Toyota Won’t Start? Here’s Quick Solutions to the Most Common Causes

my toyota wont start

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Let's face it, we've all experienced it, you've got places to go, so you get in your Toyota, turn the key, and … drum roll please … nothing at all! Your Toyota wont start up! This an extremely frustrating scenario, however do not worry, we've got you covered. There are lots and lots of factors as to why your Toyota will not start, and in this guide, to save you time we'll deal with the most typical explanations along with provide you with practical options to get your car back on the road!

If you're short of time, rather than reading, you’re always welcome to chat with a live mechanic 24×7 and get instant help and guidance on figuring out what it is and fixing the issue, by clicking the “ask a mechanic” button in the bottom right of this page.

Understanding the Problem

Car Won't Start?

Before we get stuck into the causes and repair options it's important to first have an understanding of the issue. When you realize to yourself “my Toyota wont start”, this could be due to different issues being wrong with your vehicle. Maybe the engine is not starting at all, perhaps it is cranking partially but then not starting, or perhaps you can hear a clicking noise when you try to start the engine, but in the end nothing happens. Each of these scenarios can indicate various issues with your car.

Common Reasons Why Your Toyota Won't Start

There are numerous contributing reasons why a Toyota wont start up. These concerns usually include a weak or dead car battery, a broken alternator, starter motor problems, fuel system complications, as well as electrical or wiring complications. Each one of these problems can manifest as various symptoms and require separate solutions to troubleshoot and resolve, so we can get your car back on the road ASAP.

Symptoms of a Toyota That Won't Start

Being able to recognize and diagnose these signs, will assist you in finding the root cause of the problem. For example, when you turn the key in the ignition, and you hear a clicking sound but your Toyota still refuses to start, it is often an indication that there is an issue with the fuel or ignition system of your car.

Analysis of The Reasons Why Your Toyota Won't Start

The very first step to discovering a practical solution to the issue is getting to grips with the root cause of that issue, so let's explore the most common causes as to why your Toyota can't start.

Toyota Battery Issues

Auto mechanic replacing car batteryIn most cases, the most common reason why your Toyota wont start is often because of the battery, it's either weak or dead, and you need to either recharge the battery or replace it. The car's battery stores the electric that’s needed to start the engine, and power all the electrical components in your Toyota. Symptoms of a weak or dead battery issue in a Toyota, are things like the car being slow to crank the engine, dim or weak headlights, or a lit-up battery caution light on the dash

Toyota Alternator Problems

is my alternator stopping my car from starting?

The alternator is for charging the battery from the engine while the vehicle is running. A defective alternator can certainly stop your Toyota from starting as it won't be able to charge the battery, from the engine, so it will drain fairly quickly till it's totally dead and you don't realize it until you can't get your Toyota to start. Signs that your Toyota's alternator may be faulty can be a lit up battery or alternator warning light on the dashboard, dim headlights when the engine is idling, and also a whining or grinding sound from the engine while its running.

Toyota Starter Motor Failures

my car wont start is the starter motor?

When you start your Toyota, the starter motor deals with turning the engine over (cranking it). If the starter motor is defective in some way then the engine is not going to crank, and your Toyota wont start. You can find out if your starter motor has a problem or not often by listening for a clicking noise when you turn the key or a grinding sound throughout the startup, or your vehicle can start, but only intermittently then the starter motor may very well be the problem.

Toyota Fuel System Complications

my car wont start but clicks

Now we're not talking about when you merely run out of gas here, but the fuel system itself having problems. Your Toyota uses a combustion engine, and because of this to start and run, it requires a combination of both fuel and air. If your Toyota issues are part of a faulty fuel system, this can sometimes be a clogged fuel filter or a failing fuel pump relay, which could indicate the engine might not be receiving the fuel it requires to get the car started.

