Why Won’t My Toyota Tacoma Start?

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Toyota Tacoma, a truck launched by Toyota in 1995, gained immense attention from all those individuals who wanted a replacement for their Hilux (Toyota Pickup).

Interestingly enough, this particular model had an American name. Tacoma is a city towards the south of Seattle.

On the other hand, many people also argue that it was named after an Indian mountain known for facilitating the people living in its surroundings by water.

This car’s models and generations have gained immense popularity because of its stylish outlook, great off-road capabilities, and amazing engine.

However, many people faced some issues with its starting and often asked questions like, “Why won’t my Toyota Tacoma start?”.

These issues have been gathered through research and strong word of mouth. I am going to answer this question for you in this article.

  1. Faulty Ignition Switch
  2. Failed Electrical Connections
  3. Disrupted Car’s Computer
  4. Cold Start Valve
  5. Screeching of Ring Gears

So, if you have been experiencing similar issues with your Toyota Tacoma, then you must consider the problems that have been given above.

What Would Cause A Toyota Tacoma To Not Start?

Read my list of the Toyota Tacoma turning over issues and know how to fix them

We must understand that every car has its fair share of ups and downs.

This does not mean that the car does not hold its value or is not a good decision to purchase.

The above-given issues are the ones most commonly experienced by several individuals who bought this Toyota Tacoma but could not start it from time to time.

I have discussed these issues in great detail below. Take a close look and see whether or not you have experienced similar issues.

1: Faulty Ignition Switch

If your ignition switch stopped working, this would mean that your car would not be getting the power supply that it requires to run the engine.

There are different ways of checking whether or not your ignition switch is at fault if your Toyota Tacoma is not starting.

You need to try starting your car with your car keys. Usually, if the car is not starting, you would not even be able to turn the key in any direction, and it would just get stuck.

Next, you need to see the digital dashboard or infotainment system.

If you see a red light, that would suggest that your ignition switch is at fault and is not letting your engine produce power for the car.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If you have no experience or knowledge about cars and their spare parts, do not try to work on this yourself. You would have to visit a mechanic. They would charge you somewhere between $50 to $150 to replace your ignition switch.
  • Or you can check if it’s jammed? It might have jammed, so you need to turn the wheels of your car back and forth to unjam the ignition switch.
  • Use a vacuum to suck any dirt or substance that might have gone inside the ignition switch, not allowing the keys of your Toyota Tacoma to work like they used to.

2: Failed Electrical Connections

Your Toyota Tacoma’s battery might be draining because it is not getting an appropriate amount of voltage or charge.

This might be because of many reasons, but one of those reasons can be failed electrical connections.

This means that your wires are corroded. This might also imply that the bolts of the electrical systems in your car are loose.

You need to get these issues fixed because negligence, in this case, can cause you a lot more.

Failed electrical connections would also imply that your car is not getting enough fuel and is not starting either.

Even the whole process through which your engine gets its fuel or power supply has an electrical system.

This can most commonly be identified by seeing your infotainment system. If it gives a ‘check engine light,’ then the other issue lies with your car’s electrical components and connections.

This is a major issue because one fuse can lead to countless other fuses. These faulty electrical connections might as well be due to the disruption of your alternator belt.

What Should You Do About It?

  • You can try fixing your electrical connections by fixing corroded wires.
  • You can cut the damaged part that has been affected by rust. You would then need to join the fresh piece of wire and tape it to ensure it does not move.
  • Moreover, you need to search for loose bolts and screws because there might be a chance that the electrical supply might be slow and might also leak because of this.
  • Lastly, you can also try using the shrink tube to hold multiple wires together. This provides an extra layer of protection for the wires.

3: Disrupted Car’s Computer

There are two things that you must be aware of. ECU, the Engine Control Unit, and MAF, Mass Air Flow.

What an ECU does is it gains all the information from the sensors that have been attached to the engines.

After gaining all the information, it works on how the engine will operate to start the Toyota Tacoma.

On the other hand, the MAF is a type of sensor that tells how much air is provided to your engine.

The ECU usually tends to fail if it cannot gain information from the sensors. For that, it needs some electronic cells.

If your car’s battery is not working in optimal conditions, then you must know that your car’s computer is not working, which means that your engine will not start.

On the other hand, if the MAF fails in any way, that would be because it gets contaminated by dust or rust.

This disrupts the engine’s sensors, creating problems when sending signals to the ECU. In short, this is like a nervous breakdown for your engine.

What Should You Do About It?

  • To fix the MAF, you need to get rid of the contamination in any way. To do that, you can try vacuuming the filters to suck out all the dirt that might be present inside them.
  • If you are visiting a mechanic, it will take as high as $300 to get a new MAF. You can get a cheaper alternative in decent condition in the market for a lower price.
  • To get your ECU fixed by the mechanic, they would charge you somewhere between $200 to $300. However, the main issues of an ECU are closely linked with the sensors, and you must get them checked.

4: Cold Start Valve

Like any other car, Toyota Tacoma cannot survive in extreme weather conditions.

They might withstand extreme conditions better than any other car due to their muscular body and strong engine. However, it also tends to fail at doing so from time to time.

If you use your car in cold weather, your start valve might freeze. Your engine tends to get cold during extreme cold weather as well.

