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Matt
Matt, Mechanical Engineer
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 20580
Experience:  BEng, Repaired my own cars and others for 20 years, worked in Formula 1 for 10 years
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My Toyota Matrix would not start today, just made a soft

Customer Question

My Toyota Matrix would not start today, just made a soft rapid clicking sound. All lights on, battery doesn't appear dead. Battery is less than a year old.
For a few weeks prior, each time I would start my car, my car clock would reset to 12:00. My husband thought it was a fuse, now I wonder if the 2 problems are related. Does it sound like the alternator? I remember we had the alternator checked a while back and it was fine.
Any suggestions on what my husband could check to at least get it started so we dont have to pay for a tow to get it to a mechanic.
Thanks in advance.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Matt replied 10 months ago.

Hello

If the car's not cranking then first check it can turned over by hand so double checking for any mechanical issues

If OK then check that the main battery cables are on tight and the terminals are clean and bright. Do the same for the engine / gearbox earth strap.
Then follow the main positive lead back to the engine and down to the starter motor, and check the connection at this end as well.

There should also be a small wire to the motor which should have 12V when you're turning the ignition switch to crank. If the 12V isn't there, check back along this wire for damage to the insulation or corroded connections

This 12V feed comes directly from the ignition switch so this may be faulty and need replacing

Check the resistance of the main positive lead that runs down to the motor as anything more than a few ohms and it should be replaced

Don't forget to try a jump start from another car / battery as its possible the battery is poor, if you have a voltmeter a healthy battery should read 12.7+V

also try substituting the battery for another as I've known a very flat battery to drag down the system voltage too far even with jump cables

one other thing to consider is that the immobiliser is faulty and preventing the starter from being enabled - however if the dash / ignition lights are on then this usually means that its off

If this is all OK then its possible the car needs a new starter motor

Also check that the alternator is actually charging the battery in the car by taking a battery voltage reading with the engine off then another with the engine running. The 2nd reading should be higher than the 1st and climbing steadily. And also check that the alternator is secure to the engine as this provides the ground for the charging circuit and make sure that the engine / gearbox earth strap is secure and the contacts are clean and bright.

if the alternator appears not to be working - take it to a electrical specialist and ask them to test it as sometimes you can replace just the diode pack and this will repair the alternator without requiring replacement

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

I will pass this on to my husband. Now- I am a woman who doesnt know a whole lot about this, but what do you mean "first check it can turned over by hand so double checking for any mechanical issues"? What do you mean "turned over by hand"?

Expert:  Matt replied 10 months ago.

Hello

when I say turned over hand I mean if you were to use a socket wrench on the big nut on the crankshaft pulley to turn the engine slowly or crank it so it moves through a couple of revolutions

this double checks that nothing is seized solid

Expert:  Matt replied 10 months ago.

Hi

do you still need help?

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