Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Toyota Camry won’t start battery good

Turn key or press start and Camry won’t start

Shops are reporting a high incidence of Toyota Camry won’t start conditions. If you turn the key or press the start button, the starter doesn’t spin. The solenoid kicks in, so that proves it’s getting power. But the motor won’t spin. Yet it’ll start at other times, so the problem is intermittent. In all cases the battery tests good and the battery connections are clean. The car will start with a jump, which would lead you to think you’ve got a bad starter motor. But that’s very unusual in such a new car.

Well, the fault is something much easier and less expensive to fix. The starter’s commutator brushes are grounded to the end cap on the starter motor. toyota starter motorThe screws have a tendency to loosen and arc, causing the connection to get worse and worse.

So check the screws on the end cap first. Look for signs of discoloration from arcing. If you spot that, remove the screws and sand down the contact area with emery cloth. Then sand the ring terminals on the ground wires. Pretreat with no-ox if you have some. Then treat the screw threads with blue thread locker and insert back into the end cap slightly. But before you torque them down, apply a very thin film of dielectric grease to the ring and contact area to prevent corrosion from forming.

It’s the loosened screws that starts the process, but then the arcing takes over so you want the screws tight against a good clean contact area.

©, 2016 Rick Muscoplat

Posted on by Rick Muscoplat


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