 with Mike. The Gen 1&2 forum has a lot of posts on starters. They should be almost identical. One general post was <http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/showthread.php?t=174502&highlight=Starter+contacts>

It had a link to a very descriptive rebuild post but the pictures are dead. If you were to contact the writer I suspect that he could put them back up.

Kep
If you are hearing multiple rapid clicks when attempting to start the car, then it is most likely the battery itself, corroded or loose connections at the battery or the starter, or the alternator not recharging the battery due to a defective alternator or loose alternator belt. If you are hearing 1 click, then you could have a problem with the starter's solenoid contacts.

Mike
Mike,

Was a good thing I did not pull the trigger on getting a new starter!!!!

Thanks, you are absolutely right! It was my battery, ran out of juice.

I checked my battery voltage, it showed 11.8 V, I knew battery was down.

So I jumped it and starter worked fine.

I checked the voltage while it is running, I see 13.84 volts. Is this normal charging current?

Somehow, my less than 2 year old battery lost the charge. I cleaned both terminals and tightened them. I will check on it daily and see what happens.

This is scary, when you do not know the root cause of the battery failure. I have 3 years free replacement on the Kirkland battery from Costco. But I do not want to turn it in, if my alternator is to blame.

Does somebody know the charging current value for the Gen 3 Camry?

Thanks.
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I don't know the specs for Camrys, but 13.84 volts sounds about right. Like you mentioned, check your battery voltage daily for a while to see what it's doing. If it drops steadily, it's bad.

I once had an Exide battery croak after only a year. If the car sat for more than 4-5 hours, it wouldn't have enough power to crank the motor, and the voltage would be at ~10-point-something. When I took it in, the guy behind the counter said it had an internal short between two cells. Not common, but it happens.
Thanks, I will not rule out a bad battery yet. As you said, better keepm up with it for the next few days. If my charging is OK, then it has to be the battery! Or maybe I have a leak somewhere...discharging the battery.....
Lots of auto parts stores will test your battery and charging system for free. Call your local stores and see who will do this for you. It only takes about 5 minutes (if there are no other customers).

Kep
^+1 with Kep.

If your battery is weak, I would think the charging current should be more in the 14 - 14-1/2 volt range. However, the best way to determine this is to take it to one of the auto parts stores that checks the battery and alternator for free.

Also, you said you cleaned the battery terminals. Did you notice any corrosive buildup on the battery posts/terminals before you cleaned them?

In addition, do a dark current draw test with the same digital volt/ohmeter you used to test the battery's voltage. The dark current draw should be 25 miliamps or less. Something may be drawing too much current when the engine is off. To do this shut off the car and remove the negative battery terminal. Now set the volt/ohmeter to a miliamp scale. Place the 2 probes between the battery post and the battery terminal and take your reading.

Mike
Thanks Mike.

The initial charging current after I jumped it was 14.6 V. You are right, when you have a depleted battery, the charging voltage is up. After running like 15 minutes, it went down to 13.8 V. I read the charging current somewhere. What is that website that answers most of the questions about cars regarding anything electric? That's where I originally downloaded the Camry's wiring when I installed my sub.

I will test it again tonight when I get home.

I will also do the "dark draw" you are referring to.

Thanks.

Mandy
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