2004 Solara No Crank No Start

Aug 15, 2016
New Jersey
Hey everybody,

Got a difficult problem here. 2004 Toyota solara 2.4l auto. One day it would not start. No lights or radio, wouldn't even crank.

Checked the starter, brand new (under warranty) and tested working. Brand New battery (also under warranty). I've tried cleaning all the positive and negative connections that I can find on the car. I used a multimeter and 12.7 volts to the starter, relay/fuseboxes and alternator. Battery was charged with a battery tender charger overnight. I changed the starter relay but no luck. The only spot that I found was drawing some power at 3.2 volts was a wire that goes from the engine block to the frame. Tried changing that wire too and cleaned the connections. Still nothing. Still pulling 3 volts.

Now when I changed the battery cables from the positive battery to starter and negative to the transmission, and it started once. I thought it was fixed. When I put everything back together the car wouldn't start again. I took everything off and put it back exactly as it was when the car started and couldn't get it to start again.

With a charged battery, the lights and radio turn on as normal in the start/acc position and are fine. I hear a click as I try to start it, which may indicate the ignition is fine. As soon as I try to actually start it, all power cuts out like there's a cut off switch. (Security system is the original from the factory). I have to wait about an 30 minutes or so to try again. And the same thing happens. Also tried the second key. Security light turns off with both which means the system is recognizing the key.

At a loss as to what it could be. I'll be testing all the fuses tomorrow; none of them look like they blew from visual inspection.

Anyone have suggestions? I've never come across something like this.
Feb 8, 2019
If there is a ground lead with 3 volts, well it won't start on 9.7 volts right?
The alternator would be the next place to check, unplug it from the harness & check to see if that 3 volts is still present at the engine to ground.
You might have a shorted alternator/bad regulator there.
Nov 20, 2006
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Could be a bad diode in the alternator leaking to ground. As posted disconnect it from the system (tape the + wire to prevent shorting), reconnect the battery and see if you still have the 3v at the ground strap.
If it does not have the alternator tested if bad replace with a quality brand not a chain store brand piece of junk rehashed by Cardone.
Sep 27, 2015
Unplug the starter solenoid wire and jump the terminal to the battery +. The engine should crank. This is a test that bypasses everything except the battery, starter, and the big power and ground connections between them.

If it does crank start looking at small parts like the feed to the main fuse box, body ground wire, ignition switch, neutral or clutch switch, relays and wiring.

If it does not crank, test voltage at the battery on the battery posts (not the terminals) while trying to crank. If it drops below 10 volts the battery is faulty or run down. Charge with a decent sized mains charger not a tender and re-test. Battery keeps running down would mean investigate the charging system.

If battery voltage stays up, test again at the starter (starter big battery terminal to starter ground). If there is voltage at the starter but it does not turn, bad starter. If you have voltage at the battery but not the starter there's a problem with a connection or cable. Test voltage separately across every circuit part that should be connected, a good connection is zero volts.