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Toyota Prius Gear/Shift Problems

The Toyota Prius is a modern hybrid car. This means that the car can be powered by a gasoline engine and an electric motor. The two motors can run independently of one another, and you can switch between power sources at will. However, new owners had some trouble with the gear/shift and transmission problems. Read on to find out all about those.

Car gear shifter

Toyota Prius hybrid cars are an example of a place where the latest technology and luxury meet for a chat. Unfortunately, like all things high-tech, they tend to develop glitches from time to time. Read on how to solve the most common problems encountered by Toyota Prius drivers.

As a consumer who is going to spend money to purchase a Toyota Prius, it is your right to be informed about the car, including everything that is good about it and things that can be problematic.

Toyota Prius Will Not Go Into Gear

Driving with hand on steering wheel

When you experience Toyota Prius gear/shift problems (things to try), the remedies could be as simple as topping up or replacing the transmission fluid. The transmission fluid is far more important in the automatic transmission than the manual one. The torque converted in the automatic transmission works on the fluid dynamics principle.

If your Toyota Prius does not go into gear, you must check a few things to diagnose the problem. Check the transmission fluid level, the 12V battery, brake pedal sensor, and look out for user errors. Any one of those suggestions could cause the gear not to engage properly.

Of course, as an owner, you know your car intimately because you spend so much time in it, so thinking that an owner error may be the cause of your troubles getting the Toyota Prius into gear is difficult. But all we are asking is that you don’t rule it out.

Toyota Prius Gearbox Noise

Female driver during day

The Toyota Prius gearbox is one of the major engine components designed to last many thousands of kilometers. But since all mechanical things wear out sooner or later and their parts deteriorate, you need to be aware that noises from a gearbox usually predict bad news.

When you hear Toyota Prius Gearbox Noise, it is important to act on it immediately. The noise will not go away by itself. It means that parts in your transmission are wearing out, and the sooner you repair them, the better it will be for the car and your pocket.

Bearings, gear tooth wear, and shaft wear are the most common causes of noise from the gearbox. If you are concerned with how your gearbox sounds or performs, please book a service with a qualified Toyota technician.

Toyota Prius Not Shifting Gears

Female car driver

The automatic transmission system in a Toyota Prius consists of three components: electrical, hydraulic, and mechanical. The hydraulic system will select the correct gear depending on how much pressure is applied to the transmission fluid. It engages with the mechanical system to produce torque and power and move the car forward. ‘

The electrical system includes the Electronic Control Module, the car’s internal computer, which controls the gears’ automatic shifting. The gears change smoothly when all three of these components work together.

There are two main reasons why the Toyota Prius automatic transmission is not shifting gears as it should. A dirty or incorrect type of transmission fluid has been used. Or the second reason is a faulty Electronic Control Module (ECM). 

The automatic transmission should run smoothly. It should accelerate or decelerate without any shaking, buzzing or humming noise, or burning smell. If you notice any of these problems, you will need to have them looked at right away.

Toyota Prius Won’t Shift To Drive

Female car driver

This could be the most annoying Toyota Prius gear/shift problems (things to try). The drivers who post their experiences on the forums are numerous. You can almost feel their frustration as you read their stories.

The experts are stumped on why the Toyota Prius won’t shift to drive. Especially when a technician diagnoses the car, no fault can be found. It has been suggested that driver error, a low 12V car battery, and a faulty brake sensor could cause this erratic behavior.

The solutions suggested by experts range from holding the start button in for a longer period, at least 30 seconds. Check the 12V battery, even if you think it couldn’t possibly be that. It has also been suggested that drivers try to engage the gears too soon. After ignition, it takes the car a couple of seconds to reboot all the electronic components before the “Ready” light is displayed. If you try to put the car in gear before the “Ready” sign lights up, the ECM will freeze, and the car won’t shift into drive.

Toyota Prius Won’t Shift To Neutral

Male car driver

Most cars can shift to neutral in one easy step. All you need to do is to push the shift lever to the “N” position. That’s all. However, in the Toyota Prius, additional steps of holding in the lever for a couple of seconds before releasing will ensure that the gear has engaged in a neutral position. Then it takes a further couple of seconds for the transmission to shift into neutral.

A few Toyota Prius owners struggled to shift their cars into neutral because it is quite tricky, especially if the car is running at the time. Push the shift lever to “N” and hold it there for a couple of seconds. Release and wait another second or two for transmission to shift into neutral.

Copyright protected article by Know My Auto and was first published on Oct 22, 2022. .

This gear-shifting method seems excessive and unusual compared to other car models. Suppose you are driving a Toyota Prius for the first time, and you try to shift the car into neutral in an emergency. In that case, you will run into trouble if you are not told about the delayed response and all the appropriate holding you need to do to get the car to shift into neutral gear.

Toyota Prius Shift Lock Release

Female car driver

Like all modern cars with automatic transmissions, the Toyota Prius has a shift lock installed. It is a safety feature that prevents someone unqualified, like a child or a dog, from accidentally putting the car in gear and starting to drive. The shift lock will not let the gears shift out of the “park” position unless someone has a foot firmly on the brake pedal and the car can sense an adult body behind the steering wheel.

The Toyota Prius shift lock release can be accomplished by an adult stepping on the brake and placing the ignition in the “run” or “on” position. Once the shift lock is released, you can start driving normally by engaging the gears.

The shift lock feature is a great safety boost for automatic cars and can prevent accidents from happening. However, it can be quite frustrating for the driver when it malfunctions.

Toyota Prius Shift Malfunction

Female car driver

Normally, the Toyota Prius shift lock is released as soon as you step on the brake and start the car, but when the safety feature malfunctions, it will prevent you from shifting into gear. Luckily, the shift lock can be released with a shift lock override.

When a Toyota Prius Shift malfunctions, it can prevent your car from shifting into gear. To release the malfunctioning shift, you need to consult the car owner’s manual to find out where the release lock is situated and use your key to release the shift lock override.

The shift lock override is situated somewhere on the console, near the shifter, and you can use your owner’s manual to locate it and check for the shift release instructions.

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