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please help. 94 4runner wont start. not starter or battery

05-09-2004, 04:57 PM
I have a 94 4runner with 3.0 L V6. A couple of times I tried to start it in the morning before work and nothing happened. But when I tried again it started.
This morning I tried again and I would get a clicking sound for 2 seconds then nothing. kept trying to start with no luck. I figured it was the starter so I replaced it. Same non starting problem. So I replaced the battery. Still same problem. What could this be???

91 funrunner
05-09-2004, 08:38 PM
check your battery cables..... are they corroded or are the terminals corroded? b cuzz that will cause that...if they are remove your pos and neg wires and clean all of them w/ a wire brush and wate.........corrosion will climb way up into the insulation so if you have corrosion its a good idea to cut the insulation up a bit to see if its climb spread,if it has you should replace them. good luck lemme know how it goes ;)

91 funrunner
05-09-2004, 08:38 PM
wate = water ;)

Brian R.
05-10-2004, 11:14 AM
Check the starter relay.

05-10-2004, 01:20 PM
Where is the starter relay located? What does it look like?

Brian R.
05-10-2004, 02:01 PM
Normally it is in the fuse box by the battery and is a cube with 4 contacts. You have to pull the cube out to access the contacts. There are two pairs of contacts - the matching pairs are opposite each other.

One pair of contacts always has continuity and the other doesn't unless battery voltage is passed through the pair with continuity. Then the open circuit should close. If you have trouble starting, look for the open pair to stay open.

05-10-2004, 05:10 PM
Thanks for the ideas, I pulled the fuse and cant tell if it is bad. All contacts look good. put it back in but no start. Tempted to connect contacts with wire but not sure if this is a good idea. Decided not to. Anyone know how much $$ a replacement is or trick to tell if fuse is bad.

05-10-2004, 05:19 PM
I also cleaned the terminals well with wire brush and checked wires for corrosion and still no start.

Brian R.
05-10-2004, 05:39 PM
Not a fuse. Relay. You have to test continuity. It will always look ok.

05-12-2004, 12:26 PM
Can you believe it. It is not the starter relay either. I am now replacing the positive wire connector to the battery hoping this is it. Anyone with any other suggestions? Helllllllp

Brian R.
05-12-2004, 01:38 PM
When it won't start, tap the starter with a wrench or a small hammer and see if that gets it to start.

05-12-2004, 02:49 PM
Get this!!! I replaced the positive terminal wire attachment. Thought this could be it. When I turned the ignition key no start, just a click then nothing. really nothing. cant even get a reading. nothing works! can't even get the windows to go up. :banghead:

05-12-2004, 03:49 PM

I am new to this forum. I have a 98 4RunnerSR54WD and 1994CamryXLE. I have experienced this on both of my vehicles. It is a $25.00 fix. I went to the dealer and gave them my info on my vehicle and purchased the Starter Contacts for the vehicle. I then removed the starter and replaced the contacts one at a time matching each as I went on. This took care of the problem. :smile:

05-12-2004, 07:28 PM
:banghead: To date I have replaced starter, battery, battery cables. I am able to jump start vehicle from my wifes Landcruiser. Runs when I take cables off, but as soon as I touch brake with my foot to put in drive the whole car cuts off. I mean really dies. No power to use windows, dash lights, nothing... It totally dies like this if I try to start it on its own after I disconnect and reconect battery. Not a clue what the heck this could be... :banghead:

91 funrunner
05-13-2004, 10:59 AM
do you have an alarm?

05-13-2004, 11:20 AM
This almost seems like a case for a witch doctor.
You have to ward off all evil spirits. Try an exorcism. Try installing some gargoyls around your truck. Crack an egg on the bumper and look at it, if it comes out black, that's bad news.

91 funrunner
05-13-2004, 01:06 PM
a "pickled chicken bone" necklace around the mirror should do the trick

05-16-2004, 02:29 PM
I think I am going to take (tow) it to the dealership in a few days. Runs but if I turn on blinkers, push brake pedal down it cuts off. However, I am able to do this as long as I have the jumper cables hooked up to my other car? Any last minute suggestions before I give in to dealership prices for this fix.

91 funrunner
05-16-2004, 08:20 PM
maybe you have a bad connection somewhere and your not gettin' enough seems to me that if you can run it off of two batteries and it works and as soon as you disconnect one it will fail,your gettin just enough to start and keep the engine running any more draw such as (brake lights...etc) and it quits.if i had that problem in my house i would look for a split or damaged wire or connection. otherwise i a have no F'N clue goood luck :);(

05-17-2004, 10:59 AM
Maybe something with the voltage regulator/alternator. You could take your alternator to AutoZone or somewhere that tests alternators and stuff.
It's free, and at least you could rule that out.
Try to remember if you did anything to the vehicle around the same time this problem occured, (eg. change radio, add off-road lights, any recent work). Sometimes, if you hook something up wrong, it could really F things up.
Make sure the alternator and alternator belt are in good shape.

