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Can anyone explain to me what went wrong at the car wash?

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Main Forum' started by doogster, May 14, 2012.

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  1. doogster

    doogster Junior Member

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    I assure you... I don't know what happened on Saturday morning, but I will try to explain... and maybe someone out there can enlighten me - because I've only had my Prius a short while and this was the 1st time driving it through the car wash.

    On Saturday morning I decided to wash our 2008 Prius - what a beautiful morning - sun shining - birds signing - pollen covering the car.

    My wife and I pulled up to where the car would go onto the track that would push it through the car wash... I put it in PARK (did not power off) and we went into the car wash building. My wife remarked on whether or not the guys would know how to get it to move up onto the track, being a Prius... I said they must see them all the time - I'm sure it won't be a problem.

    Sure enough, a few mins later, here comes the prius through the car wash... and here is where it all fell apart.

    Being a beautiful Saturday morning, the car wash was PACKED and there were at least 20 cars behind us...

    Here comes the prius out of the wash and someone gets in to move it to a free spot in the lot so it can be dried and detailed... and the guy can't get it to move... I watched him struggle for a min then went over to offer assistance...

    When I got in, I couldn't get it to power on... I quickly noticed the key FOB was gone!! I asked where the keys were... nobody knew and a search insued.

    no one could find the keys nor knew what had happened.

    They accused me of taking the key - but I told them the prius will not move unless the key was in the ignition (of which I later found out this is not the case)

    the car wash line was effectively shut down for 30 mins while they went through the giant vacuum system looking for the key...

    Was there anyway to move the prius at this point? I mean, I couldn't even seem to put it in netrual so someone could push it out of the way?

    Anyway... after much ado... my wife looks through her purse only to find the key!!! We were shocked... then figured out she had never given me the keys when we left the house!!! We didn't even know the car would run if not in that little slot on the dash!

    How did the prius move through the car wash without the key being nearby? I mean, we were pretty far from the car inside the building as it was being washed...

    Does this mean if my keys are hanging on the wall in the garage and my prius is unlocked that someone can get in and press the power button and drive away?
  2. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    You only have to have the keys near the dashboard to get it started. Once started you could walk away with the keys and the car will stay running. I have never placed the keys far away from the vehicle then tried to drive it so I don't know what would happen in that situation.

    With the smart key system you do not have to stick the key fob into the slot in the dash to operate the car. You only have to have the fob near the dashboard.

    You should never leave your keys in the garage with the vehicle they operate. :) No, if your car was unlocked and the keys were not inside the car or sitting close to the dash then no one could start your car and drive off with it.
  3. catgic

    catgic Master & Commander Hybrid Guru

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    Doogster - RE: "Anyway... after much ado... my wife looks through her purse only to find the key!!! We were shocked... then figured out she had never given me the keys when we left the house!!! We didn't even know the car would run if not in that little slot on the dash!

    How did the prius move through the car wash without the key being nearby? I mean, we were pretty far from the car inside the building as it was being washed...

    Does this mean if my keys are hanging on the wall in the garage and my prius is unlocked that someone can get in and press the power button and drive away?"

    Ah-h-h..It is the ol' My Dog...Er-r-r...My Doog...Er-r-r...My Wife ate...had my SKS Key.

    Keys (SKS Fob) hanging on the wall or any where outside the Prius cabin will not permit someone to "get in and press the power button and drive away."

    My wife carries our second SKS Fob in her purse. As permanent Prius Borg Chauffeur & Bodyguard to Her Beauteousness, I, on occasion, forget to pick up and bring my SKS Fob with me when we depart on a shopping run. Her Nibs, of course, always has her SKS Fob stored in her purse. We get in the car, power up, and glide off to our destination with No Problemo. Only when I reach for my SKS Fob to lock my "V"onder "V"agon do I learn that I am SKS Fob keyless. I then have to get her SKS Fob to lock the car.

    Once you started your Prius with the SKS Fob key your wife had in her purse, the Prius will run without the SKS Fob being present inside the cabin until the car is Powered Off. After that it will not start again until there is a SKS Fob key sensed by the Prius as being inside the car. :plane:
  4. doogster

    doogster Junior Member

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    The car stays out in the driveway and the keys are inside the garage....
  5. ajtozzi

    ajtozzi Junior Member

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    I think the more important question here is how did you leave the car wash alive? Here in NJ if I shut down a car wash on a busy Saturday I think someone would kill me.
  6. catgic

    catgic Master & Commander Hybrid Guru

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    Doogster - The SKS Fob key is hanging OUTSIDE the cabin of car on your wall in the garage not INSIDE the car. Your Prius will not start unless the SKS Fob key is physically inside the vehicle.

    FWIW FYI: Having the SKS Fob in "TOO CLOSE" of a proximity to the OUTSIDE of your Prius will tend exercise (prematurely drain) the tiny battery in the SKS Fob, as the SKS Fob and Prius Inside Cabin SKS Sensing System Sensors would be "talking" to each other the whole time the car is parked with the SKS Fob in close proximity to the car.

    What is the actual straight-line, "Line Of Sight" distance from the SKS Fob hanging point in your garage to the SKS Fob Dash Plug-In Socket INSIDE your Prius or the closest door handle?
  7. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    I'm going to engage in some mild scolding of the OP:

    [SCOLD]

    I understand that this is a used car, but still you should spend some time reading the owner's manual. If you don't have one, you can find it online at the Toyota website.

