DIY - Do It Yourself Within you will find how-to's on many aspects of modding and caring for your ride as told by your fellow members.

1989 Camry Starting Problem

  #1  
Old 08-02-2010, 10:27 PM
Junior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 6
Default 1989 Camry Starting Problem

Hi everyone,

I'm new to this forum, but definitely not new to Camrys. My family has bought three Camrys new, and has put a lot of miles on them. My Camry is a 1989 with almost 300k miles. It's far from pristine at this point, but it's generally mechanically sound. It runs fine, passes smog (in California), and gets about 25 mpg in mixed driving.

The one major problem it does have is starting. For the last few months, the car won't start on the first crank (or sometimes even the second or third turn of the key). Every time I try to start the car, it sounds like it's going to start. I can hear the starter turning even when the car doesn't start. And the starter is less than two years old; so I don't think the starter is the problem.

It always starts eventually, but not easily. It's quite a noisy procedure; and I'm growing weary of having everyone around look at me while the car tries to start.

So, any thoughts on what else might cause this sort of starting problem?
 
  #2  
Old 08-03-2010, 10:41 AM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: PTW
Posts: 11,620
Default

Can you describe the procedure and why it is noisy?
 
  #3  
Old 08-03-2010, 12:51 PM
Junior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 6
Default

Well, the procedure is exactly as I described. I turn the key the first time, the car cranks. It keeps cranking as long as I hold the key, but won't start. Then, I turn it over again, and generally the same thing happens. The third or fourth time it generally turns over - though not easily.

It's noisy because cranking a car to start for more than a few seconds is noisy. It's going rrrrrrr.....rrrrrrr....rrrrrr rather loudly and constantly for maybe 30 seconds to a minute before I get it to start.
 
  #4  
Old 08-04-2010, 03:35 PM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: PTW
Posts: 11,620
Default

Does the engine have the same starting issues when hot or cold?

What happens when the engine is running well then shut off and immediately restarted?

Once the engine starts how is the idle RPM, steady, too low, to high?

What engine model?
 
  #5  
Old 08-04-2010, 06:00 PM
Junior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 6
Default

Thanks for the responses, toyomoho.

It's a 3SFE engine.

If I shut it off after the car is warmed up and then immediately restart it, it starts easier - generally on the first or second try - but only if I restart it in less than a minute.

The problem is far worse cold, but that doesn't mean it starts easily warm. Once warm, it sometimes starts on the first crank; almost always on the second. When cold, it takes anywhere from 2-5 tries to start.

Once running, the idle is steady and neither too high or too low.
 
  #6  
Old 08-05-2010, 09:56 AM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: PTW
Posts: 11,620
Default

It might be the cold start injector system. This system injects more fuel into the engine through a separate injector or valve when the engine is "cold."

I think the system uses a time switch, the time switch tells the injector how long to run. This switch could be bad, thus the injector never turns on. The timer is triggered with the ign switch.

The AutoZone website may have something about this system in the sites vehicle repair guide section.

The injector looks like the item in photo at the link below:

http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=932898

The timer has 2 wires and is installed into the cars cooling system much like any other coolant sensor.
 
  #7  
Old 08-06-2010, 08:39 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 13
Default

For hard starting problems, I would suggest you start by focusing on the ignition system by replacing the plugs, ignition wires and fuel filter. Basically a simple tuneup. With respect to the noise after 30 seconds of initial startup, from my experience, that's probability you idler pulley bearing for your timing belt.

Good Luck
 
  #8  
Old 08-25-2010, 03:25 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 12
Default

I agree with you on that.. Better to check the ignition wires. I had a similar experience before and the ignition wire set was all it needed.
 

Last edited by mikeross; 08-30-2010 at 08:44 PM.
  #9  
Old 12-14-2011, 12:40 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 2
Angry 1989 toyota camry starting problems

I have a 1989 toyota camry 4 cyl. Since jan. this past year I've had on and off problems starting the car (no click or turn over, would start after 1-5 minutes, has brand new battery and the lights,horn ,radio,etc all come on). In end of Sept.,the car wouldnt start for 2 hours, so I got a new starter put in. Within 2 days, the same problem again. I discovered that if the car wouldnt start with just a key turn, I could jump the battery and it would start. So between the car either starting right away or jumping it I used this method till Dec..Gradually it would take longer for the car to start even with the jumps, up to hours. . I took it to the mechanic, he cleaned the starter solenoid contacts, turned the car on and off all day, and said it was fine. I drove it for 2 day using my same starting techniques, then the car wouldnt start even with a jump for a whole night. Towed it home and the next morning got it started with first jump. Havnt used the car in a week due to fear of being stranded. What can the problem be...everything else on car runs perfect.
 
  #10  
Old 12-14-2011, 01:35 PM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: PTW
Posts: 11,620
Default

The starter system is pretty contained.

A large cable runs from the battery to one side of the starter solenoid electrical switch. The other side of the switch is connected to the starter motor. When the ign switch is turned to start position power runs through the ign switch to the starter solenoid magnetic coil to energize it and pull the switch closed. Power then runs from the battery to the starter motor.

Issues that can effect starter operation.

Bad battery cable connections at the battery.

Bad connections between the battery cable connector and cable itself.

Bad ground for negative battery wire.

There should be some kind of electrical ground cable running between the engine and chassis to act as a negative ground for the starter. Make sure it is still there and OK.

Ign system circuit that powers the solenoid is not working the result is no power is getting to the starter solenoid coil when the ign switch is turned to start. Make sure the starter solenoid is getting power from this source when the key is turned to start. This is the very small diameter wire connected to the solenoid.

It is very possible the possible the large battery cables may look OK but have enough ohm resistance that it effects the battery current available at the starter motor.

Check all of the above.

A search on Google of "testing car battery cables with an ohm meter" will find hits on how to check the battery cables for excess ohm resistance.
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: 1989 Camry Starting Problem


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.