Toyota Prius Won’t Turn Off (Causes and Fix)

Are you wondering why your Prius won’t turn off? Are you equally asking what you need to do to fix this problem? You don’t need to worry yourself again, as this article will give answers to your questions in simple terms.

If you have a Prius, you may find yourself in a situation where you cannot turn it off, majorly because of problems like a faulty combination meter. Equally, the power button can be held down for some seconds so as to simply fix this.

The article will focus greatly on explaining why the Prius is refusing to go off, what causes it not to turn off while driving, and what can be done to fix this. So sit back and explore the article.

This combination meter possesses the fuel gauge, speedometer, and shift selector with few other features. Whenever this part becomes defective, the few noticeable signs include:

  • The care refuses to switch off
  • The speedometer turns blank
  • The hatch at the rear refuses to open.

When these signs manifest, it indicates problems with the car’s electrical system. It is worth noting that bad underground connections can cause a lot of electrical problems. It can block the transmission of a suitable voltage to the parts that need it most.

Also Read: VSC Light Toyota (Meaning, Causes and How to Fix)

What to Do if Prius Won’t Turn Off

Toyota Prius Wont Turn Off

So many solutions are available to fix this. One of these solutions is switching off the Prius and then pressing down its power knob for half a minute.

When you notice the engine going off, you can then stop pressing the power knob. You should make sure that the reason for the Prius symptoms is not a faulty underground connection.

Replacing or repairing a faulty combination meter remains one great solution to fix this. The car’s odometer data is stored here, ensuring that the programming of its current mileage gets done into a new unit.

A component inside this combination meter is the inclination meter, which is required for a precise calculation of the fuel level. So what can be done if the Prius refuses to turn off? This is what you can do if it refuses to switch off.

1. Replace the Combination Meter

One can replace the combination meter by putting in a new one. The new one can be ordered from any car parts shop nearest to you. You just need to avoid buying the combination meter with the wrong mileage. After purchasing it, you need to consult a professional mechanic, so the Prius can be fixed in one day.

For the new combination meter to be fixed, your vehicle’s dashboard will be detached and taken apart. At times, the vet trim components break while work is being done. To be successful here, there is a need to look for a mechanic skilled at prying and pulling with the appropriate force.

But, even if you possess the ideal knowledge or idea, the vent could still burst. So pay attention to this. In addition, the mechanic ought to calibrate the inclination sensor following a new meter installation.

Therefore note this. For the fuel gauge to remain accurate, the mechanic needs to calibrate the car’s inclination sensor after installing the new combination meter.

2. Repair the Combination Meter

If replacing the combination meter with a new one is not what you want, you can choose the other option of repairing it. Note that by choosing to repair it, the meter can be fixed in a single day. You just need to consult a professional mechanic for the repair.

Also Read: How to Reset Maintenance Light on Toyota Prius (Step by Step)

Why Is the Prius Dashboard Completely off and the Engine Not Shut Down?

The issue sometimes occurs when some problems exist. For example, your car’s engine not turning off and the dashboard lights staying off could mean a problem with the charging system. It is to be noted that this commonly happens with zero alternator output. However, some things can be done.

  • The start knob of your vehicle should be pressed without pressing the brakes.
  • After that, push and do not release the info knob while turning off and on the headlights three times.
  • The start button should be pressed when the diagnostic screen appears on the car’s console, without pressing the brakes.
  • Hold on until the display comes on. You can switch off the car once it’s on. After this, start the car, as usual, using a car display.

Toyota Prius Wont Turn Off

Causes of Prius Shut Off While Driving and Won’t Start Again

While driving, certain things can make the Prius turn off and refuse to come on again. They are:

1. A Clogged Fuel Filter

Unlike other mechanical components in your vehicle, the fuel filter of the Prius doesn’t wear out. However, it becomes clogged within a long period by clogs, dirt, and particles.

It doesn’t matter being sure of the extent of the dirt, but the engine will not perform optimally again when the filter gets too dirty. In some cases, the car will not even start anyhow. Cleaning the filter will not be possible, so it requires you to replace it.

2. A Failed Pump

The engine will refuse to start once the fuel pump of the Prius is faulty. Therefore, ensuring that the required fuel quantity is transmitted to the engine’s injection system from the tank with appropriate pressure is the responsibility of this pump.

However, you would see some signs before the fuel pump ceases to function fully. These signs include: the engine breaking down over and over again, jerking the engine, starting the car becomes difficult, and low engine performance.

The pump should be checked when this occurs. At times pump wear or contamination could be the cause of this.

When the pump leaks, it will be noticeable before it becomes defective because its power contacts may break, or a line may break. You should ensure that you get a replacement fixed for the faulty fuel pump in a workshop.

3. A Blown Fuse

At times, the reason for the breakdown of your Prius could be a blown fuse. Check the car’s fuse box, which is very important for the engine to start, and inspect all the fuses inside.

