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Toyota Camry Starting / Stalling Questions



  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    Hang a voltmeter on the starter, see what the voltage is when you turn the key. If full voltage, but turn over, then starter is bad.

    If low voltage, then back up and check the output of the starter relay to verify. If good, then your cable is bad to the starter. If low, then check input voltage to starter.

    If relay input voltage is low, then problem is in cabling from battery to starter relay block (assuming battery is good). If relay input voltage is high, but output voltage low, then starter relay is bad.
  • my 1994 camry 6 cyl. has new cam censor, new crank shaft censor, new fuel filter, new battery. before all these were put in two weeks ago my car was doing the same thing. it would drive for some time then just die.
  • I took my camry to a shop. The problem was an aftermarket security system. It had shorted out the circuitry somehow. They disabled it and it cranked right up. The most expensive part was the tow. It took them less than an hour to correct it. Thanks for the advise, Kiaweh
  • good to see your starter problem fixed

    Some folks never check back with the results. Sounded like it was futher back in the system, where Kiwaih was headed, the ignition switch relays,,security system. It was just a matter of time

    , Troubleshooting online you got to think of all the scenerios, conditions of car, has it been hacked into, good maintenance or is is it a careless DIY. You got to ask about a 100 questions,to get a good profile, security system would be last on the list of common problems.

    I got a customers van that does the same thing. He has one of those cheap security systems and somtimes it won't start. Someone has replaced his starter twice and of course the battery too. It failed to start for me after I was test driving for a brake repair,I did,for him.Then he tells me it happens alot.

    I'm thinking why didn't he call me about it not starting, instead of not stopping. So I replaced the ignition switch in a hurry, only to have the same problem. Autozone took the switch back when I showed them both switches in my hand, I said the spring feels the same in the new one as well as the old, and I didn't need to replace it after all. Whoo! $16.00 mistake..

    I thinking its the disconnected security system still causing the problem. I pulled the fuse going to it.last year after the alarm kept going off every time I opened the car door. God it was really annoying, but it could still be causing the intermittent start problem he has..Maybe I need to reconnect the fuse.

    Thanks for checking back.
  • dukkardukkar Posts: 3
    edited November 2010
    My 2000 Toyota Camry XLE V6 wasn't starting this evening. When I would turn the key, the indicator lights on the dashboard would light up, but the engine wouldn't start despite making the cranking sound. I turned on the interior light and tried to start, but the lights flickered while the engine tried to start, but no luck. With the key in, I tried to operate the power windows and they worked, but very very slowly. I did this troubleshooting to see if the battery was completely dead.

    Anyway, out of all options, I got someone to jump start my car and I drove home. I kept the car running for 45 mins to charge the battery, and while it was still running, I noticed that if I would try to use my power windows, the dashboard panel (and the headlights also, I think) would dim and the battery discharge warning indicator would come on. After 45 mins of keeping the car running, I turned it off and tried to start the car. It wouldn't start any more just like how it had behaved before getting a jump start.

    What is the problem? Does the battery (AutoCraft Silver Battery purchased in March 2009) need to be replaced? Or is the problem elsewhere?

    Please advise.

  • alex24alex24 Posts: 54
    When you jumped it , It did well, So that shows it maybe your battery post connections to your battery not good enough, or your battery is bad, like 1 or more of the 6 battery cells could be bad and battery not giving out enough power to start the engine. Clean and retighten your battery post, Check your battery acid in each cell if can with one of those cheap floating ball testers, to see how good each cell is capable of charging, And that will tell you which cell is dead and not chargeable if so. Then you need a new battery.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    edited November 2010
    Typically one of three problems:
    1.) The battery is defective, and can't hold a charge given to it from the alternator.
    2.) The alternative is defective, and isn't charging the battery back up
    3.) There is a bad connection/connector/wire to the battery terminals, causing high resistance and not permitting the current to flow like it needs to.

    An autoparts chain, will usually check free of charge for 1 and 2. They have a tester which tests your electrical system under load. It will tell them how much voltage and current the alternator is producing to charge the battery, and how much voltage and current the battery is able to deliver to the car's circuitry.

    Normally the alternator on a vehicle is in good shape, unless the vehicle has had dead batteries in the past and owners have been jumping batteries unknowningly connecting things backwards or sparking. Those actions can cause one or more of the diodes which are internal to the alternator to blow.

    Batteries greater than 3-4 years old are always suspect, and sometimes a new battery will have a bad cell.

