Mechanic issues PSA after Toyota Camry driver pays for roadside service and gets car towed

@johnbrian210/TikTok Björn Wylezich/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘Always check the basics’: Mechanic issues PSA after Toyota Camry driver pays for expensive tow. The fix cost pennies

‘smallest things can cause the biggest problems’


Jack Alban


Occam’s Razor states that the more assumptions you have to make, then the less unlikely an explanation is correct.

Or, the simplest solution is usually the correct one. For instance, if your significant other’s phone mysteriously dies while they’re out partying on Halloween without you, it’s time you start considering yourself single.

And according to auto technician and TikToker John Brian (@johbrian210) the same philosophy can be applied to fixing a car. In a viral TikTok, he shared how a customer’s 2017 Toyota Camry wasn’t receiving a throttle response, noting how a mobile mechanic told them they need to undergo a series of costly returns.

He pens in a caption for the clip: “Man it can be scary trusting mechanics , im so glad they came here for a second opinion.”

As it turned out, the fix was way simpler than the initial mechanic told Brian’s new client.

“Customer states my car doesn’t accelerate a mobile mechanic said it needs a PCM or throttle body,” a text overlay in the video posted by Brian reads as a robot voice narrates it.

The video begins with a sobering image that’ll make the hearts of every car owner sink—a commuter vehicle resting on the back of a tow truck as its being carted off and away into the distance.

The clip then transitions to footage of the car in the shop; the hood is popped open, Brian pans the the camera lens over the Toyota’s internals. He continues to write/narrate the following: “2017 Toyota Camry apparently this happened after jump starting.”

He immediately spots something that needs to be adjusted on the car on its battery. He wiggles a terminal connection and writes: “This terminal needs a replacement, but it’s not the main issue.” Viewers can see his gloved hand grip the terminal to demonstrate that it could be more secure. The clip then cuts to Brian sitting inside of the vehicle where he demonstrates the whip’s main problem: A driver can press their foot on the gas pedal… and nothing happens.

The vehicle won’t accelerate and from the sound of the clip, it doesn’t seem like there’s any type of activity being carried out to the engine. “Here is the concern, no throttle response,” Brian writes as he demonstrates the problem, tapping his foot against the gas pedal but to no avail.

He pans his camera back up to the dashboard before the video takes another quick cut to Brian working under the car’s hood, where he removes the plastic cover of a fuse box. Vehicle fuse boxes contain a number of tiny fuse types. You can usually find diagrams for the different fuses online—here’s one for the 2017 Camry Brian is working on. These parts are by no means expensive and the best part is that they’re almost universally used among several different makes and models of vehicles. Make sure you’re double checking compatibility, but you can nab a 30 piece variety fuse kit for $6 on Amazon, and this 140 count box costs less than $10.

Brian writes how important it is to always start at the simplest of solutions when it comes to fixing a car, which is why he’s checking the fuse box first. “Before getting deep into any vehicle ALWAYS CHECK THE BASICS.”

So what was up with the Camry?

He taps a fuse checking apparatus (again, not an expensive part) which basically detects if a fuse has a charge or not. If it does, it indicates as such with a light and/or noise. Brian taps the device against numerous fuses and all of them make a noise, until he reaches one that doesn’t. He extricates the red fuse with a pair of pliers and explains what probably caused it to be blown: “Accidentally attempting to jump start the car reverse polarity will definitely blow this fuse.”

The mechanic then swaps in a new fuse and tests it—the machine indicates that it’s definitely conducting a charge, indicating that there isn’t anything wrong in that specific terminal of the fuse box itself: “The fuse is the ETCS fuse” he writes, which indicates that this particular fuse’s function is to regulate, you guessed it, the car’s throttle response.

He then gets back into the vehicle to start it back up. He tests the throttle response and voila, it works! “So always remember to always ask questions when someone tells you something needs replacing” he writes again toward the end of the video as he demonstrates further there’s no issues whatsoever with the car’s throttle response after simply swapping out a part that costs pennies.

TikTokers who responded to his video stated that they’ve come into contact with these types of situations all of the time: “That’s the problem this days it’s hard to trust good mechanics,” one person wrote.

Another complimented Brian’s work, but said that they’ve never been that lucky with repairs on the vehicles they need to fix: “great work… but its never the fuse in any of my situations…NEVER that easy”

Someone else wrote how awful it must feel for the client to dump all of that money into fixing their vehicle only to later discover a singular, tiny fuse needed to be replaced: “Paying mobile mechanic and a tow truck to find you need a fuse.”

Another was just impressed Brian was able to do his customer a solid: ‘wait just the fuse? bro u saved his bank account.”

While someone else wrote that it would be bizarre if anything else was broken on a Toyota, given the brand’s legendary status as a reliable auto manufacturer: “It’s a toyota nothing has gone bad other than just the fuse!”

@johnbrian210 Man it can be scary trusting mechanics , im so glad they came here for a second opinion. #customerstates #mobilemechanic #mechanic #mechaniclife #mechanicsoftiktok #toyota #camry #towtruck #automotive #automotivetechnician #autoshop #autorepair #auto #foryou #foryoupage #foryourpage #viral #fy #f #car ♬ original sound – JohnBrian

And according to this user on the platform, this sort of thing happens quite frequently: “Blew the fuse jumping incorrectly. Seen it several hundred times.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Toyota via email and Brian via TikTok comment for further information.

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