05-20-2004, 10:24 PM
Here is your fix
So try this!
near the battery is a thick wire at goes to the fuse box right off the left side of the positive terminal if you are facing the vehicle.
Replace that wire with your own thick wire If u can't make one your self then have Someone do it for u because Toyota only sells the whole harness!
This wire is broken or is breaking down inside
It feeds ALL your power to everything even the 12 volt poer to the starter.

05-23-2004, 07:17 PM
might want to check fusable links. (particularly,one from motor to firewall.)

05-24-2004, 07:34 PM
Any last minute suggestions. Starts with jump from car. If I turn any electrical option on car cuts off totally, though if I turn on A/C, Headlights I can disconnect jumper cables and drive car(Not Far, I'm scared it will die in middle of intersection).
I have checked wire and cut back wrapping from terminal. Looks good. Also wires that have corroded from inside and have problems heat up real quick when power is running through them. These have no heat coming from them. There is no power to anything unless I jumper cable to another car. Could it act like this if positive to battery is not tight or globed with grease.
Electrical problems suck soooooo Fkn bad!!!!!!!!!!!

91 funrunner
05-24-2004, 08:09 PM
have you tried snake oil?

05-25-2004, 08:47 AM
check the fusable link from motor to firewall. have had the same thing sounds like with mine. it's just a wire.

05-25-2004, 11:28 PM
did u try my fix?

05-30-2004, 06:29 PM
Toyota Tech, Just bought a circuit tester. When it stops raining I will go through and check the wires especially the black large one goung to the relay box beside the battery. I hope that is the wire thats bad. I'll post the results.

Brian R.
05-30-2004, 07:16 PM
Circuit tester probably won't do the job. All it will test is continuity. Continuity doesn't tell how much current the wire will handle. It may need to carry 10 amps when it will only handle 100 ma. Will still look continuous. Replacing it is the only sure way to tell if it is the problem, unless the wire is just plain broken or cut. I doubt that would be the case without damage to the insulation that you can see.

Also, it you are testing continuity, be sure and isolate the wire so that there is no other circuit that could carry current and make the wire look good, when in actuality, the wire is bad and there is another path for the current to flow.

05-30-2004, 07:34 PM
Dudes, You wont believe it. It was the black wire coming off the battery to the relay box. Replaced and Viola. Starts right up every time!!!!!!!!!!!!Thanks for all of your help guys. After 3 weeks Snake oil actually started sounding like a viable option.

Brian R.
05-31-2004, 12:41 AM
Good call ToyotaTech

91 funrunner
05-31-2004, 11:34 AM
i think itwas bad juju in your gas tank ;) but maybe toytech was right

01-04-2009, 06:32 PM
I had the same exact problem. Toyotech's fix worked perfectly. In fact someone had attempted it previously but the fix was shabby at best. Now the whole electical system works perfectly. Thanks for the help.

04-10-2009, 05:23 PM
i just wanted to thank the toyotech... i had the same problem unfortunatly i didnt read this until after i replaced the starter.. thanks man worked like a charm... like another guy this fix was attempted before on my 89 4 runner and did a crappy job with to small a gauge of wire. i took it down to a 4 gauge and problem solved.

08-29-2012, 06:59 PM
Thanks guys- I'm having a pretty similar problem with my 94 4Runner SR5 manual... clicks but does not turn over. I've got a multimeter and tested from the + terminal to the relay box side of this wire and its showing 12V (- probe on the engine block for grounding). But BrianR is sayin this won't tell me if it's actually this wire that's the problem?
I pulled the alternator fuse out of the bottom of the relay box and this wire looks to be sodered as well as crimped onto that end (the end on the + terminal is just a washer under a bolt). Any advice would be great. Just spent hurricane Issac in my apt and would have been good to have the truck working just in case I had to roll out. :icon16:

01-21-2013, 10:54 AM
I have a '95 4runner that has been sitting all winter. A few weeks ago, I jump started it and drove for just 10 minutes...everything was fine. I tried to jump it this weekend after some very very cold weeks (-30F) and it wouldn't start and the battery looked terrible (bloated, corroded, etc). So I went and bought a new battery and put it in. When I open the drivers door, the buzz from the key being in the ignition sounds, the headlights turn on, but there is no power inside. No dome lights, no radio, no dash lights, no clutch start cancel, and the ignition seems to not work either because there is no clicking, no turn over, NOTHING! I checked fuses and replaced two 15's in the engine but don't know how to check the relays...should I just bring them to CarQuest? I also know the battery terminal cables are new. I heard maybe it is the cable going from the battery to the fuse box?

01-23-2013, 05:39 AM
may be you should make a diagnostic in a garage or you can do it by yourself

10-31-2013, 01:15 PM
My 94 4runner wont start. Plenty of battery and new starter, it acts like it is not getting gas. 1/4 tank of gas, good fuel filter.

01-20-2014, 06:48 PM
Hi, first timer here - cool. OK, on topic I may be dealing w a similar issue. Before I change the starter,..( to anyone who has completed this job) probably a super simple answer, but in order to replace that cable - you have to disassemble the fuse box just to get at that cable??

