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I own a 1998 Toyota Camry 4 cyl automatic. Factory alarm system.

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I own a 1998 Toyota Camry 4 cyl automatic. Factory alarm system. The car has approx 130,000 miles and is regularly serviced. I drove the car this evening without problem, and locked with the auto locker on the key chain. About 45 minutes later my son went to drive the car again, the doors unlocked normally but the car would not start. He said he had locked the door manually before he closed the door. The head & side lights started flashing and I could hear the doors trying to lock. By this time I had come to investigate. The car would not start, nor did trying to use the key alarm system release have any effect whatsoever.
Our solution to stop the flashing and intermittent car alarm horn blowing was to disconnect the battery. After about 5 minutes we hooked it up again - same problem. It appears that a sensor or maybe computerized something has gone crazy. Any ideas before i tow this to the garage?

Hello, and welcome to Just Answer. Please allow me to assist you.

Before you get it towed, do this for me: With the battery connected, insert the key in the ignition, and cycle it to the ON position (when the dash lights come on; not to 'start'), and then to the OFF position. Cycle the key on-off 5 times. Then try to start the car.

Please advise me of what happens.



Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thanks for this fast response. I'm going to wait until the morning to try your suggestion. I will post the result promptly. Again, thanks
Hopefully, the cycling of the key will defeat the alarm. This procedure is the 'backdoor' way to shut it off in case you ahave a keyfob failure, or a dead keyfob battery.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Just tried the procedure you outlined. It did not work. When the battery was reconnected the alarm started blaring at normal strength. Cycled the key to on position only 5 times, then tried to start. The alarm stopped momentarily, fan was turning, starter motor clicking, but I believe there was not enough power in the battery left to crank the engine.

Looks like we are on the right track, can you disconnect the battery and recharge it?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Thanks for yr response. Have not recharged the battery. It is already approximately 3 years old so the answer might be to just replace it. It did not give any signs of failing but maybe the alarm system going haywire is the sign!

Excellent Idea to replace the battery. While you are there, please consider getting a new battery for your keyfob, too.


It is rare that the factory alarms fail. More often than not, the keyfobs, and/or their batteries fail first.

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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Okay - one battery later, one keyfob battery later... We tried the reset sequence again, it didn't work. Then i closed all the doors, reconnected the battery and hit the alarm deactivate/unlock door button. It worked. The car started, and everything seems fine. It seemed to have been stuck in the 'panic alarm' mode and drained the battery still in that mode. Thank you VERY much for your help! Gotta love the internet and getting a mechanic online at 10.30 pm Sat night, not to mention Walmart automotive department.