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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Whenever I start my car all of the dashboard lights come on and stay on, and i have a very bad drain on my battery. I am a noob when it comes to servicing cars so I would just like to know where to start.
 

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This is while the engine is running, right? Start with a more precise description. Tell us specifically which lights are still on. I think it unlikely that "all" of them are on, and which ones are on is important information.
 

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This is while the engine is running, right? Start with a more precise description. Tell us specifically which lights are still on. I think it unlikely that "all" of them are on, and which ones are on is important information.
I charged up the battery last night and attempted to start the car today, the accessory came on but the engine wouldn't turn over.
 

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So did all of the dash lights go out when you engaged the starter? Remember that I cannot look over your shoulder, and I am not a mind reader. I am going to guess what is happening here, and you can tell me if any of this does not match your experience. I will guess that your alternator is dead, and if that has been the case for a while, then your battery is dead along with it, and trying to recharge it did nothing. If the alternator is dead, then there are three dash lights that stay on: The charge light, the brake light, and the cooling fan light. The second two are wired in with the charge light just so the bulbs will get tested when you turn on the ignition. If this is what is going on, then you need a new alternator and a new battery and you will be good to go. Is there anything else wrong with the car? How long have you been driving the car with the dash lights on?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So did all of the dash lights go out when you engaged the starter? Remember that I cannot look over your shoulder, and I am not a mind reader. I am going to guess what is happening here, and you can tell me if any of this does not match your experience. I will guess that your alternator is dead, and if that has been the case for a while, then your battery is dead along with it, and trying to recharge it did nothing. If the alternator is dead, then there are three dash lights that stay on: The charge light, the brake light, and the cooling fan light. The second two are wired in with the charge light just so the bulbs will get tested when you turn on the ignition. If this is what is going on, then you need a new alternator and a new battery and you will be good to go. Is there anything else wrong with the car? How long have you been driving the car with the dash lights on?
I'm sorry for confusion, those are the lights that are coming on, but the battery is holding a charge. Is there a way i can test the alternator?
 

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Ok, to be clear, the dash lights come on when you turn on the ignition, and when you try to engage the starter, you get a click, but the dash lights do not go out or dim significantly? That is just a bad starter. The solenoid is not making contact to power the motor. These tend to act up when the weather gets colder because the grease in the solenoid stiffens. You may get lucky if the weather gets warmer, or you may get lucky just by trying. You may find that after 10 or 20 tries, the solenoid makes contact and starts your engine.
 

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2 steps to ignition, Power and Fuel delivery. Your battery doesn't hold charge which means there is either a "parasitic draw" somewhere in your MR2's power delivery system such as: a frayed wiring harness, blown fuses, bad / old battery or bad alternator. I would check the simple stuff first like fuses, battery date and spark plugs but more than likely you have a problem with your starter as stated above. The MR2 won't turn over and starter only clicks once, I would YouTube how to remove the starter solenoid and learn how to use a multimeter to test whether or not it is functioning. I would recommend looking at your spark plugs, spark plug wires and distributor as well to see if they are in good condition. If you can get the car running then you can take it to a place like Autozone, Oreillys, etc ... to have a free battery and alternator test performed but accuracy varies. If you want an accurate way to test the alternator, YouTube how to test that with a multimeter if money is tight.
 
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