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1998 Toyota Camry random no power no start

Home Forums Stay Dirty Lounge Service and Repair Questions Answered Here 1998 Toyota Camry random no power no start

This topic contains 10 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Avatar TheFella 11 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #893153
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    TheFella
    Participant

    My car has been having an issue where it randomly has no power and won’t start. It’s like there’s no battery in the car. This happens at random. Sometimes it won’t start, then I come out and try again later and it has power and starts like normal. But when the car does start, it doesn’t die. It keeps running like normal.

    I had the battery and alternator tested at AutoZone. Both tested good, which is unsurprising because they’re not that old.

    The cable ends are free of corrosion and are tight on the posts.

Viewing 10 replies - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
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  • #893157
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    Sean
    Participant

    Could be an ignition switch?

    If you jiggle the key around when it has no power, does it ever return?

    #893160
    Avatar
    TheFella
    Participant

    I’ve never tried to jiggle it, tbh. I initially thought ignition switch as well. I replaced it. It didn’t make a difference, though I guess it’s possible the one I got from the junkyard was also bad. I just replaced the switch, not the ignition lock cylinder, because as far as I can tell, there’s nothing wrong with the lock cylinder.

    #893198
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    TheFella
    Participant

    Could this be causing this issue? It’s the negative battery cable as it runs into a ground point.

    #893199
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    Richard Kirshy
    Participant

    That insulation has been melted.
    If it has not been in contact with a hot part of the engine it is due to high resistance.
    I would start to look for voltage drop(s) in your main power cables.
    Also look at all power cable jackets for swelling ( internal corrosion )
    Might also check all chassis, frame and block grounds

    #893212
    Avatar
    TheFella
    Participant

    Thank you so much for your reply! It really gives me a lot to investigate!

    This part of the wire doesn’t contact engine parts. It runs under the plastic “base” that the battery sits on (and possibly under the air filter housing, if memory serves). I was thinking it might have gotten pinched by something along the way. This cable originates at the negative battery cable, and the other end grounds onto the transmission. I took the ground end off and inspected it. Everything was free of corrosion and looked ok to me, but I’m just some schmuck on the internet. Lol. I did hit it with a wire brush for good measure, though. Why would only one spot on the insulation melt? Wouldn’t all of it melt? But again, I’m just some schmuck on the internet.

    When you say to look for voltage drops in the main power cables, is this the battery cables? And how exactly do I go about doing this? And what will this tell me? I do have and know how to use a multimeter.

    I’m not sure how to check frame, block, and chassis grounds. Tbh, Idk where these are located on this car. I’m normally pretty good with cars, but electrical stuff may as well be wizardry.

    #893216
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    Richard Kirshy
    Participant

    Why would only one spot on the insulation melt? Wouldn’t all of it melt?
    Could be a point of high resistance.. high resistance = high heat.

    When you say to look for voltage drops in the main power cables, is this the battery cables? And how exactly do I go about doing this? And what will this tell me? I do have and know how to use a multimeter.

    this should give you the basics:

    I’m not sure how to check frame, block, and chassis grounds. Tbh, Idk where these are located on this car. I’m normally pretty good with cars, but electrical stuff may as well be wizardry.

    The negative battery cable should be attached to the frame of the vehicle, also a ground jumper or strap to the engine block and possibly another to the body connecting all 3 together.

    #893221
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    TheFella
    Participant

    Excellent! Thank you so much! I really appreciate your responses.

    If memory serves, the negative battery cable makes a Y. One end connects to the post on the battery. Another connects to the body, and the other is the one in the picture above that bolts to the transmission.

    Do you think this could be causing the issue I’m having? It’s really the only lead I have so far, though.

    #893222
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    Richard Kirshy
    Participant

    It is possible, but that is only a guess with out testing the connections.
    Looking at the symptom of no power to any of the electrical system.
    I would suspect either a main relay or main power issue.
    If you can repeat the no power condition, I would test a few things to be certain there is no power going to the electrical system.
    Example:
    When you have this issue occur try turning on your head lights, interior light, horn, try your door locks or power windows or radio.
    If nothing works at all, your not getting battery voltage into or out of the fuse box.
    That would be the best time to test.

    #893227
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    TheFella
    Participant

    Yes. This is what happens when the issue occurs. Nothing has power. It’s like the battery isn’t even in the car. There doesn’t seem to be anything I can do to trigger the condition, though, except needing to be somewhere. Lol. Right now, the car is starting like normal.

    I’ll do these tests sometime within the next few days and let you know what I find.

    #893812
    Avatar
    TheFella
    Participant

    I have solved the problem! The issue was the 100 A alternator fuse. It wasn’t technically blown (the piece inside was intact), which I think is why the car and electronics worked sometimes. But what do I know? I’m just some schmuck on the internet. Lol. Anyway, as you can see, the prongs of the fuse look really, really bad. There was also a small hole melted in the fuse box near where the fuse was. It definitely over heated at some point. This fuse was an aftermarket replacement. I replaced it with an OEM fuse (from a junk yard). This fixed the issue and the car has been working normally ever since. This was close to a month ago, and I’ve been meaning to post an update for a while. Sorry for the delay.

    I cannot get the image uploader here to work. So here is a link to an image of the fuse. https://imgur.com/a/sh88SqH

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