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check engine light + shaking when driving

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by fajay, Feb 8, 2010.

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  1. fajay

    fajay New Member

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    Location:
    USA
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Yesterday I drove to the grocery store, no problems. Early in my drive home, I noticed the ICE doing an irregular heavy shaking whenever I was accelerating. (Not the usual shudders associated with it turning on and off during hybrid operation.) Shortly after, the check engine light came on.

    I paid close attention to the console's energy-flow display, which seemed to show the usual patterns (no warning messages or anything). But now the battery indicator is down to three blue bars, which is lower than I've seen it before. I'm not sure if this means that the regenerative braking isn't actually charging the battery or if the car has chosen to rely more heavily on the electric motor given the ICE's difficulties.

    I made an appointment with the dealer for Wednesday morning (in about 48 hours), and am wondering if there's anything I can check on my own before then, and also how dangerous it would be to try driving it before then.

    2005 model year, ~50,000 miles. I just bought it used (toyota certified, from a dealer) about 4 months/2,000 miles ago. I haven't had it serviced since then. Outside temp ~50F.

    Any thoughts? Thanks!
  2. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Location:
    Green Valley, AZ
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2007 Prius
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    My guess is that you have an engine misfire. If the car was parked outside in the rain prior to this incident, then water probably dripped onto the engine and got into a spark plug well. If you are comfortable removing the spark igniters you could inspect them.

    Alternatively, if you had recently bought gas maybe you have some bad gasoline.

    It sounds like your car is under warranty so it would be reasonable to let the dealer take care of the problem for you.

    I would recommend minimal driving of the car as an engine misfire could result in long-term catalytic converter damage, as unburnt gasoline enters the converter and heats it beyond normal operating temps.
    1 person likes this.
  3. fajay

    fajay New Member

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    Location:
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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2005 Prius
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    Thanks for the help, Patrick. I'll wait to drive it until I can get it to the dealer. I'm hopeful that it's a correctable problem with the engine, but am still a bit freaked out by the weird battery behavior. Hopefully that's just a symptom of the engine problem.
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