The starter valve provides it with energy to make the engine warmer. However, if the starter valve also freezes, you will not be able to warm up your engine.

This acts as a choking element for your car, which stops the fuel from reaching the engine.

The car’s computer is designed to instruct your starter value to provide more fuel to the engine if it is cold.

This issue might not require urgent attention like other issues, but it is one of the main causes why your Toyota Tacoma does not start during winter.

What Should You Do About It?

  • You need to take measures to heat your engine. For that, you can use a glow plug. It is used to make the air in the combustion chamber warmer.
  • When hot hair is blown on the engine, it would unfreeze and would start working in some time.
  • There are proper sensors that check the temperature of your Tacoma. These are called thermos-times.
  • So, if your starter valve has gone cold, you can check to see if the thermos-time is not working properly.
  • If fixed, the engine control unit would get the right information from the sensors and unfreeze the engine.

5: Screeching Of Ring Gears

Another reason your Toyota Tacoma is not working is probably because of the starter, which is malfunctioning.

Attached to the starter are ring gears or internal ring gears, which act as the brain of starters.

You need to see if the ring gears are faulty. This can often be determined by identifying a screeching sound when you try to start your car.

If you have heard this sound while you are using the car and you increase the acceleration, the ring gears definitely have worn out.

This is usually caused during extreme weather conditions.

If you have had a Toyota Tacoma for a very long period, then the useful life of the ring gears might also have ended.

These can wear out if the weather is really hot outside. These can even freeze easily if the weather is cold outside.

What Should You Do About It?

  • You can find a new flywheel for your car’s ring gear for $100 or more. This is quite expensive, but it is hard to fix the ring gears yourself if you are not that aware of such complex components of your car, in this case, Toyota Tacoma.
  • On the other hand, you can replace your ring gear for $20 to $30. This is a cheaper solution and is more effective as well. You can find ring gears at any clutch shop near you.
  • Check if the ring gears have worn out because of extreme weather conditions. Provide the opposite extent of temperature to make it normal again.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Why Won’t My Toyota Tacoma Start With New Battery?

Make sure you do not pick a cheap battery for your Toyota Tacoma.

Do not worry about this because many people face this issue with new batteries.

In the case of the Toyota Tacoma, finding a new genuine battery and supreme quality can be difficult. However, it is not impossible.

Lastly, make sure your bolts and wires are properly tight.

Q2. Why Won’t My Toyota Tacoma Start Even With A Jump?

The issue might not be with the battery of your Toyota Tacoma.

If you have given a jump start to your battery, but it still does not work, then the issue lies with the alternator or the starter. You can check the sensors and the gears for it as well.

Do not jump-start your car more than required because it tends to impact your car.

Giving a jump start to a person to save their life is only done a few times, and then the doctors stop. You need to do the same.

Q3. Why Won’t My Toyota Tacoma Start But Lights Work?

The battery of your Toyota Tacoma is not sufficient enough to start the car, but the few volts that it can provide are enough to start the lights in your car.

You might have noticed that even though the lights work, they keep getting dimmer with every passing second.

You need to check this through a voltmeter and replace your battery if you have had it for a long period.

Q4. Why Won’t My Toyota Tacoma Start But Cranks?

You must take your Toyota Tacoma to a mechanic to see why it is stalling and cranking. Cranking might be because of some issues with your engine or ignition switch.

It has nothing to do with the more complex elements of a car. This is still better than the clicking sound. Fixing this is easier and cheaper than fixing the clicking sound.

Q5. Why Won’t My Toyota Tacoma Start Just Clicks?

You need to start saving for this clicking beforehand. The issue lies with the alternator and the starter of your Toyota Tacoma.

You would have to spend more than $300 to fix these issues. Probably a lot more in the case of alternators.

Q6. Why Won’t My Toyota Tacoma Start In The Cold Weather?

As I have discussed earlier as well that extreme weather conditions can disrupt a lot of things.

Several internal components of your car, such as the starter valve, are sensitive to extreme conditions.

In this case, you will just heat the components to ensure they start working again and provide some friction.

Q7. Why Won’t My Toyota Tacoma Start After I Get Gas?

Toyota Tacoma is a huge muscular car. The fuel goes through a long journey to reach the engine. There could be leakages in the fuel tanks or the fuel pipe.

The fuel filter might be contaminated, ruining the composition of the fuel midway. This might also be because of your car’s loose, corroded wires or the loose bolts causing leakages.

Q8. Why Won’t My Toyota Tacoma Start But Radio Works?

There is no electrical issue because a small electrical issue disrupts the entire car. The issue, in this case, lies with the alternator or the starter of your car.

So, get ready to spend a good sum of money on your Toyota Tacoma to get these fixed.

You can also try checking your car’s battery because that might not have enough voltage to provide to your engine.

Related: What Are The Worst Years For The Toyota Tacoma?


Like any other car, Toyota Tacoma’s journey was nothing less than a rollercoaster ride.

Many people have complained about their car, and these were all the possible reasons as to why there were issues in this car.

I have provided in-depth solutions to these issues for your ease. If you were questioning, “Why won’t my Toyota Tacoma start?” this article would be fruitful enough to get your car going.

Please let me know if your car starts working again after trying these remedies!