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Toyota Prius: Problems & Solutions

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Comments

  • bjrichbjrich Posts: 125
    After washing my new (2 weeks) Prius, being sweaty and needing a shower, I came into the house..as i passed thru the utility room, I decided to throw my cloths into the washer.
    this morning I was getting ready for church and lo and behold could not find my key fob..I searched and searched and finally decided to look in the last pair of pants I had been wearing...
    It was in the pocket of the sweat pants I had worn while washing the car..It had gone thru the wash cycle and the dry cycle.
    I immediately went into the garage.. jumped into the seat and all was well
    Pruis problems, not at all.
  • rick61rick61 Posts: 2
    Hi : Check you owner's manual. f the "05 Prius sits unused for 2+weeks,the batteries will go dead because all of the computer security systems are drawing energy .If you have someone to start and run the car for several hours/week,the batteries will stay charged. If the car is securely garaged,there is a switch at the base of the dash panel.If you turn it off , then the car can sit idle longer,but the alarm system will be dis-abled.See your dealer about these options.Good luck.
  • rick61rick61 Posts: 2
    I have almost 1000 miles on my 2005 Prius with"0"problems.I have owned Range Rovers,BMW's,etc. They were always in for repair.The Prius is my first Hybrid vehicle and have had no problems. I do not want to give the big oil companies one more nickel than I have to. FYI,as the Prius was my first Hybrid and hopefully my last vehicle(I am 62 years old) so I purchased the Toyota Extra Care 7 yr.(or 75k miles) warranty .I average @3-4k miles/per year.This extra warranty has unlimited roadside assistance,towing service,$50/day,5 days per repair visit substitute transportation,$100/day,5 days dislocation benefit,5 days over life of the agreement. This coverage costs $1,715.00. I think that the cost of this coverage is money well spent.
  • mtnmamamtnmama Posts: 5
    I just want to thank you all again for your feedback to my problem - the dealer was able to get Toyota to replace the Multi-Function Display part at no cost to me, but i will have to pay for labor for installation, and thanks to you I have a great idea on what they should charge me, otherwise, i'll purchase the part and have my son do it! Also, the auxilliary battery will not be covered and will cost me "under 200"..... Just to refresh, the car is an 04 Prius, have had it for a year and a half, have 38,000 miles on it, (warranty expires at 36K). Good luck with your Priuses!!!
  • mtnmamamtnmama Posts: 5
    can you tell me where i can find this information (.2 hour labor estimate)? thanks
  • tempusvntempusvn Posts: 119
    "can you tell me where i can find this information (.2 hour labor estimate)?"

    It is in TSB EL002-05

    OP Code EL4012 - R&R Display, Multi-Display
  • geekmagnetgeekmagnet Posts: 2
    Hi--I'm new here. I have been looking at used Prius's and I drove a 2002 today that was priced at $11K but it has issues and I'd like to get some opinions.

    First of all, the seller said he had replaced what appears to be the AC/DC converter. I gathered this info from looking at a chart of the engine online---it's the big square silver thing under the hood.

    Secondly, he said he bought it at auction and it had a salvage title. What is a salvage title and is it such a bad thing?

    Lastly, he had a yellow brake on one of the front wheels---obviously an after-market caliper? I'm not sure---I don't know that much about brakes. The car had 45K miles on it which is not much. Would a caliper have to be replaced after 45K miles?

    Thanks for your help---I'm so glad I found this forum. I have been wondering how much repairs for the Prius cost vs. a conventional car.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    A salvage title means that it was wrecked and written off, or severely damaged in a flood, or otherwise declared unusable at some stage in its life by an insurance company.

    Run, do not walk, away from this car at top speed. Don't look back.

    I would suspect flood damage, from your description of what has been replaced. Of all the cars in the world that you don't want to have any part of under these circumstances, it is a Prius.

    Glad you asked first - this would have been a big mistake.
  • geekmagnetgeekmagnet Posts: 2
    Yes, thank you for the advice. I have always heard bad things about salvage titles but was never sure what that term meant.

    Now I'd like to know what kind of maintenance a Prius needs. In other words, is regular maintenance comparable in cost to a conventional car? Oil chages every 7,500, when do I get a tune-up, is there a timing belt to change? I have read that new batteries, if needed, have come down in cost from $5K to $3K so if those fail it's comparable to having to rebuild the engine and transmission both, whch some people don't mind doing if they love a car. I have test driven this car and it is very fun to drive, IMO, and very peaceful while stuck in traffic because it's so quiet. I just wish there was more info out there about what it's like to live with one!
  • mtnmamamtnmama Posts: 5
    Hello, I'm back. (posts 209/220) I picked up my car - 04 Prius- yesterday, after having the dealer replace the auxillary battery and the multifunction display unit, (out of warranty, Toyota covered the MFD unit, but I had to pay for the battery, around $200) and drove it home (about 25 miles). Everything great except that now I've got the gears shifting from D into N, three different times during the ride home. I'm going to take it back in imediately, but was looking around in this forum to see if this had been addressed.

