Radio Antenna and Key Questions

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by rslitman, Oct 11, 2008.

  1. rslitman

    rslitman Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    49
    0
    0
    Location:
    Near Philadelphia
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    We have two 2008 Priuses in our household. I drive a Seaside Pearl Package 5. The other one is a silver Package 2. The questions I have concern the latter car.

    The other driver in this household took the silver Prius to a car wash. The antenna broke off. Therefore, I am reluctant to take my Prius to a car wash. We have "ordinary" radio service, not satellite, so this is probably an "ordinary" antenna. Is such an antenna an easy thing to replace? What price range can be expected? And is there a way to prevent this from happening on future car wash trips for either car? When I brought my car into the dealership for preventive maintenance, I asked about this, and someone told me that the antenna should screw off. But the one on my car doesn't appear to have this capability.

    Neither of us is the type of person to wash cars ourselves, so if that is the only way to get a Prius washed because of the positioning of the antenna, we'll have to watch out for those periodic car washes that schools and other organizations have to raise money. The other driver says that he can pick up AM radio okay but not FM. I'm coming off almost 10 years of ownership of a car with the antenna built into the windshield and 8 1/2 years before that of a power antenna that only came up when the radio was on (although sometimes that capability broke down and had to be repaired), so needing to worry about an antenna that's always up is something I've had to get accustomed to again.

    Another little thing happened with the other car this week. The key fob button that is used to unlock the car as one approaches it has become stuck, rendering this button unusable. This was discovered while he was leaving home, so he was able to go back inside and get the spare copy. But this leaves him without a spare, and this is a person with a history of losing keys. I told him that he needed to go to the dealer TODAY and get a replacement, but he is taking his time, like he has with the antenna. He says he'll do it after we get back from the vacation we're leaving for next weekend (flying, not driving). My concern is whether this key fob is something that is even replaceable. Right now, there is a key inside the broken one that the salesperson told us could be ejected and used to unlock the driver's side door, so he still has a backup of sorts.

    But is the key fob replaceable? And again, what price range are we talking about? And is this something that has been known to happen to others? In other words, should I be concerned that it will happen with the one for the car I use eventually?

    Thanks for any help you can give me on this.
     
  2. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    18,059
    3,044
    7
    Location:
    Northern Michigan
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    For an automatic car wash, the owner's manual recommends removing the radio antenna.

    As for the stuck fob button, you can open up the fob and re-seat the button.

    Tom
     
  3. rslitman

    rslitman Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    49
    0
    0
    Location:
    Near Philadelphia
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Thanks for these answers. We'll go out later today and see if we can remove the antenna from the Seaside Pearl car (and even more importantly, get it back on, because I do need FM radio, particularly if I'm in the car later today during the Eagles game broadcast). The other person had looked at it briefly after I reported back what the person at the dealership had told me, and he didn't think it could come off.

    I think he also tried to unstick the fob button. We'll try again. I may be back here asking for step-by-step instructions for this "re-seating" fix, including recommended tools. Neither one of us is mechanically adept when it comes to useful household products (cameras, TVs, etc.) and consumer goods (cars), although he would know how to put together and take apart amateur radio and esoteric computer equipment.
     
  4. pdhenry

    pdhenry It's HEEERE!

    Joined:
    May 26, 2008
    406
    15
    0
    Location:
    PA
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Doesn't a package 2 have Smart Key? I can count the number if times I've used the buttons on the fob on one hand.
     
  5. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    18,059
    3,044
    7
    Location:
    Northern Michigan
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    I don't know which package has the SKS, but I never touch my fob, except to drop it in my pocket.

    Tom
     
  6. NeoPrius

    NeoPrius Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    182
    30
    0
    Location:
    Maryland USA
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Standard AM/FM antenna. $12.00 + $3.00 S&H

    Fuba - Fuba Antenna - Color: Black

    Grab onto bottom of antenna with your hand, twist counter clockwise. It should screw off.
     
  7. rslitman

    rslitman Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    49
    0
    0
    Location:
    Near Philadelphia
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Yes, it does have the Smart Key, and I should have realized I should have used that terminology from the start. I'm just still not familiar with it.

