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Toyota Prius Accessories & Modifications



  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    They work. There is also CanView. It can display lots of data on the MFD from the "CAN bus". Works on 2004 and 2005 Prius, but not yet on 2006 (display has gone to higher standards). Do a Google search for it.

    Several posters on other Forums have reported the EV mod was installed and their Toyota dealer didn't comment on it. It's standard in Europe anyway, so shouldn't cause any problems.

    You can also get a "Scangauge II". It just plugs into the OBDII port and sits on the dash, giving a readout of four of up to 16 or so data fields. It also has trip functions - distance to empty, MPG, etc. in imperial (with US gal.) and metric. It works on most vehicles with an OBDII port (all vehicles after 1996, I think). It also will display trouble codes, and let you reset them.
  • Hi,

    I just bought the 06 Prius. I got Package 5.

    Is it possible to add a GPS to the system without putting in one of those dash mount, or window mount units? (meaning, put it right in the screen with all the other screen features?)


  • cgoshcgosh Posts: 2
    I've tried two of Coastal ETech's hardware hacks -- one to force EV mode (stealth button is standard in Asia and Europe, the hack just accesses the software that's already in your car with a hidden interface) and another to get rid of the "I agree" button / inability to maneuver on maps while moving.
    The map is a simple, 5-minute "unplug a socket under the front seat and put this plug in its place" that a 10-year old could do.
    The EV switch installation is not for really ham-handed or clumsy folks (ordinary people are just fine). The small pin went in the socket after I reamed it slightly with a tiny (jeweler's) screwdriver. Both hacks are reversible and unseen.
    Coastal's back office (processing & mailing) needs a little work -- it took weeks to get my stuff, I cancelled the map hack rather than wait; they sent it anyway with a nice bonus.
    Products themselves appear totally top-notch, and the instructions are flawless (as always, read first, THEN do the work). Whoever designs/builds their hardware seems to really know what they're doing. I would buy from them again without hesitation, and I'm a very picky fellow.
    BTW, for the earlier post, they also sell a trailer hitch. The Prius manual says 'no trailers' so I'd take it off if you place a warranty claim. And forget switching an engine to Atkinson -- it's not going to happen. See this animation
    The EV switch has terrific 'wow' factor -- the only sound is from tires on the pavement. I also use it to shuffle cars in the driveway, take short trips, etc. It will run about a mile at low speed on a regular charge with no A/C, then kick the engine on. (The air conditioning uses the traction battery, as does the power steering.)
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The current atkinson cycle implementation, Prius, Mazda, is not as mechanically complex as the animation would suggest.

    These more modern Atkinson implementations simply leave the intake valve open for a portion of the compression piston stroke, forcing ~30% of the A/F mixture back out of the combustion chamber. While the "physical" compression ratio is in the range of 13:1 the effective compression ratio remains at a pretty much standard 10:1. Net result is a longer power stroke relative to the compression stroke.

    Not enough energy/heat in the exhaust to run a turbo and barely enough to heat the catalyst to operating temperature.
  • cgoshcgosh Posts: 2
    Synthetic (low-friction) oil shouldn't be used until you've put at least 1,000 miles on the engine. A 'proper' break-in helps any engine, and synthetics are too slippery to let the parts wear in (read, 'fit together better'). After 1,000 miles, do what you like.
    You do the same thing when you take your new stoneware plates and rub the bottoms against each other for a minute or two to smooth them off. Fail to do so, and your table will scratch every time you use them, and so will the top surface of the plates when you stack them.
    The correct method for breaking in an engine is to vary your speed -- never maintain any specific speed for any length of time. Anyone who tells you that modern engines don't require a break-in period is making a commission on your next car. Better than they once were? Of course. Perfect? Not quite yet . . .
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    But if you have a manual gearbox you can ignore the "speed" issue and just vary the engine RPM. My 2001 Porsche will do 130 MPH in 5th or 6th.
  • NO

    However, you can get a Garmin Quest for under $400 that has a suction cup (levered) that attached to the windshield.

