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Discussion Starter #1
The Car: 2001 Prius, 53K miles, owned 6 months. This is the first problem we've had with the car.

The Problem: The infernal "Check engine" light has been steadily illuminated for a couple of days now. I checked the gas cap today, as I've been advised to do, and found that it was in fact loose. However, the light didn't go away after 10 min driving with the newly tightened cap (which I've read is typical). I have no way of ascertaining whether that is in fact the problem, but I would prefer not to have to pay up to $100 as others have done for the privilege of learning that my gas cap was too loose.

Any advice? I don't have a code reader, but I've had cars in the past that could be interrogated using a multimeter, or by connecting two of the leads on the ODB connector and reading the codes through a blinking engine light (this was a Ford Contour). Also, how long might it take for the car to stop displaying the engine light after tightening the cap, assuming that was the problem?

Thanks all.
 

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No "paper clip jumper" option for the Prius.

You can get a basic code reader for that same $100, though it will only read OBDII codes, and may not interpret the numbers into text for all codes.

I heard some places like Jiffy Lube or Midas will scan your car for free.
 

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Sometimes it takes up to four reboots to clear codes
without a scantool. You only need to come to IG-ON, rather
than ready, as a general rule, and finally the CEL should
go out. Sometimes it actually takes a couple of full drive cycles
[particularly stuff related to emissions and EVAP system].
.
Example: while packing up from Altwheels today, I forgot to put
the service disconnect plug back into the battery
pack, and fired the thing up. beeeeep! oops, found
where I'd thrown it into the back seat and re-inserted back
in the pack. On the fourth reboot, it was cleared and
off I went.
.
_H*
 

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siskbc said:
Also, how long might it take for the car to stop displaying the engine light after tightening the cap, assuming that was the problem?

Thanks all.
My wife's Murano takes several days for the light to go off after re-tightening the gas cap. I'm told it has something to do with re-establishing a vacuum.

It hasn't happened to the Prius yet.

DGStan
 

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Check with Autozone to see if they can read the code. If it is having to do with the gas cap, they probably can clear it too.
 

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Have had no problems with my Prius but had the check eng light issue with Toyota Solara and after replacing gas cap...it takes about 7-10 days to reset...FWIW
 

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It takes a while because the EVAP tests aren't done very
often, and yes, it's a long-term pressure/leakage test over
a few drive cycles.
.
_H*
 
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