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Old 10-07-2020, 07:44 PM   #1
JCPepper
 
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Crazy electrical problems.

Help Please!! My only vehicle and I make my living delivering with it. I am out of a job until resolved.

OK, this gets weird and may be multiple issues, I will just try to list the symptoms and the actions I've performed in the order they occurred.

My blower motor stopped blowing air. Also, you know the little amber light for the rear defroster? The one on the on/off button? Of course, it supposed to be on when the defroster button is in the on position and off otherwise. Well, it is on when the button is in the on position like it's supposed to be. But when the button in the off position it is still on. It lights up a little brighter when I turn the fan knob to an on position.

I checked relevant fuses by driver's foot and under hood by the battery - all OK.
I checked the the A/C relay - OK.
I checked for power at the blower, No power with switch in any position.
I did NOT check the resistor unit yet.(I will do that tomorrow)

Then, I drove the car and it died on me... no electrical power. The battery was in rough shape and I wanted to replace it anyway.

I replaced the battery.

Afterward, the battery light was strobing as I drove. I drove directly to the part store and they checked the alternator. It was bad.

I replaced the alternator. Belt is tight.

Afterward, the battery light is on, but goes off when the engine is running a bit faster than an idle.

I checked the replacement alternator by placing a continuity light between the hot terminal on the alternator and a ground. It lights up brightly. I will purchase a multi meter tomorrow and check exact voltage.

I drove the car a bit further and the check-engine light came on. At about the same time, the turn signals stopped working.

I went to the part store and borrowed their code reader, It showed a P0705 error, which is a transmission range sensor problem.

The LCD display that shows what gear is selected is now flickering.

It still seemed to drive OK and there doesn't seem to be a loss of overall electric power, but I'm not entirely sure.

Anyone have any ideas?
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Old 10-07-2020, 08:53 PM   #2
NYC-SE
 
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Check your chassis grounds. Sometimes seemingly random unrelated electrical problems can be caused by bad grounds. Also did you check the fuses at the positive battery terminal. I remember reading here somewhere a similar story to yours and it turned out that fusible link was "partially" blown. Sounds weird I know but there was enough metal to allow current to flow but not enough to allow the proper amount.

Good luck.
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Old 10-08-2020, 03:13 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply.

I visually checked the chassis ground wire and it looks good.

I'm not sure how to test the fuses on the positive terminal. There appear to be 2 fuses inside a clear block of plastic. Neither appear to be blown with a visual. How might I test them with a multimeter to see if either is partially blown? Or, can I bypass them somehow just for testing purposes?

Also, I forgot to mention, the car had been jump-started two days before this all happened. That is why the terminal fuse scenario seems like a possibility.

Again, thanks in advance for any input
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Old 10-08-2020, 03:26 AM   #4
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Also, I forgot to mention. The airbag light had been on for about 3000 miles before this all started as well.
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Old 10-08-2020, 01:23 PM   #5
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I've also had various electrical issues (slightly different symptoms) and can't figure it out. Would be interested if you figure out a cause.
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Old 10-08-2020, 06:54 PM   #6
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I will post the ultimate outcome.

It left me stranded on my way to Harbor Freight to buy a multi meter. So, I had it towed to a mechanic. I really didn't want to do that, but I need the car. I have to work in the parking lot of my apartment in the Florida heat. I had done enough of that.

Both the mechanic and the tow truck driver's first guess was that I got a bad replacement alternator.
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Old 10-08-2020, 10:43 PM   #7
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Look forward to hearing the solution. I'm far from a trained mechanic, but I doubt it's a faulty replacement alternator. Pretty sure those are well tested before they hit the shelf. I suspect your problem is elsewhere, such as in wiring, supply or grounds. I hope I'm wrong and another alternator works. The voltage regulators are a problem spot for the Yaris alternator, but that was likely checked if it was a reman alternator.
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Old 10-11-2020, 01:04 AM   #8
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I had some odd electrical gremlins when my alternator went bad - not as bad as yours but it was quite obvious the electrical system was experiencing a voltage drop. My voltage regulator was on the way out. This manifested in lights dimming and the engine acting strangely. I have seen plenty of videos on YouTube of mechanics in the US complaining most of the re-man parts like alternators and starters sold by the autoparts store are basically junk. I would probably find a genuine Toyota one from a scrapyard or order the Denso brand replacement.

