camry starting problem

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Old 15 Jun 2012, 01:41 pm   #1 (permalink)
brendan welch
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Default camry starting problem

Details below, but I now suspect that I have found a "new" starting
problem relating to the ignition key. One of the reasons is that this
was the only time in 5 years that I have left the key in the ignition
switch (at OFF) for several hours, just before trying to start.

The car is a 2007 Camry LE, 50K miles, with never any problems.
Battery is the original, but seems in good condition. Weather was a
perfect shirt-sleeve day.

1)I started the car, but it ran for only a few seconds, and died.
2)I immediately tried starting again, but now it would not start.
3)I waited a while and tried again; results same as 1)
4)I let the car roll back a few feet in the driveway and tried again.
Same results as 1)
5)I tried pumping the gas as soon as possible after it started, but to
no effect. It died again.
6)Finally the car started, stayed running, and correctly responded to my
pumping the gas. I kept it running for a minute or so, just in case the
battery needed charging from the earlier attempts (none of which was
longer that about 6 seconds).

So I borrowed an OBDC tool from my neighbor. But since the check-engine
light never came on, there never was a code set. This is consistent
with my guess that the ignition key simply disconnected. The tool
responds to show that the engine speed increases when I pump the gas.

I got some books from the library, but they are talking about things
like no gas, loose connections, air leak between intake manifold and
throttle body, none of which seem applicable.

There has never been a problem before, or since (the car was driven
several hundred miles, some of it on unpaved roads in poor weather, on
the next day). I would be perfectly happy, but I hate to drive around
thinking I might be stuck in the boondocks with a dead car, all because
of strange problems in my driveway, on just one day out of 5 years.

any ideas?
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Old 15 Jun 2012, 04:58 pm   #2 (permalink)
Winston
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Default Re: camry starting problem

brendan welch wrote:
> Details below, but I now suspect that I have found a "new" starting
> problem relating to the ignition key. One of the reasons is that this
> was the only time in 5 years that I have left the key in the ignition
> switch (at OFF) for several hours, just before trying to start.


(...)


On the left side cowl is the Instrument Panel Junction Block.
It is just aft of the left side headlight.
It contains various fuses. One is the 10 A ignition fuse.
I suspect the fuse is intermittent or the contacts in the
Junction Block need to be cleaned and 're-formed'.

Advise keep a multimeter in the car and check the voltage
on both sides of that fuse with the key on, when the
intermittent crops up again. Same is true for the 'ignition
No 1' and 'ignition No 2' fuses and the IG1 relay located
on the Instrument Panel Junction Block located behind
the dash board on the left side.

Other than that, I have no idea.

--Winston



If the fuse and Junction Block
are OK during the fault, you will want to tap into pin 7 of
the II
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Old 17 Jun 2012, 12:42 pm   #3 (permalink)
brendan welch
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Default Re: camry starting problem

On 6/15/2012 4:58 PM, Winston wrote:

>
> On the left side cowl is the Instrument Panel Junction Block.
> It is just aft of the left side headlight.
> It contains various fuses. One is the 10 A ignition fuse.
> I suspect the fuse is intermittent or the contacts in the
> Junction Block need to be cleaned and 're-formed'.
>
> Advise keep a multimeter in the car and check the voltage
> on both sides of that fuse with the key on, when the
> intermittent crops up again. Same is true for the 'ignition
> No 1' and 'ignition No 2' fuses and the IG1 relay located
> on the Instrument Panel Junction Block located behind
> the dash board on the left side.
>
> Other than that, I have no idea.
>
> --Winston
>
>
>
> If the fuse and Junction Block
> are OK during the fault, you will want to tap into pin 7 of
> the II


What is the II? I could not find a reference to pin 7.

More generally, first of all, thanks for the response. I was afraid I
would get no help, so I also reported the problem to Toyota's 800
number. I know they just want me to take the car to a dealer, but the
dealer would say "no code, no problem". They have taken the problem
under advisement.

Your response opened my mind up to some new approaches to the problem.
(One difficulty I have is that the Chilton's book from the library only
goes to 2005, so I have to expect some differences.)

I was a little disappointed in the instrument panel junction box (which
the book calls the engine room j/b). That year, the fuse layout is not
exactly the same as even pictured on the underside of the cover. Some
of the hoped for fuse locations are empty.


