Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

2012 Toyota Camry - Battery trouble

2012 Toyota Camry 19,000 miles. Battery is dead every time I try to start the car. Have had it to the dealer too many times to count and they have never been able to find out what is wrong with it. Have had 6 new batteries put in it so far. Had a security system installed by the dealer when I bought it new. Finally had that removed but didn’t help. I can go out and jump it and drive it and then go back out 30 minutes later and it will not start. Can put a new battery in it and it will not start the next day. Obviously a short somewhere but since the dealer has not been able to find it for years, where do I go from here? Please help!!!

Another car repair shop.

1 Like

First off… stop going to this dealer. They clearly are not very good at their job and there is no reason to bring a 2012 car there.

Second… 19,000 miles? really? That is 3100 miles a year or 60 miles a week. Maybe 4 miles each trip 7 days a week. So you don’t drive it very much or very far, correct?

I’d say you are not driving it enough to keep the battery charged. Take it to a well-rated independent shop and let them do a parasitic draw test. If the car passes that, I’d ask them about installing a battery tender (an automatic charger) that can keep the battery charged up between uses.


You almost certainly have a parasitic draw

And a MASSIVE one at that

First things first . . .

Make sure all doors, trunk lid and hood are closing properly

Make sure no dome lights, map lights, reading lights, etc. are left on

Anything permanently plugged into the cigarette lighter or power port? . . . some cigarette lighters and power ports are hot 24/7, and this has been known to cause problems, depending on what you leave plugged in. FYI . . . even those tiny leds on the usb chargers can eventually draw down the battery

There’s no reason to go back to the dealer

The car is long out of warranty, and the dealership has a higher labor rate than most good independent shops

And they clearly aren’t good enough to sort out this problem.

You might want to ask your friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc. if they have a trusted independent shop that they’ve been using . . .

Did the dealer at least check out the charging system?


Keep in mind that your alternator could be damaged by now by repeatedly having to charge near-dead batteries. They’re not designed for that.

I suggest that you go to a good auto electrical shop and have them test your charging system and look for a parasitic draw.