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Prius Transmission Shifting Problem

Discussion in 'Gen III 2010+ Prius Main Forum' started by pgray, Feb 23, 2010.

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  1. pgray

    pgray New Member

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    My wife and I own a 2010 Prius IV built in June 2009. Occasionally, the vehicle will not shift from Park to any gear, and yes the brake pedal is fully depressed! This condition is usually when the vehicle has been driven for a few miles, stop, place the vehicle in Park, without turning the vehicle off, and later attempt to resume driving in any gear. The transmission shifter is totally unresponsive. If the vehicle is turned off, then back on, effectively “re-booting†the vehicle electronics, the shifter will respond to any selected gear.

    The above condition has occurred on six occasions in the past several months. Toyota says that they are unable to replicate the conditions outlined above or see any fault codes. Are there any other Prius owners experiencing this phenomenon?
  2. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    I do many many many short journeys every day where I am continually shifting from park to drive to reverse to park etc etc etc and have never had the problem you describe.

    Perhaps you have a faulty switch or sensor somewhere?
  3. Flying White Dutchman

    Flying White Dutchman Senior Member

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    go to your dealer/sales person and do a test drive to show them the problem.
  4. Rokeby

    Rokeby Member

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    pgray,

    :welcome: to PRIUSchat.

    At least in the Gen II, the switches in the shifter aren't instantaneous.
    When you want to "change gears", you need to hold the shifter in the
    position, "gear," you want for a moment.

    Perhaps this is true for the Gen III as well.

    (There is no real gearbox, and there are no gears, just the Power Split
    Device, PSD.)
  5. tumbleweed

    tumbleweed Senior Member

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    Do you know if the dealer has contacted Toyota or not? Also might be a good idea for you to contact them via email or phone, it may be tough to get through now due to the recalls but it might be worth while.

    I read most of the problems people report on this site and as far as I know you are the only one who has reported this issue.

    You would have to arrange this ahead of time but it might work. Next time the problem occurs leave the car on so it doesn't reset and call the dealer service department. Tell them where you are so they can come look at it and prove to themselves that you really have a problem. Convincing people you have a problem is sometimes the hardest part of getting it fixed.
  6. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    I stop to get my mail 6 days a week that way, without ever a problem.

    What do you do while parked? Do you leave the car? Parked for how long?
    .
  7. pgray

    pgray New Member

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    Thanks for the response. The last time this occurred was in very cold weather during a brief stop at a toll booth to pay for parking. I pushed the Park button, paid the fee, depressed the break, and tried unsuccessfully to shift to Drive. I depressed Power Off, then On, and after the Prius "booted up", I successfully shifted to Drive.

    My wife, who is the primary driver was glad to see that I experienced this annoying issue. She thinks it may be cold weather related.
  8. ml194152

    ml194152 New Member

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    This was the same problem I had in my gen 2 Prius (2004). It happened mostly when I first got the car. Now that I am more experienced it only happens when I am in a hurry. You have to be real deliberate when you shift.
  9. pgray

    pgray New Member

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    Good advice. To date, we've been documenting date/time/conditions. Dealer unable to replicate. We'll call next time.
  10. hsiaolc

    hsiaolc New Member

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    No, I've had my car since Sept 09. My car reg is 9th Sept 2009 09/09/09 cool eh? :). I think you defnitly have a problem and 6 times is 1 too many.
  11. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

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    pgray, that happened to me once last month. Next time it won't shift call Toyota's roadside assistance & have the car towed towed to the dealer just as it is. It took several reboots over 30 minutes before I freed the shifter.
  12. hsiaolc

    hsiaolc New Member

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    Seems like this is a common issue which has not happened to me yet. Hmm Recall? obviously this is rather serious if you can't get your car to get into the right gear.

    I think you guys need to report it to Toyota. Like as if they don't have enough problems in their hands, personally I think they deserve a bit of kick on the back side. If anyone says thats harsh and what about others such as GM or Ford, well I don't really care about them since I won't even consider their cars so I want Toyota to get their act straight even if it means a bit of tough love.
  13. Wiserone

    Wiserone New Member

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    An intermittent problem will never be replicated by the dealer service people. Trust me ;)

    I would say have your vehicle towed to them the next time it does that.

    I personally would try to find the time to do that just purely for the haha's.
  14. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    My car had this problem several times in the first few months, forcing me to shut down and reboot, sometimes with annoyed traffic waiting behind. But the problem tapered off, and hasn't reoccurred in five months.

    But I cannot be absolutely certain that my foot was properly on the brake. Considering the pattern by which this problem faded away, it seems likely that it was operator error during my transition from manual transmissions to HSD. If you are absolutely certain that your foot is on the brake (or you are not transitioning from a manual), and the problem is not gradually becoming less frequent, then you are likely facing a different issue.
  15. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    When is this issue happening? Is it when you have stopped at lights or at first start up? I do notice that when I switch on the car after it has been previously powered down that you have got to wait a few seconds before it will let you engage a gear. I usually wait for the prius graphic to disappear and then engage gear otherwise it just beeps. My understanding is that it won't let you engage gear until it has booted up fully. Once its booted up then all is ok.

    Is this the problem you are experiencing?
  16. Polly P

    Polly P New Member

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    My husband and I have both experienced this difficulty. The last time was on a very hot South Carolina Saturday. At one point, I was able to get the car (2009) to shift from Park into Neutral, which did me no good. Eventually though after turning the car off and restarting several times, I was able to get in to Reverse and home.

    I see someone thinks the problem might be due to cold weather. I don't think so.
  17. eglmainz

    eglmainz New Member

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    I would bet that the vehicle is in the ignition mode, and not "Ready". Having just reread all these posts, I did not notice a single response mentioning that, so I thought I would share my thoughts.

    I've done that before, and was left scratching my head as to what could be wrong with my car, only to discover that the issue is that while I had turned on the car, I did not have the ready light on. As a result, nothing I did would allow to car to go into drive. I could shift to N, but not D or R, and certainly not B.

    Then I realized my error, which was that I had not depressed the brake pedal enough on startup to activate it to 'ready' mode. I then applied the brake pedal, and turned it on again, and this time, as it went to 'ready', I was able to shift without further issue. I felt stupid, but had no more issues.
  18. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

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    My experience was after about an hour's worth of driving. The shifter would not physically move. Even off, the shifter can be moved to any gear slot you want. I was motivated enough to file a complaint with NHTSA & wanted to put my foot so far up Toyota's butt they taste shoe leather. Safety Connect was worthless, the dealer was worthless & Toyota was worthless.

    I was in Ready mode every time. I know because the ICE spun up.
  19. Teakwood

    Teakwood Member

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    I am not sure this is the problem, but I have had similar issues in older vehicles.
    The problem arises when the vehicle is placed in PARK when on a slight incline. When one then takes one's foot off the BRAKE, the vehicle rolls slightly in the direction of the incline. Then when one restarts the vehicle, one may find it difficult to get it out of PARK. I believe this is due to some gear lock-up.

    I typically make use of the PARKING BRAKE.

    Just a thought...
  20. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    The Prius doesn't have shifting gears to lock.

    Tom
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