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Toyota Prius Electrical and Lighting Questions



  • salwitzsalwitz Posts: 2
    I just bought a 2009 Prius (5/1/2009) and the controls on the steering wheel don't appear to be lighted. Is this correct? They look like they should light up based on the material that they're made of. I looked all through the manual and couldn't find anything on this.

  • whitey9whitey9 Posts: 138
    My '07 lights up, but very, very dimly.
    It has to be pitch dark to see them. The dash lights are blindingly bright in comparison.
    I consider this a "shortage" that Toyota has given me due to the fact that they are so dim, they are hardly visible.
    With use, you will be able to hit the right button at night. It just take time to familiarize yourself with their placement. And if you have the Navi system, you can use voice commands for some of the features. Meanwhile, "practice makes perfect".
    I also consider the lack of a glovebox light(s) a "shortage".
    A rear dome light would have been nice.
    The lights in the bottom of the doors when they are open are nice, but perhaps lights in the dash vents was considered overkill.
    Armrest storage compartment light(s) must have been overkill too.

    I really like my Prius, but the "furnishings" and appointments are just a tad Spartan for me. But then it IS a gas mileage kinda car.
  • salwitzsalwitz Posts: 2
    Well I checked with another guy at the dealership service center and he said no they don't illuminate at all. So much for that undocumented feature.
  • aleknitaleknit Posts: 6
    /Lets start at the top.. I was on the freeway in the fast trak doing about 65mph. All of a sudden the hybrid engine failure light came on, an then almost all the other lights came on. I figured it was time to pull over first chance I get. At the end of the fast trak cars were slowing down. When I pressed my brake pedal I found out I had like NONE. The anti lock brakes did not work. I was pushing everything I could down to help me stop and only one tire locked up and it was smoken. I did stop (must of done something good once) and was able to pull to the side and call a tow truck and have it towed 50 miles to my dealer, Torrance Toyota. That was Friday day 1 of my saga.

    Day 2 Saturday the Dealer wanted the top mechanic to look at and see if he can figure out what happened.

    Day 3 was Sunday.. nothing got done

    Day 4 Monday the mechanic thinks it was the battery but wanted to drive it for a while to make sure. He drove it like 7 miles according to the a rep.

    Day 5 Tuesday still thinks its just the battery, and that controls the computer. That's why the anti lock brakes didn't work.

    Battery went dead when I was driving it on the freeway at 65 miles a hour? The Question is and I can't get an answer is Why did it go dead, when caused it?
    Thats not normal. Dead batteries don't start cars, not go dead when they are running and the Prius never died out, even when it was on the side of the road. And I was able to start it to move it when tow truck came.

    If a car does that then its a car you shouldn't own. If a battery can go out and cause the brakes to go out when your driving at high speeds, your just asking to get killed in it one day!!

    The dealer still has my car, today will be Day 6 and maybe he'll put a battery in it. But Torrance Toyota wants me to pay for it. The 7 year battery warranty he said does not cover that battery. That one only has a 3 year. I've only had it 3 1/2 years, and if I gotta pay over 200 bucks to fix that.. well it sucks. I got my Toyota van with 300,000 miles that nothing ever goes wrong with it.. sometimes I wish something would so I can get a new one.
    Aleks.. :sick:
  • jpeters1970jpeters1970 Posts: 82
    Well it appears the symptoms you describe have nothing to do with the small computer battery. The battery's sole purpose is to start the computer up and then the traction battery provides the juice to start the car. I am surprised that they still haven't provided you with a diagnosis yet. That is really scary !!! Keep us updated on your prognosis.
  • stevegoldstevegold Posts: 185
    Make sure your 2005 has the software update that dealt with that problem.
    The software bug allowed a sensor failure to shut down the ICE engine which then results in a low or dead traction battery a few minutes later. There were several dozen similar reports in 2006, none from owners that had the software TSB applied.
  • pvandrewpvandrew Posts: 1
    Is their anyone that has changed the High Beam on the left side and can explain how they gained access to the lamp?

