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'02 Camry Won't Start

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New User

Jan 10, 2010, 8:26 PM

Post #1 of 2 (1259 views)
'02 Camry Won't Start Sign In

My wife's '02 Toyota Camry XLE (4cylAuto w/114k) would not start today while we were at Best Buy. I crossed my fingers and tried as much as I could to twist the battery terminals around in case there was a corrosion issue, and, luckily, it started and we were able to drive home. Thinking I found the issue I got out the wire brush and cleaned all the terminals/connections, but didn't find any notable corrosion. The battery was replaced about 1 year ago. After the cleaning it would not start at all. I'm thinking the Best Buy start was a fluke.

It's kind of a strange 'won't start' problem to allow me to explain exactly what happens:
1.) Turning the key to the 'On' position allows you to run all of the accessories, including the radio and Hi/Low beams with no dimming.
2.) Turning the key further to the 'Start' position produces a single 'click' and everything appears to die. No radio. No lights. No dash indicators.
3.) If I disconnect the battery and reconnect the same cycle will repeat itself. Also, if a certain amount of time passes it appears to 'reset' itself without disconnecting the battery and you can start from step 1 again.

Honestly, I'm not sure what is between the battery and the starter, or what could cause the flow of electricity to stop. The fact that it seems to blow a (non-physical?) fuse is also something I've never seen before. Is there anything in the starter or solenoid that would cause symptoms like this? Is there any way I could bypass the issue in order to start it 'manually' and drive to the stealership?

In a bind so any help is much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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Sidom profile image

Jan 10, 2010, 9:28 PM

Post #2 of 2 (1251 views)
Re: '02 Camry Won't Start Sign In

Before you do any actual testing you will want to get the battery tested to make sure it's good...

A couple of quick checks you can try before testing the battery is this.

1st just turn the key back & forth between the run & start position and see if the starter ever engages ( no more than about 20 times) if the starter never engages, get a hammer and gently rap on the starter body and then try to start it. If either of these steps get the starter to engage, it's pretty likely you have a bad starter.........


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