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What to Do When Your Toyota Won’t Start

Posted at Fri, Jan 22, 2021 9:00 AM

Nothing really has the potential to ruin your day like when you get behind the wheel of your car, go to start it, and nothing happens. There are multiple reasons why your Toyota might not start on any given day, and while some of them will likely require the skill and knowledge of a trained technician to rectify, some of the more common ones you might be able to fix on your own. Whether or not you should call for a tow truck depends entirely on the kind of problem you are facing. Our helpful Westbury Toyota staff have put together a quick write up describing the most common no-start scenarios, along with the best courses of action to take.

Dashboard Lights Come On, But the Engine Won’t Start

In the event that you get dashboard lights but no response from the engine, it could actually be the result of a couple of different issues. The first and most common is that your Toyota is not in neutral or park, and to check if this is in fact the problem you need to place the gear into neutral and then see if your vehicle will start. While doing so, try pushing on the brake (or the clutch if you are driving manual).

If your car still will not start, the cause could be more serious. It could be a problem with the starter, the ignition cables or ignition switch. If this is indeed the case, it is time to call for a tow to get your vehicle into Westbury Toyota.

If you encounter this scenario when you are trying to start the vehicle remotely, it is possible that there is something wrong with your key fob, such as a faulty transponder or a battery that has gone dead. There should still be a way to get your car running even with a dead fob, so be sure to check the owner’s manual.

A Clicking Sound, or No Lights and No Sound

These are all indicators that something is in error with your battery connection, or that your battery is entirely dead or is on the verge of being there. To check the connections, open the hood and take a look at where the cables connect to the battery. Even if they look fine, it is still a good idea to see if you can twist them in your hand. If you are able to, it means that there is a loose connection. To fix this, remove the cables, clean them up with a spare rag, and then reconnect them before trying again. If there are still no lights or sound when you try to start the car, the battery is probably dead. If that is the case, you will need to either get a boost from another vehicle or connect your Toyota to a battery charger. Once you have got it running again, you will need to buy a new battery and have it installed.

If when you try to start the car you get lights but only a clicking sound, it means that your battery is on the verge of going dead. To check this, turn on the headlights. If they are dim, the battery is definitely the problem. If they are bright, it means that the battery is okay and the issue likely lies with your starter or battery connections.

Normal Engine Cranking Without Firing

On an older Toyota, this could be symptomatic of a flooded engine. You can attempt to fix this by pushing the gas pedal down completely while you crank the engine, which should remove all the fuel from the combustion chamber. If this does not work, the problem could lie with the ignition circuit or fuel pump – namely a blown fuse for either. When checking the fuses, look for a metal strip that is broken and surrounded by black. Check the fuse box to see if you were provided with any spares. If not, you will have to buy some.

Rely On Us To Get You Up And Running Again

If you lack the know-how to tackle some of these suggested fixes on your own, or if you simply do not have the time, do not hesitate to book your Toyota in with us here at Westbury Toyota right away. Our mechanics have all the experience and knowledge needed to get your vehicle back in working condition as quickly as possible.

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