Loose negative, and starter eventually quit

Got a new battery from a big box store that provided free installation. Came home one night and turned the car off, but the engine kept turning. Discovered the negative was loose, and now the starter is getting progressively more resistant to starting the car. I’m now in the click and hum phase.

So is my car starter the sole problem, a non-problem, or one of several problems now

2000 Toyota Camry

Are you trying to connect the engine not shutting off with the loose negative battery cable? I am trying to gague your automotive/technical knowledge level.

Did you tighten the cable up?

well, I found the negative terminal loose. So tried to tighten it. It wouldn’t comply, so bought OEM terminals, and rehooked the wires to the terminals and the terminals to the battery.

Well, I’ve not gotten too much information here. But here’s what I’ve learned so far.

  1. the battery seems well charged.
  2. the starter still doesn’t engage the flywheel right off.
  3. my neighbor says that the link between the negative cable being loose and the starter isn’t really possible.
  4. so it is just a coincidence that the starter failed.

Is that right. the solenoid basically got stuck open on a humid winter night and that is why the starter wouldn’t turn off, and the link to the negative terminal is just a coincidence???


one final question. Replacing the starter is the only thing I need to do?
And is it as simple as bolting a new starter in place or does the flywheel need to be rotated or something?

It’s pretty simple, but first a question - why did you put in the new battery? What problem were you having?

It does sound like replacing the starter and starter solenoid would be a good thing to do. Be sure to remove the battery cable first before working on it. You don’t have to spin the flywheel just removing the bolts that mount the starter should work. Some starters can be hard to get to and pull them out.

the battery was a factory and about 9 years old. I think it went dead and I needed a jump. So it just made sense. And I checked last night and the 10 amp charger started at 2 on the dial, so I just figured the battery was good, and the alternator must be charging it.

OK. Toyota starters often stop working when the solenoid contacts get worn out. Google ‘Toyota starter rebuild’ and you’ll find info on replacing just the contacts at a great savings in cost ($30 vs. $200). That is, if you’re reasonably handy with a wrench and don’t mind the chance of having to remove the starter again, if it turns out not to be the contacts.