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Jim Grant Tech Tips Jim Grant Tech Tips
A collection of helpful articles based on reader submissions
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Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by users over the course of many years.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.



Lincoln - Mercury
  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

90 Toyota Camry LE, Extremely Frustrating Start
Q: My '90 Toyota Camry LE V6 has an irregular starting problem. It always starts up on the first trip of the day. After one, or sometimes several errands, with the engine turned off it can take from 3 to 45 minutes to start. It has always started eventually, but not knowing when it will start is extremely frustrating. The dealer replaced the starter but that did not correct the problem. I like this car and want to keep it. Can you help?.. Alice

A: An erratic starting problem can be a diagnostic nightmare, for both the technician and customer. Due to the vehicle's age a thorough inspection of the electrical connectors should be performed. A little bit of corrosion or a loose connector can create a monumental headache. The starter shouldn't be the problem. But, just because it's new doesn't always mean it's right. Be aware that there are other switches and relays that cause intermittent anguish. If your Toyota has an automatic transmission the park/neutral safety switch could be worn or slightly out of adjustment. Sometimes wiggling the shifting lever is all that is needed to bring the starting system back to life. With a manual transmission there is an additional relay in the passenger compartment, along with a clutch safety switch. If the repair facility can't duplicate your problem then make it your mission to identify the operating conditions that create the starting problem. Focus on factors such as the weather, temperature and running time that makes the problem occur. Good information will simplify diagnosing and correcting the problem.

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