05 camry rough idle then dies after being hit

My 05 toyota camry was hit on the right passenger side. The car set for a month while the fender was replaced. When I cranked the car it idled really rough so I turned it off immediately and checked the oil. It was empty so I put new oil in. The car ran fine for a couple days then it died at a red light but cranked back up. The battery light came on and when I stopped and turned the car off it would not crank back up. After getting jumper cables I was able to get it back running but the whole way home the battery light was coming on and the windows moved very slow. I assumed it was the alternator. I bought a new one and put it on. Turned the car on and it idled rough for about 5 minutes and then bogged down and died. No battery light no check engine light. Only a maintenance light.
Any clues what it could be? I also noticed this loose wire.

It looks like a ground cable. probably to the alternator. follow it to the other end and see what it hooks up too. either way you need to reattach it. if its the ground to the alternator it will not charge your battery causing your car engine to die.


From what I could tell it was just going to the motor not the alternator. The battery is reading 12 volts.

was repair done on your own dime or via insurance?

if insurance was involved, I would raise it to them, it will likely to be rolled into the list of damages not discovered upon initial inspection and resolved

where ever the ground wire goes, its hard to tell from picture. but it needs to be connected back up. its part of the problem. but I would be more concerned why there was no oil. like thegreendragon said if it was done through insurance I would call them.

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The Idle Air Control valve may be dirty/defective.


Kind of looks like a ground wire that is not connected. No idea why that would be disconnected because of a right side hit.

At this point what I would be concerned with is your comment about checking the oil and finding it empty. How much new oil did you add?

As a bystander and if I heard that story I would say run an oil pressure and compression test to make sure that engine is even worth dinking around with.
If the engine is fairly dry on the outside this means the lack of oil is on you and not related to a collision.


What is the oil level now? Are there any leaks, oil puddles under the car?

What caused you to think the alternator was bad? What is the battery voltage with the engine off (should be ~12.5), If you can get it started what is the voltage when the car is running (should be ~13+)

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12 volts is too low. As mentioned above the battery should measure about 12.6 volts before the first start of the day, and 13.5-15.5 immediately after starting the engine. If it is only measuring 12.0 volts, either the batter is bad, the alternator is bad, or the alternator just hasn’t had enough time to charge the battery back up after the one month in the shop. You may need to charge the battery overnight with a battery charger.

btw, your discovery of no oil in the crankcase is concerning. Once you’ve confirmed the battery and alternator are good, if you continue to have problems you’ll have to consider the possibility that major engine damage has occurred at some point, due to the no-oil condition. Shops know how to check for this, compression tests, etc.

Could this cause it to die when the air it cut off? Went out there this morning after fixing the wire and replacing bolts on the air filter box and turned it on. Idled between half and one. Seemed fine. Turned the air on and see if anything happened. It was fine until I turned the air off and then it choked down and died. Tried it again but turned it off from low. Still died.


Clean the throttle body. Those old systems can be very slow to adapt to the correct idle speed after a battery disconnect.