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Our 2003 Prius has 270K and gets a P0303 Misfire Detected error that kicks on the check engine light during a cold start-up. After the engine warms up for a few minutes it runs fine and the I can clear the code with it not reappearing unless it is cold (e.g. next morning). Mechanics confirmed it is not the fuel injector, spark, plugs, etc. and that it may be the ring, piston, etc. The fix is an engine replacement since I have been told the 1st gen Prius was not designed for ring jobs. Obviously a $4K+/- engine replacement exceeds the value of the car.

With the engine light on, it is an automatic SMOG failure. The car runs good and is in good shape otherwise and I hate and cannot afford to get rid of...yet.

Suggestions? What is the drive cycle for a Prius and does it include cold cycles to pacify the (California) SMOG computer?
 
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