Strange Intermittent Starting Problem

My 4 cylinder 2009 Camry XLE has a strange intermittent starting problem. Twice in the last month when I tried to start it absolutely nothing happened. There was no sound and the interior lights did not come on. I suspected that it might be the battery even though the battery is only a year old. However, when I tried to start it a few minutes later it started with no problems. The only sign that something was wrong was that the clock was off by several hours and the radio had lost its presets. The symptoms were the same both times this happened, and between occurrences everything was fine. Any suggestions?

need a new battery and connections tight and clean.

It’s not the battery. If it was it wouldn’t go completely dead and then fully back to life. It probably is a bad ground connection from the battery. Clean the battery and cable terminals and clean the battery connection to ground.

First thing is battery connections. If they’re good, it could be the starter solenoid contacts - how many miles?

Here’s another possibility - the shifter safety switch. The next time it happens try jiggling the shifter. If that doesn’t work try starting with it in neutral (foot on the brake, of course).

Explain what you mean by “the interior lights didn’t come on”. Do you mean the dash lights? Or the dome light? When this occurs, do other electrical components like the radio and the headlights work?

The only reason I said battery plus connections, was many people have old off gassing batteries. This corrodes the connections, but battery still isn’t dead.