When starting my vehicle the whole dashboard blinks rapidly and all gauges are down. What’s the problem?

When starting my vehicle the whole dash board blinks rapidly and all gauges are down. It still starts and move. What's the problem?

My car has 253000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
Hi there. The issue is your battery does not have enough amperage to operate the vehicle systems when starting. I recommend replacing your battery with a new one and the one that the vehicle calls for from the factory settings. If you need further assistance with your dashboard flickering when starting the vehicle, then seek out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you.

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced mechanics :

When Your Dashboard Lights Flicker and Your Car Won`t Start. If the car won`t start at all and the dashboard lights are flickering, it`s likely that the battery does not have enough charge to crank over the vehicle. In this scenario, you`ll likely need to replace the failed battery.
The Dashboard Lights Flicker

If you notice any flickering, be sure to check your battery before you end up stranded. Similar to dimming headlights, these flickering lights are a sure indication of a failing car battery.

Anytime you go to start an engine and the lights dim, either there`s a poor connection to the battery or there`s a problem with the starter. You`ll need to have the alternator checked. Also, check the dimmer knob.
When all your dashboard lights turn on at once, it is most commonly indicative of an issue with the alternator or the charging system. If possible, try to minimize driving long distances. A potential problem with the alternator could mean that your car could lose power unexpectedly while driving.
Bad bulbs or fuses

If the vehicle battery isn`t the reason for your flickering car lights, you might be looking at a failing light bulb or a bad fuse. Light bulbs are an easy and quick fix and present an opportunity to upgrade to new LED bulbs.

An alternator that is failing doesn`t meet your car`s electrical needs. This could cause your headlights to flicker or go from dim to bright. The alternator is not generating enough power to keep the lights on consistently. It will also affect your dashboard lights, and in some instances, they will even stop working.
Failing Alternator

If your alternator has gone bad, it won`t be able to produce enough power to run everything properly, which means your headlights might flicker on and off as well as other electrical components that require constant power such as windshield wipers and turn signals.

If the alternator is failing, the voltage to your headlights will drop and they will become dimmer. If your headlights seem to be even dimmer than previously, the chances are the issue is with the alternator.
Most vehicles have a dashboard light control switch that will dim the dashboard lights as well as turn them off. Find the control switch, dial, or knob, which is generally located on the console near the steering column or may be part of the headlight switch.
Engine warning light

Illuminates when the ignition is switched on. It should extinguish as soon as the engine starts. If it illuminates with the engine running, it indicates a malfunction with the engine management system.

The first thing you can try, to turn off the car, then restart the engine. The second step is to disconnect your battery, wait for a few minutes then reconnect the battery. Another option is to continue to drive your car, and hope the light will reset itself.
Residual magnetism in the generator exciter field allows the generator to build up voltage during start-up. This magnetism is sometimes lost due to shelf time or improper operation, among other reasons. Restoring this residual magnetism is possible and is sometimes referred to as “flashing the exciter field”.
Signs of a Bad Alternator

Some of the things to look for are no-starting and trouble starting, dimming lights and problems with stereo system output. If your car starts but stalls when you`re underway, your battery is probably not being recharged due to a faulty alternator.

Can You Jumpstart a Car With a Bad Alternator? It`s possible that your car will start even if your alternator is bad, but it will probably stall once the battery runs out of enough power to keep things running the way they should.
Gauges flickering and the car won`t start usually indicates a power problem. Usually, a battery problem comes with clicking sounds. To determine the source, call a mobile mechanic and ask for help conducting a battery inspection.
If your car battery is failing, it`s not going to be able to fully power your vehicle`s electrical components – including your headlights. If you notice that your headlights seem dim and weaker than usual, take note! Not only is the reduced light a safety issue, it also means your car battery is almost kaput.
Flickering lights can also be signs that the alternator is dying. Think of it this way, you start your car with power from the battery, but to keep your vehicle running, the power comes from the alternator. If you own an old car with halogen lights, you may see them gradually get dimmer with a dying alternator.
Flickering lights can also be signs that the alternator is dying. Think of it this way, you start your car with power from the battery, but to keep your vehicle running, the power comes from the alternator. If you own an old car with halogen lights, you may see them gradually get dimmer with a dying alternator.
2. Failing Alternator. When the alternator starts to give out, your car`s electrical output is affected. This could result in flickering, dimming, or inoperative headlights, as the headlights depend on power from the vehicle`s battery.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

When starting my vehicle the whole dashboard blinks rapidly and all gauges are down. What’s the problem?
ANSWER : Hi there. The issue is your battery does not have enough amperage to operate the vehicle systems when starting. I recommend replacing your battery with a new one and the one that the vehicle calls for from the factory settings. If you need further assistance with your dashboard flickering when starting the vehicle, then seek out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you.

