Can I open my hatch if (possibly) my combo meter is out?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Novel, Dec 14, 2020.

  1. Novel

    Novel New Member

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    My 2007 Prius had (for the first time today) all the symptoms of a malfunctioning combo meter -- car won't turn off, dash dark, hatch won't open. It's fine now, but it was scary. If it weren't for Covid, I would have taken it to the dealer immediately. Since I'd like to wait if at all possible, I have a few questions I hope someone can answer:

    1. Is there any chance that the problem is with my 12V battery (which would then be easily replaced at my home)?

    2. When I've turn the car on over the last week, the electrobattery indicator shows all green bars to the top, even though I've rarely been driving anywhere these days. Is that related?

    3. And most importantly, if I get someplace and can't turn the car off, is there a way to open the hatch? I don't see a place for a physical key.

    Thanks for any help anyone can provide.
     
  2. SFO

    SFO Senior Member

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    Likely 12v related, when was it last replaced and how many hours per week are you driving?

    Test the 12v battery at the jump points under the hood, or take it to an auto parts chain for a free test.

    If the combination meter is actually bad, you can try the DIY repair posted here, or just buy one with a lifetime warranty from Matt at : Prius Speedometer Replacement

    Usually depressing the 'Power' button for an extended period of time will shut off the vehicle.
     
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  3. Novel

    Novel New Member

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    Thank you for replying!

    Looks like I got a 12V battery four years ago. I would normally drive about 7 hours a week. In the last ten months or so, that's gone down to maybe an hour a week.

    That's a good idea to get it tested. (I didn't know one could do that.) Maybe AAA can come out. Then if it's bad they can replace it.

    Since I didn't know one could test a battery, I probably don't have the expertise to install my own combination meter. And if I bought one, I'd still have to find someone to install it.

    If I shut off the car in the manner you describe, then the hatch can be unlocked and opened?
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    probably not. the manual describes the emergency instructions for climbing into the hatch and opening it manually from the inside. or, you could put a 12v source to the jump point under the hood to open it normally.
     
  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    bars at the top seems unusual, how many miles on her? it might be time to think about something newer
     
  6. Novel

    Novel New Member

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    Not sure I was clear. If the problem is the combination meter, not the battery, will I be able to open the hatch if I can turn the car off? I'm wondering if the reason it wouldn't open is because it didn't know I was going 0 mph.

    I think it will be fairly easy and safe to have the battery tested and replaced at my home. Going into a dealership for repairs now with all the people that entails, both outside and inside my car, is something I'd prefer to avoid.

    The car has 55,285 miles.
     
  7. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

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    Yes you can open the rear hatch manually. The procedure requires you to basically crawl into the back though. It's shown in the owners manual if you have never done it before.
     
  8. Novel

    Novel New Member

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    I meant can I open it from outside if I am able to get the car turned off? For example, I drive somewhere to drop something off, and it's an hour away. When I get there, if I use the three second method to turn off the car, will I be able to get the hatch open from the outside to get that thing out? Or is there a chance I won't? I'm trying to determine how vital it is to get the combination meter replaced, if that's what it turns out to be.
     
  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    no, that is not a symptom of a bad combo meter. it is a syptom of a low 12v.

    a malfunctioning combo meter can sometimes be a result of a low 12v. so i would start with the 12v, then see where you stand
     
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  10. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    Both these statements are incorrect.

    Yes, the hatch not opening is a symptom of a bad combination meter (CM). Further, replacing the battery further exacerbates the flakey CM.

    There is no use agonizing over should I or shouldn't I get the CM fixed. Just get it done.

    However, going to the dealer is the most expensive and time-consuming way to get it done. Get a refurbished CM from Matt @Texas Hybrid Batteries and if you are not able to remove and replace the existing CM (which you can return to Matt for your core deposit refund) find a local shop that can do the remove and replace for you. It will be $300- $400 vs $1000+ at the dealer.
     
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  11. Novel

    Novel New Member

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    I think you're right about the agonizing. I am making calls to some local shops today. (FYI: when I called my dealer yesterday, they said they'd never heard of a combination meter.) Thanks!
     
  12. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Define "local." If you get one from Matt, and you live close enough, come on over some Saturday and I'll replace it. I've done two of them. Not hard at all.
     
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  13. Novel

    Novel New Member

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    Wow. Could you BE any nicer? I looked this up on Youtube, and it's quite difficult and time-consuming.

    My plan, which may be flawed, is to see if it happens again. Yesterday was the first time, in the Publix curbside pickup lane (with the guy not able to load my frozen groceries, and cars behind waiting for me), so I'm hoping I just pushed things in the wrong order. Hoping against hope.

    I realize the problem with that plan is that it could work fine for six months and then fail when I'm an hour from my house and it's important I get something out of the hatch.

    I guess this counts as "agonizing."

    Thank you for your kind offer! I wouldn't impose, but it makes me feel better about humankind.
     
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  14. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    You probably saw the same video I did. A guy with a little beard under his bottom lip? Like I said, it's not hard at all. There are lots of steps that need to be done in the right order, but none of them are hard to do. I just followed the video. The biggest danger is that the ventilation parts can get brittle with age and crack if you aren't careful removing them.
     
  15. Novel

    Novel New Member

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    Yes, it was the guy with the little beard!
     
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  16. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    If you find yourself in this type of situation, you can always fold the rear seatbacks down and load your groceries/frozens up through one of the rear doors, yes?
     
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  17. Novel

    Novel New Member

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    Yes, he put the groceries in the back seat through the passenger's side. his would be for another situation in which I have to take something large out of the back.
     
  18. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Yeah, if you had something big in the back and couldn't open the hatch normally and also couldn't get past the big item to use the emergency release, you might have a real problem.
     
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