At the fuses near the drivers knee, there is only one labelled IGN (I
don't know if it is supposed to be IGN1 or IGN2, if it matters). And I
could not find the ignition relay.

The bottom line is that the fuses looked so clean that I hesitated to
even pull and immediately replace amy fuse. Especially since the car
has run OK for several days and several hundred miles, I figure, "if it
aint broke, don't fix".

I still suspect the problem is something with the way the key affected
some contacts, but you alerted me to concentrate on the different
selector positions. For example, what if it STARTED in drive, and the
selector returned to RUN, but then vibrated a little toward ACC?
Unlikely, but I should keep an open mind.

Also, it brought to mind a problem a friend had years ago, with the car
starting but not running. That was in the days before computers, when
the START position gave the full 12 volts, but the RUN position had a
resistor in series, so that the spark plugs would receive a lesser high
voltage when things were running properly. all that just for reference.

So at present, no further action is needed. I have a very remote hope
that Toyota will give some response.


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Old 17 Jun 2012, 03:26 pm   #4 (permalink)
Winston
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Default Re: camry starting problem

Short answer: See the last paragraph.


brendan welch wrote:
> On 6/15/2012 4:58 PM, Winston wrote:
>
>>
>> On the left side cowl is the Instrument Panel Junction Block.
>> It is just aft of the left side headlight.
>> It contains various fuses. One is the 10 A ignition fuse.
>> I suspect the fuse is intermittent or the contacts in the
>> Junction Block need to be cleaned and 're-formed'.
>>
>> Advise keep a multimeter in the car and check the voltage
>> on both sides of that fuse with the key on, when the
>> intermittent crops up again. Same is true for the 'ignition
>> No 1' and 'ignition No 2' fuses and the IG1 relay located
>> on the Instrument Panel Junction Block located behind
>> the dash board on the left side.
>>
>> Other than that, I have no idea.
>>
>> --Winston
>>
>>
>>
>> If the fuse and Junction Block
>> are OK during the fault, you will want to tap into pin 7 of
>> the II

>
> What is the II? I could not find a reference to pin 7.


Sorry. One of the 12-pin plastic connectors that snaps into the
Instrument Panel Junction Box is labeled II on the official
Toyota service manual. (Page 31, Pub. EM0250U). Pin 7 of that
connector brings 'ign' power to the rest of the car.
You should see more than 12 VDC on that pin when the car is
running.
Which model? 2GR-FE or 2AZ-FE?

>
> More generally, first of all, thanks for the response. I was afraid I
> would get no help, so I also reported the problem to Toyota's 800
> number. I know they just want me to take the car to a dealer, but the
> dealer would say "no code, no problem". They have taken the problem
> under advisement.
>
> Your response opened my mind up to some new approaches to the problem.
> (One difficulty I have is that the Chilton's book from the library only
> goes to 2005, so I have to expect some differences.)


See if you can get a copy of the Official Toyota Manual.
Most 3rd party books are fairly useless.

> I was a little disappointed in the instrument panel junction box (which
> the book calls the engine room j/b). That year, the fuse layout is not
> exactly the same as even pictured on the underside of the cover. Some of
> the hoped for fuse locations are empty.
>
>
> At the fuses near the drivers knee, there is only one labelled IGN (I
> don't know if it is supposed to be IGN1 or IGN2, if it matters). And I
> could not find the ignition relay.
>
> The bottom line is that the fuses looked so clean that I hesitated to
> even pull and immediately replace amy fuse.


Big mistake, Brendan.

Even professional wrenches are sometimes fooled by a great-looking
but broken electrical parts. Please remove, inspect and test each
fuse and relay in the circuit before doing much else.

Your multimeter is your friend here.

After you remove each suspect fuse and relay in turn, carefully inspect
the contacts on the parts and in the fuse block for signs of corrosion.
All contacts should be clean and shiny.

If you can snap a picture of your junction box, I can show you where
to look for your IG2 relay. (Lower left corner of this diagram
http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/su..._129147585.gif

Also the 10th fuse down on the left side:
http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/su..._129246645.gif

The IG1 relay is located on the lower right corner of the Instrument Panel
Junction Box located under the dashboard in front of your left knee.


> Especially since the car has
> run OK for several days and several hundred miles, I figure, "if it aint
> broke, don't fix".


It's broke.

Intermittent problems like this one are the most
challenging that repair people face. You will want to familiarize
yourself with all the test points so that you can quickly isolate
the problem with your multimeter, next time it crops up.

