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Toyota Prius Electrical and Lighting Questions



  • I have a 2006 Prius. Had right headlight bulb replaced first year, and have been back to dealership 4 times for continued headlight problems. The light went off and after several trips to the dealer, they said we needed to replace the ballasts--extended warranty covered the $600 fee because we had gone past 36,000 miles.
    Now the fog light and parking light are out on the left side and the lights go off and we can get them back on by flipping the switch. We don't think our dealer knows how to fix it--now they say replace all headlights at $200 each. Any suggestions from anyone? Crockett96
  • whitey9whitey9 Posts: 138
    Find another dealer with a service department that knows the difference between its' butt, and a hole in the ground.
    "You can't sell the second one, if you can't fix the first one."
  • This is actually an AGM battery and Toyota is the best place to buy them.
  • I figured out what my wife was doing that caused the beeping. She was simultaneously pulling on the door handle and pushing the lock button when opening the door causing the Prius to put out a steady tone for about 6 seconds. I replaced the 12 volt battery anyway, as I don't want her getting stranded because of 5 year old battery.
  • Based upon the last few messages in this thread, I ordered a yellow 12V battery and their Prius kit from eLeanAid. I have not had a problem with my 2004 Prius but it has been on my mind and I am curious about the reported mileage improvements.
    I can use the old battery to start my backup generator. It will arrive next week.
  • Does anyone know if it is okay to personally change out the fog lights in my 2006 Prius--the book says take it to the Dealer but as my previous posts show--they don't really fix anything, just continue to charge. I'm thinking I can do this myself and perhaps get the problem solved.
  • go to subject title: engine trouble....

    I and others had this same issue as well about stalling on the freeway. There are a few things that I recently tired and what others tried as well.
    1. Ask for a software upgrade ... should be able to do it under warranty or under 100k miles for free

    2. Crankshaft Sensor...when the sensor gets hot or fails, sets off engine light and shuts down engine...something like that. I paid $390 for both of these installs...I have an '05 prius with 156k warranties don't apply.

    I did a test run tonight and ran it for over an hour at 80mph. It hiccuped a few times during acceleration, but kept strong.

    My problem is that my engine continues to run even at a dead stop...when it usually shuts down and secondly my fan for the battery (in the back seat) stays on and does not shut off. Dealer told me that my recharable battery is bad and also possibly the inverter...those are $4k a piece parts. So I tried the first top two.

    See if any of these solves your for the battery and inverter...those should be covered up to if your issue continues, opt for one or both of these to be replaced. Good luck!
  • whitey9whitey9 Posts: 138
    That CAN'T be right. If the top speed is only 10mph, then no one would ever be able to get it anywhere w/o being flattened first. It is very, very difficult to believe that the dealer did not have the car towed in immediately. Very, VERY difficult.
  • jbvcjbvc Posts: 2
    Anybody changed the brake light bulbs? I can't find them in my 2005 Prius. The owners manual is no help as is the Haynes repair manual. There doesn't seem to be any access to the brake lites in the aft cargo compartment. I can access the backup lites, tail lites and turn signals but not the brakes.
  • whitey9whitey9 Posts: 138
    I am pretty sure the brake lights on my '07 are LEDs. I am not sure how one could ever replace them short of the entire tail light assembly being replaced.
    It seems to me you might be on the wrong track. I see there is a recall on MY'04 Priui for a brake light switch that can be overcome by "silicone oxide corrosion".
    The switch is to be replaced.
  • jbvcjbvc Posts: 2
    Thanks for the response. I was afraid of them being some kind of unchangeable LED as the brake lites seem to have several segments. I don't think it is the switch as only a few of the segments on the left side are out. The right side is bright and all the segments are lit. Looks like another way for Toyota to extract money from us faster than the speed of electricity like the $300 magic key!
  • whitey9whitey9 Posts: 138
    NOT the switch if you have lights on the right side, and a few on the left side.
    Hard to believe that LEDs are out. Has car been wrecked? If you think your parts are high, you should own a Mercedes-Benz that is out-of-warranty. INTERGALACTIC! And the LABOR!!!
  • lkj0lkj0 Posts: 1
    jbvc, did you ever find any joy on this? I have the same issue.
  • Today I noticed that my right headlamp was unlit when I parked the car to the side of a bank with glass walls. I cycled the lights and it came back on, but it seemed dimmer than the left headlamp.

