2014 Toyota Camry Hybrid - Won't start sometimes

Camry Hybrid sometimes will not start. press the brake pedal and it never gets to the ready green light.
have changed the brake switch and auxiliary battery and new batteries in the fob. everything works electrically. intermittent problem.

What happens when it doesn’t start? Do you hear that rrr rrrr rrrr sound, but it won’t catch and run? Or no rrr rrr rr sound, but a click instead? Or no sound at all?

I have a 2014 Toyota Camry Hybrid LE that has intermittent start problems.

This is what happens.

started after 7 attempts
started after 12 attempts
started after 10 attempts
multiple attempts – after 2 hours of waiting and checking again – it finally started
multiple attempts for 1 hour – no start at all - walked home. went back and it started.
This is over a years time.

Read a lot of info on Toyota Forums.
Replaced the brake switch on the brake pedal.
Replaced the 12 volt battery.
Replaced batteries in the fobs.

Here is what I found on the internet.

Top Causes of Intermittent Start problems in push to start buttons

1. Defective steering interlock release module.

  1. CAN bus communication fault (should set a “U” diagnostic trouble code).

  2. If the engine does not crank when the button is depressed, it could be a conventional electrical problem such as a dead car battery, bad starter relay or solenoid, bad starter or a fault in the starter circuit wiring harness.

  3. If the engine cranks but does not start, and the anti-theft light is not flashing, the fault is not likely in the push button start system. Check for fuel problems (bad fuel pump, fuel pump relay, plugged fuel filter, no gas in tank), ignition problems (like a bad crank sensor or ignition control module), or a mechanical problem (broken timing belt or broken teeth on flywheel).

5. Defective brake or clutch pedal position switch (or fault in the switch wiring harness).

6. Transmission not in Park (or Neutral).

7. Defective Park/Neutral safety switch.

  1. Driver does not have the smart fob with them (forgot it), or has wrong fob for the car (if they own several cars with push button start systems).

  2. Smart fob has a problem (defective transponder, low or dead battery, or fob code is out of sync or is corrupted). You may see an error message that says, “fob not recognized.”Check/replace the fob battery first to see if that cures problem. If not, the fob may need to be reprogrammed or replaced.

  3. Vehicle antenna(s) does not recognize the smart fob (wiring problem or defective keyless antenna control module). You may get an error message that says, “fob not recognized.”Check signal strength with scan tool.

  4. Defective push button (or fault in push button wiring harness).


Great as this new technology is, like any other electronic gadgetry, things can and will go wrong. A common complaint is intermittent operation of the push start system. Usually the system works fine, but, sometimes, nothing happens when the start button is pressed.

On some Volkswagen Passat and other models, the same kind of intermittent operation complaint usually has a different cause. On the VW applications, the problem isn’t the brake pedal switch, but a faulty *ignition column immobilizer module.

Other oddities we’ve heard vehicle owners complain about with certain keyless push button start systems is that the smart fob may not always be recognized by the car when the fob is inside the car. The fob may have to be moved around until it can be “seen” by the inside antenna. Others have complained that the fob may be adversely affected by a nearby cell phone (we don’t know if that’s possible or not, but we wouldn’t rule it out entirely when trying to diagnose an intermittent no-start condition).

Hybrid does not have a cranking motor, no sound when pressing the start button.

Hybrid goes electric until 25 mph. then gas engine kicks in.

We are going to try moving the steering wheel left and right while trying to start if the READY green light does not show up.
And yes when you step on brake there is a electronic whrrrr sound that means the car is ready for the next step.
sometimes the whrrr sound never happens.
So we think maybe the steering column has another sensor that must release before it will start.

If there is tension on the steering lock preventing release, “Steering lock active” will be shown in the information display. Turn the steering wheel to release tension.

First step; check for green light/orange light in the start button with brake applied.

I just went out to the car.

of course it is starting now.
No tension on the steering lock.
No warning coming up that steering lock is still engaged.
The start button does not have a light (green or yellow).
The Ready Light is in the screen when on green.
Usually the initial whrrr when stepping on brake pedal is shorter duration than when
the Ready Light does come on.
When the Ready Light does come on it is usually a longer whrrrrrrr.
With the key in the car and the brake pedal depressed, all the normal indicator lights come on,
the key with the wifi symbol shows in the center (below the 80MPH), But when pushing the
Start Button, nothing happens…Silence.

Communication problem, loose wire, steering wheel could just be in the wrong place and keeps the signal off?

All the car places want to check it out with their diagnosis tools, but they also want it not to start
which may never happen while in the shop.
I like to figure problems out before I take it to a shop (or Toyota) if possible so I can
give them some ideas of the problem and what I have already tried.
Thanks for any input.

Sorry OP, thought your complaint was about the gasoline engine part for your fails to start problem. No experience with the hybrid won’t move problem… except that one of my neighbor’s has a Tesla, and it makes a whirring sound at first, said it was the air conditioner.