How to Replace the Hatch Opening Switch

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Patrick Wong, Apr 2, 2010.

  1. Prius Dragster

    Prius Dragster Junior Member

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    Thanks! Have a container of Goo Gone already. New switch cover (IE works switch cover from Amazon) should be here tomorrow, hope to attack that mess while there is still daylight. Needs one license plate bulb as well so I will address it from the inside, pulling rear hatch trim piece.
     
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  2. RobertK

    RobertK Member

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    I used WD-40 when I replaced mine. Spray it on and let it soak for a couple of minutes.
     
  3. WilDavis

    WilDavis Senior Member

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    Hint: Remove license plate before attempt is made (…makes using the off-set drewb-scriber (IE Works) much easier!) Good luck! ;)

    Also: If you're removing the internal trim on the rear-hatch, see my previous posts (hint: Be Bold!)
     
  4. Prius Dragster

    Prius Dragster Junior Member

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    Addressed the sticky goo latch release problem yesterday on my 2007 Prius while we had nice weather. I also had to replace a dead license plate bulb so I pulled the rear hatch plastic interior cover to fix both. All of the great write-ups from other members and posts on youtube were spot-on: Interior plastic cover was a b**ch to get started. I didn't want to damage the plastic or the paint but it was too tight to fit my fingers into the space when pulling it away from the painted hatch surface. Ended up using a thin piece of wood (long paint stirrer) wrapped in a rag to insert into the space and allow more fingers in to pull on the plastic cover. Took some pulling but the first snap eventually popped and all went in succession from there. Naturally, 3 broke off but not to the point where the plastic cover does not fit secure upon reinstall. I completely removed the license plate light lenses by pressing in the larger clip on one side, allowing me to clean the lenses after 10 + years of road grime. Bulbs were no issue. A pair of pliers was needed on one bulb socket to get it loose. The hatch switch assembly was very sticky. I removed the latch and license plate bulb exterior trim piece with ease. Had to unplug the rearview camera connector along with the proximity key sensor connector before I could walk away from the vehicle to clean things up. Rubber residue had leaked onto the the trim piece and all over the switch. About 40 minutes with Goo Gone to get the tar-like residue off of all the parts of the switch and the trim piece. Cleaned the contacts and the little spring inside the switch housing the best I could. Replaced the deteriorated rubber switch cover with an after market IE Works replacement product found on Amazon and probably Ebay. It finally dawned on me at this point that the replacement rubber cover has to be fitted over the entire switch assembly (Needs to be stretched to cover all outer edges of the with assembly) BEFORE screwing the switch assembly back in place. Anyway, Total of about 2 hours as I learned and took my time with cleaning. Parts costs - IE Works replacement switch cover - $14.95 on Amazon. Two replacement bulbs from AutoZone - $4.00 and change. Again, the youtube videos that are out there regarding this procedure are spot on and great tutorials if you want to attack a small job like this yourself. Since I addressed everything from inside the hatch door, I didn't need the smaller, curved Philips screwdrivers that are needed when doing the switch from the outside. license plate bulbs cannot be addressed from the outside. I didn't bother to check with the local Toyota dealer (Malloy Toyota) about what they would charge for doing this but I am going to guess the final cost would have been north of $400.00. They probably would have wanted to charge me for a new switch as well since a majority of the labor would have been the clean up aspect and they are all about remove and replace if they can do it.
     
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  5. WilDavis

    WilDavis Senior Member

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    Sounds like you did a great job! (hint: it gets easier each time you remove the interior plastic trim). The first time I swapped the bulbs on my 2009 GenII I struggled for what seemed like forever with the infernal trim on the rear-hatch but, as I said elsewhere the trick is to be bold, and having the correct clip-removal tool can be useful! ;)
     
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  6. cyberpriusII

    cyberpriusII Prodigyplace says I'm Super Kris

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    It has been at least two, more likely three years since I replaced the hatch latch switch. IIRC, I got the entire part for around $60.

    While I am certainly no countess, I think I prefer to pay the $$ for a complete new part, rather than toil away cleaning the old switch, and then having it fail in a year or three....

    As WilDavis said, removing the interior panel was a real pain....and I have a REAL story to tell about that, but don't feel like writing three paragraphs. Just know, again, IIRC, after I got it all done and buttoned up, I realized I did not reinstall the garnish (i think that was the piece) tight enough and I had to pull off the interior panel a second time. I did have a set of trim tools that made it easier, but it was still no picnic. Getting those screws out that hold the switch was also a real fun issue.
     
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  7. DigitalNomad

    DigitalNomad Junior Member

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    My 2009 Prius the rubber complete melted away on it. I spoke to my local tire shop and they gave me an old innertube which I cut to size, and sealed the edged with silicone to keep the water out, then screwed it back in place. Not the most pretty thing in the world, but you can't beat a free repair and reusing old stuff.
     

