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1997 Camry LE 5S-FE Automatic Kentucky built
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Discussion Starter #1
I tried boosting it with a running vehicle for 10 mins, no luck. I tried a small '750 boosting amp' boost pack with same results. The battery voltage was at 12.2 last night but after leaving it hooked up to other vehicle it was at around 12.6 or 12.8. after a few trying to starts it's down now again to 12.3V. The wipers are normal speed when I turn them on, the windows roll down at roughly the same speed as usual.
I killed it by leaving the key on the 'On' position for roughly 1.5 to 2 hours while working on it because I forgot it was 'on'. An important (maybe) side note is that I was leaning over the gear shifter while working on it, it was in park so the shift lock was engaged but when I leaned in to look under passenger foot well I created enough pressure to slip it out of park. I put it back in park and all seems well. When I try and start it in park or neutral it seems to try and start and makes that super high pitched electrical whining noise, the lights dim a bit but no crank or clicking. When I try and start in any other gear I get nothing at all so I figure the safety switch or parking lock must be ok (it also locks in park like it should).

My next move is to take battery to a Canadian Tire to get it tested, I don't want to buy a charger if I don't need to because I already spent $150 on this 750 Amp li-ion booster and maybe now a new battery.

Any ideas? Any similar stories? It would seem simple enough but I have to cab it to work and than try and work on it this evening so any pointers or advice is appreciated.

What voltages should be good for cranking on a 97 2.2L LE ? The part of it not starting while being boosted for 10 mins really throws me off. The voltmeter showed 13.1 - 13.3 volts on both cars batteries while the cars were connected.

Edit: I also tried tapping on starter with a 3 foot iron pipe while gf cranked so I don't think it's a dead spot. I will remove the starter tonight and bench test solenoid and motor but I don't think that's the problem, never had an issue with it cranking.
 

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1997 Camry LE 5S-FE Automatic Kentucky built
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Discussion Starter #3
I don't think it's spinning at all, the noise I'm talking about isn't mechanical at all it's electrical and extremely high pitched. I can barely hear it but it sets all dogs around it off.
 

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1995 Camry LE Wagon
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The starter gear makes a high pitched noise when not engaged to the flywheel. Battery sounds OK just gets low when trying to start.

The starter gear is probably not engaging. I'd remove the starter motor and take it to a parts store where they will test it and be able to see it in operation.
 

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1997 Camry LE 5S-FE Automatic Kentucky built
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Discussion Starter #5
Sorry I misunderstood. Deleted.
No worries brother, any advice is appreciated and it's good to keep posts up just incase it's pertinent to other people's situation when they come across this in a Google search
 

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1997 Camry LE 5S-FE Automatic Kentucky built
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Discussion Starter #6
The starter gear makes a high pitched noise when not engaged to the flywheel. Battery sounds OK just gets low when trying to start.

The starter gear is probably not engaging. I'd remove the starter motor and take it to a parts store where they will test it and be able to see it in operation.
Calling around on my lunch break and I can't find anywhere to test a starter
(Big box and parts stores). I'm guessing maybe a small shop?
Can't I bench test it in a vice? Make sure the solenoid is engaging the gear? And if need be see if the starter motor moves?

Gonna try and hand crank the engine over to rule out mechanical damage but that's highly improbable (I hope lol) idk when this battery was replaced but it doesn't look ancient. Motomaster type 35 with 500 CCA and 650 CA.

Thanks for all the advice!
 

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1997 Camry LE 5S-FE Automatic Kentucky built
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Discussion Starter #7
305114


Here comes the rabbit hole. Battery is in perfect condition so I'm hoping it's something to do with the park locking mechanism like maybe something is grounding or idk from when I forced it out of park leaning on it.

Maybe it's the starter like still running suggested, I sure hope so.
 

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93 Camry, 98 Camry,
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739 Posts
It sounds like the starter bendix gear is not kicking out. I think you have a bum starter. They are easy to replace. I think I did mine in 15-20 minutes.
 

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1997 Camry LE 5S-FE Automatic Kentucky built
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Discussion Starter #9
Yes, just pulled it and taking it to be tested
 

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1997 Camry LE 5S-FE Automatic Kentucky built
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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Bad news, starter is good. So it's deff related to the forcing of the gear shift. I'm going to rip the console apart and take a look, hopefully it's just a bad wore or a pulled pin or something like that.

Edit: took it to a shop to have the starter tested and it worked fine there.
I ripped the console apart but the only thing in the actual gear shifter is the parking lock solenoid stuff. So it's not the gear shifter or parking lock.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Ok so the whining noise I was describing was the fuel pump. The starter relay is clicking (I changed it with a known good relay for good measure) and I can hear a few other things clicking when it tries to start, well, no clicking or anything of any kind from the starter though. I did a voltage draw test when cranking. Red lead on positive terminal and black lead on terminal on starter than red lead on starter metal body and black lead on negative terminal.

The positive cable had 0.00 mV @ rest
Positive had 0.5 mV while cranking

Ground had 0.3 mV @ rest
Ground had 10.1+ mV while cranking.

Does that mean my cables are bad?
 

