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There is a problem with the transmission 'P' lock mechanism......

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by ps23112, Oct 1, 2012.

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  1. ps23112

    ps23112 New Member

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    Your Vehicle Year:
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    When I tried to start my 2006 Prius ,it wouldn't start and this message appears with the red triangle "there is a problem with the transmission "p" lock mechanism.Park your car on a flat surface and fully apply the parking break. "

    It is at a parking lot now because I couldn't start it!
    Is it the battery?
    Looks like I would need to have it towed or is there anyway I can start it and drive it to the dealership to get it checked out.

    HELP...HELP..HELP....!!!!!!
  2. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Can a Prius be a Campervan?

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    Yes... That's a common symptom of dying battery.

    To check the battery start the car without your foot on the break then hold the info button down on your MFD while turning the headlights on and off three times... This will put your screen into a diagnostic where you can check battery voltage. If it's less than 12.3 that could be the problem.

    But to be clear is the red triangle on the display screen or the dashboard light? If it's the dashboard light you might get an auto shop to read the error code and report back...

    Did you try restarting a bunch of times and push in and pull out the parking break a buncha times?
  3. ps23112

    ps23112 New Member

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    the red triangle is on " the Instrument cluster and multi-information display overview ".It is a red triangle with an exclamation mark inside it.It is NOT where the speed display . Can I replace the battery myself? OR IS THAT DANGEROUS ? but first I need to know how to test it.

    what is MFD ? Yeah...I am not a guy !

    First time encountered this problem.So frustrated!
  4. RocMills

    RocMills Active Member

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    I could be wrong, but it doesn't look as though you are driving a C. You might get better, more informed responses if you post in one of the non-C areas.
  5. Paradox

    Paradox Prius Enthusiast / Moderator Staff Member

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    Threads moved and merged. please don't create new threads after you post in the wrong forum, just report the post and we'll move it to the right area.
  6. Avi's Advanced Automotive

    Avi's Advanced Automotive Independent hybrid repair shop

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    Not an excuse, Carolyn, who knows more about Prii then I do, isn't a guy either.



    Many DIY Priuschaters have replaced them themselves. It is not dangerous in my opinion. Just make sure you don't connect it backwards. + to + and - to -.
  7. ps23112

    ps23112 New Member

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    such lovely responses! thanks !
    PriusCamper likes this.
  8. Ray Geiger

    Ray Geiger New Member

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    We have had this problem intermittently now for 2 months. We have been to two dealers, neither of whom know how to fix this problem. The last one we even had the car towed to the dealer while the error was live on the MFD so they would be able to see it with the error happening (the last dealer had told us that they could see in the system that the error had happened, but they couldn't diagnose it unless it was actually happening at the time). Instead of pulling it into the garage and plugging it into their computer, a tech restarted it out in the lot and drove it in. This of course, reset the system and they couldn't track the error. They had it for two days and "were unable to replicate the issue".
    What confuses me is that these dealerships seem to have NO communication system. I find it hard to believe that NO ONE has seen this problem (both dealers we went to said they had never seen it before). Surely some dealer, somewhere, has a fix for this. I'm a computer tech and I belong to listserve where I can post questions on tech issues I'm struggling with. Usually someone has seen the problem and can tell me the fix. Are these guys each operating in a vacuum? HELLO, LET'S WORK TOGETHER, PEOPLE...
    We finally picked it up and drove it home. Later my wife got in it, started it up, and BINGO, it happened again. We are getting very frustrated with this. The first place we took it to did replace the 12V battery, but that did not fix the problem. Perhaps it's the inverter coolant pump, but we'll probably never know.

    All that being said, if this ever happens to you while you're on the road, there is a workaround that can get you rolling again so you're not stranded. I tried the fuse trick yesterday and it works perfectly: clears all the errors and you can restart the car normally.

    the tech said that if you pull the top left 7.5v fuse in the lower section of the fuse box, leave it out for 30 seconds or so, then replace it (see photo), this should reset the error system and allow you to start it and get it in drive. He also said that if that doesn't work you could try pulling the negative battery cable off for a few seconds and that should accomplish the same thing.
    [​IMG]

  9. Jacob E. Jacob

    Jacob E. Jacob New Member

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    ----USA ONLY----


    I had the same problem and left in the driveway for a day, noticed the 12v battery was completely dead. Replaced the battery $200.00 and the problem went away.
  10. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Nadir of Wrongness

