Last post on Nov 06, 2012 at 7:45 PM
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Toyota Prius, Electrical
#34 of 149 Battery Problems
Jan 10, 2008 (3:06 pm)
I hope I can describe our situation accurately as I was not the driver when the problem occured. My husband drives our 2005 Prius approx. 50 miles daily. One snowy morning, he left the house and proceeded normally to the freeway on-ramp, about 3 miles from our house. As he got on the freeway, the Prius dropped to about 20 mph. The car wouldn't go any faster no matter how much gas was applied. The speedometer reading, however, displayed inaccurate speeds - 80 mph. Unaware of what to do, he completed his commute and drove it home that evening. I checked the car in the evening and witnessed the same problem - car wouldn't accelerate no matter how much pressure was applied to the gas pedal, and the speedometer displayed obviously incorrect speeds. The technology display didn't indicate any problem and no warning lights were present. In fact, the display indicated that the battery was at 3/4 charge. He had just filled the gas tank the night before (he never lets it go below 1/2 full).
Feeling it was unsafe to drive, I had it towed to Toyota. They took a look at it and told me that nothing was wrong with it - the battery had just gotten too low. First question, if the battery was low, why would it start and drive normally for 3 miles at all? Second question, would a low battery cause all the problems described (no acceleration, incorrect speedometer readings), or is it possible that the dealer just charged the battery, the computer reset, and the problem temporarily disappeared?
I'm pissed about having to pay for the tow and the labor to recharge the battery, but I'm more concerned that the real problem hasn't been solved. The dealer explained that the battery that became rundown was the second, technology battery, so I assume he's talking about the 12V battery described in other posts above. Also, my husband does not recall leaving any powered accessories on or doors ajar, so it's inconceivable to us how this battery would have gotten rundown overnight.
Any feedback at all is appreciated.
#35 of 149 Re: Battery Problems [lnm]
Jan 10, 2008 (3:43 pm)
I just wanted to add to the above post. I called the service guy back to clarify the problem further. He said the 12V battery was completely dead and the main battery was almost dead. I asked what could have cause this to happen overnight (was driving fine at 5 p.m. the day before, problems began at 8 a.m. the next mornign), and he basically boiled it down to something (door light) being left on. I asked him about the car possibly needing a software update, a cell being blown or faulty, cold weather and he said no chance to all of those things.
It seems to me that the service guy relies on a diagnostic computer to tell him what's going on with the car. I asked if he visually inspected the battery to see if it was faulty or a cell had blown and he said no, the computer would tell him if anything was wrong. I think I need to get another opinion on the status of these batteries. I've read in other posts that AutoZone will check a battery for free. I will be taking it there and reposting if I find out anything new. There is just no way that we left something on in the car, and frankly I resent being blamed for it. Even if a light was left on, would this cause a battery to go completely dead after just 15 hours?
#36 of 149 Re: Battery Problems [lnm]
Jan 11, 2008 (7:47 am)
I have seen a few reports of a poor connection to the chassis from the 12V battery -ve terminal causing problems. It may be that connection failed. This -could- happen "suddenly", though it would be rare. Perhaps the bolt came loose.
#37 of 149 Blank screen on 2-week old '08 Prius
Jan 24, 2008 (6:13 pm)
I have had my brand new '08 Prius for 2 weeks and 2 days. I just filled it up for the first time this week, which is great. But, today I pushed start and the screen was still blank...Yikes! I thought...maybe I don't have the break pressed down. Nope. So, I turned the car off and restarted...Yikes! No screen. It drove fine, but I cannot operate things beyond the "manual" steering wheel controls. I'm taking it in tomorrow and hoping it's something simple...frustrating and I'm trying to be patient. If it's a fuse, why would a brand new car already be blowing fuses? Did I get a lemon?? Hopefully not!! I was really excited about my first new car purchase and it felt like a good decision...too good to be true maybe?
#38 of 149 HID failure with 2006 Prius
Feb 10, 2008 (5:28 pm)
Dealer had to replace my left HID bulb this week. They initially thought it was likely the controller card behind the light, but it passed all the diagnostics. So they decided it must be the bulb. I was told that the part would have cost $400 if not covered by factory warranty (only 23K miles). I think they had to pull off the fender or bumper to get at the assembly.
Symptoms: headlamp would occasionally dim or go out completely. Cycling the lights off and back on always seemed to correct the problem for a while.
The dealer (Bob Bridge Toyota in Renton, WA) did have to keep my car for a few days while waiting for the part. They said it was the first time they had seen this type of failure in a Prius. I didn't ask about HID failures in other Toyota models.
#39 of 149 HID failure/HID aftermarket bulb update
Feb 11, 2008 (8:01 am)
$400! That's unfortunate news. It's probaly correct that the bumper has to be removed to get at the headlight assembly, although it should not be necessary just for a bulb exchange.
