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2008 Yaris immobilizer issue?


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Have something a bit odd going on with my 2008 Yaris.

Wouldn't start, so we thought the Battery had gone flat - it had been sat around for a few weeks. Recharged the Battery, put it on and the car would not start. All the lights came on, but it wouldn't even turn over.  Clutch fully down and no mat in the way. I got it to start once, but nothing after that.

Wife came home and I tried her key - it started immediately. Tried my key - started immediately. So I changed the Battery in my keyfob as it was definitely a little flat - taking 5 attempts to unlock the car. Wifes battery was changed about six months ago.

No further probs until today. Wife drove the car to work no issue, but when she went to come home, won't start. I go out to it, put my keys in, starts immediately. She tries her keys and again, it's starting.

What's going on? Feels like an immobilizer issue to me?

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Don't think it's an immobilizer issue - If it was the car would still crank but not start (And it would also shake quite alarmingly while cranking if it was anything like my Mk1!), as the immobilizer only disables the fuel pump (and sometimes the spark).

My current favourite theory is the clutch switch has gone a bit dodgy and isn't contacting properly, as the car won't crank at all if it doesn't detect that being pushed in. Would also explain the lack of a Check Engine Light as that would not be considered a fault by the ECU.

Next time it happens, push the clutch pedal down to the floor a few times and then try again - If it works, spray the bejeezus out of that switch with some electrical switch cleaner and see if that helps.

 

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3 minutes ago, Cyker said:

Don't think it's an immobilizer issue - If it was the car would still crank but not start (And it would also shake quite alarmingly while cranking if it was anything like my Mk1!), as the immobilizer only disables the fuel pump (and sometimes the spark).

My current favourite theory is the clutch switch has gone a bit dodgy and isn't contacting properly, as the car won't crank at all if it doesn't detect that being pushed in. Would also explain the lack of a Check Engine Light as that would not be considered a fault by the ECU.

Next time it happens, push the clutch pedal down to the floor a few times and then try again - If it works, spray the bejeezus out of that switch with some electrical switch cleaner and see if that helps.

 

Thanks for this. So the car would crank if it was immobiliser? In this case it doesn't (when it's not working). I'm sure I did try this pushing the clutch down several times and it didn't solve it until the wife appeared with her key.

I find it odd though that when I change car keys, it seemingly works??? What is it I need to spray where? 

Thanks

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The Immobilizer cuts spark and fuel, it will still crank over, i would get the Battery and alternator checked as low voltage can cause all sorts of issues

it may crank over, but the voltage may be dropping under the threshold, 6-7 years is about the life of a Battery, even less due to lockdown and/or a cheap Battery

 

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Just to be clear it might not be that - I'm just throwing ideas at the wall so to speak! I am fairly sure the engine will still crank if the immobilizer is active tho' - It has been the case in my other Yarisisueses (I found this when trying to program a new key myself and it didn't work...)

I can't find a good picture of where the clutch switch is, but if you look at the clutch pedal you should see a plunger switch thing that it presses up against when it's pushed in.

Don't just start spraying it unless poking it a few times fixes the problem 'tho!

 

Was thining what else it could be  Maybe a faulty starter or stuck starter solenoid. I don't think yours has start-stop so it should pop-out and engage the flywheel when starting - If it's quiet enough you can sometimes hear it go click-whirrr in the engine bay when trying to start the car; If you hear just a whirring sound it means the starter is spinning but the solenoid hasn't engaged it with the flywheel; Sometimes you can whack it a few times to make it work (although in the Mk2s IIRC it's harder to get to.), but the proper fix would be to replace it. This is tricky to diagnose tho' as usually it's too noisy to hear it without using a screwdriver as an ear trumpet or something.

