Question about 1987 Toyota Camry

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Intermittent non-starting caused by high pitched whirring when key turned in ignition

'87 Camry. Some times, turning key in ignition to start the car causes a high pitched whirring sound. This can go on for several starting attempts, but does not always happen. Car ultimately starts after repeatedly trying to start and getting the whirring noise. What causes this?

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Hello gwolfson...from your explanation it sounds like the starter motor is turning but the bendix is not engaged. This happens over time and is caused by normal wear. A click or clicking noise would point to the starter solenoid. Don't wait until you hear a grinding noise to replace it, thats hard on the ring gear and flywheel. A NEW starter is recommended if you plan on keeping the car. If not, you can go with a rebuilt starter for around 65 dollars. Of course make sure the battery terminals are clean and secure as well as the solenoid terminals.
Good luck...i hope this helps and will fixya up.

Posted on May 29, 2009

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Hello;
The problem you are experiencing is one of two possiblilties. First, the bendix is weak in the starter. Best course of action is to replace the starter. When you pull the starter out, use a pry bar or screwdriver to rotate the flywheel an inspect the meshing teeth of the flywheel. If there is a section that has worn teeth then the flywheel needs to be replaced.
Thanks;
Rich
RPM Northwest

Posted on May 29, 2009

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