Worth repairing a 1996 Toyota Camry or it's time to get a new car?


#1

Last week while driving my car to work, I stopped at a toll booth and my car’s battery light went off and everything just shut down. After several attempts of trying to start my car, the car was able to start. Then I stopped at a stop sign and my car automatically shut down for the second time. After several attempts of starting my car, I was able to get it running. When I went to the auto shop the mechanic said that my battery was fine and everything seems to be normal.



Would it be worth to fix my car or is it time for me to get a new car?


#2

Well, it sounds like you need a new mechanic, if he’s unable to diagnose this, instead of a new car. How is the Camry otherwise? Would you like to keep it? How many miles on it? The fact that he found nothing wrong means it’s not a major mechanical failure, which is good. Are there no warning lights showing?


#3

I agree, find another mechanic. The light that came on doesn’t indicate a battery problem, it tells you there’s an issue with the charging/electrical system.

Diagnosing this kind of thing can be time consuming depending on what the exact problem is, but a good place to start would be load testing the alternator. Most shops (and even a few parts stores) will do this for not a lot of $$. If it’s not operating as strong as it used to, perhaps it can’t generate enough power at idle speed to keep things going anymore. Just a thought.


#4

Your problem may not be the charging system … if the engine stalls, the charge light comes on. So the question is … did the car stall before or after the light came on?
Have you had any further stalling problems or was this a one trip problem?

A scan of computer codes may give you a clue to the cause of the problem.


#5

Sounds like a bad battery connection.


#6

This could be a real pain to diagnose, but it is probably not a serious problem. I have a '91 that has mysteriously faltered while driving and has stalled at stop signs several times - then proceeds to run perfectly for several weeks without missing a beat. I presume that I have a poor electrical connection/ground somewhere, perhaps at the fuel pump, but I have not found it yet. I am certainly not considering replacing the car, but it does lower confidence a bit.