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New Prado 90 series owner. Ignition issues.


New Member
Jul 26, 2021
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Hi All. New here and new owner of a 90 series LWB 3.4L Prado. 314 000 km, no mods.
I'm not very mechanically inclined, but still keen to learn to maintain smaller issues or at least diagnose them.
Have some sand and rocky terrain experience.

As with anything ageing, issues start cropping up.
The car is starting very sporadically. I've always started from the 'P' position. Now I have slide it up and down the console a few times before it starts. Otherwise it just clicks, like it would normally do if the lever is not in the P position. I can start it every time in neutral, but there is still an issue which I woud like to fix or have someone do it.

I've tried both my keys and they perform the same.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
Last edited:
Hello Steff
Welcome to the forum.

On the auto box, there is an ‘inhibitor switch’ which prevents the starter circuit from operating in any position other than P and N. From what you describe, your inhibitor switch may be faulty or in need of adjustment. Perhaps an intermittent wiring fault on the switch?

The starter motor solenoid contacts will also wear over time giving the ‘click’ you described. They are easy to replace once the starter motor is removed (not sure how difficult the starter is to remove on your engine - mine is a 1KZTE diesel). Since you said you can always start in N, then the inhibitor switch is more likely the issue.
Hope that helps.
Fantastic, thanks very much. Thought there must be something like that. Just don't have a clue what terms I should be starting to search for.

My motor is the 5VZFE Petrol.

Would you know where I can locate the switch?
The switch is located on the right side of the auto box a couple of inches above where the dipstick tube enters the transmission pan.
The switch can also be called ‘neutral start’ or ‘neutral safety’ switch.
If you’re just starting to get involved in the mechanics/electrics of your car, I would advise buying the Haynes and/or Max Ellery repair manuals - both titled ‘Toyota Prado’.
Great thanks. Will do some more research and have a look at those manuals.