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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just to review, I had the fuel gauge TSB - both parts - done in late January. They remove the dash to do this service. By the first 3rd week of February I noticed the dash and speedo instrument panel bouncing around as I drove over bumps in the road. Brought it in, waited 5 days for parts and they "fixed" it. Problem not fixed, got worse over the month of March. Needless to say, the fuel gauge TSB was also completely ineffective. But that's another post.

Today I brought it in again and was told that the reason there's play under the large horizontal dash surface (the part starting from the windshield in, ending where it abuts the black dash part behind the steering wheel) when you press down on it is that that surface is only a 1/4 inch thick cover with nothing under it to support it. The instrument pod is attached to the underside of it and if the dash moves, the pod moves. After they took it apart now multiple times, and after another 2000 miles, the plastic clips have loosened up so it's not held in tightly. They're ordering another dash cover, hoping that the new plastic attachment clips will be tauter and hold more tightly. The part may come in tomorrow or in 6 weeks. I'll let you know! In the meantime, at least I'm still driving my Prius, not a loaner, and I was reassured that the electronics in the instrument pod will not become disconnected. I hope that's true. I'm disappointed in Toyota's design and QC here. Never had a Toyota that felt so flimsy. My '87 Corolla was a tank in comparison.

So really, don't bother with the fuel gauge TSB. I surmised that it's all about the bag not expanding well in cold weather. This was confirmed by 2 Prius techs at my dealership.

Susan
'04 Silver BC
19975 miles
I still love this car - just frustrated with the dealership and Toyota's corner-cutting.
 

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This is my main concern about the longetivity of the car. I have confidence in the hybrid system, but the screwless tab design of the plastic dash panels makes me worry that in a few years when it has gotten brittle, any dash repair will make the thing flop and rattle. I guess the only solution will be to use double stick tape and foam rubber to dampen and adhere the dash parts. This design sounds good on paper but in reality I think it will be a liability. To me, that says get all warrantee/TSB work done early, so the parts will be replaced at their cost, not yours.
 

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:roll: Susan5s' experience is why I have elected (so far) to *NOT* have the guess-gauge TSB done. I have been ambivalent about such dis-assembly/re-assembly in the dash structure. My nearest dealer confessed that they had not done this TSB and other Dallas area dealers are not very close to my home.

Currently, I am filling the tank at one non-blinking pip on the guess gauge and getting about 7 to 7.5 gallons in - a small inconvenience to having a bad replacement job. Not only that, but several have reported no noticeable difference in practical fuel capacity after the TSB.

[SIGH] - One of the priviledges of being on the "cutting edge!"
 

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Susan5s said:
So really, don't bother with the fuel gauge TSB. I surmised that it's all about the bag not expanding well in cold weather. This was confirmed by 2 Prius techs at my dealership.
My '04 only needed the fill tube part of the TSB, which was done during dealer prep when my car arrived last June. I have been consistent about filling up at "two-pips" and noticed that while the car took in 8 or more gallons last summer, the capacity seemed to drop to between 7.2 and 7.5 gallons in winter (~35 F in daytime). Now that Spring has arrived and it's 60-70 F, the bladder is holding nearly 8 gallons.
 

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I have felt sorry :cry: since day 1 for the 2004 owners who have had to go through this TSB mess regarding the bladder, etc. It seems like such a mess to go through and the results of the TSB seem only to be a mildly good improvement over the pre TSB situation. And to top it off, the dealers doing the TSB do not seem to have the concern for reassembly quality.

I've driven cars with a limited amount of these friction clips, and they have either worked out wonderfully, or they have been an abomination. The most previous vehicle that I had with them was out of the 80s, and they were an abomination, however the friction clip system is heavily used in all Toyotas right now, and I'm inclined to believe they have figured out how to make them work correctly. Or at least I hope that is the case.

