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1993 Toyota Camry DX with 170,000 miles won't start after replacing starter

Last week the coil went out. The housing had several cracks, and the heavy oil had filled the distributor cap. So the coil, rotor, and distributor cap were replaced. About 4 days later, all my engine would do was make a grating sound when I turned the key. My boyfriend said that it sounded like my starter had gone. It wouldn’t start with hitting it or anything. So, he and I, while trying to save some money because we’re both on disability, replaced the starter. Now, when I turn the key, nothing happens! We’re pretty sure the battery is dead. We have it on a trickle charge right now. But a funny thing happened, all of a sudden the open door alarm started going off! The door had been open for several minutes when it started. So we think that it may be a short. The starter relay, when you look at it, has a spot of corrosion on the indicator. Tomorrow we’re going to try cleaning them. It got too late to do it today. Other than that, does anyone else have any suggestions? Thank you for reading my post.

Take the battery for free testing at your local store. You may just not have enough cranking amps to push the starter. Even fully charged it may not have enough power in amps to run the starter if it is bad. For the last ten years the plates in batteries have gotten thinner. This causes even warm weather failure as they get old. I just replaced a 5 year old battery in the middle of summer. Testing showed less than 1/3 the rated cranking amps of the battery new. Second time I have chased a warm weather starter failure, back to the battery. Never used to happen.

The car alarm is likely going off because it goes from having a dead battery to a semi-charged battery. All alarms do that. That’s an effect of trickling your dead battery.
Does your car disable the starter when an alarm condition is detected?

Did he hook both wires to the starter? There’s one fat one and a thin one.

Here’s my guess. The coil problem took a while to figure out. In that time the starter was used a lot to crank over the motor that wouldn’t start.

This will sometimes overheat and ruin a starter. And it will also run down the battery. You definately had a run down battery. Not sure if your original starter was bad or not. You’ll need to be sure the new starter is installed and wired in correctly. Once the battery is recharged (or replaced if needed) your starter should crank the motor. Whether it will start and run depends on whether you have cleared all the issues from the leaking coil. If the car was running OK for the 4 days after the coil repair you should be back in business.

Could be anything from a bad or discharged battery, corroded battery connections, ignition key switch, clutch or neutral start switch, starter relay, starter selenoid, or the starter itself. After doing the easy stuff (make sure the battery is good and fully charged and the connections are clean and tight), after that themost likely problem would be the starter motor itself or the starter selenoid (usually part of the starter motor). If you got a remanufactured starter motor, that would be my guess from what you say. Any good auto-mechanic should be able to trace out the wring and with a few diagnostic test tell you what the problem is.