2007 Toyota Yaris Suddenly Won't Start

Jun 28, 2019 2:09PM PDT

Hi there,

I have a 2007 Toyota Yaris, Automatic, 1.5L engine with 172K kilometers on it. This morning I turned it on briefly to move it to the middle of my driveway so I had room to open all doors to clean it. I played music through the aftermarket stereo for about 1-1.5hrs then turned off the ignition when I finished. I went to start the vehicle approx. 10 min later to move it back, and it would not start. There was no crank, no engine start, nothing except one click when in the "on" position of the ignition. I made sure it was in park and that the key was in the ignition properly - still nothing. I figured the battery was dead, waited for my boyfriend to get home, and tried to jump the car. Car would not jump, no noises other than that one click. Tested the battery with our voltmeter, it reads 13.5v, so the battery is charged up fine. Checked all the fuses under the hood and under the dash - all fuses are in good shape. It will not start or crank in neutral or park and the dash lights/clock that usually comes on when the key is turned to the "on" position are also not coming on. The aftermarket stereo still works as it is wired into the dome light fuse. Boyfriend has worked on vehicles his whole life and can't figure it out - seems to think it might be a problem with the neutral safety switch but I want to exhaust all other options before throwing $200 at replacing it. He tried jiggling the switch around and making sure nothing was loose, which also didn't work.

Post was last edited on June 28, 2019 2:25 PM PDT

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Jun 28, 2019 2:22PM PDT

Anything past 4 years and I swap in a new one. Also at that age and miles there can be other issues like a bad starter, bad connections and so on.

Since the starter clicked I would not suspect the neutral safety switch.

Start with a good battery terminal and pin cleaning job. If the battery is old, try another. I should not have to write about polarity and more. If so, have the work done by a car repair person.

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Jun 28, 2019 2:28PM PDT

Okay, we'll try doing a clean on the battery and see if that works
Like I said it has a good charge and enough volts to theoretically start the engine, so I'm not sure if old battery is the problem - but the terminals may be a bit mucky. I was wondering about the starter too.


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It's not just Volts. Amps needed too.
Jun 28, 2019 2:37PM PDT

I've seen 3 year old batteries do this where the load comes on (starter) and battery falls flat then when you remove the load, it recovers voltage wise.

This is why I ask how old the battery is and give the nod to at least get the batt terminals and such clean and in good condition.

Frankly at this age and miles I would not rule out the starter but I don't see as many starter replacements as I used to. Dunno why. More often it's the battery or connections and yes, the client always wants to debate it.

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Jun 28, 2019 3:09PM PDT

Cleaned terminals and posts - didn't work. Did a test for the neutral safety switch and think that's working fine as well. Wondering about the starter next...

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I don't see how old this battery is.
Jun 28, 2019 3:25PM PDT

OK, let's say you know electrical systems.

If I want to test the battery I either use a battery tester or just put my meter on the batt then have someone turn the key to start. If I see the battery fall off the map, I know it's just an old battery.

Sadly that test is best done with a fast reacting Volt meter as some Digital models are too slow to see the drop in voltage.

-> Is the age of the battery a secret?

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