1. TheSnowSnake

    TheSnowSnake Junior Member

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    We have a ex taxi Prius has never moved since the auction has red triangle ! mark. Dash lights up and rear battery seems good tested well. The oil in the gas engine was real low and it was out of gas. So my question is what code reader (re-setter) should I buy for our hobby car.
    PS we are about 200 miles from any dealer for Prius. We can get a laptop if necessary . Thanks a ton
    TheSnowSnake
     
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  2. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Mini VCI

    I guess you really wanted a project car, if you bought an ex-taxi Prius.
     
  3. TheSnowSnake

    TheSnowSnake Junior Member

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    yup mini we live in a area full of the BIG THREE farmers and wanted to check out the electric car ..So the price was right and we having a hoot.. Any ideas on the scanner?
     
  4. TheSnowSnake

    TheSnowSnake Junior Member

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    As in what brand etc .Thanks Patrick but I not sure which one would do the most for us. Or are they basically the same?
     
  5. exstudent

    exstudent Senior Member

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    Definetly get miniVCI and the official Toyota service manual from TIS.

    Get the cheapest mini VCI from Amazon/eBay. Software version doesn't really matter, as you can find a more current version online somewhere if you plan to work on very late model Toyotas. All the people/companies selling the hacked miniVCI cable & software, are probably coming from the same one, two, or three producers in China; so it really does not matter who on eBay/Amazon you buy from. That being said, probably best to buy one from a seller who has a better reputation.

    Read this for more information on setting up Techstream software and using the min VCI cable. It also contains a link for a 64bit OS (Operating System) set-up.
    TundraTalk.net - Toyota Tundra Discussion Forum - View Single Post - Offical TechStream software thread( settings and such)

    If you are a Mac user, I hear you have to have software for the Mac that will run a Microsoft Windows emulator, which will allow Techstream software to run.

    Whatever laptop you install this hacked copy of Techstream on, this should be a spare junker laptop to be only used for Toyota diagnosis. Assume the software has malware on it tracking all your keystrokes and reporting to some criminal organization trying to steal your identity/financial information; definitely do not use this laptop on websites that require log-in/password entries (email, banking, etc). Given this warning, the many Prius gurus here have had no problems/issues using the hacked Techstream software.
    One reason why you need mini VCI w/ Techstream is to bleed the brakes. Do NOT let anyone one bleed the brakes on your Prius, as the Prius has a unique braking system that REQUIRES Techstream to properly bleed the brakes.

    Don't cheap out. Get the official Toyota service/repair manuals (engine, mechanical, interior, exterior, electrical, essentially EVERYTHING), go to TIS
    Two days will cost you $15. Supposedly only business days are counted (remember reading this in other threads). If you start on a Friday 12:00:00 AM, you have until Monday 11:59:59 PM, to finish.

    Supposedly PDFs no longer available from TIS. Another Prius Chat member discovered how to make a CHM file into a PDF. Toyota TIS download tips | PriusChat This user downloaded repair manuals for his two Toyota cars over the course of his two business day subscription. Internet search "CHM to PDF." There appears to be all kinds of software (some free, some purchase) that will accomplish this. Be weary of free as it could contain malware.
     
    #5 exstudent, Apr 19, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2015
  6. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    +1
    Macs come with BootCamp which is VM software that will allow you to set up a Win VM. One disadvantage with BootCamp is it is an either/or situation in that you can either boot up Mac OS X or Windows. If you wish to run a Win VM concurrently within Mac OS X, then yes you will need to purchase 3rd party VM software such as VMware or Parallels. In either case, you will need to have a copy of Windows or purchase one to set up the VM.
    It is not essential to have Techstream to do brake work, but you do need to know what you are doing to do it without Techstream. However, using TIS and Techstream makes the job 100 time easier (and safer).
    +1
    I have read this quoted by you a couple of times, and just wonder whether you are stating this from your own experience of using TIS or you just read it somewhere. The reason I ask is that I just read recently from another PC user whom I respect (Chap, I think) that the complete 2015 manuals are available as a single PDF, rather than each chapter (or is it section) being a separate PDF. He made no mention of the PDF's going away and being available CHM only. I'm pretty sure he would have mentioned it if this was the case.

