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My Prius will not turn off!

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by bjb1195, Dec 15, 2008.

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  1. bjb1195

    bjb1195 New Member

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    I have had the exact same problem two times now - it is scheduled to go to the dealer tomorrow - but they already told me if they cannot replicate problem they can't do anything????? The first time it happened I played around 15 - 20 minutes to try to get the car turned off - including putting the key in - off course that didn't work. Once I finally got it off - I came back to leave about 20 minutes later and had no dash lights either. Yes - I am sure I didn't have the dimmer turned down - in fact after driving about 20 minutes - they automatically came on by them selfs - magic!
    Yesterday when I started the car in the morning I had no dash lights again - when I got to my destination the car would not turn off - ended up playing with it for about 10 minutes.

    Also, last week I was sitting in the car (engine not running) - just listening to the radio waiting to pick my daughter up - when I pushed the power button the car came on in Neutral - couldn't shift to drive or reverse - had to power off completely and restart.

    Any ideas - again my dealer said if the car is not doing this when I take it in tomorrow they cannot do anything - so another words wasted trip because when I get there it may be just fine and then they don't know what to check.
  2. paprius4030

    paprius4030 My first Prius

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    I noticed in my 08 Prius the dimmer switch sometime acts up like yours. I found hitting it with my finger makes it come on. I think maybe the rehostat part maybe was dirty or had a film on it because now that the car is older it doesn't do it anymore. As far as the rest of your problems......can't help...that's a weird one.
  3. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Make sure you press firmly on the brake pedal when powering up and shifting into drive. This is one of the more common causes of problems similar to yours. There have also been cases where the brake pedal switch has failed and keeps a Prius from starting into READY or shifting into D.

    Tom
    Dennis Jones likes this.
  4. bjb1195

    bjb1195 New Member

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    It is not a problem with starting - it is a problem turning off. As for the dash display it isn't a problem with the dimmer switch. When the dash lights don't work - the panel in the center console that displays mpg/radio/heat still is lit - but it appears maybe the computer isn't sending any info because it can't even register any fuel efficiency or trip info.
  5. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Check the 12V system, in particular the ground.

    Tom
  6. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    If the car wont turn off hold the power button in until it does, it will. It's like turning off a stubborn computer.
  7. grand total

    grand total Member

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    I wonder if, as well as listening to the radio, you didn't have the heater on as well. If you did then you could drain the 12V battery pretty quickly without realising. When the 12V battery is nearly drained all sorts of funny things can happen.
  8. Chuckie

    Chuckie New Member

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    I had the same problem this morning. I started my car and the instrument panel was black. It was extremely cold so I let my car warm up thinking that this may resolve the problem. I powered the car on and off a few times but the panel remained black. After about 30 minutes I drove the car and when I went to power if off it would not turn off. I drove it to the dealer but the panel turned on about 1/8 mile before I got to the dealer. The car turned off at the dealer. They are not able to check it out since it is now working. Could it have just been the extreme low temperatures?
  9. webnyprius

    webnyprius New Member

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    My Prius will not turn off either - combination meter to be replaced

    There seem to be a few of us who have had the same problem. Here are the symptoms:
    Symptom 1: When you start the car, you get no dashboard lights - no speedometer, odometer, fuel tank reading, parking brake light - nothing in the dashboard that would normally appear in the area directly behind the steering wheel. Even the "ready" light and the little light bulb icon to the right of the ready light are not illuminated.

    Symptom 2: The car will not turn off. When this happened to me, I sat in the car trying to decide what to do next, since I had no dashboard control lights. I fiddled with the dimmer switch to make sure it wasn't a simple problem. I set and unset my parking break to see if that light would register something. I decided to try to turn the car off and start it again, thinking that would reset things and I'd get back the dashboard lights. I tried several times to turn the car off, but it would not turn off.

    Symptom 3: You can drive the car (albeit without knowing your speed and with no reading on which gear you are in.) I did not have to back up and only had to put the car in drive, but I'm guessing the car would beep when in reverse like it always does.

    Symptom 4: The center console was illuminated, but did not show current MPG on the "energy" page and did not show a history of the MPG on the "consumption" page (the one with the bar chart). That page did show the little car/half car icons that show battery charging.

    Symptom 5: After driving the car for about 15-20 minutes, the dashboard lights came back on by themselves, just like someone had flipped a switch. When I arrived home a few minutes later, I was able to turn the car off normally.

    Our dealer ran diagnostics on the car and it showed error codes that validated the situation I describe above. They said that the "combination meter" had lost communication with another computer in the car. The dealer has been quite helpful and doesn't think I'm crazy. They have never seen this problem before, but they got in touch with Toyota who has now seen this problem a few times. It apparently started happening in November 2008 and they have just a few reports of it. Based on this chat board, it has been reported in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New York. I'm wondering if it has to do with cold temperatures. I know many Prius owners have had cars in cold climates for years, but perhaps there is some new part(s) that are less tolerant to cold. The dealer had some specific questions for me that were posed by the Toyota folks, including the ambient temperature when starting the car and how long the car had been sitting in the cold. It may be just a coincidence that those who have posted the problem are from the Northeast.