    Corrosion is always a concern, but is usually visible to the eye. A little corrosion on the terminal connector itself can be easily cleaned. If it is allowed to sit there it can work it's way up into the wire and cause more sever problems.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited November 2010
    I am in agreement with kiawah except drop #2 and "execute" on #3 FIRST. Remove, clean and burnish the battery posts and connectors, then reconnect.

    2009 battery shouldn't fail this soon.

    If the car ran for 45 minutes and the battery was dead immediately after then the charging system is working, otherwise there would have no "juice" for running that long.
  • alex24, kiawah and wwest:

    Thanks for your posts. I shall check the battery connections first, and report back.

  • dukkardukkar Posts: 3
    edited November 2010
    UPDATE and Problem Solved!

    It was a case of a battery gone bad! I removed the battery from the car and took it to the car shop and they confirmed it was dead! Thankfully, it was covered by the two-year warranty, so they gave me a new one.

    I put that one in the car, and the engine was back in action! Anyway, I drove the car to a car mechanic and asked him to run a full charging system diagnostic test. The result was that everything checked out fine and after I explained the problem I had, he confirmed that the alternator was working properly; it was the battery that had been the problem.

    Thanks everyone for your help!


  • I had a long day today. I left my lights on in my '91 Camry (2.0 Litre, EFI, 5-speed manual) and when I went to boost it, either I or the guy helping me put the cables on wrong. Needless to say, the main 80A breaker blew. Of course, being a carpenter and not a mechanic I checked the main fuse panel and didn't find any blown fuses and assumed the battery had been wrecked. Long story short, after hours of running around I found the busted fuse and used a piece of wire instead, just to get me home. (I know it is not ideal, but you have to Mcgiver it sometimes).

    Anyway, after all that, after I was (properly) boosted by a pickup truck, the car turned over fine, just like always, but now it won't 'catch'. It sounds like the engine is not getting any fuel. I'm wondering if I need to prime the engine somehow, and how I would do that. I checked to see if the EFI system had a breaker that was also blown but the EFI system has a relay and I have no clue how to test that. Is there some other system that may have been toasted by the reversed booster cables? I really appreciate any help and will let you know how it goes.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    There's 3 main fuses/links connected to the battery which you should check, the 80A Alt, the 30A AM2, and the 40A Main.

    Let me know what you find.
  • The 80 A Alt was the fuse that had blown, and the one that is currently bypassed. once I bypassed that the car started turning over and all the systems appeared to be functioning, but the car won't catch and run.

    PS - I am buying the right fuse for the car tomorrow morning first thing.
  • kiawahkiawah Posts: 3,666
    edited November 2010
    There's 3 main fuses/links connected to the battery which you should check, the 80A Alt, the 30A AM2, and the 40A Main.

    Down stream after the 80A Alt, are two fusible links. One then goes thru the AM1 wiper on the ignition switch, which then feeds wiper, turn signal, radio, etc. If those are working, then you know that at least one of the fusible links is okay. This is the key one you need to verify. The other fusible link feeds the ABS Actuator.

    The 40A Main feeds a number of things including the headlights and horn. So if the headlights are working, then you know the 40A Main is okay.

    The 30A AM2, goes thru a second wiper on the ignition switch, and then feeds the 7.5A Ignition fuse. Probably the best way to see if AM2 is okay, is to put a voltmeter on the 7.5A ignition fuse, turn the key to on position, and see if you have voltage on the ignition fuse. If you do, then you are know the upstream AM2 must be good.

    Let me know what you find. If you don't have a DC voltmeter, then you'll need to pick one up. You could find cheap ones for 10-20 bucks, I'd check autoparts chains, possibly radio shack, possibly hardware tool places.
  • OK, Thanks. If either fusible link (AM1 & AM2, correct?) are not working, is it simply a matter of switching them out? And if I go to the auto part store, will they know what I am talking about if I ask for a fusible link?

    FWIW, the 7.5 fuse was still intact. I know that doesn't help if there is no power getting to it, though.

    Thanks so much for your help. You are awesome.
  • My car did the same it was the temp coolant sensor,$15.00 to buy.I have a 1995 2.2liter auto trans camry
    xle with 241,000 miles.
  • My 1994 Toyota Camry stalls out when I shift it into 1st gear or reverse and the clutch sticks. It does fine in 2nd-5th gear. Any ideas on why this is happening and how I can fix it?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    I'd certainly check your clutch master cylinder for low fluid level, and if it is low, look for a leak in the clutch slave cylinder below. If those are okay, then your clutch disk is probably worn to the point of needing replacement.

