Cars & Technology

Well, mom took the Prius in second time  in as many weeks. It had been giving warning lights every blue moon, but it finally got bad couple weeks ago and refused to move. It was towed to Toyota, and looking at the service invoice all they did was hook it up to diagnostics, cleared codes, looked up for any service advisories, and sent it on its merry way almost a week later. Less than a week later pile of warning lights came on and I took it for test drive and it was running only on electric. Mom made appointment and took it into Toyota earlier this week. Came back and this time they said the main battery was bad, some leaky cell(s) and corroded wiring. Replaced under warranty, thank goodness as those batteries set you back around $4000. The bad thing with all this technology is its pretty darn hard for the home mechanic to do anything with them, and they’re (hybrid esp) are pretty sensitive. If sensors detect too much out of whack, it shuts it all down. Gone are the days of driving a belching, smoking, running on half cylinders car, which I suppose isn’t a bad thing. Anyway, lets see if this finally fixed things on the Prius.

On the simpler side, time to catch up a little on the FX. Wouldn’t bother blogging it, but the blog is as much a record to document for myself to remember what work I did to it. August 5th I replaced the clutch hydraulics. Earlier I noticed a fluid level drop, the fluid was getting funky colored, and saw fluid on the outside of the master. It’s a relative easy job, I’m didn’t bother with thinking of rebuilding the cylinders. The master was some aftermarket replacement anyway that I wanted to throw away. The Toyota OEM cylinder is made by Aisin, the master is aluminum, not the more rust prone and heavy cast iron that this old one is. The slave Aisin is cast iron, but I’ll live with that. Nothing much to say about doing the replacement. Involves a little contortion getting under the dash to the firewall, but other than that pretty easy.

Right after work today, I spun by the car stereo/alarm shop accros from Los Chaparros. They had just closed but were still in their install area finishing up some cars. Talked to one of the guys about getting a hood pin switch and more importantly one of these nugget things for the door lock solenoid. The original install one the set screw that clamps to the original linkage was stripping and so it was slipping. It’s really annoying because it makes it so the lock doesn’t unlock fully from inside. So I have to roll down window, put key in outside lock and hold it unlocked, then open the door. Having readjusted this a few weeks ago, after it did it to me today I couldn’t take it and had to fix it. The alarm guy was cool and found me the parts. Another simple fix


1 Response to “Cars & Technology”

  • “If sensors detect too much out of whack, it shuts it all down.”

    In my experience, if things go too much out of whack, the computer throws a code, sets that sensor channel to “default” and everything still runs (maybe not as smoothly as it should), albeit with a blinky light on the dashboard. “Complete shutdown” must be a hybrid “feature”.

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