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Touch Controls on steering wheel seem to be melting

Discussion in 'Gen 1 Prius Plug-in 2012-2015' started by LeeCincy, Sep 1, 2020.

  1. LeeCincy

    LeeCincy Junior Member

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    When I purchased my 2013 PIP I noticed what looked like a sticky residue on the left controls as pictured here. I tried to wipe it off with some cleanser but the problem persisted. In fact, it started to "spread" left and is now starting to show on the volume up and down buttons (at first it was just the track skip buttons that were affected). Has anyone else experienced this? Thanks!
     
  2. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    There were similar reports, regarding the 2nd gen hatch release, the rubber coming apart. Maybe the same material.
     
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    mine are in perfect condition, and i don't recall anyone mentioning it. hopefully, they are easy to replace.

    maybe the car was from a warm climate and parked in the sun all day
     
  4. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Never heard of that happening on the steering wheel controls. I wonder if the PO got some kind of solvent on them. Perhaps a cleaning gone bad? I have never investigated replacing those buttons. They are in the airbag area, so you'll want to take precautions.

    Here's a video on taking it apart. The poor guy doesn't know there's no such word as "unloosen." Also, I would disconnect the airbag and get it out of the way.
     
  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    with any luck, they just pry out and new ones work in around the edges
     
  6. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    It happens a lot with the radio and other knobs on Porsches and other expensive German and Italian cars.

    The molecules that make up the rubber is secured by covalent bonds that hold the rubber strands or "strings" together. In rubber, sulfur is used to bond the strands together in a cage like structure. The process, first discovered by Charles Goodyear, is called vulcanization.

    When deformed, the strands bend and return to their previous state.

    According to the Kinetic Molecular Theory (KMT) the molecules and in constant vibrating motion. When the vibration breaks the bonds, rubber becomes mushy. Age combined with higher temperatures quicken this deterioration.

    The only solution is replacement of the rubber part.
     
  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    2nd gen discussion postulated it could something like sunscreen reacting with the rubber.

    Yeah hopefully. OP could check part numbers here:


    Toyota Parts and Accessories - Official Online Store


    (click on "Hybrid and FCV" first, get's you started)
     
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  8. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    OK, I guess not everyone watched the video. The connector is on the back of the button housing. You have to take the whole housing out to release the clip on the connector.
    Screen Shot 2020-09-02 at 1.20.02 PM.png
     
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  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    bummer :unsure:
     
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  10. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Minor bummer. I had the steering wheel off my wife's Gen 2 and it was very easy to do. The Gen 3 looks very similar.
     
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