View Full Version : Trouble with car starting

12-12-2006, 05:01 PM
I'm having problems with my 1992 Corolla DX starting. When you go to start it, nothing. The instrument lights come on in the dash, but when you turn the key nothing happens. The engine doesn't turn over or anything, don't even hear a clicking sound. If I hold the key in the on position for a few seconds the starter kicks in and the car starts normally, starter doesn't drag at all. If I have to hold they key in the start position for several seconds the engine does sound flooded for a few seconds but smooths out ( I assume the fuel pump is pumping gas in while holding the key down and causing the slight flooding? ) At first this only happened in cold weather ( temps 30 and below ). Once the car started and was warmed up, you could shut it off and it would restart fine. This went on for a few weeks. It's gradually started happened more often, even in warmer weather. Now it happens just about everytime you try to start it, and sometimes even after being warmed up, although it has yet to fail to start. I tried having the starter contacts replaced, hasn't helped. Other possibilities?

Also, where is the starter relay switch located? Oh, I already tried bypassing the nuetral start ( safety? ) switch. Made sure the two wires were secured together, and taped.

Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.

12-12-2006, 10:05 PM
Sounds like the starter solenoid (the black cylinder attached to the starter). The part that's in charge of bring power from the battery to the actual starting mechanism. Perhaps it's taking a minute to build up power. I've never actually diagnosed this problem before though.

12-13-2006, 01:28 AM
classis starter/solenoid contact problem.

12-13-2006, 02:28 AM
Thanks for the responses, I'll plan on going with a new starter. The relay switch still has me puzzled ( shade tree mechanic at best at work here ). Was told by someone it was located on the top, to the right hand side of the engine, and the part store lists one, yet I'm unable to locate it...

That was going to be my second choice on trying to fix this, then finally going with replacing the ignition switch.

12-13-2006, 11:39 PM
Looking at Autozone they don't even list a starter relay switch, the do list a Solenoid Switch. Where is it located?

12-13-2006, 11:42 PM
the solenoid is usually part of the starter on 'yotas, so probably can see it on the housing of the start itself with a smaller wire going to it.

12-14-2006, 04:23 AM
That's what I thought at first, though the price of it lists around $90, where the starter itself lists at $70.

12-14-2006, 03:23 PM
Okay, it's the starter relay that I'm trying to locate. Sorry, I'm having someone help me and I thought he said starter relay switch. The starter relay is listed under "fuses and relays", that's what also threw me.

12-22-2006, 04:56 AM
Replaced the starter, no luck. Must be the relay which I still cannot locate, or in the wiring. Beyond me, think I'll just "part" the car out.

12-22-2006, 05:03 AM
it should be in the kick panel, just to the left of your clutch


12-22-2006, 05:37 PM
Tom, how well do you know how to use a multimeter?
Do you own one?

If so, shoot me a pm.

12-23-2006, 02:55 PM
There is a writeup on this subject at http://www.4gcelica.org/diy/starter.html .

Hope that this helps, Tripp

01-04-2007, 03:06 AM
I'm having a very similar issue. When it's cold <60F starter will grind on first try every time, then work fine second time. It seems the starter isn't engaging.

I'll try the solenoid tests found around the forums here. The link to 4gcelica article is missing the referenced diagrams, but the suggested fix doesn't seem like it would do anything special, I think possibly just replacing the positive cable to the solenoid may be sufficient. I'll post my findings.

02-26-2007, 05:25 AM
I'm having the exact same problem with my 2000 Celica. When its really cold outside the car wont click, drag, or anything. But as soon as it warms up a couple degrees it will fire right up. Not the Battery and not the starter. If anybody figures this out please let me know. I'm getting tired of this. Haven't tried starter relay yet thats next I guess.