Question about 1987 Toyota Camry

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1987 Toyota Camry starter problem

I need help diagnosing an intermittent problem. When I turn the key 
in the ignition sometimes nothing happens.  If I listen as someone else
turns the key, it clicks once only and then nothing.  If I keep trying, 
turning the key off and on 5 or 6 times, it will eventually start. 
Sometimes if I tap the starter with a hammer and then try again, it will 
start.  My girlfriend thinks that pumping the gas while turning the key 
helps it start.  It being an intermittent problem, I have not tried this.  
It seems to be happening more frequently recently.  Maybe more when
it is hot. I am thinking it is the contacts in the starter?  I have yet to 
replace these, as I wouldlike an opinion before I spend any money.  Please help, and thanks.

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Probably the starter solenoid. I'm assuming it's a standard transmission. Does pushing the clutch down hard make any difference? There is a safety switch on your clutch pedal. If it's automatic, it would definately be the solenoid. And no, pumping the gas has no effect on the starter. It will help to flood the engine though. ( and that's a bad thing)

Posted on May 15, 2009

  • jcharpentier Dec 27, 2010

    I have the same issue I replaced the starter/ solenoid and ignition switch if I tap it it starts right away. I think it maybe my key lock cylinder


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I have solved this problem easily and very inexpensively. Remove the starter and remove the small plate attached to the solenoid by 3 small screws or bolts and you will see a brass contact plate and 2 contact studs sticking in from the side of the solenoid. You can purchase these parts at any starter alternator overhaul facility fo about 15 to 20 dollars. Be carefull to install the insulators as they came off or there could be a short. I have made this repair over 300 times since 1977. Honda used this same set up in the early to late seventies. It works.

Posted on May 19, 2009

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Go ahead and replace the starter.

Posted on May 15, 2009

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