Q: Starter cranks forever before the engine turns over

asked by on November 06, 2015

I am pretty frustrated with the starter in my 2008 Toyota Tundra. It takes a long time to start the engine, and it has gotten worse over the last few months. The truck isn’t very old and has 85,000 miles on it. Now it takes like 10-15 seconds to start up after the key is turned. Is this causing damage to something or is it just annoying?

Your issue doesn’t appear to be a starter problem. The starter’s only job is to crank the engine. And from your description it is doing that (unless it is cranking very slow). Your problem seems to be that the engine is not starting or firing up until it is cranked for an extended time. If this is the case, an inspection by a certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, would be necessary to properly diagnose the starting problem.

It would be wise for the mechanic to pay close attention to what exactly is happening during this cranking period as it would provide valuable information, possibly leading to the source of the problem. Things such as ignition faults, a faulty crankshaft or camshaft sensor or delayed fuel pressure, can all contribute to the symptoms you are experiencing. Take your truck to an auto-tech specialist like YourMechanic and have them assess what is happening with your engine control system during this delayed start period. Keep in mind that it could take some time to isolate the source of your problem.

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