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Toyota Prius: Problems & Solutions



  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    What I find interesting about this situation is how quickly everyone is ready to blame the dealer and Toyota. I wonder why.

    Big car companies and their retailers are potential "scammers", but big oil companies and their refiners are surely OK?

    The fact is that modern induction systems need a level of detergent to function properly; in the absence of a true national standard for fuel quality [fat chance, with the current crew], every buyer is literally on their own. This isn't the first time, and likely won't be the last; the remarkable thing is BP owning up to the problem...and since they ship the stuff all over the Northwest, it will be interesting to see who else is at risk [including me and my Mercedes C240, which is mostly fueled at the Costco in Vancouver, WA - where does their fuel come from? I guess I'll find out...]
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
    I think that Costco gets their gas from BP/ARCO refineries?
    I think the assumption that it was a Toyota dealership problem is correct. He had taken his car in several times for the same problem. If they had taken care of it as they should on the first visit they would be in the clear. That is not too much to expect from any dealership.

    Your consumer protection agency is the entity that has the control over these oil refineries. Sounds like it may be a BIG problem for many car owners.
  • "2. Air Conditioning vs. Heat: Maybe I wasn't clear on this before. When I turn on the heat, the A/C button is automatically lit. I assume this means that the compressor is working,"

    No, the compressor is not on when heat is requested. Far too many people assume that "air conditioning" means cooling only. It doesn't. The A/C conditions the air, which means heating, cooling, and dehumidifying. It's not wasting energy when AUTO A/C is enabled when heat is called for.
  • odie1odie1 Posts: 7
    Then news only reported two places in WA that had the problem. Skagit and Whatcom counties. I live in Kitsap county. I am certain other counties have received the bad gas too. Our dealer said that they have had many fuel injection problems. My car was in this dealer three times before for this problem in January. They said nothing was wrong. It got progressively worse over the next four months. I had no idea that the gas was "bad" since I used BP exclusively. Needless to say they will no longer get my business. It really was remarkable that they admitted to this. I guess you are right that we are all on our own. I have shredded the BP cards. I will let you know if I am able to get my 300 dollars reimbursed by the old BP company.....(phillips 66, conoco, etc)

    As for being a female and getting scammed by auto fix it places, let me tell you it is different when I send my husband in with the vehicle to the fix it shop. Funny how that is!


  • quasar4quasar4 Posts: 110
    Does any one know what will happen if the Start button or Parking button is pressed while driving (any speed)?

    --Yes. I tried this on my test drive. Pushing the Parking button while driving causes the car to beep and shift into neutral.
  • njtarheel1njtarheel1 Posts: 4
    this is the first time I have joined this forum. Wed I was driving a a busy road and all of a sudden my waring light comes on. there was no place to pull off so I drive along at reduced power on the shoulder. I start down a hill with a Toyota dealer two blocks away. I coast down a hilland into a parking lot afraid to cross busy traffic with no power. I sit for a minute and try to start the car. It starts and I cross the intersection at the light and enter the dealership.

    I leave to to be checked. The next day I am told that the car had the wrong program. This took hours of downloads at the dealership and sending info to national. They take hours to get back with info - and new program info. and three hours of new program I drive out.

    I talk with the dealer service guy where i purchase the car - he sees nothing in his system about this. I hear from a friend today that there was an article in the Wall Street J. about software problems. And that 13 case have been reported to the Nat highwsay safety ad. My question - is Toyota being honest with me. How could they not know if this was in the WSJ and NHSA.

    Any new from anyone else? charlie
  • drjrtdrjrt Posts: 1
    2005 Prius with ~500 miles

    There is a "shudder" when the ICE shuts down. Not bad but worse when it is warm. Only really noticable when at a stop sign. This is very subjective, but how much should I feel the ICE shut down?

    Is there anyway to adjust when the ICE cuts in? There are times when I'm trying to accelerate entirely with the battery but the ICE kicks in. The electric motor doesn't seem maxed out and the battery is indicating near full charge so I assume the ICE is kicking in to help with acceleration. I would like to have that threshold increased so it doesn't kick in so early. Is this possible?

