This was under a cover behind the engine against the firewall. I had to pry the cover loose with a screwdriver.
My friend’s battery would not have gotten like this if Toyota did not like to hide components from view, like some kind of mechanic’s Rubik’s cube. (I had a friend who told me of having to remove the battery from a Toyota so he could replace a headlamp. I’ve heard even worse about changing spark plugs.)
If she could have seen the battery, she would have kept it clean.
Yesterday, I cleaned it up and jumped the car, but the battery is over five years old and didn’t hold a charge through the night, so I trotted out to get a new one this morning. At the store, the clerk dragged out the battery and started to ring it up, along with something else.
“What’s that?” asked I.
“That’s your replacement kit.” (What means this “replacement kit”? The battery is the replacement.)
“What’s in it?”
Turned out that it was two flat rubber washers to fit on the terminals between the leads and the battery case and a packet of brake grease for coating the terminals against corrosion.
Now Vaseline works as well as brake grease and is a damned sight cheaper and the two rubber washers–well, given that the terminals are slightly flared at the base, the leads won’t touch the battery case in any event.
She was trying to sell me about a two bit’s worth of useless stuff, over-priced to 18 bits, as if it were a goes-without-saying necessity.
And I bet they get away with it more often than not.
I waved her off. “I don’t need that.”