Key stuck in ignition

Discussion in 'Generation 1 Prius Discussion' started by Bart-Jan, May 31, 2018.

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  1. Bart-Jan

    Bart-Jan New Member

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    Hi All,

    I own a nice gen1 Prius.
    A couple of months ago I could not get the key out of the ignition.
    With the help of a guy from the road assistance we found that pulling a plug from some kind of coil or sensor solved the issue.

    What I think is going on is that the car does not sense anymore that the transmission is not in park and thus does not allow the key to come out of the ignition. Some thing you would like to have working on the car right?

    I am trying to figure out what could be the problem.
    I have noticed, that I can pull the shift lever easily from shift to shift without pressing the button on the lever. This could be a reason, but just as well could be just another issue.

    It could also be a sensor or a coil which is defected.
    Therefor I thought let's see of there are other people who have dealt with this problem and might know the solution.

    Regards

    Bart
     
  2. depriusoto

    depriusoto Member

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    I'm experiencing the same problem with an 02 with 156K so I'm interested in what folks suggest.
    I have the service records for this car and way back in July of 2011 it was reported to the dealer. No record of what was done...
     
  3. LEVE

    LEVE Member

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    If the electronics does not sense the car is in park, it will not release the key. If the Gear Shift Lever does not engage properly it may be not engaging the "I am in PARK" signal to the ECM. Then, the car won't release the key. That's where I'd start.
     
  4. Bart-Jan

    Bart-Jan New Member

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    I have looked at the steering column, when pressing the button on the lever it will does do something near the steering wheel itself.

    Anyone ever changed just the lever or just the coil?
    I do see people changing the whole steering column, that would get the job done, but seems a bit expensive to me.
     
  5. Bart-Jan

    Bart-Jan New Member

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    The other day I read that it could also be that something plastic just broke off (sorry don't know the words for it).
    So yesterday a friend and I looked at the steering column, as a car mechanic he found indeed that some small plastic lever broke off.

    For now we think this could also be the reason that I can pull the shift lever to any shift I want, without the use of the button on the lever. This might also be the reason why it does not register the position it's in.

    Will let you know if I know more.
     
  6. Bart-Jan

    Bart-Jan New Member

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    Here is a picture of the broken off plastic, or at least that what’s left of it ;)

    [​IMG]

    As you can see the handle to unleash the key is to the left. Yesterday I found out this handle doesn’t work either. So I guess fixing this would do the trick.
     
  7. dabard051

    dabard051 Tinkerer-in-Charge

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    Nifty bit of detective work! But I'm looking at the picture - a good picture, BTW - but I can't discern exactly what you're describing as the broken part. Can you repost the picture with an arrow to your item of interest? Thanks.
     
  8. Bart-Jan

    Bart-Jan New Member

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    here are two pics
    This is the first pic, you'd expact more levers here. These should respond to the shift lever.
    As we understand there should fit something in rectangular notch at the right middle which could pull or push it in the right position.

    [​IMG]

    Just behind this notch, you can see a rond pin (or something like it).
    This pushes a small lever, but right now it does not do much.

    [​IMG]

    So now I need some Toyota manual (I downloaded several from Toyota but could not find this in there) to see how it should look like and how it should work.
     
  9. dabard051

    dabard051 Tinkerer-in-Charge

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    Thank you! for the clarifying circles. I had never looked at my steering column from the underside, and I had a hard time visualizing. I happen to have a partially disassembled Prius available for inspection (2002); here is what a working one looks like.
     

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  10. Bart-Jan

    Bart-Jan New Member

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    Awesome! Though it looks the same. Except for the small gap at the top right.
    What happens if you pull the lever? Does it change the position of these white parts?

    And if you press the handle at the left?
     
  11. Brian in Tucson

    Brian in Tucson Active Member

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    We kinda have to imagine what's internal to this. I can't see anything that's obviously broken. But it looks to me like the inner lever needs to rotate to the right and the outer lever needs to rotate down. If there's a guide pin interior & between the two levers, it looks like it should fit into that slot on the inner piece.

    The Netherlands is literally foreign to we in the US, so I can tell you to go look in wrecking yards or on Craigslist for parts, but I don't know whether that would work. This is here in Tucson, looks pretty fresh. And in one of the pics, I can see the steering wheel. 2003 TOYOTA PRIUS - auto parts - by dealer - vehicle automotive car truck sale
     
  12. dabard051

    dabard051 Tinkerer-in-Charge

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    Well, here is an alternative approach. Use a non-chip ("dumb") key in the ignition, and use your "smart chip" key near the ignition switch when you start the car. The "chip" in the "smart key" is needed only for the ignition process. So, unless someone has the appropriate "smart key", they can't start the car. It's a work-around, should you decide that repairing the ignition lock hold-in mechanism is too complex to manage (and it would be, to me...). Best of luck going forward, this is a new one.
     
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