> I still suspect the problem is something with the way the key affected
> some contacts, but you alerted me to concentrate on the different
> selector positions. For example, what if it STARTED in drive, and the
> selector returned to RUN, but then vibrated a little toward ACC?
> Unlikely, but I should keep an open mind.


Your multimeter will tell you what is going on.
Theory is great but you must gather some information first.


> Also, it brought to mind a problem a friend had years ago, with the car
> starting but not running. That was in the days before computers, when
> the START position gave the full 12 volts, but the RUN position had a
> resistor in series, so that the spark plugs would receive a lesser high
> voltage when things were running properly. all that just for reference.
>
> So at present, no further action is needed. I have a very remote hope
> that Toyota will give some response.


They will tell you, "bring in the car and we will look at it."

Please ask other Toyota owners in your area for recommendations of good
independent repair shops. I am blessed with one only 10 miles away.
http://www.yelp.com/biz/yarnell-serv...-mountain-view
http://www.yarnellsautospecialists.com/

--Winston

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Old 24 Jun 2012, 01:42 pm   #5 (permalink)
brendan welch
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Default Re: camry starting problem

I am sorry for the delay. I had kind of given up on the problem, and we
had company for over a week


> Sorry. One of the 12-pin plastic connectors that snaps into the
> Instrument Panel Junction Box is labeled II on the official
> Toyota service manual. (Page 31, Pub. EM0250U). Pin 7 of that
> connector brings 'ign' power to the rest of the car.
> You should see more than 12 VDC on that pin when the car is
> running.
> Which model? 2GR-FE or 2AZ-FE?


it is 2az-fe
>


> If you can snap a picture of your junction box,


I am from the aged, helpless, no-camera generation.
I can show you where
> to look for your IG2 relay. (Lower left corner of this diagram
> http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/su..._129147585.gif
>

The above is in the "engine room". The picture is much more correct
than what is printed inside the cover of my junction block. Indeed, it
is printed upside-down from that cover. But, my IG2 relay does not
exist in that spot, nor does the IG2 20-amp fuse exist; the spot is
also empty.
>
> Also the 10th fuse down on the left side:
> http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/su..._129246645.gif


The above is near the driver's left knee. What this picture shows is
also upside-down from what is printed on the cover. So what you have
called "10th down on left" I would call "10th up on right"; of course
it partly depends on how you perform the impossible scrunch down under
the steering wheel; I did not attempt to take off any of the dash board
to get at things while sitting in the driver's seat (like triggering the
air bag !).

I was brave enough to remove the fuse, inspect it, and replace it.
I did not do this with the engine running, because I was afraid of
generating a code, turning on the MIL light, and being unable to erase
it (which makes you fail inspection here in Massachusetts).

After that, the engine did start and run OK, as usual, here in the driveway.
>
>
> The IG1 relay is located on the lower right corner of the Instrument Panel
> Junction Box located under the dashboard in front of your left knee.
>

I cannot identify this box. Is it above the fuse block (and becoming
even more inaccessible, as I lie upside down)? There are wires,
connectors, and lots of white plastic, none of which look like the
correct thing to me, nor enticing to play with, nor easy to get at.

I still have to say, I think I am going to just leave things alone. The
only thing which is at all accessible is the IGN fuse near my knee; even
to get that out I had to open up the engine room junction box to get at
a convenient little plastic fuse puller which they store there with some
spare fuses. It is just as easy to simply inspect and/or replace that,
than carry around an ohm-meter.


> Please ask other Toyota owners in your area for recommendations of good
> independent repair shops.Do you think an independent is better than the dealer? (We used to have

an independent here in town who had some ex-Toyota-dealer techs, but the
place closed.) Our dealer (Lexington Mass.) never advertises; a
saleslady told me all their cars are sold before they arrive. My
impression is that they probably make more money these days by servicing
(at high price) everything they have sold over the years.

So again, thanks. I am sorry to disappoint the excellent help by not
following the advice. But to my mind, I am being cautious, and SO FAR
have not regretted it.

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Old 24 Jun 2012, 05:24 pm   #6 (permalink)
Winston
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Default Re: camry starting problem

brendan welch wrote:
> I am sorry for the delay. I had kind of given up on the problem, and we
> had company for over a week


No problem!