I take this opportunity to give an update on what's happened to our Prius (light-wise) since I last posted quite a while back. Sorry for the long post following.....
The Philips H4 ExtremePower bulbs were (after having aimed the headlights a little less "conservatively") a pleasant surprise, for conventional headlights, although of course not a match for the Bi-Xenons on our then other car, a Mercedes ML 320CDI. But as a relatively cheap, easy solution, they're really OK:
However, apart from the excellent lights, our particular ML was rather a , so it was replaced in June by a Lexus RX400h, which - like the Prius - is pure bliss to drive.
To my surprise I found out that the Lexus came with only low-beam Xenon headlights (it must be the only brand that offer swivelling, but not Bi-Xenon headlights), and driving long distances at night was something of a challenge, having been used to Xenon hi-beams for seven years or so.
Quite quickly, I found a solution via EBay - a Chinese/American company who in no time shipped me a HID replacement kit for the 9005 hi-beam bulbs on the Lexus. And now even my previous Bi-Xenon equipped cars look weak in comparison!!
The kit was really very easy to fit, of an impressive quality, and cost only around $100 (the price has since dropped radically to only $42.99). After a while, the idea of "Xenonising" the Prius too from the same source matured, and in the late fall I ordered a set of H4-compatible units from the same company. Because there's slightly more hardware and electronics involved, they are a little more expensive (the current price is $ 85.99).
Shipment was again quick, but due to work I had the kit siting around for some time before fitting it to the Prius. Again, impressive workmanship, no wiring has to be cut, and I did the installation in a couple of unstressed hours. It achieves hi/lo beam by a retracting metal cutoff shade - just like the units used on some Volvo models, IIRC.
The low beam light pattern is VERY close to the original, with minimal stray light and really no blinding of ooncoming drivers. And of course with a vastly improved output - this really is the thing to get if you didn't get Xenons from the factory, and you plan on any kind of longer distance night driving. The high beam light is very much better than standard, but not quite as much a revolution as the low beam is.
We have just come back from a 1500 mi trip, most of which was done in the dark, and it was very, very zen - no stress from not seeing enough, and no stress from oncoming drivers flipping their lights at you either.
#40 of 149 Re: HID failure/HID aftermarket bulb update [birger]
Feb 11, 2008 (7:24 pm)
Just to clarify....it would have cost $400 plus labor, but since the factory warranty still applied, I paid nothing.
#41 of 149 Re: HID failure/HID aftermarket bulb update [nw_viking]
Feb 12, 2008 (3:12 am)
yup - I know that. But since the Xenon bulbs/burners are supposed to last for the life of the car, a slightly premature failure would probably occur beyond the warranty period - and thus be a nasty surprise.
OT: Sometime one might wonder how many modern cars are designed: The Mercedes "A" Class (not sold in the US) requires the front bumper to be removed to replace the side marker light bulb - and these burn out quite frequently. Cost of bulb: EUR 1.50. Cost of removal/replacement of front bumper: EUR 295 !
#42 of 149 Battery dead?
Jun 17, 2008 (12:29 pm)
Last night, pulled up and put my 2006 Prius in park and then depressed the power button. Got a little warm in the car and I wanted to open the windows; depressed the power button, cracked all four of the windows and depressed the power button again. Left the car, took the smart key with me...everything was 'off' as far as I could tell...All seemed fine until I got ready to acutally start the car and leave the store. Got into the car, fastened the seat belt, foot on the brake, depressed the power button...all of the shift position lights started to flash, the gas indicated went down to only having one bar (yet the car was over 3/4 full), the low tire pressure and ABS lights came on along with the check engine light. The park indicator light was green and the power indicator light was amber. I thought maybe I depressed the power button too fast, so I did it again only slower. Still nothing but flashing lights and then eventually no lights at all. I was able to put up all of the windows except the drivers (auto) window, thank goodness it was only 'cracked.' Finally called roadside assistance and had someone 'jump' the 12V battery in the front. After the car 'started' the red triangle with the exclamation point in the center on the dash board was illuminated. Also, the computer screen was only showing the lower 2/3...in the upper third in the left hand corner was (in red) an outline of a car with another exclamation point. I drove the car home; approximately 20 miles and backed into the garage (in case it had to be jump started again)...about 10 minutes later, went back out into the car and it started like there had never been any issues. Got up this morning and again no issues...called the dealer, they want to check for 'battery power' on Friday...this is not a good situation when you're alone hoping that your cell phone battery will hold up long enough to get some help.
#43 of 149 display conversion
Jun 17, 2008 (3:51 pm)
a friend brought a prius in from japan and is wondering can the display be changed to english, does this involve new software or hardware, is it possible. have been in touch with toyota in japan but they have been less than helpful directing me to toyota ireland, whom in turn have been less ######### so wondering is their any
techies ot there who can answer the question