2003 Toyota Camry V6 starting problem

magicman_s

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The problem began a couple of days ago when it stranded my wife. I went to her and disconnected the positive battery cable did a little cleaning on the connections which really didn't looked like it needed it but when I reconnected it the car started and she made a few more stops with no problem. Yesterday we went to leave the house and it wouldn't start. I thoroughly cleaned both connections and it wouldn't start. I then added water to the battery since it was a little low and charged it for several hours and it still wouldn't start. I turned the lights on last night and they seemed plenty bright but it wouldn't start. It wouldn't even try to turn over, I did here like a hum or something when I tried to start it. Well this morning I go out and try to start it and it fires right up. Can some of you experts give me some advice because I've got a feeling it's not over yet. Thanks ahead of time.
 

kev2

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always start with a scan- get the codes - FREE at auto parts stores its FREE!!
I am thinking the CODES may yeild a clue...

otherwise its BASIXS A no start we would look
at battery ? age condition etc
cable connections etc.
As mentioned CODES.
Ask - is there a remote start- added electrical components-
Check the electrical system- starter relay, neutral safety sw , starter itself
 

billr

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Confirm: when it "won't start" it is always a no crank situation, as opposed to "it cranks but won't fire"?
 

Mobile Dan

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Have you tried moving the gearshift lever to Neutral position, then crank?

Have you tried tapping on starter with key in crank position?

 

magicman_s

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It's was a no crank situation, I actually have a code reader on hand and it's not reading any codes. I did try the gear shift into neutral when it wouldn't crank but it made no difference. Haven't tried the tapping on the starter but will give that a try on the next go round. Right now it's starting up with no problem but I don't have that good feeling yet.
 

magicman_s

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Well I just stepped and tried to crank it and got nothing but I tried it one more time and it sluggishly turned over and started up. There was one other time earlier that it turned over sluggishly and started. So I'm thinking it's the battery but I'd like to see what you experts think before I run out and buy a battery tomorrow. Could it still possibly be the starter?
 

Jim Fairbanks

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If you got it to start...I would take it to one of the places that will test the battery for free and have it checked....it could just be a bad connection on one of the cables...Jim
 

Mobile Dan

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"charged it for several hours and it still wouldn't start. I turned the lights on last night and they seemed plenty bright but it wouldn't start. It wouldn't even try to turn over, I did here like a hum or something when I tried to start it. Well this morning I go out and try to start it and it fires right up."

This sounds like a "bad starter" scenario to me, but if the battery is 4-5-6 years old, you might as well just replace it, unless your money is tight, or no-starts are only a minor inconvenience.
 

billr

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Do you have an electrical multimeter, and are comfy using it? There are tests that can be done to tell just where the problem is; this is a scenario that is common to all makes/models/years.
 

magicman_s

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billr, I do have a meter and can use it. I did do the test where I turned the lights on high beam for 10 seconds waited 2 minutes then checked the voltage across the post and it read 12.6 volts but that's all I've done.
 

kev2

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When it will not start -using the meter is the starter signal to solenoid getting 12v whwn key turned to start, the smaller wire blk/org or blk/gry ?
might want to swap starter relay with a same type for testing..

PS no remote starter is there?
 

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magicman_s

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kev2, I'll check it with the meter tomorrow, I appreciate the help and from everyone else who has given me advice.
 

billr

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Kev is having you begin checking at the "upper" end of the circuit, maybe in hopes of you not having to get dirty down under the car. I prefer, though to begin at the other end. Go down to the smaller BLK/RED wire right at the starter itself, see if you have about 12V there when you are trying to crank and it won't. Since that terminal usually "down-and-dirty" under the car, it is best to add a long "sense wire" to that terminal that you can easily and cleanly reach when the beast decides not to crank. Be sure and insulate the free end of that wire when it is just tucked away, as you are expecting it to have 12V when cranking!
 

magicman_s

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Re: 2003 Toyota Camry V6 starting problem

I appreciate all the advice from everyone and it helped narrow down my problem. I ended up borrowing a battery tester which showed the battery being in good shape when I put a load on it. It finally wouldn't crank again so I bumped the starter with a shovel handle and it then cranked so I took the starter out and carried it to a local battery, generator, and alternator shop who checked it out and found it had a bad solenoid. Thanks again. :)
 
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