1995 Toyota Camry Can't Start

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  #1  
Old 02-22-13, 11:05 AM
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1995 Toyota Camry Can't Start

1995 Toyota Camry LE, V6, AT, Wagon, 155,455 miles. Car can't be started and engine didn't crank at all, but it has clicking sounds and battery seems strong (see link to video below). All lights, fan, and radio are off. Jump cable from another car to start engine and it can be immediately started like normal. After started and drove around for less than 0.5 miles, stoped engine, then started engine again. The engine can be started like normal. I immediately think it is battery problem with weak voltage/current. I haven't had a chance to have battery checked yet. However, my battery was purchased 35 months ago (57K miles) from Costco and battery has 100 months warranty. Another same battery purchased from Costco for this car prior to this battery last 71 months (47K miles). I am wondering. Isn't battery's life based on "time" rather than "miles"? In other words, if I drive 5 days a week (with 20 miles each day) will not shorten battery's life compares to drive twice a week (with 20 miles each day). Can any expert help me to answer this question? Thanks. Below is the link to the video when I tried to start engine.

engine - YouTube
 
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Old 02-22-13, 11:34 AM
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Your description would make me suspect a bad battery. You can check and clean both ends of the battery terminals, which if corroded could cause the problem. you could also attempt to start with the headlights on. If the headlights get really dim when you try to start and just get a click, the battery has one or more bad cells.

A battery may last 10 years ( my motorcycle battery) or die in ten minutes. The manufacturer hopes it will outlast most or all of the warranty but rough roads or cells which are internally shorted due to various reasons will wipe the battery out quickly.
 
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Old 02-22-13, 06:03 PM
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Thanks for the replied. I will have battery recharged and checked tomorrow.
 
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Old 02-23-13, 06:23 AM
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I have had batts last 10 years in a vehicle that was driven 20 miles a day. I have had fire trucks that routinely went thru a batt every year. Just like you and I they need exercise.
 
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Old 02-23-13, 07:47 AM
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Very common item on Toyotas with higher mileage is worn starter solenoid contacts. Solenoid may still click, but contacts inside worn to the point of not making full contact. They are replaceable at a pretty reasonable cost - about ten bucks for the kit. If that's the problem, it's usually a better fix than replacing with a reman.

Pretty good video here:

Denso Starter Repair (Honda, Toyota, Chrysler etc.) - YouTube
 
  #6  
Old 02-24-13, 05:40 AM
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Diyman,

Sounds like a "Starter" issue to me. Remove the starter and take it to Auto Zone. They will check it for FREE.

Thank You
Amy
 
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Old 02-25-13, 10:31 AM
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Thanks for all of your replies and suggestions. I replaced starter solenoid contacts (the original comes from car) when this car had 98,282 miles about tree years ago. The new contacts is only 17,173 miles and three years. If you listen to my posted video carefully, the clicking sound is different from clicking sound starter tries to start engine. It is very loud and strong. Unlike starter solenoid contacts problem I had three years ago which jumping isn't give me much help, it starts right up after jumping this time. I don't have time to take battery to Autozone to charge this weekend. I let car sited in garage during weekend and start right up Monday morning. I will keep a close look for a week and see whether the problem comes back or not.
 
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Old 02-25-13, 01:29 PM
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Diyman,

Based on your last posting you should have the cars "Starting" and "Charging" systems LOAD TESTED. Many repair shops and chain type auto part stores will do a load test for free. It's just a matter of you making a few phone calls to shops and stores in your area to see who does the test for free. When the dust settles, don't be surprised if you have to REPLACE BOTH the battery and starter. BTW: The "Ignition Switch" (not to be mixed up with the ignition key cylinder) (these are two differnt parts) have a high failure rate on vehicles like yours. With that being said have you "Ruled Out" a defective ignition switch?

Thank You
Amy
 
  #9  
Old 02-25-13, 01:42 PM
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It sounds more like cable and/or terminal corrosion problems to me. As previously stated you need to remove all the battery cables and clean them and the battery posts. Reassemble all tightly and see if that fixes the problem.
 
  #10  
Old 02-25-13, 10:46 PM
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Check the simple stuff first:

If battery is not a sealed type, check the electrolyte levels.
Check battery terminals for corrosion and tight fit.
Check the end of the battery ground cable connected to the block or frame.
Check the positive cable connection to the starter motor.

Over the years I have had each of the above problems cause weak or no starting on at least one occasion.

I've had batteries go bad in less than 35 months, especially those discount store brands like you may have gotten at Costco. So getting the battery tested is a good idea. The cables themselves might also be suspect, given the number of years and miles on your car.

Good luck, let us know how it's going.
 
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