This 2009 Toyota Camry originally had a very simple bad battery condition but here is the short version of what went wrong. I have come to find out that this problem and it’s repair apply to at least the 2007, 2008, 2009 & 2010 year models.
“Hi Dad, the Camry won’t start. It turns over kind of slow.”
“Well son, how do the battery cables look?”
“Kind of green.”
“Go ahead and clean the cable and let me know what happens.”
“Dad, I cleaned the cables but it still won’t crank.”
“Come get my jump box, if it is the battery it should crank up.”
“Dad, I hooked the jump box up and now it won’t do anything.”
“Don’t do anything else, I will help you in the morning.”
Well after a few hours of trying stuff I get the phone call and the story. I figured there was probably a blown fuse but the father said he had checked them all. The found two inside that were blown but that was it. They replaced the blown fuses but still nothing. The dash lights and exterior lights do work though. I went to the underhood fuse box to find the blown high amp fuse that protects may circuits. The fuse box legend showed quite a few higher amp fuses.
When I looked in the fuse box I did not see what I was expecting. Where the fuses should have been there were only two blue strips. Well, I did see a large junction with a stud and nut. I guessed that this might be a battery input to the fuse box. No power at all.
I checked the positive battery terminal and it was reasonably clean and tight. I followed the smaller lead from the positive battery terminal to the side of the fuse box. I also noticed a clear side to the parts that are shaped like blue strips. They could be fuses but there are no test points.
I checked for power at the battery lead to goes inside the fuse box. Power was present so there has to be a problem in the fuse box.
It turned out the blue strips were blocks of multiple fuses. It is kind of a cool from a design point of view. From a service point of view it is possibly one of the most ridiculous fuse designs that I have ever seen. The fuse box has to be disassembled to change the bolted in fuse design. I know for the amperage load it has to be bolted in place but should we really have to take the fuse box apart. By the way it is not easy by any means.
Also the local Toyota dealership does not stock it either. Over the next couple of days I will show how to change this fuse assembly.
The moral of the story to this point is that If your battery is weak and you connect the leads of your dad’s jump box up backwards, be prepared to walk for a few days.
Also a $100 battery replacement now will cost at least $250.