Immobilizer active? Can't start car without key touch to power button.

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by cgmpc, Aug 23, 2017.

  1. cgmpc

    cgmpc New Member

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    Alright, I've lurked around and posted a couple of replies in the electronics/audio forum. To make a long story short, I've installed a new Android head unit in my Prius. It took me weeks of back and forth with their support to get the thing properly wired and connected. The last piece of the puzzle was a CANBUS interface. Once I attached that to the radio, its functionality exploded, I can see hybrid system status, door-open indicators, AC status, steering wheel controls work, all of that stuff. It's really fantastic.

    However, sometime during that last day of work, I screwed something up. Somehow, in the process of disconnecting the 12v battery, disassembling the dash, swapping a couple of plugs in the head unit, and putting everything back together, the immobilizer system kicked in... I think.

    Here are my symptoms:
    • Small red light on the right side of the HUD/dash/whatever that blinks on then off very quickly, with a long delay between appearances. The icon is a car with a padlock overlaid on top. I don't think I've noticed this before.
    • If I attempt to start the car normally (key in pocket, foot on brake, push power) nothing happens.
    • The car will not boot/start/whatever unless I press the key fob against the power button. It beeps, then I can start the car normally and drive around without issue. I learned this trick from the manual.
    • The remotes can both be used to lock and unlock the car with the buttons.
    • Touching the handle while holding the fob no longer allows me to lock or unlock the car.
    Some of these symptoms sound like the batteries in the fobs are both dead, but the fact that they can still lock/unlock the car from a distance makes me think that's not the case. So, can anyone tell me what I've done to my car? I'd very much like to fix it myself if possible.
     
  2. spiff72

    spiff72 Member

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    I would start with the fob battery. All symptoms sound like that is your problem, but the remote unlocking with buttons does seem odd, along with the fact that both fobs would die at the same time.
     
  3. cgmpc

    cgmpc New Member

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    Yeah. That's what I was thinking too. I will go ahead and work on the battery thing, but in the meantime I'd love some more opinions.
     
  4. spiff72

    spiff72 Member

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    12V battery could be suspect as well
     
  5. cgmpc

    cgmpc New Member

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    Alright, what should I do about it? Do I need to test it somehow?
     
  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    the lock icon is always there when the car is off, blinking as you describe.

    if the red light on the fob comes on when you press a button, the battery is okay.

    12v should be tested with a multi meter at the jump point under the hood, after the car has been off for several hours. you want 12.4 or better.
     
  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    is it possible you shut off sks in the installation process?
     
  8. cgmpc

    cgmpc New Member

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    Ok, I kind of figured the icon was probably just something I hadn't noticed before
    I will test the fobs tomorrow morning and see if they flash any lights.
    Isn't the 12v in the back under that plastic flap? That's the one I'm talking about when I say I disconnected a battery before working on the head unit.

    What's SKS?
     
  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    the key sensor system that isn't working. i think there's an on/off somewhere in the menu's on the mfd.
     
  10. spiff72

    spiff72 Member

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  11. cgmpc

    cgmpc New Member

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    Huh... I guess that's possible. I will look through the menus today.
    If I can't find anything, I'll just go through these steps and see what happens.
     
    #11 cgmpc, Aug 24, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2017
  12. cgmpc

    cgmpc New Member

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    @bisco Yep! That was it. I dug into the menus on the head unit when I parked at work today and found this option was disabled. I guess when I finally got everything connected properly, the head unit applied a bunch of default settings to the car. I'll have to comb through here later and see if there's anything else interesting I can change.
    Thank you!
    [​IMG]
     
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  13. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    pleasure.
     
  14. spiff72

    spiff72 Member

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    deleted duplicate
     
  15. spiff72

    spiff72 Member

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    That's an interesting head unit. Have a link to it? Did your stock radio have the same types of setting options?

    I put a Pioneer Android Auto HU in my car (2010), and I have been fiddling around with Torque Pro and a custom app that adds the ability to show custom gauges on the HU (still buggy, but pretty slick).
     