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  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited November 2011
    The engine torque coupling coefficient REQUIRED/Available in 1st or reverse is quite a bit higher than the 2nd-5th gear. If the clutch remains engaged as you shift into one of these lower gears the likelihood of engine stalling is much more extreme.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706

    Stalling the engine as you shift into a low(er) gear range is more likely the result of a HIGH clutch coupling level, clutch not full/properly disengaging,.....not indicative of a worn out clutch.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    "clutch" usually means either the disk or the pressure plate. So a worn, malfunctioning pressure plate would create a similar stall situation, as the clutch disk would not fully disengage....similar to a faulty clutch hydraulic system.

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  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    In my 61 years of driving I don't believe I have EVER had a clutch fail "closed". As you point out, a hydraulic actuating system low on fluid, or a needed adjustment of the mechanical actuating system, would be the most likely culprit.

    Clutch: Flywheel, friction disk, pressure plate, throw-out bearing.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,570
    Well I've had a few...if the pressure plate fails, or the throwout bearing seizes and disintegrates, or the clutch fork starts to crack and give at the pivot--you'll get these very same symptoms as described.

    Depends on the type of car you drive---some are quite prone to this type of failure. I remember Isuzu Rodeos were notorious for it.

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  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I have to take that back...

    The exploding rubber center in my '78 Targa....EXPLODED.

    Rubber debris between the clutch disk and pressure plate.
  • I have a 1995 Camry 2.2l engine my car did the same , I replaced the coolant temp sensor and the problem was fixed.
  • vkyvky Posts: 2
    A few days ago (Jan 31, 2012) I was picking my daughters up from school. I turned the 2011 Camry off and got my girls. I got be in the car and as I went to turn the car on I stepped on the brake and noticed the brake was very close to the floor, and the car would not turn on. I had to tap the brake and also turned the ignition 2 or 3 time before the car came on.

    On Feb 4, 2012. My car was being washed and the alarm came on. The alarm was turned off and the washing continued. The car was later moved into the drive way and then back on the street. When I went to move the car from the street I put my foot on the brake and noticed again, that the brake was close to the floor. I tried to turn the ignition switch but could not. The wheels (due to a slight downhill incline) was turned into the curve. I could not move the steering wheel or turn the ignition switch.

    I was told by the dealership to get in the car and lock all the doors using the alarm/key. I did that but it did not work. My car is still sitting there not working. The only thing I can turn on is the lights and the alarm.
    I will have it towed to the dealership tomorrow.

    I don't think its the battery (too new for that, unless its defective), I thought it was the alarm. Its like it killed the entire car.

    Has this happened to anyone else?
  • I have a 2002 Camry XLE, 4 cylinder.
    About a month ago, it would not start in the morning (housed in the garage).
    AAA jump started it; jump started results: Starter Test: voltage 9.37, amps0.1, time 1.10.
    Charging system test: No Load 14.31, 0.5 A; loaded 14.30, 0.6 A. (lights on).
    Drain test: 0.02A.

    Car seemed fine and started well ... until yesterday, when it would not start in a store parking lot, outside temperature around 35 degrees. AAA came out again and jump started. Said they thought it was the battery. Went to O'Reilly where battery was bought 2 yrs. 3 mos. ago, and they said the battery was fine: battery load with 12.71 volts to start
    Alt. output 14.04 volts; around 35 amps but daytime running lights were on. Suggested a possible dead spot on starter.
    Next drove to Toyota dealership: battery test, rated CCA 582; measured cca 805, measured volts 12.61, degrees F 92. Service guy said he didn't want to start throwing parts at it when he couldn't pinpoint anything right now.

    When turning the key, the car makes a rather high pitched whining sound but just won't start.
    Would a battery go out that is less than 2-1/2 years old? (They claim they can't replace it if there meter reads that it is functioning.) Is the car running off the alternator?
    Might anyone have had similar issues ... and how were you able to resolve them?
    Recommend the dealership, or would a typical smaller-town mechanic be likely able to handle this?
  • alex24alex24 Posts: 54
    1st, I think it is your starter relay, they stick on or off at times causing that problem, most camrys have relays, they are in different areas depends on year, on my camry it was behind the glove box, if not relay you may have a poor wire connection, maybe at starter solenide or etc. starter relays cost approx around $25. I think thats your car problem, I bought my starter relay at advance auto parts, Call them or the dealership to ask where its located on the car, it plugs in like a big box fuse.
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