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Toyota Corolla Electrical Problems



  • grandtotalgrandtotal Posts: 1,207
    My guess would be a poor earth (ground) for one or both of the brake lights. That's a problem that plagued your generation of Corolla and the preceding generation. That's where I'd start looking.
  • massodmassod Posts: 10

    went o the mall this afternoon. when I came out and tried to start the engine, it didn't. according the manual, I should take it to the dealer because of the warning light symbol. I called the tow truck company. the guy checked the the car and told me that it could be either battery or the alternator. after a few minutes of charging the battery, I tried to start the car and it wouldn't. so, the guy told me the alternator is the problem. so, he took the car to the shop for complete checkup and called back to let me know that I need a new alternator and a battery. so, my question is what happend to the "QUALITY"? I have ownd 10 cars in my life and never had an alternator problem. the technician told me that it's going to cost me about $500 - $600. unfortunatley, I lost my job last month and can't afford it. what's the reasonable cost to put in a new alternator? the technician price is based on AC-Delco alternative and Interstate battery. Thank a million in advance of your help.

  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,022
    You don't mention what year your Corolla is, or even how long you have owned it. Unfortunately batteries and alternators do wear out. Sounds like your history of trading or buying cars fequently has allowed you to luck out until now by not having to replace either of these. Your quote for replacing these two items seems high to me compared to what my garage would charge me. Figure $100 for the battery and $150 for the alternator and two hours labor tops to install these items and I come up with about $400 total on the high end. Shop around.
  • grandtotalgrandtotal Posts: 1,207
    Terceltom, it's a 2006 - see the title of the post.

    Massod, It is a bit soon for an alternator and a battery. My guess is that they have not both failed, or that one is the result of the other. Stuff happens, no car is perfect.
  • massodmassod Posts: 10
    Thanks for your response. It has 42,000 miles on it. I'll take it to another shop for repair or doitmyself, if they don't drop their price.
  • the light does not turn on except signal lights, door open etc.. odometer,speed,rpm,gas, water no illumination light to be able to see panel i cant see. dimmer switch stop work including dome light, a/c lights i found two fuses that were burn out but i want to make sure it is the relay before i buy new one what can i do and how??
  • I paid for two hours of labor, which I believe it was excessive. I paid $470 for parts and labor to replace the alternator! I WILL NOT buy another TOYOTA.

  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,022
    Okay, so in post #35 you stated that your technician told you that replacing your alternator would cost you around $500-$600. Then you went to him to have the work completed anyway. He comes in under his estimate, at $470.00. Now you decide it was too expensive? I guess I would ask if he quoted you more and you were okay with it, and he charged you even less than what he said, why the problem? As I stated in post #36, I felt his quote of $500-$600 was excessive. I also told you it would be around $400.00 on the high end and I did say it would be around two hours labor and that's what he charged. So you had ample information from the technician and myself. Why blame Toyota? All car's alternators will fail eventually if you keep the car long enough. In fact, I'm willing to bet that, that alternator lasted longer than most other cars would have. So the bottom line is, yes you were over charged slightly, but you knew what it would cost before you took your car to get fixed. He cut you a break from what he told you and now your dissappointed, why?
  • Have a 2005 corolla. Drove it to school the other day, parked. Came out of class,
    no head lights or power to the fuel pump. No warning lights ever came on. Will start with
    either so we have ignition. Any suggestions?
  • Does anyone know what this statement means? I took my 96 Corolla for an oil change yesterday at The Lube Center. I've owned her for 2.5 years, and she is running fine with 153K miles on her :-). However, when I started the car to leave, an engine check indicator light came on and remained lit. I stopped the engine, and the manager plugged something into the electrical system to identify the problem. This message came up on the screen, but he had no idea what it meant. (Note: I could have the letters mixed up, but they were definitely a combination of I, T, and A.) I'll call a Toyota dealer, but does anyone know what this may mean and have any advice for me? All it says in my manual is to see my dealer ASAP when this indicator light appears. I am struggling to survive on unemployment benefits so I hope this is not expensive to fix. Also, have I been damaging my catalytic converter system by allowing my fuel tank to go to empty before filling each week? I read something in the manual about this stressing the car's system. I thought it was good for the car to get rid of all the "old" gas before putting in new.
  • hi!

    I drive a 2001 coroola, and both of the headlights and the passenger foglight went out. I've had the car since 2006, and have never had a problem with this before. I replace both headlights (but not the foglight) and this seemed to solve the problem on the driver's side of the car, but the passenger side the headlight is still out, as is the foglight. I checked the fuse for the headlights and replaced the one for the passenger side headlight and still no luck. I am pretty sure it is an electrical problem, but not quite sure what it could be. any suggestions?
  • The problem was the fuel pump. And yes, I do realize that I WAS low on gas however it is actually really reliable and will go a full 12 gallons even with that problem. It wasn't on an incline there. The fuel pump ties into the fuse with this model. Once the fuel pump was replaced no problem with that anymore.

