Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Cold Start

My car has been sitting for about two weeks (I’m attempting to sell it), It is a 2003 Toyota Corolla “S” and I went to start it today and it started to turn over then it stopped and something within the dashboard started clicking. The lights and stereo work but whenever I turn the key over to start, it clicks at me and nothing happens. Any suggestions?

Your battery is nearly dead. The headlights may look bright, but there is not enough amperage to turn the engine over. A charge may hold you until the car is sold, if you drive it often enough. Otherwise it’s time for a new battery.

I concur 100% with mcparadise. The battery is now at least 5 years old, and should be replaced.

Even if you recharge it, the fact that the battery is very weak can result in the subsequent failure of the alternator, which is working overtime in an attempt to keep the battery charged. This can quickly kill an alternator, which is a fairly expensive part on many cars. Save yourself significant expense and significant inconvenience by replacing the battery now.

The first 2 posts are probably right. But you could at least try cleaning the battery terminals (there are little inexpensive wire-brush tools you can get made for that very thing). Then try charging up the battery - best if you have a charger - if not, take the car on a nice long drive.

Then you have to grapple with the question of “disclosure” for potential buyers (though smart ones should be checking it out anyway).

Your battery is dead.

The likely case is you need a new one if your battery is original.