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'94 Corolla just died

1281 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  chefmike
I have a '94 Corolla that until now has been a great car, almost 170,000 on it and no major problems. I changed the front brake pads last week- the right front was very tough to get the pads in, I had to loosen the top caliper bolt a bit to squeeze them in. Although some brake fluid leaked out of the master cylinder from contracting the caliper, I got the brakes done, and the car ran great for a full day, no more squealing brakes. The next day while I was driving I noticed the battery light was on, and the day after that, the car would not turn over-nothing electrically would work, except that the open door reminder still chimes, the open door icon on the dash will light, and the dome light comes on when the door is open. The battery is not dead, and all the fuses are fine.
Could there be a connection between working on the brakes and possibly the car's computer? So much is not working that I'm thinking it's the computer, because I can't even move the car into any gear even with the key in the ignition-it's locked. If anybody has any ideas, I'd appreciate it. Also wondering how expensive it would be to replace the computer? Thanks.
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Hmmmmm.. I don't know what you would have hit?!?

Most cars you can't changed gears without the key in anymore :p

As for computer prices, they range. For your model I don't know. My Cirrus LXi is $150 for a transmission computer :p but you are probably looking at $400+ and depends if you are doing it yourself or getting it installed. :p
There should be a small piece near your shifter that you can press down with a screwdriver that will allow you to shift gears without the key being in, but I don't know what good that'll do you other than allow you to move the car. Other than that, I don't know what your problem could be.
how do you know that the battery isnt dead? because the lights are on or because you tested it?
foompla said:
how do you know that the battery isnt dead? because the lights are on or because you tested it?
I agree, My battery went dead on my DSM, wudnt turn over at all. Interior lights and door chimes and all wud work, but wudnt turn over. Tested the battery, and it was dead. It doesnt take a whole lot of power to power the lights and such, but it takes a shiat load to turn the starter. Id test the battery, if you havent already, before you begin with the worst case scenario. Dont forget to check the terminal connections too, make sure they good and tight with no corrosion.
Sounds like if you try to jump start with another car/battery then we might know what the problem is. Don't think related to brake job and/or computer.
for real.. if jumpstarting the battery with another car doesn't work take off that battery and go to pepboys or whatever autostore you got in your state (I would say Canadian tire but you ain't in Canada :) ) and get your battery tested, chances are it only holds enough power to keep the electronics turned on but it doesn't hold enough power to crank the starter. If the battery is fine and it does hold power, chances are its your alternator that doesn't provide the power to keep the battery charged properly. The same thing that happened to you happened to me when my alternator was dying, sometimes my car would start and sometimes it wouldn't even though the lights and everything would turn on. I used to jumpstart my car and it would be fine, but it would keep coming back. I replaced the alternator and now it runs like new again.

Don't go assuming that your computer is gone, otherwise your'e gonna make your mechanic rich by telling him to replace something when its another thing that's causing the problem. :rolleyes:
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I know the battery isn't dead because I took it out, put it in my other car, and it started right up. Then I did the reverse-took the battery out of my wife's car and put it in mine, and it was the same story-wouldn't work. Someone told me it might be either the ignition switch, (which would explain why the car won't shift into gear), or the starter relay. I'm having a mechanic come to my house tonite, I'll post what I find out. If there's any other ideas out there, please post.Thanks to everyone that posted-chefmike
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