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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-29-2018, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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3rd Starter in 3 months

The Tundra has been nearly perfect for about 190,000 km (120k miles) and now since the end of May when the original starter died I sit here 8 hours from home in Montreal needing a third starter to be put in.

I even spent the extra money for a remanufactured starter with lifetime warranty. I really wonder if this is going to be an ongoing thing now. I sure can't keep going on like this never knowing if the truck is going to start or not. Fortunately the first time it died at work in the parking lot, second time at home in the driveway. This time 8 hours from home 2 days before we were to go home.

I somewhat understand the original after 9 years and that many kilometers but 2 starters now in 3 months really has me wondering. Is there something else going on causing the truck to eat starters?? Have I just been unlucky with replacements?? Is it time for a new truck?? Really don't want to get a new truck as it runs like new, when the starter starts it. Just wonder if the third time will work out or am I going to get stranded again.

Anyone have any suggestions about anything else to check? First 2 did nothing when turning the key. This 3rd one now started making a funny noise and then just spun and kept spinning. Had to disconnect the battery and then smoke. Tried to connect battery again and it started to spin again but just starter spinning and no engine cranking.

Really frustrated right now.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-30-2018, 03:06 AM
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unless there is an installation error somewhere,all i can say is change supplier.some reman stuff is iffy at best.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-30-2018, 06:04 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by restosud View Post
unless there is an installation error somewhere,all i can say is change supplier.some reman stuff is iffy at best.
Thanks. Starting to think the same thing. My Dealer has a very good reputation for service so thinking the supplier.
Hopefully find out today. Tow truck should be here in 90 minutes.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-30-2018, 07:22 AM
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Garage
Get a new OEM part rather than a re-manufactured part.

--Matt

I'M AWAKE!
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-30-2018, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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Get a new OEM part rather than a re-manufactured part.

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I talked to the dealer here in Montreal and that was his recommendation as well. It would come with a 2 year Toyota warranty but could use it at every Toyota dealer. Current re-manufactured warranty is really only good at my dealer. Guess I will see what they say.

And so I sit here at the trailer waiting to hear back. Called my dealer and was told to bring in the invoice along with the fried starter and they would reimburse me my full bill from the first replacement. I would have to pay the remainder of the OEM difference. Sounds fair to me if the OEM is more money.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-31-2018, 11:10 PM
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Autozone "Duralast" starters are re-manufactured, good quality, and no-hassle lifetime warranty ... have used their starters & alternators on my Chevy truck ... but doesnt help much help if there aren't any Autozone stores in Canada
post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-31-2018, 11:58 PM
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Do you have a starter rebuilder around you? Also OEM is around $350.00 not sure what your paying for after market one.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-01-2018, 12:52 AM
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Something few people write in their posts is what they have done to diagnose the problem, what they found, and how it affected the problem when they replaced a part. As a retired mechanic, I've seen people "shotgun" things, like put in new alternator, regulator (way back), and starter, only to find that it was a dirty battery cable which caused the starting problem. Oops!

The first two didn't work, and you went back to that store and got a third? Ouch. I'd have thought by then that the brand was suspect. I like to check with local mechanics as to which brand of remanufactured (reman) products has worked well for them, then buy those. They usually know which brand to stay away from.

OK, you said the third one made a noise and then kept spinning. It brings up the chance that the ring gear lost teeth or came off the flywheel, or it could just be a bad connection at the solenoid. Do check both. A large screwdriver in the starter access hole will allow you to turn the engine over to check every inch of the ring gear for missing teeth or disconnection from the flywheel. If the ring gear is good, pop another brand of reman in or get a genuine Toy part. The thing with genuine Toy parts is that you only pay that ghastly price once in your life. <g> Ditto Honda alternators and starters. $400 a pop, but good for life.

You might want to share the brand of bad reman here so others don't get the same bad parts from them. Chances are good that it's just a bad manufacturing batch or reman, but keep reading.

