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2001 Toyota Camry 2.2L My car blows a fuse for the gauges, Everytime I put it into drive. Then it start to kill the battery until it just stalls out. What can I do to figure out why that happens?

My car blows a fuse for the gauges, Everytime I put it into drive. Then it start to kill the battery until it just stalls out. What can I do to figure out why that happens?

What kind of skills do you have?

You need a schematic (and the ability to read and interpret it), a ballast resistor (like an old fashioned incandescent light bulb) and a DVM. Insert the ballast resistor inline with the power supply. Create the conditions for the fault. If you size the lamp properly, it will light up as the current rises and limit the current so the fuses do not blow. Then you can use your meter and circuit isolation to find the offending branch by process of elimination.

Have only basics skills. Is there another way to check why it blows out the fuse? There’s no check engine light.

I have a 2003 Camry and so have the schematics for that. Probably not much different than yours in this respect. Here’s what is fed by the gauge fuse-


It makes some sense that the battery voltage gradually dies when this fuse blows as it appears to be associated with the alternator as well. You could look for wiring issues with the associated circuits. The fact it blows when you shift into drive would have me looking around the Park/Neutral switch first…

Good advice above. I had a similar problem on my truck one time, only knew which fuse was blowing, but not which of the sub-circuits was causing it. I clamped an amp meter (the kind that uses a magnet, not an in-line electronic amp meter) over each of the sub-circuit wires (e.g. D2, J1, J2, S1 in the above diagram), one at a time, to figure out which one was drawing a lot of current. That’s the basic idea of how an auto-electric tech would figure it out, just follow the wiring diagram for that fused circuit & eliminate each possibility one by one.

Thank you, I will check do that today.

Replaced the neutral drive sensor and it still blows a fuse.

Make sure the wires to it are not chafed and shorting to the chassis. If you have an ohmmeter you could verify that quicker and more thoroughly than a visual inspection.

I suspect you have a wiring harness shorting to ground. Usually this happens where a harness traverses a hole in a body panel, often the firewall.

To track this down usually requires

  • a schematic
  • a wiring diagram (NOT the same document)
  • a good worklight
  • some knowledge of circuitry
  • a multimeter
  • ability to read and interpret the aforementioned documents and meter.

My recommendation is to seek out a shop that specializes in automotive wiring. They’ll have the access to the necessary documents, the knowledge and expertise to do the testing, and the ability to do a good splice and add proper protection. IMHO this job may be beyond the skills of the average do it yourselfer unless he/she some basic technical background. .

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This fuse supplies power to the reverse lights, if the fuse does not blow with the park/reverse switch disconnected suspect a short in the reverse light circuit.

I believe this problem with Toyota vehicles went away many years ago, I have never witnessed this.

Is it fuse 22? Here are the items listed for that fuse

Gauges and meters, back-up lights, cruise control system, charging system, traction control system, daytime running light system, power windows, service reminder indicators and warning buzzers

It isn’t a chronic make or model specific problem. But after 16 years it can happen to any car.

Thank you so much for the info, The wire harness had multiple wires that were exposed from touching the exhaust when I shift the car out of park. It started to blow other fuses and when it was drivable it lost power and would not shift correctly.
Issues was resolved. Thank you.

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