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1990 Toyota Camry Wagon Starter Relay problem

Our car has intermittent starting problem which may be related to the starter relay - a guess - but to diagnose the problem, we have removed what we think is the starter relay - according to the wiring diagram and pictures - and the car still starts. What could be the problem, and why does the car start with the “starter relay” removed?

Well, what you removced must not be what we commonly call the starter relay. A common problem with Toyota starters is that the contacts within the starter solenoid (on the starter) wear out and create an intermittant start problem. If you’re handy, you can remover the starter, take off the solenoid, and replace the 3 contact (google ‘toyota starter contacts’ for instructions). Or you coulr replace the starter, or take it to a mechanic that knows Toyotas.

“Theres something happening here, what it is aint exactly clear.”

I would think your Camry start circuit would be wired the same as my 87 Ranger.

Heres how the Ranger is wired:

Positive battery cable connects to starter relay.

Starter relay connects to starter.

A smaller wire connects from relay to neutral safety switch.

And neutral safety switch connects to the ignition switch.

Is this what your start circuit wiring diagram shows??

BTW, when my Ranger would intermitantly not crank a flaky starter relay was the culprit.

12 bucks for a new relay & problem solved.

Thank you both for your replies. We will try these suggestions but our main puzzle is - exactly where is this starter relay located in this car?? Is it in the engine compartment, on the starter? It is not located in the circuit panel above the battery. We can’t find it anywhere. Thanks.

We cleaned the contacts in the starter solenoid, and it seems to work - or so far so good. Thanks for your help and for this wonderful forum - a great way to kill time!