Car needs to shaken to start it?

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Jan 2, 2004
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California
Car in question: 2005 Sienna, 3.3L 3MZ-FE V6, 182K.

My dad said it wasn’t starting - he said he can hear the starter run but no crank. It happened with the van on a hill so he called AAA, they added some gas in and it still didn’t want to start so the tow truck driver moved the van or rather jostled it. It started and he got gas. This seems weird to me, he said the starter was bad but the AAA driver got it to start. I did notice it’s starting to crank a little long. Battery tested out fine, and so did the charging and starting systems with a Topdon battery tester. I’m starting to think the fuel pump is in play - my plan is to check for fuel pressure KOEO/KOER and after a hot soak. I’m ruling out the starter and NSS. What else should I look for - broken grounds and if the fuel pump is on the way out, fuel trims?
 
If the starter is spinning but the engine is not spinning, the starter or solenoid are bad. They generally come together so either way problem solved when replaced. Terminology might be an issue in translation though. "Starter runs but no crank"?
I'm wondering too. It's amazing to me how many people think cranking means the engine is running on its own.

Maybe we need to return to hand cranks out the front of the vehicle then people would understand again. I guarantee you they knew once the vehicle was running you didn't want that hand crank on there!!!
 
I'm wondering too. It's amazing to me how many people think cranking means the engine is running on its own.

Maybe we need to return to hand cranks out the front of the vehicle then people would understand again. I guarantee you they knew once the vehicle was running you didn't want that hand crank on there!!!
I know, right? I just had this conversation with my daughter. She's a smart kid, 120 IQ, but it took me three tries to finally get her to understand what the difference between a no crank, no start condition and a crank, no start situation was.
 
If the starter is spinning but the engine is not spinning, the starter or solenoid are bad. They generally come together so either way problem solved when replaced. Terminology might be an issue in translation though. "Starter runs but no crank"?
Yea, I meant to say a no-start condition. Now, I don’t know if the tow truck driver smacked the starter with a hammer or jounced the van to get the fuel pump to run.
 
I'm wondering too. It's amazing to me how many people think cranking means the engine is running on its own.

Maybe we need to return to hand cranks out the front of the vehicle then people would understand again. I guarantee you they knew once the vehicle was running you didn't want that hand crank on there!!!
I swear dealing with people daily they can't tell you if it cranks, starts or turns over - you just have to ignore what they say and just check everything. Don't even get me started on the sounds they hear and how they attempt to recreate the sound lol
 
Toyota starters have issues with copper contacts wearing out. A jostle will get another start out of them.

I hate when people say a vehicle "cranks but won't turn over." 🤬
I’ve seen those on the old Denso “compact” gear reduction starters - this van uses a newer PMGR design. If the fuel pressure checks out, I’m getting a OE Toyota or Denso reman for it.
 
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It was the starter. I took a look at the van tonight, and it was a no-crank situation. I was able go start it. I then stopped the engine, cranked it again and then… nothing. It was heat soaked. A few taps with a sledgehammer and a long 3/8” extension and I was able to start the engine. I was able to crank and start it after that. Debating a Toyota or Denso reman now.
 
I'm wondering too. It's amazing to me how many people think cranking means the engine is running on its own.

Maybe we need to return to hand cranks out the front of the vehicle then people would understand again. I guarantee you they knew once the vehicle was running you didn't want that hand crank on there!!!
“Turn over” has similar misusage/misunderstanding. Crank = engine rotates. That is plain as day.

Turn over means the same thing to me, engine rotates.

I’ve had people describe “it cranks, but won’t turn over”…um…well, which is it?

Does “turn over” mean ignition and engine fires? Does “turn over” mean “start”?
 
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It was the starter. I took a look at the van tonight, and it was a no-crank situation. I was able go start it. I then stopped the engine, cranked it again and then… nothing. It was heat soaked. A few taps with a sledgehammer and a long 3/8” extension and I was able to start the engine. I was able to crank and start it after that. Debating a Toyota or Denso reman now.
Honestly - I take it to a local shop and have them rebuild it. I’ve had them do at least half a dozen starters. They do it same day, for about $100. No core. No cheap components. You know the part fits perfectly.

These guys: http://www.browningsalternator.com/

I would try and find a similar shop near you.
 
Honestly - I take it to a local shop and have them rebuild it. I’ve had them do at least half a dozen starters. They do it same day, for about $100. No core. No cheap components. You know the part fits perfectly.

These guys: http://www.browningsalternator.com/

I would try and find a similar shop near you.
The last one that was remaining in the Bay Area shut down a while ago.

Ordered a Denso from Napa. The Toyota reman was $105 more, I’m fine with getting the cheaper Denso. I’m not messing around with parts store(BBB or Chinesium) remans or “new” starters.
 
“Turn over” has similar misusage/misunderstanding. Crank = engine rotates. That is plain as day.

Turn over means the same thing to me, engine rotates.

I’ve had people describe “it cranks, but won’t turn over”…um…well, which is it?

Does “turn over” mean ignition and engine fires? Does “turn over” mean “start”?
And then there's people who say "starts but doesn't run"

Me: what's that supposed to mean? it runs for a second then dies?

Them: ¯⁠\⁠_⁠(⁠ツ⁠)⁠_⁠/⁠¯ figure it out
 
And then there's people who say "starts but doesn't run"

Me: what's that supposed to mean? it runs for a second then dies?

Them: ¯⁠\⁠_⁠(⁠ツ⁠)⁠_⁠/⁠¯ figure it out
That was common with old Dodges - the ballast resistor would fail open, so the engine would crank, start, and run for an instant. As soon as the key was released and the ignition went from "start" to "run", the engine would die.

I saw this with a old Datsun truck also.
 
Daughter had a Pontiac Sunfire that we used to have to beat on the bottom of the gas tank to get it to start. Not every time. Just when it was really inconvenient.
 
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