I recently bought a 93 Corolla LE Deluxe, ~53K miles.
It had been running fine for the first month or two, but now it doesn’t like to start. I turn the key, and I hear a click in the steering column, and if I roll my window down, I can hear a louder click coming from under the hood.
One person I talked to said it might be crud built up on the battery contacts, so I scraped what I could away, and when that didn’t work, I poured a baking soda and water mix over the contacts. It seemed to clear off any remaining buildup, and I have a green-stained towel to prove it. That did work for a while, but it’s back to its old ways now.
It hasn’t flat-out refused to start up yet- it may take anywhere between 2 and 20 tries, but it’ll eventually start up.
I haven’t noticed any pattern to it, except if I try to start the engine a few seconds after I kill it, it will work the first time. Once in a great while it’ll start up the first try- it did last night after being parked for about two hours.
While I fear its a bigger problem, the fact that it worked great immediately after I cleaned the contacts gives me hope that it’s something I can fix myself. The battery itself is no more than five years old, the previous owner had it replaced, and gave me the receipt to prove it.
So, teeming millions, what say you? And thank you for your help.