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Let's do a continuity test for the positive and negative cables using your meter set to measure resistance as follows:

1. Red lead on ground terminal on starter. Black lead on battery black terminal. Reading should be zero or close to zero ohms.
2. Red lead on battery red terminal. Black lead on starter positive terminal. Remove key from ignition. Reading should be infinity (open).
3. Move key to start (crank) position. Reading should be zero or close to zero ohms when key is in cranking position.

Report back what you see and then we can go further.
 

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1997 Camry LE 5S-FE Automatic Kentucky built
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Discussion Starter #13
Awesome, will try this when I get home tonight.
Another possible culprit would be the remote start/alarm I installed a month or so ago. The reasoni say this is because it has an internal starter kill relay. I had to cut my red starter wire from ignition cylinder and attach 1 wire from re.ote starter to key side and other wire to the starter side of the red wire. Maybe the relay is faulty. What really seems weird is that when I try and remote start the car, I can hear more things clicking than when I try just the key. I know it's some weird electrical gremlin. I soldered and heat shrink all the connections I made and I also had the FSM wiring diagrams.

I will report back the resistance findings. My plan tonight was to slowly use my multimeter and do voltage checks at each and every junction and start doing voltage drop tests on wires to see if there are broken wires on sheathing. The weirdest thing for me is that when I turn the key to start, the clock LEDs dim and my cigarette lighter plug in phone chargers LED's dim, so wouldn't that mean that there's a large amount of electricity going somewhere?
 

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IMHO, there's really no point in doing the resistance checks with the 3 new pieces of information you have now provided: the remote starter, the dimming of lights and the cutting of the wire from the ignition switch.

You need to remove the remote starter wiring completely and restore the car to factory stock wiring before going any further. If the problem corrects itself, I would recommend you have the remote starter installed by a pro. Incorrect installations can cause myriad issues like those you describe and many other - often dangerous - things.

If the problem remains with the remote starter removed, then run my resistance checks and we can go further from there. My 2 cents - ultimately your car ...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I can pretty much guarantee it's not from me wiring in the remote start (unless I didn't fully cover a wire with heat shrink and it grounded out, but, no blown fuses anywhere). The only wire I cut was the red ignition wire and that's spliced into a starter kill relay (armed alarm = no start). I will remove those 2 wired and reconnect the red wire and start testing, i will remove 1 wire and retry then repeat until the remote start is uninstalled but I'm about 99% certain that's not the issue. No remote start issues, no starting issues, actually no issues at all u yil I drained the battery and accidentally forced it out of gear while the solenoid was still engaged.

I disassembled the complete shifter mechanism and regreased everything, including inside the moving electrical components (dielectric), the only thing on that shifter is the solenoid so me forcing it out of gear shouldn't of damaged anything.

First thing in going to see is if I have voltage from key to 5A fuse to PN switch then PN switch to JB#2 and the relay then to the solenoid. Than I'll start looking at the remote starter.

I under stand it's easy to assume and write it off to the remote start because most ppl have no clue what they are doing but I took my time and made sure everything was perfect there.
 

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Didn't mean at all to suggest that you don't know what you're doing, just that many issues arise from remote starters.

The red wire you cut powers not just the starter relay via the PN switch but also several additional circuits to the right of J22 at the top right of your diagram regardless of the PN switch position (B-W) and also some circuits to the right of J6 at the bottom right of your diagram activated only in P and N positions (GR). Cutting the red wire interferes with whatever's powered from those circuits - without knowing what else is connected, it's impossible to guess at what effect cutting the red wire has. Even a small amount of resistance introduced into the red wire will reduce battery voltage at all of those circuits including the starter relay - with unknown consequences.

Also note that there are two 12V circuits connected to the starter - the smaller/thinner wire (powering the solenoid) that you're tracing from the 5A relay to J22 to PN to J6 and on to JB2 pin 11 to power the starter relay and the heavy duty cable connected directly to the read terminal of the battery (powering the starter motor). My tests above address the thinner wire because I don't think anything would have happened to the heavy gauge wire, but worth checking regardless in addition to my tests.

Finally, there's a simple way to eliminate the PN switch from the list of issues - with the car in R or D, nothing should happen when the key is moved to start (crank). I just tried that on my Camry - nothing happens. If lights dim anyway, it's for sure your PN switch or linkage or something else related to it.

If I were to venture a guess based upon all of the above, I'd say that there's insufficient voltage to power the starter relay at pin 11 of JB2, so it's partially closing or chattering and partially closing the starter solenoid that then isn't making good enough contact to apply full battery voltage to the starter motor. My ohm test and your voltage tests wil confirm.
 

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If it were me, I'd start by applying battery + directly to the B-R wire terminal at the starter. Of course, be sure it's in Park.
That should give you some direction. If it cranks, you know the issue is in the upstream circuit. If it doesn't, you may have a ground issue. If it just clicks once, it's likely starter contacts.
 

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Thought he had already verified that the starter itself and ground are both good leaving us with just the upstream circuit?

But then maybe not, so this simple test is a good idea to eliminate both these points first.
 

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priya9942: I tend to agree with your suspicion regarding the aftermarket remote start. The quality of most aftermarket equipment is pretty poor compared with OEM.
 
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