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Vcs, Abs, Brake, Check Engine Lights Are On And Car Won't Start&#3

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I searched online for this kind of problem but I could not find an answer anywhere so I am adding this post for documentation purpose.

Here is what happened: I was trying to replace the alternator/generator. As fate would have it, I forgot to disconnect the battery before alternator removal process. The positive lead that came off the alternator touched the body and volla! instant fireworks. I took the lead off the body and then disconnected the battery. After the whole replacement job was done, I put the key in the ignition, and turned key into on position. All instrumentation lights came ON like Christmas lights with VCS light blinking. I can't crank the engine. Did lot of search and nothing. Then I talked with a nice fellow at Toyota Richardson, TX parts store who told me that a high-current fuse might have blown up. Or possibility that the car computer is fried (gasp!).

Came home and checked the fuse box, one of the fuse at the deepest location in the main fuse box (140A) was clearly blown. Now thing about this fuse is that it is bolted from inside of the fuse box. Following is a useful write-up I found on replacing the 140A fuse. I am going to follow these instructions.

The 140A fuse is bolted into the fuse box, so no matter how hard you try to pull it from the top it won’t come off. You’ll need to disassemble the fuse box, remove the bolts, and then replace it.

First disconnect your battery to prevent any accidental shorts or sparks.

The fuse box is attached to the body of the car with 2 bolts, and there are multiple latches connecting the top portion of the fuse box to the bottom portion. Remove the bolts, then insert a flat screw driver head into each latch, pushing it apart to let the latch release. The top of the fuse box lifts up, so you’ll see each latch get free and be able to move up. There are 4 or 5 latches all around, including one semi-hidden one where the fuse box lays against the body of the car. You’ll only be able to see it when you remove the bolts.

Once the latches are open, pull the top half of fuse box up and move it around to give yourself some room to maneuver. You’ll see lots of wires connected to it. You may want to open up the air filter to open up more.

Now you need to remove the top panel in the top half of the fuse box. This is where I wasted a lot of time – it just didn’t seem to want to come out.

The trick is to push it down and get it out from the bottom of the top part of the fuse box, not to try to pull it up. Look for the latches around the top of the panel where the 140A fuse is – there’ll be little openings that a flat screw driver head can fit through. Put the screw driver in and free up the latch so the top panel can slide down towards the bottom of the fuse box. Once you have all the latches freed the top panel comes out fairly easily.

Now all you have to do is to remove the blots that hold the fuse in place. Replace the fuse and put everything back as you found it. The trickiest part is getting the hidden latch back in place, but once you have that you’ll be set.

Good luck. It’s tricky, so hang in there. I spoke with several mechanics, including a couple of mechanics from the dealership, and none of them could give a good explanation – in particular, 2 of them told me the top piece of the panel would come out from the top, and that the housing would probably break when removing it. Not true – it comes out from the bottom, and there’s no need to break anything.

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