Radio buttons failing

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Audio and Electronics' started by PA, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. mercuryct

    mercuryct New Member

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    Swore I'd never buy another Toyota after my '86 Tercel rusted to pieces by age 7. But I eventually did by a Prius. I really want to keep liking this car because of the mileage, but it's an annoyingly cheap little vehicle in alot of ways. Add my '08 to the radio list--the buttons have begun to fail--a few months out of warranty, of course. Question: is there an aftermarket radio that can be installed in place of the factory unit? I'm not really interested in putting another cheap Toyota unit only to have it do the same thing.
     
  2. PA

    PA Member

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    I tried this once and it didn't work... however, using the same logic I then tried pressing firmly on the radio faceplate a couple times and... MAGIC! The radio buttons worked again! I have since confirmed this fix on two more occasions. It seems to be related to temp. as all three times were when it had gotten rather hot inside the car (although I seem to remember a few times years ago when it was not particularly hot either). Something must be expanding with the heat and breaking contact.

    Anyway, I think we've finally confirmed a fix for this. Thanks for your help! And with such an easy fix, I wouldn't think it would be worth getting the radio switched unless you're still under warranty or it happens more frequently than a couple times a year (as in my case). Thanks everybody, and I hope this helps the rest of you!
     
  3. Jeff N Stef

    Jeff N Stef New Member

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    Did it ever get resolved? Is Toyota covering this recall/trouble spot? My 2009 Prius is doing the same thing!
     
  4. PA

    PA Member

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    Question #1: Yes (see my previous post right above yours).
    Question #2: Don't know. Since I can fix it myself in two seconds, I never bothered contacting Toyota.
     
  5. Rick Hoover

    Rick Hoover Junior Member

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    My 2005 radio just failed today for the first time. The radio won't turn on, and all lights are off on the CD changer (I have a few CDs in there too). I've read this entire thread, tapped on and around the face of the unit, pushed both knobs in and out several times, applied pressure all over the face, and still nothing. When I press the "Audio" button on the MFD, the display shows two speakers and says "audio off". I'm guessing from the posts on this thread that the steering wheel buttons still work, but I've no way to determine it since the radio doesn't come on. I hope it'll come on sometime so I can get my CDs back. I then look into an aftermarket player, as the car is long out of warranty, unless someone finds the final fix. Thanks for everyone's input thus far, and any constructive feedback from here on out.
     
  6. snead_c

    snead_c Jam Ma's Car

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    Perhaps an isulting question...but : have you checked fuses?
     
  7. Wiyosaya

    Wiyosaya Member

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    So, mine has been doing this for years. It does seem related to temperature in that it really only does it when the weather is very hot in our area, say, 85+F. When the weather is colder, functionality returns.

    Anyone ever try removing the button board and using a hot-air solder gun to reheat the solder connections on the board? If it is thermal, as I see it, it is most likely a poor solder connection.
     
  8. snead_c

    snead_c Jam Ma's Car

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    My luck would find the entire unit ruined.
     
  9. Wiyosaya

    Wiyosaya Member

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    It is definitely not fuses since functionality returns in colder temperatures - at least in my case. Blown fuses generally do not heal themselves. :D
     
  10. Wiyosaya

    Wiyosaya Member

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    So, using your info here, and if anyone were willing to take the control panel apart, it might be relatively easy (if you call removing the control panel easy) to find the problem. I don't really have enough time to do this at the moment, but I'll probably do some research as to how to take off the control panel. While yours is a fix, personally, I consider it only temporary since you have to do the "fix" again if the problem reoccurs.
     
  11. verdeeyes

    verdeeyes Junior Member

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    I'm wondering what your status is on your issue now, but, in case this helps someone else...If you press the "Mode" button on the steering wheel, that should power on your radio/audio IF it is only a problem with the dash buttons. To switch from radio/CD/Aux, press the Mode button briefly. You can also navigate your presets by using the up and down arrows on the steering wheel...that is the workaround I've been using, but I want a solution.

    My dash buttons stopped working in January. I have CDs stuck and would like to retrieve them, although the car did eject one randomly (without my attempt to do so). I've also checked fuses as well as pushing the knobs in, tapping the dash, etc... everything that has been mentioned here, short of disassembling anything. I've thought of perhaps trying to use some office cleaner (canned air), but am a little apprehensive to do that.
     
  12. Wiyosaya

    Wiyosaya Member

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    I finally got a chance to look at this. I took the radio out, removed the front panel, and found what I believed were cold solder joints on the panel where the "knobs" are soldered onto the panel. I heated them with a powerful (175W) soldering iron and reassembled everything. My radio works perfectly now under circumstances where the buttons previously failed - for me - that was the hot temperatures of summer. It has been a couple of months for me, and the problem has not reoccurred.

