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Toyota Repair/electrical?


My son recently bought an old car.

1999 Toyota Corolla LE
4 cylinders
automatic transmission

The following has happened for about the third time now.  On his way to work he hit a bump on the interstate and ALL of his dashboard lights went out.  The car went out of overdrive.  But the radio worked.  I don't know about A/C or heater because it wasn't on.  He didn't think to try the horn or windows.  At some point the dash lights came back on and he pushed the button to turn the overdrive back on.  He said this cycle happened several times on his way to work this morning.

He just replaced the car's battery.  This didn't help this problem. But it needed new battery anyway.

He has replaced the driver's door handles inside and out I think.

He replaced the front strut & spring assembly.  (Rear struts are next.)

He will have the key ignition thingy replaced.  I believe he's going to a junk yard to look for that piece.  Since he didn't take it apart, he'll get a professional to repair that problem. The former owner had totally removed the key hole thing on the steering wheel.  He has to start the car with a screw driver!

The car starts easily.
It doesn't smoke.
The engine sounds good.

Any suggestions where to start?  


Hello, losing electrical components like ignition, dash lights etc may be due to a bad relay or fuse ins the fuse box under the hood, there may be a relay or fuse that has corroded connections or are just a loose fit in the sockets so these should be checked, possibly a wiring issue where a circuit opens due to the jolt to the car, the ignition switch could be the problem as well so if it doesn't fix the problem I would carefully inspect the electrical system under the hood starting with the fuse box, move some wires around and the fuses relays as well to see if the problem can be duplicated.  

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Ted Ritter


I have more than 28 years experience as toyota technician, I will be able to answer most questions related to the Toyota product line up to the present year models,I am located in the US but welcome questions from other regions of the world. When asking a question please provide specific information: year,model, engine,transmission information. Provide as much information as possible including a brief repair history if possible. I have been a volunteer here for more ten years an have answered over 16,000 questions helping Toyota owners with their problems and save thousands of dollars without any compensation, some of my answers are published on many other websites including google and various automotive forums. DONATIONS ARE VERY MUCH APPRECIATED, IF YOU HAVE RECIEVED HELPFUL INFORMATION PLEASE MAKE A DONATION. AS OF TODAY (JULY 22, 2014) ALL REQUESTED GRAPHICS, ILLUSTRATIONS, DIAGRAMS, PHOTOS, WILL REQUIRE THE MINUMUM DONATION UP FRONT.


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