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Toyota Tacoma Turns Over but Won’t Start: How to Fix

Toyota Tacoma Turns Over but Won’t Start: How to Fix

It is a frustrating feeling when the Toyota Tacoma turns over but won’t start. It is a good thing that it is easy to fix when you know how to fix it. The most common issues can easily be prevented or even fixed for a relatively low cost.

The most common reason a Toyota Tacoma turns over but won’t start is due to a faulty starter. If the starter and battery are good, the fuel system could have a blockage or faulty fuel pump preventing gas from getting to the engine.

The reason the Toyota Tacoma turns over but won’t start may not be limited to the electrical system. It could be because of one of the other more common issues with Toyota Tacoma. Toyota did issue recalls for most of these problems to be addressed, so they will be fixed at no charge if it turns out to be one of those issues covered by a recall.

Why is my Toyota Truck Not Starting?

The starter is the most common thing that most people think of when the vehicle is not starting, however, the battery is the most likely culprit and easiest solution to getting the truck back on the road. After all of the electrical systems are checked, then it would be time to move on to the fuel systems.

The four most common reasons why the Toyota Tacoma is not starting:

  • Dead Battery
  • Faulty Starter
  • Faulty Alternator
  • An issue in the Fuel System

Of Course, there are some other common problems with the Toyota Tacomas to look for, but when it comes to the truck not starting, these four are usually the culprit.

Here’s a good video covering some of these issues, with more info below:

Check out the most popular Tacoma Accessories Here from Amazon

Tacoma Has A Low Battery

The first part to check would be the battery, batteries go dead for a variety of reasons, and most commonly is the root cause of the Toyota Tacoma failing to start.  The good news is that most auto parts stores will check the battery for no charge and may even install a new one when a purchase is made.

The battery going bad gives the symptoms of the vehicle trying to start, but won’t start, or there is no response at all with any of the electronics in the vehicle. 

The Starter Has Gone Bad

The starter is responsible for starting the Tacoma using a series of magnets and electricity to turn the flywheel. The starter has a lot of moving parts inside and is the second most common reason why the vehicle is not starting. There are two ways to fix the starter depending on the year of the Tacoma.

Older Tacoma’s have an external solenoid which should be replaced before replacing the starter unit itself. These older vehicles were built during the 1970s ’80s, and into the early ‘90s for some models.

Most Tacomas will have a starter that has an internal solenoid, which requires the entire starter to be replaced.

The starter will cause the Tacoma to sound like it is starting, but it won’t start. This part will give a clicking sound when the ignition is turned.

The Alternator Is Faulty

The alternator is responsible for charging the battery, and running the vehicle when the engine is turned over. There are several signs that the alternator is starting to go bad, including a loss of power in certain areas of the vehicle.

The only way to determine if the alternator is bad is to take it into a store to have it tested.

Fuel System Causing Tacoma To Not Start

The least common of the issues preventing the Tacoma from starting has to do with the fuel system in its entirety. There could be a clogged fuel injector or a bad fuel pump.

These items need to be properly diagnosed by a licensed and trained mechanic. There are several components to the fuel system and each has its symptoms to look for when determining where the problem is that is preventing the vehicle from starting.

It never hurts to pour a little fuel system cleaner in the fuel tank every two to three fill-ups, or as needed to keep the fuel system clean.

What are the Most Common Problems with Toyota Tacomas?

Starting issues are not the only thing that troubles Tacoma owners. These Toyota trucks have no shortage of common problems that owners face. Most of the issues are easy to fix, but some will require the help of a licensed mechanic to solve them.

Some of the most common problems with the Toyota Tacoma are:

  • Ball Joints
  • Air Flow Meter
  • Throttle Position Sensor
  • Starter
  • Transmission Faults when High Mileage
  • EGR Valve
  • Mass Air Flow Sensor

Some of these issues can be fixed for no cost if they are part of a recall issued by Toyota. It is easy to check for recalls on Toyota’s site. The only information required is the V.I.N. and the state that the vehicle is registered. If the V.I.N. is provided, then the state is not required.

If the issues are not easily fixed through a recall, the parts can be found at most auto parts stores. Sensors are easy to replace after locating them, and most auto parts stores even provide a lifetime warranty on most aftermarket sensors.

The Toyota Tacoma is going to have different common issues depending on the year model of the vehicle. The site called provided complaints that others are experiencing with specific vehicles.

One thing about this site is that not every complaint is a defect, and they make it easy to separate the vehicle by year, and issue.

Check out the most popular Tacoma Accessories Here from Amazon

Sum It Up

The first step is to get the most common components tested and replaced if necessary. Take the vehicle to any Autozone to get a no-cost electrical system check.

Autozone will check the battery, starter, and alternator of any vehicle. Then head over to Toyota’s website and type the V.I.N. into the recall checker to see if any recalls have been issued that might fix the problem.

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