Short answers:
1. Please get recommendations of a reliable decent independent
repair shop in your area from other Toyota owners. They can
isolate and repair the intermittent quickly and relatively
painlessly. If the dealers in your area are anything like the
dealers in my area, you will want to avoid them.

2. Please pick up the factory service manual for the best possible
information.


> So again, thanks. I am sorry to disappoint the excellent help by not
> following the advice. But to my mind, I am being cautious, and SO FAR
> have not regretted it.


Good luck!

--Winston
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Old 25 Jun 2012, 12:10 am   #7 (permalink)
micky
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Default Re: camry starting problem

On Fri, 15 Jun 2012 13:41:14 -0400, brendan welch <w1lpg@uml.edu>
wrote:

>Details below, but I now suspect that I have found a "new" starting
>problem relating to the ignition key. One of the reasons is that this
>was the only time in 5 years that I have left the key in the ignition
>switch (at OFF) for several hours, just before trying to start.
>
>The car is a 2007 Camry LE, 50K miles, with never any problems.
>Battery is the original, but seems in good condition.


Posted on alt.autos.toyota.camry

If it can crank the engine long enough for the car to start, the
battery is sufficiently charged (but of course you did the right thing
at the end, letting it run to recharge the battery from what it used
when you were trying to start it.)

Weather was a
>perfect shirt-sleeve day.
>
>1)I started the car, but it ran for only a few seconds, and died.
>2)I immediately tried starting again, but now it would not start.


But it cranked? The engine turned over at a normal speed?

If not, it could be a sign of a battery problem, unrelated to how well
charged the battery is. I had a battery with a short or an open..
In my case the battery worked fine until it got quite hot, when the
voltage dropped a lot and the car would not crank at all. It took
maybe 45 minutes to cool off and then it started fine. It took me
about 5 starts over 3 days to figure out it was t he battery. .
Thatt's probaqbly not your problem since it didnt' have time to get
hot, but if the car doesn't turn over at normal speed, I'd measure
the voltage at the two battery posts. Even though they were good only
2 minutes earrlier. Lots of wierd things happen and what gets one out
of trouble is having an organized attack on the problme. Should be
12.6 volts or so when sitting idle, not trying to start.

Another diistictiion betwwen your car and mine that time is that your
car stalls after it is running. Mine didn't do that, but otoh, you
could have two problems. One the stalling and the other a bad battery
IF your car doesn't crank at your number 2.

>3)I waited a while and tried again; results same as 1)
>4)I let the car roll back a few feet in the driveway and tried again.
> Same results as 1)


That's got to be because of elapsed time. I don't think rolling the
car a few feet can do anything.

>5)I tried pumping the gas as soon as possible after it started, but to
>no effect. It died again.


I don't think pumping is so effective since cars had fuel injection.
When cars had carburetors, pumping the gas moved what was called an
accelerator pump within the carburetor. One pump stroke for every
down stroke of the accelerator pedial. You could actually look down
the throat of the carburetor and see a jet of gasoline going into the
carb when you moved the metal rod connected to the accelerator pedal.
That doesn't happen anymore, And aiui there is no point at all to
pumping the accelerator when the car isn't running. However, now,
pushing the pedal down farther when the car is running should cause
more gas to be injected in the cycllinders for as long as the pedal is
farther down. If the pedal is farther down when the car starts, also
more gas wiill be injected than if the pedal were higher.

Of course ;-) you should do this in neutral or park, or on the
highway when no one is in front of you.

>6)Finally the car started, stayed running, and correctly responded to my
>pumping the gas. I kept it running for a minute or so, just in case the
>battery needed charging from the earlier attempts (none of which was
>longer that about 6 seconds).
>
>So I borrowed an OBDC tool from my neighbor. But since the check-engine
>light never came on, there never was a code set.


It was still a good idea to check the codes. IIRC, there are
sometimes pending codes, when the computer senses a bad value but
doesn't rush to turn the light on.

>This is consistent
>with my guess that the ignition key simply disconnected.


Do you mean the ignition switch that is controlled by the key?

> The tool
>responds to show that the engine speed increases when I pump the gas.


That's because the average location of the pedal is farther down when
you put it farther down and lift it up. You could get the same
result by putting the pedal half-way between where you would normally
have the pedal and where your maximum down pump position is.
>
>I got some books from the library, but they are talking about things
>like no gas, loose connections, air leak between intake manifold and
>throttle body, none of which seem applicable.
>
>There has never been a problem before, or since (the car was driven
>several hundred miles, some of it on unpaved roads in poor weather, on


I don't think the roads or t he weather at another time make any
difference. Spark plug wires can absorb humidity and not work well,
but your car runs okay until it stallss, right.

