Diagnosing Toyota Camry Starting Problems

There is nothing worse than a car that will not start. Toyota Camry owners deserve to have a vehicle that is reliable and starts when you want it to.

But what about those unpredictable situations where luck is not on your side? A Toyota Camry not starting could cost you time and stress.

But we are here to make you aware of the common reasons why these issues occur and what you can do to solve them.

Top Reasons Why Your Toyota Camry Will Not Start

There are many moving parts when it comes to your car functioning properly. Below are the top reasons why a Toyota Camry will not start and the valuable solutions to fix them.

Battery Cable Issues

Battery cable issues are usually the most straightforward to diagnose. This problem may not happen often, but you can become aware of this issue with a quick check.

You must regularly monitor the battery poles at the juncture where the cables connect. If you see white or green corrosion around poles, then you might need to clean them.

This small fix could help you get back on the road in no time.

Once you have located the battery and lifted the terminal covers, the battery cleaning process is straightforward. Here is a quick method for adequately cleaning your battery terminal so that you can fix the cable issues:

  • Disconnect your car battery – make sure to disconnect every clamp on the terminals, negative clamp, then positive clamp.
  • Utilize an effective cleaning agent – the best solution here is to mix two tablespoons of baking with water into a paste so that you can scrub the corrosion with a brush.
  • Rinse and dry – remove the paste by spraying water, rubbing a rag to dry each terminal, and coating it with a battery terminal protector.
  • Connect the clamps to the battery again – connect each clamp, starting with the positive than the negative.

Battery Charge Issues

Another issue why your Toyota Camry will not start could be the battery charge. If your battery does not have the appropriate charge to ignite the starter, the car will not start either.

As the battery gets older and the cranking amps get lower, this could diminish the battery. You will tell it is a battery charge issue if the Camry is cranking slowly and not starting.

The best thing to do here is to remove your battery and take it to a local parts store to get it tested. Your battery will either get classified as dead or charged.

If your battery is dead but proves “good,” you should focus on the alternator or get the battery terminals checked. The battery could also be charged, which means you should monitor the situation for corrosion or possibly starter issues.

Issues with the Starter

Your starter is an electrical function in your car, which connects to the battery. When you start your vehicle, it signals to the pistons and crankshaft to fire up the system and get the ignition switched engaged.

If you are dealing with a starter issue, then the engine will not crank correctly, sometimes not at all.

  • To confirm that the starter is the issue, be on the lookout for the following symptoms:
  • When the ignition switch gets turned, the car does not crank
  • There is a louder clicking sound when the ignition switch gets turned
  • The lights are working, but the engine is not starting
  • You can see or smell smoke in the car

Engine Timing

For your Toyota Camry to start correctly, the engine needs to be able to fire the spark plug at the optimal time. Your Camry will not fire up if these plugs are not firing at the right time.

This issue could also arise if something happened to the camshaft to make it out of sync with the crankshaft. The best thing for you to do here is to contact a mechanic, which will usually identify the specific issue with an OBDII code.

Fuel Problems

When your Camry is getting little or no fuel delivered to it, it will not start. The combustion chamber needs this fuel to start your vehicle. If the fuel pump, fuel injectors, or fuel filter has gone wrong, it could happen to your Toyota Camry.

Common symptoms of a bad fuel pump are an engine that is hard to start and sputtering that is under load. If it is a fuel filter issue, you might hear a whining noise or sputter under acceleration.

Sometimes your fuel filter will be clogged, caused by gasoline not being able to flow to the engine. This component of the car should get replaced every 10,000 to 12,500 miles.

Issues with the Ignition

Your ignition could also be the reason why your Toyota Camry will not start. Much like the engine timing, this issue could get diagnosed and treated by a mechanic.

Problems with the ignition could be a result of faulty coil packs, bad spark plugs, computer malfunctions, or terrible plug wires.

A broken ignition switch could also be an issue here. If your battery is working correctly, but it requires 2 or 3 attempts to start it, it could be related to the ignition switch.

If you turn on your headlights and the dashboard turn on, this will let you know that it is an ignition switch problem.

Top Reasons Why a Push-Button Toyota Camry Will Not Start

So, what if you have a push-button Toyota Camry? Some common issues could cause this type of Camry not to start.

First, you should check to see if your foot is pressing on the brake pedal firm enough. You are required to press this while pushing the “start button,” so make sure you are activating it properly.

Although it is obvious to have the key present, you should also double-check to make sure you did not forget your key. It is easy sometimes to leave the fob in your home, which will cause the car to start when it is out of distance.

You also monitor your key fob battery power. Sometimes when a weak key fob gets low on battery power, it may not be strong enough to start the car.


There are many reasons why your Toyota Camry might not start. Although we are not all car experts, if you are mindful of your vehicle’s symptoms, you can match it to the likely cause.

It also never hurts to double-check with a professional or nearby car mechanic. Your safety and smooth driving is a top priority, so be on high alert when you are experiencing starter issues.