Intermittent restart problem with 91 Toyota Corolla

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  #1  
Old 09-28-08, 08:42 AM
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Intermittent restart problem with 91 Toyota Corolla

Hi All,

My brother has a 91 Toyota Corolla that has an intermittent restart problem. It seems to happen only in hot weather.
It starts up fine and runs with no problem. However, if it's run for a while and then turned off, ever so often it will refuse to restart right away. The key is turned but nothing, not even a click. If he then sits around for a while, it will restart in about 20 minutes or so.
My initial diagnosis was a bad starter, or even a bad ignition switch. Anyone out there ever run into a similar problem? Is there an easy way to pinpoint the problem?

Thanks
 
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Old 09-28-08, 03:30 PM
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you will need either a 12volt test light or volt meter to trouble shoot this, when it will not restart you will need to check for voltage at the starter solinoid, both on the battery side of the starter and the ingnition side of the starter. if no voltage on the battery side then check the cable and battery connection for corrosion. if on the ingnition side then you will need access to the back of the ingnition to inspect the wire connections for loosness or evidence of arcing or poor connection, then use a voltmeter to check the switch to see if it passes voltage through when in the crank possition.

if you have voltage to the starter when it will not start on both the battery side and the ingnition side check for poor ground, if the ground is good then you will have to pull the starter and have it tested.

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Old 09-29-08, 06:13 AM
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Since you requested about something simple to test; probably the easiest test is for cars that have a fender mounted relay. Not sure if yours does.

These relays pass ignition key current on through the relay to the starter. With such a relay, you would have someone else turn the key to "start", while you check the large cable connection at the rear of(that leads to starter)) that small relay, to see if it energizes to 12 volts. If it does, then you know it is down by the starter. If it doesn't, then you know your problem is before the relay, and could be say the ignition switch, battery cables or whatever.

Starters and starter-mounted solenoids can be directly tested on the car, but often clearance can stymie one form getting test meter probes on the correct terminals. But if you CAN, tests there can be made. Such tests can be more easily done on pickup trucks where you can slide underneath the vehicle more easy.
 
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Old 09-29-08, 10:53 AM
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Hi,

While I was reading your responses, I thought of something.

As I had said, it only seems to happen in hot weather, and only intermittently. The difficulty that that has posed is that the window of opportunity for tracking the problem is very limited since the car will restart after about 20 minutes or so.

However, given the intermittent/hot weather nature of the problem, that seems to infer that somewhere in the circuit, there is a loose or corroded contact which might show up as a high resistance point. Am I corrrect in this thinking? And if so, can I use an ohmmeter to pinpoint it, and how?

Thanks
 
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Old 09-29-08, 12:43 PM
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a volt meter will work better as it will show voltage drop accross the problem area. look for any voltage drop below battery voltage especialy greater than 1 volt.

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Old 09-29-08, 02:38 PM
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Hi,

This is kind of a dumb question , but it's been so long since I did any of this type of work, I have pretty much forgotten all of it.

How do I do a check for a voltage drop in this situation? Which terminal on the voltmeter goes where? Same question about testing the ignition switch?

Thanks
 
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Old 09-29-08, 03:19 PM
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You can also put your read voltmeter test lead, to any positive terminal, and your black one to any metal, as all the metal will be strapped back to the negative post of the battery and thusly be grounded. Then if you have 12 volts or so at one point on a contact, but not on another, downstream, where you should be having it (obviously you have to know first what is supposed to be energized and when, and what isn't), then you've just found your problem. I've already explained it in my previous post.
 
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Old 09-30-08, 10:45 PM
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starter

Yes my sons Toyota Corolla did the same thing the contacts in the starter are worn out.You can pull the starter and buy a rebuild kit from Toyota 20 bucks or so.
Google Toyota starter problems for more info and pics of the procedure.
 
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