Smart Key problem - Car won't start

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Technical Discussion' started by jdib78, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    This post is incorrect. The regular brake lever does indeed connect to the stroke simulator, which provides pressure information, but there is also a mechanical switch attached to the brake pedal lever. There are two switch models, depending on whether you have Nav. The mechanical switch tells the ECU that the brake has been depressed. The stroke simulator pressure sensors tell how hard. The starting interlock is driven by the mechanical switch, not the pressure sensor.

    Tom
     
  2. Sandy

    Sandy Hippi Chick

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    would parking on grass cause this to not work , its the only time it dosent start?
     
  3. mjm2008

    mjm2008 Junior Member

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    What was your final resolution to this problem?? I am having the same problem.....thx, mike
     
  4. jdib78

    jdib78 New Member

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    Wow. So much. I finally found another post on this message board that mentioned the "brake switch." The poster said that the problem had nothing to do with the fob, it was simply the fact that the car did not recognize the fact I had my foot on the brake when I started the car. I confirmed that by having someone check for my brake lights as I tried to start the car. Sure enough, no lights. This poster also mentioned that this problem had also occurred in the 04 & 05 models, and Toyota issued a recall for the brake switch. I figured I would go into the dealership and ask about the 06 models.

    So I took it in sometime last summer, and asked about a possible recall. They said there was no recall, but they could replace the part for around $200! I said it's really something they should fix since the two prior model years had the same problem. Obviously, the problem had not been fixed with the two previous recalls. They said no, but they would look at the car and see if they could determine if that was really the problem. (for $60, of course) So I said OK. They came back and said they "couldn't recreate the problem." (This should sound familiar to that guy in California who's Prius accelerated out of control.) So they couldn't recreate it, so what, I didn't make it up. They said the computer did not show any record of problems with the brakes. (Again, does this sound familiar?) They saw that I ran out of gas once, but they couldn't see this. So they still refused to do the work without a recall. I was there on a Saturday so they couldn't call Toyota directly, and they offered to let me bring it in again on Monday morning. They said they'd give me a loaner while they checked it out again and called Toyota for options. I agreed, but never went back. They were just going to tell me the same thing.

    Then comes this past winter, and all the Toyota recalls. Everything that was said about the guy pressing the brakes but the car sped up, the lack of information in the computer, the "we can't recreate the problem" rhetoric sounded all too familiar to me, so I said I'd had enough. I have a wife and daughter with a son on the way, and I wasn't about to risk their safety just because I liked the car so much. I didn't trust the explanations Toyota was giving, so I traded in my Prius for a different brand. I wouldn't say I'd never buy another Toyota, but it will probably be a while. It was really hard to get rid of my Prius, and I don't like my new car as much, but I firmly believe it was the right thing to do, at least for me. At least now I don't constantly worry about where I can "safely" crash my car to avoid serious injury to me and my family.

    So, to give you a shorter answer, it's the brake switch. Hey, you might even be able to get Toyota to replace it for you now. They're really big on kissing up to customers, from what I hear.

    Good luck.
     
  5. BAllanJ

    BAllanJ Active Member

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    The little switch that provides the signal for the ready interlock and the brake lights is not what actually operates the brakes, or the brake override, so I wouldn't really consider it a safety issue (although if intermitent I suppose it could let you start the car but then not show brake lights when appropriate, so I guess that's not safe). Certainly high on the pain in the nice person scale, though.
     
  6. booger

    booger New Member

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    Thanks for your input, I love my Prius but IMO you did the right thing they should've fixed it for free. I have this exact same problem for some reason its only been happening in the winter but I have an '05 so I'll be taking it in to the dealer for that. Should still be under warranty also.

    I've also had a problem with the lights not aligning themselves right and giving me an error light seemingly for no reason.
     
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