34 Prius Tips You May Not Know

Well, 33 actually. I took this from a Priuschat forum because the forum has a tendency to get slow and sometimes not load at all. I wanted this not to get lost, so I took liberties to reprint it here. 😉


The oil in your Prius contains small ferrous particles. These particles continually circulate through the engine because they remain suspended in your oil. They can cause premature engine or bearing wear since they are abrasive. Even if you change your oil regularly, it is likely that your engine will still contain these small bits of metal.

They are present in your engine due to normal wear of moving parts, chipping due
to sub surface casting flaws or even as small bits of metal that remained in
the engine after it was machined at the factory. Usually it is a combination of
the these factors that account for the presence of the particles.

Magnetic drain plugs attract and hold ferrous metal particles that circulate
through your lubrication or hydraulic system. It is a wise idea to use a
Magnetic Drain Plug which will collect these bits of metal and when you have
your oil changed at the dealer he will clean/remove these bits of metal from
the drain plug.

Why Toyota does not install magnetic drain plugs in our Prius cars is a mystery
to me. Such plugs are available from a number of sources. I purchased mine from
C.G. Enterprises Automotive at a cost of about three dollars and fifty cents,
plus postage. You also should purchase several small metal gaskets from them
since the gasket should be replaced at each oil change. The gaskets cost about
fifteen cents each.

Not only do the plugs collect and remove these metal particles. The magnetic
drain plugs can alert you of potential problems. If the amount of metal the
drain plug collects increases over time, the increase of material being
collected on your magnetic plug may be early warning of a problem.

You can contact them at:

Toll free fax 1-866-645-5823
Outside Canada & the US 1-705-327-9058 Fax 1-705-327-7790 or email them at



  • Power on the car to IG-ON or READY. IG-ON will do for this purpose.
  • Using the Trip/ODO button, set the Trip/ODO display to ODO (not Trip A or Trip
  • Power off the car.
  • Now power the car to READY (brake on). This is required so that step 6 works
  • Within 6 seconds of powering on, press and hold the Trip/ODO button for 10
    seconds or more.
  • WHILE STILL HOLDING ODO *after* the 10 seconds, shift the “gear” selector from
    P to R, then back to P. Now release the Trip/ODO button.
  • If the last step was successful, “b on” or “b off” should be displayed in the
    location where the Trip Odometer or Odometer is normally displayed. “b on” is
    beep on, and “b off” is beep off.
  • Press Trip/ODO to toggle the mode.
  • Now power the car off to exit the toggle mode.
  • Power the car on to READY and confirm the reverse beep status by shifting to R.
    The beep should not be audible if “b off” was selected, and should be audible
    if “b on” was selected.

Do note that the reverse beep cancel ONLY works on North American Prius, and not
UK/Europe or Australian Prius.

You do have to cycle to ODO, you cannot be already sitting on it.

It may take you a few tries to get it to work, or you may just get the sequence
right the first time. <shrug>
Some of these posts are mine, some aren’t. Thanks to all of the people who
posted these bits of information. I hope it is of some value to you.


I had my Prius seats done in leather. All of the cloth surfaces were removed and
replaced by leather. The center console cover and the front and rear center
seating surfaces were done in red. The sides of the seats, the back of the
front seat including the map pockets, the armrests and the headrests were done
in gray. the rear armrest and armrests on the doors were and done in gray. My
Prius is equipped with side air bags and the leather that covers the airbags is
stitched with break-away stitching. You will not notice that the stitching is

The total cost for the job was $1050.00. I had it done at:

Kar Products

401 Bangs Avenue

Modesto California 95356

[209] 238-0894

The company is owned by Jim Karp

The leather is available in over seventy colors and the quality of the leather
is excellent. Kar does not manufacture the covers. The buy them from the
largest manufacturer of seat covers in the world. Katzkin Ineriors. 6868 Acco
St. Montebello CA. 90640

You can access the Katzkin web site at


Or phone them toll free at 1 [866] 757 3287.