    An automobile is an expensive and potentially dangerous device. Investing a little time upfront will pay off in the long run.

    The Prius, in particular, is an unusual car, having many unique and innovative features. The Smart Key System (SKS) is one of them. Not having to dig keys out of your pocket or purse is one of my favorite things about the Prius. Just imagine the other features waiting to be discovered.

    [/SCOLD]

    Another thing to watch for at car washes is the battery. You can't move a Prius through a car wash without having it powered up, and it won't roll in Park, so you end up using Neutral. In Neutral the Prius cannot charge the high voltage (HV) battery. If your Prius sits for too long in a car wash, it may shut down with a low battery.

    Tom
    2 people like this.
  8. doogster

    doogster Junior Member

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    As the OP, I deserve anything I get (including SCOLD remarks) from fellow posters... I am thoughly embarrased this happened to me. It won't happen again.

    One other note of interest... how did I get out ALIVE? BY NOT TELLING ANYONE OF THIS... We never told the owner that we had the keys all along because we couldn't make sense of what was happening... we were under the opinion that the key had to be in the slot in order for the car to move...

    The of the points of the story that I left out was that the owner of the car wash drove me back to my house to get the spare key...
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  9. jabecker

    jabecker driver of Prii since 2005

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    I'm curious why you don't just touch the door handle to lock the doors. As long as she's close enough, I would think it would lock.
  10. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Exactly. I never reach for my SKS fob. It lives quietly in my pocket, never to see the light of day.

    Tom
  11. ChipL

    ChipL Active Member

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    Not sure what went wrong. But I had the same thing happen while waiting for the VA State inspection three months ago.. Both FOB's were close by. It took a bit till I was able to get in gear....
  12. catgic

    catgic Master & Commander Hybrid Guru

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    JABecker & GBee(Tom) – As the chivalrous “Officer & Gentleman†Prius Borg Chauffeur that I am, I extend and have been extending, for a Golden 50+ years, my signature courtesy to Her Royal Nibs by pulling up to the front entrance/front door of the shopping mall, grocery store, restaurant, or other etcetera establishment destination to let her beauteousness, toting her purse with enclosed “Hers†SKS Fob #2, disembark in “Red Carpet Style.â€

    I have been doing this to save Her Royal Highness Nibs from having to make an extended or long walk in high heels, medium heels or other foot wear across a hot, sweaty or rainy or cold, freezing or snowy parking lot, from a personal security compromised, far distance parking spot-slot, or down a sidewalk as well as helping keep her lovely, flawless white skin from receiving undo or unhealthy exposure from the harsh rays of the sun.

    Therefore, when I solitarily finally park my Hybrid Synergy Drive-powered limo out in the “South Forty†(mit out SKS Fob aboard), and get out to CLICK the SKS Fob to lock the P-Limo, quickly followed by me trotting in to resume “Body Guard†duties on my Bride-For-Life, Wife, I find that I am sans my personal “His†SKS Fob Key --- “Houston…I Have A Problem.â€

    RE: “…why you don't just touch the door handle to lock the doors. As long as she's close enough, I would think it would lock.†Me No Hab Da “Prius Borg Drone†SKS Fob Key >>> She No Be “CLOSE BY†With The “Prius Borg Queen†SKS Fob Key >>> It Then Follows That >>> Catgic No Lock ‘Em Up Da Vee-Limo without having to trek into retrieve the “Hers†SKS Fob from her purse, and then return to within a nominal 50 paces away stand off distance from the Fuel Miser to “Single Beep†LOCK IT. :plane:
  13. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Btw, on a Gen II if the car is running and the fob goes out of proximity (the person the key is on walks away) it puts a big yellow key icon on the dash.
  14. jabecker

    jabecker driver of Prii since 2005

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    Ah! That explains it. :D
  15. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    Lets see if I can explain without laughing more.
    You and your wife got in the car. You did not have your FOB but she did (hidden in her purse). So the car started.
    You got to the car wash and got out, leaving the car running. It works like that.
    They washed the car and shut it off. Then they couldn't start it because YOU didn't have your FOB and there was no FOB in the car.

    There is nothing wrong. This is how the SKS works. The car, once put in "ready", will stay in "ready" until shut off, FOB near or not. With no FOB in the car it will not go to "ready".
    Do note, when you shut -any- door with no FOB in the car and the car in "ready", the car will beep at you. This is the warning you missed. Perhaps it was noisy there.
  16. ProximalSuns

    ProximalSuns Senior Member

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    How did you get past that part? Car has to be in Neutral not Park for the car wash.

    Park is like having the brakes on but worse (for the car) since it's a pin in the transmission.

    That should have busted your car and the car wash right there much less when you got to the end.
  17. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    No, some car washes have "attendants" who drive the car onto the belt for you. This was obviously one of them. They also dry the car for you as posted. Also, in many of the car washes I've looked at the "belt" is a platform that the tires sit on, so the car could actually be in "P" and move safely as the wheels don't have to turn.

    Oh, and I've seen some people do very strange things in car washes, so I can understand why some might want to use one with attendants. ;)
  18. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    This is not a particularly significant problem as long as you are sure that you are ready to lock the doors. After the Prius is IG-OFF, just use the button on the driver's door interior panel to lock all doors, then close that door. The Prius will be safely locked, and you can then find your wife and borrow her fob.
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