    The left headlamp was replaced in Feb of 2008 -- same symptoms. The controller card passed diagnostics and they replaced the lamp itself. I believe there is one controller for each lamp, but I'm not certain.

    The first case was covered by the factory bumper-to-bumper warranty -- no cost to me. I'm hoping this problem will be covered by my 7 yr 100K extended warranty, since I'm outside the factory warranty period/miles -- I'll have to check.

    I've had no other issues with my Prius. I often drive with my headlights on during the day here in Seattle, unless it is clear and sunny (we do have some of those days). I think I'll keep the lights off during the day at this point. ;)
  • whitey9whitey9 Posts: 138
    I wish you luck. Most "light bulbs' are not covered by extended service policies. BUT, these being HIDs and the "bulbs" being generally called "burners" may be. Especially with the seemingly pronounced number of failures of the "burners".
    I had one ( right side ) intermittently malfunction, and it took ONLY THREE TRIPS in to get it "fixed". It was just a "burner".
    Again, I wish you good luck.
  • Found out a lot more on this issue over at PriusChat. Sounds like a lot of complaints have been filed with NHTSA -- I filed one today myself. Toyota just sent out a letter offering to reimburse people that paid to have a controller card replaced -- they believe the problems reside with the bulb only. They are also discounting the bulb down to $150 and offering to reimburse the difference between what people paid for the bulb and the new $150 price.

    Yeah, I don't think my extended warranty will be of any help -- bulbs are considered wear and tear items. But a number of people over at PriusChat indicated they got their repair cost covered when they complained to Toyota Corporate Customer Service. I will try that route if the dealer tries to bill me. :mad:
  • whitey9whitey9 Posts: 138
    The NHTSA? Yeah, I was there looking several months ago. They opened an "investigation", and then closed it. It seems that no one cares if you lose just one headlight. It's a concern to them at NHTSA if you lose two, and are driving the car when it happens. Mine, and other's as well, were remedied by switching off/on the headlights. The "bad" light was revived albeit temporarily. They supposedly replaced the "bulb" under warranty. AFTER the service writer gave up and surrendered before she even wrote up the repair order ( "well, we probably don't even have the "bulbs" in stock anyway." ). So three trips later my lights were both on at the same time. And so far since. The time is about up on my 3yr warranty 'tho. Good luck.
  • I have an '07 and have replaced the bulbs 3 times. Each time they till me the controller is fine. In the meantime, it's $300.00 a pop. Just fot a letter from Toyota with instructions to submit all bills as proof and I will get a refund. Hope you got one too..
  • whitey9whitey9 Posts: 138
    So you are saying you have replaced 6 ( six ) headlight bulbs total?
    That seems like kind of a stretch to me. I have done one in nearly 36,000mi. I drive w/lights on at all times. Oh my God! Eddie Money is singing the halftime show at the Arizona Liberty Bowl!!! I thot he was dead.
  • ikgikg Posts: 2
    The driver's side LED appeared to be gone. However, when you get really close to the housing, you can see all the lights are still functioning but extremely, dim. The local dealers obviously want me to change the entire housing costing something close to $300. I think there might be a power supply problem as the LEDs are either on or off, correct? Has anyone been exposed to this? Pls let me know.
  • whitey9whitey9 Posts: 138
    If one side is less bright than the other, then I would check for a weak ground circuit. That's what is most often the problem with "bulb-type" tailights. Body Shops are "famous" for this problem. There could be paint/"bondo" on the grounding point, or the wire is loose/not making good contact with the pin connector of the light [non-permissible content removed]'y. Check the pin socket for a good tight fit too.
  • ikgikg Posts: 2
    Thanks for your response...I couldn't access the LEDs inside the housing. I saw a pin connector in the light assy and will check this out.
  • Bought 2010 in August. I cannot listen to my favorite FM stations because of a crackle (satellite is fine). I was told the first time I took it in that the radio and antenna were OK, the second time he took me out in ANOTHER 2010 Prius to show me it wasn't just my car (!?!?!) that crackled. The third time he said he "was reporting it to Toyota for solution." I resent having paid so much for such an otherwise great car and having such a lousy radio/antenna. Suggestions?
  • whitey9whitey9 Posts: 138
    GET OVER IT!!! All cars nowadays have problems. REGARDLESS of their cost.
    Your car's problem could be a defective rear windshield antenna, or connection at the windshield. Or a bad coaxial cable to the radio from the windshield.
    Stop resenting how much you paid for a car with a "lousy radio/antenna".
    Start resenting the guy driving next to you who is texting, or applying makeup.
    If you think just because the cost of the car guarantees there will be no problems with the car throughout it's lifetime, you have another think coming. WOW! That burns me up!!! What a punk.
  • wingmanwingman Posts: 19
    I think your a little overboard calling somebody a punk just they expect to get what they pay for. When I pay for anthing new I expect to be as perfect as can be and if there's anything wrong I expect it to be fixed asap or its returned and a letter is sent to the CEO telling him what I think of their product.
  • Yep. I've got the same problem. I just purchased a 2010 Prius in December and noticed that the FM radio reception is not nearly as good as my previous auto (2000 Honda Accord). I'm pretty sure that the problem lies not with the radio, but with the antenna. As you may have noticed, the roof antenna on the 2010 Prius is shorter than in previous models, and it has a coil, which I believe is the FM component of the antenna. (The straight part, I believe, is for the XM radio.) Coils allow a short antenna to function like a much larger one. However, this is not a perfect solution, and it depends very much on atmospheric conditions and surrounding geography. I notice that my Prius radio some days works almost perfectly with a given station in a given place, while on other days it works very poorly.

