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Won't Start A'Tall

Our old Toyota Corolla is out in the driveway dead…won’t start at all. It won’t even make a click when I turn the switch…no lights, no nuttin. My husband tried to jump start it, but…absolutely nothing. We are going tohave it towed in to the garage later this week, but what are some of the things that could be wrong with it?

Dead battery?

There are, of course, other possibilities, but I’d have the battery tested before I did anything else.

Well if you jumped it and got nothing - it’s probably not the battery. How did it die? Was it sitting there for a long time not being used? or did just decide to not start one day?

I’d suspect something like battery cables/connections or a blown fuse before I finger the battery.

When the booster cables were attached, did the lights come on on the dash?

One possibility that’s easy to check is the fusible link. That would be the thinner wire from the battery’s + terminal to the relay box under the hood. If it’s blown the insulation will be bubbled.

NOTE: this is not regular wire, even though it looks like it. It needs to be replaced by the proper link, which should be available for under $20 at the parts store.

Vogelfish, we had been driving it regularly, but one morning I went out to crank it and…nothing.

Thanks, we’ll check that.

Well - if you have NO indication of ANY battery life (lights, clicking, dome light, etc) AND nothing changed when you connected the jumper cables - it’s a disconnect between the battery and the rest of the car. Which should be easy to find and probably not too expensive to fix.

When you jumped it - if you went battery terminal to battery terminal (and got nothing as described above), then it could be the negative battery cable, the fuse link as mountainbike suggested, possibly a fuse, or the positive battery cable(s).

If you connected the jumper cable to the engine block (as you’re supposed to do) that would take negative battery cable off the list. If you got even the slightest indication of battery life at any point - the whole picture changes a bit.

Curious to know what your garage finds.