2004 Toyota Prius FAQ - Miscellaneous

Gathered from messages posted at the 2004 Prius Yahoo Group: http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/2004-prius/

Please email corrections or suggestions for additional questions (with answers!) to the editor: bill.rob@verizon.net

Last updated: 1/7/04

Where can I get a good deal on an extended warranty?
Where can I get manuals?
The Owner's Manual said my car has X, but I can't find it. Where is it?
What if the Check Engine light comes on shortly after purchase?
What should I check for when I take delivery of my new Prius?
What is the ICE?
What’s the whirring noise I hear coming from the engine compartment after turning the car off?
How do I turn off that annoying beeping in Reverse?
Are most people paying MSRP?
How do I break down the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)?
What pressure should I run in the tires?



Where can I get a good deal on an extended warranty?

See  this page for lots of info on the extended warranty.


Where can I get manuals?

Prius comes with quick-start manuals for both the NAV and the car itself.  There is also the full owner's manual which covers the audio system and almost everything except the NAV, and a separate NAV manual.

You do not get the Repair Manual, but the back of the Owner's Manual suggests you can buy it at your dealer. It would be much cheaper to download it from the Tech site: techinfo.toyota.com, all the downloads you want for $10/day access (from the US only).  But only try downloading if you have the patience of a saint, as you must go through their menu system to get each of the thousands of PDF files that make up the Repair Manual, they have disabled directory browsing on the server.

You should also check Ebay, as there is a seller there that occasionally sells the official 2004 Toyota Prius Manual CD (I'm assuming it is used to load non-networked machines with TIS info), which has the Preliminary copy of the manual (released a couple of months before the printed manuals, it is missing info here and there, and the info is organized a bit differently. It also does not have an index, just like the info on TIS).

Or, order bound manuals with credit card from Toyota Publications at 800-622-2033

Pricing is as of April 26, 2006, subject to change.

I ordered all 5 2004 manuals for a total of $457.45 after tax/shipping. These are not cheap, but will be worth it in the long run if you mod your cars a lot, or do all of your own maintenance.


 

The Owner's Manual said my car has X, but I can't find it. Where is it?

Between the time of the printing of the Owner's Manuals and the release of the car, several things did not make it into the North American Prius. They are:


 

What if the Check Engine light comes on shortly after purchase?

If your Check Engine light comes on in the first 100 miles it will likely be one of two things:

  1. There is a sealant on the catalytic converter that releases fumes which affect the O2 sensor and trips the Check Engine light.  Many have experienced this on the 04 Prius. Some dealer service technicians are not aware of this issue, so have them contact Toyota.  They should reset the light and the vehicle needs to be driven 100 miles for testing.  Return to the dealer for inspection if light comes back on.
  2. You may only need to tighten your gas cap further until it clicks.

In all cases of a Check Engine light, go to the dealer to have it checked.


What should I check for when I take delivery of my new Prius?

See pickup_checklist.html.


What is the ICE?

The Internal Combustion Engine - the gas engine that indirectly drives the Prius (it cannot directly drive it).


What’s the whirring noise I hear coming from the engine compartment after turning the car off?

That's the little electric pump putting coolant into the thermos-type container to keep it hot.  This thermos-type container stores three liters of coolant at close to boiling temperature for up to three days. When the Power button is pressed, hot coolant is injected into the engine coolant passages, avoiding a cold start. This reduces emissions at startup, as well as wear and tear on the engine.


How do I turn off that annoying beeping in reverse?

Do the following:

  1. Power on (not necessarily ready, IG-ON will do).
  2. Set Trip/ODO to ODO (if it's already set to ODO, you still have to cycle through the options: ODO, Trip A, Trip B, and back to ODO).
  3. Power off.
  4. Power on to ready (brake on).
  5. Within 6 seconds, press and hold ODO for 10 seconds or more.
  6. WHILE STILL HOLDING ODO *after* 10 seconds, Shift from P to R, then back to P. Now release ODO.
  7. You'll see in the trip display "b on" or "b off".
  8. Press ODO to toggle.
  9. Now power off.

The Repair Manual page says, however, that if you disconnect the 12v battery, you may lose this change. The Repair Manual also isn't clear that you should be holding down ODO while shifting (or operating seatbelt if you wish to cancel seatbelt buzzers, driver or passenger, using similar steps replacing shifting w/ fastening seatbelts).

FYI: the beep heard when the car is in reverse is only heard inside the car, not outside.


Are most people paying MSRP?

Yes, most are paying Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP).  A few people with long-term relationships with their dealer have managed a few hundred under MSRP, and some dealers are asking a few hundred to a few thousand over MSRP due to the high demand and low supply.  See the database of prices people have paid called "Prius 2004 Prices" at: http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/2004-prius/database

Base MSRP is $20,510 (including Delivery Fee - slightly higher in some regions).  For an MSRP price list of the available feature packages, go here.


How do I break down the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)?

See this page for the general info on VINS. See this page or this page for a VIN decoder - just enter your VIN to find out some of what it means.

Prius VINS:


What pressure should I run in the tires?

Toyota recommends the pressures noted on the sticker on the door jamb, 35/33 - i.e. 35psi front, 33psi rear.

However, the tires have a max rating of 44psi, so many people go as high as 44 on the front and 42 on the rear. The 2psi difference is for stability, if you run the same pressure front and rear, it seems to be less stable than a 2psi difference.

Note that OEMs recommend tire pressure for comfort. Remember the SUV/Firestone fiasco, where OEMs were recommending a tire pressure that was really too low for the vehicle with that tire combo.

I run either 44/42 or 42/40, depending on whether I am on a long trip (44/42) or around town (42/40). I don't really notice a stiffer ride at the higher pressures. There is a RR crossing on the way to my wife's work that I take occasionally, and I don't slow down for it, hitting it at 55mph. I get a slight jar, but no worse than crossing it at 25mph (my wife notes that at 55, it would probably knock fillings out in her car).






Last modified: Apr 26, 2006
Copyright 2003-5, Bill Robbins, Tom Stangl, Michelle Vadeboncoeur
VFAQ Prius, VFAQ.NET
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