    Attached Files:

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  8. WilDavis

    WilDavis Senior Member

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    …nice job! I had the same thing happen to my 2009 Gen II and did a similar fix, and then someone here posted a link about a kit available for short $$ on the InterNet, and so took the easy (tidy) way out! Here's a picture of my final fix:

    good_handle.jpg

    I think the place I bought the kit was from somewhere on amazon (pauses to look at previous orders) - here you go:

    Good luck, and welcome to PriusChat, where you're certain to find all you're ever likely to need to know about your amazing Prius!
    - hope this helps - Wil

    Edit: Here's the baddie (mid-operation) (for comparism):
     

    Attached Files:

    #128 WilDavis, Jul 7, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
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  9. oldtechaa

    oldtechaa Active Member

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    Just so everybody knows, you can buy the kits (without the tool which shouldn't be necessary) on eBay for something like $3 from China too.
     
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  10. LifetimeLearner

    LifetimeLearner Junior Member

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  11. LifetimeLearner

    LifetimeLearner Junior Member

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    Your post is still helping others all these years later Patrick - thank you so much. I love my Prius! I read through this and many of the related conversations on your thread to try to educate myself on the 2007 hatch handle covering. Mine is thankfully not sticky - just cracked and I am concerned about moisture getting inside as it does get a little hard to operate when the weather gets cold. I read one post about a man who was successful at simply removing those two visible screws on the outside of the cover and replacing the part that way without having to dismantle the paneling inside the car. In all of the reading and watching of videos, I think I am hearing that there are nuts on the other side of those 2 extra-soft phillips screws that we cannot see - hence the need for removing the whole paneling inside of vehicle - is this correct? Or, do they just screw into something all by themselves? I am good at figuring out puzzles, but I am not excited about trying to remove the paneling if I can be very thoughtful and careful with the right tools and gentlly remove the 2 screws and do the repair that way. Was the main reason you had to remove the panels because the screws would not come out intact? Thank you for clarifying this one point and again - wonderful job - thank you so much for your contribution.
     
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  12. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    I'm glad you found my original post and the ensuing discussion to be useful!

    The screws which secure the black hatch opening switch are self-tapping. It is not easy to remove the screws while the hatch plastic trim plate is installed to the hatch because you would need to use a 90 degree driver or some other trick.

    However, if your intention is to actually replace the switch (and not just fabricate a rubber cover replacement) then you would need to remove the paneling and the hatch trim so that you can access the wiring harness connectors. It would not be a very good repair to splice the switch wires when the alternative is to remove the hatch paneling and the hatch trim from the hatch (and that alternative is not really very difficult). It is particularly easy to remove the hatch paneling fasteners after the interior temperature is high, as typically would be the case after the car has been sitting in the summer sun for a while. There is some risk of breaking the fasteners when the interior temperature is cold, like below 60 degrees F.

    Good luck with your repair decisions.
     
  13. LifetimeLearner

    LifetimeLearner Junior Member

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    Thank you for those last details that I needed to tackle this repair. I bought the kit from Amazon that was recommended by others in this forum. See in photos. It was just the exact right thing and had the tools needed in the kit (about $11). The one tip I will submit, is when I was taking apart the old handle, there were tiny washers under the screws. I saved those to reinstall. When fitting the new rubber cover over the cleaned up handle interior, as noted in a prior post, the rubber wraps over the top framework of the handle interior so as to seal it nicely - if you fit it over one side and put the screw in to hold it in place - then you can easily stretch the other side into place. I found that Clorox wipes were the perfect cleanup product as it dissolved the melty sticky rubber on the inside. To clean up the sticky black rubber residue, I wrapped the Clorox wipes around the flat tool that came in the kit. I went through a package of the wipes but it was nice to be able to just throw them away as I went. The pictures below show the kit from Amazon and pictures of before handle cover replacement and after. Thank you again for your help.
    Amazon kit for prius hatch handle repair.JPG IMG-5147.jpg IMG-5134.JPG IMG-5105.jpg IMG-5146.jpg
     
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  14. prnico

    prnico Junior Member

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    Hi. I just changed this rubber cover on a 2007...ugh what a pain...not sure I've ever had to deal with a substance quite this sticky, stubborn and messy...stains everything it comes into contact with including your fingers. I used some little scraping implements and a stain remover we call "Essence F" in France...which is more gentle on plastics than acetone. At first I tried doing the job from the outside but when I realised the state of the switch and surrounding body panel I went from inside to take it all apart and spent a couple of hours cleaning all the parts individually. Thanks to all for the information here...your feedback and advice is still useful after all these years. If this is one ot the only recurring problems with this car, I'll take it Toyota.
     
  15. prnico

    prnico Junior Member

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    By the way: as others have mentioned there are now very cheap replacement rubber covers available online...I got mine for under 4 euros on amazon france.
     
  16. LifetimeLearner

    LifetimeLearner Junior Member

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    Checking back in on another topic: Have you ever had to replace the catalytic converter and how did that go? I recently had to replace mine with aftermarket mid-range and now I hear a high pitched sound similar to a car trying to shift into a higher gear. Any thoughts?
     
  17. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Perhaps metal on metal vibration from the catalytic converter contacting the heat shield? I haven’t had occasion to replace a Prius cc.
     
  18. Another

    Another Senior Member

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    As long as we’re off topic, how’s the weather in Nome?
     
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