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Master Warning Light

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by jarhtmd, Apr 21, 2007.

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  1. jarhtmd

    jarhtmd Junior Member

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    Location:
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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    My Prius had been parked for 2 nights & a full day when I backed it out of my carport this morning. As soon as I shifted to “Dâ€, the Master Warning Light (bright triangle with !) came on and “Please press “P†to engage Park†“The batteries will not be charged if the transaxle is in Neutral N†appeared in the MFD. The warning buzzer sounded continuously. I tried everything I could think of, including turning the power off & restarting, but it wouldn’t go away. Then it went away as quickly as it had appeared. I don’t know if the “situation†had corrected itself, if I unknowingly shut it off or if it was a “timed†warning. The battery was “almost†fully charged. Nothing appeared wrong so I took my planned 120 mile RT w/o any problems whatsoever.

    Later, after considerable searching thru the manual, I finally found a reference to the message that I had seen, but the explanation only told how to check for proper functioning dash indicators. Nothing was said about what caused the warning or how to turn it off; nothing about gears or charging the battery. Based on the message in the MFD, logically the warning should have occurred when I last parked the car.

    When I bought the car my salesman made a point of telling me that the car would automatically shift into Park when the power was turned off. This is what I’ve been doing. The Park button always lights up. I never shift to Neutral.

    1. Is “Park†automatic after the power is turned off?
    2. What could have caused the warning? Could I have accidentally moved the shift to Neutral after switching off, causing the battery to “drain�
    3. Does the warning turn off automatically?
  2. Ethereal

    Ethereal New Member

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    2008 Prius
    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(jarhtmd @ Apr 21 2007, 10:32 PM) [snapback]427565[/snapback]</div>

    I've experienced exactly the same "fluke" once. Car actually shifted into the correct gear (R or D) but the warning screen for neutral appeared. Obscure software glitch?
  3. seasalsa

    seasalsa Active Member

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    Location:
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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    It happens when you have a door that is not completely closed.

    1. Is “Park†automatic after the power is turned off? YES
    2. What could have caused the warning? An open door.
    3. Does the warning turn off automatically? Yes, when you close the door.

    It scared the hell out of me the first time it happened. No problem in reverse but just shift to D and up comes the warning.
  4. NoMoShocks

    NoMoShocks Electrical Engineer

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    I have experienced this too. I think it happens if you open a door and set the parking brake while you are in a drive gear. The car is afraid you are going to leave it running in gear? But I am not sure without trying this. It is confusing, to say the least.
  5. Bill Merchant

    Bill Merchant absit invidia

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    Your Vehicle Year:
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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(NoMoShocks @ Apr 21 2007, 08:54 PM) [snapback]427612[/snapback]</div>

    Trying is a good thing to do, to convince yourself that the warnings were caused by an open door.

    The test: In your driveway or an empty parking lot, in a safe situation, in READY mode, put your foot on the brake, put the car in R, and open the door. Keeping your foot on the brake, with the door still open, shift to N. Close the door. With your foot on the brake, shift to D and open the door. Close the door.

    You don't have to be moving for any of these tests; being in a safe situation is if all the chimes and lights and messages startle you and you take your foot off the brake.
  6. zippy422

    zippy422 New Member

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    I've had this happen to me twice in the short time I've owned the car. Both times the door was open. (on both occasions, I was just moving the car a few feet in the driveway and the door wasn't fully closed)

    The message is scary and more than a little misleading, but I'd bet that most owners have experienced this at least once.

    -David
  7. jarhtmd

    jarhtmd Junior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Bill Merchant @ Apr 22 2007, 01:03 AM) [snapback]427663[/snapback]</div>

    I'll have to try this test. I seem to remember "maybe" opening the door before turning off the power when I exited the last time I drove it (but that might just be the power of suggestion). I don't "think" a door was ajar when I got the warning, but it was such a surprise . . . who knows?

    It's really a strange & startling warning. Why wouldn't they just beep and show the "door open" icon on the dash, like every other car I've ever owned? I've seen the icon when the power was off & a door was ajar.

    I assume none of this applies to the rear hatch, because I drove a block or so (after showing my new car to my friend on the day I bought it) with the icon showing & the hatch wasn't closed properly. That's when I learned that I have to slam the hatch really hard.
  8. PA Prius

    PA Prius Member

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    I had this happen to me this morning. See other current post "Help, Help, Help." In that post others say it is related to a low 12v battery, which could be connected to not having a door fully closed-- if the car was sitting for a while and the interior light was on. If that is the case, then the above test may not show the expected results. In our case the cell phone was plugged into the outlet in the handrest compartment, which could have drained the 12v battery.

    PA P
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