    Otherwise, keep up the good work.
     
  7. TheSnowSnake

    TheSnowSnake Junior Member

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    Thank you exstudent well done I'll do just that
     
  8. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    That was me, but the only 2015 manual I had looked at was the owner's manual (one of the few things you can view on techinfo without feeding the meter). I can confirm that the 2015 Owner's Manual is on there as a single, convenient PDF, while the 2005 is more annoyingly PDF'd in sections (and then the sections listed on the menu in alphabetical title order instead of section order, so if you're trying to download the whole thing and put it back in the right order you still have to figure out what the right order is).

    I don't log into techinfo all that often because I've only got my one Prius and already have the manuals. So it's only occasionally that I have a reason to drop in on techinfo and see what has changed. I get the impression that they keep having different ideas about how they want it to work, and when they change their minds they don't go back and convert older manuals to the new way of doing things, so probably there will always be manuals for some years that are sliced'n'diced like the 2005 owner's manual I saw, and some years that'll have nice single PDFs like the 2015 I saw, and it wouldn't surprise me if CHM is part of the picture for certain years or certain manuals too. Keeps things interesting.... :rolleyes:

    I think there was a recent thread (about the gen 3 PCV valve?) where somebody responded by posting a PDF that looked like someone had made it from a techinfo download, and I noticed that on the later pages were a lot of what looked like they'd originally have been hyperlinks (blue "INFO" boxes next to different steps), but converting to PDF had left them just useless blue boxes. So I suspected that might very well have been converted from some all-hyperlinks-all-the-time delivery format like CHM, and maybe there's something more useful to do with those than just convert them to static PDF.

    -Chap
     
  9. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    Thanks Chap, I love to expand my knowledge and everyday I learn something new.

    (y)
     
  10. exstudent

    exstudent Senior Member

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    Supposedly PDFs no longer available from TIS. Another Prius Chat member discovered how to make a CHM file into a PDF. Toyota TIS download tips | PriusChat This user downloaded repair manuals for his two Toyota cars over the course of his two business day subscription. Internet search "CHM to PDF." There appears to be all kinds of software (some free, some purchase) that will accomplish this. Be weary of free as it could contain malware.​

    When I paid for my 2007 Prius Service/Repair Manual from TIS (back in 2009?), everything was still PDFs.

    I stumbled across the above mentioned thread (Toyota TIS download tips | PriusChat), where the original poster (FireFire) shared his experience/frustration w/ the new format of the service/repair manuals. His experience would make sense as Toyota is probably trying make it more difficult, for their material to be shared so easily and freely. Eliminating the PDF version accomplishes that.

    However, where there's a will, there's a way, and PC member FireFire, shared that with us. I'm glad he did, as I would have likely printed everything, and manually scanned the thousands of pages into PDF files. That would have been a lot of ink, paper, and time.
     
  11. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    Cool, thanks. Probably never get to experience this for myself, but I do like to know how it works for others.

    Cheers.
     
  12. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I'm not sure I would only ascribe negative motives to them. Even the difference between the '05 owner's manual being sliced and diced vs. '15 being intact might have something to do with improvement in broadband access over the last ten years. I think they do envision people using techinfo more as a browse-in-real-time setup than just as a download server, and in '05 maybe they'd be worried about people on slow networks having a sucky experience if checking one page in the owner's manual triggered an eleven megabyte download. These days, people send 11 MB cat pics from their phones....

    As for moving from PDF to CHM ... well, CHM is a Microsoft proprietary format, and on principle it ticks me off when companies provide information in ways that require Microsoft proprietary stuff. On the other hand it's HTML based, and HTML is pretty standard, and according to the Wikipedia article on it, it's been pretty successfully reverse engineered and plenty of document-viewer apps besides MS's can view it, and Microsoft has announced they don't plan to add features any more, so it should be a reasonably stable format and the existing viewers that can handle it will probably continue to work. (Besides, PDF itself is just an Adobe proprietary standard, just one that I gave up grumbling about years ago, and now fling around without any pangs of conscience or remorse.)

