Hi, I have just trawled past forums to try to find definate answer to this problem, but nothing definate.

Problem is with M reg F78.

Symptoms are:
1. Turn ignition till glow plug lights go out then try to start engine, nothing.
2. Cannot hear starter trying to engage or turn, just a stony silence.
3. Can hear glow plug relay engaging.
4. If I turn key a number of times it all works as it should, however I have noticed that on the times that it starts with no problems I can hear a second relay clicking in. The sound from this relay appears to come from drivers side either in dash or engine compartment.
5. Mechanic just said its your starter, I am not convinced. I suspected starter relay, but arnt they on passenger side above glove box.

Would love to solve once and for all as sods law says it will pack in when stuck in snow drift.
100% certain not a battery problem.

Have also noticed some other irregularities, could they be related. Sometimes volt meter indicates charge at 18 volts with obvious increase in lights intensity. On the other hand sometimes there is a visible flicker on both headlight and instrument lights when charge nearer 13.5 v.

Help much appreciated, any new thoughts.


Iv'e not experienced this on

Iv'e not experienced this on a 'trak, but have had similar symptons on other cars where the contacts within the ignition key barrel become worn and burnt, and don't always connect. You can get an aerosol switch clean which I have used to correct such a fault.

Have you checked all the connections at the battery and starter including the earths? An intermittent poor connection will provide sufficent current to power the ignition, but fail with the load demanded by the starter.

David T


Thanks for that suggestion will try over weekend. Do you happen to know whether the ignition switch is sealed or will squirting contact cleaner down the key barrel reach the wafers.
It happened again today, but third try, when I heard a relay click in, sound coming from low down on drivers side, I knew it would start. Anyone know what that relay is? Its not the heater plug relay.



Same issue

I've had the same problem today with an M plate TDX independent. Started fine this morning but did notice a slight delay between turning the key and the engine starting.
The wife took the Forutrak today and it wouldn't start tonight. The battery was dead. They tried jumping it but it didn't turn over quick enough. Tried a professional jump pack but even that turned it over slowly hence the thought its the starter. Eventually tow started it but on getting home I went to remove the battery and the negative lead was hanging in fresh air. I think the lead came off on the journey home. Battery is now on charge. Would this loose lead make the starter turn over slowly??It wasn't evident it was loose when we tried jump starting it.

Possibility of several

Possibility of several problems, so here goes:

Starter motor brushes wear to the point where sometimes they work, and other times they won't, they mainly work due to expansion from a warm engine.

Remove the starter motor and replace the brushes, a simple job and your local electrical repairers will supply these for around £7.

Check the control cable, this is the thin one from the ignition switch to the starter solonoid, these corrode and sometimes break off. Strip the cable and crimp on a new end and seal with petroleum jelly.

Check the ignition switch output, these sometimes just wear out through prolonged use, cleaner sprayed onto the switch usually works as it penetrates if plenty is sprayed on.

Check the security and condition of the main earth cable, due to the age of the vehicles these may rot through, or partially through. Check the connections to the vehicle as these connection points corrode, remove the cable and clean the connection points, replace and cover with petroleum jelly.
To test the earth cable, connect a jump lead to the battery negative terminal, then to a clean part of the engine. Try starting the engine with this attached, if it turns over better it is the main earth cable as the jump lead has bypassed it.

Check the condition and security of the main power cables, often they corrode so remove them and clean thoroughly, refit and smear with petroleum jelly.

Now fixed hopefully

After charging the battery overnight on friday, I decided to check the battery cables.
I removed the lead from the starter, cleaned up the lead terminal and starter terminal with scotchbrite. I then removed the lead from the negative terminal attached to the wing and cleaned this end up. Finally I reconnected the battery ensuring the leads were fitted correctly. It fired up straight away with no issues. It wasn't the starter or battery after all, just a poor contact I think. We've been using it all weekend due to the snow without any problems.

F78 starting problem


The same thing happened to my Fourtrak some time ago.
Appeared that the battery was dead even though I'd only stopped for a minute and not left the lights on!

A friend was with me, she also has a Fourtrak. Told me to waggle the gear stick up and down a bit and then try turning the ignition. It worked!

Strangely hers does it all the time and another Fourtrak owner had told her do do this if the the ignition lights didn't come on and her car wouldn't start.

My father who is an ex-mechanic can offer no reason why this should have any effect at all.

Suggested I clean up the battery terminals which I did, then get the battery tested. Had this done at a local company who said the battery had had it.

I bought a new one and have had no problems since.

Can anyone give an explanation for the gear stick waggle as my Dad would love to know?



The wiggle is to move a sticky transmission inhibitor switch, these are fitted to more and more vehicles to stop the vehicles from starting unless they are in neutral.

This is a safety thing normally associated with automatics, but now becoming popular with manual transmissions.

F78 Starting Problem

Have experienced similar problem on Toyota Landcruiser 80 Series. The cause was worn contacts on the motor side of the starting solenoid. These were able to be replaced but don't know whether this can be done on Daihatsu.

john willie