FJ won’t Start, Here’s a Hint

Sitting at 12,745 with storms rolling in and the FJ won’t start. That is the scenario I found myself in on a short weekend run with Daniel M. from Denver. We had stopped at the top of Red Cone Pass and when ready to go I could not start the FJ.

Stranded FJ

Stranded FJ

Hmm, maybe vapor lock. Out came the starter fluid and attempts were made to get the FJ running, no go. Maybe no fuel, we checked all the fuses and found no problems. It was time for a little outside consulting. With the cell phone amp fired up Daniel was able to contact a mechanic friend in Denver. After some questions and go arounds he asked an offhand question about the key. The button remote had fallen out of the key on the way up the hill and was somewhere under the seat. He informed us that the code chip was in that part of the key and the FJ will turn over but not be allowed to start without the chip… Wow, impacted by new car security features, I never even considered the chip.

I crawled under the FJ pulled the spare key and voila, a running FJ. This is one to file in memory. These new computerized vehicles either run or don’t and there is not a lot that can be done on the trail to fix them.



Tomas has lived in Colorado since age 5. Having grown up on the Western Slope of Colorado lots of time was spent in the Desert Southwest. Tomas' father introduced him to the love of 4 wheeling at an early age in the high mountains around Aspen, Colorado. While an avid Mountain Biker, Tomas and his Family enjoy adventures in the mountains and desert in the remote locations that can only be reached by 4wd. Day hikes are always a must when on the family trips. While enjoying outdoor activities he wants to share his love as a certified 4wd trainer and ski instructor. Tomas also enjoys caving and cave exploration. Tomas currently resides in Colorado Springs. 

  2 comments for “FJ won’t Start, Here’s a Hint

  1. Don
    September 30, 2014 at 3:10 PM

    I had one of those chips that you insert or your car won’t start. It got wet hiking the narrows in Zion and we had to have a ranger give us a ride back to town to be able to use a phone. After a dozen calls and all kinds of verification that I owned the car, the chip company told me how to go under the dash and disconnect a single wire so the car would start. As soon as I got back to LA I went straight to the dealership and had them yank that whole system out and demanded I be reimbursed the outrageous amount that was added to the sticker for “security”.

  2. Rick
    March 28, 2015 at 6:06 PM

    It would help a lot of us if you described that wire, and show a picture of exactly where it was located.

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