PLS HELP: Car Won't Start, fast "Machine Gun" like clicking - Battery just replaced. - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
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#1 Old 11-12-2007, 02:07 PM
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PLS HELP: Car Won't Start, fast "Machine Gun" like clicking - Battery just replaced.

I have a 2003 Toyota Camry XLE 4 cylinder.

Well, about a month ago my car died while driving, so I got a jump and just made it to an auto zone where I purchased a brand new battery. It worked until today, where I got into the car and when I tried to start it all I got was this extremely rapid clicking that sounded like a machine gun.

None of the lights seem to dim at all, I can roll the windows up and down without any problems, etc.

So what could it be? I am at a loss, as I thought it was the battery, but with the battery being brand new what else could it be?

The fast clicking seems to be coming from this gold colored/metal cylinder thingie.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

Last edited by SIrMack; 11-12-2007 at 02:13 PM.
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#2 Old 11-12-2007, 02:10 PM
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Could be a defective new battery. Also try wiggling and make sure the cables are tight. Stater solenoid could be going. Try tapping on the starter solenoid with a screwdriver and trying to start again.

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#3 Old 11-12-2007, 02:23 PM
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Gen6

My 2000 Explorer did that once, I had to change the alternator.
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#4 Old 11-12-2007, 03:08 PM
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may not even be your battery but a charging system problem.
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#5 Old 11-12-2007, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SIrMack View Post
I have a 2003 Toyota Camry XLE 4 cylinder.

Well, about a month ago my car died while driving, so I got a jump and just made it to an auto zone where I purchased a brand new battery. It worked until today, where I got into the car and when I tried to start it all I got was this extremely rapid clicking that sounded like a machine gun.

None of the lights seem to dim at all, I can roll the windows up and down without any problems, etc.

So what could it be? I am at a loss, as I thought it was the battery, but with the battery being brand new what else could it be?

The fast clicking seems to be coming from this gold colored/metal cylinder thingie.

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
Judging from the time delay between the replaced battery and the won't start problem again, the alternator is weak. The current out isn't enough to run the car AND charge the battery properly. A test procedure would be to charge the battery to full charge, if it starts OK, nix the starter. Then turn on ALL loads [lights, blower defog heater. AC, etc.] using a voltmeter measure the voltage at the battery. It should be at least 13.5 volts with the engine running at about 1500 rpm. and should drop some at idle. The best test is to remove the alternator and take it to a parts place for a load test. All of this is betting on the "new" battery hasn't developed a bad cell.


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#6 Old 11-12-2007, 04:24 PM
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If you don't fix the right item first, you'll eventually get to it.
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#7 Old 11-12-2007, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njerald View Post
If you don't fix the right item first, you'll eventually get to it.



that is true.
so as first step go and replace the battery again, make sure you buy a different brand.

2nd replace the starter in case its causing your battery to go bad.

3rd replace the fuses for the alternator and starter for no apparent reason.

and the last thing i could think of is the alternator and the harness for the alternator incase the alternator alone doesnt do it.

for sure you should no longer have any problems.
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#8 Old 11-12-2007, 04:43 PM
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If it really did die while driving, the battery wasn't the problem. It's sounds like it's not charging.

There's nothing like shotgunning parts at a car until it's fixed...


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#9 Old 11-12-2007, 05:10 PM
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If it's rapidly clicking it doesn't sound like a battery problem, because if it's a dead/drained battery it should make one click and all the lights would dim.

It's hard to say for sure, when you said it just died while driving then made rapid clicking sounds, it sounded like you snapped the timing belt, but obviously a jump start wouldnt fix that. Then when you try and start it and it does the rapid clicking, it sounds like the starter is trying to go, but that doesn't explain why it died while driving. The only thing I can really say is i've experienced that sound twice, once when my timing belt broke, and the other on the 4Runner when the starter was going.


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#10 Old 11-12-2007, 05:49 PM
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You have either dirty/corroded contacts at the battery or the starter, or a defective alternator that is not properly recharging the battery, or simply a loose alternator belt. The multiple rapid clicks mean that there is not enough juice reaching the starter to properly crank (turn over) the engine. OK, another possibilty is a defective cable between the battery and the starter, but that is rare. You need to get the battery recharged and then drive it somewhere where they can properly check the battery and the charging system. I would try to get the battery recharged and then take it back to Autozone to run the battery and charging system check. I believe they do it for free and you should have a warranty on the battery. Since the car died a month ago while you were driving it, my money is on a defective alternator or possibly just a loose alternator belt.

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#11 Old 11-12-2007, 06:17 PM
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it might sound silly, but make sure the connection from the harness to your battery terminals are nice and tight. if they arent tight, you will not be able to start up the car.

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#12 Old 11-12-2007, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSo0h0o View Post
it might sound silly, but make sure the connection from the harness to your battery terminals are nice and tight. if they arent tight, you will not be able to start up the car.

not silly at all, i have seen this happen too many times.

thats a good call.
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#13 Old 11-12-2007, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rydr1 View Post
not silly at all, i have seen this happen too many times.

thats a good call.
yea when i work on my audio, sometimes i forget to tighten it back up and when i am finished and start the car up to move it, all i hear is the tiny spark. that might be his "machine gun clicking"

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#14 Old 11-12-2007, 06:54 PM
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The machine gun clicking he is hearing is the starter solenoid. It is not getting enough voltage and is opening and closing very fast not engaging the stater.

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#15 Old 11-12-2007, 07:50 PM
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I really appreciate all the troubleshooting. I went back to Autozone and they hooked up the battery tester and it registered as the battery being BAD. They tried to charge the battery and it wouldn't hold the charge. So they replaced it and it seemed to work perfectly.

I cleaned the contacts, bought some of that 'gel' stuff to help improve conductivity as well. I made sure the positive and negative cables were tightened as well. Unfortunately it was hard for me to completely follow the cable as its tight around there.

I also had them hook up the tester to the battery/alternator and it said it was putting out plenty to charge the battery. The tech then said it was probably a bad ground somewhere that was draining the power, as I didn't start the car for 3 days due to the long weekend.
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