got a Toyota hiace from 98, we just accidentally caused a short by mis-connecting the batteries.

Replaced one battery, both show a correct voltage, but the van won't start. Dashboard lights won't come on, and the starter makes a single clicking noise.

We've checked all the fuses, nothing seems to have burned out. We tried jump starting the van too, but no difference. Any idea how we could diagnosis this?

Edit: I should add the van already wasn't starting before the accidental battery problem (no dash lights and no starting)

Edit2: I also need to add that the tail brake lights are not working either!

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Sounds like you could have fried the electronics by hooking the batteries up backwards.. Jul 4, 2021 at 19:04
  • Hi Paulster, I added an edit. The issues were apparently happening before the battery incident too. Is there a way we could check the electronics are fried? Jul 4, 2021 at 19:13
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    Is the clicking definitely coming from the starter, it is not just a nearby relay?
    – HandyHowie
    Jul 5, 2021 at 5:53
  • Check the earth strap to the engine and the earth strap to the body from the battery.
    – HandyHowie
    Jul 5, 2021 at 5:55
  • @handyhowie you're right, it's the starter relay that is clicking. We've noticed that the fuse board inside the cabin has no power, so we're looking at the strap grounding and testing all the larger fuses under to hood today Jul 6, 2021 at 7:31

1 Answer 1


The clicking sound you hear is coming from the starter solenoid. This typically, but not always, suggests that the battery is low in terms of not just voltage but also amps. In other words, you can have correct battery voltage, which is somewhere around 12.6 to 12.7 volts, but not enough amps to turn over the starter motor.

By "jump starting the van" I'm assuming you mean popping the clutch while the vehicle is rolling. Again, if your battery is toast this will do nothing to get it to start. If that's the case, try boosting your battery with a battery in another car. But make sure the other car is running before you turn on the key of the car with a dead battery.

  • Hi BB, How could we check the amperage of the starter motor? Would we need to put a multimeter inline between the battery and the rest of the car? We did try to boost the battery using another car, with the other car running, to no effect. Jul 5, 2021 at 11:08

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