Q: How do I handle this car issue?

asked by on March 12, 2018

Yesterday 3/11/18 I went to the car to go to the store. I started the car and it would not start, it did not make any noises (as if it was trying to start) and I noticed the electric power steering system warning light was on and the malfunction/check engine indicator was on. I attempted to start it again and it did the same thing. I took the key out waited about 2-3 minutes and tried again, this time the car started and neither of the warning lights were on. I drove to the dealership (about 23 miles; there were closed) I drove back home. And I drove to work today 3/12/18 (about 25 miles) and there has been no issues. The car started with no issues and neither of the warning lights are on.

The days up until yesterday 3/11/18, I noticed a faint burning plastic smell once I got out of the car after driving (first noticed about 3 days ago). And my passenger door will not unlock when I use the key pad to unlock the car nor will it unlock if I use the unlock button inside the car.

My car has 38000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi Ashley. Thanks for contacting us today. This is a very good question and one that often confuses car owners as to the proper way in which to handle. The solution really depends on what type of warranty or coverage that came with the vehicle when it was new from the dealership. Some Toyota’s are covered for electrical issues up to five years or 50,000 miles, which is likely what you’re experiencing based on your description. However, it’s also quite common for a dealership to charge you to inspect the vehicle to determine the root source (even if it’s covered under a warranty). Since this is likely the case with your Toyota, it’s probably more affordable and smarter to have a professional mobile mechanic come to your location to determine what is causing the door lock issue, but more importantly, what that burning plastic smell is. It’s quite possible that the two are related. If you’d like to have one of our mobile mechanics come to your location to help diagnose this issue, click this link to request an estimate and set up an appointment.

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