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Battery gone or what else

I started my 2001 camry this morning and noticed that it did not start at the first try as it normally does. What’s more, i also found it reset my clock and radio. Anybody has a suggestion?

You need to give us a lot more detail.

Did it start on the second try, or did it not start at all?

When it did not start, did you hear the starter running, or did you hear no noise from the starter?

Did you hear a clicking noise while turning the key?

Is this the original battery?

How many miles are on the odometer?

It did start on the 2nd try.

When it did not start, I do hear the car cranking and starter running

No clicking noise when key was turned

This is the 2nd battery, on for about 4 years now

92000 miles

Thanks for responding to my message

When were the spark plugs last replaced?

never. I was thinking of doing so. I am still getting about 25~27 mpg combined

Time for new plugs. Your mileage may increase with new spark plugs.

92,000 miles is certainly time for new plugs and you might want to try new wires as well. I don’t recommend going over 50,000 miles with plugs, even long life plugs. They tend to freeze and can be very difficult to remove without damaging the engine.

Since you did not replace those spark plugs on schedule, that makes me wonder about how many other maintenance procedures you have skipped. It is time to open the glove compartment, take out the Owner’s Manual, and take a good hard look at the Toyota Maintenance Schedule contained in the manual.

As some examples of skipped maintenance that will cause much more inconvenience than an engine that starts reluctantly, if you have not had your coolant, transmission fluid, and brake fluid changed, you can look forward to expensive and potentially dangerous failures in those systems. An engine that starts poorly is inconvenient. Brakes that fail can be fatal and cooling system and transmission failures can be very expensive.

Even if you never before looked at that maintenance schedule, it will be to your financial benefit if you begin to utilize it.

Take a look at the battery terminals. If there is any sign of corrosion on the cable clamps or battery posts, clean them up. Also check the voltage across the cable clamps under cranking load. If the voltage is dropping below 9 volts DC while cranking, that could lead to a no start condition.

BTW the clock resetting is an indication that the vehicle voltage fell low enough that the clock’s memory was lost. Did the radio presets reset at the same time?

Thank you all for the service advices. I am gonna do some tune ups.

The battery terminals looks good, no rust. The radio and the clock reset at the same time. I will check the battery voltage wehn cranking.

Things are getting more interesting now. I was astounded to find black oil in #1 and #3 spark plug wells. It was particular bad in #1 well, where the oil totally socked the end of the wire rub hood. I heard the noise just like pulling your foot out from mud. I smell burning rubber from #1 wire. I cleaned up both and installed new spark plugs anyway. I took particular attention to clean my tools and the spark plug wire and made sure no deposit was on the electrical contact either on the wires and the new park plugs. Fortunately, the car still starts, idles and runs fine. It is beyond my imagination how oil can get in there, and not in each of the plug well. Any suggestions?

My gut feeling was right. It was the battery. Although it still measures 12.6 V overnight. But I guess the cranking sucked up all the juice and caused the radio to reset. I put in a new battery, everything is OK now.

Oil in the well suggests that the valve cover is leaking into the tubes. The voltage drop that rest your clock is a wire/connection issue. Clean both battery connections and the places where those wires connect to(just the large wires. Also inspect the cable at the battery end where it goes into the lead mounting lug. Corrosion here can be tough to see.