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2002 Toyota Camry - Starting issues

Car would not start. Dead as a door nail but not the battery. Tried to jump start anyway, but nothing happened. Would not turn over, no clicking sounds. Nothing. I sat for 15 minutes waiting for the tow truck, got bored and tried one more time. It started.
What should I do?

Take the car to your local independent mechanic, tell them what happened. I would guess it is your ignition switch

If the vehicle has an automatic transmission, and the next time the engine won’t start, with the dash lights on, step on the brake pedal and shift the transmission into neutral, and then try starting the engine.

If the engine starts, the problem is with the park/neutral safety switch.


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Sounds like a worned-out starter to me.You can buy a starter repair kit on ebay for less than $20 The kit comes with 2 copper contacts and a plunger.Your starter will work like new after this 10 minute job.


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My vote’s with @COROLLAGUY1 - same thing happened to my '96, it was the contacts.

To differentiate between a problem w/the starter or something upstream (like the ignition switch or safety switch), ask your shop to measure the voltage at both starter motor terminals during attempted cranking. If both measure at least 10.5 volts (from terminal to starter case) and it doesn’t crank the engine, the starter motor is the culprit. Most folks would just replace the entire ass’y, but it is often possible as mentioned above to repair a starter motor also. I’ve done that myself.