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2005 Toyota Corolla No Start

By joecai, March 24, 2015

Recently my car had been working fine. I turned it off when I got home and the next morning it wouldn't start. Door locks worked, windows worked, panel and headlights worked but on trying to start the only sound was the faint click of the door locks. The alarm system worked and I tried resetting immobilizer with under dash switch, and tried many other things, all to no avail. I returned to this forum and remembered that I had had similar problem before. At another site I was urged to disconnect the battery for 10 to 20 minutes and then try restart and fishexpo101 suggested fresh fob battery replacement. I disconnected car battery, got a new fob battery, went back, reconnected the battery, turned the key, and it started right up. Rough idle cleared up with cleaning air intake just past the filter and I guess the efi/ecu getting all its calcs right. This time did all that and still no start/no sounds, even with new car battery. Called dealer (he wasn't happy about getting this problem since his alarm guy was having trouble with a similar Corolla/alarm problem and tried to put me off but I insisted that I would have AAA tow the car in), AAA tow guy shows up, I explain, he asks if it's ok if he tries banging on starter with hammer, tap tap taps on starter, asks me to try start and BINGO it starts right up. He said he had had a 2003 Corolla with a lot of miles (mine has 243k and has been unproblamatic for the most part) and had a similar no start, banged the starter, and it worked. He thinks that with gear wear the gears jam and need some vibration to free up. Now I don't know - but if this helps someone out there I'll be glad. Many thanks to fishexpo101 for all the help he has been to so many people and I'm sure he has come across many of these kooky problems and solutions.

Nice! Old school fix to a stuck starter. That was pretty much how you had to start some of the old Mopars, back in the day - have a handful of ballast resistors sitting the glovebox and a ball peen hammer to give the starter a good whack if it didn't turn over.

Sounds like it could be related to a worn starter bendix (the gear that engages the teeth on the flywheel / flexplate, weak starter solenoid, or worn starter contacts. If you want a more permanent solution to your starting issue, double check that your starter has a Denso stamp on it - that means it could be easily and relatively inexpensively rebuilt rather than replaced.

But that is down the road. Possible the hammer taps "automagically' fixed the starter. Just be mindful if it gets stuck again, want to make sure you are not pounding the starter with a hammer. Too light of a tap does nothing, too heavy - you might crack the starter case and potentially introduce water / moisture to the internals - be another set of headaches down the road.

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