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check vehicle battery connections for obvious corrosion. If none is present, use another vehicle and battery jumper cables-properly hooked up, and with 2nd vehicle idling, try cranking Toyota. If not immediately starting, give it a few minutes to charge toyota battery, and then try again. A fully drained battery will require several minutes charge from second vehicles charging system to sufficiently charge drained battery.
Check to see if the battery is FULLY CHARGED! If it isn't, theree will not be enough electric power to move the starter solenoid all the way into the flywheel gear. If you have a spare FULLY CHARGED battery use it to test or put a charger on the one you have and boost it! By the way, when did you replace the battery, or check it's water level last?
Your best bet is to take it to an Auto Zone, Pep Boys, or other reputable parts house. They'll test it for free. I know ... you can't get it there. Put a charger on the battery (disconnect it from the car). Get the battery fully charged, then take it there. A fully charged battery should run the car for about 10-20 miles depending on traffic, etc. By the way the voltage regulator is inside the computer, just behind the battery. If it's that, it's going to be expensive.
Sounds like you need to go to a different mechanic!! First things first. Your Battery is probably in a very low state of charge. This is why you can only drive a few minutes before it dies. A fully charged battery will give you much more driving time than 8 minutes. Now what you need to do is have the battery brought up to full charge. Once this is done then the charging system can be checked accurately. Keep in mind if the battery is in a low state of charge the alternator can be damaged because it has to work very hard to try to charge the battery. This may explain the frequent failure. If the charging system is ok then a key off draw test should be performed. You may be draining the battery when the vehicle is off due to a draw on the battery. Lastly if the quality of the alternator that is being put in your vehicle is substandard this may be a problem as well. All aftermarket parts are not equal!! If the alternator needs to be replaced then be sure to put a quality brand in your car. Make sure the battery is fully charged before doing so as not to damage a new part. Although charging system problems are fairly easy to diagnose the mechanic doing it must be fully trained in doing so or repeat failures are guaranteed. Hope this helps
FIRST, YOU MAKE SURE THE BATTERY IS FULLY CHARGED.. A GOOD BATTERY WILL GO FOR 12 HOURS EVEN IF THE ALTERNATOR IS NOT WORKING.. SECOND YOU TURN THE CAR ON.. ONCE THE CAR IS ON. YOU DISCONECT THE BATTERY,, IF THE ALTERNATOR IS GOOD , THE CAR SHOULD REMAIN ON WITHOUT A BATTERY.. IF IT SHUTS DOWN , YOU HAVE A BAD ALTERNATOR OR THE WIRING IS WRONG ONE OF THE TWO.. SHORTS ON YOUR WIRING CAN CAUSE THE BATTERY TO LOOSE POWER.. BUT NOT THAT FAST. BECAUSE IF THE SHORT WAS TO SERIOUS.. YOUR WIRING WOULD BE BURNED.. COMPLETELY.. IF THE ALTERNATOR IS OKAY,, REPLACE YOUR BATTERY,, MOST OF THE TIME BATTERIES GO BAD EASY WITH ANY LITTLE PROBLEM THE CELLS BURNOUT AND THEY DONT HOLD A CHARGE EVEN IF FULLY CHARGED THEY WILL LOOSE POWER IMMEDIATELY .. I THINK THAT IS YOUR PROBLEM.. SINCE IT ONLY LASTED LIKE 20 MINUTES.
Check your charging system. Jumping will put a slight surface charge on the battery but that will only last as few minutes. If system is not charging, you will drop below operating voltage and the engine will then stall after disconnection jumpers.
It is the alterntor, if the charging system was ok the engine would continue to run. Make sure the battery is fully charged (engine cranks fast) before you replace the alternator or you could burn out the new alternator from overheating.