    Now my problem lies in the driver side door, the handle broke off in my hand so I have to open the door from the outside. Plus the driver's window hasn't worked for a long time. We are looking for a door at a junkyard.

    I'd say time for a new car.....
  • I may have a similar problem with my 2001 Corolla. Both my low beam headlights will go out. Not at the same time but one will go out, then a couple weeks later the other will follow.

    The first time this happened I played with the fuses first before buying 2 new bulbs to replace them thinking they had burned out as the fuses were fine. As I was about to replace them I set the screwdriver down on the frame and the vibration triggered the light to come back on. I then tapped around the frame near the other headlight and the same thing happened.

    Before this occurred I had decided the car was an electrical lemon. I also have a problem where the speedometer console lighting on the right first died, later followed by the left. Then after that the heating/radio console lights went out.

    I also have an intermittent dome light. If switched on it will turn off for a bit, then come back on at random times.

    Ohh, and my drivers electrical side door locks are fussy as well. The switch doesn't always lock the doors. I have to lean my self over like an idiot and use the switch on the passenger side half the time I park to get out. (I'm not usually bright enough to remember i can use my key from the outside to lock all 4 doors as well, though even then Ive had problems with that though I fault a poorly cut key which I had ordered or had made as a backup and has since become my primary)

    I don't recall the figure I was quoted to have both the dash lighting and the door locks fixed but at the time it seemed ridiculous to me as the car is over the hill and frankly I don't care enough about it to have the whole cars electrical system replaced, assuming that's what needs to be done. It's just unfortunate that I can't sell the car for a few bucks or give it to anyone in good conscience knowing at night they may freak out and crash if both low beams fail at once or they're traveling at unsafe speeds cuz they can't read the speedometer in the dark, pre-warned or not.

    Anyways, just wanted to share that, interested to see how many other 01's are lemons in the electrical department. The next time I have it in for service I'll have the electrical system looked at and get newly quoted and hopefully remember this thread to share that info here.

    And 01corolla, try my tip in tapping the frame near the headlights, use the grip end of a screwdiver while the lights are turned on. If it works for you it's a nice, cheap (if only temporary) fix.
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,022
    First allow me to tell you I have a 2001 Corolla LE and have not had one electrical issue to date. In fact I have never even had to replace one light bulb yet. So electrical lemon NO, in fact, far from it. Now as to your issues it sounds like you are really getting very dramatic over a few very minor problems. Each sounds like it has it's own same basic remedy. If I had your car here right now I could probably solve almost all of your minor electrical problems in less then one hour.

    The dome switch sounds like it's nothing more then a switching opening up on occasion. I would remove the cover, check that the switch and bulb contacts are all making good contact and probably spray it with a little WD-40 or an electrical contact cleaner spray and repl;ace cover.

    The intermittant headlights are telling you that there is nothing more than looseor non-conductive contacts on the plug. Pull out each headlight plug, spray and push in all the way.

    Door locks are most likely the same problem, remove the inside door panels, check contacts and clean and spray.

    In an older car you have to realize these electrical switches and contacts are subject to many various temperature changes and road vibrations over the years and can oxidize or loosen up very easily. You would have this problem regardless of whatever brand or model you would have.

    Now the dash panel lights are a different story. Depending on which ones are burned out it could be a little labor intensive to replace these small bulbs. But really in a 2001 I would just live with it rather then spend the money to replace them.
  • I didn't mean the Corolla was an electrical lemon, I meant my Corolla was. Dramatic I am not, I mostly just described the problems that lead me to conclude that. I've had a few cars in my time, some with mileage under 300km some with mileage over 300,000km, all in and from a Canadian climate and never have I had the number of minor electrical problems I have had with this one. That's the very dull and undramatic truth. In fact, after I posted I realized I had left out two more glitches, one being my middle brake lamp not functioning, the other being the intermittency of the light illuminating the gears.

    As for the tips and suggestions I appreciate very much the time you have taken to post them.
    - The dome and headlights advice I will put to the test tonight.
    - The door locks I will keep in mind but will probably just retrain myself to use the key to lock the doors from the outside.
    - The dash lights I will probably leave; the last time I had it in I scoffed at the estimate to repair something Toyota really should have made much easier to access / cheaper to fix. (If I recall correctly the windshield I had replaced was overall cheaper then what was needed in labour to replace a light bulb in the speedometer console and compared to each other the light bulb cost seemed absurd)
    - For the brake lamp I will try your same suggestion for the headlights and dome problem.
    - The gear selector and lights on heater/radio console I will likely have to leave.

    Again, thanks for your time.
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,022
    Yea, when you start pulling apart a dashboard the labor can get quite expensive just to fix a lillte light bulb. Unless of course you take the time to do it yourself and remember where all the little screws go when you want to put it all back together. I have an 86 Tercel that has some dash bulbs burned out but I just live with it.
  • My 06 Corolla has started sounding the seat belt alarm when I start to drive as though the seat belt is not connected. I always wear my belt. There is no one else in the ca and nothing on any of the seats.

