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1993 Toyota Camry Won't Start

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New User

Jul 17, 2010, 11:30 PM

Post #1 of 8 (3894 views)
1993 Toyota Camry Won't Start Sign In

I have a 1993 Toyota Camry that had been running just fine up until a few days ago. When I try to start it now it makes no noise at all and doesn't do a thing. The interior lights work, as do the headlights. The power locks/windows and radio however don't work, even with the key turned. I had a friend jump start my car the other day and it started up just fine. I've had both my battery and my starter tested at Autozone and both are supposedly working correctly. The battery passed the test and they also told me that it was fully charged. I also completely cleaned both the terminals on the battery and also the connections on the cables that hook up to the battery terminals. I pretty much have no idea what could be wrong with it at this point.

In short:
- interior/headlights work
- jump starting works
- no noise when trying to start car
- battery and starter tested good and battery is fully charged
- terminals and cables both cleaned

Any help would be much appreciated.

Oh, and here's some additional info that I doubt matters but I'm going to throw it up just in case.
- 4 cylinder 2.2 liter engine
- automatic
- approximately 150k miles

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jul 18, 2010, 4:57 AM

Post #2 of 8 (3886 views)
Re: 1993 Toyota Camry Won't Start Sign In

It worked with a jump suggesting the battery cable U-bolts are in trouble and won't make a good contact,


New User

Jul 18, 2010, 5:46 PM

Post #3 of 8 (3879 views)
Re: 1993 Toyota Camry Won't Start Sign In

I've cleaned the battery terminals and the cable contacts pretty thoroughly. They pretty much look like new right now and still no luck. I plan on going to get new U-bolts for my battery cables tomorrow just in case though. Just curious, is there any chance that the battery could be bad even though it passed Autozone's test? And if so, is there any way that I'd be able to test it myself before going and getting a new one? I've already hooked my multimeter up to it and it was showing right around 13 volts, but I'm not sure if there's anything else I can try myself.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jul 18, 2010, 6:54 PM

Post #4 of 8 (3873 views)
Re: 1993 Toyota Camry Won't Start Sign In

OK: Somewhere around that year they quit/outlawed use of lead (PB) for cable ends. The cheap crap used in everything may feel tight but gets a lousy connection. The lead would clean up and mold much better but some kid probably ate one so that ended that!

In that it worked with a jump (if battery is known good) the jump was only touching the outer part of the U-bolts and was enough even without your own battery helping at all.

You don't want cheap cable ends or if still suspect (you are there - I can't see it) the good ones should cost close to $10 bucks and bolt tight to cut off battery cables and have a plastic cover that snaps over the connection. Hard to find. The 99cent ones are everywhere and junk as well.

NAPA can get them and they'll be lead ends. The chains the concentrate on mud flaps and car wax will just give you funny looks.

The OE stuff is junk right away on most all. The so called Asian models have given me the most troubles.

Don't go just replacing them because I said it's a trouble spot - check them out. Take a voltage drop reading from actual battery and the U-bolt each while attempting to start car. Bet battery doesn't drop much and U-bolt of cable drops right off - if not they may be fine.

Can be the other ends of the cables too. Perhaps the jump what just enough extra push to get thru a bad connection. All this is still counting on you knowing you have a good battery,


(This post was edited by Tom Greenleaf on Jul 18, 2010, 6:55 PM)

Veteran / Moderator
Sidom profile image

Jul 18, 2010, 7:56 PM

Post #5 of 8 (3867 views)
Re: 1993 Toyota Camry Won't Start Sign In

With your voltmeter hooked up the battery have someone try to start the car. If there is a huge drop in voltage, your battery is bad.


New User

Jul 18, 2010, 8:00 PM

Post #6 of 8 (3865 views)
Re: 1993 Toyota Camry Won't Start Sign In

Thanks for the detailed reply, I'm definitely going to test the voltage drop tomorrow on both the battery and the U-bolts while trying to start the car. Really hope that's the problem :-)


Jul 19, 2010, 2:17 AM

Post #7 of 8 (3860 views)
Re: 1993 Toyota Camry Won't Start Sign In

Well it sounds like the battery was not the problem to begin with!

So first question is how good are the battery cables, and how clean, --if they don't make good connections, the starter can not crank engine! You can get a clue by turning on headlights, and turning key to start position, -- if the lights go dim, - generally that indicates low battery charge, -- if they go out, and then come on a few seconds after key released, - you have bad battery connections! You could try a set of booster cables here-- (make sure properly hooked up)! If starter cranks, then you have connection or charge problems with battery!

After that we move to checking out starter.. There are several switches involved between ignition switch and starter solenoid! So if you can get to starter, try jumping "keying wire" (the little wire on post) to the "power cable' coming from battery. If this makes it crank, then the problem is between switch and starter, -- if not, then it is starter problem, and about all you can do it pull starter out, and check over, - or have it tested at one pf parts stores (can get this done for free)!

(This post was edited by Hammer Time on Jul 24, 2010, 5:04 AM)

New User

Jul 19, 2010, 5:44 AM

Post #8 of 8 (3856 views)
Re: 1993 Toyota Camry Won't Start Sign In

Thanks for the reply Mike. I actually took the starter out a few days ago and had Autozone test that as well after they had told me that my battery was good and it passed just fine.

Tom and Sidom, I hooked up my multimeter today and tested out the connections and everything seems to be fine on that end as well. It was reading 12.50 volts on both the battery terminals and when measuring on the cables themselves. In both instances when I had my roommate try to start my car it dropped to about 12.45 volts. This doesn't seem like a significant drop to me, but I don't know a whole lot about this so please correct me if I'm wrong.

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