    Thanks, Pete
  • whitey9whitey9 Posts: 138
    Well, mine do, but I have an '07 with a pkg #6 everything ). BUT they are so very dim, that unless you are in a dark, dark place you have to concentrate to see them.
    It's note really worh taking your eyes off the road. You will get used to them, and one day ( night ) you'll see them.
  • whitey9whitey9 Posts: 138
    My Owner's Manual sez remove the cover between the grille and the engine. It is held on w/six plastic "rivets". After that you can snake your hand down to the headlight and remove the cover, then the connector, and then the bulb. My car has HID lights, but yours may have halogen. DO NOT TOUCH THE GLASS ON THE BULB! It will prematurely burn out if you do. Also, removing the fusebox cover may help too.
  • hihostevohihostevo Posts: 59
    Hi, I am hoping to hear more about this.... we have an '08 that has been flawless to date, but I am looking at picking up a low mileage '05.

    I will call the dealer with the VIN and see what they will be willing to tell me.

    Any information on potential "issues" with the '05 model would be very good to know prior to purchase.

  • tyler70tyler70 Posts: 82
    I just got my 2010 prius and I dont like the headlights as they are too dark (amber like). I like brighter & whiter lights (like the xenon). can anyone please help and tell me if it is possible to replace these lights with lighter light bulbs.?
  • tyler70tyler70 Posts: 82
    Hi whitey9
    My headlights are hologen and they are too dark & amber-like. do you know if I can change to a diff light bulbs to make them little brighter and whiter. ? thanks
  • whitey9whitey9 Posts: 138
    Yes you probably can with replacement "brighter" headlight bulbs like the "Silverstones". But you may face the same situation I did w/my Prius.
    Due to the increased current draw of the "Silverstones", the plastic connector, and some of the adjacent wiring melted. The light would not light, and due to the damage, I could not "unplug" it from the connector. I was, however, able to obtain a like connector and wiring pieces to save me from having to replace the complete headlight [non-permissible content removed]'y. These were NOT available from VW, but since I worked at Mercedes-Benz, I was able to find the "repair kit".
    My advice is to stick with what the Lord gave you. Or possibly face costly replacement(s).
  • whitey9whitey9 Posts: 138
    To tell you the truth, the "Silverstones" didn't really perform a whole lot different/better than the "projection" headlights with the original factory halogen bulbs.
    I received a rebate when I bought the "Silverstones" and they cost maybe $10ea.
    But the "repair kits" and my labor made them no bargain.
  • wingmanwingman Posts: 19
    Returing home from Atlantic City there was a click and then no power. Engine just quit.

    2007 Prius with less than 7500 miles. No nav.

    Was doing 65 mph and in the passing lane with a bus on my tail. Finally got off road without getting killed. Put vehicle into park and turned off everything. Did a restart and had no more problems for the remaing 70 miles.

    Really scarry.

    Anyone else lose power?
  • 2009 Prius 15000 miles No Nav

    My wifes prius has experienced this exact issue on two ocassions.

    The first time Toyota took the car and 3 days later with the help of HQ stated that there was a loose communications wire that connects the battery monitor system with the control computer.

    The second time they took the vehicle and it is still in the shop.

    This is a large disappointment as this is my second Prius and also own a Toyota Camary that has had a steller performance record.

    However, this is a huge safety concern when you suddenly loose all power and then you have to jump to the shoulder and put on your emergency blinkers becuase it just wont go over 10mph.

