Car entry problem

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by oxnardprof, Nov 15, 2017.

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  1. oxnardprof

    oxnardprof Member

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    i have a 2004 Prius with the smart key.

    The smart key does not work, although the little red light on the fob does activate.

    I tried to open the car using the little metal key, but no luck.

    The car has been parked since Friday. I can’t see the fob searching light in the dashboard, but perhaps the lighting is wrong.

    The twelve volt battery was changed relatively recently, with that yellow battery,
    (Blanking on the brand name this minute)

    I welcome any suggestions...
     
  2. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Try wiggling the metal key while turning. If your 12v battery is dead, that would be your way into the car. Do you have a second key to try?
     
    #2 JC91006, Nov 15, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  3. oxnardprof

    oxnardprof Member

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    I tried that, no effect. When the twelve volt battery failed a year or so ago, the metal key worked.
     
  4. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    You can try spraying a little wd40 or similar lubricant in the key hole
     
  5. oxnardprof

    oxnardprof Member

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    The metal key does turn in the lock, but it does not unlock the driver door.
     
  6. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    If you want, get a larger key made at home depot and try. It'll give you more twisting power for $3. You just need to try harder as it seems stuck
     
  7. oxnardprof

    oxnardprof Member

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    If the hybrid battery failed, or a fuse blew, could that cause the metal key to malfunction? In other words, doesn’t the metal key require power from somewhere to unlock the door?
     
  8. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    no, purely mechanical. check the owners manual for a pic of which direction the key should turn and how far. you can use pliers on the key for leverage.
     
  9. oxnardprof

    oxnardprof Member

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    Finally the metal key worked. Now on to diagnose the twelve volt battery
     
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  10. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    What made it finally work
     
  11. oxnardprof

    oxnardprof Member

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    I don’t know, I just tried applying more pressure, and it unlocked.

    I’m trying to charge the Optimus battery, it is only two years old.
     
  12. Locksmith

    Locksmith Member

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    Ok, just for the record, WD40 is not a lubricant, it is a solvent. On its own it is not good for your locks. You should spray a light oil lubricant into the lock after you have got the door open.
     
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  13. Locksmith

    Locksmith Member

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    Not always a good idea. Most people in my experience break the key off in the lock compounding their problems.
     
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  14. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    yeah, i was thinking that while typing. that's why i suggested know which way to turn and how far.
    unfortunately, some have not had enough strength to turn it by hand.
     
  15. exstudent

    exstudent Senior Member

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  16. exstudent

    exstudent Senior Member

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    Best to use graphite powder. Why? It doesn't attract dust and dirt.
    Shop Hillman Graphite Powdered Lubricant at Lowes.com

    Graphite powder is essentially very small squares of graphite (think no. 2 pencil lead shavings) that get blown into the key hole (home, car). A puff or two into the key hole, followed by insertion of key, turning the key, and removal of the key, repeat insertion/turn/removal, two or three more times. Additional graphite puffs might be needed, but unlikely. Insertion/turn/removal spreads the graphite around to "lubricate" the pins. This is counterintuitive, b/c the graphite is dry, and not wet like a traditional lubricant; but it works.

    Additional recommendations on locks/hinges.
    What’s the Correct Lubricant to Use on Door Locks and Hinges? | YourMechanic Advice
     
  17. Locksmith

    Locksmith Member

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    On a residential or commercial door lock I would agree with dry powdered graphite. In a car, I tend to prefer a light spray oil. Triflow is one brand that I use. It lubricates the lock and provides protection from corrosion. Dust isn’t that big of an issue because of the dust door that closes over the keyhole. Unless of course, you live in a dry climate. I live in Vancouver, BC and it gets pretty moist here at times.
     
  18. oxnardprof

    oxnardprof Member

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    Thanks for the advice, folks.

    I did use an appropriate charger. The car started and operated normally this morning, I think the drain was my daughter leaving a vanity light on by accident. I will check battery voltage over the next few days, as the battery is not two years old.

    This morning, after a ten minute drive, the battery voltage was 11.7 volts, a little low, I think.

    I just used hand strength to turn the key, as I could see it was turning in the lock, so I did not try any graphic or lubricant.
     
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  19. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    very low, 12.4 minimum, imo.
     
  20. Jetta95

    Jetta95 Junior Member

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    What direction do you turn? I'm am locked out now!
    I'm afraid I'll break if I turn the wrong direction, I already bent it slightly. Even after using some WD-40, still nothing!
     
    #20 Jetta95, Dec 14, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
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