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Have to pump clutch pedal several times before Tercel ignition will crank engine


chirkware's Avatar
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02-16-05, 10:28 AM   #1  
Have to pump clutch pedal several times before Tercel ignition will crank engine

1993 Toyota Tercel, 4 speed manual.

Most mornings, when I try to crank the engine, I push the clutch pedal down, turn the key, nothing. I release and push down the clutch pedal (ALL the way to the floor) again, turn key...nothing. After SEVERAL tries, eventually the motor turns over. About once a week, I just roll it off. It usually does this to me in the evening as well, so I don't think it has anything to do with cold weather (did it this morning and it was 65 outside).


I'm assuming there is some kind of safety switch on the clutch pedal that won't allow the ignition to engage unless the clutch is depressed. I'm further assuming my switch is going bad.

Am I on the right track? Anyone know how hard that switch will be to get to?

I know, I need to just get under there and look...but with this tiny car, I'll probably have to take the drivers seat out to be able to get where I can see (unless I want a nice kink in my neck/back, which I don't).

Any advise is appreciated...

 
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02-16-05, 11:52 AM   #2  
The floor mat may be stiff from the cold and not allowing the pedal to travel far enough to engage the switch.

Remove the mat and see if it helps. If not the switch may need to be replaced. I don't believe they were adjustable, if required the bracket must be bent to adjust.

 
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02-16-05, 12:04 PM   #3  
I have moved the floor mat out of the way...no change. I've checked to be sure there is NO obstruction keeping the pedal from going to the floor.

About once a week, after 30 or so tries, I wind up rolling the thing off. Thankfully, I park on a slight incline, and it doesn't take much speed to roll it off. I'm sure that's not the best thing for the old car though.

Any idea how far up the pedal the switch is located, or how difficult it is to access?

Thanks!

 
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02-16-05, 02:41 PM   #4  
Its not that far up, was properly easy when I was 35, now at 55 it's a little more difficult!

 
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02-16-05, 03:39 PM   #5  
Sound like your starter is getting bad, usually it's making a "click" sound, you may not notice it.

If it's happen again, try to hold the key in start position and have some one tap on the starter with a hammer or something suiteable(sp?), if it starts, it is a starter problem. Just a though.

 
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02-16-05, 05:44 PM   #6  
Actually, I paid attention to it a little more carefully when I left work (took about 3-4 tries to start) and again when I left our Bible study (took 2-3 tries). I started wondering if maybe it wasn't the switch on the pedal, but the ignition switch itself.

I tried something different...when it did its usual thing, I continued holding the clutch down firmly, let go of the key, and turned again...bingo...started right up. When it doesn't crank, it almost seems like what would happen if you turn the key, but not quite far enough...You see the accessories cut off like they normally do when you start the engine, but nothing else happens.

This has me thinking ignition switch now (which of course is more expensive and complicated to replace, I'm sure :sarcastic. Does that seem reasonable?

At 12 years old and just under 180k miles, things start going bad. I'll just add this to the list, right under the AC and the rings (did I mention adding a quart of oil EVERY time I fill up with gas? )

 
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02-17-05, 02:10 AM   #7  
That's more likely is the starter problem, your ignition switch is ok 'cause you can see it feeds back (accessories lights goes dim/out) from starter, I think if the ignition is bad, you will not see any different when in start position, when you lights getting dimmer or cut out as they are suppose to, power is flown thru ignition switch to relay and to starter but failed to engaged and causing voltage drops (lights goes dimmer/out).

 
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02-17-05, 02:33 AM   #8  
The only way to diagnose the problem is to check the voltage at the solenoid when it doesn’t start.

 
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02-23-05, 08:11 AM   #9  
Problem Solved!

Last night I got under the hood to do a little maintenance...new plugs and wires (plugs burnt due to oil consumsion, wires because, well, they were old and seemed loose at the plugs). I removed the cap to facilitate changing wires...

While under there I decided it was time to disconnect the battery and clean the terminals (the hot terminal had some corrosion built up). I took the battery completely out, cleaned it up, cleaned the terminals, and topped off the cells with water...


Now I crank it up to test my work...guess what!?! It turns over first try. In fact, now, it turns over EVERY try.

Is it safe to say that the battery terminal corrosion was the culprit? Could the cap/plugs/wire be somehow related?

 
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02-23-05, 09:05 AM   #10  
keep it clean

I have seen crusty battery connections describe the problems you had.Keep them clean and a light coat of greasse or vasaline or even those green and red felt washers you buy at the parts store will help.

 
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