a "check engine" light can come on for any number of reasons... As this guy hasn't told us what (if any) codes were stored, we'll never know the problem.
the most common cause of a check engine light is from not tightening the gas cap, or from using higher octane fuel. (manual says 87. laws in most places says the amount on the gas pump is to not be lower than the given rating, but can be higher...) using a high octane fuel could easily cause the engine misfire codes. another problem: overfilling the tank, which gets gas into the bladder's liner...
it also sounds like the guy's dealership went for the EG012 TSB, and replaced everything (computer, fuel tank, sensors) rather than checking each one out. (As opposed to my dealership that cleared the codes and sent me on my way without checking anything...)
I also wonder if he's checked his tire pressure now that the weather has gotten colder. (tire pressure goes down in winter, making them lesss safe and lower MPG). tires also seep over time...
I could not agree more with John. Without a doubt, the Prius is the best cold weather car that I have ever owned (and I have purchased 34 new vehicles). In Indiana the weather can get cold and nasty. The vehicle always "instantly" starts and the interior warm up is superb. Sure the mileage of a Prius goes down in cold weather, but I still get 41 or 42 MPG--still good enough to suit me. After 16,500 miles the only thing that I can complain about is the poor OEM tires on the car. I have snow tires on my car now and will buy a good set of 185-65-R14 tires when the weather warms up.
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