Toyota Electrical System or Wiring Problems

can electrics be a reason a car wont start

Today’s modern Toyota's rely greatly on electronic components, which can mean there are lots of things that can potentially fail. Even in an older car, you can have typical problems such as blown fuses, spark plug issues, a damaged ignition switch, or a broken sensor and more. These can be some of the numerous electrical reasons your Toyota will not get started. Signs of a wiring or electrical issue can vary vastly however can often include the engine not cranking, or your Toyota can start however only intermittently or various warning lights come on the car’s dash. To correctly identify and repair these kinds of problems, you will require the skills of an experienced car mechanic in your area or online.

Solutions & Repair Tips

As soon as you have diagnosed what the cause of your Toyota failing to start is. The next step is obviously to attempt to fix it. Here are some suggestions for the typical issues we've covered so far.

How to Troubleshoot and Fix Battery Issues in a Toyota

my car wont start i think its the battery

If you suspect it's possible a battery problem is the reason your Toyota has trouble starting, then the first thing you must do is check around the battery and check the battery terminals. You want them to be clean, not corroded and firmly connected. If you discover that the terminals are corroded you can try to clean them up with a mix of baking soda and water. You will need to replace the battery if it's weak or old, otherwise even if you charge it up enough to start the car, it will likely run out of life once again in the near future. You can use a multimeter as a battery tester to see if it’s worth saving or if it needs to be replaced. You can ask a reliable car mechanic online or in your area to provide guidance on this.

How to Diagnose Alternator Problems in a Toyota

car wont start, jumped and started alternator

If you’re thinking that the alternator is the cause of your car starting troubles, you can test it to see for yourself. If you can get the vehicle started temporarily (you may need to jump start the car for that), but once it’s going, let the vehicle run, and while its running, disconnect the positive terminal of your car's battery . If you discover your Toyota dies right away, then it's most likely due to a problem with your cars alternator. You should be aware however that this method can be risky, and might harm the delicate electronic components in your Toyota, so it's best to consult with a professional car mechanic in your area or online, prior to ever trying this.

How to Identify Starter Motor Failures in a  Toyota

car wont start starter and battery good

You should listen for a clicking sound when you turn the key in the ignition or press the start button if you think the starter motor is the cause of your Toyota not starting. In these cases, the solution is to have the starter motor changed for a new one by a professional mechanic.

How to Solve Fuel System Issues in a Toyota

clogged fuel filter car wont start

If you suspect the issue to be because of a fuel system problem, try and listen for the fuel pump when you turn the key to the “on” position, before starting up the vehicle. You should be able to hear a humming noise for a couple of seconds. It may be there is an issue with the fuel pump if you are unable to hear this sound. If you notice your Toyota is difficult to start, it stalls, or it has poor acceleration, it could possibly be down to a clogged fuel filter. Both of these will likely need a professional car mechanic in order to correctly fix.

How to Repair Electrical or Wiring Problems in a Toyota

fuses to check when car wont start

If you suspect it's a wiring or electrical system problem, initially check the fuses associated with the ignition system, and replace any that have actually blown. If your Toyota starts after this, then it was an effective, cheap and easy fix! However, if the vehicle does not start, even intermittently it could be a problem with the ignition switch itself. If different warning lights are visible on your dashboard, it could be because of a damaged sensor. These issues can be really complicated and a reliable car mechanic is most likely required to identify and repair it.

Preventive Steps

As my dad always said “Prevention is better than cure”, so here are the best ways to ensure you prevent any Toyota starting problems ever again!

Regular Maintenance of Your Toyota:

Regular maintenance on car to prevent starting issues

Routine maintenance of your Toyota is of the utmost importance to preventing future difficulties. This includes things like routine oil changes, checking your car battery, cleaning up the terminals, replacing the fuel filter as suggested/needed, and of course having your vehicle inspected by a professional car mechanic routinely. You can consult a mechanic in your area or online if you find yourself uncertain or confused about the regular maintenance jobs required for your particular vehicle.

