2001 Toyota camry acts like it won't start and then barely starts

My 2001 Toyota camry has twice just barely started. The car normally starts just fine but thease 2 times after I had been driving and making frequent stops and starts then the car barely turns over when I try to start it. Both times I did manage to get it started and then it ran fine and when I stopped it at home it restarted fine. Each time I also noticed that the clock had reset itself. There was a period of about 3 weeks between the two times it did this. Both days that this happened it was very hot outside. Does anyone have any ideas why this is happening?

How old is the battery? Have you removed the battery clamps and clean them, the posts, and tightened them appropriately?

The battery is 3 years old and the cables dont look corroded.

It’s the connection between the cable and battery that may be (slightly) corroded, it wouldn’t be obvious. Once the two connections are cleaned you might visit a car parts shop and ask them to check your battery and charging system. At 3 years your battery is entering middle to old age, depending…

I agree. It could be the battery or the connections to the battery. To eliminate the negative connection, try this next time it won’t start:
Take a set of booster cables and using ONLY the negative side (BLACK) of the booster cable. Leave the positive (RED) cable alone.
Hook one end of the black cable to the NEGATIVE battery terminal.
Hook the other side of the black cable to any larger metal piece on the engine.
If the car now starts without a problem, you have a bad connection on the negative lead on the battery or any of the ground connections between the battery to the frame or from the frame to the engine.
If hooking that black cable makes no difference, you may have a problem with the positive connection on the battery (likely) or where it goes to the fusebox and starter -or- you have a bad battery (also likely).

I think the battery is discharged and needs a full charge. If you drive infrequently and only a few miles when you do drive, then the battery isn’t getting fully recharged from lack of driving. I think you need to hook the battery up to a trickle charger, or a 1 amp charger, until it reaches a full charge. You might need to do this every few months to keep the battery fully charged. A battery in a low state of charge needs a good 1 - 2 hour highway drive to get fully recharged. If you rarely make such long trips, then it is very likely the battery is fine but not fully charged.

Heat is the biggest cause of battery failure. I work as a Toyota tech and I’ve replaced more batteries on the last 2 weeks than the previous 6 months. I have very seldom seen corrosion cause a starting issue, but if its there, clean it and if thr connections arent tight, tighten them!!! When it’s hot, things expand including the plates inside of your battery, causing an open cell, but at that point your starter wouldn’t turn at all. Make SURE you have the alternator checked. Just because the battery light isn’t on doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have a bad diode. One last thought, assuming its a 4 cylinder, have the egr checked by pushing the diaphragm up, at which point it will stall or run very rough. Not likely given your description, but it’s common if its stuck up, it’ll be hard to start or impossible ;unless you whack it with a hammer. So buy a battery, make sure connections are tight, and check alternator output. That should fix it. Sorry to digress to the egr, but I’m trying to think out of the box. And like someone else said, if the car is seldom driven, consider a trickle charger or even a solar trickle charger. Good luck!

One last thought, make sure your battery hold down us right on the battery so that it can’t rattle or wiggle around when you hit bumps. That’ll cause premature battery failure from broken connections between the plates inside.

Have the battery checked ( WHEN ITS HOT )…had same symptoms with my Mustang GT…Start up cold no problem, if I would run into a store for about 10 or 15 minutes engine would barely crank. Volt meter on dash dropped to about 8 volts…Checking with a hydometer found one weak cell, thats all it takes as the other 5 checked good… The last time it happened I had to push start it by myself and off I went for a new battery. When you are retired and 63 years old you really don’t feel like pushing a car …LOL… Howie in Hot FL.