    Sound familiar to anyone? Thanks in advance for any help!
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,863
    "Everything great except that now I've got the gears shifting from D into N, three different times during the ride home. I'm going to take it back in imediately, but was looking around in this forum to see if this had been addressed."

    Isn't the transmission controlled by the computer? Maybe you should post this in the "Prius Software Problems" forum...
  • quasar4quasar4 Posts: 110
    --Whenever we've had a good rain or I wash my '04 Prius I can hear water sloshing about for almost a day when making sharp turns. Sounds like it's coming from under the hood near where the wipers are, but I can't see anything when I pop the hood. Never had this problem before after a wash or rain. Anybody else experience this problem?
  • pri4uspri4us Posts: 2
    The Federal Government is collecting information on the Prius stalling problem. The problem is finally making the news.

    http://www.thecarconnection.com/Industry/Daily_Edition/Daily_Edition_May_16_2005.S173.A862- - - 4.html

    "Are Priuses Stalling Out?

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not launched a formal investigation yet, but it is compiling complaints from Toyota Prius owners that the cars can stall or shut down while on the road. The agency has logged 13 reports in which 2004 Priuses have shut down at highway or slower driving speeds; a TCC staffer's personal car experienced the problem late last year. ....."

    http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,918
    pri4us,
    Per our membership agreement, you need to update the address in your profile to one that works, lest your account be suspended.

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  • jimlockeyjimlockey Posts: 265
    I would like to hear a little more about the high speed shutdowns?
  • plusafplusaf Posts: 6
    today, just a few miles shy of 5000 on the odo, my '04 BC/9 lit the maint. required lamp, too, though it went off after driving a few dozen feet from the start. the dealer turned the lamp off, using the power/odo button combo, but there was also a "service" lamp on, and they didn't know what would cause that, so i'm taking it in tomorrow morning. it's run just fine so far, averaging a bit over 40mpg all-around and 36-38 under some conditions that will only be described on my website... :)

    i'll try to update here what happens. the car is behaving normally, despite the second light on. the tech and the service rep assumed that when i had the oil changed [and converted to synthetic] a few months ago, they didn't reset the maint. req. code.

    tomorrow may tell...
    :)
    plusaf.
    www.plusaf.com
  • plusafplusaf Posts: 6
    same for me on a shutdown... i hate tailgaters, and am always watching my rearview mirror. a few months ago, a guy came up rapidly behind me at a traffic light, and i thought i was about to be rear-ended, so i mashed the gas and then the brake, to move away just a few feet quickly. don't critique my actions, please. i'll do it again if it happens again...

    weird thing was, the car seemed to shut down to electri-only, and i was able to limp to the side of the road safely, at no more than 5-10 mph.

    the red ! came on, and i figured i'd blown something serious, so i shut the car down, let it sit for a minute, and restarted. the light stayed on, but since i was just a mile or two from my dealer [!], i took the car there and asked what to do. i didn't want to leave it overnight, and since it had come alive again [the IC was running, and it was behaving normally], i drove home after making a service appointment for the next morning.

    of course, the next morning, the ! light was out, so i canceled the service appt. and have been driving with no problems for the next thousand or so miles.... until today [two orange lights came on... off to the dealer tomorrow.]

    better not be serious... we're planning a 7-8000 mile cross country drive and back in a few weeks......
    +af
  • plusafplusaf Posts: 6
    don't tell anyone, but my '04 towed a small cargo trailer from cupertino to truckee and back up and over donner summit with absolutely no problems!

    the onboard systems will not let the battery discharge too low. even if the energy-screen on the dash shows "no bars" of juice, the battery is still not fully discharged. the onboard computers won't allow it. you will, at worst, be throttled down to the max that the internal combustion engine [ICE] will let you do, but my Prius ran up the east slope from truckee to the summit at easily over the speed limit, as it ran up the west slope with no trailer at over 83 mph on cruise-control without ever missing a beat OR discharging the NiMH batteries.

    as a guy at priuschat.com put it, "buy it, then drive it like you stole it." the highlander should behave the same way, but with more acceleration and overall horsepower.

    my vote: nothing to be afraid of. these guys [and gals?] have engineered the car very well.

    +af
  • dave_csdave_cs Posts: 1
    Does any one know what will happen if the Start button or Parking button is pressed while driving (any speed)?
  • dawn7dawn7 Posts: 7
    It says Toyota is still investigating the stalling problem :confuse:

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2005-05-16-prius_x.htm
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Toyota is aware and has said it would collect data on the problems to see whether there was something that could lead to a fix.
  • kelcolkelcol Posts: 1
    Hitting that switch doesn't disable to alarm. It just disables the smart start and smart entry, which stops the car from draining the battery as fast because then it isn't always sending out the signal looking for the key. Just wanted to clarify. :)
  • odie1odie1 Posts: 7
    Have had the car in the dealers four times for engine light coming on. They said the "car was learning my driving patterns and that was why the sensors made the lights come on". (they really do not have a fix) Every day I drive it the "check engine" lights come on and the "triangle" also. I have to wait until the battery goes to very low, pull over and start the car over and over until the engine starts to feed the battery (watching the screen all the time here). This happens for no reason and I cannot drive over 30 mph with the lights on and no engine feeding the battery. I have seen other prius owners on the side of the road too. I live in WA state (Seattle) and wonder if there really is a hybrid technician who can fix this. I have learned to work around these sensors but it happens everyday and is inconvienient and also dangerous. Any help or suggestions? Should I replace that battery that starts the car? Please help.....thank you
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,176
    Should I replace that battery that starts the car?

