Toyota Camry Not Starting – What to Do?

There’s nothing worse than being late for work and getting into your car, only to have it not start! Immediately, panic sets in! And, as you sit there, you contemplate to yourself, ‘What do I do now that my Toyota Camry won’t start?’

There are usually five reasons why your car won’t start! These include a dead battery or defective alternator, a faulty starter, a broken ignition switch, a clogged fuel filter, or an empty gas tank.

Now that you know the leading causes for a car not starting, let’s take a closer look at these below. We’ll discuss the five reasons related to a stalled vehicle, individually and in detail. We’ll also explain how to fix each problem so that you can get back on the road as quickly as possible.

So, if you’re ready to learn more about what to do when your Toyota Camry doesn't start, then let’s get to it!

A white Toyota Camry parked outside a building, Toyota Camry Not Starting: What to Do?

Why Won’t My Toyota Camry Start?

There are usually five reasons why a Toyota Camry won’t start, but the top three include a dead battery, an alternator problem, or a faulty starter. A clogged fuel filter or an empty gas tank is the other possibility. Let’s talk about each in more particular below:

Dead Battery or Defective Alternator

The number one cause for your car not starting is usually a dead battery. This device is what provides power to everything that requires an electrical charge, such as interior and exterior lights, the radio, etc. When the car is running, the battery is charged-up by the alternator. When there is no charge, the battery won’t be able to start or ‘turn over.’ Reasons for this include the following:

  • the headlights were left on overnight
  • there is a loose wire somewhere
  • poor conductivity as a result of water evaporation
  • the lifespan has reached its limit or expired

If none of the electrical components in the car work or your battery light is on, this is a good indication of the problem. To test whether or not the cause is indeed the battery, try jump-starting your car. If that works, then you need to either replace the battery (or alternator), clean the connections to the battery or take it to the shop and have a professional mechanic service it for you.

Faulty Starter

A malfunctioning starter is another common cause for your Camry not working. This electrical component is connected to the battery, signaling the pistons, crankshaft, etc. to fire up when the ignition switch is engaged. Once the car is running, and in motion, the starter has done its job. If the starter is broken, the engine won’t crank properly (if at all).

To know whether or not the starter is indeed the problem, pay attention to the following:

  • the car won’t crank when the ignition switch is turned
  • you hear a loud clicking noise when you turn the ignition switch
  • your lights work, but the engine won’t start
  • you see or smell smoke in the car

If you notice either issue above, you’ll likely have to call a tow truck and have it taken to an auto repair shop for service, unless you or someone you know can switch out the faulty starter for a new one!

Here's a post about towing a trailer with your Camry.

Broken Ignition Switch

A defective ignition switch is yet another possible reason for your Camry not running. If the battery is working well, but it takes 2 or 3 tries for it to start, then it’s probably the ignition switch. To narrow down the root cause, try turning on your headlights, and if they work and your dashboard lights up, then it’s not the battery but likely the ignition switch.

To fix the problem, you need to either replace the faulty switch yourself or have a trained mechanic do the job for you. In any case, it’s best to have it looked at by someone who knows what they’re doing and how to test correctly for automotive problems.

Clogged Fuel Filter

Toyota Camry engine overview

If your fuel filter is plugged in, your Camry won’t start. This is the result of gasoline not being able to successfully reach the engine so it can get the fuel it needs to run. This part should be replaced every 15,000 to 20,000 kilometers or approximately every 9,500 to 12,500 miles.

The next time you go for an oil change or regular maintenance check, have a mechanic look at your fuel filter to determine whether or not it should be replaced. If so, do it right then and there, don’t hesitate as this could be the reason why you’re left stranded in the middle of nowhere the next time your car won’t start!

Empty Gas Tank

A man opens a gas tank in a car for refueling with gasoline

No fuel in the gas tank is yet another reason why your Camry won’t start. You would think this to be an unlikely cause, but it’s quite common! It’s easy to ignore the gas gauge when you’re out and about, busy running errands, or taking the kids to soccer practice.

At least the solution to this problem is a simple one – go to the gas station and fill up on fuel! Unless, however, your gas gauge is malfunctioning. Then, you’ll need to have it looked at or replaced by a service technician.

Toyota Camry Won’t Start No Click?

Brand new Toyota Camry hybrid model 2020

If your Camry won’t start and you don’t hear a loud, clicking noise when you turn the ignition switch, then the most likely cause is a dead battery or defective alternator. If the battery is functioning correctly, then it could be a faulty starter. Your best bet is to have your vehicle serviced by a trained technician, who can replace the part easily safely, and effectively.

Toyota Camry Cranks But Won’t Start?

Toyota Camry 2019 all new car is on the road in test drive in Vietnam

If your Camry cranks but won’t start, chances are it’s either a malfunctioning ignition switch or a clogged fuel filter. Another reason could be a problem with your engine, whereby it’s having trouble getting fuel, creating compression, or generating a spark. You need to take it to a professional mechanic so he trouble-shoot to find and fix the underlying cause.

Better Start Next Time!

To conclude, there are five possible reasons why your Toyota Camry won’t start. These include a dead battery or defective alternator, a faulty starter, a broken ignition switch, a clogged fuel filter, or an empty gas tank. Once you figure out the problem, you’ll be able to resolve it.

Unless you know what you’re doing, it’s always best to have your car serviced by a trained professional. This will ensure your vehicle gets fixed so that you can get safely back on the road in no time! Good luck and happy trails!

Here's a post about the Toyota Camry's audio system.

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  1. my Camry won’t start under the following conditions: driven on high speed for a short while and outside temps above 25°C. Battery and starter thread are doing fine

  2. It’s none of the above.I believe it is the anti theft system.because all the other issues have been corrected and it still won’t start?? how do I fix it??

  3. My Toyota Camry 2004 cranks but won’t start. The mechanic says it’s a faulty brain box. I don’t agree but don’t know what to do. Please assist.

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