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Ask Ted Ritter Your Own Question
Ted Ritter
Ted Ritter, Toyota Master Tech
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 4183
Experience:  Toyota Master Tech, ASE Certified
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My 1991 MR2 was running fine, and apparently charging fine.

Customer Question

My 1991 MR2 was running fine, and apparently charging fine. The battery got a bit low so I replaced it and it ran for several days/weeks thereafter. This weekend everything is dead; no power to nothing. It's so abrupt I expect that a short or blown fuse, likely the latter, is to blame. Before I call AAA (there's no Toyota dealer nearby) and TRY to jump start the car, is this a common problem?
JA: Battery issues can be tough to diagnose - lots of things to consider. Luckily, the mechanic I'm going to connect you with knows all the tricks and shortcuts. Are you hoping to fix this yourself?
Customer: Sure, I kind of have to as the car is so old no one has manuals or experience with them at the dealerships (so your expertise would be greatly appreciated).
JA: Great! What have you tried so far?
Customer: I looked at the battery and it appears uncorroded with tight connections (but what do I know?).
JA: Is there anything else the Toyota Mechanic should be aware of about your Toyota?
Customer: no
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Toyota Mechanic about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Ted Ritter replied 7 months ago.
Hello, thanks for posting I just saw your post, do you still need help with this? Did jump starting hel and did it keep running?Do you have a voltmeter handy?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
AAA checked the battery and said it was "zero" (really dead). Since the battery is pretty new (1 month old) and the battery gauge is reading high (in the direction of 18v) maybe the alternator isn't charging the battery? I thought the gauge showed the battery charge though so I'm confused. The cables are fastened tight and appear clean. Thoughts?
Expert:  Ted Ritter replied 7 months ago.
If it's driveable can you have the charging system tested just to be sure? Most parts stores like autozone do this for free. There's no doubt something is discharging this battery, have you checked all the lights including the brake lights to make sure they don't stay on? Does it have any aftermarket stuff installed like audio amps or sound system, anything like that? Is there an aftermarket alarm system installed, all of these can cause an excessive battery draw. We can check battery current draw but you need a digital volt/amp meter, can you get one or do you happen to have one?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I'll try to get it to somewhere tomorrow that can check the charging system. Thank you for your help.
Expert:  Ted Ritter replied 7 months ago.
You're welcome, let me know how that goes, maybe they can also check for an excessive current draw on the battery while the engine is shut off and everything is turned off like it would be parked overnight.

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