HOW DO I KNOW IF MY CAR HAS A SHORT OR SOME PROBLEM?

1985 Toyota Corolla

Tiny

sspargur2s

August, 13, 2012 AT 12:19 AM

Lately my engine has been having some trouble starting. Replaced the battery, alternator, starter, and the spark plugs but I have to turn the key multiple times for it to start.

When I first turn the key there's no sound, no clicking, nothing. Then, I wait a few minutes (and turn the key again, really quickly) and it starts just fine. A tow truck driver jump started my car (about two weeks ago) and it made a noise it's never made before, since then I've been having this problem. The car needed to be jumped because I left the lights on and it drained the battery.

Also, the car now runs hot sometimes but as far as I can tell the cooling system is fine. I flushed and replaced the coolant, replaced the radiator and both the hoses, the pump works (the coolant circulates when the engine's running), and the fan turns on when the car is warmed up.

How do I find out what's causing the problem without replacing everything under the hood?

FOUND 1533 RELATED QUESTIONS

Running Hot

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17 Answers

Tiny

ASEMaster6371

August, 13, 2012 AT 12:48 AM

Have a shop verify the battery, starter and alternator are working.
The ignition switch needs to be checked as well. Jumping a car these days is never a good idea as computers hate voltage spikes.

Roy

Tiny

sspargur2s

August, 13, 2012 AT 3:16 AM

Thanks,
The battery, starter, and alternator were tested and are working.
The ignition switch is something to look into though. I'll have it tested and get back to you.
*If it helps, the clock and radio turn on when I turn the key in the ignition but the engine only turns on after a couple of tries.

Tiny

ASEMaster6371

August, 13, 2012 AT 10:08 AM

Get back to us with the results

Roy

Tiny

sspargur2s

August, 16, 2012 AT 12:14 AM

Well, it's not the ignition switch.

I really appreciate you guys working with me on this.

Is there anything else that it might be?

Tiny

sspargur2s

August, 16, 2012 AT 12:24 AM

Could it be the timing belt?

Tiny

KHLow2008

August, 16, 2012 AT 8:58 AM

The timing belt would not cause non cranking.

You have a problem with non cranking so this is basically an electrical fault.

http://www.2carpros.com/articles/car-engine-will-not-crank-over

The above link explains the system and how to go about looking for the source of the problem.

Tiny

sspargur2s

August, 16, 2012 AT 6:53 PM

The battery works, the alternator works, the starter works: they've been tested four times by four different people, just to be sure

It has an automatic transmission. I made sure the parking brake was on before I attempted to turn on the car, plus the ignition switch was tested, so it's not that

No alarm in the car

Internal Engine Damage?

I'm taking it to a new repair shop today. I'll have them check and let you know how it goes.

Tiny

KHLow2008

August, 17, 2012 AT 10:40 AM

Parking brake has nothing to do with non starting. The Park and Neutral Position switch could be.

No clicking and non cranking should be an easy to detect problem and I would suggest getting an electrician to check rather than a mechaninc, from which I can see you do not have any good electrician on your list of mechanics.

Tiny

sspargur2s

August, 17, 2012 AT 8:28 PM

About an hour ago I saw an auto electrician.

His wife translated for me, but she said, "As far as he can tell, there's no problem with the starter, battery or alternator. There could still be an electrical problem, but he'll have to spend more time with the car to find it"

She also suggested that they could install a "push-start" button to bypass all the wires and just connect the battery to the starter if I didn't want to spend the time and money to find the problem. I told them I'd rather wait until I know for sure what the problem is.

They were telling me that it's common for older Toyota Corollas (between 83 and 87) to get electrical shorts in "the shaft", but I don't know enough about cars to know what "shaft" they're talking about or if any of this is true.

She told me it's going to take time because he's going to take all the electrical components out and test them individually to see if he can find the problem. He's going to do it in his down time between working on other cars and she'll call me when it's done.

Tiny

KHLow2008

August, 18, 2012 AT 7:27 AM

One thing about older vehicles is that when wires ages, resistance increases in the wiring and for the starting circuit, the solenoid requires a rather high current to work. I have encountered many such cases and you either replace the wire harness or add a relay to the circuit to rectify, which would be easier, faster and more economical and also prolong the ignition starting circuit life.

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