Why Won’t My Toyota Corolla Start?

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The Toyota Corolla has a long history of being the vehicle with the highest industry sales. Not just that. It’s renowned for being among the most reasonably priced automobiles.

You are very likely to own one yourself, or there is a high chance that you have seen this vehicle many times.

Regardless of that, there are many reasons why an amazing and very popular car like that can still end up breaking down, and that in turn would make your search for “Why won’t my Toyota Corolla start?”.

Well, fret not, as I have got you covered, here are some reasons why your car might not start, please have a look:

  1. Weak Battery
  2. Failed Starter Motor
  3. Broken Alternator
  4. Battery Corrosion
  5. Fuel Pump Failure
  6. Weak Key Fob Battery

I’ll take you through these issues in detail, along with the possible solutions. Let’s move further, so you can quickly start your car and be on your way to that important event.

What Would Cause A Toyota Corolla To Not Start?

Why is my Corolla not starting? Are there any issues? Let's find out

As mentioned above, there are several reasons why your Toyota Corolla would have a hard time starting or would not start at all in the first place.

You must first diagnose the issue properly and then solve it with the appropriate solution.

Below I will discuss the problems in great detail and provide solutions that would hopefully ease your mind and eliminate the headache your car has given you.

1: Weak Battery

A weak or dead battery is the most frequent cause of a Corolla engine that won’t start or starts extremely slowly.

Furthermore, it’s possible that it might not start even if you have a new battery placed within it.

If a new car battery has been placed, the battery may not yet have attained its maximum capacity, and that could be a reason why the car does not start since the battery needs time to charge and adjust itself into the car properly so it can start easily.

You can measure the battery’s voltage with a small test; make sure the acid level to enhance the performance of the starter battery, to troubleshoot the issue effectively.

Your Toyota Corolla’s battery voltage may be precisely measured with a multimeter.

If the value is between 12 and 13, it’s fine, but if it’s above 14 or below 11, you should consult an expert.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If the dead battery is the reason, jump-start your Toyota Corolla using jumper cables. You can use another card for it or a battery booster.
  • Depending on the availability of these resources, the results would be the same regardless, and there is no preference for either.
  • The other thing you can do is simply replace the battery with a new one and wait a little while until it reaches its maximum capacity to function properly again, but that only comes if the battery is completely useless and its life is over cannot be saved.

2: Failed Starter Motor

A starter is a motor used to start the Corolla’s engine.

The lifespan of a starting motor is typically between 100,000 and 150,000 miles, and it will be decreased if the engine is started frequently.

This implies that the starter motor will eventually fail no matter how carefully you maintain the car.

Therefore this can be a common issue for a car when it does not start properly or has issues with ignition.

Your Corolla’s engine will click when you turn the key to start; this is the sound of a damaged starting motor.

Therefore, consider that the starting motor is broken, provided that the car’s battery is working in perfect condition and does not have any sort of fault in it.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If that’s the case, try starting the car and tap the starter motor with a stick or a tool that will start your car.
  • Sometimes this might help, but things are not often solved this easily. There is a chance that something might be stuck or causing issues and a tap might help get rid of that thing or problem for a while until it resurfaces,
  • The other fix is to simply replace the motor by going to a mechanic, as the previous solution is a temporary fix, and you should not have to deal with any complications, and it’s best to get a proper fix.

3: Broken Alternator

A generator that produces energy is called an alternator. If this problem occurs, the alternator in your Corolla won’t be able to generate energy, which prevents the battery from charging.

As a result, even if you replace the batteries because you believe the battery is to blame for the engine’s inability to start, the battery will eventually run out, and the engine will not start since it gets no charge at all and would not be able to sustain the vehicle.

Though this is not common, and it rarely happens depending on the driving style or the amount of stress a vehicle can go through, it is a definite possibility, and you should know the fix around it.

What Should You Do About It?

  • There is no other way how you can fix this problem. Unfortunately, you will have to go to the mechanic to replace the alternator so the batteries can charge and start your car accordingly.
  • This would ensure that your car’s batteries do not get damaged and the car can function as normal.
  • Drive the vehicle in such a way that it is not put under more stress than it can handle, as it might have been a root cause of the issue happening and should be taken care of by driving the car smoothly without any speeding.

4: Battery Corrosion

Your Toyota Corolla battery’s contacts get rusted, resulting in contact loss and decreased current flow, which makes it difficult for your engine to start.

Since the engine requires an adequate amount of current to flow to help it start properly, any disturbance can cause issues.

This usually happens if the car batteries are not cleaned properly, or it has not been used over time.

Sometimes even the weather plays a part in creating this rust, and for that, the driver has to make sure that the car is through its regular maintenance.

You may inspect the two battery terminals for corrosion by lifting the rubber coverings over them.

If you see white or silvery-green deposits but no additional damage or cracks, you have a corrosion issue preventing your vehicle from starting.

What Should You Do About It?

