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2012 Toyota Tundra Starter Problems

Discussion in '2nd Gen Tundras (2007-2013)' started by pailwriter, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. Nov 8, 2018 at 5:33 PM
    #1
    pailwriter

    pailwriter [OP] New Member

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    I have a 2012 Toyota Tundra 5.7L that is having starter problems.

    If the pickup sets for about 8 hours or longer, the starter doesn’t disengage properly.

    I try starting it, and it turns the engine but the engine won’t start right away, and when I turn the key back to the “run” position, the starter keeps spinning until I turn the key to the off position.

    Sometimes the starter will keep spinning until the engine starts while the key is in the “run” position. Sometimes I have to try this 2 or 3 times. When it does start, it revs up to a very high RPM for a while. Much higher than normal.


    Once I get it started and drive it for a while, then turn it off, it will start right up like normal.


    A work around I have found is to put the key in, turn it the run position and let it set there till it finishes with all 5 dings (those little bell/chime noises that all cars do) then I give it just little gas (mash the gas pedal) as I start it.

    I also pulled the negative battery cable off for about 45 minutes to reset the computer. This helped with the above “delay” trick and it no longer revs up real high.


    However, this is a “work-around”, and I would really like to solve the real problem.

    The pickup is 6 years old but only has 54,000 miles on it.


    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Nov 8, 2018 at 5:37 PM
    #2
    T-Rex266

    T-Rex266 Moderator Staff Member

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    Almost sounds fuel related. It’s not getting gas until you mash the pedal; forcing more fuel into the lines.
     
  3. Nov 8, 2018 at 5:43 PM
    #3
    pailwriter

    pailwriter [OP] New Member

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    Thank you for your reply.
    I read about that on other forums, some said they changed the battery, fuel pump etc with no change/improvement.
    Some say the throttle body needs cleaning, but I haven't found anyone with this issue that has posted a real fix or even the reason for the problem.
     
  4. Nov 20, 2018 at 5:19 PM
    #4
    pailwriter

    pailwriter [OP] New Member

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    Update:

    I seem to have figured out a work-around.

    After doing the process listed above, (disconnecting the battery cable and turning the ignition to the “run” position until all bells finished ringing) I also switched to “premium” gas (91 octane) for two full tanks.

    This seems to have helped. About a quarter of the way through the second tank of “premium” gas, it started clearing up. Meaning that now it starts like normal without having to wait a long time with the ignition in the “run” position and I no longer have to pump the gas pedal to get it started.

    I can stand outside the pickup, reach in through the window and start the pickup with no hesitation even when it has sat for more than 8 hours.

    I still fill like this is just a work-around and would really like to know what the real problem is and how to repair it properly.

    So, if anybody knows the answer to this question, please post here and I will spread the word as much as I can.

    Thank you.
     
  5. Nov 20, 2018 at 6:05 PM
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    T-Rex266

    T-Rex266 Moderator Staff Member

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    Maybe it’s just bad fuel
     
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  6. Nov 20, 2018 at 6:08 PM
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    TheBeast

    TheBeast The Beach

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    still running original battery too ?
     
  7. Nov 20, 2018 at 7:26 PM
    #7
    pailwriter

    pailwriter [OP] New Member

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    not sure. I bought this pickup May this year. So i don’t know how old the battery is.
     
  8. Dec 9, 2018 at 9:12 AM
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    pailwriter

    pailwriter [OP] New Member

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    Update regarding the battery question. Yes, it has a new battery in it and still doing the same thing.
     
  9. Dec 10, 2018 at 6:27 AM
    #9
    FXFormat

    FXFormat New Member

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    This sounds like a fuel delivery issue, i'd start with that first... weak fuel pump or bad gas, run some fuel injector cleaner through the next tank and see if it helps.
     
  10. Apr 17, 2019 at 5:34 PM
    #10
    pailwriter

    pailwriter [OP] New Member

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    Update:
    If anyone is still watching this post, I found out that this only happens when the temperature is below 45 degrees.
    In warmer weather it starts and runs just fine.

    ... And the mystery deepens. <grrrr>
     
  11. Apr 28, 2019 at 10:28 AM
    #11
    Sundown5oh

    Sundown5oh New Member

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    Is it a flex fuel?
     
  12. Apr 28, 2019 at 12:45 PM
    #12
    pailwriter

    pailwriter [OP] New Member

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    Yes it is a Flex-Fuel.
    I am starting to get frustrated with this thing.
    Most of the time, on the warmer days (above 45 or 50 degrees) it starts fine.
    But Wednesday (04-24-2019) it did it again and the outside temp was 80 degrees.
    I tried starting it like normal and let the key spring back to the run position. It didn't start but the starter kept spinning the engine for about 20 seconds then stopped.
    I tried it again and again let the key spring back to the run position and the starter kept spinning the engine for about 15 seconds and the pickup started.
     