However, while putting your hand into the box, you must be very careful. Fuse boxes hold power; hence tests or repairs must be carried out in a car repairs shop.

4. Bad Spark Plugs

The engine will refuse to start when you have malfunctioning spark plugs. A defect can affect the spark plugs. The plug connection may be loose on the ignition system.

However, it will not be difficult to solve this problem if you find out that it is just one plug that is lost. A replacement should be made in a workshop immediately after you discover the spark plug is defective.

Also Read: Spark Plug Replacement Cost

5. Rodent Damage

Rodent damage is another reason that could cause your Prius not to start. Rats can sometimes go under the car and chew off wires and cables. This can negatively affect all systems in the car, like the power supply, oil supply, or fuel supply.

You can then look into the engine compartment to check for rodent damage. The damages caused by these rat bites can be fixed in a workshop.

6. Complete Engine Failure

This is very uncommon, but still, it could be the reason for the Prius breakdown. Once the engine stops working, nothing with function again as a result.

The things that could cause this are engine overheating if the timing chain is broken, hydro-lock, incorrect fueling, when driving in an extreme speed range, or insufficient oil.

What to Do When Prius Don’t Turn Off While Driving

Prius Won't Turn Off

When you switch off the car using the key, the car is supposed to stop. However, it could be frustrating whenever it refuses to do so.

Therefore, there is a problem when the engine keeps running like that even after it has been switched off, and the fuel system and ignition keep running too.

This is what you can do:

  • Insert the key into the car’s key slot through the dashboard. You can see this on the right side of the car’s steering wheel, beneath the power knob.
  • Then push and hold this power knob.
  • Now, take the key out of the slot.

How to Turn off a Prius Yourself if It Refuses to Go Off

The following are the steps to switch off a Prius that refused to go off

  • Stop your car and park it. The column lever should be shifted to the park position.
  • At this point, the trunk should be opened, and then look for the pump switch. This is positioned beneath the carpeting. Then push the switch to the off position to stop the fuel distribution to the car’s engine, and then shut it down.
  • Protective eyewear should be worn. Note that operating an engine can cause an increase in debris, which is dangerous to the eye.
  • Release the hood latch behind the grill or inside the cabin. Then the hood should be lifted.

Using an adjustable wrench, lose the terminal bolt of the car’s battery cable position. The cable terminal should now be lifted from the terminal post of the battery.

After a few seconds, the engine will shut down. At this point, the latches you find beneath the sides of the car’s seats should be released and then pulled upward for easy access to the car’s battery.

Frequently Asked Questions – Toyota Prius Won’t Turn Off

Why is my Prius not shutting off? 

If the Prius refuses to turn off, the car’s combination meter is the commonest factor. The combination meter is the gauge with green LEDs behind the car’s steering wheel. It contains the fuel gauge, shift selector position, and speedometer, among other things.

How do you turn off a Prius hybrid?

To get the engine to switch off,  Use the electronic key you have, and Stop the vehicle fully. Then change to the P position on the shift lever. Step on the car’s parking brake and by pressing the engine button, the engine should go off.

How do you force restart a Prius?

To force start the Prius, you need to push and hold the power knob located on the dashboard for at least 60 seconds. The button should be released after holding for 60 seconds at least.

Can I drive Prius without a hybrid battery?

The Prius can still operate even if one of the parts fails till you repair it properly because it is a parallel hybrid. Yes is the simple answer to the above question. Even if its hybrid battery gets defective, the Toyota Prius can still drive. However, you are faced with a rougher drive experience and poor fuel economy.

How much does it cost to replace a Prius combo meter?

At the moment, a new part replacement of the combination meter will amount to a total cost of $954. However, it will keep increasing as labor and parts increase, so, therefore, you shouldn’t hope on this price; you will need to call and ask for the current price.

What is EV mode in Toyota hybrid? 

The hybrid battery (the traction battery) gives the electrical power in EV drive mode, and what is used to drive the car is only the electric motor ( the traction motor). This mode permits driving in indoor parking lots or residential quarters late at night or early in the morning without noises or gas concerns.

How do you release a Toyota Wish handbrake?

While using your right foot to engage the brake pedal, use your left foot to step down and push the braking pedal as further as possible. You must step down on the car’s braking pedal to release.

Conclusion – Toyota Prius Won’t Turn Off

Many factors cause the Prius not to come on, and in certain cases, the Prius will refuse to switch off. Therefore, anytime you intend to check for what is causing it not to start, it is recommended you first utilize the known principle of inspecting the car’s battery.

When the Prius refuses to switch off, you inspect the combination meter, and you can then follow the guidelines above on how you can switch off your Prius.

However, it’s recommended that you take it to a workshop or consult a provider of breakdown service when this occurs.

Scott Greene is a seasoned automotive technician for over 5 years and has been deep into advanced automotive diagnostics for a couple of years. He Loves writing about Automotive Diagnostics and Repair, Trouble codes, Buyer guides for various car parts and accessories, and lots more. 

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