Paperclip trick does not reset ABS VSC ((!)) lights

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by firsttimehybrid, Nov 20, 2020.

  1. firsttimehybrid

    firsttimehybrid New Member

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    I purchased an 2006 Prius with 170k miles which came with ABS VSC ((!)) lights.

    I replaced the 12v battery and checked hybrid battery cells to ensure they were all near the same voltage which they were.

    I assumed the ABS VSC ((!)) lights were due to the bad wheel bearings so I replaced them. Then I did the paperclip trick to reset those lights and it didn't work. Does anyone know why it didn't work? Thank you!
     
  2. SFO

    SFO Senior Member

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    Welcome to PriusChat!!

    Happen to have any OBD2 codes (DTCs) that you could share with us?

    Side note, you're moderated until you reach five (5) posting.
     
  3. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    It didn't work because "the paperclip trick" to clear brake warnings is like a weed that cannot be killed, and new posters are constantly showing up here saying they tried "the paperclip trick" to clear their brake warnings and the lights didn't go out and why on earth not?

    There must be some super-black-hole-like internet source that sucks in everybody's web searches and puts "the paperclip trick" in their heads. But usually nobody remembers where they heard it; if we could find the source, maybe we could add some better information right there and save hundreds of people wasting their time.

    Of course by now PriusChat itself is becoming such a source all by itself, and people's web searches will bring them to dozens of PriusChat pages where others have mentioned "the paperclip trick" to clear the lights, and so the newcomers get the idea to try "the paperclip trick" to clear their lights, and end up starting yet another thread about "the paperclip trick", wondering why it didn't clear their lights, and the whole effect is just to make even more people think "the paperclip trick" is going to clear their lights.

    Any warning light that had a reason to be on in the first place is either not going to go out with a code clear, or will go out temporarily, just until the computer remembers why it was on.

    The people with the greatest success at making warning lights go out are the people who find out why the lights were on, and correct the underlying condition.

    And that is what the real "paperclip trick" is for. When you have the right pins jumpered and turn the car ON, the dash lights will blink the trouble codes out. You can count the blinks and write down the codes, and then you know why the lights were on.

    Once you know why the lights were on, you can look up what to do to resolve the condition so the lights can go out. Often they will go out on their own when the computer sees the problem is resolved. In some cases, they can be cleared then. Yes, there is a way to do that clear step while the paperclip is in place. But the "paperclip trick" that's going to help you is not the blind attempt at clearing. The "paperclip trick" that will help you is the one that gets you the trouble codes so you know what is wrong with the car.
     
  4. mr_guy_mann

    mr_guy_mann Member

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    #4 mr_guy_mann, Nov 21, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2020
  5. mr_guy_mann

    mr_guy_mann Member

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    How much time and money did you spend on a guess? You can try to flash out codes but I might suggest that you get a mini vci cable with a copy of techstream software from amazon or ebay and install it on an old windows laptop. That is the factory scantool for Toyota. That would let you read out codes and data from all computer modules on the car, and perform any needed resets or procedures.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  6. PriusHead05

    PriusHead05 Junior Member

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    If you don't have an ABS scan tool, just take it down to your local auto parts store and they will be able to scan it for you.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  7. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Or even use the real 'paperclip trick' for its real purpose, and count the blinks.
     
  8. firsttimehybrid

    firsttimehybrid New Member

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    Thank you for your reply and the in depth explanation. In a YT video, a person changed their wheel bearings and those turned on for him. He proceeded to do the paperclip trick and it removed those lights. Since my wheel bearings were bad, I assumed that was the underlying condition why I had those lights on my dash (there are a few videos on YT of people doing the "paper clip trick" after changing wheel bearing or ABS sensor).

    I have had CEL - P0446 & P0441 (I just checked my car and a new one has popped up P1121)
    Interestingly, my MPG dropped from 45 to 39 after the wheel bearing change....
     
  9. PriusHead05

    PriusHead05 Junior Member

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    P1121 means throttle position sensor. The other two codes have to do with the EVAP system. The Throttle position sensor might be the culprit for the drop in MPG.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  10. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    No, it does not. That is was some cheaper ODDII incorrectly read out for the fortune cookie text or if you look up that code for other cars (or even other Toyotas) that are not Prius Gen 2.

    P1211 is 'Coolant Flow Control Valve Position Sensor Circuit Stuck'.

    Trouble areas are:
    • The water valve (coolant flow control valve)
    • Cooling system (clogging)
     
  11. PriusHead05

    PriusHead05 Junior Member

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    Ok. I see.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  12. firsttimehybrid

    firsttimehybrid New Member

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    Since i didn't have time to do anything else on the car, we kept driving it since my original post. About a week ago I ordered TechStream w/ the OBDII scanner and planned to dedicate some time to the prius this weekend. I loaned the car to a family member who drove it for the day and when she came back the ABS VCS ((!)) lights turned off. Im assuming the car had to be driven a lot before the computer cycled through and tested everything (does anyone know how many miles each cycle is?).

    I took the car for a test drive and slammed on the brakes and the abs engaged!

    Looks like the bad wheel bearings were the issue. Thanks for everyones help!
     
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