Take the two screws that hold it on,.. off,..take out all the relays,..then what looks like some sort of a jumper there - on the end - closest to the battery - with multiple wires going in and out of the two - white - electronic type of connectors - which should disassemble when you poke a screwdriver in there and try and pry them off,.....


how exactly do they disassemble?? :banghead:
I am having such an issue with this I do not want to damage those wires,..
but would be nice to just chane a wire there rather than a starter - down there,...
Thanks so much to anyone who will read and answer this,.. worth a try I guess / ratio of difficulty to do the starter,...ha,..:smokin::shakehead

08-10-2014, 09:37 PM
Just chase the wire till you find the bad part, I had to dissemble the whole thing because the previous owner kind of butchered it.

04-25-2015, 05:16 PM
OK this sucked. Had the exact same problem. OUT OF THE BLUE my 95 4 runner won't crank. No power, sounds and feels like a dead battery or bad starter. Thinking my 1 yr old battery went dead I replace the alternator and recharge the battery, aaaand NOTHING. Then find this post and begin looking into ToyotaTech's potential cause. Removed the battery, begin to disconnect the cable from the positive terminal in tracing the 'fat' wire going to the fuse box and find everything to be fine. HOWEVER while disconnecting the main cable from the terminal I notice it WAS NOT completely TIGHT. So while reconnecting the terminal, tightened things down nice and tight, reconnect the battery doing exactly nothing more, put the key in the ignition and BAM !! kicks right over. Go figure. Thanks ToyotaTech. You rock.

09-12-2015, 10:53 PM
Well its 9-12-15 and I have a 1995 A Sr5 4Runner V6 and Yes of course its still happening. :banghead: So I guess going to tackle the issues tomorrow...Have already put a new alternator and all new belts in. Tomorrow will be placing the battery cables from bottom to top both hot and ground. If this doesnt work will give the idea of ToyotaTech a go.....Will let ya guys know...:screwy:

11-25-2015, 05:13 PM
i have a 1990 Toyota 4runner and it wont start my gas tank was puncher-ed by my drive line from driving (i was driving at the time) so i shut my car off and had it towed and now i have a new gas tank installed but my car wont start after putting in more gas i have check everything and everything is still good but my car refuses to start what do i do now

12-27-2015, 02:53 PM
Today I temporarily I turn off my surf (1994 Surf 1kz) and when I try to tur on again, the panel did not have any normal lighting, the radio did not work, the windows do not operate... Apparently all the fuses are ok. Any suggestion or recommendation ?
Best regards.

Brian R.
12-28-2015, 08:00 PM
See post #21 and related posts.

01-06-2016, 03:19 PM
Today I temporarily I turn off my surf (1994 Surf 1kz) and when I try to tur on again, the panel did not have any normal lighting, the radio did not work, the windows do not operate... Apparently all the fuses are ok. Any suggestion or recommendation ?
Best regards.

Thankfully I managed to find the cause.
I decided to double-check the fuses and found the fuse marked as AM1 (40A) burned.
Replaced the fuse, and everything was OK, but when I turn the key to start, the fuse burn immediately.
I searched for a cable that was causing the short circuit, and found that the starter was loose.
Therefore, this fuse has blown due to the start engine be loose.
So the issue is resolved. It was not due to any fault of cables or contacts.
I share my experience because I think it should not be too common find the starter loose.

01-07-2016, 01:34 AM
The only ideas I can think of that haven't been mentioned are the solenoid and the starter itself.

03-06-2016, 10:01 PM
I have read a lot of the posts on this chat and I have noticed many do not refer to the owners manual. Just by reading it has help in guiding me to where items are on my truck. There are 3 fuze boxes on the 95 4Runner, just by reading. The manual has helped me solve simple problems.

11-03-2016, 09:32 AM
Some help would be great! i have a 95 4runner Sr5. A few months ago had to replace starter and everything was great afterwards. yesterday went out and started my truck to warm up and turned on running lights, everything was working well and went back inside. came out about 5 mins later and the passenger side front and back running lights were not working,(head lights, break lights and turning signals still worked) thought it was a fuse but no fuses were blown and bulbs are still good. today went out to start my truck and turned the key and click.... all power to everything was gone! not sure if these two instances have anything to so with each other. i have checked the battery and even tried other battery and no go! I can jump the truck from another car and runs. I have read through this forum and wanted to see what people are thinking. please help I love my truck!

Brian R.
11-04-2016, 10:09 PM
Check the wire from the battery positive terminal to the fuse/relay box next to the battery. Many times this wire or the connection becomes bad and causes weird electrical problems.

05-24-2017, 09:58 AM
93 22RE. Needed a battery. Son started to install backwards. Positive cable started to smoke a little before I noticed it. It did not burn. Now the starter will not turn over, no interior accessory power (radio, turn signals, dome light, etc..) the headlights still work and the door buzzer. It will push start and run fine. Any suggestions????????

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