    Good Luck,


    P.S.- If you want a factory NAV you gotta buy it from the factory when you first purchase the car.
  • I'll be an owner of a Prius in about 2 wks but want to have leather put in. Dealership told me about $1500..does this sound reasonable? Has anyone out there had it put in as an aftermarket item and does it look ok? Thanks....
  • ldaylday Posts: 1
    Where can I find a cloth wheel cover for a 2005 Toyota Prius?
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    I would suggest Wal-Mart or auto parts stores such as Advance Auto, AutoZone, Pep Boys, or NAPA, depending on what's in your area. You'd have to ascertain whether the diameter of your steering wheel matches the size of the cover.
  • ck90211ck90211 Posts: 149
    I just got my (07) Prius four days ago, and I already want to add the EV mod, since gas engine kicks in too easy even at grandma speed.

    From what I read, EV switch is simply a wire from pin 27 of ECU (the EV pin), to a momentary (normally open) switch, then to the ground. If I don't want an ugly $1 Radio Shack switch, I can use the cruise control stalk (pull back) as the switch. And if I want a fancy version, I can hook up a LED lamp so it glows when in EV mode.

    Am I missing something? Or is EV switch really this simple?

    And for those of you who has EV mode, can you keep the car in electric mode longer in regular city traffic (0-35?). Appreciate any feedback.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    (this carried over from another topic to here where it belongs)

    All I'm saying that it would be a mistake to worry about voiding your warranty by adding a "non-factory item" such as an EV mode switch which is available to other countries but for some unexplained reason Toyota merely did not make an OPTION for the North American vehicle.

    There is no "technical reason" that I can imagine which would explain why Toyota left that option off the North American version.

    The maker of the switch (at least on one website I found) knows the HSD software is coded for the switch and says so on their web pages. If it was not, then THEY would end up liable for damages and would be fools to sell the switch.

    People can do what they want, but personally, if I owned a Prius and had a commute which needed a "manual EV mode switch" I would be on that puppy like white on rice

    ITellYaWhut. :shades:
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "The maker of the switch (at least on one website I found) knows the HSD software is coded for the switch and says so on their web pages. If it was not, then THEY would end up liable for damages and would be fools to sell the switch."

    The owner is responsible for any modification to the Prius made by them or ordered by them.

    The switch sellers have no obligation provided the switch itself works.

    This is not a casual add on. You are placing inputs into the engine CPU, modifying the EPA tested and approved engine sofware.

    People can do as they like, of course. But Toyota doesn't have to cover any damage that may result. It could conceivably be used to deny warrany service on the engine, transmission, and power systems. And Toyota would be on the right side of the law.

    Hey, maybe it will work, maybe not. And maybe Toyota will remove the EV mode in the next software update - and recognize that CPU pin as a short to clear the EEPROM on the CPU.

    The other issue is that if the vehicle got into an accident, if it was discovered that the owner modified the engine and it contributed to the accident (or a slick lawyer somehow got a jury to believe it contributed), then the owner, not Toyota, would be on the hook for damages.

    This is not 1969, and we are not talking about Dodge Chargers and Nox injection. So keep the 50-60 MPG of your Prius and be happy.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    First of all, this EV mode is not a mod that would or could ever "contribute to an accident."

    Secondly, I'm not a lawyer, do not play one on TV, and I DID NOT stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, so please take these views only as an opinion. :shades:

    IF indeed it is a FACT that the North American software is coded to use an EV mode switch (as the sellers insist it is and is evidenced by the fact that the switch WORKS when installed - if the software was not coded for it, it would likely be IGNORED by the software if installed on the vehicle) and the issue is merely that Toyota made a "business decision" to not include the EV mode switch as an option on the North American cars, then I cannot see one single reason why they would have a legal leg to stand on if trying to say "this modification should void the warranty."

    With this particular mod, if the software is coded for it, then the vehicle can use it with 100% safety. If the software was not coded for it, then the mod would not work.

    This is not "bypassing" the HSD system at all - it's USING the HSD software as sold by Toyota to access a feature in the software which Toyota was trying to "keep from us" for whatever reason.

    I think Toyota would lose this legal argument.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,109
    I think Toyota would lose this legal argument.

    I assume you are joking about taking Toyota to court and winning. If you are circumventing an option that they may decide to sell in the future Toyota could consider it stealing. Your wrong on this one. I have purchased a lot of Telco equipment that was not that hard to activate options that were not purchased, even though they were in the software load. When they find out they charge you for them even though you own the Telco Switch. Same goes here if what you are saying is correct then the little aftermarket EV switch is accessing proprietary code that belongs to Toyota. They could prosecute and would more than likely win. I am surprised you would advocate that kind of dishonesty.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    DISHONESTY? Are you kidding me? STEALING? Stealing what - a few extra Miles Per Gallon? ROFLMTO. Can't stop ROFLMTO.

