2002 Corolla won't start



My 69,000 mile corolla let me down for the first time today. I have owned the car for 6 years and never done anything but change oil, tires and jiffy-lube stuff. Today it didn’t start.

I turned it on and the radio & lights came on. I turned the key and a fast clicking noise happens. pressing on the gas causes nothing to happen.

yesterday the car ran like the day I bought it. Today it won’t start. any suggestions?



Further testing has revealed that the car will start in 2nd & 3rd gear. It will not start in 1st or in reverse. After I got luck w/ the starts in 2nd & 3rd, I decided not to push my luck and try to start it in 4th or 5th.



I guess I got overzealous. Now it won’t start at all. Clicking sound at all gears. It almost started when in 5th, but couldn’t get her going.


Well I don’t think this one is their fault, but please for your own good, stay away from all those quick lube places. We see far far too many cases of errors and scams from those places.

As for your problem is this an automatic?  If it is then there is a safety lock out switch that may need replaced or adjusted.  

Assuming it is not the above, please tell us exactly what is and is not happening when you turn the key.  Does it make any sound at all, does it turn over but not start, does it .....  ???


It sounds like your battery is on the way out. Unless the battery has already been replaced it is a five year old battery. Measure the battery voltage with nothing ‘on’; again with the key turned to run position; and again with the key to the crank position (an analog meter would be advised). If the first two are lower than 12 volts the battery should be charged and the voltage checked again. If the last reading is below 9 volts after a full charge and the engine cranking, the battery is suspect. A lot of autoparts shops have a battery tester that can put the battery under a charge and discharge cycle and verify its health.

Hope that helps


You need a new battery! Your five year old battery is strong enough to work the lights and radio, but no longer strong enough to start the engine.

A new battery will fix this.


You should be able to push start the car. Take it to a parts store or a mechanic and have the battery “load tested.” I’m betting they will tell you the battery is shot. Have the charging system tested while you are at it.

Get a battery TODAY, because the car isn’t going to start tomorrow.


My wife’s '89 Corolla AllTrac has shown the same symptoms a few times. First time, old battery. Two other times, worn out alternator. All other times—battery. Try replacing the battery first. It might be a hassle getting someone to drive you to a parts store, but do it now. Can you perhaps borrow a battery to get you to the shop/parts store? Bungee cords work well for keeping the battery from jumping out from your battery box. Take your old battery with you for cashing it in (core charge). When handling batteries, I always wear latex or rubber gloves and eye protection. And once I get the old battery out, it goes on the ground and gets washed off with baking soda and water. Rinse with a garden hose but don’t splash! When you get the new battery, have the parts store check it with either an external test meter (mainteneance-free) or check the specific gravity. Make sure that you get the correct battery size and cable connection positions. If you put in your battery and two or three days later the same non-start condition exists, then the alternator probably needs replacement. Places like Sears, Pep Boys, Sam’s Club, etc., if you are able to drive the vehicle to them, will check both your old battery’s functions and alternator output, usually at no additional charge. They’ll try to sell you both, but ask for the test printout on the alternator check or have the Service Manager explain it to you. You don’t necessarily need to understand what he’s telling you. Just “um-umm” once in a while and nod your head once in a while. He’ll THINK that you understand and will be a lot less prone to try to scam you. Most independent shops also will offer you this service. It only gets “hairy” if you need a new/rebuilt alternator. And don’t forget to get the written warranty on the battery! Most parts places offer a 1 year warranty on the alternator but some places, like Checker Auto Parts (different names for different parts of the country) sometimes offer limited lifetime warranties on starters and alternators. (They have been replacing my starters and alternators on my old '71 Chevy van, 250c.i. 6 cyl.) for many years at no charge to me! Van has 324K miles on it). My S.O.'s Corolla has 245K on it. When I find something that I like, I tend to keep it for awhile. Like my S.O.—married to each other for 36 yrs. (L.O.L.!)


im not sure about why it does the gear thing, but try a new battery