I have a 2007 Camry currently sitting at a shop, while I'm stuck 8 hours from home, and I'm getting no answers..
Last Thursday my VSC, maintenance, skid, and check engine lights came on. Then they went off when I got gas that night. I read that can be a common false alarm in my car car, so the next day I left for an 8 hour trip. 1.5 hours into my trip I stopped to get gas. The light came back on. 2 hours after that I stopped to get coffee, but didn't turn the car off as I had a passenger in it. But there were no smells, etc. Then when I arrived at my destination about 4 hours later, as soon as I turned my car off I noticed a horrible smell in the cab, and outside, near the hood. It had almost a chemical smell to me. My friend described it as smelling hot. Then, when getting things out of the trunk, I heard what sounded like popping/cracking sounds that seemed to run the length of my car. The next morning, when I went to get in my car, it was dead. As in no power of any kind. It did jump start easily. The only wanting light that appeared after that was the check engine. However, we didn't drive it, and no mechanics were open until the next Monday. A couple hours later it started up just fine. I didn't drive it, though. Then a few hours later, it wouldn't start at all. It's worth noting that the car has a battery and altanator that are under 18 months old, but I do travel quite a bit.
When I went to take it to the mechanic the following day, it had to be jump started again. The battery only holds a charge for a very short time. Also, all the warning lights were off, including the check engine.
When I called the mechanic earlier today he says they had found nothing wrong, and my charging system was good.
So what's going on?!? Spark plugs? Ignition coils? But what about the smell? Could a plugged catalytic converter be burning up my plugs, and in turn draining my battery?!?
Probably not related, but I'll mention anyway.. my brakes and rotors were replaced about 6 weeks ago. My steering seems to have an occasional rough/grinding feeling when turning. Which I can feel in my gas pedal. Fluids are good. And, last week somebody else drove my car and said it felt like my rotors where going bad. But, they are new! I haven't noticed this, but maybe I'm just used to it? I do think I can feel a difference in how smoothly my car drives from day to day. Oh! And, on occasion, I feel like it's slow to accelerate from a stop.