    I have not complained to Toyota yet, but I have been looking around for an after-market replacement antenna for the 2010 Prius. The only replacement roof antenna I can find is a "shark fin antenna," which looks primarily designed to reduce wind resistance and look "cool" rather than to provide better FM radio reception. So, I have asked some auto parts sellers be on the look out for a better roof antenna for the 2010 Prius. Really, almost anyone could design one, including Toyota, and its primary attribute is that the FM component would likely be longer to be better tuned for FM reception, and it should simply be a screw-in replacement to swap out with the original antenna using the same antenna base.

    Now, it's possible that Toyota has done the research on this and they just decided to do the best they can while achieving minimum wind resistance. I think people like myself, probably you included, would gladly sacrifice a little wind resistance (and the minor impact on gas mileage) for better FM radio reception. So, I'll probably put in a word with Toyota about this. In the mean time, someone might read this and say, "Yeah, we might be able to design something like that!" And beat Toyota to it.

    In the mean time, I'm afraid that 2010 Prius owners will have to live with poorer FM reception than they might be used to. Unfortunately, for me, XM is not an option, as I don't care for most of the XM/Sirius programming. (Otherwise, BTW, I love the car.)

    Anyway, if anyone hears of a better replacement antenna for this model, please do chime in here!
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    Doesn't that battery start the car 's engine too?
  • stevegoldstevegold Posts: 185
    As far as I understand, the 12VDC battery runs the computer when you turn the Prius on. The ICE is started buy the big traction battery. If you can't start the car, you jump the 12V battery with the underhood terminals and everything else works normally.
  • stevegoldstevegold Posts: 185
    As far as I understand, the 12VDC battery runs the computer when you turn the Prius on. The ICE is started buy the big traction battery. If you can't start the car, you jump the 12V battery with the under hood terminals and everything else works normally.
  • lew74lew74 Posts: 8
    I had my 12 volt Battery replaced by Sun Toyota in New Port Richey Florida'

    The battery cost $138.70 and installation charge was $12.00 total of $150.70 plus tax.

    This is cheaper than the cost of the battery at e-learn which is $161.00 and you still have to install it yourself.

    If you google Toyota Prius 12 volt battery. you will see a site where you can buy the OEM Toyota battery Msrp $138.70 but thier price is $102.70 plus $13.99 shipping, so you can save about $40 if you order and install the battery yourself.
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