Drive Your Toyota Regularly:

drive regular to avoid car troubles

If you happen to leave your Toyota off for long durations of time without driving it, the battery may deplete down as it's not getting any charge from the engine being in use. Try your best to drive your vehicle regularly to keep the battery charged up. If you remember you haven't driven your car in a while, take it for a spin to ensure there is still charge in the battery. Worth noting: letting the battery totally drain, is also damaging to the longevity of the battery, try not to do this.

Take Notice Of Warning Signs:

Check Engine Control Light on a Vehicle Dashboard

If you observe anything strange like unusual sounds, changes in how it drives and the performance, or warning lights are now visible on the dash, do not disregard them and get on with your day. These can be early signs of a problem and it’s best to be addressed ASAP before they become larger issues down the line. Talk to a car mechanic locally or online about these warning lights and get advice on if they need to be resolved.

When to Ask a Toyota Mechanic Online

If you're either limited on time, would like an expert Toyota mechanic on hand assisting and advising you, or you have tried to resolve it by yourself, but despite your best efforts your Toyota will not start, then talking with a Toyota mechanic online can be a fantastic choice.

Benefits of Online Mechanic Services

Happy mechanic repairing car looking at camera

Online mechanic services, like ours in the bottom right of this page, offer a number of benefits. You can get professional Toyota mechanic guidance 24×7 and without leaving your house, which is particularly useful if your car will not start and is stuck in the driveway. You can also save money as online mechanic consultations are much more affordable than a physical visit to a local mechanic near you. Plus, you can get the answer rapidly, which is excellent if you're in a hurry, require a second opinion, or you simply like having an expert Toyota mechanic on hand.

How Services Like Can Help You

Ask a mechanic online about my car not starting connects you with certified professional mechanics who can supply instant assistance, guidance and suggestions. You have the ability to describe the problems you are having with your car, ask a Toyota mechanic unlimited questions, and even upload images and videos so you are able to show the mechanic what you mean. You can talk to them via online chat or by phone call, whichever you prefer. The Toyota mechanic online will help you diagnose the problem, advise you on the best course of action for your individual situation and even assist you through basic maintenance and repairs every step of the way.


To summarize when your Toyota will not start, it can be a total downer and an enormous inconvenience. However, having an understanding of what might be triggering the problems, being able to troubleshoot them, and knowing what actions are required in each case, and where to get help if required, will be a substantial help. Remember that regular maintenance is crucial for preventing all kinds of vehicle problems.

Should this guide not fully solve your car problems, feel free to ask a mechanic a question online on our website.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What should I do if my Toyota won't start? 

First of all, do not panic. Try to identify any symptoms that could show a problem, such as unusual noises, warning lights on the dash, or changes in performance. The reason for the problem is most likely one of the most common causes gone over in this guide. If you can't find the problem yourself, you will need the aid of a Toyota mechanic in your area or online.

How to tell if my Toyota wont start because of the battery?

Indications of a battery problem in a Toyota consist of the engine being slow to crank, dim headlights, and lit battery warning lights on dash. You can also check the battery terminals to see if they are clean, not corroded, and firmly connected. It might be best to simply change it if the battery is old or weak.

How can I prevent my Toyota not starting issues?

In order to make certain this annoyance never takes place once again, regular upkeep is key. This consists of things like oil changes, examining the battery and cleaning it's terminals, changing the fuel filter as recommended / required, and having your Toyota inspected by a mechanic routinely. It's also a terrific idea to drive the vehicle frequently so the battery remains charged.

Can I ask a mechanic online if my Toyota fails to start? 

Yes, you can. An online mechanic service like ours can provide instant specialist Toyota mechanic assistance and advice, without you having to leave your home. This is especially beneficial if your vehicle can't start and is stuck in the driveway.

How can services like help if my Toyota will not start?

We link you with accredited expert Toyota mechanics who can provide recommendations on your specific circumstance. You can inform them about your vehicle issues, ask unlimited questions, and even submit images and videos so you can properly demonstrate the problem and describe it fully. The mechanic will be able to help, troubleshoot, diagnose the problem, suggest the best course of action and guide you along the way.

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