Our 1994 Toyota Corolla sat for about 2 weeks without starting. Yesterday, it started and we moved it in order to repair a hose to the radiator.

Today, we tried to start it again, but it will not start or crank. It doesn't click. The key will ding and the battery light and door-ajar light come on. The brake lights and hazards will work. The headlights come on when he touches a fuse under hood.

What could be causing this? How do we diagnose this?

  • Did you try jumping the battery at all?
    – Dalton D
    Jun 26, 2016 at 1:32
  • Sounds like a starter issue. No click- bad solenoid?
    – Andrew L
    Oct 27, 2016 at 9:02

3 Answers 3


It's an old car, is it also an automatic? If so, the neutral safety switch could be loose or worn out. Try turning the key all the way, then push the gear shifter up toward "Park".


It's an old car. It seems like a battery issue to me.

You can:

  1. Check the leads connected to a battery.
  2. Change the battery.
  3. Do a jumpstart.
  4. Otherwise, I'd say something is wrong with wiring.

Turn on the headlights. Have someone watch them. Try and crank. If the lights dim badly and/or go out - battery shot or possibly the cables loosened. Lights don't dim - fuse to solenoid and/or bad solenoid.

The reason you test with headlights is that it doesn't take almost any power to light up the dash, radio, most things. Takes lots of amps to crank. If your battery is going, most of the lights may turn on, but once you try to spin up the engine, all the power is going to the solenoid and starter motor - everything else goes out. Note that this could also happen if the battery cables are corroded or loosened. Could also happen if the battery is extremely low on water.

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