"Park" button problems

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Technical Discussion' started by Shermance, Nov 7, 2008.

  1. Shermance

    Shermance New Member

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    I bought my 2009 Driftwood Pearl Prius in September and continually fall in love with it daily. I love, simply love, trying to find ways to increase my MPG's, learning how to drive more efficiently daily.

    But... A few weeks ago I pulled into my driveway, pushed my Park button, and grabbed my keys off the seat (I do not ever insert them into the car) to make a quick trip into my house to grab my mail... The Park button did not engage and my brand new, beautiful Prius rolled into the garage door. With my children in the back seat... Everything turned out fine, with the exception of having to replace the garage door and many dings on my new Prius, but I still have nightmares about what could have happened.

    After contacting Toyota ceaselessly, they sent an engineer down to Austin to check my car out. After hours of testing it, he came to the conclusion that there was no fault of the car. Apparently, if you're not at a "complete" stop, and you try to engage the Park button (I believe in the 2009, the ONLY way you could put your car in Park was the button, unlike previous models where you could also manually put your "stick" into Park.?? ) the car just goes into Neutral, with a tinny warning sounding (not to be heard if your car is full of noisy children...) and words on your screen (that aren't read if you're getting out of your car...

    So, while I still fall in love with my car daily, I am now aware of flaws that could potentially cause a lot of harm. I hope and pray that it only is something that happens to me, but I wanted to let others know what can "potentially" happen if all the stars align... Since the 2009 just came out, this might be a flaw that others run into. I strenuously, and I stress strenuously, voiced my opinion with Toyota on this issue of needing more waring if you are not in Park, yet you know you engaged it... but to no avail.

    So to all that read this, please watch extra carefully because if something like this can happen to a stay-at-home mother who is ALWAYS exceedingly careful with A. her kids in the car and B. her BRAND NEW CAR, this can potentially happen to someone else.

    I'd love to hear if something like this happened to you or if you have any comments or questions.

    And yes, I am completely and utterly new to this forum so be kind :)
     
  2. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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    I'll be kind, but this really sounds like a case of the driver needing to be in a little less of a hurry and a bit more patient to confirm all is well. There's an indicator light that comes on on the park button that you need to confirm and the "P" should be highlighted/circled on the dash.

    And, not that I always do this, but the safest thing with kids in the car is to turn the car completely off.
     
  3. 9G-man

    9G-man Senior Member

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    Irregardless of whether there was really a snafu with the Park button,
    1. Why didn't you also set the parking brake?
    2. Why are you leaving your kids in a running car, for any length of time?

    The problem is not with your car. Harsh but true.
     
  4. rigormortis

    rigormortis Active Member

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    ive thrown the prius in park in motion and not a complete stop. there is some cutoff and at a certain speed the park button will no longer put it in park

    if you turned it off your covered

    the car does make a loud continuous tone and put a message on the screen when you try to leave it without the car in park, btw
     
  5. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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    I think this is a key point suggesting the OP was in way too big a rush.
    OP, try opening your car door with the car in anything but Park...there's a continuous loud beep, a weird non-specific message on the MFD, and the other thing I mentioned earlier. Seriously, try it and see.
     
  6. andyprius

    andyprius Senior Member

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    Hello, Glad that you are still happy with your Prius. The same exact thing happened to me several months ago, I have a driveway that goes downhill and iI parked outside and was going to go quickly into my house. As I got out of the car I noticed it rolling backwards slowly. I got back in and reset the footbrake firmly and made sure it was in Power Off mode!All the electrical actuators on the car are a bit slow and they must bepressed, switched, touched in a firm and positive manner. And then wait a second and check........ In my case I was in too much of a hurry and I now recognise that the car requires about a second for the computers to react.Fortuneately my car did not roll far and my garage door was open. Again welcome to Priuschat, we have some great moderators.
     
  7. Rokeby

    Rokeby Member

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    Shermance,

    Welcome to PrusChat. You've come to the right place to learn all about the
    many little idiosyncrasies that your Prius has.