  13. Apr 28, 2019 at 2:40 PM
    #13
    JohnLakeman

    JohnLakeman Burning Internet Daylight

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    Did you get an owner manual with the truck? Probably a good idea to familiarize yourself with your "new" truck.

    Toyota does not make a big deal about Tundra having an auto-start sequence on late models, but I know that my 2017 has it, and earlier year Tundras also have it. I don't know when it first started on Tundra, but I first observed an auto-start sequence on a Chevy in 2006, and it probably started on high-end vehicles before that.

    Auto-start means that once you turn the key to the "Start" position, the ECM initiates the start sequence and automatically considers the ambient temperature, adjusts fuel injection, throttle position, and cranking until the engine starts. Since most Tundras start in a second or so, owners don't even realize they can release the key to the "Run" position anytime they want after turning to "Start", and the start sequence will be unaffected...the engine will just keep cranking until it starts. Once it does start, the high idle speed is again a product of the ECM, and it is normal.

    I suspect your 2012 also has the auto-start sequence, and that's why it continues to crank after you release the key to the "Run" position; I see no other explanation. The problem is...your Tundra is just extremely hard to start cold. FYI, my owner manual says not to allow the engine to crank more than 30 seconds to avoid starter and electrical system problems. You can stop it cranking by simply turning the key back to "Off". If your truck is taking that long to start, then you have a bad problem that must be solved before it causes other expensive problems.

    It's likely you have severe fuel system issues that need professional diagnosis. Your problem is multiplied by the fact you have a flex-fuel engine. Flex-fuel engines have to sense how much ethanol is in the gasoline, and adjust fuel-air ratios accordingly. (What the pump label says is often "variable and imprecise".) There are multiple threads on Tundra forums about this adjustment not being performed correctly in the Toyota 5.7L Flex-Fuel engines, causing extremely poor fuel economy and poor engine operation. I believe there are Tech Service Bulletins to do an ECM reflash to correct the issue and improve operating characteristics of the 5.7L Flex Fuel engines. Your dealer may have to do that for you.

    BTW, repeatedly stomping the accelerator pedal, like holding the key in "Start", will also have zero effect on starting your engine. If you think it is helping, then it's all in your mind. This has been true since fuel injection began, and ECMs started thinking for the driver. ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2019
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  14. Apr 28, 2019 at 2:50 PM
    #14
    Tundra_power

    Tundra_power New Member

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    Recently i kinda had the same problem. I left my keys in my truck on a hot day. Never leave keys in any vehicle because the keys get hot and can ruin the chip inside the key. I tried to start it and wouldnt start just crank. I had to disconnect the battery and than it started fine. I think it was the engine mobilizer. Maybe try your spare key good luck.
     
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  15. Apr 28, 2019 at 2:59 PM
    #15
    JohnLakeman

    JohnLakeman Burning Internet Daylight

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    One way to determine if it is the "Immobilizer" preventing your truck from starting is to watch the small dash icon of the car with a lock.

    When you remove the key, that icon should begin flashing indicating the "Immobilizer" is activated. When you insert a key with a good chip, the icon stops flashing indicating the "Immobilizer" has been canceled.
     
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  16. Apr 28, 2019 at 3:43 PM
    #16
    pailwriter

    pailwriter [OP] New Member

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    Okay, I have heard from several sources now, that it is probably the computer and that it needs to be re-programmed.
    The battery is new, the starter has been tested and is good.
    The throttle body has been cleaned.
    The fuel sensor switch has been tested and is good.
    The fuel pump is good.
    Next stop, re-program the computer.
    The Toyota shop said they could re-program it for about $120.
    I'm hoping that will cure it.
    If it does I will post back here to let others know.
     
  17. Apr 28, 2019 at 5:33 PM
    #17
    JohnLakeman

    JohnLakeman Burning Internet Daylight

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    Here you go...exactly what I'm talking about. Posted here today at 5:23 PM. Good thing @Sundown5oh asked if yours was a flex-fuel. Coincidentally, this OP also has a 2012.

    https://www.tundras.com/threads/alcohol-density-fuel-trim-issues.45180/
     
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  18. Apr 29, 2019 at 10:56 AM
    #18
    NWExplorer

    NWExplorer this guy

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    If the re-program does not do it I would look at a possible vacuum leak too. They can create some strange symptoms. I think Lakeman is onto something with the start sequence. Your difficulty starting and high rev after start could be vacuum related.
     
  19. Apr 29, 2019 at 4:45 PM
    #19
    pailwriter

    pailwriter [OP] New Member

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    Okay, thanks for all the tips.
    Just an FYI;
    I bought this truck from our local Toyota dealer May of 2018. It was 6 years old but only had 48,000 miles on it.
    For 3 months, I never had an issue with this.
    When Fall started and the temperature dropped, that's when it started.
    Of course it sits outside during the workday while I'm at work, but other than that, it's in a garage all the time.
     

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