    How is it "dishonest" to take advantage of a feature that Toyota in it's Supreme Wisdom has decided you don't get to have just because you live on the North American continent?

    If they wanted to protect that feature from the North American owners, they should have made the North American version of the HSD software ignore the EV mode switch. End of story.

    It doesn't matter how many lawyers you have if your argument is not valid.

    Toyota Lawyer: "Well, we didn't want the North American owners to have an EV mode button."
    Judge: "Why not?"
    Toyota Lawyer: "Um, because, um, we thought, um, we didn't want, um, well, just Because we didn't."
    Judge: "Why did you leave the software in those cars with the ability to use the switch?"
    Toyota Lawyer: "Because we didn't want to incur the added expense to have two versions of the software."
    Judge: "Toyota is responsible for the warranty. Next Case."

    If anyone is "cheating" anyone in this issue, it's Toyota cheating the North American owners out of a very cool, very useful, very practical, and very fuel-conserving EV mode switch.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,109
    My guess is Toyota added the EV mode, side airbags and rear disk brakes to the EU version as an added incentive to buy. They are still not selling like Toyota would like in Europe.

    I assume you are not familiar with software. Many software packages are sold in their complete form with many features that you have to pay extra to activate. The Prius software/firmware is obviously that way also. You can call stealing it what you like. I guess the end justifies the means to some people out there. Is it any different than a pirated "KEY" to activate any software package?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Not familiar with software? Computers are my business man - 22 years ago I loaded my first data tape on a Honeywell Mainframe. Installed my first peer-to-peer ethernet network in 1991.

    I'm not going to argue about the "stealing" comment because it is too ridiculous to waste my time on.

    It's "illegal" to use a "pirated key" to activate software features you have not paid for.

    This is not the same thing.

    This is a CAR. This is about getting the most VALUE for your considerable investment. Just because Toyota has decided in their wisdom that EV mode is not a justifiable option for North American customers does not make that the CORRECT decision.

    Did they "charge" the non-North American owners "extra" for an EV mode button? If not, then it's absolutely NOT using something you did not have to pay for.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "It's "illegal" to use a "pirated key" to activate software features you have not paid for.

    This is not the same thing.

    This is a CAR. "

    Sorry, I also think it is stealing to activate software that the manufacturor did not intend to be used. Remember, Toyota owns the software code in the CPU, not the owner. It is exactly the same principle as software on a PC.

    However, that isn't the issue for me. Unless the published US warranty clearly allows for hardware modifications to control the engine CPU, adding any such hardware will void the vehicle warranty.

    FWIW, I never said the EV mode would cause an accident, only that if the vehicle were modified contrary to the US Specification Prius, the burden of proof would be on you to prove that such modifications did not contribute to the accident. It is a hole that a good trial lawyer could drive a dump truck right through, pick up your money, and exit the same way.

    But hey, people should do what they want; just be aware of the potential consequences.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Firstly, please give me a scenario where an EV mode button could contribute to an accident in ANY way.

    Secondly, as the owner of my Prius, I can do whatever I want to it. Including things that void the warranty.

    But adding an EV mode switch would not void the warranty because it would not submit the vehicle to any changes which Toyota would not have planned for.

    In other words, if a driver in the UK gets to have an EV mode button and use it and the use of such switch DOES NOT DAMAGE THE CAR, then I as an owner in the USA have full right to use that same switch. If it's not damaging the UK car, it's not damaging MY car.

    See the logic?

    My point is this:

    Toyota would lose a warranty case involving the addition of an EV mode switch simply because THEY left the code in the software.

    A good lawyer could make a convincing argument that "if Toyota did not want the North American owners to use the EV mode button, they should have had a different version of the software on the North American version."

    Simple. Not theft at all if Toyota does not charge extra for it.

    PS. Another point. If someone imports a Prius from another country which CAME WITH the EV mode switch installed when new in the originating country, does that mean all of a sudden because of GEOGRAPHY it is NOT COVERED when it hits North American soil? They cannot void a warranty based on Geography just like they cannot void a warranty based on using a feature THEY left in the car.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,109
    I loaded my first data tape on a Honeywell Mainframe.

