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Eric, Automotive Repair Shop Manager
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 32396
Experience:  20+ yrs. experience as repair shop manager and technician.
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Toyota Corolla: 2003 corolla 1.8L automatic, the car wont start

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2003 corolla 1.8L automatic, the car wont start or even try to start. This is whats happened. I was changing the plugs for my father in law, so i put the plastic cover back on the the valve cover and started it. it was running like crap so i shut it down. i pulled the plastic cover back off to make sure all the coil pack where connected right. So i start the car running great, awesome i start putting the plastic cover back on it starts running like crap then shuts off. Well i pull the plastic cover back off and and notice that the fuel injector wires were rubbed bare by the bolt that holds the plastic cover. well i fixed the wires and still no start. i borrowed a friends scantool and it cant read anything. please help! I and a couple friends of mine are thinking its the ECM please tell me that they arent that fragile.

have you checked the main fuse, efi fuse or efi relay yet?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

checked the efi fuse, and the efi relay, and the main fuse. nothing wrong with them.


Ok, I assume you either tested them with a voltmeter or swapped them out, rather than just a visual check. If just visual check, that is not good enough to prove them as being good.

did you check the ecu fuse in the driver side fuse box at the left side of the lower dash?

Which color wires for the fuel injectors were rubbed bare?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I didnt test them with a volt meter just visual with the fuses. the relay i swapped out. Dont know how to test the fuses with a volt meter. I checked the ecu fuse in the interior box visually. Both wires were rubbed bare above the connector. I'm sure it was the bolt that holds down the plastic engine cover that cross connected them and shut the engine off.


with fuse in fuse box, use the voltmeter probes to touch the metal of the fuse on the back of the fuse facing you. there is a little opening on each end that a probe will fit. with key in on position and while cranking you should have 12v

do this and let me know
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Does it matter if the engine is not trying to crank at all? Or just turn the key all the way to where it would usually crank and hold it to get the reading from the fuse?


so the engine doesnt turn over at all?

check with key in crank position and let me know.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Right now im solo. I could check the volts so i used one of the spare 10A fuses to test and still no start or any change.


was one of the wires rubbed bare a black wire with white stripe?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

yes one had a black with white and the other was white both were rubbed bare.


Ok, the black with white stripe goes to the ignition switch, which could have fried it when it was rubbed bare. You need to check the black wire at the ignition switch for 12v, check both the red and black with white stripe wire for 12v with key turned to crank.

If 12v at the black wire, but not at either of the other 2 wires, then ignition switch is bad.

If 12v not present at the black wire, then no power going to the ignition switch and need to find short in the black wire.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So your sure i didnt fry the ECM? BTW im now starting to check the ignition switch.


while it is possible that there is a problem with the ecm, it would not prevent engine from at least cranking over. Because it is not even turning over, this is much more likely in the starting circuit, especially since the black w/white stripe wire that goes from injectors to ignition switch was one that was rubbed bare. More likely the ignition switch was damaged than the ecm.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Ok, I checked with my multi meter using the positive and ground with the car and there was 0 volts at all the wires other than the white wire on the ignition switch. Just checking that i am testing the wires right. All the black and white wire that i can see looks great other than the part that i fixed with electrical tape. is it possible that the ignition switch is bad and not letting and volts pass even with the key turned all the way?


Edit: Forgot to let you know the fuel injector 2 closest to the air filter is the one that had the problem.


edit again: i also forgot to mention that when testing the injector for resistance it has 14.9ohms not sure if thats normal but all 4 are that way.


injector ohms is fine.

Ok, you have power on the white wire which comes from the battery, so you have power to the ignition switch, but none coming out to the other wires when key turned to the crank position. This means that the ignition switch is faulty.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you,

Do you recommend a brand? i dont want to mistakenly by a crap brand just to have to fix the same problem.


for aftermarket, I would stick with Beck Arnley or Standard
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Dude thank you for everything. I was just getting ready to leave and my neighbor stopped by and and started checking the ohms on all the fuses on the interior box and found AM2 15amp fuse was blown replaced real quick and know running like a champ.


Great to hear! glad it is running.

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