>the next day). I would be perfectly happy, but I hate to drive around
>thinking I might be stuck in the boondocks with a dead car, all because
>of strange problems in my driveway, on just one day out of 5 years.


I agree. You should fix it.

>any ideas?


IF you're getting a manual, there are several possibile factory
manuals. I think you woululd want the 2007 Toyota Camry Electrical
Wiring Manual. That's a separate manual for my 2000, so I suppose it
is for you too. You can buy new but you can also often find them on
ebay, for less money. I find the Toryota electrical manual a lot
harder to read than Ford, GM, or Chrysler manuals, so I guarantee it
will take you quite a while to understand a lot of it.


From your second post:

>
>I was a little disappointed in the instrument panel junction box (which
>the book calls the engine room j/b). That year, the fuse layout is not
>exactly the same as even pictured on the underside of the cover.


That's a shame but not reall surprising.

>Some
>of the hoped for fuse locations are empty.
>
>
>At the fuses near the drivers knee, there is only one labelled IGN (I
>don't know if it is supposed to be IGN1 or IGN2, if it matters). And I
>could not find the ignition relay.


If there are supposed to be two ign fuses they should both be good.
You could sit with the manual for a hal hour trying to follow the
wires and figure out which does what, but basically both fuses should
be good. All your fuses should be good, and if not you should know
what doesn't work because of that. (My rear window defogger isn't
working.)
>
>The bottom line is that the fuses looked so clean that I hesitated to
>even pull and immediately replace amy fuse. Especially since the car
>has run OK for several days and several hundred miles, I figure, "if it
>aint broke, don't fix".


You can also use a voltmeter to see if both ends of the fuse are
hot,** about the same as a measurement taken right at the two battery
posts. You need to find a good ground in the passenger compartment.
IIRC, I still havent' found one in my 2000 Camry Solara. but if worst
comes to worst, I'll run a wire outsiide of the car from an engine
compartment ground. Still there must be better places near the
fusebox. I didn't have much time last fall.

**If your probes are too big to get into the little holes at each end
of the plastic top of the fuse, you can use a hat pin, corsage pin, or
the kind of straight pin that new shirts have in them, and you can
attach a piece of wire with an alligator clip to the pin head, and the
other end of the wire to one of the voltmeter (mulitmeter) probles.
Radio Shack sells a bag of 10 in five different colers for 3 or 4
dollars. They have loads of uses.
>
>I still suspect the problem is something with the way the key affected
>some contacts,


So jiiggle the key when the car is running to see if it stops, and
when it is about to stop to see if it starts up again. That might
show something. Although I still don't know why you suspect the
ignition switch. Did you ever say?

Heavy keyrings have been known to cause ignition switch problems in
some cars, not especially toyotas, but that's very heavy and after
years.

>but you alerted me to concentrate on the different
>selector positions. For example, what if it STARTED in drive, and the


You mean started in Start.

>selector returned to RUN, but then vibrated a little toward ACC?
>Unlikely, but I should keep an open mind.
>
>Also, it brought to mind a problem a friend had years ago, with the car
>starting but not running. That was in the days before computers, when
>the START position gave the full 12 volts, but the RUN position had a
>resistor in series,


Ah, you do know things. That was called the ballast resistor, and it
was out of the ignition primary circuit for Start and in the circuit
for Run.

> so that the spark plugs would receive a lesser high
>voltage when things were running properly. all that just for reference.
>
>So at present, no further action is needed. I have a very remote hope
>that Toyota will give some response.
>


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Old 25 Jun 2012, 12:47 pm   #8 (permalink)
brendan welch
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Default Re: camry starting problem


> 2. Please pick up the factory service manual for the best possible
> information.
>


On Ebay, the service repair wiring manual goes for about $40,

but the factory service repair manual goes for about $8.

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Old 25 Jun 2012, 04:57 pm   #9 (permalink)
Winston
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Default Re: camry starting problem

brendan welch wrote:
>
>> 2. Please pick up the factory service manual for the best possible
>> information.
>>

>
> On Ebay, the service repair wiring manual goes for about $40,
>
> but the factory service repair manual goes for about $8.


That is somewhat better than the $1400 I paid for the 5 volume set.

--Winston

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