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Old 01-02-2011, 02:24 PM   #1
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Won't Start, Won't Change Gears


2003 Toyota Matrix: Was sitting in freezing temperatures for 8 days. Tried to start initially and lights were dim, auto locks worked, dashboard warnings were present. There was also a clicking noise from the fuse box that stopped after about 5 minutes. I checked some of the fuses but they all looked good; one was a little brown but still connected (is that broken/blown?) Also, there are some bigger fuses that the manual didn't say how to remove and check; does anyone know how to do that?

I tried to start it today and none of the lights came on, auto locks didnt work, and no dashboard warnings were present. There was no clicking sound. In addition, I'm trying to change the automatic transmission to neutral so I can push it to a better position for jump starting. I followed the directions to change it ("on" position, brake depressed, lock button pushed) and it wont budge. Is this a transmission issue, a battery issue, or a fuse issue?? Thx for any help!

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Old 01-02-2011, 02:27 PM   #2
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You have to feed it some rice!

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Old 01-02-2011, 02:31 PM   #3
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Ayuh,... It sounds like it has a Very Dead battery....
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Old 01-02-2011, 04:29 PM   #4
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yea, sounds like you have had a low battery that is now completely dead. jump or charge it where is sits, or pull the battery out and try charging ( or take and have tested)
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:04 PM   #5
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dead battery. clicking noise is usually coming from starter, when solenoid is trying to engage and can't, as it takes a lot of juice to do so. even if it's surely coming from fuse box, it's prolly a relay clicking.
like guys said - pull battery out and charge. same time, clean terminals on cables and poles on battery, lubricate with dielectric grease, make sure you set terminals all the way down on poles, flush with battery surface, then seal with battery terminals sealant. will ast long, long time, unless you have parasite draw somewhere, or alternator is not producing enough voltage(loose belt?). also, make sure you do not have dome etc lights left on.
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:32 AM   #6
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Won't Start, Won't Change Gears


Just to make sure I don't blow anything up or do anything wrong, I can pull the battery and charge it with another car in the street or do I need to get a battery charger of some sort? And by doing so, I'm assuming it won't lose it's charge before I reconnect it? How long do you recommend charging it?
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Old 01-03-2011, 03:17 AM   #7
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You can take your battery to AutoZone, Oreilly or Advance auto parts and they will charge and test your battery for free.
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Old 01-03-2011, 08:55 PM   #8
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takes a lot of time to charge dead battery with engine running.
good and dirty is to buy charger at walmart, charge it - takes about 8 hrs - and return charger.
fast and dirty is to borrow battery from a good car, set it somewhere close to yours, and jump start from good battery. then go for a few hr drive, with less the better accessories running, to charge dead one.
YOU MUST CLEAN TERMINALS AND POLES, whichever way you plan on doing it.
autozone and such are very prone to overselling on batteries, it's their bread and butter. even quick charge will still take at least an hr or so.
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:04 PM   #9
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Won't Start, Won't Change Gears


By the way, if you do need to push it with a dead battery, it is the brake/shift interlock that it preventing this. There are two ways I know of to override it on various vehicles, but yours may be different:

On some vehicles, there will be a small lever or button near the shifter, which may or may not be labeled. Generally this needs to be pushed or pulled to allow the shifter to move. The ignition needs to be unlocked, in either the off or on position.

On other vehicles, it's a little simpler, the ignition just needs to be unlocked, but not turned on, and the shifter should move.

From the sound of it, and a quick google search, your vehicle falls in the first category. Look near the base of the shifter for an override button.
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Old 01-04-2011, 04:37 PM   #10
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Won't Start, Won't Change Gears


there's normally a slot in the gear shifter plastic cover. either a flathead or a car key, when inserted, mechanically unlocks gear shifter so that it can be placed into neutral.
reason you can not do this with battery dead is because you have safety feature, that will not allow you to start engine or shift gears, unless you have brake pedal fully depressed. guess what - it's electrically operated. that's why they came up with mechanical unlock feature.

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