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1993 Toyota Previa won't start

My extremely reliable 1993 Previa just decided to stop starting. When I turn the ignititon I get a click, no turnover of the engine. It started a few dys go and after a few tries the engine would start without problem. Now it just won’t start. Any suggestion? We want to get it running so we can use it as a “trde in” under the new cash-for-clunkers program about to get under way.

First, check the battery connections (both ends!) for tightness and to make sure that the connections are not compromised by corrosion. If the connections are good, then I would suspect that the battery is bad. Get it jump-started, and then take it for a load test to see if the battery will no longer hold a charge.

Incidentally, I think that you should read the details on that program. If I recall correctly, the trade-in vehicle has to be rated at only 18 mpg or less, and I suspect that the Previa was rated for better mileage than that. For your sake, I hope that I am mistaken.

Thanks VDCdriver. The battery terminals are clean - fairly new battery. I checked the Previa for EPA gas mileage and it is rated 17.5 combined. Thanks for thoughts.

If it’s not battery or cables, it might be the starter solenoid contacts. They are known to wear out, causing those symptoms. It’s a simple repair once the starter is removed.

Check the other end of the positive battery cable! Even if the end connected to the battery is tight and clean, if the other end of the cable is loose, it could produce the symptoms that you described.

Two things any troubleshooter has to know: does it have an automatic transmission; and, does it have a theft deterrent system. The theft deterrent system has more switches, and a starter relay. Each switch, or relay, can cause the voltage to drop; so, that, by the time it gets to the starter solenoid, the voltage is so tuckered out that it can’t do nothing.
The start circuit is not as simple as yesteryear.