Question About My Car Trouble

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by MallCop, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. MallCop macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2011
    #1
    Hi everyone,

    This morning my mom tried to start her car and it would not start. It is a 2004 Toyota Corolla with 160k miles on it. I don't believe it's the battery because the lights came on and the car made noises like it was trying to start. A couple months ago it was brought to Toyota for an oil change and on the report it said that the head gasket needs attention, I assume it was milky oil because thats what they were shining lights at during the change. It has also been leaking transmission and power steering fluid, the were added when the ball bearing was changed and the roughly 2 weeks later during the oil change, none have been added since. The cadilytic converter also is shot and needs to be replaced. The a/c was also just fixed if that has anything to do with the rest. Can anyone suggest what could be wrong by my description?
     
  2. MallCop thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2011
    #2
    I should also note that I can feel a noticeable loss in power during acceleration. My mom blames it on it being a 4-cyl but I can just feel that there is another reason.
     
  3. soco macrumors 68030

    soco

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Location:
    Yardley, PA
  4. MallCop thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2011
    #4
    Ha ha.

    I asked here because I actually trust people on this forum and I know most are highly knowledgeable beyond computers.
     
  5. soco macrumors 68030

    soco

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Location:
    Yardley, PA
    #5
    Yeah, I understand.

    Still, reseat that RAM.

    In all seriousness, I just want to say that it's a bit odd that you have a list longer than my... yeah... of issues with your car and you're wondering why it's not running properly. You might want to fix these problems instead of just knowing that they exist and going about your day.

    If your computer had a virus, and it started running slow, would you post saying, "My PC is infected with pandarapist.exe and it's running super slow! WTF is teh probelsm?!" No, right? Just sayin'

    Anyway, I'd definitely check out what was done with the A/C. Often times if you recently didn't have a functioning A/C and it's now running (stressing the system) it can augment the hundred other issues you're having. Especially the fact that you say you feel a loss in power upon acceleration tells me your serpentine belt may be stretched and in need of a replacement.

    Suffice it to say, it's time to save up some money and really get this car fixed.

    Oh, and reseat the RAM.
     
  6. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    FL
    #6
    This.

    You have a lot of unrelated issues and need to decide if you pour money into a high mileage car or replace it.

    If you are not firing, you can have enough battery to power lights, but not crank the starter. Also, bad gas/insufficient gas pressure could cause this.
     
  7. Sanveann macrumors 6502

    Sanveann

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2009
    Location:
    Michigan
    #7
  8. MallCop thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2011
    #8
    Thanks. Do you think the belt could have to do with it not starting? I personally wouldn't put the money into and I don't think my mom will either but it depends on the price of repairs. If it is the head gasket what is the general cost of repair? Also how much is the belt generally to repair?
     
  9. Plutonius macrumors 604

    Plutonius

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2003
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #9
    I have seen the head gasket repair go for $1500 - $2000 but why don't you just call your mechanic and ask what he charges ?
     
  10. StvenH90 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    Location:
    Florida
    #10
    If you pay someone to replace the head gaskets, it's going to cost a lot. Maybe close to what the car's worth. It maybe time to push the car off the cliff and pull the 8-Track (Sell it, car would still probably go for a grand or two it is a Toyota). But if you can do allot of the work your self, none of these repairs are that costly, but it will take a love of labor.

    As far as the battery. I have had plenty of cars able to run the lights, alarms, locks etc. But not able to turn the starter and crank the car. My previous 93 Corvette was like this when the battery went out, lights would rotate over and turn on, but just would not start unless it was jumped.
     
  11. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Location:
    Sod off
    #11
    If the starter cranks more slowly than normal, it may just be a dead battery.

    However, if the starter cranks at the normal speed, but the engine won't start, it could be a blown head gasket. Alternately, it could be some sort of ignition or fuel delivery issue.

    It sounds like the car has a number of issues. If the head gasket is indeed leaking, then it is only a matter of time (and not a long time) until the gasket fails and the engine stops running. This might be the case right now. Head gasket repairs are pretty expensive even on a cheap car - it will probably be over $1000.

    Small transmission and power steering fluid leaks are not uncommon with cars of this age, but at some point you are going to need to address all these issue because they are only going to get worse. Either that or consider replacing the car.
     
  12. Littleodie914 macrumors 68000

    Littleodie914

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #12
    First: Pick up a cheap voltage tester from a local Wal-Mart, Sears, etc. A fully-charged battery should read 12.6V when the car is not running, and around 13.5-14.5V when the car is running. (Because the alternator will provide 1-2V to charge the battery while the engine is running.)

    I don't think the issue is related to your battery, even if your engine turns over slowly, it just needs to do so long enough to "hand over" the job to the engine. But it's always good to have a voltage tester in your car to test battery failure vs. alternator failure.

    Second: I'm not convinced that any of your mentioned problems would prevent the car from starting. If the engine is turning over ("sounding like it's trying to start") but the car never starts, I would check a few things, in this order:

    1. Fuel Filter (could be clogged)
    2. Fuel Pump

    The fuel filter is extremely easy to replace, and they're cheap. The pump however is more difficult and expensive.

    I don't think it's:

    1. Spark Plugs (all 4-6 probably wouldn't die together)
    2. Head Gasket (you'd leak oil, or leak coolant, or see white smoke in your exhaust, generally)

    Do you just hear the sound that you would hear normally right when turning the key, or does the engine "chug" a bit like it's almost starting?
     
  13. MallCop thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2011
    #13
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_6 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8E200 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Ok so I have an update. I tried starting the car myself and the issue is that when you turn the key the sound is made like normal only more soft and droaning. Then there is a grinding like noise and is similar to when gears are stuck. The car continues this as long as you hold the key, during this times the gauges move up and down really quickly. The vents also function during this time. I have been able to get the car started after numerous tries and it seems to work fine but it's obvious something is wrong because it wont start every time.

    We have called the mechanic and he says he isn't sure what it could be. We are going to try and drop it off later or have AAA tow it tomorrow.
     
  14. nizmoz macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    #14
    Poor acceleration could be many things. If she hasn't had just a tune up recently that would be something to look at. A bad converter will cause loss of performance especially if it's becoming clogged.

    A bad CELL in the battery can cause it to not have enough power to actually turn the starter over. It can do a bunch of relay clicking noises and all the lights will come on fine, but it just doesn't have the amps to turn the starter itself. I would try to jump start the car anyways to verify it can start itself from another good known source. If it does, then replace the battery. If not, maybe a starter issue then.
     
  15. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Location:
    Sod off
    #15
    That sounds like a problem with the clutch on the starter motor. If the car runs fine once it starts, then I doubt it is a fuel delivery problem or alternator issue.
     
  16. Littleodie914 macrumors 68000

    Littleodie914

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #16
    Is it a manual or an automatic?
     
  17. MallCop thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2011
    #17
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_6 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8E200 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Is that generally expensive or on the cheaper end?
     
  18. MallCop thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2011
    #18
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_6 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8E200 Safari/6533.18.5)

    It's an automatic
     

Share This Page