Wont Start - 1991 Toyota Celica St.

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I am a woman and I do not understand alot abot cars.My car does not start
unless I give it a boost but I don't understand because my friends tell me it is the starter because of the clicking sound it does but it will not start, but when I give a boost it starts if it were the starter it wouldent start right.
I have had to charge the battery a couple of time but it always drains out.I know it is not my altenator because I just put in a new one and it was checked to see if it had a default. Please can someone help me figure out what this can be . Thank you so much.


posted by  Ivelisse

Sounds like the battery to me. Its the Battery, Solinoid, Alternator or Starter. Probably not the starter for the reason you mentioned. Also a boost usually won't overcome a bad solinoid. If you say the alternators has been checked out It must be the battery.
Batterys last anywhere from 2-4 years in most cars. :hi:

posted by  Comanderbob

My money is on the battery. Have it tested for free at autozone or advance auto parts if possible.

posted by  DodgeRida67

I may be reading it wrong but did she not say that she has changed her battery a few times? surely that many batteries wouldnt be faulty in a row? We have the same car and the same problem, and we have also had to change the battery a few times yet still have the same drain. Perhaps it is a larger fault with the model.

posted by  iambobthefish

its definetly a battery fault and she said CHARGE not CHANGE. :thumbs:

posted by  itsonlyme

Well if the battery is good and the alternator is good, something is DRAINING your battery. :doh(:(am I a dumbass or what?) Check for the things that are not obvious.Trunk light or hood light,,, You assume they are OFF,,,,these are things not thought about,,or not much. It's a good (fair) starting point if everything else is OK. Have you had ANY alterations, options added to you car lately????

posted by  lectroid

if your battery is going dead over night, then there is a parasitic load on the battery . meaning something is on even tho the car is off, maybe stereo.or a door switch is FUBAR. if you have a mutimeter than can measure amps then you can test it, or take it to a shop

posted by  BanffAutoSpa_ap

alright ignore that cuz someone has already explained it :banghead:

posted by  BanffAutoSpa_ap

But you mentioned about testing with a multimeter, what should be measured and what readings are to be expected? I know someone that this is happening to, but she's going around changing stuff and I want no part of that until I know what is wrong, really. There's also a weird sound that she thinks is coming from the distributor, but I'm not sure. She's taken it to people to fix it, they take her money and she gets it back and it's still there.

Anyway, the battery has drained a few times and she even spent money replacing it once. Need to know what's causing this.

posted by  JaneiR36

Sometimes the cigarette lighter is not switched by the ignition. This means that anything plugged into the lighter (radar detector etc) is a constant drain on your battery. I addition if you have had someone put an aftermarket stereo in, the may have inadvertantly attached the switched power to a constant power source. This will also drain your battery.

posted by  gamesmstr

does ur battery light work? it should turn on when key to on. then turn off after car running. the charging system will not work if that bulb is out on some cars.

posted by  thongsai

Run that by me one more time. I don't think I understood.

posted by  lectroid

every1 is jumping to conclusions that there is a parasitic load thats killing the battery.. she replaced the alternator, but it does not mean that her charging system is ok. cars have a self test with key on engine off, the battery light should be on, and once car is running, the light should go off.

posted by  thongsai

Come on Lectroid! Why don't you read the dates the post are made,,,,Dumbass :banghead:

posted by  lectroid

No big, Lectroid, I'm currently working on solving a similar problem!

If you would believe it, I found what may be the culprit. Totally by accident, I might add.

We'd taken out the 15 A left headlight fuse to do a test, and almost immediately, the thing fell.

[Please skip this paragraph if you'd like, it's slightly off topic]. The next fifteen minutes were spent using various techniques to dig it back out. BTW, a mechanic that lives in our neighborhood said he left the business because of bad practices. For instance, if a screw falls while they're working on your car, they'd charge you for the time it takes to find it. Well, DUH. That's obviously time they could've spent working on someone else's car. I thought he was making sense then, but now, I think if you truly want to avoid such charges, you should probably pay the extra money for a more highly skilled technician and *hope* he doesn't make a similar mistake. Finding the screw / nut / fuse does take time and somebody's gotta pay.

Anyhoos... when we put the screw back in, we noticed the left head light would arbitrarily come on and stay on. So I went to Advance Auto to copy the wiring diagram and will hopefully try to trace the short tomorrow (when it's bright outside again).

The diagram is rather complicated, though, and I only got part of it. There's a daytime running system that I didn't even copy. And I only got the headlight part containing the left side. Any hints? Maybe someone knows what wires typically cause this problem in a '93 Nissan Altima, automatic shift, 6-cylinders. And as I've also learned Hayne's diagrams can be pretty vague. For instance, they'll tell you the wire goes to that junction box, but won't tell you where it is. No wonder it takes manufacturers a whole manual to publish this information!

I didn't do the alternator part because unlike other cars I've worked on, the alternator for this vehicle is on a lower portion of the engine. Hard to reach.

As for the hood light, I used a key to push the mechanical switch in, and the light went on and off that way. Was this enough? Also, when the headlamp was misbehaving, the hood light would not come on.

Anyway, here is the wiring diagram I copied:


posted by  JaneiR36

well, duh. It looks like the "combination switch" may be perpetually stuck on position 1 or 2 instead of "off." I'll have to check that out tomorrow (testing for a short of sorts, hopefully I'll know where the heck the switch is). Please post anything else you think it might be in the mean time.

posted by  JaneiR36

I don't think you are going to get any lamps to show if you have a voltmeter sitting between the negative post of the battery and the chassis strap.

posted by  Wally

It can be what everyone says but yes it can be the starter also. I have had it happened to me 3 x when the starter is drawing to much amp then what the battery can give. Sometimes when the starter is going bad it will draw to much amp and you would need a jump to get it started in addition to a well charge battery. You battery might be going dead because the starter is just killing it. It happened to me on a Camry and 2 Mustang 5.0. If everything fails then I would pull the starter out and have it checked

posted by  bmatias

I'm stuck because I have no way of knowing where that switch is. Any ideas? I even tried to open up the dash board to check the color of the wires going into all the connectors, but had a really hard time.

As I suspected, the resistance from the non-battery end of the fuse to the wire going into the LEFT headlamp was 5.5 ohms, when the lamp was supposed to be off. The one for the right side was an open circuit (as it's supposed to be). I don't know, it seems wires may be crossed somewhere, but I'm having a hard time finding where.

posted by  JaneiR36

if you fiddle with the head light switch, give it the wiggle test, maybe it's the switch.. just a thought

posted by  BanffAutoSpa_ap

I'm having trouble locating that headlight switch. Have any idea where it might be and/or how I could go about finding it?

posted by  JaneiR36

hi i have the same problem with myy 1990 celica the battery light flicks on and off mostly on when i am driving it starts every time i have a new battery 3 days old it still does it

posted by  revv_head

You will if there is power flow.

posted by  tbaxleyjr

I actually have the same problem. My Toyota Celica only starts when it wants to. i took out the starter and had it checked and it was fine, i also checked the battery and it was still good. i changed the battery posts too. still it only starts when it wants to. im not sure what the problem is.. but It sounds like its the battery. if not the battery then check the battery posts to see if they need to be changed. or check the starter cable. and check where the starter goes into the transmission and make sure theres no curosion inside where it goes into the trans.

posted by  JOEE!

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