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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there!

I recently purchased an 01 Prius with packrat damage for a song from a gentleman, and his mechanic, who may not be qualified to work with a car newer than a 82 Buick.

Here is what happened:

Tom the former owner of the car went out on a Monday morning to discover that his car wouldn't start, at which point he consulted his shadetree mechanic to give a hand. it was discovered that packrats made a nest in the engine compartment, that was cleaned and an unknown repair was performed and the car was once again alive and well. Tom, after driving away from Dr. shadetree's house got about 20 miles along and got a "warning light" not sure which one and why.. at which point he went back to Dr. Shadetree with the car. Dr. shadetree then proceeded to use his best troubleshooting skills by ripping out every single fuse and relay in the car as we all know the best way to troubleshoot a system is to completely disintegrate it. (The car WAS DRIVING). Dr. Shadetree then went on (it looks like) to start removing or trying to remove all underhood wiring, as the bolts that hold the main junction box are gone and various bundle conduits are unbolted. he then determined that a new fangled car such as this needs to have the ENTIRE WIRING HARNESS replaced and the engine and transmission need to be removed. luckily he didn't get any further than just loosening up some of the conduits, fuse boxes, and removing EVERY SINGLE relay and fuse! He convinced Tom that he'd better just get rid of the car, which is now why I have it!.


As far as I can tell with a detailed inspection of wiring, I don't see any damage to wiring, there were definitely rats, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they ate wires. and again... the car WAS DRIVEABLE! It is very frustrating that the troubleshooting was so illogical and even worse that all the fuses and relays were just tossed in a peanut jar.. no pictures, no regard to where everything went.

So what I am looking for is for a person with a 1st gen Prius to give me some shots of their "known good" configuration for the 3 fuse/relay boxes under the hood as well as the dash side panel fuse box, it looks like the little relays in that side panel were removed, I don't know if I have them all and/or whether they are in the right place and/or whether every position is used.

Below are some samples of my current picture, I'd like to see similar shots of a known good configuration.

Part of what troubles me about this is that the regular car battery for this vehicle is a Toyota Battery, It's likely due for replacement, I wonder how much if any of this has to do with the fact that the normal battery was or could be on the fritz.

Also any shot of the "Regular" battery connectors would be good, I have an empty space at the power junction for the positive terminal, looks like a place where a tall fuse may have gone.

Sorry this isn't a Hi-how-are-you first post, Really looking to get some specific help from guys to restore a known good configuration from which to begin actual troubleshooting!


A Ford :P
33 Posts
Take photos of the gaps you're speaking of.

Right off the bat, I can tell you right now, that your fuse boxes are wrong. And you're missing twelve stand alone fuses located from the engine compartment, to under the chassis towards the starter, and the TPMS sensors.

Take a photo of the warning light. Go to an autoparts store that is nationalized/corporate owned and take advantage of the free warning light tests which will provide a print out of exactly what your car is saying is wrong.

Thing about the Prius and all hybrid vehicles, is that hybrids are not something ANYONE should be messing with if they don't have the educational background to handle them.

As far as the battery goes, no, the battery is not the problem at all. Unfortunately you need to go to a dealership, and have the dealership sort the mess. The step by step instructions to solve your Prius may cause even more problems, because if wires have been pulled, casings removed, etc. They may not even be plugged into the correct terminals to begin with.

What you have purchased, is a beautiful, modern machine, that suffered at the hands of an individual who didn't even bother buying a $10 electrical/electronics troubleshooting guide for the Prius.

Best advice, return the vehicle if possible and get your money back. That, or be ready for a couple grand to shell out to have a dealership handle it. And when I say dealership, I mean a factory trained mechanic who is specifically trained and certified SOLY on the Prius and Toyota Hybrids (Toyota Certified). Toyota has kept a good deal of things specific to Toyota if that makes sense on their proprietary hybrid systems.

You wont find anyone Toyota Certified outside of a Toyota dealership.
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