All electrical power gone!

bamooorebamooore Member Posts: 2
edited February 2015 in Scion
Hi there,

Tonight I returned home after almost two hours in traffic only to find out that I needed to run one more errand before enjoying my evening. Within ten minutes I was back in my 2009 Scion xD, but after unlocking it remotely with the button on my key, sitting in the car and turning the key, nothing happened. I mean, nothing. No dome light, no familiar car starting noises, no dash lights... I tried again, and again, but as they say, insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

I'm looking for some insight into what might have caused my little car to so suddenly become so dull and unresponsive. After all, I just spent some time in it, and it was still warm. The remote unlock seems to have been the last electrical thing it would do, and the same button and even the rocker switch on the door wouldn't lock or unlock the car after that. The headlights didn't work, either and a quick check under the hood found nothing obviously wrong with the battery. I also confirmed that I didn't leave the headlights or dome light on, even for those ten minutes.

The battery is only a few months old and the catalytic converter is only a few months older than that - I was having problems with the car losing charge after only a few minutes without the engine on, so the dealership replaced the catalytic converter for free under the extended warranty, but that didn't seem to solve the problem, so I replaced the battery (not free), and while I haven't given it a "test" to see if I could get it to die (now that it's winter and less convenient to do so), it seemed to be doing better (I can get through a fill at the gas station with my radio on without needing a jump!).

This car was also repaired a month ago after a rear-end collision on the highway by a shop I consider to be excellent, and anyway I wouldn't expect rear-end damage to matter, but there it is for full disclosure. This happened after the battery was replaced.

Also, this is winter in Boston. We just received our third foot of snow on the ground a few days ago and it is 14F right now. I drove all over the place, making six successful trips in the car today.

I'm going to have someone give me a jump in the morning to see if that helps, and I don't have the tools to test voltage or anything like that. I'm hoping someone can suggest what might have caused such a sudden and complete electrical failure so that I can review and hopefully address the problem without towing it to the dealership to see if my extended warranty covers anything else.

Thanks all!


  • bamooorebamooore Member Posts: 2

    In the morning, turning the key gave the faintest glimmer in the back light of the clock, suggesting that all was not lost. As my friend jostled the car preparing to give it a jump, the "hey, you touched my battery!" alarm went off, suggesting there was nothing wrong with the battery seeing as it had no problem sounding the horn at top volume. They jump got things going, and I took the car over to the dealership. I parked the car and went inside to speak to the experts and while we were discussing, I heard the alarm go off again. The other guy was trying to move the car, but it wouldn't start and he had the hood up trying to get things going. Anyway, it turns out that the problem was that the wires attached to the battery had gone bad and swapping them out did the trick. I doubt cleaning them would have done the trick as I've seen much dirtier and more corroded connections work flawlessly, and these were in pretty good shape.

    Thanks for reading!
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Thanks for the update!
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