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so my toyota camry 2010 xle has stopped on me three times. the first time i got it to start and drive and it was fine, my dad thought he fixed it but he didnt. it stopped a few days later and didnt start at all. we took it to the mechanic and they said it was the crankshaft sensor so he fixed that and i also got a new battery. it was driving fine but when i would start it, it would kind of delay but it was better than before. A few days later it stopped on me again, on the HIGHWAY. i got it to start and thank god i was right off my exit, i pulled over to a block and tried to turn it on and it stopped turning on completely. my dad came to me, he got it to turn on so i drove it home but felt it shutting down as i was driving. my dad took it to another mechanic the next day, they checked it with the computer scan i guess idk how that works, but didnt find anything they just said to tighten the battery... the thing is, the battery light is still on and so is the check engine light... that doesnt fix anything and its going to stop again. idk what to do
 

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Best you can do is do a web search for a certified diagnostic auto technician.
This type of intermittent problem needs someone who has the experience/equipment to pinpoint the problem.

If you have the error codes or service report from the mechanics post them here.
Not much else can be done unless you can do some testing yourself with scan tool/meters etc.
 

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It "might be" an alternator or some kind of charging problem. If you can drive it to an auto parts store (Advance Auto Parts, Autozone, O'Reilly) and they will check your alternator and battery for free.

I would find a different mechanic. Preferably one who specializes in Toyota's (search for one on the Internet), or take it to a Toyota dealer (which will be expensive). One of the auto parts stores may be able to recommend one.
 

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Battery light on indicates that the battery is not getting charge (discharging). if the car is shutting off randomly and the battery is not discharged, there's some kind of electrical issue going on. Even if the alternator does die, the car will continue to run off the battery until the battery is almost discharged. You'll notice this to occur as lights/radio may cut in and out. Idle may get a bit low before it completely stalls.

Any CEL codes will be helpful is pointing to the right direction

Electrical issues can be a PITA if it is that. Try find a local shop that specializes in Toyota. Dealerships will rip you off.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
the mechanic at my job checked it out for me and ran a scan check and found nothing, he said the battery light and engine light turns on only in park which means theres no power running because its on park.. which makes sense to me. on the way home, i felt my car acting weird i felt paranoid but i know what it feels like when it acts funny or is going to stop. as i was almost home, i felt my car almost stop and the engine light turned on, that has never happened before (the engine light turning on while driving/shutting down). i didnt want it to stop obviously i was scared and i was close to home so i pressed the accelerator to keep going. it kept fighting me a little and felt weird driving it but i drove slow and made it home.. every time i turn on the car the engine light is on now. i feel like its just going to keep stopping. i think it might be the gas.. i put regular gas but i think i might have to start using premium since the car is older and may need cleaner gas.
 

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Toyota alternators are a lot more reliable than, say, GM alternators but they do go intermittent and die.

It is not normal for battery light to be lit up in park. That is indication that you have a real charging problem.

I can't figure out why the mechanic hasn't put on a new or at least a rebuilt alternator by now. Rebuilt alternators are less than $100 and it's a quick job.

Also possible that one or more cells in the battery is intermittently shorted. By the time it gets to the shop it might be OK again. Although if the battery light was on in park how could the guy not catch this? It is very common for a bad battery to take out the alternator or for a bad alternator to take out an older battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Toyota alternators are a lot more reliable than, say, GM alternators but they do go intermittent and die.

It is not normal for battery light to be lit up in park. That is indication that you have a real charging problem.

I can't figure out why the mechanic hasn't put on a new or at least a rebuilt alternator by now. Rebuilt alternators are less than $100 and it's a quick job.

Also possible that one or more cells in the battery is intermittently shorted. By the time it gets to the shop it might be OK again. Although if the battery light was on in park how could the guy not catch this? It is very common for a bad battery to take out the alternator or for a bad alternator to take out an older battery.
what if the battery is brand new ? i just got a new battery. also, it doesnt come up every time in park but sometimes.. most of the time
 

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the mechanic at my job checked it out for me and ran a scan check and found nothing, he said the battery light and engine light turns on only in park which means theres no power running because its on park.. which makes sense to me. on the way home, i felt my car acting weird i felt paranoid but i know what it feels like when it acts funny or is going to stop. as i was almost home, i felt my car almost stop and the engine light turned on, that has never happened before (the engine light turning on while driving/shutting down). i didnt want it to stop obviously i was scared and i was close to home so i pressed the accelerator to keep going. it kept fighting me a little and felt weird driving it but i drove slow and made it home.. every time i turn on the car the engine light is on now. i feel like its just going to keep stopping. i think it might be the gas.. i put regular gas but i think i might have to start using premium since the car is older and may need cleaner gas.
An alternator should still be charging the battery when the engine is running at idle speed and the car is in park. If it charges OK when driving or in D, but does not charge in P, then there may be a fan belt assembly or other related problem.

