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can't get it out of Park

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by ArizonaPriusOwner, Feb 10, 2008.

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  1. ArizonaPriusOwner

    ArizonaPriusOwner Junior Member

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    Hi, I'm new here.
    All of a sudden my 2005 Prius is stuck in Park, and won't go into Drive, Reverse, or Neutral. It seems to turn on OK - the Ready light comes on, and no warning lights on the dash. But when I try to put it in Reverse or Drive (with foot on brake), it just gives 2 little beeps, and it stays on 'P'.
    I've tried using the manual key as well as the remote key in pocket method when pressing Power. I've tried with the foot parking brake on and not. I've tried pressing the brake all the way down. I've tried holding the power button down for a minute. I've tried pressing the P button before trying to shift into Drive.
    Any other suggestions?
  2. Rae Vynn

    Rae Vynn Watch out, I have a degree in BS!

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    Call a dealer, have it hauled in to a certified Toyota service center.
    That's my advice...
  3. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    I think you may have a failed brake light switch. Have someone check the brake lights are working.
  4. TonyPSchaefer

    TonyPSchaefer Your Friendly Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, that's an odd duck.
    Sorry but I think that's one for the pros.

    Keep us posted as to what was wrong.
  5. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    My guess is also the brake light switch. Without it, the computer doesn't know you have your foot on the brake.

    Tom
  6. Slartibartfast

    Slartibartfast Senior Fjord Architect

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    Third that also. That polite little double beep is exactly what happens when you try to shift out of park without the brake. So it makes sense that the car thinks the brake pedal is not depressed.
  7. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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  8. TonyPSchaefer

    TonyPSchaefer Your Friendly Moderator Staff Member

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    It's still Sunday on this side of the world. Won't know anything until tomorrow at the earliest.
  9. Jack66

    Jack66 Kinda Jovial Member

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    The Prius is such a high-end piece of electronics -- you wonder how long it takes for some of these technical glitches to surface and get solved...
  10. miscrms

    miscrms Plug Envious Member

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    If it is the brake light switch, this same failure can happen on a lot of auto transmission cars. At least in US they are required to have an interlock on the transmission to keep from shifting out of Park unless your foot is on the brake. Most cars just use the brake light switch to sense this.

    Had the same thing happen on my land rover a few yeas back. Funny thing, on the rover the rear defrost and rear third brake light connectors are right next to each other and have the same connector. If your brake swicth goes out, you can swap the connectors and use the rear defrost switch to turn the brake lights on and shift out of park :D

    rob
  11. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    Try pressing real hard on the brake pedal. The switch can fail partially.
  12. ArizonaPriusOwner

    ArizonaPriusOwner Junior Member

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    Still no luck with this. (fortunately it's my carpool buddy's turn to drive this week)

    The brake lights do actually do go on when I press the brake. I've tried mashing the pedal as far down as it will go. And I tried putting the rear defroster on.

    I guess I'll have to have it towed to the dealer.

    Thanks for all your thoughts on this. I'll let you know what the dealer says fixed it.
  13. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    Good luck, thanks for keeping us in the loop.
  14. RobH

    RobH Senior Member

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    Attached is the diagram of the stop light switch. Note that there are actually two switches ganged together. If only one is defective, then perhaps the brake light could be OK, but the shift control could still be disabled.

    Or maybe one of the connectors is loose.

    Attached Files:

  15. ArizonaPriusOwner

    ArizonaPriusOwner Junior Member

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    Thanks. Where in the car would that be located? I'm sorry if this is a dumb question.
  16. RobH

    RobH Senior Member

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    It's at the top of the brake pedal arm. You'll have to remove the lower dash panel to get to it.

    Hope you have small hands. Or maybe you could enlist an 8 year old. Access is really tight, at least for my 10 thumbs...

    You could unplug the switch, and install a wire jumper across the black and blue wire connections. That should be electrically the same as having pressed the brake. If that corrects the situation, then the problem is the switch.

    Attached Files:

  17. ArizonaPriusOwner

    ArizonaPriusOwner Junior Member

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    That did it! Just pulling on the dash cover and getting my fingers under there was enough to get the wire to touch, and I got it in gear long enough to get the car in the garage. Now I should be able to fix it, now that I know where the problem is. I think a connector on that brakeswitch came loose.

    Thanks everyone.
  18. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    You just gotta love teamwork!!

    Well done, a good result.
  19. Winston

    Winston Member

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    Cool! One less trip to the dealer. Plus, they probably would have charged you to replace the switch anyway.
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