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Repeated false alarms

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Ophelia, Mar 1, 2005.

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  1. Ophelia

    Ophelia New Member

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    In November my lovely White Pkg #9 began to false alarm at work. I took it to the dealer who indicated he was going to adjust the sensitivity.

    The problem appeared to be corrected until mid-February at which time the car began to false alarm between 5 and 12 hours after being locked. The only way to stop it (before I was able to go to the dealer) was to leave the car unlocked - not an optimal solution.

    After a week at the dealers where they eventually resorted to calling Toyota it turns out that they've seen cases of the car false alarming due to faulty front door locks. The locks send an incorrect signal that the car is being broken into. Toyota is aware of the problem and had two FTS's working on my car over the past week.

    Other symptoms included the locks not being as responsive and having to press the unlock button multiple times to unlock - or the car not responding immediately to use of the door handle.

    Thought it might help others so they would not have to wait a week to get the problem resolved.
  2. rick57

    rick57 Member

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    Thanks for the heads up. Info like that makes this site worth it to me for joining. I have not heard or had a problem come in like that. Thanks Ophelia
    :)
  3. Ophelia

    Ophelia New Member

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    Well, Rick, I spoke too soon. The new front door locks were installed, the car went home with one of the service engineers that night - and the alarm went off regularly. :roll:

    Back to the drawing board, the new theory is that there is something wrong with the wiring harness. That's now on order and should arrive and be installed on Friday.

    If this also turns out not to be the issue, I'll repost.

    I would like to say that as annoying as it is not to have my car and to have apparently so many people fussing over it and it still doesn't work, I do feel like Toyota and the dealership are being very responsive. I've been without my Prius for over a week now and likely won't be able to get it back until Sunday. Keeping fingers crossed that this issue does not reflect future issues yet to be seen.
  4. rick57

    rick57 Member

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    You said that Toyota is aware of the problem? Hhmmm? :roll: I have to go to the region for training this month. I will have to stop in and see the FTS's while I'm there and ask them about it. I have not seen any here. Hope it is just a limited number with probs. Maybe the guy on the line was in a hurry to go home, :lol:
  5. Ophelia

    Ophelia New Member

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    Ok, here's the update. Mario Jaime an FTS from Toyota corporate, according to my dealership he was involved in the design of the Prius, was brought in to diagnose the problem.

    He concluded that the problem was in the wire harness. Turns out there are none to be found in the U.S. and it needs to be ordered from Japan. So, I'm in the rental car for the indeterminate future.

    Question for folks here who are vastly more knowledgeable about all things car related than I. How worried should I be that it's a wire harness problem and how worried should I be that the solution resides in Japan?

    Does this portend future bad things for my darling little Prius? :(
  6. rick57

    rick57 Member

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    I wouldn't worry to much about it,Ophelia. The Japanese built Toyota's have always been really trouble free. I would think that it is not a big problem for a large group of Prius',you just happened to get one of the very small percentage that had a bug. If there is a problem with the Prius that may affect a large group,you will be getting a lot of attention from the higher ups. They want the Prius to be a great car with a good reputation. What ever it is,they will make sure it is taken care of. They want all Prius customers to have a good experience with the car. And if your dealer is very helpful also,then I would be more at ease. Don't worry and keep us informed. :)
  7. Kyle Pehrson

    Kyle Pehrson New Member

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    I have a 05 coming in on Monday that the SKS wont unlock from driver or passanger, but starts with key in pocket & rear door hatch opens with doors locked. I think it is the two front door oscillators.
  8. Kyle Pehrson

    Kyle Pehrson New Member

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    It didn't come in today.I will update everyone as soon as I get it in.
  9. Kyle Pehrson

    Kyle Pehrson New Member

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    I talked to the SW he said that the cust. is not having any more problems with it Yet.
  10. Ophelia

    Ophelia New Member

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    So, let me start with. I love the Prius, it took me a while to get used to not driving a little 2 seater rag top but I adore both my cars for their own unique benefits.

    Here's the story:
    November: car false alarms at work daily and repeatedly. Toyota adjusts sensitivity. Appears to have corrected problem.

    February: car false alarms at work and every night between midnight and 5am (bleagh). Into the shop for 3 weeks where the door locks and the wiring harness are replaced. In the wee hours the morning following the cars arrival home the alarm goes off. seems like volume and lights associated with alarm are "weaker".

    March: Toyota has car for a week, can't reproduce problem make me take my baby home. Car false alarms at work and at home. GPS is completely whacked out and has me driving through virtual fields while I'm on the highway. I've calibrated multiple times while sitting on the street in front of my home - to no avail, each time I turn on the map or request directions to a location I'm in some unknown part of CA. When I turn Power on without having foot on brake the nav display window comes up, radio comes on but no lights on the HUD - behavior different from previous.

