Bad ignition switch on 1988 Toyota Camry?


Old 07-03-02, 11:11 AM
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Bad ignition switch on 1988 Toyota Camry?

We have a 1988 Toyota Camry that doesn't want to start all of the time. Sometimes it starts right up first time (we never have to crank it). Sometimes we need to turn the key very lightly several times until it sounds like it is about to hit and then turn it all the way and it will start immediately. When it won't start, it just clicks. We bought a new starter and put it on, and it started like a dream a couple of times and then did the same thing. Now a mechanic is saying it is the starter! We know this isn't true! Any help would be appreciated. And, if it is the ignition switch, how difficult is it to do this repair ourselves? The mechanic wants to charge $95 for the part (which is $32.99 at our auto parts store) and $100 for labor. Any money saving help and opinions as to what is wrong would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.
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Old 07-03-02, 11:49 AM
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If you didn't buy a Toyota OEM reman starter, then I would agree with your mechanic. My own friend and coworker has the same problem on his 1991 Camry.....bad starter . But it's new you say! Bad starter.

Some parts store starters are trash out of the box. Confirm it by the next time it gives you trouble by rapping on the starter body with a hammer. If it now starts, the starter is wiped and change it as I suggested with an OEM reman unit.
Old 07-05-02, 09:00 AM
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You might want to make the usual checks of the battery cables to see if you have corrosion at the posts and ground to the chassis. Remove the cables and wire brush the contact surfaces to ensure a good clean connection.
Old 07-05-02, 03:22 PM
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Location: Long Island, NY
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You didnt mention if it is a 4 or 6, Standard or a/t also if it has an alarm

Also agree about any starter other than Toyota Reman. Part store starters are rebuilt. Toyota Remanufacted have many more new parts replaced. Rebuilt some times are just tested and the brushes replaced.

Old 07-05-02, 07:00 PM
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Shops who rebuild yours.

Having never bought a rebuilt starter or alternator, I can reccomend that you find the folks who sell parts to guys like me who rebuild our clients own.

The shops can be found in most midsized cities, and specialize in testing, & rebuilding your starters & Alternators, a heck of a lot better than those discount $12.99 wonders you find at discount auto parts stores.

It cost me $13.49 for Alternator rebuild parts & $8.65 for a kit to do a starter. So how can they sell them at less than $15.00 and make a profit. I will leave that to your imagination, I have a pile of them from time to time out back, and can't believe what these so called Rebuilders do to get them to work, for a while that is.

Both are simple to rebuild, but it is the good test equipment these shops have that can save you a lot of guess work.

Old 07-06-02, 01:52 PM
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Unfortunately Marturo, the parts (at least good ones) for a Toyota starter are probably more than a Toyota rebuilt.

That, coupled with the frustration in doing one..the Toyota reman is the best choice

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