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Suddenly, some buttons on steering wheel mounted controls aren't working! Any ideas?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by 06COMMUTER, May 18, 2013.

  1. 06COMMUTER

    06COMMUTER Junior Member

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    Hi All,

    All of a sudden, certain buttons on my steering wheel mounted controls stopped functioning. They are the "info" button, the recirculating air button, and the rear and front defroster buttons. Everything else works fine, and all these things work by using the controls on the MFD. Very puzzling! (n)

    Thanks for your help.
     
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  2. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Have you had the steering linkage recall done recently?

    There's been at least one member here who suffered button failure immediately after having the recall work done, and there's some speculation that it could be a result of poor workmanship. Specifically, not securing the steering wheel properly while the linkage is removed.
     
  3. 06COMMUTER

    06COMMUTER Junior Member

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    Yes, in fact, I did! I went back to the dealer and asked a service advisor about it. He said it would have nothing to do with that, since the "steering wheel" itself would not have been taken apart or removed for the recall work. Of course, he recommended I bring it in to have it checked (for a diagnostic fee). I'm trying to avoid doing that, if possible. If you can point me in the direction of the button failure member, I'd appreciate it. I'll try to search for it. Thanks.
     
  4. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Hi 06Commuter. They don't need to take the steering wheel apart to damage the clock-spring cable. It's called the "clock-spring" cable, because it's spiraled around like a spring from an old clock. It's designed to connect the wiring to the steering wheel in such a way to allow it to rotate about two full turns in either direction (from center) without placing any strain on the wiring. If you turn it further then it puts the wires under strain and damages the connection to the steering wheel buttons. It causes exactly the problem you're now seeing.

    The problem is that when they disconnect the steering linkage to do the recall then the steering wheel becomes free to rotate any number of turns, so you can very easily damage the clock-spring cable. That's why it's very important that they somehow lock the steering wheel into a fixed position while the repair work is being done. If the wheel turns even just one full turn while they're working on the linkage then it will go back together with the cable wound wrongly and it may be damaged the next time you try to turn full lock.

    Sorry I can't find that other post right now, someone else may remember it and dig it up. I do remember however that the guy noticed the buttons not working immediately upon picking up the car, literally while driving out of the dealer service dept, and they still denied everything!
     
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  5. 2009Prius

    2009Prius A Wimpy DIYer

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    Well I remembered it differently: it had nothing to do with the recall and was caused by a fuse issue according to another member:

     
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  6. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    No that was a more recent case. That guy had the problem before he even took it in for the recall.

    The case I'm thinking of was about a month before that one.
     
  7. Britprius

    Britprius Senior Member

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    As Uart said the failure is almost certainly due to the recall work not being carried out correctly.

    The steering could have been turned to far during the work or have been allowed to turn one turn and re connected either over winding the "clock spring or under winding it". Return to the dealer and demand the car be put right, if they fail to do this raise the issue with Toyota. Telling the dealer this is what you intend to do.

    John (Britprius)
     
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  8. frodoz737

    frodoz737 Top Wrench

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  9. rufa33

    rufa33 Junior Member

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    I do have the same issue, three months ago I did the steering linkage recall. As others explained the buttons works fine if you twist the steering to the end left but disabled on normal driving. Any update over other Prius owners been through the same?
     
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  10. rufa33

    rufa33 Junior Member

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    Went to the dealer today. As uart mention, the dealer admit the spring cable is damaged but deny wrong doing by the recall service. I talked to the dealer manager and he offered a 15% off $500 charge for a fix. That what we call a rip off. I left the dealership after spending almost 3hrs in useless wait for a fix. The service person, turned the air condition on and changed the temperature to low, turned the radio on and changed the channel, battery on two bars violet? I just wonder! Was I waiting for him to play around? Go to point, called Toyota 800 number and filed a complained against the dealer. The lady on higher level ignored my problem with the recall and she says are not related to the recall. Is she dumb or pretend to be? I don't see difference, I mention page 9 number 15 not fully followed and the dealer is lying that their service was adequate. I'm waiting for a result in the next three working days, she did ask me to complete a survey? I'm really tired of such people working for Toyota. They adore the dealers and forget we are the people who pays for their cars.
     
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  11. 06COMMUTER

    06COMMUTER Junior Member

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    Problem was fixed by the dealer that performed the recall service. They would not admit any wrongdoing, but they fixed it for no charge, so I wasn't about to argue any further!
     
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  12. rufa33

    rufa33 Junior Member

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    My dealer which is located in Michigan Serra Farmington, don't want to admit the mistake. Blaming the tear and wear on the car itself. The Toyota Corporate customer relationship did what they could, they did follow up with the complain but the dealer customer relationship and service manager still sticking to pay for fix.

    I filled official complain on both Toyota. and NHTSA hopefully many others have problems with Spring Cables and we got a recall on these too, Chrysler already issued a similar recall for 300K car.

    I forgot to mention that my auxiliary battery died on me two days after I got my car from the dealer. For whatever they did seems they kept the car with open doors long enough to drain it.

    Anybody with advice what to do next? Small claim case in my mind? Please advice?
     
  13. Prius75

    Prius75 Junior Member

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    Sorry to rehash an older thread but I believe this similar thing just happened to me. Sorry, I am not the most knowledgable about Prius's so can someone confirm this the same recall I had done? The exact keys in the OP's post are effected.

    It states on my invoice: "Replaced steering extension shaft and three bolts, and adjust steering wheel off center condition" Also not sure why last previus owner did not have this done as I went in for my scheduled oil change and they suggested I take care of it.

    I am planning on going into the dealership tommorrow morning and want to confirm that I do have a case about this.

    Thanks in advance.
     
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  14. DragonFZ

    DragonFZ Junior Member

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    My 2010 Prius, right steering wheel controller stop working. Unable to change dashboard display or reset oil change.
    I did the Clock Spring replacement and it fixed the issue.
     
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  15. alexk345

    alexk345 Junior Member

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    i ahve same fproblem in 2010.

    I am searching for easy solution for 2 years
     
  16. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    2010 Prius in Gen 3. Posting in a Gen 3 forum would be your best course of action in order to get relevant information for your generation Prius.