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cold weather issue - Speedometer display dead

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Dieter_Staudinger, Feb 4, 2010.

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  1. Dieter_Staudinger

    Dieter_Staudinger New Member

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    Hi all,
    Thanks to all of you who take the time to read and post on this forum. I have been an interested reader since October and you friendly folks at Prius Chat have helped me out with lots of questions/issues.
    I have recently (November 2009) purchased a 2006 Prius (Package #8) in the US and since imported it into Ontario, Canada. I love my Prius and other than horrible mileage in cold weather (~35 MPG) and the intermittant loss of headlights (HID) there is one issue that I haven't found any thread on the forum yet that explains my problem.

    When it gets really cold, when I start my Prius, the speedometer combo display does not come on. So I am driving essentially blind... :( MFD works somewhat (no back-up camera, delayed position on NAV), sound system works ;) - but no speedometer or other icons. Also, when I want to turn car off, it doesn't shut off completely until I hit the Power button for several seconds. Usually, after having driven a few miles, turning car on and off a few times, the display comes on and no further issues.

    I do not have any intermittent display issues though and this quirk only happens when it is really cold. Has anyone experienced this? Does anyone have any advice - I want to be prepared before taking this to a dealer, since on the phone, 2 area dealers were clueless about my problem and I have not much confidence they would know what exactly to look for. Hence mucho $$$$...

    Any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated.

    PS: If any Canadians had experience with bringing the intermittant headlight issue to the attention of dealers or Ministry of transportation, I'd love to hear about that as well. Thank you.
  2. Bob64

    Bob64 Sapphire of the Blue Sky

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  3. Dieter_Staudinger

    Dieter_Staudinger New Member

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    Thanks Bob64,
    So the fact that my Prius only experiences this failure only at extremely low temperatures (> -15C) is just another symptom of the same core problem? I read through the thread and while there are some helpful suggestions, I am still curious if extreme cold is somehow affecting the electrics in a way that's slightly different from what others have described when they experience the failure.

    Any other ideas or people who have owned Prius through a couple winter seasons and have experienced electronic failures only in the winter months?

    Thanks for your ideas and help!
  4. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    The TSB indicates that there is an intermittent problem in cold temperatures. Since you are experiencing those symptoms in cold weather, it seems the TSB advice is applicable to your car. If you want to fix the problem you'll need to replace the combination meter.
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  5. Dieter_Staudinger

    Dieter_Staudinger New Member

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    Thank you Patrick for making it clear and simple for me. :) I appreciate it!
  6. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Hi Dieter,

    Let me explain my thinking: your OP indicated that when this problem happens, you have trouble turning off the Prius and have to hold the POWER button in for a few seconds. That is exactly the problem reported by others. The root cause, as Carolyn first explained, is that since the combination meter is not reporting how fast the Prius is traveling, the power control ECU is reluctant to turn off the Prius.

    So you can rest assured that your problem is a known issue. I suggest you print a copy of the TSB and bring it with you when you take your car for service, in the event this is unknown to the Prius specialist at your dealer. Also note that they need to special order the part so that your current odometer reading can be flashed into the replacement combination meter. Good luck.
    1 person likes this.
  7. Dieter_Staudinger

    Dieter_Staudinger New Member

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    Thanks again Patrick,
    I will do as you suggested and also looked on eBay for combination meters and wondered how the mileage can be accurately displayed. Just as an aside, someone could put a lower mileage combo meter in a higher mileage car, thus misrepresenting the actual mileage on the car, correct? Just curious because I bought my vehicle used. So many things to find out after the fact.....
  8. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Hi Dieter,

    You are right. A used combination meter cannot have the odometer reading reset, but it is certainly possible to install a replacement meter from a salvage vehicle.

    A new combination meter can be programmed by the factory to start the odometer reading at some number greater than zero, if this is reflected on the special order from your dealer.
  9. shagpal

    shagpal New Member

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    I am having the same issue, 2004, 128k miles. when it goes below 40 degrees F, the display goes.

    I'm thinking some bracket shrinks and pulls the connector offa the display, or the wire going to the display is too short.
  10. pEEf

    pEEf Engineer - EV nut

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    If your car is out of warranty, I have a solution for this problem. Please see [this] post.
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