If your battery is nearing 4 years old, I recommend replacing it. (I lucked out and got almost ten years on my '07 Toyota battery, but that was a fluke. I had heard one slow crank and went to the store and bought a new battery to put in in the next weeks, and the old one died a week later. I was only 15 minutes late to my client's house after swapping batteries.) Anyway, in my 65 years, batteries usually average 3-4 years, no matter what the brand or grandiose warranty claims. And I'd much rather swap a battery ($75USD) than get stuck somewhere in a rain or snowstorm 30 miles from nowhere, wouldn't you?

I recommend using the purple sealant on the battery terminals after cleaning the battery cable ends to perfection. Doublecheck the ground on the engine block, too, and verify the ground strap from engine to body and/or frame. I'm guessing that you have already tested your charging system to rule that out as a factor, too, right? Good.

Also check your battery cables. Often, individual strands of the wire will fray from the terminal ends, and that causes harder starting because there is less wire to pass current thru. When replacing battery cables, I like using thick wire, 2awg, when possible. Caution here, because some manufacturers use thick insulation to make people think their cables are thicker. Check the gauge. Cheap cables usually don't say, which is a tip, but they can be as thin as 8awg. Most inexpensive cables are 4awg. Luckily, the geared starters in Toys mean that they don't need a super thick cable, but it doesn't hurt to use one.

I think that covered all the points.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-01-2018, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by ljaques View Post
Something few people write in their posts is what they have done to diagnose the problem, what they found, and how it affected the problem when they replaced a part.
I'm in agreement with ljaques.

Even with remanufactured, the probability that the issue is a bad lot of starters is pretty doggone low. Certainly low enough that even if I went to OEM replacement at this point, I wouldn't have confidence that the problem is solved.

My guess is that something else is going on.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-01-2018, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ljaques View Post
Something few people write in their posts is what they have done to diagnose the problem, what they found, and how it affected the problem when they replaced a part. As a retired mechanic, I've seen people "shotgun" things, like put in new alternator, regulator (way back), and starter, only to find that it was a dirty battery cable which caused the starting problem. Oops!

Also check your battery cables. Often, individual strands of the wire will fray from the terminal ends, and that causes harder starting because there is less wire to pass current thru. When replacing battery cables, I like using thick wire, 2awg, when possible. Caution here, because some manufacturers use thick insulation to make people think their cables are thicker. Check the gauge. Cheap cables usually don't say, which is a tip, but they can be as thin as 8awg. Most inexpensive cables are 4awg. Luckily, the geared starters in Toys mean that they don't need a super thick cable, but it doesn't hurt to use one.
As I was reading down this thread I kept saying this ^^^ . I kept saying this ^^^. And then SHAZAM.....there it was.

You should do every electrical check and maintenance mentioned above.

Please report back.

I'm not completely useless. I can always be used as a bad example.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-01-2018, 11:04 PM Thread Starter
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Work has been done at 2 different Toyota dealers. The local one and now the one in Montreal. Both confirmed bad starters. Battery is 6 months old. Original Toyota battery lasted 9 years before the dealer said it was getting weak and needed to be replaced. The first 2 starters were NAPA Premium re-built. The dealer in Montreal recommended the Toyota OEM starter but could not get one for at least a week and I needed to be home on Friday. He put a Volta brand re-manufactured in. Hope I have better luck this time. I am also concerned about something else being the issue as well. Went looking at new trucks today just not convinced I want to spend that much money. Guess it is wait and see right now.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-02-2018, 09:28 AM
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"Work has been done at 2 different Toyota dealers" I would look into the cables yourself should take you 15 mins at most. Did you buy the starters or have the dealership buy them for you? Not that I don't trust people but hey I don't.

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-02-2018, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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"Work has been done at 2 different Toyota dealers" I would look into the cables yourself should take you 15 mins at most. Did you buy the starters or have the dealership buy them for you? Not that I don't trust people but hey I don't.
I will have a look at the cables once I come back from a business trip to Phoenix tomorrow. Starter were bought through the dealerships.
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