Q: I go out to my vehicle and the starter just clicks, I have replaced battery but it still happens.

A: Your problem is in the starter. Most Toyota dealers will replace the starter but in reality only the contacts inside need replacing. These contacts are available and the idea comes from Honda. If your dealer does not have access to these let me know and I can assist. This can save you approximately $150.00 and it works.

Q: I started my Toyota and noticed that the Brake and Battery warning lights came on.

A: Its been my experience that the cause is inside the Alternator. You may need brushes or replacement, your dealer can best advise. If you own an American built Corolla then you probably have an AC Delco alternator, these have a life of their own. The AC Delco alternator is built to fail but in fairness to Toyota they have to use these since GM is in partnership in the assembly. These alternators cannot be repaired and the dealer will use an ND alternator as a replacement. If you are out of warranty and have a good relationship with your dealer ask for assistance in the cost of repair from Toyota as goodwill.

Q: My Camry's power windows don't work from the drivers door.

A: The most likely cause is broken wires in the door harness from the left door to the cars body. I've found that after several years of opening and closing the wires break or start to separate. This is repairable at a reasonable cost. If you have one of the 87-90 Camry that is involved in a recall check with your dealer, normally all power locks froze, this is very expensive to correct.

Q: My 91 Camry keeps blowing fuse's for the gauge, my seat belts don't work and sometimes my taillights don't work.

A:Have our Toyota dealer look inside your trunk. It was common to have the left trunk hinge "pinch" the wiring harness to the rear of the vehicle. Inspect the wires and repair as needed, reposition once repaired and this should correct your problem.

Q: My Camry brake lights don't work, the taillights seem fine.

A: Have your Toyota dealer inspect the light failure relay. This is a component that inspects the circuit to the rear lights and notify the driver if a light is out. When it fails it dons not always warn the driver but does affect the rear light operation. I have seen on some four door models where the wires to the rear lights get pinched under the trunk hinge. This breaks the wire and caused no lights or the wires get pinched and ground out causing a fuse to blow killing something else (like the moving seat belt track).

Q: My radio stopped working and I thought that I smelled something burning when it stopped.

A: Some of Toyota's radios had a inner circuit problem. Take your vehicle or call your dealer with the question. If you call they will need to know your model radio, the number is on the front of the radio, they can tell you if this is one of those that had the circuit problem. I went on so long because this is still under warranty even though you have 100k and its 7 years old, another good reason to call your dealer.

Q: I had my battery replaced and now my radio is locked and does not work.

A: Somewhere along the way someone has "coded the radio" to prevent theft. If the code is not known then contact your local Toyota dealer and they can obtain a code that will unlock the radio. I've done this many times and in my advice have them unlock the radio for you, its a little involved.

Q: I purchased my 92 Corolla used and never had a master key, is there any way to get a master key without going to a locksmith?

A: Contact your Toyota dealer. They can go into Toyota's master file of vehicles and almost likely get a code. These go back several years so if you own even an older one the information may be there.

Q: I've owned several Camry's over the years and I now have a 97 Camry which is great except for the headlight brightness. Have you heard of anyone else complaining of this?

A: In 97 and later all the manufactures have changed the headlights beams. Its not that they are not as bright but the beam of lights have changed so not to shine up and left. You are noticing that on dark roads without street lights you cannot see as far forward as you thought you could, in fact you can, but the light beams are not shining up. If you feel that more light is needed check with your dealer and some adjustment may be needed or if its that dark and lonely use the high beams.

Q: My 90 Camry ignition key is hard to turn, its been lubricated but it does not last, any ideas?

A: This is common problem with the 88-91 Camry's. When they designed the dash and more particular the ignition cylinder location it is at an odd angle. Over the years it just wears out and replacement of the ignition cylinder is required, yes you will have a different key.

Q: There are two wires that apparently attach to the positive terminal of the battery, are they to do with the fan and rear heater in this van? Are they necessary to hook up, one is a blue coated wire and the other is a yellow wire in some type of plastic protector that looks like it might be a switch of some kind. Can you tell me what these wires are for and if I need to attach them? I can't keep a charge in this van and the battery is new. Ed S.

A: Well those wires are important for several things. The one thing you did not mention is whether the charge or battery light is on, since if the battery is not being charged the charging system may not be working. The two wires are power sources to several of the van's electrical components. The battery is probably in the worse location for a power source especially in the northern 1/2 of the country and to attach wires for a power source is just as bad. Each wire has some sort of "fuse" and the wire you saw is the fusible link, this acts like fuse in that it will melt when the current gets too hot, the switch looking object is a fuse of a different sort. These can be tested with a 12v test light but I prefer a ohm meter. If they need replacing you can go to a Toyota dealer and they may have both items in stock or a major parts store will have what you need to make repairs.

