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2005 Toyota Corolla Electrical Short

by jloh, June 20, 2016

Happy father's day to all fathers!

I plugged in a new car adapter and then almost all my car's electrical systems went out. My dash lights and speedometer is out. (So maybe if I get stopped by a cop, I can tell them my speedometer said I was going at 0 mph?) My daytime running lights as well as my turn signal, my power mirrors, power windows, radio, and adapter power are all out. Brake lights, dome lights, hazard lights, they work.

I even called for a tow, because I couldn't switch out of park. But the tow truck driver taught me about a little trick. There is a small tab in front of the shifter, I have an automatic, if you lift it up there is a button below it that will allow you to shift.

I replaced the cigarette fuse and the gauge fuse, to no avail. Oh and now I notice it requires me to "warm up" my car. It does not turn over instantaneously like it did before this electrical short.

Does anyone have anything else for me to try?

Well, on the way to the my mechanic's today, I decided to get some more fuses, I only had a select few. and I got to the auto part store ok. but when I wanted to start it back up to go to the my mechanic's it would not start. so another call to roadside service. This time the tow truck driver told me it could be the alternator. So my car is at the mechanics now and let's see what happens.

Just called my mechanic, and he said that my car was jumpstarted incorrectly. Now this may have been the case Monday but not Sunday (when it started happening). On Sunday no one jumped my batteries and I noticed the slow start (alternator maybe?). Then when I got to the auto parts store on Monday and called for a tow truck, that's when they first jumped my battery. So I'm not sure that the incident was caused by an incorrect jumpstart.

What sort of "car adapter" did you plug in / hook up to the car?

Did the electricals all die when the car adapter was hooked up - or did they die over a period of time?

Alternator dying is pretty unusual, even if you put an extremely high load on the car's electrical system - has built in safety to protect itself from excessive current draw / overvoltage. Unless a wire or coil in the alternator got pinched/damaged or if something was hooked up backwards - these alternators are pretty tough.

Did you happened to fall under the ECM recall for this generation of Corolla? Those models that had ECM issues presented symptoms similar to what you are seeing. You don't want to start swapping / replacing parts until you get a clearer diagnostic on what is going on. Not all independent shops / chain stores have the resources that a Toyota dealership will have.

Saw your new reply - jumped backwards would definitely cause you headaches. If you are lucky, it would have burned out the relays under the hood. If unlucky, could have cooked the ECM and possibly the alternator.

If a tow truck jumped your car - you should definitely contact them and submit a complaint - get the paper trail going. If they touched the car, they are responsible for making sure it was hooked up right.

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