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Toyota Corolla Starter Not Engaging

Your alarm goes off, and you scramble out of bed; you half-brush your teeth in a hurry and barely have breakfast because you don’t want to be late for a meeting with your angel investor. But then you put the key into the ignition, and your Toyota Corolla won’t start. You can hear the starter spin, but it’s not engaging the flywheel.

If your Toyota Corolla starter isn’t engaging, the most common and frequent causes are low battery voltage, starter motor problems, faulty wiring to the starter, clogged fuel filter, and flywheel damages. Run a diagnosis to determine the reason.

Hand putting in key into car ignition

But before you pick up the phone and talk to a Toyota professional, let us give you more details on what could have caused your Toyota Corolla to stall. You will decide if you need to place the call or not after you finish reading.

Toyota Corolla Starter Noise

Car mechanic doing a diagnostic on engine

If you hear a clicking noise when you turn the ignition key and your car doesn’t start, or there is a slow start, the culprit is likely a dead battery or the inner wiring of the starter is broken or loose.

If there is a ticking noise coming from your engine when you turn the ignition, the problem might be the valve train. The oil level may be low and need to be changed before it leads to serious mechanical damage. Also, extremely cold temperatures can cause a Toyota Corolla starter to stick and make some noise when you press the ignition.

Toyota Corolla Ignition Not Working / No Power to Starter

Car mechanic looking under the engine hood

Toyota Corolla starter problem comes in many shapes and sizes – failed starter motor, a blown fuse between the starter and the battery, corrosion on battery terminals, etc. These are just a few of the things that could go wrong and make your vehicle not start properly.

Below, let discuss in detail some of the things to look out for when your Toyota Corolla won’t start.

What Causes Toyota Corolla Starter Problems

Car mechanic looking under hood at engine

You will probably need to call a taxi or use a different vehicle to get to your angel investor meeting. However, do not worry too much. The problem with your corolla is not severe and will only need an expert eye to detect.

Here are some of the leading causes of problems in Toyota corolla engine ignition problems.

Weak Battery

A faulty battery is a common culprit for many engine problems. The battery powers the starter, and if the battery is not correctly working, the starter will not engage completely. Therefore, it is advisable to check your battery condition when you first notice that your starter is not entirely engaging.

If your Toyota Corolla battery voltage is low, charge the battery or replace it with another fully charged battery, and the starter should then work correctly.

Jumpstarting your car battery using another car whose engine is running will also solve the problem. However, ensure that you have the correct information and you are sure of what to do before you attempt to jumpstart. A slight error on the jump can potentially cause damage to both car engines.

Also, check if there is corrosion on the battery terminals. Corrosion on the battery terminals means the battery is in critical condition and could cause severe engine problems.

Copyright protected article by Know My Auto and was first published on May 5, 2021. .

Faulty Wiring

The starter will not completely engage if the current traveling from the battery to the starter is not enough or the flow is not stable. Maybe the electrics coming in are just sufficient to make a sound but not fully engage the flywheel. The power might be lost or obstructed if there is a faulty cable between the battery and the starter.

Thoroughly inspect and clean all the wires and connections between the two and ensure they are in good working condition. You can always tell if there is a problem with the link if it heats up when you start the ignition. The heating means there is power leakage. Get a profession to look at it if you are not sure.

Starter Solenoid

The other common problem that is hard to detect for a non-specialist is a faulty starter solenoid. A starter solenoid is usually part of the starter motor. It acts as a switch that turns on the battery’s power and allows it to turn on the starter motor and the engine.

Usually, a check engine light will come when the starter solenoid is faulty or a problem with the whole starter relay circuit.

Unlike the older Toyota models, modern vehicle starter solenoids’ are pretty robust and hardly have any defects. But if you think or suspect that the problem is due to a faulty starter solenoid, it is advisable to call and consult an expert for a diagnosis and replacement.

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Faulty Alternator

An alternator converts the power from the battery into the electrical currents that are fed into the starter. If the alternator is defective, even replacing the battery will hardly solve the problem. The new battery power will also be sucked out without any positive reaction to your starter.

Leave this to the experts if the car already has starter problems. But as part of your car maintenance, check the condition of the alternator often. This is usually done by the Toyota Service center when you take your vehicle for service, but you can also test it at home.

A simple headlight test will tell you whether your alternator is about to fail or not. All you need to do is ignite the car, turn on your headlight, and press on the accelerator while the vehicle is on ‘Park.’ If the lights flicker or get brighter, you might need to replace your alternator immediately.

Flywheel Damage

A flywheel is a big wheel attached to a rotating shaft and moderates the vehicle’s energy movement. It helps keep the engine in motion even when you stop accelerating. It is located between the engine and transmission.

A damaged or faulty flywheel can cause your starter not to work correctly. If the starter is already not engaging, and you suspect your flywheel, let a qualified Toyota mechanic take care of the problem.

Toyota Corolla Starter Sticking

Person working on car engine

Instead of getting flustered, get to work and check what might have caused your car starter to fail. Here is what you need to check:

Check the Battery

As mentioned earlier, the battery is the foremost possible culprit. So the first step should be to check and ensure that your car battery is in top condition. A low battery with visible corrosion on the terminals is damaged and needs to be replaced.

A damaged battery can cause a lot of damage to the alternator and can also lead to additional problems with the auxiliary lights, fuses, sound systems, alarms, etc.

Check the Flywheel

Check the heavy wheel between the engine and transmission. You may need to remove a wheel to access the pulley center bolt completely.

Once you have access, have another person rotate the crankshaft by turning the center bolt on the crankshaft pulley using a breaker bar and a socket (or a ratchet). This pulley is what spins the drive or serpentine belt to run the alternator and other components.

Ensure that the wheel rotates smoothly and the teeth are in good condition. Restricted rotation or damaged teeth can cause the starter not to engage the flywheel correctly.

Check the Alternator

If all the above are in good shape, then there is a probability that your car has a faulty alternator. It is not easy to check for a defective alternator on a vehicle that is not running.

Usually, the easiest way to test the health of your alternator is using a voltmeter. But at this point, it is best to get a qualified Toyota mechanic to deal with the problem.

Toyota Corolla Starter Motor Problems / Starter Not Engaging

Male working on car engine

The starter motor can range from the faulty starter solenoid to loose starter motor plunger or pinion.

First, you need to check and ensure that all the bolts are tight. Loose bolts can cause failure in properly engaging the flywheel. If the bolts are nice and friendly, remove the starter motor from the car and closely inspect it.

Check the condition and state of the pinion gear and the starter solenoid. These should be in good working condition and if otherwise, replace immediately.

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KnowMyAuto is the sole owner of this article was published on May 5, 2021 and last updated on .

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