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Discussion Starter #1
Our 2011 Corolla was totaled in December, and I started looking for a replacement, with some handy advice from y'all here.

We found a 2004 Corolla with 59k miles ( verified by Carfax ), and it drove nicely so we bought it conditionally yesterday ( $7500 ), with a 4 day return option, from a reputable local Toyota dealer. So I left it with our mechanic yesterday, and today he says that, overall, we got a very nice car, but he found that the tires don't match. They aren't the same set. But as long as there's no pulling, he says that should be ok. ( It drove fine. )

Then he found that it's hard to start. We also noticed that - it takes about 4-5 seconds to start up, and then runs a little rough for a brief period - barely noticeable. But VERY nice pickup.

But he also discovered something added to the air intake, with a label that says "Power Box". It has some wires on it, which connectors, he says, aren't a very reliable type. But he's never seen that in this place on these cars before. He said that whatever it is, could negatively affect the performance, at some point. So I'm wondering what it is, and if it might be causing the hard starting?

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Power box? That is an aftermarket modification. How did the dealer sell it that way? Curious.

However, that doesn’t belong there at all. Those red connectors are splice connectors and is not standard or stock. Can it cause hard start? Maybe.


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How did they sell it that way? Not sure what you mean. They didn't tell us about it, and we tentatively bought the car and took it to our mechanic, who discovered it. I'm not sure what's in it, but it looks like a couple of snap hasps there. I'll pop it open tomorrow and see.

Question is, what will the dealer do for us now, with 3 days left to refund us?
 

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What I mean is how did they not check the engine bay before sale. Those quick splice connectors are a sign of modification.

Someone installed that unit in which is presumably a “power” mod. Being that the car has been tampered with, I would negotiate another price. Some things you can bring up in this case is that this “Power box” directly interferes with the standard emissions built into the vehicle. Secondly, the factory harness has been tampered with and cut into. Lastly, without knowing what this device does we can assume it will cause some evident problems in the future.

I’ll be honest, most of these cars are rock solid. In theory, those splices likely modifies the signal between the sensor and computer in a minor way. It shouldn’t cause much of a problem and is removable. If you like the vehicle I don’t see a problem in keeping. But again that’s all my opinion. Much like an opinion of your mechanic who spotted this for you.


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2004 Toyota Camry, 2017 Toyota Camry, and many many more lol
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Yes the dealership should have seen that before they purchased it or took it on trade. We do a through inspection of everything before we take one in. It’s aftermarket no telling what’s been done. I’m sure you got an excellent car otherwise though.
 

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It's a so called "performance chip". Not really worth having. It's likely the cause of the delayed start and rough idle.

Edit : the link posted in the thread is dead. I tried clicking it, but leads nowhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The front & back bumpers also have some paint scraped off them in 2 spots. My mechanic says it may have been owned by an elderly person. :)
 

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If you remove it, cut it open so we can see what's inside. $20 says it's a resistor that parallels the intake air temp sensor to make the ECU think it's really cold and add more fuel. Somebody probably paid $50 to $100 for a $0.10 component in a little box with a colorful sticker on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
With those snap openers, I'm afraid it's a filter in there. Will see today. I checked out some of this stuff a few years back, when I thought that, because we live in Denver, we could use a fan on the input, to boost the pressure to sea level and increase oxygen. Someone in this forum educated me on that, about the ECU adjusting the mixture anyway. But they're selling these small round filters for hundreds of dollars, claiming they give more area than the big ones inside the stock air filter housing.

Update: Ooops, that appears to be the stock air filter housing. Not sure why someone put the PowerBox sticker on there. Anyway, like you said, it must just be s sensor chip in the one section.
 

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Ummm the air filter housing is in the right place. That box with a sticker was self-tapped to it. The sensor is again that “chip”(box) with the sticker on it. The red connectors is called a quick splice connector. They work by cutting into the stock wires to send or modify those signals to the computer.


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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
If you remove it, cut it open so we can see what's inside. $20 says it's a resistor that parallels the intake air temp sensor to make the ECU think it's really cold and add more fuel. Somebody probably paid $50 to $100 for a $0.10 component in a little box with a colorful sticker on it.
Oh ok. I'm not a mechanic. :) It sounds like it would cause worse gas mileage then, AND if it's doing it when I start the warmed-up car, making it too rich, which could account for the starting problems.

Oh, I won't be the one to remove it. The vehicle is under 2000 mile warranty by the car lot. I'd be willing to bet they won't let me have it, either.
 

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Oh ok. I'm not a mechanic. :) It sounds like it would cause worse gas mileage then, AND if it's doing it when I start the warmed-up car, making it too rich, which could account for the starting problems.
Definitely possible. The warmup enrichment for the car is usually controlled by the coolant temperature, you might double check that nobody tampered with that sensor too.

I don't have a manual for that car, but if someone does... let us know if those wires from the MAF sensor are THA and ground or power. Looks like the orange and yellow-black are tapped?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I spoke with them since. First they denied that the box existed ( whew! ) and I pointed out that my mechanic AND the forum both recognized it. Then I got the right guy and he's arranging for me to bring it in, and they will remove the PowerBox and make the harness factory spec, and even put in a new air cleaner housing because of the drilled hole. And yes, check the coolant sensor. Whew...
 
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