Toyota Prius Dash & Instrumentation Questions



  • scottc3scottc3 Member Posts: 137
    I thought I posted this before, but don't see it, so if it's around, sorry for posting again.

    I'd like to set up the 5 quick buttons on the Nav system to search for the nearest "Sears" or "Costco".. or "Hospital".. is there a way to do this? I can see how to set it up to search for a specific place I have already programmed, but the above would allow for a more borad search and be dependent on where you are. If I was in LA, it would tell me the closest Hospital to my location, the same if I was in San Jose.

    Any ideas?


  • jlpsitaristjlpsitarist Member Posts: 2
    Hi uall-jut got an 08 prius with navigation and the fleet dealer boss told me that he had a customers son find extra voice commands on line, ie: changing the actual voice and more than the enclosed 3 languages, and other goodies. The new honda has 600 voice commands as opposed to prius's 100 commands. Who makes the prius's gps and does anyone know that this can be done?-that is, adding more commands
    thanks for your info-james
  • scottc3scottc3 Member Posts: 137
    I have noticed, as a new owner, the steering wheel lights are very dim - maybe just a reflection of other interior lighting. I tried moving the dash lights, dim / bright, which work fine, but do not control the steering wheel lights. Is there a control for this, so I can see the controls better on the steering wheel?


  • scottc3scottc3 Member Posts: 137
    Turns out, there are NO steering wheel lights, just a 'glow in the dark' label or something like this. Suppose I'll get use to this.

  • scottc3scottc3 Member Posts: 137
    I've reviewed the 2 pages of ICONS for the NAV markers but find there is no airport / plane icons. Anyone know of a way to get more icons or edit the ones in the system. Would be real nice if there was a memory reader we could access.


  • scottc3scottc3 Member Posts: 137
    For those of you that have had Prius's for a few years, how are the dash / steerning wheel buttons wearing? Is the white lettering warn off? Are there signs of wear on these buttons? If so, is there some plastic covering that can be used over these to prevent wear?

  • rformanrforman Member Posts: 1
    The infamous exclamation point has lit up. At the top left corner of the navigation screen there is a lit icon of a headlight. My lights are all working. Anyone have any ideas.
  • mac49mac49 Member Posts: 1
    I bought a 2005 prius in April..Last week , temperature dropped to teens, my speedometer registered I was going 70 miles. As near as I can tell it should have registered is off about 35 miles per hr. Also, whenever I add about $7.00 in gas it does not show on gas gage. I wonder if I have a sensor problem..and if anyone out there has problems I indicated..Thanks
  • jellenmjellenm Member Posts: 1
    I have experienced wildly fluctuating gas gauge readings in my 2004 Prius.... example, two tenths when I shut down - eight tenths when I start car again. Happens roughly 2 out of 5 tanks of gas. I am discussing this issue with Toyota Customer Service. I understand the fluctuations of the "bladder" system, but can't tolerate running out of gas (and battery) - which has happened. Anyone else have this experience?
  • eprupiseprupis Member Posts: 30
    I don't know about the gas gauge but there is one possible explanation for the speedometer reading. On occasion, I have inadvertainly hit the miles/kilometer toggle and switched to Kilometer readings. This will indicate a speed about double your actual speed.
  • frank883frank883 Member Posts: 6
    Any news on a ' Download ' update for GPS search locations?
    I live in a very dynamic area .New stores and store-closings all the time...
  • njtarheel1njtarheel1 Member Posts: 4
    I have just been reading some of these posts. My dealer told me that it would be $600 to replace the display screen. I asked if this were in warrenty and he said no. I have 50,000 on my '04. So it seems that it was just the '04 - is that correct, that had this problem.
    I have bought many cars from this dealer over a 25 year period and taken them to that dealer for service. I am anxious to see how far good will goes. Also, a few of my friends purchased a Prius after hearing my story and riding in mine. Another problem I have had is two recalls and a break down on the highway - I just lost power all together. I was fortunate enough to be less than a mile from a dealer - made it there on the gas engine with little power. He had the car for two days - no offer of a loaner. Said it had to be reprogramed and that was it.
  • enviromomenviromom Member Posts: 1

    I thought it was unusual when my dash dimmed whenever I turned my headlights on, but the dealer told me that was normal. However, I don't think it is normal for my dash to completely go black when my headlights are on...has anyone else had this problem and can you tell me what it took to fix it? I can't keep from driving in the dark forever : ). I have a 2006 Prius.