    April: Called Toyota Customer Care, expect to hear from them today. Keeping fingers crossed that this has a happy outcome without costing me too much.

    :|
  11. rick57

    rick57 Member

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    Hope they find the problem. Sounds wierd, :roll: . About the nav not showing your area, maybe the area is changed in the system. When I do Pre-Delivery, ours shows area 9 and I have to change it to 6, which is where I'm at. Push the "Dest" button>push the "Change" button> make sure your area is highlighted. Maybe it went to a default when they installed the wiring and had the battery disconnected.
  12. Ophelia

    Ophelia New Member

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    Hi Rick,

    Thanks for the fast reply. My dealer won't look at the car any more so now it's in the hands of Toyota.

    WRT the GPS, when I first got the car back it was set to Pennsylvania. I reset it to California and it remains there but seems to have no idea where I am. I've checked a couple of times just to make sure I really did set it to CA.

    thanks!
  13. Ophelia

    Ophelia New Member

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    quick update.

    now working with Toyota Customer Care, they put me back in touch with the FTS (Mario Jaime) who had previously worked on my car. the current thought is that the lojack may have been hooked into the alarm wiring and may be drawing down the battery and triggering the alarm.

    getting in touch with lojack folks to identify general location of sensor so Mario can look to see if there's any effect.

    the ancillary problems which Mario believes may have been the result of the last service are:


    • this latest contact gives me some confidence that we're on the right track. am happy with toyota and the service to date. the FTS agreed that the dealership was giving me some pretty whacky explanations - more along the line of this is some female who likely won't understand a word we're saying.
      :D guess they hadn't counted on an engineer
  14. DanMan32

    DanMan32 New Member

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    Sounds like it might be a cut power/ground wire or blown fuse. Some of the ECUs do have multiple power inputs, so I would imagine they would act funky if they lost one.

    But I am guessing.
  15. meg227522

    meg227522 New Member

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    I'm having the same problem as Ophelia with my 2002 Prius. :( The alarm goes off randomly. I'm leaving it with Toyota this week while I'm on vacation because when I talked to them on the phone, they said they couldn't do anything about it unless they could actually see the vehicle when the alarm was falsely going off.

    I don't have the GPS system... so hopefuly I won't have those complications.

    Ophelia, did you ever get your problem resolved?
  16. Godiva

    Godiva AmeriKan Citizen

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    If it's got LoJack why not just have that removed? It's pretty much useless anyway. Sounds like it's the LoJack causing the problem.
  17. rick57

    rick57 Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(meg227522\";p=\"90244)</div>

    The 02' and 04/05' Prius' are different animals. But when it comes to alarm problems, it is usually a switch that is the culprit. Being that your case is random makes it even harder to find. Even when you have it act up and replace a part, with a random problem sometimes you are not sure if it is fixed or not. The dealer was right in having you drop it off for a while. If they look at it one day and it is ok,what can they do? As the saying goes, " If it ain't broke, you can't fix it." :). And by the way, is it a factory or aftermarket system?
  18. meg227522

    meg227522 New Member

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    The alarm system is from the factory directly. I haven't even had the car 3 years yet, so I'm hoping the warrenty covers it.

    But you are right rick57... it did NOT go off while it was at the dealers for a week, so they of course couldn't fix it. We thought it was okay because we've had it home for a week since then and it didn't act up. We thought maybe it was just a weird glitch. But... today it went off a couple times for no reason again. What we did that seems to have stopped it temporarily at least is this:

    1. get in the car
    2. lock the doors with the key chain/keyless entry device (from inside)
    3. unlock the doors by using the switch on the door
    4. get out of the car
    5. lock the doors with the key chain again

    I don't know why... but that seems to have stopped it temporarily.
    I'll keep you posted. If anybody else out there knows of a better solution than just leaving it at the dealer... let me know. It's our only car, so we can't really be without it for extended periods of time.
  19. Jim Porta

    Jim Porta Junior Member

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    I am having false alarms too, but only when trying to get in the car. The anti-theft system is a dealer add on (I think) "Automate AM1". I bought this Prius this month.
    I can lock it with the drivers door button and unlock it ok with the drivers handle. The alarm starts if I try to open the hatch back first. Same deal with the remote. I can lock it with the remote, press unlock twice, then get an alarm if I try to open the hatchback. I think it also doesn't like having the passenger door opened first. Can this system be removed? It's too much bother to use.
  20. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Yes, the alarm can be removed. There is no reason for the dealer to have added this except to fatten the dealer profit.

    Tom
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