Toyota Camry does not start but makes a Machine gun like noise instead


#1

This car has been sitting in my car porch for a little over two months. I would start it once every 1 or 2 weeks and let it run for a minute. I assume the battery was not at the best of it shape since every time I started the car, it would take a little more time, but the car would end up starting just fine. After a two weeks break, the power was down and nothing would turn on at all. I jump started the Camry with cables connected to my own car and thought I would start the Camry and take it for a ride, make sure the battery gets a chance to recharge. But nothing happened when I turn the key, nothing but this “machine gun”-like noise ( which you can hear on the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsPTQEciyp4
I don’t know if by starting the car without driving it for two month, I did not give a chance to the car to recharge the battery, which led to the total loss of power, but this does not explain why when jump started, the engine won’t turn on, and does not explain this sound I hear…
Any suggestions? your help will be greatly appreciated!
Thanks!
Yannick


#2

“I would start it once every 1 or 2 weeks and let it run for a minute.”

Starting the engine and then only allowing it to idle for a minute or so is perhaps the worst thing that you can do to a car. In addition to not allowing the alternator to recharge the battery, you have been diluting the motor oil with the moisture that is a byproduct of combustion. Also, you have been depositing–and not evaporating–moisture that accumulates in the exhaust system.

But…to get to the immediate problem, you probably have a dead cell or two in the battery. When this condition is present, jumping the battery will be to no avail.

So, more than likely you need to buy a new battery.
And then, whenever you start the engine, allow it to run for at least 20 minutes if you want to limit damage to the battery, the engine, and to the exhaust system.


#3

Thank you for your prompt response! so, you don’t think the noise is alarming?
I realized, but too late, that I should have driven this car around, instead of just starting it and feel good about myself…


#4

No, the noise is not alarming under the circumstances.
That noise will typically be heard when trying to start an engine with a battery that is near-dead.
Get a new battery and remember to run the engine for at least 20 minutes after starting it.


#5

If you’re going to let a car sit, assuming you have an outlet available, you can buy a battery tender that keeps the battery charged while it sits. Those usually don’t cost too much.


#6

That noise is the starter solenoid rapidly engaging and disengaging due to insufficient voltage and amps from the battery, time for a new battery.
You could disconnect the battery if you are going to let the car sit for an extended period of time without driving it.


#7

It looks like the old battery is an interstate

I’d make sure the new battery is a different brand

I’m just basing that on my own bad experiences with interstate batteries over the years


#8

The sound is normal for an almost dead battery. Jumper cables have to be left on quite a while to get a depleted battery enough charge to start a car. A battery charger would do a much better job. Alternatively, you could remove the battery and take it to a parts store to be charged and tested. I have never seen tests that conclusively show that one battery brand is better or worse than others across all sizes.


#9

I totally agree with oldtimer 11. After 2 months of not using the car batteries on modern cars can drain. I wouldn’t replace the battery just yet. Incidentally, how old is the battery?


#10

Not wishing to start an argument but the family owned tire dealer I use is also an Interstate battery dealer and I have been satisfied. They even had one to fit our Mercury Capri conv. that most places said was a dealer item only.


#11

Glad to hear you had a good experience with interstate batteries


#12

THe OP didn’t state the year of the vehicle, or how old the battery was.
If it was only started for a minute or two each time the battery may just have been drained a little more each time it was started.
If the Battery is not that old(less than 4 years)…corroded terminals also could have this effect when you tried to start it.
They may only have a good enough connection to run the dash lights and such, but not enough to draw the large amount that a starter motor requires.
Remove the cables, clean the terminals and battery posts and charge or jump the car again.

Yosemite


#13

I’ve sold several brands of battery over the years, and while I won’t call Interstate a bargain (they tend to be a bit pricey in my experience) they also were just fairly typical in durability; neither better nor worse than contemporary competitors. But to echo what’s already been said, yeah, a dead battery is what you’ve almost certainly got, though I’d advise actually hooking up a charger to it before replacing it. Possible parasitic drain from certain accessories, plus the unreplenished usage from starting without enough runtime, might have simply discharged it. You might have a battery that’s still good there, if properly recharged. A lot of parts stores will recharge it for free, even if it’s not their brand. Call around; I suspect you can find one.


#14

Most parts stores will not only charge the battery they will also run a comprehensive test on the battery and charging system on your car for free.