Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

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

asked by on

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

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.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Maintenance Required light is on

This indicates that your oil change service is due. Ideally people change their oil every couple thousand miles. This is usually before the maintenance required light comes on. Part of the oil change service is reseting the maintenance indicator in...

Q: Wipers don't turn off on 1995 Volvo 960

Hello. This is a problem with the wiper module. The module fails internally and causes the wipers to continue to stay on. I always check for power at the module first to see if it is getting the on signal....

Q: Car won't stay charged

Typically, when a battery has failed internally, it stops holding a charge for as long as it used to. You will want to run an inspection on your battery, alternator and starter, and check to make sure that there are...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.