Forget your mechanic at work. Take it to an auto parts store and get the alternator and battery checked for free. If there is an alternator problem, find a repair shop that specializes in Toyota or a dealer. Your new battery is probably ruined, so you need to get this fixed by someone is qualified to fix it or every battery you put in will keep getting ruined in a short time.
 

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what if the battery is brand new ? i just got a new battery. also, it doesnt come up every time in park but sometimes.. most of the time
Did the problem start with the new battery? Or did the battery light came on and you put in a new battery?

If you don't fix the alternator or charging problem soon, it'll ruin your new battery in short order. Car batteries were never designed to be deep discharged which it sounds like you've done several times already.

If it happens in park most of the time, there's no reason at all a mechanic can't diagnose and fix this. It'll almost always just be a new alternator which is the fix. Alternator failures are not nearly as common on Toyotas as they are on say GM cars. But they do happen.
 

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Did the problem start with the new battery? Or before or after?

If you don't fix the alternator or charging problem soon, it'll ruin your new battery in short order. Car batteries were never designed to be deep discharged which it sounds like you've done several times already.

If it happens in park most of the time, there's no reason at all a mechanic can't diagnose and fix this. It'll almost always just be a new alternator which is the fix.
it started before, it stopped on me twice and then i took it to the mechanic, he told me it was the crankshaft sensor so he fixed that and then my dad took it to toyota for a new battery because there was still warranty. it stopped after that again and didnt turn on. my dad got it to start and took it to another mechanic so he scanned it but found nothing, he said to just tighten the battery.. so we did. then on my way home from work yesterday, it almost stopped and the engine light turned on like i said above^
 

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it started before, it stopped on me twice and then i took it to the mechanic, he told me it was the crankshaft sensor so he fixed that and then my dad took it to toyota for a new battery because there was still warranty. it stopped after that again and didnt turn on. my dad got it to start and took it to another mechanic so he scanned it but found nothing, he said to just tighten the battery.. so we did. then on my way home from work yesterday, it almost stopped and the engine light turned on like i said above^
There really isn't a lot to "scan for" with respect to a bad alternator. In fact all sorts of nonsense codes can come up as the battery droops and ECM conks out and I would say that you have to ignore any codes until you get the charging system working. So it's possible your crankshaft position sensor didn't really need to be replaced if the battery light was already on at that point, because the codes being generated were nonsense.

I have been told by some mechanics that "alternators never fail on Toyotas", and in fact a friend of mine had a clearly conked out alternator but the dealer's shop wouldn't put a new one in because he claimed their parts department didn't even have one in stock. I don't really believe that but that was the story. But what you have is clearly a charging problem AND every car parts counter in all of the USA has a rebuilt alternator for you sitting on the shelf.
 

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... my dad got it to start and took it to another mechanic so he scanned it but found nothing.
Take it to an auto parts store for a free check of the alternator and battery. They will give you a printout of the results. Obviously, the battery may be low because it is not being charged, so you need to know about the alternator.

If there is an alternator problem, or an unknown problem, find a repair shop that specializes in Toyota or Japanese autos. You can google "toytota repair xxxxxx" where xxxxxx is the name of your city (don't use the quotes in google).
 

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There's not much you can scan for a failing alternator. A CEL won't be generated for a failing battery or alternator -- you'll get a red herring for other CEL because the battery is getting weak from a failing alternator/dying battery though. Most times, you can get by with a DMM to see how the voltage off/on load..but otherwise it's bench testing the battery and/or alternator.

Some experiencs with a failing alternator, I had a CHARGE/REAR TAIL LIGHT INDICATOR kept flashing on and off in a Gen3 Camry, sometimes over bumps or dips on the road. I had the battery checked with found to have a bad cell. Replaced battery and issue still kept occurring. Two parts store bench test the charging system with the alternator/battery still in the car running and it past OK. The alternator already had 300K+ of use. I swapped out the alternator with another low miles OEM alternator. Issue went away and hasn't return in over 2yr.

Alternator issues can be intermittent.

FWIW, each and every one of my Toyota had had a failing alternator at some point of time. These alternators in general don't last forever and i'm finding modern cars tend to go thru alternators faster. Given the car is 10 years old...I wouldn't be suprised.
 
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Sounds like a bad alternator and it's not charging the battery. Eventually the battery runs out of juice and the car dies. Weak electrical power freaks out computer modules which can also trigger the check engine light. I had a Honda Accord that had an alternator go out. On that car the battery, air bag, check engine and ABS warning lights all came on at the same time. Talk about lit up like a Christmas Tree.
 
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