Battery or Alternator?

Joined
Feb 16, 2005
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Location
Scituate MA
08 New to me Camry. 200k on it, don't know history...kids drive it.

Car starts then dies. Won't start for a few mins then it comes on. I just took it for a drive and felt like idle is too low and was going to stop.

Any basic trouble shooting? Can Autozone determine if battery or alternator are bad?
 
Joined
Apr 1, 2020
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Pacific Northwest
If the battery has enough juice to start the car, it should have enough to run the car. Is the money light on?

If you have a volt meter, the battery should have at least twelve volts with the car off and at least 13.5v running.
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
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Take the battery and get it tested. I have seen vehicles crank but a bad battery screws up the ignition and the engine won't run.
 

coopns

Thread starter
Joined
Feb 16, 2005
Messages
904
Location
Scituate MA
Autozone Scan:
P0103 Mass or Volume Air Flow Circuit High Input
C1201 Brake Boost Sensor Circuit Range/Perfomance

Also...I had a look at the air filter...very dirty. Cleaned it out and new one. Did drive better.

Are the Scan codes difficult to find / repair or is it a lot of troubleshooting (like take it to a mechanic).
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2022
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If you feel that the filter was bad enough to be the culprit (unlikely), you can disconnect the battery to clear the codes and see if they come back.

It may be a bad airflow sensor. Brake boost is likely unrelated.
 
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Feb 20, 2022
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Google 2008 Camry P0103 and you'll get tons more input. A faulty MAF sensor will likely cause problems that seem like a battery or alternator issue; however, if the alternator or battery light isn't on, and the car turns over reliably, likely the battery and alternatoe are not a problem.
 
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Jun 8, 2022
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If the air filter was super dirty, so also likely is the MAF sensor dirty. You should try cleaning it first- so locate it and spray it with - and only with - Mass Air Flow Sensor Cleaner. You will need to take it out to do this, or you might be able to just open up the air intake to see it. The sensor itself is really just a very thin wire. Do not touch the wire - only spray it with MAF cleaner and let it air dry. If the wire is already broken the MAF sensor is done.

Search youtube for your year camry MAF sensor clean - there most likely is a video.

If cleaning the MAF sensor doesn't fix it, then replace it.

As mentioned, youtube is your friend. This is typically super easy stuff, and this is exactly what your mechanic will do with that code, so good time to DIY.

As mentioned, you might also want to clean the throttle body, however I only like to mess with one variable at a time so I would start with the MAF sensor first.
 
Joined
Jan 20, 2018
Messages
1,569
Location
Arkansas
Autozone Scan:
P0103 Mass or Volume Air Flow Circuit High Input
C1201 Brake Boost Sensor Circuit Range/Perfomance

Also...I had a look at the air filter...very dirty. Cleaned it out and new one. Did drive better.

Are the Scan codes difficult to find / repair or is it a lot of troubleshooting (like take it to a mechanic).
What symptoms are left after changing the air filter? You did say that it’s driving better. Was the filter so dirty that you would say that it was almost clogged?
As Chris142 mentioned, check the intake tube for cracks as well. You’re doing it right by checking the simple things first.
 
Joined
Jan 20, 2018
Messages
1,569
Location
Arkansas
Autozone Scan:
P0103 Mass or Volume Air Flow Circuit High Input
C1201 Brake Boost Sensor Circuit Range/Perfomance

Also...I had a look at the air filter...very dirty. Cleaned it out and new one. Did drive better.

Are the Scan codes difficult to find / repair or is it a lot of troubleshooting (like take it to a mechanic).
Just out of curiosity, did you get anything resolved on this?
 

coopns

Thread starter
Joined
Feb 16, 2005
Messages
904
Location
Scituate MA
Thanks for following up! The driver is off to college so it is just sitting 'waiting' for me to fix it. I cleaned the MAF and new filter but it starts and I take it for a drive and then come home and it does the same thing...click click click and won't quite turn over. Then randomly try it a few times and it usually does. The markings are worn off the battery but I'm sure that needs to be replaced. Don't know if that is it but will replace for kids car.
 
Joined
Jun 2, 2002
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3,713
Location
Georgia/Retired
Did you check the alternator output? Just curious if you stuck your probes on the battery terminals while it was running. That is step numero UNO! If it's charging then you should get a battery. Hit WalMart or Sam's club up for the battery (Costoc/BJ's if you have memberships there too) since they're much less expensive than the autoparts stores.

Did you inspect the intake boot?

That kid's going to be home for Thanksgiving holiday before you know it so let's get choppin'! :)
 
Joined
May 18, 2012
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Location
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
In case you are uncertain about the battery ot alternator:

4148vDB4AKL._AC_SX466_.jpg
 
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