Fuel pump engages. Batery good, alternator good volts, jump start helps when wont start. Temp does not matter. Intermittent?
ANSWER : Hello. Thank you for writing in. There are several reasons your vehicle may only start when jump starting. The first and most common is a build up of resistance that is causing you to need a boost of voltage to get the engine started. This may be due to poor battery cables, a bad ground connection, a poor starter solenoid, and a couple of other issues. The first thing you want to do is perform a visual inspection of the starting system. Make sure there is no corrosion build up in the battery cables. You can also check the resistance across these wires and make sure you have a solid connection between components. You then want to make sure the starter solenoid is doing its job. It is responsible for taking the small amount of electricity sent by the ignition and turning it into a huge electrical charge that is strong enough to push over the engine with the help of some gear ratios in its favor. Do some more testing, and stick to the basics before assuming its something seriously complicated.

Vehicle won’t start, once it’s jump started it only stays running until you turn it off, then it work start again without jumping.
ANSWER : Hi there. There could be two problems here. It is possible that your battery is bad and will not take a charge from your alternator while driving. In that case every time you shut your car off you will not have enough juice to start it again. Inspect your battery – it should have at least 12.5 to 13 volts to start your car, if it doesn’t you will need to replace the battery. The second problem could be that your alternator is bad and not charging your battery, in this case you will need to replace your alternator. Both the battery and the alternator can be tested in your car. If you would like to have the car checked for you, a certified professional from YourMechanic can come to your car’s location to diagnose the starting problem and proceed with repairs.

My 2011 truck does not start all lights on dashboard turn on like normal but it will not start and it started showing a advancetra
ANSWER : Hi there. If you are able to turn the key and the engine cranks over; but won’t ignite, the issue will be caused by an ignition or fuel system component failure. If you are unable to crank the engine over, this is due to either the ignition relay or the starter itself. You might benefit from having one of our mobile mechanics come to your location and complete a car is hard to start inspection.

I have trouble starting the vehicle every time I put gas in the car
ANSWER : As you may know, this issue is commonly related to the evaporative emissions (EVAP) system which is comprised of a few components, one of which you have already addressed, the purge valve. In some cases, when you have an air leak in the EVAP system, then the manifold absolute pressure (MAP) sensor will not be able to determine the air density, and the mass airflow (MAF) sensor will not be able to correctly determine the volume of air entering the engine. This will lead to an over-fueling or under-fueling situation depending on the size of the air leak and the engine’s operating speeds and load. This could eventually lead to destroying the catalytic converter as well. I would recommend having an expert technician, such as one from YourMechanic, take a look at your car to diagnose your starting and stalling problems.

Car won’t start. When trying to start, starter makes a clicking noise and then closed back hatch recloses.
ANSWER : It sounds like there is some type of drain on the battery. When there is low voltage in a battery, it can cause several symptoms. The electrical systems can act very strangely when they don’t have the correct voltage being supplied. When a battery won’t hold a charge, it can be caused by a wiring issue, a bad battery, or some type of parasitic draw that can slowly pull voltage from the battery. Some electrical diagnosis done by a professional, such as one from YourMechanic, will be necessary to pinpoint the cause.

How do I get the maintenance required light to stop blinking and my temperature gauge to be normal?
ANSWER : Hi there, thanks for writing in. The Toyota maintenance light is a reminder to get your oil changed. This light comes on periodically and needs to be reset with every oil change. As for the temperature gauge this is normal. The engine is cold when it is first started so it reads like this and as it runs it warms up and the gauge starts moving. This is normal. I would just have your oil change done when you get a chance. If you want to have your oil changed, consider YourMechanic, as a certified mechanic can come to your home or office to do this.

Cranks over start than dies
ANSWER : Hi There,
The idle air control valve is a small valve on the engine’s intake system that reads the air intake as it comes into the motor. This is controlled by the car’s ECM which uses this information to make adjustments to the air/fuel ratio depending on various inputs such as outside air temperature, intake air temperature, load and various other things. As you accelerate, your car’s engine is receiving a much higher dose of fuel than when at idle and conversely, when you let off the gas pedal, there is a sudden change in this fuel supply as a result of your foot letting off the pedal. When this happens, the job of the idle air control valve is to bring this deceleration down to a slow and smooth idle rather than suddenly cutting off the fuel supply causing the motor to die. When the idle air control valve is not working properly, this cause a disruption in this process resulting in the engine not being able to idle properly. I would recommend having a professional come to your location to diagnose and inspect your vehicle.