Q: I am having problems with my battery. It goes dead over night, but when I get a jump it acts fine throughout the day. I've taken it to be checked but it always passes the test. Any help, my neighbors are getting tired of seeing me. Joel D.

A: I have had this happen to me before. The problem, unless something is drawing down the battery, it is inside the battery. The process is called sulfating, in English the battery is made up of 6 cells with lead plates surrounded by sulfuric acid. The chemical process that creates voltage wears on the lead plates and small amounts fall to the bottom of the battery. When enough gather then that cell is shorted and does not work, a dead battery is the result. When you jump the battery the jolt breaks up the lead and the battery returns to normal. I'm afraid you will need the battery replaced to correct the problem. I will tell anyone out there that this is common for a DIE HARD battery from SEARS, if you own one remember this hint the only quirk is yours may fail just after shutting off the engine without any previous warning.

Q: I have an Camry that the directionals do not always work in the morning, they start to work but what can be the cause. Jane S.

A: Lately we have seen this condition on Camry's and Corollas, the cause is the hazard switch is faulty and not letting the circuit to complete when its cold. Have your dealer replace the switch and it should return to normal.

Q: My 95 Camry power radio antenna will has broken or at least bent to the point where it does not go up or down, how can I change this myself. PA.

A: Normally the antenna motor is in good condition but the mast needs replacing. With the key in the off position go to the left rear fender and remove the chrome colored ring that is at the top of the antenna opening (be a little careful and you can use pliers). Next have someone turn on the key and the radio, and catch the antenna as it comes out of the fender. If all is well then nothing broke off in the antenna motor. To install, place the white leader into the antenna opening and have someone turn off the antenna. You will be able to feed it into the motor and it should go almost fully down. Once it is down reinstall the chrome ring. Now have someone turn on the radio and it should come fully up and then turn it off and it should go fully down. If all this has worked you were successful, if not then there may be a piece of the lead broken inside the motor and it will have to come off the vehicle and removed. You can do this yourself or go to a dealer if you have to replace the motor it can cost over 225.00 so its cheaper to have it repaired. If you want to do it yourself then once you purchase the antenna assembly open the trunk and remove the plastic clips that hold the trunk liner in place on the driver side. You will then see the antenna motor. Remove the chrome ring that you see on the left rear quarter panel and pull up the plastic collar. You will have to take off the (possibly 2) nuts that hold it to the frame member and disconnect the 2 wire harness leads and the antenna wire lead to the motor. Once that is done you can remove the old antenna motor, if it looks like the one you purchased in every way then installing it is just the reverse. Good luck.

Q: How do I find out what the problem is with my light switch. When I turn it off at night, the parking lights come on by them self once in a while. Nobody has never heard of that problem.the switch contacts must be loose or something. Before I take the steering wheel off I though maybe you can give me an idea. It doesn't`t happen all the time and once I turn them off again they stay off. Bugs the heck out of me.

A: You may think I'm crazy but its probably one of the rear taillight bulbs. I have seen these fail and cause this problem. Splurge and by 4 new ones and see if it helps.

Q:My van died at a stop sign and would not start. The starter would not even turn over. I towed it home and jump started it with my battery charger and it started fine. I charged the battery overnight and it started fine the next morning. I left it sitting in the driveway all day and it started again that evening. Later that evening, thinking it was fixed, my son drove the van. Two miles from the house it again just died and had to be towed back home.
My thinking is that it is the alternator. The battery is only 6 months old. I checked the belts and they are in good shape (8-10 months old).
>Is it the alternator or am I overlooking something? Also is there a way to check the alternator?

A:My guess is that one of the fuses links is starting to fail. These are located off the positive battery cable and are known to fray and break since its in such a poor location.
There is a main fuse in line to the engine under the vehicle by the driver seat (in a small rectangle shaped cover) and this may be failing. You may want to have a dealer look at this since you may go down many dead ends trying at home.

Q: When I press the brake pedal on my 1996 Corolla Sedan with the headlight switch off, the control panel, and the side front light turns on with the rear Stop lights. Is this a short circuit on the Stop pedal relay?

A: My guess is that you either have one or more brake light bulbs or you may have had a trailer wiring kit installed.
The bulbs act strange and cause a cross feel to other lights when this happens, you may want to replace all 4.

Q: My Brother-in-law, installed the battery wrong in his Celica and now it appears that a fuse is blown, the problem is finding the one that is bad. He connected the positive side to the neg side and vice-versa, do you know which fuse is the culprit? When inserting the key you get no power to the inside of the car (gauges, etc..) The things that run off direct power are working (headlights, dome light, etc.) we just don't know which fuse is blown. Dana

A: Its probably one of the main fuses. They are located in a smaller fuse box next to the large on the left inner fender. They are usually in a small plastic case and sometimes the one that is blown on yours needs to be unbolted to remove. Normally only Toyota dealers will have these fuses.