    She called the dealer and told her to drive to the dealer that it would do no further damage to the vehicle to drive it to them HEY offer to tow the vehicle because you are placing your customer of 3 hybrids life at risk !!
  • They most certainly DO illuminate. I have a 2004 and I find it odd that they would change subsequent models to NOT have this feature. To increase/decrease the amount of light, there is a rheostat thumbwheel that has to be adjusted. That same thumbwheel also dims the speedometer for better viewing at night. Granted the buttons do certainly light up but they should be a tad brighter. I've had my car for so long I memorized all the buttons!!!
  • Hi everyone new to this site. I am an over the road truck driver. I have a 2003 Toyota Prius that I have not driven since October of 07. It is completely dead. How do I recharge the batteries. I called the dealer and asked them they said that I should have jumper posts under the hood, but I can not see anywhere to connect cables to. Also should I use a trickle charger or just jumper cables connected to another vehicle. Any advice would be helpful.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    Wow, a 7 year old battery that has sat for the last 3 years??? I believe I'd just replace it.
  • Replace the small 12 volt battery at a dealer. There should not be an issue with the traction battery. Once you get the car started you may want to consider having someone start it periodically for you. I know what it is like for OTR truckers and sometimes you're gone for close to a month (depending on who you work for). Good luck and keep us posted!!!
  • Intermittently when my wife goes to get in our 05 Prius she will get a long steady beep until she gets in the car and closes the door. I have checked out the manual and replaced the battery in the key fob. She tells me it is still doing it. It has never done it for me. I am suspicious of the 12volt battery. Any thoughts out there?
  • The 12v battery will give some other warnings that it is in need of replacement. If I were you, I'd check the voltage and make sure it is around 13.8 +/- Also, check the operation of various electrical components without starting the vehicle. Based on the fact you have an 05 it may be time to change it. It is good preventive maint because they last 4 or 5 years. I just changed mine and I have a 2004. I bought it online for $107 shipping incl and installed it with a friend.
  • Thanks for the info. That $107 sounds like a good deal. Can I ask for the link?
  • Just do a search on cheap Toyota parts. It was a year ago that I purchased the battery so I don't recall the dealer. I'll look at my receipts and see if I can find it. I know the dealer had a web presence so it should be fairly easy to find. Many dealers won't send the battery because they consider it hazmat, but this particular dealer had no issue with sending it. I do remember receiving it via DHL and they no longer ship domestic. That may effect how the dealer charges for shipping. At any rate, the list price for the battery is 125-150 just not sure. If you are handy, there is an alternative battery that you'll find in your search that many people are using. Again, when you search for 12 volt prius battery you will see a wealth of information. Good luck!!
  • I checked the voltage, and it was about 12.3v. I then checked the voltage on our new 2010 Prius and it was 12.5. This with everything turned off. With everything turned on, it rose to both cars.
    It's a five year old battery and I don't want my wife stranded just to get more out of an old battery so I am going to replace it soon.
    I did a search as you suggested, and found a ton of great info. Thanks.
  • I'm glad I was able to assist. Based on the readings you obtained it appears that the battery may not be bad, however it is not an expensive item and as a preventative measure good to change BEFORE you start having issues. With my situation it died because I was not using the vehicle for quite some time and though I did charge it, it never revived. I got five good years out of it. I'm pleased. So far my 2004 has been more reliable than any other vehicle I've ever owned.
  • Bought new, 8/'05. 55k. Noticed recently that the right headlite was out. Not just high or low-both. I usually run with the headlite switch in the "on" position as they automatically go out when car is turned off and the door is opened. Assumed bad bulb but as I was looking for a way to get into it, I cycled the switch and they both came on. I rechecked and sure enough, when the car is "on", the right lite is out. When the car is "off" they are both come on. Any thoughts?
  • C'mon people-somebody must have a clue as to where I might start trying to find out why this thing is acting this way. There has to be someone out there smarter than me. Thanks for any input. Russ 41.
  • whitey9whitey9 Posts: 138
    I had the same situation on my '07 HID Prius.
    The NHTSA has investigated the claims of BOTH HID headlights failing while driving.
    All they found was ONE light out at a time.
    They closed their investigation.
    I had an intermittently functioning R-H side ( passenger ) HID headlight.
    I took it to the dealer when it was hot under the hood and they told me to come back so they could "diagnose" the HID system. They could 't get it to malfunction since the lot boy shut off the car after parking it on the lot. ( After I told the NOT to ).
    So I picked up the car and before I reached the edge of their driveway, the light was out.
    Anyway, I took it back to them ( 3rd time ) and they replaced the HID "burner" ( bulb ) under warranty.
    They told me it was a $400 repair. The 1st service writer surrendered when I initially presented the car for repair. She said it was "probably a bulb, and they didn't stock that part". What a JOKE!
    That was over a year ago, and so far everything is still going strong.
  • Thanks so much for the info. Not quite sure if I have the same situation. I don't think I have HID.-unless the car comes stock with them. In any case it isn't an intermittent problem. As long as the car is "on", the right light is out. If I turn the car "off" and cycle the headlite switch, they both come on. If I turn the car "on" with the lights on, the right one goes out. Sort of defies logic doesn't it?
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