  • tmasontmason Member Posts: 1
    Yes, i have been experiencing a similar problem with the Prius gas tank. When it has only two or three bars left, it rapidly changes to the flashing state, which is the reserve indication. I've talked to three dealers with no solution. One wanted me to pay $1200 to change a fuel computer, which they were not sure is the problem. I was still covered under warranty at the time. I've not fixed the problem and hope Toyota recognizes the issue some day. I simply fill up at two bars, which limits the distance I can travel on a tank. Sorry i couldnt help, but i can feel your pain.
  • sherry9sherry9 Member Posts: 14
    I have a 2007 Prius and am having problems with the gas gage also. Mine will register empty and I cannot put more the 6.5 gallons in it. After having replaced the entire dash panel 3 times and the gas tank once, I still have the same problem. I have called customer service and they tell me that it is a regional problem due to low temps here (WV) and there is nothing to be done to correct. The technical engineer is not willing to come here to look at it. He says all the readings are normal and I need to wait till it gets warmer to see if I still have this problem, then maybe he will come look at it. I reminded them that I did not buy a car with a 6 gallon gas tank and was not told of this problem when I bought the car. I also asked if anyone else had these problems (since there are colder states than this) and was told what bothered me might not bother someone else. This has been going on for 3 months. Does anyone else have this problem?
  • railroadjamesrailroadjames Member Posts: 560
    Since I'm a 4 plus yr veteran of an '04 Prius I can speak from experience or so I'd like to think. The gas gauge/ fuel tank suffer from "complexity syndrum." What I mean is this....When Toyota designed the tank & guage it was in ideal conditions. Winters play havoc with this intricate system I think. Summers: everything is fine. Winters: all chaos runs amuck. The bladder really does act up due to the cold and what ever fluxuates in the tank to work the gauge must also be a victim too. I have become accustommed to the gauge showing 1/2 a tank full for a length of time even though I knew the tank took 9 gals and was completely full. What does all this mean? Get use to winter readings that are iffy but just know that a tripometer set @ zero and a full tank of gas means 400 plus miles to the next fillup. By the way, the most I ever got from one tank of gas was 546 miles (summer trip). The least...422 miles (winter trip).
  • sherry9sherry9 Member Posts: 14
    Mine reads a little different. It shows full when it is full but will drop at 3/4 tank down to 1/4 in about 50 miles. I once lost a 1/4 of a tank overnight sitting in the garage. The most I got to a tank was 500 miles in the spring and the least was 187 in the winter. I am not willing to carry a gas tank in the car to see how long I can drive on empty till it runs out. This is too much of a difference for me. My car is back in the shop today to fix the mistakes make from the last try at repair (rattle in dash , speaker on the door off track, one of the vents shoved in too far). The next step is arbitration for me. Thanks for your reply.
  • rhutcheonrhutcheon Member Posts: 1
    I am about to purchase an '05 Prius, but in test driving in sunlight noticed that the display screen was very dim. I found the screen where you adjust for brightness and contrast, but the maximum brightness and contrast still left the screen too dim to be useful on a sunny day. The rotary dial left of the steering column has no effect. Everything seems to be there, but you need to shade the screen to see it well.
    Is this normal ? I am not buying from a Toyota dealer, so I've got no satisfaction calling them and the used car dealer has no clue. I am purchasing the car in Canada, but it was imported from the US, so had a modification to give it daylight running lights as per Canadian regs. ( Can't believe this is not required in US ). Could this be the problem ?
    If I have an issue with the display, is it a major expense - some of the earlier posts on '04 screens scared me. I'm looking forward to owning a Prius, but this issue worries me.
  • railroadjamesrailroadjames Member Posts: 560
    Not to worry! Most of the time the screen is very visable. On very bright sunny days yes, the screen is hard to read but if you feel it needs a shade be happy to know that on "Prius web sites" there is an "add-on" shade available. I personally don't see the need after 75K miles and over 4 yrs of TOTAL SATISFACTION!!! You will learn soon that the Prius delivers to owners a great wealth of happiness. I'm thinking of a purchase of another one.
  • ohmygoshohmygosh Member Posts: 66
    I just purchased a new Prius Touring Pkg # 6 with the homelink feature. I can't seem to link it to my garage door opener. Can anyone give me feedback on this problem ??
    Also, I was not aware that the car did not have day time running lights. I thought this was pretty much standard on all new vehicles. Is this a special option or is it totally unavailable on this vehicle ??
  • sherry9sherry9 Member Posts: 14
    I don't know about the homelink feature, but if you turn your lights to on position and leave it, your lights will automatically go on and off. It just doesn't have an auto setting for the lights.
  • jmoosejmoose Member Posts: 11
    Regarding HomeLink. We own a Honda Odyssey that came with HomeLink...I think it's basically a worthless feature. Check to see if your garage door opener manufacturer is among those "supported" by HomeLink. We have Sears/Craftsman doors (they're popular, no?) and my understanding is they're not one of the supported brands, hence we use the remote that came with the garage door, not HomeLink.