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    Minimum tools needed:
    • 10 mm wrench or 10mm deep socket
    • 10mm socket
    • socket extender 5 inches or longer (you can put two together)
    • tape
    • straight edge screw driver
    • a small battery or jump start battery to maintain the 12 volts in the Prius so you do not loose any presets. (Optional but recommended!)
    Exact fit battery, comes with detailed instructions.
    Optima DS46B24R Optima battery direct fit replacement for Prius 2004 + , Prius V & Plug-in Prius with Instructions

    Exact fit battery

    Exide AGM Car Battery (Group S46B24R)


    You tube instructions

    (also good for insomnia)

    A 'crazy' youtube that dies in the middle
  11. cpepoon

    cpepoon New Member

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    Was there a resolution for this? I just saw a similar error in our 2008. I pulled the fuse, but no change. When I try the lights on and off thing mentioned above....it does show the display with the batter, and the battery shows empty; however, I do not see any analog voltage value....nor do I see anything about a diagnostic display.
  12. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    Chances are your 12 volt battery is getting weak, especially if it is the original battery.

    Here is the way you run the test. You might have missed a step when you tried it, but if you follow the instructions it will work as long as you are working with a Gen II Prius. 2008 Prius = Gen II Prius

    DO-IT-YOURSELF TEST PROCEDURE (thanks to jdenenberg):
    - Without brake pedal, press the Power button once and release to enter ACC mode
    - Press and hold the MFD Info button, then turn the headlights on and off three times to enter Maintenance mode; release Info button
    - Press “Menu” (on screen)
    - Press “Display Check”
    - Press “Vehicle Signal Check” - the battery voltage is shown and should be about 12.4 to 12.8 Volts (normal for an unloaded battery)
    - Again without brake pedal, press Power button and release to put a current load on the battery - the voltage should stay above 12.0V (if less than 12.0V the battery is not well, or there is a fault or unusual load somewhere)
    - Press brake pedal and press Power button once to enter "Ready" mode - the battery is now charging at about 14V (if less than 13.6V or more than 14.4 there may be a problem with the charging circuit)
    - Turn car OFF to leave Maintenance mode

    Note: it is better if you simply flash the parking lights rather than the headlights, especially if you have the HID headlights.

    For reference purposes here is a graph which will help to explain the voltage in reference to the SOC (State of Charge)

    Battery SOC Chart.jpg
  13. guy turner

    guy turner New Member

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    I replaced my 12v battery today. all of my old problems went away, i now have a new problem. The instrument cluster will not turn on. Car starts up and drives but no cluster. Any suggestions on what it could be.
  14. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    Sounds like a failed combination meter. Free fix from Toyota. Do a search for "failed combination meter" for more info.

    Hope this helps you and "Welcome to "Prius Chat"!
  15. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    1. Are the headlights turned on whenever you drive? If yes, there is a dimmer knob which controls illumination of the combination meter and that should be checked.
    2. If #1 is not the issue, the combination meter may have failed. Do a search for the TSB and recall notice.
  16. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    There is a brightness switch on the car that allows you to adjust the brightness of the cluster. Is that turned all the way down? If not, then you have a bad combination meter, which should be covered under warranty.
  17. guy turner

    guy turner New Member

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    Thanks, I just called Toyota and they will get it in next week. Ill update with the fix. Appreciate the help!
  18. guy turner

    guy turner New Member

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    Ok so I went ahead and disconnected the neg side of the battery and let it sit for a few mins then reconnected it. Guess what the instrument panel turned on!! But now when I put it in drive the car thinks its in neutral and says the car will not charge if in neutral. Still the same thing? Combination meter?
  19. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    Sounds like the Prius did not go into "Ready Mode". This can happen after a battery swap or a disconnect/reconnect. Sometimes it takes two attempts of the power button to get the Prius completely booted up when the 12 volt has been disconnected.

    I still think you have a bad combo meter.

    Make certain the brake lights are working when you step on the brake. If they are, then firmly hold down the brake pedal and power up the Prius again.

    Also, if you have ANY problems powering down the Prius, hold the power button down until all the lights go off on the dash.
  20. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    What other problems did you experience with your car before you changed the battery? What led you to change the battery? Are you sure the battery you put in is charged up and well secured and tightened?
    dorunron likes this.
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