Possible MFD failure or 12v battery failure?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Arden, Apr 5, 2022.

  1. Arden

    Arden New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2021
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    Location:
    San Diego
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Hi everyone! I hope you’re doing well today. I have a 2005 Gen 2 Prius with about 157,000 miles, and I recently ran into an issue and I’m not sure what it could be. Based on my research, it seems it’s either a failing MFD or failing 12v battery. A couple of days ago, I noticed that the controls on my radio aren’t working. The buttons don’t beep and I cannot adjust the volume. The steering wheel volume buttons don’t work either. When I select audio, the dreaded “Audio Off” is displayed on the screen. I tried things that were suggested on PriusChat (gently smack radio, test steering wheel buttons), but nothing is helping and the radio buttons just won’t work. However, my phone connects to Bluetooth. The display looks fine, and air conditioner control still works, so I can’t tell if this is an issue with the MFD or just the radio? I do have a couple of questions, but please bear in mind I’m not great with cars or very DIY-savvy. To the best of your ability, it would help if your answers are in laymens terms or ELI5 (if you’re familiar with that).

    1) Does this sound like an MFD, 12v battery, or simply just radio issue to you, given that the rest of the display still works (especially the air conditioning controls)

    2) I’ve heard MFD repairs are pricey. Again, I don’t know a ton about cars but from my research on PriusChat, it seems like people advise buying a second-hand MFD. If you do go that route, can you buy the MFD secondhand and then have the dealer install it? Or are you basically on your own if you buy a used MFD? Sorry if that’s a dumb question, but yeah, not the most car-savvy.

    2) I’m also not in the greatest place financially right now, so if it is a failing MFD, is it possible to live without the MFD for sometime? I just wasn’t sure if a dead MFD means the car doesn’t drive either or if one can live without the MFD? From my research, it seems that the radio/air conditioning are the big two MFD related things. It wouldn’t be comfortable, but if the car is still drivable without the MFD, then could one just put off an MFD repair for some time?

    Thanks everyone!
     
  2. Arden

    Arden New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2021
    5
    1
    0
    Location:
    San Diego
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Update from OP: Yesterday, I got in the car and my car connected to Bluetooth and the radio worked as normal. But this morning we are back to square one, it’s not working again.
     
  3. BuyJapanese

    BuyJapanese Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2019
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    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    II
    A failing radio CAN be intermittent…I suppose a failing MFD can also be intermittent…you can buy either used OEM on eBay and have an independent shop install them.

    If you don’t do long drives, get out of the city, get on the interstate, drive for a couple hours. It’s good for your car, and if you don’t have and don’t want to buy a battery charger, it will give you a better battery charge and help rule out 12V battery issues. Pick up a digital multimeter from a hardware store if you don’t have one (~$15) and read battery voltage a few times (after driving, in the morning before driving) if you can’t get it above 12.0V, best to replace that. Still, it’s probably your radio. You can replace it now it now or wait…no real need to replace it.
     
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