 

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15 hours ago, Cyker said:

Was thining what else it could be  Maybe a faulty starter or stuck starter solenoid. I don't think yours has start-stop so it should pop-out and engage the flywheel when starting - If it's quiet enough you can sometimes hear it go click-whirrr in the engine bay when trying to start the car; If you hear just a whirring sound it means the starter is spinning but the solenoid hasn't engaged it with the flywheel; Sometimes you can whack it a few times to make it work (although in the Mk2s IIRC it's harder to get to.), but the proper fix would be to replace it. This is tricky to diagnose tho' as usually it's too noisy to hear it without using a screwdriver as an ear trumpet or something.

 

Now that's interesting you mention that.

When I put the Battery back on after charging - I had the bonnet up and the door open - wouldn't start. Dropped the bonnet to close and slammed the door shut - it then started. However when I turned it off - it wouldn't restart. I had someone else try and turn it over with the bonnet open and I could hear *something* like a whirring noise engaging for a few seconds and then turning off.

I then left it a few hours before trying the wife's keys and it started. Does this sound more like a solenoid issue? 

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Had the Battery checked - nothing wrong, Battery is good and the alternator is charging properly.

So my thinking is it's either:

 - Immobiliser (although the car doesn't crank)

 - Clutch switch

 - Starter Solenoid

Although what gets me is the fact that when it doesn't work, the other key seemingly 'fixes' the issue.

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Go for the starter but don't buy a cheap reman one as these can be a pain

 

edit. Just a thought, check the condition of the fusible link as these can corrode, and the fuses develop micro cracks

It looks like this.............

https://toyotadirectparts.co.uk/parts/toyota-yaris/toyota-yaris-mk-2/yaris-mk-2-exterior-interior/toyota-yaris-2005-2013-fuse-link/

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1 hour ago, brentstarburst said:

Although what gets me is the fact that when it doesn't work, the other key seemingly 'fixes' the issue.

Yeah that's what's throwing me too. It might just be a really weird coincidence but also a sign of something else. Would be worth checking the 12v Battery - As flash says, weird stuff can happen when the Battery is marginal without it outright failing.

Make sure whoever tests it tests it under load tho' - Amateurs will just stick a multimeter on it and be like "Yup, 12v, she's fine!" but not realize that under load it drops to like 5-6v when it should be at 10-11v.

If you know where the starter motor is, you can whack it a few times (Not too hard tho'!) and then try starting the car in case it is a stuck solenoid to see if that frees it up (Although disclaimer I don't take any responsibility if it falls off or explodes or something! :laugh: )

 

I'm also curious whether you can push-start the car (i.e. key in position 2, push the car and drop the clutch in 2nd when you get some momentum up), but traditionally this sort of thing is done in a deserted carpark with 4 drunken mates pushing at the wee hours of the morning so maybe not practical for you! :laugh: 

 

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Heat or vibrations may be an issue slam the bonnet or get in or out of the car it may knock something loose/connect it, see my edit above just by moving the Battery terminals about may change things

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Also check the condition of the chassis earth link (from Battery negative to bodywork(inner wing) and then to engine block) check for a sound connection i.e. not corroded or loose.

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6 hours ago, brentstarburst said:

Although what gets me is the fact that when it doesn't work, the other key seemingly 'fixes' the issue.

That suggests to me it's a key problem. I'd fit key batteries I knew were good.

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10 hours ago, bathtub tom said:

That suggests to me it's a key problem. I'd fit key batteries I knew were good.

Both have been replaced recently.

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An update - neither key starts it now, so I think that may have been a red herring.

I guess I'll ask someone to have a look at the starter motor.

Thank you to all who have commented.

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Another update. 

A common theme seems to be - it won't start, won't crank - but after being left for a short time - 20 mins, a couple hours - it will fire up no issue. This is what happened today. Wouldn't start at lunchtime after being left overnight with either key. A couple hours later, it's starting no issue with either key.

My own brain feels like something is releasing in the time to allow it to start?

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I wonder if the starter gets stuck when it's hot and doesn't work properly until it cools down...?

 

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