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Help me diagnose no start problem!


I have a 93 Corolla 5 speed manual with 90k miles that wouldn’t start this morning. The symptoms were as follows:

* The initial crank sound occurred once and sounded normal, and was immediately followed by a second sound (the second sound resembled the sound you get if you try to start the car after the engine is already running … very unpleasant, and this sound would continue as long as I had the key rotated clockwise)

I tried again 3 or 4 times and got the exact same results each time.

What could this be?

Sounds as though you have a starter problem.

Perhaps one that involves chipped teeth on the starter Bendix gear or possible ring gear damage.

Your problem is either (a) bad starter or (b) bad starter and bad flywheel.
Be sure to inspect the flywheel when you remove the old starter. Otherwise, you may kill the new one too.
BTW, if you keep trying to start it now, you will eventually ensure that it is option (b).

Good description. You help the prior two responders to nail it down.

Yep, starter motor itself. The motor runs but the bendix that pushes the gear into the engine flywheel to turn the engine over is stuck. Sometime a hammer is a temporary fix.

Another possibility is that your battery is not able to keep the starter motor fully engaged. It could be discharged or low capacity. How old is your battery? Have you checked the terminal connections to make sure they are clean, tight and free from corrosion?