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Help: Any Gen 1 Owners or Specialists here?

Discussion in 'Generation 1 Prius Discussion' started by 1998Prius, Aug 28, 2011.

  1. 1998Prius

    1998Prius New Member

    Aug 28, 2011
    1998 Prius
    Good evening all,

    I have owned my Gen 1 Prius since Jan 2010. Recently (well for the past 6 months) I had an aftermarket stereo fitted in the empty cubby box space on the dash by the heater controls and I mention this because this may or may not have anything to do with the problem mentioned below.

    Anyway soon after (some two weeks) the stereo was fitted (I still have the existing in car monitor screen - all in Japanese however). A turtle appeared on the factory screen display to which I had no idea what this meant. Soon after this the car would intermittently cut out and lose all power, regardless of driving on the highway or around town and I constantly have a warning triangle displayed on the factory display screen. It seems there maybe an electrical issue from the time I had an additional stereo fitted or perhaps something else. It is just that I am now at a point where I cannot bear it any longer after having the car fail on me whilst on the highway!

    My car is a Japanese import so for most part, the factory monitor display is all in Japanese to which I do not think my local Toyota dealer will be interested, let alone by expensive!

    Any advice and help is much much appreciated.

  2. mlibanio

    mlibanio Member

    Aug 15, 2008
    2002 Prius
    Hi there,
    sorry to hear about the problem you are having. I am concerned about the installation of an aftermarket radio on your prius. It is not that it has not been done before, but that without the correct disconnection from the factory radio, your Display (the TV screen on the dash that is often referred to as an MFD or Multi Function Display), depends on that radio connectivity to "complete the circuit" in its network. If the installer has simply tapped into the wires without completely cutting off the speaker connections to radio, the LAN network in the prius will go crazy getting double signals. The Prius uses a highly sophisticated (though extremely tempremental) communication network and having stray signals bouncing around when its not expecting them will cause network crashes, and peculiar behaviour.

    How difficult would it be to disconnect your aftermarket radio? This is a worthwhile test to ensure that the installer has not improperly grounded something. When you think about it, 1 hour of work can potentially save thousands if you can determine it is the radio.

    On the other hand, your 1998 Prius is now 14 years old. The D cells used on the 1995-1999 first gen Prius' were not as durable as the 2000-2003 Prius, to say nothing of the newer 2004-2009 batteries. The D cells have points of failure related to wiring connections becoming degraded, charge imbalances and general wearing out. Your euro Toyota dealer will be able to look at it, as there are many that have been imported and Toyota knows that. You just have to find the right one.

    I would strongly suggest joining the MK1 Prius Yahoo group, just type that in, and become a member. They have an absolute wealth of information, and friendly Toyota dealers in the UK that are totally willing to help.

    I hope this helps with your question, and I hope you will take the time to do the necessary work to rule out that radio as a potential culprit.
    Your friend in Canada,
  3. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

    Dec 14, 2009
    North Yorkshire, UK
    2010 Prius
    I think he may come across a blank look from most official dealers as the Jap Import original Prius is an unofficial model.

    It is difficult to diagnose problems with the NHW10 as despite looking similar to the official UK (and worldwide) classic Prius (NHW11) it is very very different. Check out the following specs; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Prius_(XW10)

    The HV battery on the NHW10 needed to be balanced by the Japanese dealers during service and problems can occur if it isn't. As this equipment is rare in the UK (I think there is one somewhere where a balancing service is offered) many NHW10 owners just haven't bothered.

    Try searching for this balancing service as they MIGHT be able to assist but it could just be that the car is nearing end of life. As the guy above states, the NHW10 uses tubes of D cells - the same D cells you use in some toys. However DO NOT mess with these tubes if you're not an electrical engineer as there are some very high amps and voltages contained within.

    Try the following link as despite being a New Zealand site it offers some good advice on the NHW10 Prius.

    HEV Battery Problems in Prius