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The Biggest comment Whore
2002 Camry LE
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, haven't been on here in a while, so I'm asking for some help TN family.

My mothers 2002 Camry LE has the 2.4 ltr engine.
Has 204,581 on the odo

Yesterday, she tried to crank, and it gave her a "clicking" noise, so she replaced the battery. Then, she tried again, It turned over, and it immediately shut off. So we thought it was the alternator.

Today, I called her, told her to turn it on. It started up sluggishly, but in-spite, stayed on. I asked her to turn the lights on and see if they were dim. And they weren't. She backed out the garage, and pulled back in, and it stayed on...

What do you think the problem may be? She knows theres a crack in the Charcoal cannister, but that can't be the cause of all of this could it?
 

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Maven
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3,070 Posts
You needed a new battery. When you dropped all voltage to the engine computer it lost it's learned memory. Drive it around some anddo some starts and stops for a few miles. Likely nothing wrong with it if there is no check engine light.
 

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The Biggest comment Whore
2002 Camry LE
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1,956 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Okay so she tried to crank it up again, and it made the clicking sound again, and wouldn't turn over. What does that mean? Do you think an jump would get it to start? And if it starts, should we let it idle, and then drive it around?
 

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The Biggest comment Whore
2002 Camry LE
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah..... I'm just trying to penpoint what the problem could be. I'm not too big on the engine area... But how would I do that?
 

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Vivir el momento
Corolla
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18,784 Posts
I'm not sure of the location of the starter since I don't own a Camry myself, but my Corolla had the same symptoms and it turned out to be worn out starter contacts.

I'm sure someone here will be able to point out the location.

Check out a Haynes or Factory service manual.
 

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The Biggest comment Whore
2002 Camry LE
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you. How would I be able to tell if they are gone bad or something?
 

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The Biggest comment Whore
2002 Camry LE
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If you are hearing 1 click, then the problem is the starter's solenoid internal contacts. If you are hearing multiple rapid clicks, then the problem is with the battery, corrosion on the battery post/terminal connections or the conections at the starter, or the cables leading to the starter and ground itself.

Mike
Souce: Toyotanation

Is that right?
 

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Maven
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You need a cheap volt meter to begin with. A $3 meter from Harbor Freight will work just fine for your purposes. Check the battery voltage as it sits and see if it is in the ballpark of 12.6 volts, plus or minus. Get in the car and turn the key to crank it. Do the idiot lights dim out or go out entirely? Low voltage/bad battery if it checked at about 12.6 volts previously. Yes, if you get multiple clicks, you need a starter. If you get the engine running check the voltage again at the battery and it should be more like 14-14.5 volts with accessories turned off. If it is still in the 12.5 volt range then yes, the alternator is suspect as well.
Get a volt meter before you panicked by anything.
 

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The Biggest comment Whore
2002 Camry LE
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Okay perfect. Its the battery. But as I've stated before. the battery is brand new... So, a jump will suffice correct? And let it idle then drive so it can charge?
 

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The Biggest comment Whore
2002 Camry LE
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You need a cheap volt meter to begin with. A $3 meter from Harbor Freight will work just fine for your purposes. Check the battery voltage as it sits and see if it is in the ballpark of 12.6 volts, plus or minus. Get in the car and turn the key to crank it. Do the idiot lights dim out or go out entirely? Low voltage/bad battery if it checked at about 12.6 volts previously. Yes, if you get multiple clicks, you need a starter. If you get the engine running check the voltage again at the battery and it should be more like 14-14.5 volts with accessories turned off. If it is still in the 12.5 volt range then yes, the alternator is suspect as well.
Get a volt meter before you panicked by anything.
Okay that works as well. Will do. So if the battery is a suspect, can't the alternator charge it with a jump?
 

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The Biggest comment Whore
2002 Camry LE
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Okay that works as well. Will do. So if the battery is a suspect, can't the alternator charge it with a jump?
And the lights don't dim or go out. They stay on, headlights aren't dim, and the buzzer still operates.
 

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Maven
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If the battery is bad, it is bad. period.

If you can jump start it, great. At that point with the engine running, check the voltage at the battery, jumper car already disconnected from your car. Voltage should be well over 12.6 volts. More like 14-14.5 volts. This will vary. Not all regulators are made alike, but it means the alternator is working. If the engine is running and the voltage is still 12.x or less, then the alternator is gone. I could guess about this all day long, but a volt meter will diagnose the true issue in 20 seconds.
 

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The Biggest comment Whore
2002 Camry LE
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Okay, so she was able to get it up and running with a jump. I am not there at the moment to do much of anything, so this is what she described: Started up, stayed on, white smoke when given gas and shaking...
 

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The Biggest comment Whore
2002 Camry LE
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I think (and I may be wrong) that if I just drive it around after the jump, it'll be fine... I have to get it from one place to another, and they are 3 hours apart.

One more thing: The spark plugs... Could that be a factor?
 

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Maven
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Unlikely
 

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The Biggest comment Whore
2002 Camry LE
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1,956 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Oh okay. Because they took it to autozone, and they checked the battery and all... Its fine, and so is the alternator. They didn't give any recommendations so, I'm lost at the moment...
 

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Maven
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One thing isn't clear, so refresh us all. The car would not start. Each scenario leads to a different issue. The key goes in, turns to the start position, the lights dim a little and nothing is heard or a single click is heard--or the idiot lights dim out totally, or you attempt to crank and you get multiple clicks, or you attempt to crank and it turns over and over but will not catch. If it is running irradicly after starting, and having the battery disconnected, that can be largely blamed on the computer losing its memory. It just needs to be driven. If you get a check engine light the guy at the parts store can check the code and tell you generally what is wrong.
 
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