If its not that - something this weird will probably be a ground issue or some wires shorted together somewhere - I would probably start looking through the wiring diagrams trying to find what they all have in common. These sorts of issues really are a pig to fix and you will probably end up having to have a professional diagnose it.
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Old 10-11-2020, 06:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoidberg444 View Post
I had some odd electrical gremlins when my alternator went bad - not as bad as yours but it was quite obvious the electrical system was experiencing a voltage drop. My voltage regulator was on the way out. This manifested in lights dimming and the engine acting strangely. I have seen plenty of videos on YouTube of mechanics in the US complaining most of the re-man parts like alternators and starters sold by the autoparts store are basically junk. I would probably find a genuine Toyota one from a scrapyard or order the Denso brand replacement.

If its not that - something this weird will probably be a ground issue or some wires shorted together somewhere - I would probably start looking through the wiring diagrams trying to find what they all have in common. These sorts of issues really are a pig to fix and you will probably end up having to have a professional diagnose it.
I suppose it could be a poorly remanufactured alternator. I've actually had great luck in the past with remans. I often buy older vehicles and the 3 - 4 alternators that I've replaced in the past decade have held up well. The last two, I bought from Carquest (the Canadian arm of Advance Auto Parts, I think) have been great. They told me they have a lifetime warranty. Many parts stores have alternator testing benches. The OP should be able to confirm whether it's good or bad fairly easily. I would get that tested and if it's good, do exactly what you say - start looking at the wiring schematics.
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Old 10-13-2020, 06:35 PM   #10
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Well, the mechanic I took it to misdiagnosed it as a bad replacement alternator and replaced it. He then called me back and said it was acting the same and that he is checking the drive pulley on the crank to see if it is slipping, which is laughable because it obviously wasn't when I put in the first replacement alternator and the car would be making noise if this were true.

The guy told me this and said he'd call back in an hour...3 hours later ... no call. So, I called him and got no answer. Don't know how this will play out but I'm getting angry. This car is my livelihood, I drive UberEats for a living. It's already cost me 2 grand in parts and lost wages not including what this mechanic might take me for.

My best educated guess is that it is a short at the blower motor resistor pack. The blower motor was the first thing to stop working, and the resistor pack looked like brown corrosion was on the bottom. It was hard to see because I was using a mirror.

I was on my way to get an angled screwdriver and multimeter to remove and check the resistor when it died. Should have had them tow the thing back to my place, I might have it fixed by now.
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Old 10-13-2020, 06:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCPepper View Post
Well, the mechanic I took it to misdiagnosed it as a bad replacement alternator and replaced it. He then called me back and said it was acting the same and that he is checking the drive pulley on the crank to see if it is slipping, which is laughable because it obviously wasn't when I put in the first replacement alternator and the car would be making noise if this were true.

The guy told me this and said he'd call back in an hour...3 hours later ... no call. So, I called him and got no answer. Don't know how this will play out but I'm getting angry. This car is my livelihood, I drive UberEats for a living. It's already cost me 2 grand in parts and lost wages not including what this mechanic might take me for.

My best educated guess is that it is a short at the blower motor resistor pack. The blower motor was the first thing to stop working, and the resistor pack looked like brown corrosion was on the bottom. It was hard to see because I was using a mirror.

I was on my way to get an angled screwdriver and multimeter to remove and check the resistor when it died. Should have had them tow the thing back to my place, I might have it fixed by now.
Ah, very frustrating. I can empathize. If you decide to do some electrical testing, I may have some wiring diagrams if you need them.
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Old 10-20-2020, 06:53 AM   #12
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It was a grounding issue. As I thought. Car is running fine.

I bought the car from my brother in Ohio. There is salted roads and crap like that. It's on it's second subframe because of rust.

Mechanic charged me $250 bucks for diagnostics and to clean contacts. I am fine with this figure.

So what contacts did he clean? dunno.

So, that's it. Wish I could contribute more.
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