    Others can correct me if I'm wrong on support for the doors. I think has more information on supported openers (I see it mentions Craftsman, but I haven't gotten ours to work.
  • ohmygoshohmygosh Member Posts: 66
    Thank you for the input. I also have a Toyota Highlander and I had no problem with the homelink.
  • animagusanimagus Member Posts: 15
    Our Toyota Camry Hybrid's Homelink system works GREAT. Having said that I've had to assist another owner to get his to work with their garage door opener. Two things - I found you have to hold the buttons longer than you might think to get them to link AND if you have a rolling code system you have to engage your openers "learning" button (see part two - to the programming instructions). I'd be surprised if it doesn't work.
  • sachavdasachavda Member Posts: 2

    I'm new at this forum and I'm planning on buying a 2000 used prius, I am in Kenya, East Africa and most of the used cars come from Japan, it was ok with the older versions but with the Prius it has a dashboard touch screen, only problem is, it's in Japanese.
    Is there a way to change the language? Maybe a chip chane? Or is it possible to purchase a whole new screen? Anyone faced with this problem before?
    Any help is appreciated.
  • jshrievesjshrieves Member Posts: 1
    Hi I live in Dublin in Ireland and I too have had a challenge with the Display Unit/Screen. They have quoted some 3500 euro for it to be replaced or 1500 euro for a reconditioned unit? So, there must be a manufacturing fault with this unit??
    I have a June 04 Prius which has done just 28,800 miles. How did you get on with your Display unit problem?.........suirp.........from........JS.
  • sachavdasachavda Member Posts: 2

    I still have not bought the car, going to view it today with the mechanic. The screen works fine on this car but it's all in japanese so can't understand a thing, and not sure how important is the info on the screen. 3500 for a replacement is way up there! 1500 for a recon is pretty high too. I heard that there is a special cable that lets you program the screen to another language, but that's a rumor for now.
  • ctsactsa Member Posts: 6
    Almost all new (last decade or so) openers have rolling code technology. There is typically a button to push on the opener unit itself in order to activate homelink programming. On mine, it is under the cover that shields the light bulbs. The problem is that you usually only have a minute or so to complete the programming once you push that button which doesn't leave you much time to climb down off the ladder and get to your car to do the programming. I'm sure the manual says something about how to complete the programming if you have "ROLLING CODE" technology.

    Good luck.
  • metro5metro5 Member Posts: 4
    Hi JS. You're right , there is a defect on the multi-display unit. Toyota detailed it in their Technical Service Bulletin EL002-05, January 10, 2005. A clever fellow has dissected a non-functioning Prius display unit and compared it to a working unit. Check out his website: He shows that part of the circuit board was re-engineered in order to remedy the problem. The article goes on to show how the unit could be repaired. This is an open and shut case for Toyota - a rep explained to me that as far as Toyota is concerned, the lifespan of that unit is 36 months or 36,000 miles. A cover-up like this is bad business. Shame on them.
  • steve1111asteve1111a Member Posts: 2
    Even with the brightness turned all the way up, it is very hard to see the the speedometer reading with sunglasses, let alone the smaller lights in the forward instrument section by the windshield on our 2007 Prius. Can anything be done about this?


  • steve1111asteve1111a Member Posts: 2
    Please clarify how I can find the "prius websites" you refer to about getting a screen.


  • fseaverfseaver Member Posts: 13
    My 2008 Prius did not come with navigation,so I installed a Garmin GPS system. Works just great
  • jimrey28jimrey28 Member Posts: 9
    I was wondering if anyone else is experiencing the following with their 2008 Prius. I got the car about 6 weeks ago and am slowly getting used to all the bells and whistles with it. My question is this, my phone syncs up perfectly when I turn the car on. But when someone calls me while I am in the car it rings twicw and then the call is answered without me having to do anything at all.

