Q: Car not shifting into gear and having electrical problems.

asked by on December 28, 2015

Headlights, dashboard lights, AC, and radio not working. Car will also not shift into gear.

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That does sound serious! From that description, it sounds like your Toyota Corolla has an electrical problem that needs to be addressed. The recommendation I have is to get your Corolla’s fuses checked. Fuses can be checked a few different ways, such as with a digital voltage meter, a test light or even by looking over them visually.

There are two different types of fuses you need to be aware of when looking over your car. The smaller, blade fuses generally need to be removed from their socket to visually confirm there is a connection. However I must note that my own eyes have been fooled and a fuse that looks good may not always be good, so using a digital voltage meter is a guaranteed way to determine if fuses are the issue.

The bigger fuses have a nice clear window to see into and if one is bad you can usually see it. The bigger the fuse, the more amps run through it. The symptom you describe sounds like it could be the main fuse for the car, which is the 100amp fuse. In most cases when this fuse blows, the car won’t start, however I have seen one with a blown main fuse that did start and the repair resulted in a new fuse box along with a new main fuse. So while this may very well be what you are experiencing, it is always best to have electrical and fuse problems inspected by a certified mechanic.

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