You can buy the interior leather from Katzkin and do the installation yourself,
[not recommended], ask Katzkin for the name of in installer and have the
leather you bought installed professionally, or buy the Katzkin leather from an
installer and have them do the job.


Buyers of hybrid electric vehicles in 2004 and 2005 will receive a bigger tax
incentive than expected, thanks to the tax cut bill Congress recently passed.
It restored the alternative-fuel and hybrid vehicle tax deduction to $2,000 for
vehicles purchased in 2004 and 2005. The deduction was going to be reduced by
25% this year and by 25% in 2005.

H.R.1308–Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004 (Enrolled as Agreed to or
Passed by Both House and Senate)


The car must be in the ready mode, and instead of just tapping the joystick as
one does to put it in reverse or drive, tap and hold it on neutral for a second
or so. The car will stay in neutral for the entire time it is being washed. The
reason the car has this feature is so you don’t accidentally bump the joystick
while driving, and throw yourself into neutral. They thought of everything!


Coastal Electronic Technologies, Inc.
P.O. Box 33518, Indialantic, FL 32903
Ph: (800)507-2234

Prius XM Radio Kit includes instructions $299.00
Electric Mode Kit $45.00 Allows you to drive in electric mode only. Will
automatically return to gasoline mode if battery gets low.
Front End Mask $119.00 A bra for the Prius.
Auto Door Lock Kit $65.00 Locks all 4 doors when you drive over 15mph.
Power Outlet Kit $10.00 Makes the power outlet in your console active even when
car is turned off. Good for charging your cell phone.
Prius Mud Flap Kit $55.00 Mud flaps that fit behind all 4 wheels.
Factory Oil Filter with New Crush Washer $6.00
Cabin Air Filter $19.00
Nav Enhancement Kit You can set the nav while driving and will never have to
AGREE again.


It is more gas efficient and will help increase tire life] to run the tires

i was just involved in a low speed accident with my Prius. an SUV in front of me stopped suddenly and i couldn’t stop in time. with my the brake pedal to the floor we collided. i was going 10-15 mph tops. airbags did NOT deploy. the SUV had two scratches. my prius is totalled. the front end is damaged but moreso is the hybrid system per my appraiser. i bought this car in part for safety reasons but the body clearly cannot sustain much impact- it did nothing to protect the very expensive hybrid system.

Dude! You own a Prius?! I never knew! I thought you still drove that Mazda. 🙂 Anyhow, I’m contemplating getting one soon. I totally need to pick your brain!!
have my Prius for 14 day’s now, compared with my tomtom navigator i discovered that the speed meter is giving 5 km/h to fast on the display.

altough the odo seems ok, compares liters refuel and km’s driven.

anyone else with this problem?
Dude, press your mph/kph button … your setup for the continent. Wild Dude, wild.

I’m in need of some sort of molding, preferably hard rubber that would cover the rear (and maybe the front) bumper area where it pivots in the middle. I have tagged a few vehicles while parking and the finish tears easily and leaves unsightly marks and tears. A 3 foot long by, say, 6 inch wide strip that would adhere to the rear bummer, looking good (black for my silver finish) and be permanently affixed by some sort of adhesive would be great. I’m not interested in screwing anything in..

Thanks in advance..


Last week, on my way to work, I got a “low gas” warning.  My commute to work is almost 43 miles, and I knew I could at least make it that distance without running out of gas. (About 25 more miles)

I had made a mental note to get gas when I left work, but that note must of got thrown away because I didn’t remember until I was in my driveway safely at home.  (43 miles later)

“Ok, I gotta get gas tomorrow”, I told myself.

The next two days I left the house only to get lunches and dinners.  Oops.  (4 miles, approx.)

My wife asked me to drive 8 miles in the wrong direction before I go to work the next day.  By this time, I have completely forgotten about my gas issues.

