Second generation of the Toyota 4Runner.

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How to fix alternator/starter 1990 Toyota 4Runner

I'm having issues with what I believe is my starter or my alternator. Today while I was driving to work the warning lights in my dash started flickering, the radio shut off, and my wipers went haywire. Now the vehicle 1990 Toyota 4Runner won't start and my fuses are all still good. I'm not very experienced in diagnosing a problem, but I believe that since my truck didn't die while I was driving and my headlights still turn on that it wasn't an issue with my battery. Any help with either a better diagnosis or repair strategy is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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Evan, you did not tell us what engine you have. Also need to know if it still cranks over with a good battery. It also helps to know if the lights stay bright or if they go dim when you try to start. Your issues do not sound like the starter. Possibly the alternator but it could be a lot deeper. "that since my truck didn't die while I was driving and my headlights still turn on that it wasn't an issue with my battery." is actually the opposite. If you can still drive it, means that your alternator supplied the engine with the electricity it needed. I would check the main fuses as well as the wiring connectors first. See if you find something that got disconnected. We can possibly give you something more specific if you can give us a better description of what is going on right now.


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It's a 3.0 v6. It doesn't crank at all and the lights don't dim. I checked all of the fuses and they were fine. I tightened and made sure the connectors were still good and they were. Other than that the truck has had a lot of aftermarket work done to it from the first 2 owners so there is a lot of extra harnesses and other parts that I'm really not familiar with. I wish I could give a better description but as I said I'm not that savvy when it comes to vehicle repair/diagnosis. Thank you very much for responding to my question I appreciate it.



(a) Using an ohmmeter, check that there is continuity

between terminals 1 and 2.

(b) Check that there is no continuity between terminals

3 and 5.

If continuity is not as specified, replace the relay.



Place the starter motor in the flywheel bellhousing, and

install and torque the starter mounting bolts.

Torque: 39 N–m (400 kgf–cm, 29 ft–lbf)


(a) Apply battery voltage across terminals 1 and 2.

(b) Check that there is continuity between terminals 3

and 5.

If operation is not as described, replace the relay.


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