    In my last car I had to push the pick up button and expect to do the same. Since the screen does not show me who is calling or the number I do not want tp pick up until I have an idea who is on the line. I'm not given that chance it just plain picks up and I cannot finr in the settings anywhere how to change this.

    can anybody help? Thank you!
  • scottc3scottc3 Member Posts: 137
    My 2008 Prius works as you 'want' it to - in that when a call comes in I have to push the answer button on the steerning wheel to get the call. I would say you issue has to do with an 'auto answer' setting in the phone. I use a Motorola E815 phone, an older one.

    Just be assured, it can work as you want it do. Just look around for the settings.

    If you can not find the setting, or there is soimething different with your car, I'd head back down to the dealer, and try another Prius on the lot - just to test that car. You don't need to test drive it, just sit in the lot and test it.

    Good luck.
  • jimrey28jimrey28 Member Posts: 9
    Thanks Scott, I'll look into it.
  • jhoodjrjhoodjr Member Posts: 2
    My Prius (2004 with 40000 miles) display has partially failed. A skeleton display appears on hot days with no data (MPG, miles driven, etc.). When the car is cool the display returns with all the correct data. Also the radio drops stations that have been set up. These too return. The car runs normally with the air conditioning and radio working (more or less). None of this happened before over the past four years with the same hot back country exposure. Te sevice manager at Mossy Toyota in San Diego says they cant work on it if its not working. It always seems to be working when I drive into the service bay.
  • mmarti8124mmarti8124 Member Posts: 1
    is this serious? I checked brake fluid and it looks good. manual says to take to Toyota dealer, nothing about not driving the car but it worries me. any idea of whether or not this should be looked at immediately or if I have a couple of days to get it fixed? thx, m
  • snee16snee16 Member Posts: 2
    I took my (2005 & 35K miles Prius) car in yesterday at 2pm (Phx time). It is now over 24 hours and the Dealer still hasn't figured out the problem. This is a relatively new dealership and I'm guessing their Prius technicians/mechanics aren't very much up to speed. My service person told me that they replaced the low voltage battery and still the dash warning lights are on (all 3- BRAKE, ABS and Vehicle Stability Control). He said they have a call into Toyota. This makes me nervous. Anyone else experience these problems? Should I take to another dealer to service?
    Thanks! :confuse:
  • snee16snee16 Member Posts: 2
    They finally figured it out. They replaced the Skid Control Computer Assembly. I was not having any problems stopping or anything so it is a mystery to me what caused the failure of the assembly. Fortunately, the vehicle was still under warranty so this didn't cost me anything.
  • its_just_meits_just_me Member Posts: 1
    I also have a 2004 prius (97,500 miles) and I have the same problem, except temperatures aren't a factor, it just happens randomly. Since I purchased the extended warranty good until 100K miles, I am trying to get as much use out of that as possible--so I took my car into the shop immediately for the display screen problem. They said the screen was faulty and have ordered me a new one--all at no cost to me. [They also found a leaky water pump still under warranty and replaced that at no cost to me.] I asked if the problem with the screen was common, and he said he's seen two others, one a Highlander and one a Prius. So take your car in right away and tell them the screen is defective; hopefully they'll replace it for free regardless of the warranty status.
  • jhoodjrjhoodjr Member Posts: 2
    Unfortunately my warranty is out but my problem is solved. It turns out the "radio" is the key to the display problem. A new radio was installed ($600) and all was well. Apparently the "radio" unit controls an awful lot of the car's functions.
  • krismuhlkrismuhl Member Posts: 2
    I realize this is about a year old, but I have to agree, they are too dim...I suppose I should have learnd the steering wheel by now, but at night, I can sometimes not see what a button is.
    I do wonder if anyone has experienced the following:
    After pressing the power button, the car starts...the screen turns on, I can drive the car, however, there is no information on the dash, none of the "dummy" lights work, with the exception of the passenger air bag lights. the screen does not turn to the camera when I put the car in reverse. Anyone else had this happen? This has happened to me twice...the first time, the car would not even shut off...finally, I decided to try the computer technique and held the Start button for several seconds and, oddly enough, it did turn off and then when I turned it back on, everything was OK. Just recently, I drove 13 hours then the car sat in cold wather for a couple of days. Same thing, only this time, it WOULD shut off. I was driving to a dealer to have them look at it and it all turned on. I had even let the car run for a while to warm up in the cold weather.
    I asked the service tech about it when I took it in for service and they didn't know...just said to bring it in the next time it happened....well, I was 13 hours away this last time. I'm just worried it is an electrical matter how cold, that should work.

