Turn the Key and Nothing Happens (Sometimes)

courtesy of Bob, The Auto Answer Man

Dear Bob,
My husband and I have a 1993 Toyota Corolla DX. It is our "good" car, and thus far we have had only minor problems, nothing too serious or too terribly expensive. In the past day or two though when I have gotten in the car and tried to start it it won't do anything the first or second try, usually three is the magic number. The lights work, but there is no engine sound, no "clicking," nothing. It doesn't attempt to turn over at all. I was wondering if there is a larger problem waiting in the future other than momentary panic when the car won't start. Could it be the alternator or something to that nature? Please advise!
Leanne W.

Dear Leanne,
So, you turn the key and nothing. The dashboard lights up, but nothing happens with the motor. It could be one of three things:

  1. bad ignition switch
  2. bad starter
  3. bad starter solenoid

I would look at the last two first.
Good Luck!
Drive Safely!
Bob, The Auto Answer Man

Have a car care question? Visit our automotive center and see if we've already answered it or a similar question.

Stay Connected with TDS

Subscribe to TDS Newsletters

All subscribers receive Dollar Stretcher member perks!

The Dollar Stretcher
Dollar Stretcher Parents
Dollar Stretcher Tips
After 50 Finances
Surviving Tough Times
Financial Independence
The Computer Lady
Computer Lady Lessons

Join over 250,000 other subscribers
to get your member perks!

Your Email:

View the TDS Privacy Policy.