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Toyota Prius Engine Problems

katiehardkatiehard Posts: 1
edited December 2013 in Toyota
My Sister has a 2003 Toyota Prius and when she goes to start the engine will roll over, but it won't start. My brother says it's the fuel pump, or something. Does anyone have any idea what it could be? And if so, how much will it cost, estimated with parts and labor? Thank you sooo much!


  • acjacj Posts: 3
    I am posting this on behalf of my Aunt, who actually has the car but it not at all computer literate so I told her I'd try to help....
    She has a 2006 Prius with about 6,000 miles on it and has started getting an intermittent error type message that says (as best as she can remember) "Trans axle will not charge batteries while in neutral" and the car will not start. The dealer is unable to replicate the error and suggests that it is "driver error"?
    Has anyone had this message or problem?
  • texvegastexvegas Posts: 17
    While cleaning the inside windshield I apparently hit the shift stick and when I tried to start the car, I got the same message. I turned off the power, got out of the car, got back in and it started as always. I think you get this message if you try to start the car in neutral.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    Pressing the POWER button before the brake is fully depressed will cause a lock up where only neutral is available... hence seeing that message.

    Simply waiting until your foot has finished moving will prevent the problem.

    That little bit of patience makes a huge difference, and it is so subtle that most people don't even realize they have jumped the gun... until their awareness is heightened by having done that.

  • acjacj Posts: 3
    forgot to mention that she phoned Toyota to talk about this problem and they told her that the car was unsafe to drive until this was fixed? Based on what you guys have said so far it doesn't sound unsafe to me......
  • evanr1evanr1 Posts: 2
    Prius has locked up.
    Will not start.
    Dash has all items lights on.
    Will not return keyless entry key.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
    Welcome to the forum. What year is your Prius? Has this happened before?
  • evanr1evanr1 Posts: 2
    Prius is a 2005.
    Owned for 10 months.
    First time this has hapened.
    Main batries are GOOD, the starter batt. is dead.
  • Evanr1, pardon the questions, but how exactly did the Prius initially lock up? Also, how is that the "starter" battery is known to be dead but the main battery is known to be good? Generally, if the small 12-volt "starter" battery is dead, then you should get no dash lights and no interior lights. The 12-volt battery is used to "bootup" the computers, which in turn connects the high-voltage main battery to the car (it is isolated via relays when the car is off).

    It sounds like you ran the 12-volt battery down by accident, either by leaving a door open or an interior light. You should be able to "jump-start" the car to get it working again. The instructions on how to do so are in the manual. You do not have to crawl back into the back of the car to get at the actual 12-volt battery. There is a 12-volt positive terminal inside the main fuse box of the engine compartment specifically for this purpose. Positive goes to this post, negative goes to any unpainted engine part. The manual should indicate a prefered negative connection point to use for jumpstarting. After you make the connections, you should be able to hit the Start button to reboot the computers and hopefully get things working again.

    I'm curious as to how the keyless key managed to stay stuck in it's slot, and how the dash lights stayed on while the rest of the car appeared to be dead.
  • I have a Toyota Prius 2005 (which I love) - with 19,000 miles - which has had a "stalling" problem at take off - on three occasions. It happens like this:
    I'm stopped at a light. It turns green and I try to take off - but the Prius won't go faster than about 10 miles an hour - and a Yellow "car shaped" icon lit up (just below the temperature light). The last time I went about 1/2 block at 10 miles/hour - when it suddenly took off and accelerated normally - and the yellow light went off. It handled normally until I got home. We then called the Toyota dealer who said to bring it in. We didn't drive the vehicle until the time we took it in. The dealer service dept didn't find any problems - no "obd II codes" set in. They said that it was probably just the "traction control" kicking in (supposedly that was what the yellow "car" icon meant). They surmised that we had hit a patch of ice. I questioned the service manager for several minutes - telling him that there was no ice - I hadn't heard the brakes pulsing - and it went on for about 1 minute (an awfully long patch of ice). There were no codes retrievable.

    So - any ideas out there? I doubt that it was ice (we do live in Minnesota - but haven't seen that much ice). Was it a software glitch? (I've been a software designer/developer for 35 years and have caused more than my share of bugs). I have read in some of these forums about having to "reboot" - power cycle the vehicle to clear up similar problems. However, - it has cleared up spontaneously for me. Thanks in advance....
  • tjc005tjc005 Posts: 1
    I have a 92 Paseo with 84,000 miles. Once engine warms up, the car will stall out when car comes to idle speed. It always starts back up. I had car tuned up which helped for a very short time, but it is back to stalling out. It is my first car so I don't have alot of money to pay the mechanics to continue to guess at the problem. Maybe if I can throw some ideas their way it would help. Has anyone ever had these similar issues?
  • h_2b_ah_2b_a Posts: 1
    My girlfriend has a similar problem with her 2003 Toyota Prius. We're in Missouri and during winter and especially cold weather (usually when it is below freezing) the electric motor appears to be turning on, but the gas engine will not turn over. She's taken it to a dealer a few times, but they keep telling her that once they reset the computer the problem is fixed. However, once the temperature begins to drop again, the same thing happens.

    I was wondering if anyone is familar with any sensor or starter/battery problems that would prohibit the gas motor from turning over in cold weather.
  • green55green55 Posts: 2
    I just purchased a 2007 Prius and have previously used both synthetic oil and Slick 50 to increase gas mileage in American cars. Does anyone have any experience or suggestions as to the use of either of these in future Prius oil changes?
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Owners report no improvement using Mobil 1 in the Prius. It may be because any improvement is too small to see - ie buried in the "noise" of random fuel economy changes.

    Slick 50 had to change their formulation and reports I've read say it no longer provides much benefit.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    My subject says it all... :shades:
  • I just bought an 05 tbird and I usually use Mobil 1 synth. oil in my vehicles. The owners manual calls for 5w-20. What weight of Mobil 1 should I use as I don't think it comes in 5w-20? Also, what is the best method or product for cleaning and protecting the convertible top. My top is a light blue or grey color.

  • acdiiacdii Posts: 753
    Snake oil, that sums up SLick 50. Never use additives in new engines, they are NOT needed. Using Mobil 1 has all the additives you will ever need. Slick willy sells SLick 50. Case in point, had a 79 LTD wagon, I rebuilt the engine myself, and used Castrol GTX 10W30 in it. I put 300,000 miles on that engine, never once using an additive in it, just plain Castrol GTX. The car gave out, then engine did not. I pulled the engine and put it in another car, in the process I had to swap the oil pan, so just for kicks, I popped the bearing caps and plastigauged the journals. They were still in specs, and clean. If you stick with the recommended 5K oil change and use a good filter and good oil, you will NEVER have the need to add anything to the oil, dont waste your money on slick willy 50.
  • acdiiacdii Posts: 753
    Mobil 1 0-20 will work. THe low number is the cold value, the large number is the hot value. As long as you have the hot value where it is recommended you will be fine.
  • chetjchetj Posts: 324
    i used to use it but it is not API or ILSAC certified...mobil 1 is excellent oil and slick 50 would dilute it...i would use wal mart oil at 1.50 a qt (2.99 for syn, a great deal) over slick 50 anyday...wm oil is also GM 6094M approved, not all oil is...someone made a good point about oil companies spending God knows how many millions of dollars researching their products opposed to slick 50s budget...automakers dont reccomend it
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