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77 Toyota Wont Start

So when turning the key there is no response or noises coming from the vehicle. The battery shows 12.3 volts. What are possible problems? We were also having new issues yesterday with the vehicle not getting enough power after getting dusted with snow repeatedly in a snow storm and from passing vehicles. Any ideas?

dirty/corroded/oxidized battery terminals , connections or wires

And possible blown fuse or fusible links.

What’s the voltage when the key is turned to the START position? If the reading is too low due to a poor cable connection, weak battery, or faulty starter motor the starter solenoid may not engage.
If you get a 6, 7, or 8 volt reading etc that’s a problem

Another possibility is a faulty safety switch or ignition switch. The latter is less likely.

It’s a brand new battery and zero corrosion, I will go check the voltage but what could have possibly gotten wet when it was a snow storm last night caused it to start stalling and running poorly unless I had the rpms really high and then could have froze last night causing it not to start at all this morning?

It could be frozen, but usually it will run but overheat do to lack of coolant flow. More than likely bad plug wires or moisture in the cap will cause it to run poorly. Not cranking if the battery is new, poor connection to starter or bad starter. Of course there are a fuses, ignition switch and neutral safety switch too.

I tested the battery it read 12.5 off and 11.4 when turned on

My dad’s first guess was that the distributor may have gotten wet and I could try and spray some wd40 in there is that a good idea he is no mechanic haha

I would just dry it out with a paper towel and blow it out so there is no lint. If the terminals inside the cap are black and the rotor is corroded too, replace them. You can clean them with emory cloth, but usually I just replace them. How old are the spark plug wires? If they are over a few years old, replace them. Take one off at a time and replace it. You don’t want to mess up the firing order.

the battery being new makes no difference. it s the stranded wire that could be oxidized under the insulation, the wire connections themselves could need cleaning too. bad/moist weather often triggers this problem…

I doubt the distributor is the problem if there are no lights on the dash and no sound, click or otherwise, from the starter. That means electricsl issues preventing battery power from getting to the rest of the car.

Yep, start measuring voltages at different places, find out where the problem is. A battery cable can look good, but after 35 years, who knows what’s under the insulation?

The 11.4 is not likely an issue with the key in the RUN position. It’s what the voltage does when the key operates the starter motor.

The fact that the battery is new may not mean a thing. I’ve purchased a new battery that was total junk the day after purchase; as I found out after getting of work and running some tests.
I’ve also had a few 3 to 6 month old battery failures.

A wet distributor will not prevent the starter motor from cranking the crankshaft.
Since turning the key does nothing at all, it’s safe to eliminate all the systems other than the starter circuits and the starter motor itself, specifically the soelnoid in the bendix assembly. When you turn the key, the Bendix assembly solenoid slides the starter motor gear into engagement with the flywheel ring gear and it enables the starter motor circuitry through contacts that it closes. If the solenoid is dead, nothing will happen.

“We were also having new issues yesterday with the vehicle not getting enough power after getting dusted with snow” suggests a corroded connection, but for it to be bad enough to not even allow enough juice to activate the starter solenoid it’d have to be pretty bad. I think that might be a separate problem.

So, what kind of Toyota are we talkin’ here? What engine?

Do you have an owner’s manual? Does it show the starter relay in the relay box under the hood?

Post back with the answers. They might help.

I had one today that the post and terminal looked nice and clean gray. But I still had to run a wire brush terminal cleaner on them both. Started right up. Looks can be deceiving.

Battery connections are the first place to begin when you have a “No Crank” situation. Even
if you have a new battery, if the connections are loose, dirty or corroded, you will not be
allowing the full flow of current to pass thru the connections. The connection may be
enough to turn on the lights, but not enough for the huge flow that is needed to operate the
starter. This is where many people say that they know the battery is good….”because the
lights come on”. This is no more a battery test than licking a 9volt battery. It only tells you that there is electricity…not how many volts or the amperage that flows from the battery.
Jump starting may have wiggled the terminal just enough to allow the current to pass and start the engine, but tomorrow you have the same problem.

First remove the cables from the battery and use a wire brush to remove any corrosion and dirt from the battery posts and the cable terminals. There is a tool with a round wire brush for this purpose, found at any auto parts store for less than $10
Before connecting the cables, apply a coating of di-electric grease to the battery posts this will keep oxygen away from the connection so that it will not corrode as fast.

It is just as important that the other end of the cables also have a clean connection. Remove the positive cable from the battery again so that you do not short anything out. Follow both cables to their far ends, remove this connection and wire brush the connection and the cable terminal clean and retighten these connections.

If there was work done recently, there may have been an “engine to body” ground that was not installed following the work. These grounds normally run from the rear of the engine to the firewall and are uninsulated and most are a braided wire. If any of these are found unattached…reattach them.
Remember….this is not a “Sherman Tank” don’t over tighten the connections.
Tight…tight………………too tight…broke!!!