stalled out sometime have to hold key in start position for a few seconds on 1991 Toyota Camry

usually when cold i have to hold key in start position before it will start. also battery light and brake warning lights come on radio cuts in and out. car died went back to it an hour later and everything was fine. disconnected battery cable and alternater was charging. is this common? stumped

by in Aurora, CO on March 09, 2011
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1 answer 1 comment
ANSWER by , March 09, 2011
Some advice - please don't disconnect your battery cable while the engine is running. The voltage spikes in your electrical system and the load change on the alternator are both very negative effects. I'm having a hard time waffling between thinking you may have an electrical system issue, or an air intake issue (sticking idle control valve, etc). If it's a "no crank" situation, and then it finally kicks in - think electrical. If it cranks and cranks and cranks and is hard to start - think air intake.
COMMENT by , March 11, 2011
thank you for your input Dave did not think about voltage spikes but have always used that for quick check to determine between battery and alt. biggest problem is can't figure out why I keep losing charge and then it seems to come back . everything is tight no lose connections.Battery is fine it is still recharging itself. but dummy lights come on and off and lost power when it stayed on. DO not have crank issue just a delay sometimes takes a couple seconds then cranks and runs fine .Agains thanks for the input , greatly appreciated.