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2000 camry engine stops

Old 01-08-2013, 09:20 AM
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Default 2000 camry engine stops

My 2000 Toyota Camry has wired problem. It has the problem for 10 years since I bought this car salvage title in 2002.
Every time I disconnect battery to do maintenance and connect it back, and starts the car, engines stops after 30 seconds or sometimes after 3 minutes or 5 minutes when it was running on the road.
When I try to restart the car, nothing happens. There is no check engine light and starter motor does not turn. But I can see oil light on in the dash panel. Obviously there is no power to starter motor.
So what I had to do is to disconnect the battery or disconnect the main engine replay, and it starts and runs again. Then, it shut off by itself after 1 or 2 minutes.
I thought it was connection problem, and cleaned battery connector, and even changed the main engine relay. It did not help. But once it settles down after 10 times connect and disconnecting hassle, it will keep working fine for many month or one year if I do not touch battery.
Toyo dealer told me that there is no security thing installed on this model.
OBD scanner error : Link Error
What can be the problem?
Old 01-10-2013, 10:45 AM
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There could be more then one problem.

If armed a Toyota brand security system would allow the engine to turn over but not start. Disconnecting and reconnecting the battery would activate the system.

You might look for installed aftermarket security systems. If equipped there may be a switch or push button under the dash to reset the system. There may also be non-factory wiring located under the steering column plastic covers behind the steering wheel. This systems can disable the starter motor system.

If no alarm systems are installed the starter motor system would work independently of any computer nor would be monitored by the self diagnostic system.

If nothing happens when trying to start the car AND the car does not have an aftermarket alarm system that my disable the starter then check the starter system.

First make sure when attempting to start the engine to have the trans in Park or Neutral (try both) or have the clutch depressed.

For the starter motor to operate, the starter solenoid needs to receive power from two different sources then convey battery power to the starter motor.

One source is the battery where a large cable runs from the pos terminal to the starter solenoid. This power would operate the starter motor.

The other source powers the starter solenoid coil to energize it and close the switch connecting battery power to the starter motor. This solenoid power comes from the battery through the ign switch (when turned to start), then goes to a park/neutral or clutch switch to a small starter relay then to the starter solenoid.

You can bypass the above circuit by connecting a small diameter section of wire between the pos battery terminal and the small wire terminal on the starter solenoid. When the small terminal is touched by the wire the starter motor should operate.

Or use a voltmeter to measure for 12 DC power at the small wire when ign key is turned to start, trans in park or neutral or clutch pushed. If no power this is a problem in this circuit.

Sometimes the switch terminals inside the starter solenoid burn and make bad contact resulting in either no starter operation or a clicking noise. You connect a battery jumper cable between the pos battery terminal and touch the other end to the large electrical terminal on the starter motor or starter solenoid terminal whose large diameter cable goes to the motor. This will bypass the starter solenoid and starter relay circuit. If the starter motor is OK, it will engage.

On it 2002 it may not do any good to disconnect the battery in an attempt to reset the computer. It might do more harm then good as the engine may run rough for a time before returning to normal. Suggest not continuing to disconnect the battery, but wait until the problem cures itself.

The link error may be due to bad wiring or a bad computer. A bad computer has caused failure to be able to link up with the scanner but still allow the engine to run.

If replacing the computer, find one that has the exact same part number. Ebay often list computers for reasonable prices.
Old 01-14-2013, 08:19 AM
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Default Can this be bad connection somewhere?

let me re-clarify
when the car shutdown the engine when it is runing, there is no battery light, and check engine in the dashboard. the only is I can see is oil light. So I can not start the car because there is no electricity to starter motor.
There is no factory security system or 3rd party one either.

What could be the problem? can this be bad EFI relay ?
I also suspect there is short somewhere that causes engine shutdown because I remember I slam close the hood then that kind of problem acted up.

should a car shutdown engine if the starter soloniod has problem?

I am just guessing. I know nothing about electricity stuff. So Please ignore what I say if it does not make sense.
Thanks toyomoho,


Last edited by aachejx; 01-14-2013 at 08:57 AM.
Old 01-14-2013, 09:54 AM
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Lets say the engine quits and the ign key is STILL in the on position. Are you stating the only dash light illuminated is the oil pressure light, no other dash lights are on?

If you move the ign key to off then back to on do another dash lights illuminate?

Given the above situation (engine died and key in on position) what still works? Head or taillights, brake lights, radio, horn, heater blower, if you open the door does the open door chime work, window wipers, cig lighter, power windows?

If you then move the gear shifter to Park or Neutral gear (assuming an auto trans) and turn the ign key to start, what happens. Nothing, a click, engine turns over. etc?