    Was it a paper punch tape. When I started you had to load the bootstrap with 16 switches, Then several rolls of paper tape. That still does not make using software you have not paid for honest. My understanding they don't disable the NAV in some locations while you are driving either. I would imagine a legal reason is behind not offering the EV switch in the USA. I'm with stevedebi, you modify a car you could void your warranty. Funny how you make a big fuss about the EV mode and could care less about the standard safety additions on the EU Prius.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    From the end first:

    Safety features are put on cars by ALL makers based on the minimum safety requirements of the geographical area. Until car makers start giving cars away for free, they have to care about the dollar. They don't put anything on a car for moral reasons; sorry.

    And yes, TECHNICALLY, according to the written warranty, the EV mode switch mod probably WOULD void the HSD warranty. But that's not my point. My point is that such voidage is not reasonable and would allow a good lawyer to defeat any warranty claim which Toyota denies because of a simple little EV mode switch that they SHOULD HAVE INCLUDED ON THE CAR ANYWAY FOR FREE but did not because of some goofy geographical decision.

    The NAV 'use only when vehicle is stopped' is a safety feature. Toyota should have made all the cars do that, regardless of location.

    P.S. And the boot tape was magnetic, and the program data was loaded using cardboard punch cards. I ran the big green card reader for a while because I was the newbie and no one else liked the job. I liked it fine. Maybe the first adult indication that I liked things that other people did not like? :shades:
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "And yes, TECHNICALLY, according to the written warranty, the EV mode switch mod probably WOULD void the HSD warranty. But that's not my point. My point is that such voidage is not reasonable and would allow a good lawyer to defeat any warranty claim which Toyota denies because of a simple little EV mode switch that they SHOULD HAVE INCLUDED ON THE CAR ANYWAY FOR FREE but did not because of some goofy geographical decision."

    Well, it sounds like we agree on the warranty. They should have put it on the US vehicles, but they didn't, and it may void the warranty if the owner installs it.

    To a lawyer arguing a case, they don't care what "should" have been done - this stuff is in black and white, in the warranty book and case law. The law is very specific, and the car companies (as I said before) know how to write and argue warranty issues. You would lose in court, without a doubt, if anything went wrong with any part of the engine / electric / HSD, and Toyota chose to deny the warranty due to an owner installed "EV" switch.

    Anyway, from what I've read it doesn't necessarily improve MPG anyway... so why take the chance? :shades:
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    My advice is to take your chances. I think the case is a slam-dunk loss for Toyota if they would ever choose to fight a warranty claim, for all the reasons I have stated in previous posts.

    Stand up for what's RIGHT and what's RIGHT is that Toyota should not have left the switch off the North American models and treated us like we are too ignorant to use it properly.

    It shows a lack or respect that irks me to no end. :mad:
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,109
    I'm sure larsb would be happy to kick in a couple thou for the legal fund. Feeling the way you do I am surprised you would stoop to buying a Toyota. Have you installed the EV switch on your TCH?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    I e-mailed a certain Prius EV mode switch company today and nothing is available for the TCH.

    I don't know that ANY TCH ANYWHERE was shipped with a factory installed, toyota-approved EV mode switch.

    that's very different from the Prius EV mode situation. :shades:
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722 has standard side airbags.

    The side airbag take rate on the 2004-06 models was above 90% anyway, as I understand. This is unusual for optional side airbags, but the Prius doesn't appeal to the "typical" car buyer.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "Stand up for what's RIGHT and what's RIGHT is that Toyota should not have left the switch off the North American models and treated us like we are too ignorant to use it properly."

    I suspect it is a matter of legal liability in this country, coupled with the required longer warranty period on the battery in CARB states. These are not a problem in Europe.
  • cobra9cobra9 Posts: 4
    I bought a protective clear film for the bumper and hood off ebay for $40 and leather seat cover for $470, which I hear is VG quality. Waiting to receive them. :)
  • I just had a block heater installed on my '06 Prius and will be evaluating it. It will include measuring the amount of electricity used. This is in Western NY where winter temperatures of below 32F are not uncommon.

    I'm interested in hearing from anyone who has a block heater on any Prius and their results.
This discussion has been closed.