    Our dealer has ordered a new combination meter for our Prius (a 2009 base model). I will post again after they have replaced this part on our car.
    1 person likes this.
  10. Rokeby

    Rokeby Member

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    webnyprius,

    Welcome to PriusChat.

    Other than being a computer, did the dealer techs say what exactly the
    "combination meter" does, and where it is located in the car?

    Any chance the tech gave you paperwork with a part number for the "meter?"
  11. CharlesJ

    CharlesJ Member

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    This might be a good time to send an email to Toyota itself about this. I had good luck with them about the fuel tank question of mine. They even faxed me a diagram, although it was for an older Prius.:eek:
  12. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Hi webnyprius,

    The combination meter is the assembly that contains the speedometer, odometer, fuel gauge, shift indicator, and warning lights. It is located under the black plastic panel below the windshield.

    It's interesting to hear that this is becoming a problem. Recall that earlier 2G had the MFD as a problem; maybe the combination meter is going to become troublesome for current production models.
  13. sudden

    sudden Junior Member

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    It happened to me yesterday. Same situation as everyone described. I turned the car on, no dash lights, shifted into both drive and reverse with no problems, so I started to drive thinking that I had a blown fuse. When I arrived at my destination, I couldn't turn it off. I called the dealer and the Prius tech said he hadn't heard of this, but to drive it right in. After driving about 6-7 miles, the dash lights returned as well as my mpgs on my screen. I stopped and tried to turn the car off and it did. I turned it on and off a couple of times with no problem. The temperature here yesterday was about -14, colder than I could ever remember with my Prius, so I assumed that the cold was the problem.
  14. Alicewave

    Alicewave New Member

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    I posted in the other thread about this but it appears this one is getting closer to a cause for the problem.

    My original post:
    I'm new to this forum but I wanted to add that I had this problem today. Exactly the same: recessed dash is black, except for the passenger seatbelt indicator lights. The MPG computer still worked and the car drove as normal. Then I couldn't turn the car off. Called Toyota to see if I could bring it in, was due for 20k service anyway. I live in Ithaca, NY where there are a lot of steep hills. Getting to Toyota was a second trip down the steep hill (therefore more battery charging). By the time I got to the dealer, I was able to turn the car off with no problem. When I turned it back on, the recessed dash was lit up. Toyota was not able to determine what the problem was. It is VERY cold here and I've been letting the car warm up in the driveway longer than usual, so I don't know if that is draining the 12V battery or something.

    Just wanted to share my experience today. It's kind of a scary feeling to not be able to turn your car off or see your speed.

    Just to add, I did call Toyota directly (not the dealership) to report the problem so that I would be added to their statistics of how many people this is happening to. The woman I spoke to had not heard of the problem and did say that the dealer wont be able to find the problem if it fixes itself before I get to the dealership.
  15. bjb1195

    bjb1195 New Member

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    My 08 Prius is currently sitting at the local dealership (for over a week now) waiting for a new combination meter. When I took it in it was actually having the problem at the time so they were able to see no dash lights and they also were not able to turn the car off. I hope to have my Prius back the middle of this coming week - in the mean time they have given me a loaner (Camry)
  16. jsdigger

    jsdigger New Member

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    I've seen this 3 times in the last year,the last one was a 08 prius taxi that had 180,500 miles on it wow.the combo meter is part of the actual odo/speedo display,dash has to be removed.
  17. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    This may or may not be related to your problem, but using accessories with the car not in "Ready" is usually an unnecessary risk to the 12V battery. Unless one is in a completely closed garage leave the car "Ready" and in Park and let it keep the batteries charged.

    Come to think, you might want do the 12V battery self-test and see what results. It might save some time with the dealer. jdenenberg's easy detailed procedure is here:
    http://www.priusonline.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=12291&p=105767&hilit=battery self test#p105767
  18. toi

    toi New Member

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    we had the same problem and ended up changing the combination meter.which is the instrument cluster up on the dashboard.
  19. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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  20. tkddad

    tkddad New Member

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    We have the same intermittent problems like others had described.

    Dashboard is dark, car would not turn off. The dashboard
    instrumentation would always come back on after 20 to
    30 minutes of driving and we would have no problem turning
    off the car.

    We have an 08 where we bought in April 08 and I believe
    we saw the problem first time in September. We live in Ottawa,
    Canada where it could get really cold in the winter. I don't
    think the problem is due to cold weather as we have had no
    problem the many days where it reached -35C. The problem
    is intermittent as I estimate that we have these symptoms
    maybe 10 times out of the 10 months we have the car.

    The dealer had said that they cannot do anything as they
    never saw the problem when the car was in. Since I live
    10 minutes from the dealer, I was told to bring the car
    in immediately anytime we have the problem. They
    were finally able to read the code with the dashboard off
    and started talking to Toyota Canada. They then booked
    an appointment with me, kept the car for 3 days and replaced
    the combination meter as indicated in the Luscious Garage thread.

    We have had the new combination meter for over a month now
    and haven't had the problem since.

    Since I was told that they cannot set the mileage back
    to what it was, I guess they must have given us a used
    one according to the LG thread.
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