Yesterday, we jump in my car and I turn the key to accessory. All good. Turn again to fire her up. Nothing. No sound at all. Click back to accessory. Turn again. Begins clicking, but not rapidly like a dead battery, and the sound is a little different than I’m used to. A dead battery sounds like a tiny machine gun. This had six distinct clicks and the car fires up. Drives fine. Everything works. No dimming or loss of power.

Get back into car after loading groceries. Turn the key. Click-click-click then fires up. Three distinct clicks.

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At this point, I’m thinking it’s the solenoid in the starter, but praying it’s the battery.

Later, I pick up a battery and alternator tester from Harbor Freight. Battery tested good, and is only a couple year old. Alternator tests good. But to turn on my car for the alternator test, I got two clicks before it started. Before I close up the garage, I start it again just for the heck of it. Starts right up.

I have no interest in ignoring this, because the last thing I want to do is get stranded. On the other hand, replacing the starter — just hoping it will solve the issue — myself isn’t exactly a leisurely Saturday afternoon’s work. Apparently, it’s an absolute BEAR of a job on the 2JZ. One YouTuber DIYer said it took him 7 hours with hand tools. And the forums were even more terrifying. More terrifying still, were what many shops were quoting to replace it.

Anyone has any thoughts? Does this sound like a bad solenoid in your mind?

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