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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-27-2017, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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Default Prius 2001 (Gen 1) P3191 & P0300

My daughter (with some financial assistance from her parents) bought a 2001 Prius.

It's been giving her problems. Currently throwing P3191 and (pending) P0300 and driving slowly/weakly (I assume b/c the ICE is not starting).

Also it has a history of intermittent not starting when she first tries to fire it up, which has just gone away after she leaves it alone for a bit.

The first time she called AAA, they said her battery was dead (and bad) the jumped her and it started. When I checked the voltage after that, it was fine. Next time it didn't start, she did nothing, came back later in the day and it started fine.

The 12v battery is NOT a Toyota approved battery. Previous owner put in a normal Interstate battery. She took it to Interstate, and they tested the battery and said it was fine and the AAA guy "put the wrong numbers in his test equipment."

Fuel gauge is wonky, as I understand is pretty much normal, and she's thus run it out of gas twice. It currently has plenty of gas. She filled it yesterday.

We ran Techron fuel system cleaner through it when we bought it (a couple months back).

The VIN is low enough to be affected my both the ECU and fuel tank portions of TSB EG011-03 (it's JT2BK19UX1000XXXX). (But also old enough to be out of warranty).

Having read a bit, I am inclined to start by checking the plugs, inspecting the ignition coils and cleaning the throttle (especially having had a Camry subject to clogged IACV, and my wife's old 20R truck where the idle dropped due to dirty throttle).

Any suggestions after those first steps?

(In terms of what I am working with, I have a BT OBDII reader and Torque app, and do not own a fuel pressure gauge, but it might be worth picking one up if needed).

BTW, there are at least 4 Gen1 Priuses in my local pick your part junkyards, plus a couple of Gen2s (to the extent they share the same/compatible parts). So I can probably harvest parts like the ECU and Fuel Tank for relatively little money, although the work of removal (at least for the fuel tank) is not necessarily trivial.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-27-2017, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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BTW, am I wrong to think that if the throttle was actually sticking closed, the TPS would be giving an error code?

I suppose, like my wife's old Toyota pickup, buildup could be restricting flow, especially when the car was at idle or the throttle was just barely cracked, but if the throttle is moving at all, it should let in plenty of air when it is open wide.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-28-2017, 11:39 AM
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I've occasionally had problems with ICE misfiring, resulting in P3191 and P0300 or P0301. The problem seems to be worse on cold and damp days, especially if I haven't driven it for a couple days. This appears to be preceded by a few days of driving with reduced engine power.

I believe the problem is caused by oil puddling in the bottom of the intake manifold, which may be caused by (a) PCV valve is gunked up and stuck open, allowing oily exhaust into the intake, or (b) overfilling the oil reservoir when changing the oil. You can try to address these by (a) replacing the PCV, which is complicated, or (b) draining a little oil. In either case, I've found I can mitigate the problem by cleaning the air intake whenever I notice reduced engine power:
- open the air filter cover
- remove the air filter
- reach down below the air filter box to rotate open the spring-loaded butterfly valve
- spray some air intake cleaner down into the hole
- replace everything
- drive 10-20 miles and see if the problem goes away.

I use this air intake cleaner:
but I'm sure other brands would work too.

By the way, I wouldn't suspect a battery problem, unless you haven't driven it for several weeks or more.

Douglas (2002 Prius, 2006 Highlander Hybrid, Wisconsin)
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-28-2017, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Douglas, for your experience. That's helpful.

The oil was low, and probably past due for a change. We actually added a quart.

Among other things, I did spray out the throttle body with some CRC TB cleaner last night, after also confirming that the throttle moved freely. There was some oil pooled in the bottom, but my understanding is that is totally normal for these cars.

We also did a bunch of maintenance that I should have done with her when she bought it. The air filter was filthy, we put in new plugs. I also swapped the fuel pump relay ("CIR OPN" -circuit open) with the horn relay (same part number).

We also did the reset on the fuel gauge inclination meter per TSB EL008-003. After her car had acted up yesterday morning, the check engine light went off and the car drove fine after she filled it up. Even though it only took 5 gallons.

We don't get a ton of cold and damp, though. We are in San Diego.

Hopefully one of the things we did will solve the problem. If not, I think there is a 40% off sale coming up at the local Pick your Part. I might need to pick up a fuel tank/pump assembly and/or and ICE ECU.
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