    Thanks for anyones input!
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,788
    I always use Exxon/Mobile, Shell, or Texaco (sometimes Chevron). I have found their gas addatives keep the injectors cleaner than other brands. BP / Union 76 / Arco are the worst in my experience.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,788
    What year is your Prius? Can you post your experience in the Prius Software problems forum?
  • odie1odie1 Posts: 7
    Thank you for letting me know about Chevron or Texaco gas. I just applied for a Chevron card and will not use the BP/Union 76 brand. Conoco Phillips said they would pay for the cleaning of my fuel injectors on my 2003 Prius which I am grateful for. Since having the injectors cleaned I do not have any more problems with my Prius. I cannot use BP gas anymore and Chevron will now get my 250 dollars per month. (We have a GMC Jimmy also...paid for!)
  • carsareuscarsareus Posts: 10
    I was listening to ABC radio and they mentioned this town hall meeting. I went to the website and they had it archived:
    (this is the audio from ABC radio)

    and there was a story called the prius is stalling
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,788
    The story had an error:

    "The Prius is a full-hybrid vehicle which means it can run on either gasoline or electric power or both."

    The Prius cannot run on Gasoline alone. It either runs on both (charging the electric traction battery while running the engine and electric motors), or for short periods on electric only.
  • Has anyone considered the possibility of using a small solar panel and charge controller to keep the 12V aux. battery fully charged when the car is parked? A 10 watt solar panel and charge controller would only cost around $150 so it makes economic sense to use one. BTW would an optima blue top marine deep cycle battery physically fit in place of the factory original?
  • We purchased a 2004 Prius in Spring, 2004. After a few weeks, the car died and I was told that there had been a recall and the console was changed. The car did very well.....and then about two weeks ago ( year later), while driving, the car died again. I was fortunate to be able to turn to a side street and park. I was not able to turn off the car and had to be towed.

    The first time I had to rent a car and I then changed dealers.....and with the current dealer (who have given excellent service) there was no rental available, tho one day of a rental was covered. This in no way makes up for the three hours of waiting and being unable to keep appointments and then having to pick up the car the next morning.

    Can we be certain that the dealer notifies Toyota to correct the problem? Might be a little adjustment and reprogramming to the service department, but they are not behind the wheel whern it happens! We have loved this car, but this is both disappointing and dangerous. Thanks.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,788
    Would you mind re-posting this in the "Prius Software Problems" forum? It would add to the kowledge base. It sounds like you have already had the TSB applied to the car.
  • c2rosac2rosa Posts: 76
    Officials eye Toyota Prius stalling

    Regulators plan to conduct investigation over engine stalling.
  • black4black4 Posts: 4
    Sorry to deviate from the "software" problem, but thought Prius folks would want to know about this. Also, very interested to learn of any other Prius fires. My wife and I purchased a new 2005 Prius in NOV 04. After driving the vehicle to work and allowing it to sit nearly 8 hours in the employee parking lot, our new Prius (with approx 8k miles) burst into flames. Insurance has listed it as a "total" loss. Indications from fire investigation (fire dept and insurance company) are that the fire originated in the dash near the drivers side. Have notified Toyota (over 1 week ago). Waiting to see if this was a simple "electrical" fire OR if it had something to do with the Hybrid components. To this point, we had been very happy with the Prius and our other Toyotas (through the years).
  • loridlorid Posts: 4
    I wondered if changing the tires to something a little meatier might both improve traction in bad weather and raise the car a bit it sits so low and these nyc pot holes are BIG!
    any thoughts?
  • blaneblane Posts: 2,017

    "Meatier" tires will probably lower your fuel economy due to higher rolling resistance. "Raising the car" might entail having to purchase larger diameter wheels to accommodate larger diameter tires. Aside from the expense, you will screw up your odometer and speedometer readings since larger diameter tires will make fewer revolutions per mile.

    What you need, is to get Mayor Bloomberg to fill more potholes faster.
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