Battery drain in 98 toyota camry le


Asked by May 12, 2016 at 08:13 PM about the 1998 Toyota Camry LE

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

bought the car that drove daily for many years and worked great for the
test drive.  i parked it and it sat for two weeks.  I went to go start it and the
battery was dead. so checked with previous owner who said the battery
was 6 year old.  so i replacved the battery and it started no problem.  the
alarm went off when I hooked up the batery but i figured that was normal.  I
left the car another week.  started up fine but the tire was low, I didnt have
enough time to fill it so I fiugured id return the next day to go fill the tire.  
when I came back the car had battery power but wouldnot turn over-- rapid
clicking sound would happen.  So with the help of google i figured it was the
starter or a low battery-  but i thought thae battery is brand new its got to
be the starter.  so i bought a new (rebuilt starter) then back to the car to
replace the thing andthe battery is dead- car has no power!!luckily i brought
a charger with me so im recharging the batery as i type.  but what could be
draining the battery like this- the alarm? which isnt set.  the alternator?
something else? any help would be appreciated

6 Answers

You did the right thing in replacing a 6 YO battery. IF the new battery is now going dead....we indeed have to assume we have a faulty alternator....... A blown unusual battery drain. (PARASTIC DRAIN). In order to properly diagnose this issue....we need a cheap Digital Volt Ohm Meter from Wal Mart. BTW is the Check engine Light ON when the engine is running? Is the Alt. light on when the engine is running?


Ok charged battery, and the car started up no problems. drove it around for about an hour and everything seems to be in order. For the last 3 days I have gone and started the car and ran it for about 5 minutes each time. No ALT light or check engine light comes on. Now I have noticed that if I turn the AC on while idiling. it will cut the engine off. Im guessing here that I am just running on mostly battery power at this point and the Alternator probably needs to be replaced.

I am also inclined to suspect a bad alt. I would confirm this Diag. with a Digital Volt Meter. With the meter set to DC Volts hook up the 2 meter leads across the Battery. Red to the pos. post...Black to the Neg post. You should see about 12.3-12.6 volts DC. Start the engine ...voltage should be 13.5-14 volts. Turn on the AC.....voltage will drop some...then come back up to 13.5-14v. Get back to us with the result.

Tony Ciccotelli

Markjp....any update on the issue with this vehicle?


so, ive been busy with work and have not had a lot of time to put into it. I need to buy th evoltage meter for sure because I notice when I drive it and try to run the ac and the wipers it will stall out when stopped at a stop sign or light. at least initially. also when I turn on the ac and wipers etc the rpms drop from 1000 to 500 and don't come back unless im driving arounf. I need to get the car to my home from where I have it garaged now but it is 35 miles away and im wary of driving it that far in case im just running on battery power now. but it seem to start up easily I& runs smooth when I cruise it around. still think I'm going to need to replace the alternator sooner than later. Thanks for checking in

Tony Ciccotelli

Understood and thanks for the update. You might try this "old school" method of a quick check of the Alt. Park the vehicle facing a wall or some sort of barrier. With the engine running...turn on the Head Lights...high beam....and rev the engine up...then...down to a fast idle. If the Alt. is should see the BRIGHTNESS of the head lights respond. Rev her up...lights are bright. Low RPM...head lights are dimmer. Result...alt is trying to charge a Low/Dead battery. This simple test is then followed by a Battery/Cranking/Charging system test with the appropriate equipment.

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