Stopped cranking

Tiny
EDWARD HORTSCH
  • MEMBER
  • 1990 TOYOTA CAMRY
  • V6
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 240,000 MILES
Tried to start the engine. It cranked for a moment (normally) then quit. Nothing works. Headlights do not work. Battery indicates 12.3 volts on a vom.
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Wednesday, May 10th, 2017 AT 3:43 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
12.3 volts means the battery is close to fully discharged, but it should still run the head lights. First charge the battery at a slow rate for an hour or two, then try to crank the engine. Assuming everything is still dead, follow the smaller battery positive wire to the under-hood fuse box, and be sure that connection is clean and tight. Follow the smaller battery negative wire to the body and be sure that one is not rusty.

Also don't overlook loose or corroded battery cable connections. Turn the head lights on so current is trying to flow. Measure the battery voltage right on its posts, then move the meter's probes to the cable clamps. You should get exactly the same voltage at both places. If a cable clamp is loose or corroded, the second voltage will be lower.
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Wednesday, May 10th, 2017 AT 10:31 PM
Tiny
EDWARD HORTSCH
  • MEMBER
I have cleaned the terminals and posts. Posts and clamps show same voltage. When I turn on the ignition everything lights up as normal. Turn the key to start and it all just switches off. I do not know the age of this battery but it is at least two to two and a half years; it was in the car when I bought it. If it has a dead cell I suppose it might act like that. Or is there a relay that could be bad? Sometimes at night I have noticed the headlights brightening and dimming a little; possible indication of the battery going bad?
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Thursday, May 11th, 2017 AT 2:16 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Did you check the fuse box connection?

It's possible a '90 model didn't have that yet. In that case, with multiple circuits turned on, measure the voltages on various fuses under the hood. Circuits that are turned off may have 0 volts, but I'm interested in those that should have full battery voltage. Tell me what you find for voltage on those.
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Thursday, May 11th, 2017 AT 7:17 PM

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