    No matter how many "regular" cars that you may have driven, you have to
    rethink/relearn some things when you drive a Prius.There are a
    number of wholly normal little things that on the Prius that aren't quite like
    they are on other cars.

    In the case of the PARK button, the fact that there is no true transmission in
    the car -- there really is no such thing as "neutral" -- and the fact that the
    engine and the Hybrid Synergy Drive is wholly controlled by a computer
    means that you have to do exactly what the computer is programmed to see
    before you can get into PARK. This means that you have to be at a stop to
    engage PARK. That's the way it is, and that's what you have to do.

    You might find this thread interesting as a general intro to matters
    concerning the PARK button:

    http://priuschat.com/forums/prius-m...g-after-park-button-pushed-tranny-damage.html
     
  8. Shermance

    Shermance New Member

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    Thank you all for your fabulous comments and recommendations. I'm sure it was all user-error as I am very new to my Prius world, and will take into consideration everything you have mentioned before parking and leaving my car ever again.

    Again, thanks for the feedback and not making me feel like too much of an idiot.

    So for all you very new owners, being in a hurry is NOT good place to be with a Prius, so hopefully you won't need to learn the hard way :)
     
  9. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Hi Shermance,

    Sorry to hear about your accident; glad that no one was hurt. Note that all 2G from 2004 to the current model have the P button; this is not a new feature for 2009.

    If you turn off the Prius by pressing the POWER button, then the car will automatically shift to P as it shuts down. Hence it appears that your car was still READY when this accident happened. It also appears that you did not set the foot-activated parking brake; I recommend you consider this in the future.

    Note that since you have the Smart Entry/Smart Start system, that your removing the fob from the car does nothing to hamper driveability of the Prius. While you were in your home with your children still in the car and with the Prius READY, someone walking by could jump into your car and drive off with your children. The only signs of a problem would be some warning beeps and the key-shaped icon on the dashboard lighting up to show that the fob is not detected. However, once that someone turned off the Prius, they would not be able to restart it, lacking the correct fob.

    Thanks for sharing your experience with the group; hope that your subsequent ownership experience is pleasant.
     
  10. ibmindless

    ibmindless Member

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    Shermance,

    I must say, driving the Prius requires a whole new paradigm. If you attempt to drive the Prius like you would drive any other car, you will find the experience leaving you unfulfilled. During my first couple of months of Prius ownership, I have to admit I was rather impatient with the poor car. Once I learned the zen-like art of properly driving the Prius (thanks to priuschat.com), I became at peace. I now know THE WAY.

    One must slow down and save the planet and savor the push of the PARK button, followed by the click-click-click of the PARKING BRAKE. Only then, after confirming the illumination of the "P" may one gently - yet firmly - depress the POWER button to OFF.
     
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  11. Qlara

    Qlara New Member

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    Never trust the 'P' button, always apply the Parking Brake whenever you're off the car no matter what.

    Indeed, the Parking Brake (foot brake) is the ONLY mechanical-linked device in the whole Prius' stopping system, everything else is electronic (or by Wire).

    I did the same practice in all other cars, regardless of their drivetrains....Manual, Auto or Hybrid.
    Always use the Parking Brake whenever you leave the car....
     
  12. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    In this statement do you exclude hydraulic brakes from being mechanical? The Prius does have hydraulic brakes that are electrically assisted, but if the power assist fails, you still have full manual hydraulic control of the front brakes. The parking brake supplements this with cable control of the rear brakes.

    Tom
     
  13. Qlara

    Qlara New Member

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    True, other than the hydraulic brake, the steering wheel is also mechanical even though it's electrical-asisted which I also didn't mention. But I didn't plan to split hairs here.

    What I was talking about is the stopping (holding) mechanism when the car is parked.
    The foot brake (E. brake) is the only thing direct-linked with cables (which can be felt and trusted), everything else is by wire which you'll never be sure.
     
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