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All Electrical Stoped Working


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I recently had a big problem with my 06 IS250 AWD. I went to get into the car and the doors wouldn’t open, so I got in manually with the "key" and tried to start the car to no avail. The wheel wouldn't move and the break wouldn't depress and there appeared to be no power, and thus no way to start the car.

My initial thought was that the wheel lock had been triggered and the battery was dead, so I tried jumping it (correctly) however I could not depress the break and thus the push button wouldn't star the car. However, it appeared that no electrical was working and the push button start wasn't responding to the key? My second thought was that the key battery was dead, however that was not the problem as I tried both sets of keys and replaced the batteries. So reluctantly, I had it towed to the dealership where they spent three days searching for a problem.

The result after three days at the dealership (so I have been told) was CORROSION on a ground in one of the wire harnesses that connected ground wire from the battery to the frame located just in front of the firewall on the right hand side of the car. Apparently that was enough to shut the entire car down. I am wondering how a 2 1/2 year old car can build up that much corrosion and how something that small can shut down everything in the car. Also, what else is in store for future years? I am picking it up from the dealership but I want to make sure that something like this can't happen while I am driving.

I figured I would post this in the event any of you are unlucky enough to experience this. Luckily it is an easy fix and there was no major damage done! But regardless it took a lot of hours to track down the problem.

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Update: So my car is back in the shop, getting the (3) three recalls completed that are out and I am also trying to get the Horn and High Beams working since they were not fixed in the initial "electrical problem". The guys took 8 hours of diagnostic time to figure it out and basically blamed in on the salt, yes we have salt up here, and no it wasn't covered under warranty as I have 70k on the car. I still don't think this should have happened in 2.5 years time and I am going to write to corporate in hopes of finding a solution to the very large bill that came with the "repair" (They did lower the $98 labor cost to $68/hr). The good news for you guys is that in the event the problem happens to you, hopefully I saved you a huge bill as they now have a solution to the problem.

I did actually ask about the chance of a total power failure while driving and they said that since it was a ground wire that had the corrosion, that they have the most power going through them at start-up and thus once it's running it should be fine since the amps are lower after ignition and if there as a problem it would happen during the highest amps. I agree with their point, but none-the-less "Should" be fine isn't great either.

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Update: So my car is back in the shop, getting the (3) three recalls completed that are out and I am also trying to get the Horn and High Beams working since they were not fixed in the initial "electrical problem". The guys took 8 hours of diagnostic time to figure it out and basically blamed in on the salt, yes we have salt up here, and no it wasn't covered under warranty as I have 70k on the car. I still don't think this should have happened in 2.5 years time and I am going to write to corporate in hopes of finding a solution to the very large bill that came with the "repair" (They did lower the $98 labor cost to $68/hr). The good news for you guys is that in the event the problem happens to you, hopefully I saved you a huge bill as they now have a solution to the problem.

I did actually ask about the chance of a total power failure while driving and they said that since it was a ground wire that had the corrosion, that they have the most power going through them at start-up and thus once it's running it should be fine since the amps are lower after ignition and if there as a problem it would happen during the highest amps. I agree with their point, but none-the-less "Should" be fine isn't great either.

2nd Update RE: High Beam Lights/Horn - The electrical issue caused a short in one of the controls that apparently now needs to be replaced. The part will add another $181.00 plus Labor to the series of events that have transpired above. Let's just hope this is the end of it!

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