5th generation of Toyota's modern full-size sedan.

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Why will my car not start?

Along with not starting, the brake lights and reverse lights do not work. The battery is fine. When I turn the key, all of the electronics will operate, radio and interior lights etc but the engine will not turn. The last few months I have had a few occasions of the key needing to be turned 2-4 times to get the car to start. Now, it seems whatever was wearing out, is now worn out. Checked all fuses and they seem fine and rear bulbs have been replaced as of yesterday. Are the faulty lights and the car not starting related issues?

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Try hitting your starter with a non-metal object, then try starting your car. If that works, then you have a bad starter.

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That totally worked. Car is operational thanks to this tip and help from friends. Now I need to replace the starter before I get stuck somewhere.

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I'd put money on it being the physical ignition switch located behind the key cylinder in your car's steering column. That would explain why it would take 2-4 turns of the key to turn the engine over. As a side note, accessories like lights and the radio working does not essentially mean your battery is fine. Those devices put a very small load on the battery and often will operate even if the battery is "dead" (won't crank the engine). The only real ways to check if the battery is dead is to use a bump switch as said above or to buy a load tester, which is essentially a giant resistor that puts a large load on the battery similar to that experienced when the starter is cranking the engine. Multimeters don't put a big enough load on the battery to tell if it is good or not. They can be found at harbor freight for the cheap.

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Even if the 2-4 tries was intermittent? It has been working about 90% of the time up until now, with the occasional 2-4 tries. Now it is completely dead from being worn out? Also, would that tie in with the rear lights not operating? The brake lights and reverse lights have not been working for a few weeks now.

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Probably. See if you can find a mechanics "bump" switch and see if you can turn the motor over with that. If so you probably have a problem with your ignition switch. Those are readily available and usually not to expensive. Ralph

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Probably the issues are related? Would a bad ignition switch cause both of the issues simultaneously?

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Yep - I vote for a bad switch or corroded, broken contacts on the switch housing. In order for those lights to work the start lockout has to be in the "start" position, not the "accessory" position. - That's probably not happening.

Good Luck,

N.

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Hi I've reviewed all past comments and it applies to my situation. All started when break lights and battery connections went out. Replaced bulbs, battery switch and fixed battery connectors. Car was working but for a few days noticed it was having problems cranking and now it's not doing anything. Battery is fine. I tried hitting the button behind ignition but it's dead. Is this the starter or ignition part? I'm lost as to how I can get it to crank & roll over? Pls I need help

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Or use a voltage tester,(on DC that is) on the battery and check to see if you have 14 volts. If you do then its fine.

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On some older Toyotas the ignition is disabled when the tail lights are burned out. That should not be intermittent, but perhaps the related relay is defective.

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Brady Cabe will be eternally grateful.
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