    Welcome to the forum. The 12 volt battery is very easy to have checked. I would think it should have some kind of warranty from the battery manufacturer. You need to report this to the NHTSA. That is the only way that Toyota will know about the problems you are having. Your dealer is not going to admit that they are clueless. You should not have to put up with the problems you are having. It should all be covered by warranty. Be sure and document each visit to the dealership. Good luck and keep us posted as to what is found.
  • odie1odie1 Posts: 7
    Thank you for your response....what is the NHTSA and how do I contact them?

    thanks, Sharon
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,176
    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. You can search here and see if your problem is listed. It is a Federal agency. You are welcome, and again good luck..

    http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/problems/recalls/recallsearch.cfm
  • odie1odie1 Posts: 7
    I took this 2003 Prius to the dealer...the diagnosis? Dirty fuel injectors which they will clean for 300 dollars. The problem they said was with the B/P Gas that we have been using. The dealer said they have been seeing many vehicles with dirty fuel injectors lately and that the gas company may issue a statement regarding this problem and "may offer you a refund" if the problem is related to the gas. We have only bought gas at BP, Conoco, Phillips 66 for the last five years. The dealer said that Chevron has not reported "bad gas" lately.

    I mentioned that the problem was also present in January and they had looked at it then three times (while under warranty) and no problem was found. This time the "codes came up on the computer diagnostics". I thought that Toyota may have sent the dealer new software for this problem but they said not. I am out 300 dollars right now for this fix and the vehicle only has 40K on it. And so many people have told me that Toyotas were good cars. With gas the price it is and if the problem is with the dirty fuel injectors due to the gas what and who can I report all of this to? Do I start with the NHTSA? Who regulates the gas companies? I live in Bremerton WA. Do I call the attorney general in Olympia?

    Help! and thank you....
  • odie1odie1 Posts: 7
    I took this 2003 Prius to the dealer...the diagnosis? Dirty fuel injectors which they will clean for 300 dollars. The problem they said was with the B/P Gas that we have been using. The dealer said they have been seeing many vehicles with dirty fuel injectors lately and that the gas company may issue a statement regarding this problem and "may offer you a refund" if the problem is related to the gas. We have only bought gas at BP, Conoco, Phillips 66 for the last five years. The dealer said that Chevron has not reported "bad gas" lately.

    I mentioned that the problem was also present in January and they had looked at it then three times (while under warranty) and no problem was found. This time the "codes came up on the computer diagnostics". I thought that Toyota may have sent the dealer new software for this problem but they said not. I am out 300 dollars right now for this fix and the vehicle only has 40K on it. And so many people have told me that Toyotas were good cars. With gas the price it is and if the problem is with the dirty fuel injectors due to the gas what and who can I report all of this to? Do I start with the NHTSA? Who regulates the gas companies? I live in Bremerton WA. Do I call the attorney general in Olympia?

    Help! and thank you....
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,176
    Dirty Gas????

    That is a good one. I have not heard that before. The fact that you had taken the car in several times while under warranty, then they come up with a fix past the warranty period is suspicious. I would go to the gas station you use most and tell them what happened. They may or may not go to bat for you. BP/ARCO is a lot bigger than Toyota. If the dealer is scamming you they may give you some ammunition to use. Gas is regulated pretty closely. Your fuel filter should have gotten any contaminants that got in the tank. I would assume that you had the car serviced at the prescribed intervals and the gas filter was changed on schedule. It would be worth filing a complaint and maybe find out who is at fault. Kind of like the Explorer/Firestone fiasco.
  • odie1odie1 Posts: 7
    I cannot believe it BUT I guess it was true...I thought the dealer was scamming me today to get money for the fix. The dealer told me there would be a press release on the "bad gas". I turned on the 5 o'clock news and there it was that BP, Conoco, Phillips 66 company delievered bad gas to WA state stations. They also interviewed a mechanic who said, "we have to clean the fuel injectors because of this gas they were selling." I got the 1-800 # to BP and told them I send them 300 dollars a month for gas and that my car was in the shop today for the fuel injector fix. They gave me a fax number so I could send them my bill. We will see if I get reimbursed. I am still shocked that the press release came out this very day but it did. If they do not pay I will call the state attorney general over this. Needless to say BP, Conoco, Phillips 66 has lost my business now. I will switch to another brand I guess. Chevron perhaps. Gas is gas but the news flash stated something was added to their gas that should not have been causing the fuel injectors to become sticky. So there you go! Thanks "Gagrice" for your input. I will let you know how my Prius runs after this.

    Sharon
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