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will not shift into drive or reverse

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Main Forum' started by the dean, May 4, 2010.

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  1. the dean

    the dean New Member

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    for the second time, my 08 has failed to shift into either drive or reverse. I get into the car, press power, get all of the lights, and shift the lever into either reverse or drive. Indicator light shows gear to be in neutral. Car does not move.

    Brake light is also on even tho the brake is not on.

    Finally worked, took it to dealer and he checked the battery in the fob and found good charge. They are now trying to figure out what is wrong.

    Can anyone give me some help?
  2. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Assuming that you are firmly pressing the brake while attempting to shift, the most common problem is a failure in the brake light switch, which makes it look like you are not pressing the brake. It is a dual pole switch, so the brake lights may work even if the shifter lockout isn't working.

    Tom
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  3. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Eventually, an owner will be a little too quick with the button pushing, pressing it before the brake pedal is fully depressed. That will cause the "stuck" condition you experienced.

    Make sure the brake pedal movement is complete (all the way down) prior to pushing power.
    .
  4. the dean

    the dean New Member

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    Thank you. Dealer said that there is no code showing for the problem. Would this show up as a malfunction?
  5. the dean

    the dean New Member

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    Thank you. I will not dispute that might have happened, but I tried for over five minutes and I would have thought that I would have pressed the brake down far enough even in anger and frustration.
  6. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Try pressing the PARK button if it ever happens again. That acts like a reset, allowing you to start the process from the beginning.
    .
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  7. jdcollins5

    jdcollins5 Senior Member

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    What do you mean by this? The back brakes lights are on even though you are not pressing the brakes or a brake light indication is on your instrument panel?
  8. the dean

    the dean New Member

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    what I meant to say is that the parking brake indicator light on the dash is on even though the parking brake is not pushed in.
  9. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    A faulty brake light switch (by itself) would not trigger a DTC.



    This is very interesting. To confirm, you mean the red BRAKE warning light remains on even when the parking brake is not set?

    The Toyota repair manual has a troubleshooting procedure for that issue. Following are the main elements:

    1. Check brake fluid level in the reservoir. If low, use DOT 3 brake fluid to replenish.

    2. Check the parking brake switch (maybe it registers that the parking brake is set even when disengaged.)

    3. Check the brake fluid level warning switch in the reservoir (maybe the switch registers low fluid even when the fluid level is OK).

    4. Check the wiring harness connection between the parking brake switch and the skid control ECU.

    5. Use the Toyota diagnostic laptop to exercise the VSC warning light to see if the combination meter will respond; if not replace the combination meter.

    6. If all of the above does not yield a problem, replace the skid control ECU.
  10. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    No. A faulty switch looks to the system as if you didn't step on the brake. There is no way for it to tell.

    Tom
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