Prius Hack collection

I hate it when things are “hidden” by manufacturers, especially to “protect me”.  Thank you, Big Brother, but I’ll make my own decisions.  Thanks to the folks over at PriusChat for posting these at various times. Also, another handy reference is this eaa-phev wiki.  I just wanted to get the ones I use most all together into one handy reference.  CoastalTech has a selection of hardware hacks that you can install to do some of these automatically.  I installed their nav hack and it’s quite nice, though it doesn’t give you any more functionality than the manual hack below.

This hack lets you key in a destination while the vehicle is in motion:

1)Push MENU Button on bezel
2)Tap the VOLUME soft button
3)Tap top left of screen (where the speaker icon is), then the bottom left, then top left again and finally the bottom left again.
**Perform these taps in rapid sequence. Do not be tentative or it might not work.
4)The Service Menu should appear.
5)Press and hold the OVERRIDE soft button until it beeps and is highlighted.
Full NAV function should now be available until you shut down the car. This can be engaged while in motion but must be repeated each time the car is restarted.
Be cautious experimenting within the Service Menu as you could cause yourself some problems with your Prius is you push the wrong combination of buttons.

This hack lets you turn off the “engine service” reminder light:

• Power on car, Cycle ODO/TRIP, stopping on ODO, Power off car.
• Power on, while holding the ODO button.  Wait for reminder light to go out, then release ODO button.

This hack lets you disable the “Reverse Beep”.

This is the annoying beep INSIDE the car which cannot be heard outside the car.

• Power on the car, Cycle ODO/TRIP, stopping on ODO, Power off the car.
• Power on, within 6 seconds, hold ODO for at least 10 seconds.
• While still holding ODO shift into Reverse and back into Park.
• “b-on” shows on speedometer display, press ODO to cycle to "b-off".
• This also works for the seatbelt beep, replace shifting with buckling/un-buckling (yes, physically buckling the belt).  Seatbelt beep allows you to enable/disable seatbelt reminder beep for the driver+passenger, and enable passenger only.

This hack lets you access Touch screen diagnostics (for 2004 or newer):

Use of this information might result in disabling your vehicle, use it at your own risk.

  • Hold Info button while turning the lights on and off 3 times, you can wait for system checks. -OR-
    Press the display button, then press the left upper and lower corners within the display settings box 3 times.
    • If codes exist press LAN Mon, then CHEK to show codes or hold code clr to clear codes.
  • From the initial screen, hold Info button while turning the lights on and off 3 times
    for Model Info Set Up (type) screen. I do not know what these do, use at your own risk.
    • Types are : 690N 740N 836N 783N 620N 808N 480X 900N 382X 290X
      Types are : 901N EMV AVX(ten) AVX(nat) AVX_HV(ten) AVX_HV(nat) 749N
  • Use the Menu button to reach the Diagnosis Menu, press the Display Check and then
    Vehicle Signal Check to show the accessory battery voltage and other information.
  • From the Diagnosis Menu press upper-left then lower-right screen corners for PDM menu.
    • All buttons except for perhaps the Init. BackUp may be safe to use.
  • From PDM screen, hold Info button while turning the lights on and off 3 times for an untitled screen.
    • Here you find a number of options stating success or PGM rqd including TKM, Flicker,
      setting:Tape/MD, setting Address:110H/120H, setting AC:off/on, and setting Auto:off/on
  • Hold the physical Display button to exit at any time, or simply power off the car.

    This hack allows you to disable the traction control:

    This one is very controversial, and actually makes me angry.  For those of you who have never experienced this “feature”, you probably think it’s a good idea.  You also probably think it’s implemented similar to traction control systems on other cars.  Sorry, but it’s not, and it’s not.  In that order.

    This inane feature detects the slightest wheel spin and then KILLS THE ENGINE briefly.  So if you are pulling out of a driveway onto a busy street, and your wheels happen to slip slightly in the water puddled by the curb, your car protects you by removing power, stalling your forward progress, and then allowing other safety systems to further protect you when that moving van you were trying to pull ahead of slams into your drivers side door.  I feel very protected.  This also has the additional feature of causing a laundry problem every time it happens.  This isn’t traction control, folks, this is a joke – a dangerous one at that.

    I have seen warnings on this one that you could damage your transmission if you actually use this.  Perhaps hair will grow on the palms of your hands too, I don’t know.  Mostly from what I’ve seen, this is a hysterical hand-waving discussion with the majority of alarmists completely unable to back up their wild assertions of trashing your car with anything more than “well I think it might do that” or “well Toyota wouldn’t have put it in there for no good reason”.  Er, yea, well those of us who think with our own brains can and do use the following to great advantage when in traction challenged situations (snow/slush, etc).  I don’t normally enable this, but when I am in problematic conditions, I do.

    My wife and I call this the “traction control dance”:

    • Follow the sequence below (quickly – within 60 seconds)
    • Set Ignition state to ON, not READY (Power button twice, no brake)
    • While still in "P" fully depress the gas pedal two times.
    • Select "N" fully depress the gas pedal two times. (parking brake may be applied prior)
    • Select "P" fully depress the gas pedal two times.
    (LCD display will indicate a red !Car! in upper left corner of screen)
    • Start the engine (brake+start button)


    13 comments on “Prius Hack collection

      • Ignore Jimmy. While these are neither hacks nor tweaks they are much closer to being hacks. I’m not going to get into a whole discussion of what a “hack” and a “tweak” are. There’s plenty of places online where you can find out for yourselves.

        Probably the best word to describe them would be backdoors. A backdoor is (simplified for this explanation) an alternate way to gain access to software or any system (car computer included) that’s hidden from anyone who doesn’t know how to access it. That is exactly what all of these are. Hidden ways to access and change several pieces of software in the cars computer.

        • Quite true, Eric – backdoors would be the best name for these. However, since the general populous seems to search for “hacks” whenever something like this is involved, I felt it best to use the term so as to be searchable.

    1. Tommy, are you saying that these have been removed on newer model Prius cars? They definitely work on all of the older models. I wonder if Toyota decided to remove them on the latest versions?

    2. I feel the same way about the dangerous traction scam. My question to you is. .. what is the process for enabling it if you want it back on? Is it the same steps done again?
      Also, I know the navigation hack does not work for a 2009 Prius, wish it did. I’m going to buy the coastaltech hack I’ve been wanting for years. Thanks

    3. Niko – When you disable the silly thing, it’s only disabled until you turn the car off. Turn it on again, and it’s re-enabled.

    4. Sounds cool but I’ve got a 1998 gen1 mk1 with no touch screen, just buttons and lots of Japanese. Can anyone point me to some hacks for this system please?

    5. Any hacks on how to avoid the P0A80 error code from chipping in and have to clear it all the time? I know it come on as a safety when the computer senses the battery is defective. But i already know that. So annoying.

    6. Hi , I need your help please, i just bought a 2005 Prius and the dang engine light came on and these codes, 01-D5 190-88-F
      01-DC 1C6-FA-F
      01-DC 190-C5-F

      I would really appreciate any help please ..

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