Car won't start in mornings


Asked by Mar 01, 2016 at 09:01 AM about the 1999 Toyota Camry LE

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

1999 Toyota Camry- In the mornings when the car
hasn't been run for 12 hours or so, it has problems
starting. This morning turned key over and let go
and engine wouldn't start. Rpms dropped down to
0 as soon as I let go of the key however radio was
on. Tyrned key again and held it this time while
pressing the gas peddle and same thing. Went
from 2/3 rpms to 0 as soon as I let go of gas and
key. After the 4th or 5th try, the engine finally
caught and started revving up. Any idea what is
going on?

16 Answers


Been having the same problem with my Toyota Van. Mechanic hasn't had an answer for me yet. If I rev the engine, a cloud of white comes out of the exhaust and then it will run okay after a few seconds.

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Best Answer Mark helpful

Is the CEL(Check Engine Light) ON when the engine is running? Most would diagnose this issue with a Spark Tester and a FUEL PRESSURE GAUGE installed. You might try having someone smack the bottom of the gas tank with the palm of the hand while this issue is happening.


Hi Lastchancegarage: No, the check engine light never came on and still doesn't. Took it to my mechanic yesterday and it wasn't even showing the symptoms. They decided to keep it over night and check it this morning to get any clues.

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Ok, let us know what your Mechanic's diagnosis is.

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Will do- thank you!


My problem was fixed by replacing a variable valve camshaft solenoid - whatever that is.

Thanks for the update. Interesting...that solenoid should have turned on the CEL(Check Engine Light) and set a code in the computer.


It probably would have, but it was already on. Has been for about 3 years. Had it checked a number of times and the code was a misfire. This time probably because of a sensor.

Interesting....thanks....Tony C


Unfortunately to this day, my mechanic does not truly know what is going on. I've taken my car to 3 mechanics and one of them said he thinks it may be the idle control valve and he recommends a full throttle cleaning. Rather unsure of how to proceed as a new idle control valve was put in about a year and a half ago.

Hmmm.....seems like we have a "problem child" for a vehicle who defies the diagnosis and repair of many "experts" A history of the CEL being a clue as to what might be wrong A scan of computer codes and some basic engine tests and diagnosis is where I would begin. Compression Test.....Fuel Pressure Test.....Ignition Spark Test.....Inspection of Timing Chain or Belt...and Battery and Cranking Circuit Test. When all else fails...go back to the BASICS. Good Luck

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They've tried several times to do a scan of computer codes and such however nothing was coming up. It's most likely going to have be a wait and see scenario.

OK...please keep us informed.


Update: After two mechanic's tore a part my engine and couldn't find anything wrong I ended up taking it to a Toyota Dealer Service Center where there after doing the same thing they noticed the idle control valve was clogged as were several other tubes. They ended up performing a full throttle cleaning and so far so good. However as I was checking out, they did recommend a new water pump as they believe mine is starting to leak. Was rather hesitant with fixing this as my car has not shown any signs of it starting to fail and the other two mechanics did mention it. Go in for one problem, come out with possibly another! Regardless, probably going to take it for a second opinion just to be on the safe side as they were trying to sell me a car.


Correction: .."and the other two mechanics did not mention it."

A bad /clogged IAC Valve is definitely a possible cause of what you describe as the original issue. A water pump that is truly starting to leak should be replaced. When The WP fails...the engine could severely overheat. Not good for the engine. Sounds like you finally found a good mechanic at the Toyota Dealership.

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