99 Camry sometimes starts, sometimes not. Spare key works sometime, also jiggling key in slot might work. No grinding or ticking noises, all lights work, newer battery.

Asked by Sep 30, 2015 at 10:23 PM about the 1999 Toyota Camry

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

The starter switch works sometimes, other times not. Colder weather
makes it worse. Sometimes the spare key will start it. Or jiggling the key
around a bit, But gradually getting worse. Have a new battery, all lights
work. No funny noises. When it does start up, seems like the connection is
very brief but just barely enough to fire it up. I hope I can try to fix myself;
seems like a loose/corroded wire?

4 Answers

33,415

First thing to do is get a volt meter and put it on your battery with the engine off. If you have less than 11.8 volts, that may be half the problem. Also clean your connections and grounds. Check the wire to the starter as well for corrosion. If battery tests fine, the next time you turn the key and get nothing, have someone hold the key to the ON position like they're starting the car. As they hold the key, rap on your starter with a hammer. If the engine suddenly turns over, your starter needs replacement.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Very good tips; these I can do. But what does the starter look like, so I can hammer it if I need to try that? Thanks so much for quick reply! I am a carpenter chick but sure not a car chick, especially these new-fangled computerized things. --Laurie

33,415

Check out this video. Look between the battery and the tranny stick. In the video, it's right between the red + battery cover and the red dipstick. Should be black in color, short cylinder, may have a sticker on the side of it. If you put your hand on it and someone hits the key, you may feel it click.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Uh… don't know how to link to the video, but I'll go take a look under the hood. Thanks!

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