    If I look at the example that recently got posted on the PCV Valve thread, I would probably take away that converting the CHMs all wholesale to PDFs might not be the best thing to do with them. It looked like Toyota really got religion about making their service docs be heavily hyperlinked, maybe freeing themselves to do that when they discontinued having paper versions at all after the 2011 model year. So the hyperlinks will be a valuable part of the docs, and in that PDF converted version they were dead.

    (That might not be inevitable, as PDF also has provisions for hyperlinking, but I don't know how complicated it might be to find or build a CHM-to-PDF converter that successfully preserves CHM links as PDF ones.)

    Whenever I upgrade my Prius, if I end up with a model where the docs are in CHM, I'll probably just see if I keep them around in that format and just download one of the opensource document viewers that can navigate and display them.

    Yeah, I've heard of doing things the hard way, but I tell you if I didn't already know how to program, I would learn rather than tackling a project that way! :eek:

    -Chap
     
  13. TheSnowSnake

    TheSnowSnake Junior Member

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    You guys are great ordering my scanner today.. Now I need software, and a list of the codes I guess.
    Plus A hell of a deal on a laptop..
     
  14. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    The software will give you the code's meaning and you can get full detail on diagnosing and repair from TIS.

    You don't need anything flash, just go to a trader that sells used gear. It only needs to be of the vintage that can run Win XP or Win 7.
     
    #14 dolj, Apr 21, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
  15. TheSnowSnake

    TheSnowSnake Junior Member

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    All right I grabbed a CanOBD2 scanner it it tells me I have a C1259 code.
    Ok so I tried to reset it and bang it comes right back.
    What should I start checking. I added a full charged 12 volt to the car to start
     
  16. Dino33ca

    Dino33ca Member

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    I believe with that code you should have others?? It's an hv problem. So, I'd guess either battery, wiring, or ecu. Not familiar with that particular obdii scanner though....
     
  17. Dino33ca

    Dino33ca Member

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    Snowflake you might want to do a little investigation. See if you can find out which taxi company owned the car last and give them a call, or find out what city the car is from, then go to or phone the local Toyota dealership in the area with your car's vin number. Maybe you can find some history. Whoever had it last most likely took it to a dealership to see what was wrong with it. Possibly, they traded it in on another vehicle and the dealership dumped it on the auction. If it needs an hv battery, used ones can be found for reasonable prices and it is a diy job for some. Does it have many kms? If it ran out of gas and was driven on the hv battery alone there could be damage to the battery. This scenario has happened before.
     
  18. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Examine the orange safety interlock switch located on the left side of the traction battery case. The switch, when inserted, needs to have its lever pivoted 90 degrees. Then the lever must be slid down to lock it in place. Often that last step is not done. See if that is part of the problem.
     
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  19. Stevewoods

    Stevewoods Senior Member

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    If you register the car on the official Toyota motor owners Web site, and register the VIN, it will tell all work that has been done by TOYOTA dealers (or it is supposed to). Those CarFax sites, also have some information from other places such as Pep Boys. Worst case, you can just google your VIN. Most of the time you don't find anything, but if you do, it usually is not good.
     
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  20. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I think when dolj said "you don't need anything flash" that was about what laptop you use. Once you're set up with a solid (if not flash) laptop, it still matters what software you put on it. Toyota's Techstream is what will show you everything you need to see about your car. Other random scanners, not so much. Most people are getting Techstream bundled with a product called "mini VCI" they can plug into the laptop.

    C1259 is a code that gets set in one ECU indicating there are other codes needing to be read in another (probably the hybrid) ECU. If you have a scanner showing you the C1259 and not the other codes, it might not be the right scanner.

    -Chap
     
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