    If you attempt to do this yourself, do not use a hot air solder station. Use a high-power soldering iron. Your results may vary as mine was only one radio.

    IMHO, nothing except doing this will fix the problem.
     
  13. 2009Prius

    2009Prius A Wimpy DIYer

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    Was the solder lead free? I heard that they tend to crack.
     
  14. Britprius

    Britprius Senior Member

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    Unfortunately lead free solder may be environmentally more friendly than the old tin/lead mix, but I wonder how much otherwise good equipment is now scrapped because of solder faults due to the inability of the new solder to cope with temperature change metal fatigue.

    John (Britprius)
     
    #114 Britprius, Aug 7, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2014
  15. 2009Prius

    2009Prius A Wimpy DIYer

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    Now that I think of it, I wonder that maybe why the dishwasher controller keeps breaking - had to replace them on two different dishwashers so far.
     
  16. rspriusiii

    rspriusiii Junior Member

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    This problem developed on our 2007. Can you be more specific as to the location of the soldering points and can you provide a link that guides on removing the unit. Thanks.
     
  17. srothkin

    srothkin Junior Member

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    I'm so glad I found this thread. My 2008 Prius experienced this problem near the end of the warranty period and the dealer replaced the unit. Now it happened again (FWIW, the 1st unit experienced failure in the summer when it was really hot, this one failed when it went to 25F outside, so I don't think temperature is really relevant to the failures). In my case all the CD LEDs go out (no green or amber) and none of the faceplate buttons work; the steering wheel and touchscreen controls all still work fine. Rapping lightly on the front of the panel didn't help.

    Pushing the volume control in (which I had never thought of) immediately brought the faceplate back to life! So now keeping my fingers crossed that this solution continues to work any time this happens again since I'm planning on keeping the car another 4 years.

    FWIW this is the JBL 6 CD changer unit. Maybe Toyota shouldn't be using JBL/Harmon....
     
  18. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    It's been a few years since the last time the front panel stopped working. I think my unit has done this a total of three times. Resetting it with the volume control has worked each time.
     
  19. connectorxp

    connectorxp Avid mountaineer and rock climber

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    Same problem here, my 08 Euro spec Prii JBL Radio stopped working, the faceplate is irresponsive, the status lights for the CD Changer are off, only the steering wheel button work. The tapping and hitting method failed to work, maybe some bigger boots? :)

    Anyhow, I will try to fix it, but thinking of swapping it for an aftermarket Pioneer SP DA120 for the Apple Carplay. What features do I loose if I remove the original HU?
     
    jjmerp likes this.
  20. Wiyosaya

    Wiyosaya Member

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    Sorry it has taken me so long to reply. This is the video that I used to get the radio out. it is not that hard if you follow the video. It took me perhaps 15-minutes to get it out. Having something to view and pause the video while removing the radio is very helpful for this step.

    I no longer have the old radio, so I am unable to provide photos without taking my radio out again. However, once you have the radio removed, note that the radio separates into two parts - the control panel, and the radio body. There is a picture of the radio at this link.
    Click on the "rear" picture for better detail. I do not exactly recall if I had to remove the Phillips head screws that are shown near the control panel, or if the yellow plastic prongs near the control panel have to be finagled such that the panel comes off, however, I found taking off the panel relatively easy to do. And note in the top center of the picture, there is a tab. This has to be unclipped to get the panel off. I do remember having to unclip that tab.

    Once you get the panel off, the cold solder joints are located at the base of the nobs on the back of the circuit board. There are metal tabs that connect to each of the knobs and run through the circuit board. You cannot miss them. They are roughly 3/8" wide and 1/8" thick and they are far bigger than any other solder joint on the circuit board. Again, if I recall correctly, there are two tabs per knob. It is these that need to be heated with a very hot soldering iron. Heat them from the solder side of the circuit board heating the solder and the tab at the same time as much as possible. You will need something very powerful. I tried a 100 W Weller soldering gun, and it was not hot enough. Also note that a hot air gun will not work - it will melt the buttons before the solder. What I got was this. It can be had elsewhere for cheaper, but the first link has a picture. Make sure when you heat these connections, that the solder gets hot enough to flow. I would not worry too much about over heating these joints. The have so much copper and the body of the knobs draws heat away from the solder joint, and it is probably this fact that causes them not to be soldered properly when they are manufactured.

    The soldering iron is somewhat pricy, but for $60 it will save having a dealer install a new radio which will have the same exact problem as others have noted.

    To reinstall, simply put the radio back together, and then reverse the steps for getting the radio out and enjoy. Since I did this fix, I have had no further problems.
     
    #120 Wiyosaya, Mar 20, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
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