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2003 prius not starting

Discussion in 'Generation 1 Prius Discussion' started by shannaleanne, Jul 23, 2008.

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  1. shannaleanne

    shannaleanne New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
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    Location:
    Durham, NC
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2003 Prius
    Hi! My '03 Prius is sick...It will start normally, then the gas engine will cough and cut off, leaving only the electric engine running. The triangle and the engine light are on. Something similar happened a few months ago (on earth day, ironically) and the next day it started fine, so i never got it checked out. This time it has been 24 hours and it still isn't working so i'm guessing it isn't going to fix its self this time. It has 94,000 miles and has never had any major problems and still has the original battery. The battery could possibly be low because I drove from central texas to north carolina a little over a month ago, it was parked for 2 weeks and have been driving it fairly infrequently since (2-3 times a week), however the battery doesn't seem to be low, all the lights and the radio are working. Could a battery issue cause the gas engine to fail? Also, this happened the next time i started it after getting gas, could it be caused by bad gas? It almost seems like a problem with the fuel injector but I thought that Prius' didn't have a traditional fuel injector. Any one have similar experiences or ideas? I would at least like to have a vague idea of what is going on before i take it to the dealer.
  2. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
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    Location:
    Green Valley, AZ
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    I suggest that you take your car to the dealer so that the DTC (fault codes) can be retrieved. However, if the service writer tells you that your car needs a new engine ECU or a new fuel tank, consult with us again before you accept those very expensive repairs.

    If this work has not been recently done, I suggest that you consider having your engine tuned up:

    - replace the iridium spark plugs and engine air filter
    - clean the throttle body interior and throttle plate
    - change the engine oil and oil filter, make sure that 5W-30 viscosity is used

    A weak 12V auxiliary battery would not cause the gasoline engine to stop running.

    If bad gas was the issue, I would have expected the car to be affected soon after you left the gas station.

    The Prius engine has four fuel injectors of traditional design.
  3. klodhopper

    klodhopper New Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Colorado Mtns.
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2002 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    I hate to prejudge your problem, but I've had a very similar problem with ours every once in a while.

    It seems if I leave our 02 Prius alone without starting it in the sunshine for a week or so...it tends to do the same thing. I've come to the conclusion that after the first time, that it was bad gas, or gas that had gone bad in the fuel rail/injector areas of the engine.

    I just disconnected the 12V battery to reset the computer, and after a few resets , it cleared the problem and we haven't had any trouble since.

    There is also a problem that happens when the engine has been overfilled with oil.

    Attached Files:

  4. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web 03 and 10 Prius

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    Location:
    Huntsville AL with 2003 Prius
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III
  5. doubleg2005

    doubleg2005 Member

    Joined:
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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    N/A


    Is this a regular thing, not driving your prius for a week or so??? :eek:

    I would have withdrawals...
  6. klodhopper

    klodhopper New Member

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    Location:
    Colorado Mtns.
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2002 Prius
    Model:
    N/A



    Good call!!



    I really DO miss driving it when we have to use other vehicles that will tow trailers. There are certain things our mini-me can't do, such as move equipment within the business, but it performs admirably for our travel needs, service calls...etc, and that's where we get our most mileage/savings from.:D

    We try to buy the best regular unleaded possible, but it seems to shellac quickly in all of our vehicles at our altitude/temperature, and that problem is not specially inherent to just the Prius either. Some of our other vehicles "balk" with strong gas ever so often. We've tried to buy from different places, but can't seem to store gas for more than 30 days without problems, and even less if it's in a vehicle.:confused:
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