  16. sukatoro

    sukatoro Junior Member

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    that particular head unit looks amazing, could you please provide some information on it, model number, where to purchase etc? tia..!
     
  17. cgmpc

    cgmpc New Member

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    @spiff72 I do not remember any settings like this in the stock radio. It's been a while since I had it installed though.

    @sukatoro @spiff72 ... Well, the radio I got was this one: NAVITOPIA 2G RAM Eight Octa Core Silver 8 Core 32G Android 6.0 Car DVD Multimedia Player for Toyota PRIUS left driving 2009 GPS-in Car Multimedia Player from Automobiles & Motorcycles on Aliexpress.com | Alibaba Group

    But I'm not really sure I can honestly recommend it or the seller... I mean, now that I've finally got it working, the radio is pretty amazing. It's really just an android tablet embedded in a frame that looks very similar to the stock radio and attached to some kind of crazy hardware that interfaces with the car's audio and canbus. So, you can do anything you'd normally do with your phone/tablet, spotify, tasker, torque, google maps, waze, etc. That part is awesome.

    BUT, I accepted delivery of this thing on July 17th and today is August 25th. So, it took me almost SIX WEEKS to get it hooked up properly and working. Before that, it took about 8 days of back and forth chatting with their support to even confirm that this model would work on my car. They kept telling me stuff like, "oh no, this set of plugs would not be in your car if you didn't have an amplifier package" when I have a trim level 2 car... This might be a big reason why I didn't get everything I needed in the first order. After all of this talk, I was REPEATEDLY assured that this radio would be "plug and play" for my car.

    I'm sure part of my difficulty was just the fact that this was the first thing like this I've ever done, but I'm a software engineer, studied EE in college, and I know how to use Google, so I didn't think it would be hard at all... I was wrong. They sent me an absolute clusterfuck of wires and then refused to give me any support on installing the headunit after my first try only got minimal functionality. If I remember correctly, only audio originating from the unit worked, no other functionality. They quickly backpedaled and told me I would have to get a "technician" install it. I was VERY irritated about that, but I eventually looked up the best-reviewed car audio place locally and paid them 60 bucks to take a shot at it. They got me a little more functionality and told me I was missing a canbus interface. Reverse now triggered a view that showed a video connection was missing (instead of a backup camera feed) and the radio antenna was now connected.

    I went back to the seller and ordered a canbus interface that cost me another $25 and took something like three weeks to arrive, they shipped it super cheap, super low priority. Once I got it, I disassembled the dash again and installed it... only to have no added functionality whatsoever. At this point I was able to see what the "technicians" had done to the harness though, and sort of began to understand how it worked. I switched some of the connections, connected a couple of additional things, and got video from the backup camera. That was a big win, but the steering wheel controls still didn't work... I was not happy.

    So, for a little more than two weeks, we went back and forth again, fighting to understand each other and trying to come to some kind of solution. I eventually disconnected everything, brought it back up to my computer desk, and started pouring over all of the instructions and pictures the tech had sent me in the past 6 weeks. That's when I finally noticed a small, untranslated note on one of the pictures. It took some time, but I eventually translated this into something like... "after (???) if (???) still not work, switch these two". So, I did, and everything instantly sprang to life when I turned the car on. Door sensors, air conditioner controls, steering wheel keys, it was a huge relief.
    [​IMG]

    So... as awesome as it is, I'm not really sure I can say that the head unit was worth $500, dealing with 6 weeks of asynchronous communication with a Chinese sales rep, and all of the time and stress that came with installing it myself and having to make sure my dash was closed up and the car functioning before heading to work every day. If you get this exact unit, I can help you install it, but otherwise you're on your own, and good luck to you.
     
  18. spiff72

    spiff72 Member

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    Fair enough. You talked me out of looking up the details! ;)
     
  19. cgmpc

    cgmpc New Member

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    Ha, sorry about that. There are some really cool radios out there from these chinese manufacturers, but yeah... it's an ordeal.
     
  20. spiff72

    spiff72 Member

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    I will stick with my Pioneer HU. The CANbus interface was the part that looked interesting because of my use of the Torque plugin app.
     
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