HELP! My '99 Corolla Won't Start

I am having problems with my '99 Toyota Corolla (stick shift) which I’ve found through all this has been in a bad wreck at some point in time. I’ve had it with no problems since March.

It started fine that morning to go to work, but when I was headed for home - nothing, no click, nothing and it wouldn’t take a jump. I towed it home and messed with it and found if I disconnected the driver’s side radiator fan it would start.

I messed with it some more and my horn would honk when I turned the key and my lights wouldn’t work. If I turned the key off and turned the light switch on, then off again, it would start and not honk.

I took it to a dealer and they said it was the after market security system disconnected it. It stopped honking but lights were still not working. They said it was in the fuse box under the hood, they replaced that and the lights still wouldn’t work.

Then they said it was the “relay assy running light” so they replaced it. Lights worked but would kill the car when they turned them on. They said they needed more time and I was already up to $670 parts and labor. I told them I would just take it back. They unplugged the relay assy so I wouldn’t turn the lights on and kill the engine while driving home.

Well got it home and found that if you turned the flashers or blinkers on, you will kill the engine. If I unplug the driver’s side radiator fan I can turn on the left blinker without killing the engine BUT it still flashes the brake light when I do that. Also if I have the key on and the car not running and turn on the blinkers I hear clicking by the fuel injectors. Lights still don’t work. I just want my car to run.


All I can say is that your description reads like a bunch of random stuff. Its either too much information or not enough - that usually means there must be a better way to organize your thoughts about it.

That said, completely weird and seemingly random electrical stuff is very often from grounding problems - and from aftermarket security systems.

Stop taking it to a dealer. They don’t give a hoot about your car, but they’ll be happy to continue charging you for their own guesses. Furthermore, I’m going to guess that your issues do have to do with a mess that someone made while wiring up that security system, and that’s got nothing to do with Toyota anyway. (Disconnecting it doesn’t fix the wiring mess left behind, btw). So my suggestion would be to ask around among people that you know for someone in your local area that actually sells and installs aftermarket electrical equipment for cars - someone who knows what they are doing has to check out what was done when that was installed.

Thanks for the input. I’m sure there is a better way of organizing it, just not sure how:)
It’s been real confusing and very irritating. Right now i have it all torn apart and worked on it for hours today and still nothing. I will look around for someone who knows how to mess with the aftermarket security system. Any other input would be great I am listening


Yeah, you need to find a GOOD electrical specialist for this one. Great mechanics can sometimes be absolutely puzzled by electrical issues that a specialist may pin down in 2 minutes. They don’t always get them that fast but …

My former mother-in-law had a similar issue years ago with an old Datsun. Turned out to be something ridiculously simple that noone else thought to look at, including my former father-in-law who was a pretty good mechanic himself, the dealer and their quite good regular mechanic. I don’t recall all the specifics but the issues ran the gamut similarly to yours; blinker would make the car die but only if the headlights were on type of things.

It sounds to me you have a grounding problem possibly. Make sure the ground wire from the battery to the chassis is in good shape and clean the connection using a small wire brush. Clean the other ground connections under the hood also along with the main connection to the engine. If that doesn’t solve the trouble then make a 15 foot ground jumper using some number 12 gauge wire. Place some medium sized alligator clips on both ends of the lead. Then tie one end of the lead to the negative side of the battery. Tie the other end to a good grounding point under the dash. Then see if the trouble clears. If it does then the grounding to the dash area needs to be fixed.