Car not starting with new battery

98 Camry with 191,000 miles. A starting a few months ago from time to time when key turned the car would click and not start. After 3-4 trys it started. Battery was tested low so got a new Interstate battery and new terminals. That was 1-2 months ago. It did it again today. Four trys and it started. Is it the ignition? Battery appears connected OK.

It doesn’t sound like the ignition. Some possibilities are:
Loose wire: from battery to starter, from battery to frame, from frame to engine…
Bad starter relay.
Bad starter.
Bad alternator not keeping battery charged.

first check the condition of the battery leads, lugs and posts. clean with wire brush as needed. But, this sounds to me like a bad starter solenoid. These usually come with a new starter, but you can buy one seperate. If you go for just a solenoid, you may be replacing the starter soon anyway, so I would do both now if it is not too expensive for your budget. The reason I would check and clean the batt terminals and all is that it is the least expensive way to go first.

It’s the starter motor assembly. This is common on Camrys (and Corollas) of this vintage and mileage.

The starter motor assembly includes a solenoid. When you put the key to “start” the solenoid engages and slides a lever. This does two things. It engages the starter gear to the flywheel ring gear, and it closes contacts to complete the circuit for the motor windings. These contacts can become fried over time and intermittant. The click you hear is the solenoid operating the lever, but with the contacts fried there’s no power to the motor to spin the flywheel.

Camry starter motors do not have a replacable solenoid. It’s all built into the same assembly. The good news is that relacement of the assembly is easy. It’s readily accessible, not under the motor like so many V8 engines.

I agree with TSMB, these are the exact symptoms of worn contacts in the starter solenoid. If you are handy you can remove it yourself and replace the 3 contacts (2 side contacts and center disk) in the solenoid, or you can have a mechanic do it, or you can have the mechanic replace the starter. Google ‘Toyota starter contacts’, you’ll find out more about it. Very common in this age Toyota.