I have a 99 4Runner Limited (Automatic) with 121K miles. So far it's been a great car. We have followed the manufacter's guidelines for maintenance (timing belt replacement, oil changes, etc). About a month ago I parked in the morning and everything was fine. When I came out 10 hours later the battery was dead. We replaced it and everything has been fine until a few days ago. About three days ago I noticed a slight hesitation when I cranked the car but it started. Then yesterday (2 days later) when I tried to start the lights inside came on, everything seemed fine but there was no sound - no clicking nothing - and the car didn't start. The motor didn't turn over. So I turned the key off and tried again. After a pause it worked, the car started and all was fine. That pattern repeated a few times during the rest of the day. I finally figured out that if you turn it once and then immediately turn the key to off but quickly try to crank again the car starts and runs normally. Is this a bad starter? Do I need to replace it or just replace the solenoid? What would you expect the cost to be? Could it be the alternator?
It could be the starter but before replacing it make sure the battery cables are tight. (Remember it was replaced recently) If they are then check the wires feeding the solenoid and make sure they are tight. If this check out then you may want to have the starter bench tested to see if its bad. Good luck : roll: Backyard mechanic