  • cslaught23cslaught23 Member Posts: 1
    This happened to me today on my '06 Prius. Instrument panel lights didn't come on and I couldn't power off unless I held and pressed the button for about 20 seconds. When I came back from my meeting, it seemed to be fine. This morning it was -6 degrees here and by the time I got out of the meeting it had warmed up to a balmy 10 degrees! This is the first winter I've spent outside of California. Never had a problem before, so I'm assuming it's related to the COLD!
  • tkddad99tkddad99 Member Posts: 2
    This happens to our 08 intermittently also. We bought ours in April 08
    and I would estimate it happens about 10 times or so.

    I have the same problem with the instrument panels being off when the car
    is started. The car runs fine. I just don't know how fast I am going.
    Occasionally, I would not be able to power it off. The instrument panels will always
    come back on after 15-25 minutes of driving. I would then have no problem
    turning off the engine.

    I went in to the dealer a couple of times already but both times they
    couldn't trace the problem with the instrument panel working. I was
    finally able to show the service manager with the instrument panel not
    working and the car couldn't be turned off yesterday. I was then told to leave the
    car and was told that it could take them 2-5 days to try to re-create
    and debug the problem. I live in Ottawa, Canada and am currently
    enduring a 5 weeks old bus strike. Since I only have 1 car, I told them
    I couldn't leave them the car for up to a week unless I get a loaner.
    No loaner was offered.

    I then called Toyota Canada and explained the problem to them.
    I got a call today from the dealer to go it to have them read the codes from
    the micro-processors. It took them 10 minutes and the codes were
    clean. The service manager told me to bring the car in next time
    the instrument panel is off and they would read the codes to see
    what happens.

    I will update if they find anything.

    In my case, I don't think it's related to the cold weather. We had
    -30C both yesterday morning and this morning and the instrument
    panel was working fine.
  • tkddad99tkddad99 Member Posts: 2
    The dealer were finally able to read the code with the dashboard off.
    They then kept the car for 3 days running tests and ended up
    replacing the combination meter.

    We have had the new combination meter for about 1 month and haven't
    had any problem since.
  • circle12circle12 Member Posts: 1
    Have a 2007 prius and the instrument lights keep going black. This happens when ive been driving and shut it off.It will run and drive ok but dont know how fast your going. Ive found that if i unhook the white connection on the 12volt batt for a few seconds then put back on, everything is up and running again. It doesnt go black everytime but its getting annoying. Any help would be great
  • maxx124maxx124 Member Posts: 8
    I have a 2005 prius with 160 K ..Did the dealer find the problem with your prius , I've had this problem happening 5 times or more every week. with no power, or the alarm going off. or it reboots itself . I have to reset the clock at least 10 times a week. I seem to find new ways to get it running ..the latest fix is opening and closing doors. of course the dealership has never heard of prius not starting or no power ..what makes me think is a major defect that toyota dealers are either very stupid or told not to say anything....
  • frank883frank883 Member Posts: 6
    Haven't addressed my one-time issue w/Guidance orientation.
    Haven't requested Nav update download either.
    Have had no experience in this area: 87k and running strong with no computer issues.
  • driscoolldriscooll Member Posts: 1
    I have had the exact same problem - the display panel went black so I did not know how fast I was going. After taking the dash apart and testing all electrical components they found that it was the combination meter. I had that replaced just today. Unfortunately my Prius (2004) is no longer under warrenty and it is EXTREMELY expensive to repair.
  • hihostevohihostevo Member Posts: 59

    are you still working for Toyota?

    My wife and I have an '08 Prius and are looking at purchasing a very low mileage '05 Prius.

    Are there any "issues" with the '05 that we should be aware of??

    I tried to send you a private email for this question, but you are listed as private so I am posting it here in hopes that you see it.

    For the rest of you please forgive the off-topic post, but I would be very interested in any comments that folks have on the '05 models with Nav!
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