Power from the battery splits off into various circuits. The EFI really is one of these circuit. The EFI controls the fuel injectors and ign coils. Has nothing to do with the starter solenoid circuit.

A bad EFI really could cause the engine to quit and not restart, but would not prevent the engine from turning over when the ign key was turned to start.

The starter solenoid circuit only engages when the ign key is turned to start. It is independent of the other circuits such as EFI relay.
Old 01-14-2013, 02:32 PM
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Yeah, My key was still in the same position when engine shutdown by it self, and oil light was the only light.I do not turn on headlight but headlight and door light, seat belt sight and horns and everything worked but battery light and check engine light. to start the engine, there must be check engine and battery light ready.
But I did not see them and twisted key to start, nothing happened.
Until I disconnect the negative side of battery, battery and check engine light would not return to normal. I do remember long time ago that I tried shifting gears around, but the same thing.
once I reconnect the battery, and start the car, it starts and shutoff after 30 seconds, sometimes can stay for 3 minutes, sometimes car runs for 15 minutes then stops at any time.
Last year I take out the starter motor and checked every connection to find any short to
battery. It was fine.
Now the car runs fine. It acted up Feb, 2012, then couple of days ago.
So I do not know when I could happen on the freeway.
I thought it may be because of bad main engine relay, and changed a couple of main relays , result was the same thing.
if I am very sure that is the computer problem, then I may have to buy one and go to the dealer to program it. But I have no idea.

Thanks Joey,

Old 01-14-2013, 10:03 PM
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What type of engine does the car have, 4 cylinder or V6 as the wiring is slightly different?

You may have more then one problem.

In the previous post I listed tests you can conduct to check the starter which will bypass the ign key, starter relay, etc. The results of these test will show if there is there is starter solenoid or motor problem or something in the starter circuit including the Park/Neutral switch.

Check operation of the wiper, turn signals and heater as this circuit receiver power from the same source as the Gauge fuse that power the dash lights.

Does the gear indicator lights on the dash work, these are also powered by the Gauge fuse as is the check engine light, oil pressure, cruise control, seat belt, brake, O/D and other lights.

The engine computer could have something to do with the check engine light but not the oil pressure, brake light, battery, etc.
Old 01-15-2013, 09:18 AM
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my car is 4 cylinder one.
what can be the possible cause for shuting down the engine by itsef?
To do these test I have to disconnect battery which can cause engine-shutdown problem. once the problem activates,
1. I will do your recomendation test( all the light test).

I will do fowwing test too when the car engine shutdown by iteself.
2. connecting a battery [COLOR=blue !important][COLOR=blue !important]jumper[/COLOR][/COLOR] cable between the pos battery terminal and touch the other end to the large electrical terminal on the starter motor
3. connecting a small diameter section of wire between the pos battery terminal and the small wire terminal on the starter solenoid

I think I may have chance to do this weekend because i need to drive this car everyday to work.
I will post result for you.

Many many thanks to you


Last edited by aachejx; 01-15-2013 at 09:24 AM.
Old 01-15-2013, 04:27 PM
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When doing the connection keep in mind the battery outputs a lot of amps. Be very careful about not touching the end of the positive cable to ground. If access is too limited at the starter to risk grounding the cable, connect the cable the starter terminal first then touch the other end to the positive battery terminal.

Do the small wire test first, if the starter now runs no need for the other test. By doing this test first you need only use a small diameter wire, not a large battery cable. This test will bypass the ign key, starter relay (not starter solenoid) Park/Neutral switch, wiring, etc.
Old 02-02-2013, 03:25 PM
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Default Tested did not work.

Hey Joey,

I tested every light and everything that you let me test when the engine shut off by itself and there was no battert light and check engine light.
except check engine and battery light every light came on and radio, turn signal, headlight, gear light and every light worked.
but I had to reset the main engine relay to get the check engine and battery light so that I can start the car.
It starts fine but just shuts off after 10 senconds or sometimes one minutes, or longer.
now it seems I have to reset the main engine relay many times to make engine runs normal.
Today I could not even make the car engines runing normal.
I thought I could be a ignition coil problem. I changed the secondary one, and still no go. changed primary one first time and the same result.

I tested your suggestion about connecting directly to the battery, and no luck. engine shuts off in a second. It seems it causes more problem.
as long as battery light and check engine light are ready, then car starts fine. does that mean ignition relay is fine?
My big question is why there is no battery light when engine shut off by itself?

Many Thanks,


Last edited by aachejx; 02-02-2013 at 03:29 PM.
Old 02-03-2013, 07:36 AM
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try to look at this page that might help you out...

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