Car won't start after replacing the starter - Classic rapid clicking.


Asked by Apr 03, 2015 at 03:02 PM about the 2002 Toyota Camry LE

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Car failed to start 3 days ago, tapped the starter and was able to get it to start up
(wasn't a smooth start, but still started). This made me assume it was the starter.
Replaced the starter and it started right up. Drove the car around the block, started it a
few more times and everything seemed good. Went to start the car this morning and
all I got was clicking. The lights dim, so I'm wondering, could it now be the battery isn't
charged enough since it was disconnected for a couple days or is my issue
bigger...maybe it was originally the alternator and I just got lucky when I first tested
the starter? My concern with it not being the battery is that I drove the car around the
block a couple times..but maybe didn't leave it running long enough.

4 Answers


Starter relay may be problem. Go to You Tube site for video on methods to test starter relay, see link below:

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

Sounds like a weak battery issue. Clean your connections and grounds. Make sure everything is tight. If not a maintenance free battery, pop the caps and see if you have a dry cell. If battery is over 5 years old replace it. I made the mistake of replacing the starter with the exact symptoms your are having. Turned out it was the battery the whole time.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Quick update - Reelin68 was spot on with the battery (to some extent). I took the car to local auto store, tested the electrical system while the car was running...Starter - Good, Alternator - Good, Battery had a few dead cells.I also took out the alternator and starter to have them bench tested. Both passed. So I put everything back and got a new battery. Seemed to have fixed the problem for about a couple weeks. Then today go out to start the car and the same thing. Car won't turn over...pop the hood a little tap on the starter and it turns over just fine. Same cycle all day. Turn off car, then wont turn over unless I tap the starter. So I take it out again, and take it to the local auto store...Starter passes again. Any thoughts? I've always heard the bench tests are pretty accurate, but maybe it doesn't put enough of a load on it????

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

If you have to smack the starter, I would replace it. If you replaced the battery with a new one, there should not be a starting issue. Just to make sure, you can throw a volt meter on the the ignition wire to the starter. See what you're getting for volts. If you are getting weak voltage, you may just need new battery cables. Sometimes corrosion creeps in under the protective coating of the cables. There could be enough white corrosion under the wires to decrease the voltage just enough to not engage the starter. If cables are good, I would replace the starter.

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