Quick Fix for Loose Tow-Hook Cover

Discussion in 'Prime Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by nwmountaineer, Jan 17, 2017.

  1. nwmountaineer

    nwmountaineer New Member

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    I took delivery of my 2017 Prius Prime on Saturday, and when I got home I noticed that the front, left (drivers) side tow-hook cover was a little loose. I also saw posts in the forum of people losing these over time.


    I decided to do some quick engineering.


    The tow-hook covers are held in place by two plastic catches (hooks) on two sides of the cover. The issue that I found with mine was the inside (center) hook was not engaging the frame as tightly as it should.


    (1) open the hood

    (2) remove the lower access panel with 6 screws using 10mm

    [​IMG]

    (3) reach behind the front bumper to "pop out" the tow-hook cover

    [​IMG]

    (4) install two pieces of (black preferred) duct tape - approx 1/4" in width - to inside of frame

    [​IMG]

    (5) tools needed - 10mm socket and duct tape

    [​IMG]

    (6) finished product fits much more tightly in the frame

    [​IMG]


    Hope this helps if anyone is having the same issue.
     
  2. xliderider

    xliderider Senior Member

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    The tape could be applied to the hooks on the cover instead...

    Probably doesn't require the use of the socket wrench too. ;)
     
  3. geguia

    geguia Active Member

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    hah - this was driving me nuts too. So couldn't i just pry it off and then apply the tape versus removing the lower access panel?
     
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  4. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Cloud Watcher

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    I'm not sure: what happens between steps 5 and 6?
     
  5. xliderider

    xliderider Senior Member

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    Reinstall the tow hook cover. ;)
     
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  6. xliderider

    xliderider Senior Member

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    You can use an old credit card or similar to gently pry the cover off. Might want to place a piece of paper into the crack to protect the paint when you pry against the bumper cover.
     
  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Cloud Watcher

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    Oh I see: the fix happens in step 4. Got it.
     
  8. Neohippy

    Neohippy Active Member

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    Most are designed to fit loosely so you don't damage it pulling it off. Now when you actually need to access it in a emergency it will be tight amd you could damage the paint prying it off
     
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  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Cloud Watcher

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    Ours (3rd gen) is tight as hell. I pried one off once just to see: thought I was going to damage paint.
     
  10. nwmountaineer

    nwmountaineer New Member

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    I didn't want to risk damaging the finish. It is easier to remove the lower panel to gain access from behind.
     
  11. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Cloud Watcher

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    I found it quite hard to carefully pry ours off. I managed but I wouldn't do it again. Seems like something that rarely if ever gets used in practice. And the first thing that came to mind was a tow truck operator, at night, in rain or snow: it will get chewed up.
     
  12. Tom_06

    Tom_06 Active Member

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    I use it all the time for tying the bow of a kayak being carried on a roof rack. My 2012 had a nice tie point under the rear bumper, I will have to get a second tow loop for the back of the Prime.
     
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  13. PDWhite

    PDWhite Junior Member

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    Good advice. However, I have a 2016 Gen 4 on which the covers appear to be somewhat different. There are two little ratchet snaps on either other side of the cover. I think that putting the duct tape on as you suggested on your Prime wouldn't work in my case. When I get the replacement cover, I may try using duct tape, but using it a bit differently than you suggested...

    I was having a problem with the carwash blower popping the covers off with the air blast from the drier. The engineer at the carwash said the blowers can supply air at up to 500 MPH, but theirs was 'gentled' down to about 300. - The pressure from the blowers gets into the engine compartment off the floor and the backpressure can frequently pop the covers out. (Didn't have this problem with my '05 Gen 2...)

    They said they'd be willing to put some of that green painter's tape over the covers to protect them during the wash.

    Toyota said this wasn't an uncommon problem with all cars these days, and the green tape method is used very commonly.

    Frankly, I would prefer going back to the 'old' days where there were a bunch of guys with towels who did a much better drying job. Easily worth the added tip...
     
  14. Ingapone

    Ingapone New Member

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    Thanks for the tips. I’ve already lost two tow caps on my 2021 Prius Prime which I’ve had for about 8 months. Both times it was from hitting a piece of shredded tire bouncing across the road. The caps are expensive to replace (buy the black plastic part which then has to be painted). I am looking for a way to secure the cap to the car more tightly. Will the duct tape idea work on the 2021 model?
     
  15. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Cloud Watcher

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    I'd be inclined to put a daub of silicon sealant on the covers locking tabs. Even if it's effective enough to make them near impossible to remove. The odds of needing the tow lugs are astronomically low.
     
  16. Ingapone

    Ingapone New Member

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    Mendel,
    Thanks for that advice. I was thinking the same thing but then began to waffle about my decision wondering “what if?” my car needed to be towed. I’ve been around a while and have never had to have my car towed and if i did, the tow caps would probably be the least of my problems.
    Thanks for your advice.
     
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