    The two of us have different philosophies of how we use our Smart Keys. Mine almost never comes out of my purse. I unlock the car by coming up to it and grabbing the handle (or the trunk lid). I don't even stick it into the place for it in the dashboard. I then lock the car when I leave it by pressing the button on the handle. Each time, it's close enough in my purse to work. Even if I run out to the car to get something with key fob in hand, leaving my purse behind, I get in and lock up the same way.

    He unlocks the car while approaching it by pressing the button that's now stuck. He sticks it into the dashboard to run the car. He then locks it after leaving the car by pressing the button for that function.

    So, since my buttons have almost never been used, they haven't had much opportunity to become stuck.
     
  8. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    18,059
    3,044
    7
    Location:
    Northern Michigan
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Why? Why on earth would he do this? That makes no sense whatsoever. If you have a smart key, why not use it. I suppose he has an electric toothbrush, but doesn't turn it on. You have my permission to smack him, as long as it's not too hard. ;)

    Tom
     
  9. rslitman

    rslitman Junior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    49
    0
    0
    Location:
    Near Philadelphia
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    We're both around 5'6", I'm actually about a half inch taller. It was quite a reach for me to grab the antenna, reaching from the driver's side. He had a little bit easier time trying to grab it from the passenger's side. We didn't actually take it off, in case we couldn't get it back on, but we at least could see that it does come off.

    As for the antenna shown above, we are not do-it-yourselfers. He's probably going to get it replaced at the dealership, which probably means an official Toyota part. While he looks for bargains like this, I'm the type of person who would want the official Toyota part, even at 5 x the rate shown. (OK, maybe I'm kidding about 5 x the rate, or maybe that's the truth. If it is really 5 x the rate of the antenna shown, I probably don't want the official Toyota one after all.)

    Thanks to everyone who has given us help and advice so far.
     
  10. ceric

    ceric New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2004
    1,114
    52
    0
    Location:
    Fremont, CA
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    When the antenna is broken, it is usually the base that was damaged, not necessarily the top portion.

    My wife broke ours when she was backing out of garage with the garage door not fully up yet.
    "I was in a hurry", she said.... :(
     
  11. strieby

    strieby Priusman

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    76
    3
    20
    Location:
    Bakersfield, Ca
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    V
    You might be smarter to purchase a sharkfin antenna. That way the car wash won't break it off. It is very easy to install and most likely cheaper to buy than the replacment one from Toyota.
     
  12. NeoPrius

    NeoPrius Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    182
    30
    0
    Location:
    Maryland USA
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Have a little confidence in yourself. Doing simple maintenance can save you a lot of money. Also will give you a good feeling of accomplishment that you fixed something without being screwed by a dealer.

    To remove: turn counter clockwise until antenna detaches from car.
    To install: insert screw end in hole, turn clockwise. If it does not go in easily, do not force it. Just remove it and try again until it screws right in with no force. When the bottom of the antenna seats against the base, give it an extra half turn or so until it feels snug and doesn't turn any more, but not super tight.

    The Fuba antenna is probably made by the same company (Fuba Communications Systems GmbH) that makes car antennas for Toyota. The base is flatter black than the Toyota part, but who will notice. It's the exact same antenna otherwise.

    If you let Toyota do it for you, let us know how much it was (parts & labor). Also if they put the Toyota Part number for the Prius AM/FM antenna on the sales slip, also please let us know what that is...
     
  13. Jack66

    Jack66 Kinda Jovial Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    766
    5
    0
    Location:
    Stafford, Virginia
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Try opening one of the rear doors and stepping up. You should be able to reach it no problem. Also, if you are using automatic car washes then you might want to be careful with the rear wiper. If you modify the clip so that it will raise all the way it has been known to catch on the carwash machinery.

    Start an SKS training school by taping over the fob buttons and making them use their problem-solving skills to work it out. Maybe a similar solution could work with using the fob in the dash. Use positive reinforcement when they do it right. :)
     
Loading...