RPM hitting zero, along with the car not starting unless it is jumped

Tiny
GFILLMORE1021
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 TOYOTA SOLARA
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 190,000 MILES
My car is a 2000 Toyota Solara with about 190000 miles on it. The car battery light came on yesterday, but it still drove fine for the next 10 miles I drove it that day. Today, it started fine, but on my way to work the RPM meter started moving erratically between 0 and 4000. While trying to at least get it to my work's parking lot, I noticed that the RPMs only behaved oddly while I pressed on the brake or turned on anything electrical like the radio, blinkers, lights, etc. The time display on the dash would also darken like it was losing power. This also occurred while in reverse, which I tested in the parking lot, when I finally made it to work. The car drives fine with no stuttering or shutting off, just RPMs now go straight to zero when in reverse or using the brakes or electrical systems. The battery and alternator were replaced 7-8 months before when the voltage regulator died and fried the old alternator. Now the car will only start when it is jumped off, then it works fine apart from the RPM and electrical issues. I had my battery checked today and it was only 16% dead which I was told was fine. The alternator was tested and in working order as well. I really need help solving this, as my best guess would be that the wires leading from the starter to the battery are the problem.

Thank you for any help you can provide!
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Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 AT 1:55 PM

6 Replies

Tiny
M_H_RITZEL
  • EXPERT
I would start by the fuse box and see if there was any loose wires. Also check the battery cables. They might look good but corrison builds up under them. Clean and reattach. It sounds like a wire that is loose or does not have a good connection. Check the fuses to make sure they are good and tight.
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Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 AT 2:36 PM
Tiny
M_H_RITZEL
  • EXPERT
Forgot to say check the wires going to the starter to make sure they are tight. There should be two light wires other than the main battery wire. Sometimes they do get corroded.
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Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 AT 2:38 PM
Tiny
GFILLMORE1021
  • MEMBER
Hi, thank you for the response. I checked the wires and fuses, all were secure with no fuses blown. The battery terminal were relatively clean of corrosion, but I went ahead and wiped them down and reattached. The car will start with a jump still, but now it will slowly start to sputter and then shut off under stress. Also, a sound started around where the exhaust pipe (I think) connects to the engine manifold. Upon checking, it seems to shake as if loose. Would this be the cause of the engine shutting off, or is it definitely electrical?
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Monday, March 9th, 2015 AT 12:24 PM
Tiny
M_H_RITZEL
  • EXPERT
With it hard starting then shutting off, you say that you hear a noise around the exhaust. It could possibly be the catalytic converter. Happened to my wife's firebird as soon as it got warm there was no power. If possible to get under the car a little you should be able to see the converter. Tap it a couple of times and see if you hear anything loose inside. If so then the converter would be clogged and once it gets warm it gets completely clogged causing back pressure, in turn would keep the engine from running and lack of performance. Mike
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Monday, March 9th, 2015 AT 2:55 PM
Tiny
ANTHONY-DENISE
  • MEMBER
Sound like you have a loose connection some where possible to ground. However all wiring connection need to be check. Also check all fuses for loose are not seated correctly.
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Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015 AT 5:34 PM
Tiny
M_H_RITZEL
  • EXPERT
The loose part could be the connection that holds the exhaust to the engine, could also be the heat shield. The heat shield could be both problems. The heat shield is a thin piece of metal that covers parts of the exhaust by the engine, it keeps heat from the engine away from the starter. Check and see if there is a wire that could be touching the heat shield, watch out the heat shield can be very sharp. Without seeing the car I still have a feeling it has something to do with the converter
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Wednesday, December 9th, 2015 AT 9:02 AM

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