    Is there a way to bypass the seat belt warning? I was able to bypass the alarm on my Subaru.
  • My 2001 Corolla's gear gets stuck in the frigid cold weather here in Pittsburgh, PA. I have to warm the car for about 30 mins before the gear can release. Any idea what the prolem might be and how it can be solved?
  • ted52ted52 Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Corolla that has been a fine car till now. On the way home today the power, electrical, engine, everything went out for just a second 4 different times. The first three times the engine maintained life, but the fourth time it died. The power came right back and I could restart it. Anyone know what causes all of the power to go out momentarily? Radio, engine, all ectrical.


  • I purchased a 2009 Corolla in August. I had a remote start installed by a vendor who has installed at least 5 remote starts on my vehicles, no problems. My daughter told me that the trunk began opening every time she used the remote start. It also opens when the locks are activated in any way. The trunk also opens when the vehicle is taken from Park to Drive or Reverse. Toyota dealer said the problem was the remote start. The remote start vendor said they are not connected to the transmission and it was likely the vehicle electrical system. The remote start has been removed and the problem still exists. The ECM (??) unit is making a noise when the lock switches are activated or the car is shifted from Park to Drive or Reverse. Any other reports of this problem or ideas what is up?
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,022
    Obviously an installation gone bad ! The shop that tried to install this remote start should be held accountable. It's obviously their fault regardless of their past record, you didn't have this problem before you took it to them. Perhaps they used a roookie installer and he shorted something out. If you don't hold them accountable and have to have the Toyota techs. repair it, it sounds like your gonna be in for a very expensive repair as most electrical problems are. Toyota will not allow themselves to be held accountable, and shouldn't be, for this shops irresponsibility. Follow all the appropriate avenues to rectify this problem with them, if no solution, challenge them in small claims court.
  • Both of my low-beam headlights were off. I had heard two sounds within one minute before I found the lights were off. The sounds were similar to a microwave when food is cooked. After examination, the fuses are good, but no voltage between the sockets of the fuses. So I guess it is an electric problem. Any experience? Thanks a lot.
  • grandtotalgrandtotal Posts: 1,207
    Have you checked the fuses with a meter? Sometimes a fuse will look OK, but has blown.
  • 01corolla01corolla Posts: 2
    I have a 2001 corolla thats having some headlight problems. WIth a couple of days of eachother, both of my headlights burnt out. I was surprised, but replaced both bulbs. Only one (the left) headlight came back on. I then checked the fuses, both the right and left headlight fuses were fine, but I replaced them anyway, just to see if it would held. No such luck. Thinking now that it might be a relay related problem or a loose circuit, but not sure. Any ideas?
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,022
    My first thought would be that it's just a mere coincidence that they both burned out at the same time. If both are new now, just wait and see what happens.
  • bongettibongetti Posts: 1
    while driving seems like the power locks have mind of their own. they lock and unlock...pls help. :(
  • terceltomterceltom Posts: 1,022
    Gotta be a short somewhere. Good luck finding that!
  • cintcint Posts: 1
    I have a 1985 Toyota Corolla
    I have a problem that sometimes I get in the car, turn the ignition, the ignition lights are on, power going through circuits But wont turn over. Mainly does it when its warm, leave for 15 minutes then it will start.
    Does anyone know how to fix this problem??
  • vtcyclevtcycle Posts: 2
    We have a 2005 Corrolla w 150K miles. Brakes/rotors replaced 2 days ago. All fluids are good. 1/4 tank of gas. Young driver was coming home from soccer practice with radio & air conditioning on and the thing dies, all idiot lights on. He shuts it off after muscling it to the side of the road.
    He waited one minute and started it up, drove home 5 miles.
    If I had a job I would buy a new car.
    Any ideas?
    Thanks in advance,
  • susan83susan83 Posts: 1
    I'll be following your story...mine too. Scarey. July 3rd, driving my teenagers' 1996 Corolla, 150 K miles, near midnight up a steep mtn highway, went to turn on brights due to possible deer traffic and car entirely shuts off. No lights in or out (it was a moonless night), no power steering, no brakes. I began to roll backwards down the highway and was able to slow to a stop in a ditch (no shoulder) just off my right side lane when cars began passing at 50 mph. Whew. I'm scared to ever drive it again as the mechanics are saying they "cant' find anything wrong with it." Or that I need to drive it to "catch it misbahving" in order to diagnose it. I don't wish to drive it again, nor would I want my teenagers in it.

    Odd that for a few days the Power Locks had been acting funny--sometimes locking all 4 doors, sometimes only 1, sometimes 2, etc. Obviously electrical but not obvious fix. IF anyone can speak to this or to vtcycle's please do. :confuse:
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