I made her errand, and was about 15 miles into my journey to work when I broke out into a cold sweat, realizing I was WAAAAY past my low gas warnings.  (23 miles)

I got off the freeway and found a gas station.

Eagerly awaiting to see how much gas I needed, I was dumbfounded when the meter showed only “10.41 gallons”.

Huh?  Consulting my owners manual, it said I have an 11 gallon tank, and adding up the miles I drove past the warning light comes to about 90 miles.  And since I get on average 44 miles per gallon, that would mean my check engine light turns on when I have more than 2 gallons left in my tank.

And the weather was 86 degrees out, so there is no argument that the gas tank “bladder” had constricted and hence had a maximum capacity which was less than 11 gallons.

In other words, I can have 20% of my tank left, which gives me about 100 miles, and my Prius gives me a warning.

Bought the Treo 650

I have been needing a new phone for a long time, but nothing out there was any interest to me. I didn’t want a clunky PDA since I have my laptop most of the time, and I didn’t want the new Sprint Videophones, because I dont care about it in the least. The only phone left was my same phone but with a camera (big whoop).

My buddy Alan called me yesterday to tell me he got a Treo while I was away. Now, I have read all the reviews on it prior, even read the instruction manual, EVEN asked Sprint rep’s many questions to see if this would do what I wanted. So I asked Alan, and he soooo gave me what I needed.

For starters, this was my laundry list of what I wanted in a PDA/Mobile Phone:

  1. Read, view, respond to email without any duplication or confusion as to where I did so
  2. Wirelessly sync to laptop
  3. Act as a wireless modem
  4. Work with my Prius

1. My biggest beef with cellphone/PDA’s is how they handle email. I don’t want to have to input all my POP3 emails on my PDA, so that I can “keep messages on server” and deal with multiple copies when I delete. And if I write or respond to an email on my PDA, I don’t want to lose that info from my sent items in my Outlook.

Simple solution that I *should* of known: Use Sprint’s software, “Sprint Business Connect”, to keep your PDA and Outlook in sync. So every so often my PDA goes and sync’s itself with whatever contacts/emails that are sitting in Outlook. That also means when I write an email, it sends it from my Outlook, NOT my PDA, so I don’t lose it. This was the missing piece of info that even Sprint didn’t understand. Thank You Alan.

2. Using Bluetooth, any schmoe can wirelessly sync. You just need your laptop to have bluetooth, which mine does from a little USB Bluetooth device.

3. Sprint crippled Dial Up Networking (DUN) on the Treo because (as is rumored) it was too buggy. People have figured out how to uncripple it, but then you are forced to soft-reset the Treo before and after you use it (read Yuck). But for around $35, you can buy PdaNet which allows you to connect your computer to the internet via your Treo using Bluetooth. When I tried it, I was getting about 150 kbps.

3, My Prius comes with Bluetooth, but up to now the only phone I could get was this old school Sony Ericsson that was discontinued over a year ago. In order to get the Prius to work, you must download the PalmOne Carkit Update. Then you just follow the instructions in the Prius Manual.

A couple caveats on this venture. One, it won’t appear that it worked until you make your first phone call. Second, if you dare get a call while you are on the phone using the Prius Bluetooth, your phone will disconnect both callers. AAACKK! This is pretty heinous, but Alan and I plan to pester Palm until they fix it. The last one is that the Prius phone book is horrible. You can’t manually enter a number, but instead beam it from your phone. One at a time. And only one number per contact. And no ( or – in the phone number. Yes. That is bad.

Other than that, the sound of your own voice to other people sounds much better with the Prius than with your own phone. I love how the Prius takes over and dims the radio, and shows who is calling on the Navigator.

So after my first day of owning it, I am quite happy. I have researched and downloaded a slew of programs, but I will wait to post what I like once I find out what I land out using every day after the new-ness fades.