Question about 1998 Toyota Corolla

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1998 toyota corolla will not start in cold weather.

I have had my corolla for about a year now and am starting into the second winter with it. Last night was the first night that the temp was below 45 F and this morning my car will not start. It will not even turn over, nothing! I had this problem again and again last year. A couple of times it would start later in the day but most of the time it would remain dead the whole day. I ended up taking the battery to wal-mart to have the amps checked and was told it was not good, so they gave me a new battery. My car then worked fine for about two weeks, then it died again. ( I don't know if I should mention the temps reach about -30 at night here in the winter). One day it was working fine and the next day the power locks, lights, nothing works the engine does not even turn over!

Someone mentioned once that I may have a draw on my battery but after winter ended I had no problem with my car not starting. It has worked perfectly fine through the entire spring and summer starting flawlessly! So I really just don't know what to do! Any advice would be much appreciated!

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  • Anonymous Jan 15, 2009

    I was seeking an assistance for the similar but less sever problem. The research indicates following resolutions that you may also try:

    If the engine key is new , insert in the startup slot and align with "on" indication (to keep your audio player on) for about two minutes before it is turned to start. Make sure that the A/C and all other devices are off not to overload the battery.Give a start kick after two miutes, it may start. My car starts following these steps even when the ambient is 10deg F.

    I am advised by the mechanic that the spark pulg with all wiring needs replacement and engine can be tuned.Battery is not a problem.


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It reads like a 'draw', a 'short', or a parasitic current draining your battery. All batteries are weakened by cold weather, so the combo just isn't good for it.

You must have a fresh known good battery that is now fully charged. To check it, start your car with it, then DETACH THE BATTERY every time the car is parked.

  1. If the battery always works when you reconnect it, it clinches the diagnosis, parasitic current.
  2. If the battery still gets weak after detached, it means the alternator is bad, and the battery is not getting enough charge.
The above 2 are simple things you can do to diagnose it yourself. #1 can keep you running all winter, #2 will need professional service soon as it will eventually lead you stranded somewhere.

Until you fix it completely you can also get a trickle charger to keep your battery in shape overnight, and get a portable booster battery for safety. There are many models, they look like this.1998 toyota corolla will not start in cold weather - 637e527.jpeg

Posted on Sep 16, 2008

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I had the same problem with my previous vehicle - 1984 BMW 325e. In the summer, it would start up and run like a new car. In the colder weather, it was a completely different story. I was once pulled over for a taillight out on my passenger rear, and the officer told me to turn off my car. In just the short amount of time it took him to run my license and plates and me to put everything back in the glove box, the car would not turn over... I had to walk 5 miles home! O.K., back to the problem... In the BMW, the battery was in the trunk ( Germans...) and being that the current had to travel such a long distance to the starter, there was plenty of places that could have been a problem. I checked the wire from battery to starter - fine. I replaced the battery worked fine until cold weather the following year. Next year, I went through and cleaned off all of the places where a connection was made - the terminals, the chassis ground, and even cleaned the connection to the starter. This seemed to help - for a while (until the next year). I ended up selling the car to my supervisor at my job and he replaced the battery (again) and I had told him about the problem of it not starting when the cold weather moved in. He knows his way around a car better than I do, so he ended up purchasing a manual off or EBay that was really descriptive and well written. In it, he found that there was a place behind the firewall where something was grounded that had caused numerous owners to lose power in their batteries. He found it, cleaned up the connection and hasn't had a problem since - 2 years ago... I don't know what you have done as far as cleaning or replacing anything, but I would clean all of the connections, make sure you have a good ground connection (very important) and inspect all visible wiring for damage. It makes since that in warmer weather the current would flow more freely from battery to starter. Since all vehicles now have miles and miles of wiring, it can be very difficult to diagnose an electrical problem. I would look into purchasing a repair manual if you plan on working on the vehicle yourself and look online for technical forums about your vehicle and the problem you are having. It seems like a common problem, so there should be plenty to read about. I hope this was helpful to you. Please take a few seconds to rate this post and how helpful it was to you. Thanks and good luck!

Posted on Sep 16, 2008

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What is the Cold Crank Amp rating on your new battery? The higher the number, the better it performs in severe cold. Regarding "draw", the battery does have a slight draw on it at all times; the clock and the radio station memory are always "on", even with the car off. So, a low CCA battery, extreme cold and slight battery draw = no crank. Here is a quick test for large draw: Turn the key off, close all of the doors. Disconnect the negative battery cable. Connect a 12 volt test light between the cable ring-connector and the now-exposed negative battery terminal. How bright is the test light glowing? Real dim? Low draw. Glowing brightly? BIG draw. Open a door & observe the test light. The light should glow very brightly. If you have any type of bright light, you have a draw.
Try this & get back to me.

Posted on Sep 16, 2008

  • Toyota Ed Sep 16, 2008

    Thanks for the FixYa. Much appreciated.


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