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Discussion Starter #1
Today during lunch hour, I found an elder lady stranded with a dead 4th gen Camry in front of a supermarket. She was trying to open the hood w/o luck. So I helped her open the hood and propped it up. Then she told me that everything was fine on her way to the supermarket. But the car won't start after she finished shopping. There was no light, no nothing, initially. But she tried to turn her key back and forth in the lock cylinder. Then it started to blare alarm super loud.

I was curious. So I took her key and opened the door. The alarm started immediately and it was actually terrifyingly loud. But I tried to focus and I did not hear starter trying to spin the engine at all. So I tried to knock the starter to see whether I can shock it back to life. However, there was nothing in her car useful. In the end, I had to knock the starter with a bottle of water. Of course, it did not work. Her daughter was on her way with a tow truck. So I left.

So it is clearly a no crank no start condition. The battery might be bad. But hearing the loud arm, I kinda doubt a half dead battery can be so loud. Therefore, the remaining culprits are neutral safety switch and starter, correct? What would have been the most intelligent thing I could have done right there, any ideas? The lady was real nice and I do hope to be of real help next time. Thanks for any suggestions.
 

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Did it have an aftermarket alarm? If it did, you might have to disconnect the battery to clear it, some aftermarket alarms come with the ability to disable the vehicle.
 

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I say, she has ignition lock issue and, that she might have actually caused it herself, trying to hard to wiggle the key or turn it this way and that way. Then OEM safety kicked in tripping alarm. Or, AM alarm kicked in.
I'd not judge battery state of charge by alarm loudness. It is VERY different from power, needed for crank and start. Also, quick look at battery terminals could have determined, how corroded they are. Causing no start.

Speaking of helping ladies... I, being good Samaritan, once drove behind a black girl in SUV with flat rear left tire. She just kept going on it. Me being stupid, I honked and flashed light at her, trying to catch her attention and point at flat tire. Nope. We were both then stopped by red light, so I jump out of my car - yeah, good Samaritan - and walk towards her pointing at the tire. She lowers window and blows full salvo at me - Stop doing this, I am not your blah blah blah. If you were ever yelled at by black girl, you know. So I simply yelled back - your tire is flat and turned back.

Roads in hell are paved with good intentions...
 

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I have an EXCALIBUR alarm and it has a Valet Button to turn OFF the Alarm yet, you still have the remote to open / lock the doors.

Perhaps that particular Alarm didn't have such a button?

You really can't start any car while the alarm is active and tripped, unless you can get to this Valet Button!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
She did not have the main remote with her. Just a basic key. I didn't know how to disable the alarm. Maybe I can just disconnect the battery?
 

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She did not have the main remote with her. Just a basic key. I didn't know how to disable the alarm. Maybe I can just disconnect the battery?
When you reconnect the Battery the Alarm will still go into a Trip mode as it retains it's last known state.

Without the main remote controller (which is very strange for her just to have a key) then, you will not be able to do nothing.

Was it her car?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I assume it's her car. Of course my assumption can be wrong.

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