  • To solve this issue, remove the pole cables and then remove the black cable, unplug the red pole cable, and start cleaning the battery.
  • Later, reconnect the terminal, and follow all safety precautions while doing this.
  • You can try using a baking soda solution and a clean cloth to make the corrosion go away, but please take care and do not put yourself in harm’s way.
  • If the battery is damaged or cracked, you will have to get it replaced by a mechanic. Please do not try to do it yourself as you might damage the car or, worse, hurt yourself.

5: Fuel Pump Failure

The engine of your Corolla won’t start if the fuel pump malfunctions.

The pump typically ensures that the proper fuel volume is transferred under enough pressure from the tank to the engine’s injection system.

Before your fuel pump breaks down, it generally becomes obvious: if your car’s engine frequently fails, it’s problematic to start, the engine jerks significantly, or the performance of the engine declines, you should have your pump inspected.

This might be caused by pump wear or contamination, which can be quite obvious since the signs are often very clear for a driver to notice, especially the engine jerk, which can be a very easy sign for someone to notice this issue.

What Should You Do About It?

  • If the situation arises, there is not much that you can do personally for a quick fix by yourself as it is something that is to be dealt with the car internally.
  • You will have it get replaced in the workshop by a mechanic as it is beyond something that can be fixed and has to be replaced by a new one.

6: Weak Key Fob Battery

If your Toyota Corolla has a push-button start/stop feature, a weak key fob battery is likely preventing you from starting your car.

The battery might have run out because the signal from the key is not being transmitted well enough.

You can still run your car without a problem because the battery just serves to transmit the signal for locking and unlocking.

The door will no longer lock or unlock with the push of a button if the key fob battery is dead. The doors will simply open manually by the driver and lock, taking away a little bit of ease.

What Should You Do About It?

  • Try to put the key as close as possible to the push start button, as it would just need a signal to start when it gets to the right place.
  • If that does not work, try reading the manual to figure out the exact location as to where your key fob should be placed for the car to recognize it and start accordingly.
  • You can simply just use the second key to start the vehicle. If the company has provided it that will eliminate the issues you were facing quite easily.
  • You can simply replace the batteries in your key fob and try again. This would be a quick and easy fix for the issue, provided you have spare batteries.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Why Won’t My Toyota Corolla Start With New Battery?

If a new battery is installed, there is a high chance that it has not yet reached its full capacity of charge and, therefore, will not work until or unless it is sufficiently charged for the vehicle to start properly.

It will develop a full capacity charge over time and start accordingly.

Therefore there is no need to worry about a new battery.

Q2. Why Won’t My Toyota Corolla Start Even With A Jump?

If the Toyota Corolla does not start even with a jump, there can be multiple reasons for this issue, as maybe your car battery is at a major fault, has cracks or damages, or even has corrosion.

It could even have a fuel pump failure or an alternator failure. Before trying again, you will have to check the car properly to figure out the exact issue.

Q3. Why Won’t My Toyota Corolla Start But Lights Work?

If the car lights and other electronics work, then there is a chance that the motor within the vehicle is at fault.

The starter motor could have been broken and either needed to be replaced or tapped to start the Toyota Corolla properly.

Q4. Why Won’t My Toyota Corolla Start But Cranks?

The engine may not start even if the engine cranks when you turn the key because fuel may not be reaching it. Dirty fuel injectors may be one factor in this.

The fuel injector nozzles may clog up with dirt, corrosion, or rust over time, and they cause the sound along with the issue as to why your Corolla might not start.

Q5. Why Won’t My Toyota Corolla Start Just Clicks?

It’s possible that your battery is dead or that the alternator is at fault, which charges the battery.

Therefore, you will have to either jump-start the vehicle or replace the alternator, depending on the source of the issue.

Q6. Why Won’t My Toyota Corolla Start In The Cold Weather?

If the Toyota Corolla does not start in the cold weather, it’s most likely the culprit is the battery. It could have gone flat and lost its charge.

If you hear a faint whining noise when the car is ignited, the battery is the issue, and it needs to be jump-started, or a battery booster must be used.

Q7. Why Won’t My Toyota Corolla Start After I Get Gas?

The control valve stuck open is the most frequent cause of a Toyota Corolla not starting after filling up with gas. The fuel vapors will be forced into the intake manifold as a result.

Furthermore, a faulty gasoline pump, a blocked fuel filter, or a damaged battery is additional common causes.

Q8. Why Won’t My Toyota Corolla Start But Radio Works?

Any of the things discussed could be the culprit for the radio working but the car not starting; mainly the motor could be at fault or even the alternator.

Sometimes a spark plug could have blown out, or the ignition button could have a problem.

Related: What Are The Worst Years For The Toyota Corolla?


Toyota Corolla has been a very popular choice among the masses.

The already well-established company Toyota uses the most quality component in their car and has the best value for their vehicles even in after-sales prices regarding resale values.

Even after all of that, some people are forced to ask the question, “Why won’t my Toyota Corolla start?”.

I have tried my best to identify the root causes of the issues that could cause the car to not start and provide you with solutions.

I genuinely hope that this was helpful and made you figure out the issue in your vehicle.