Another thing I have been pondering, why North American models of the car have the bladder, but apparently European models do not?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, I have some updates. I thought the problem was pretty much fixed when I got the car back in May smelling of epoxy. It seemed pretty solid, but within a few hundred miles it was bouncing again. And I noticed that the defoster grill just under the windshield was broken and out of place *again*- clearly from being bounced out. So today I took it in for my 25K servicing and asked them to look into the dash once again. I was given the appointment for today since some Toyota Engineers were lined up to make their monthly visit to Morristown Toyota (NJ) so they took a look. I now have an appointment for next month when they're there again to reassemble the dash with new innards - something about what I picture as molded styrofoam over which they'll put the skin of the dash. Think that'll help? :roll:

I should say that the dealership is not giving me any kind of argument about this. They're getting me free loaners and it seems like the techs are doing whatever they think is best - it just hasn't worked up to now. So I'm not angry, just frustrated.

I love my car. I don't love that it feels so cheap. When it's better I'll feel better.

Susan
04 silver BC
26500 miles
50.2 this tank
 

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A question and a comment
the question, how do we find out about TSB's as the dealer is not going to let you know unless it is a recall.
and I agree with the statements about some of the quality problems, I had some of the rear seat belt holders come loose and the seat latch break at less the 300 miles this is my 3rd toy and the first one I have ever had assembly detals like this show up that quick
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi, Bigguy,

Toyota mails out notices of TSB's to customers when they are issued. I originally found out about each one I've received - 3, I think - by reading this board and PriusChat and the Yahoo boards.

I'm surprised and dismayed to read of your issues. Those are not the kinds of things one would expect from Toyota, and I haven't heard or read from anyone else of such defects. Did the dealership make good on them?

Susan
 

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I've had my 04 Prius for a 11 months now. No problems and no TSB's except the Nav update. I called Toyota HQ recently and they checked my VIN # and said there were none outstanding.
My fill-up amounts when the last pip just starts blinking have varied from 8 to 11 gallons. An yes..I keep pumping till it's FULL.
I have two buddies who got theirs within a few weeks of mine and we, collectively have had zero maintenance complaints. One of em has over 40K miles on it (with the original Goodyears) Are we the exceptions..?
I'm convinced that I won't let ANYONE take my car apart as long as it's running OK.
 

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:roll: I'm with JDavies re: the Fuel Gauge TSB. I, too, have had my Prius for ~11 months and elected to NOT have the Fuel Gauge TSB done. Rather subscribing to the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" school of thought.

This thread of posts is an example of unexpected/unwanted results from disassembly/re-assembly of the dash area to provide a "fix" which frequently does not result in substantial improvement in the "Guess Gauge."
 

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Two reasons to GET the TSB:

1) I kinda like the lack of the rubber gasket after the TSB. I can hear the filling process better, and no pressure will build up to cause a bunch of gas to spew out. Small spills are more likely, though.

2) The gauge seems closer to correct. 4 gallons from (crammed) full to first bar gone, and with one bar left I've usually gone through around 10 gallons total (again, really full)...
 

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Let's not confuse Technical Service Bulletins, which can be anything from "this is how you use the scanner" to "If you get a car with this error code, do this reprogramming" to "If you get a car with this error code, the inverter might be shorted out due to a coolant leak"
Even if your car's vin qualifies, it won't come up on any searches by vin.

A Campaign is what one would consider a recall. It is mailed out to customers, dealers and technicians for issues that need to be dealt with, whether there's a problem or not.
The gas guage and the brake light and the DVD are some. HQ or your dealer can check if your car needs any of these.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Update

As of my appointment last week, I think they finally may have solved the bouncing dash problem. However, there was some confusion about whether or not field engineers worked on the car. Various service people at the dealership said various things, like the engineers were not actually at the dealership during my Oct. appointment. Then the service manager said they were there. At this point I have no idea, but I got the car back and dash seems pretty solid. I saw some mechanic's notes about reinforcing the underlayment and the manager swore to me it won't happen again.

I'm considering going to a different dealership because I feel like I've been lied to and manipulated.

Now that the weather's cooler here in NJ, my tank is harder and harder to fill. Yesterday, with 250 miles on the tank, 46 mpg on the MFD, 4 bars left and a trip to NYC coming up, I had to squeeze in 4.6 gallons. I know it didn't fill because the 1st two bars are now gone with 110 miles on the tank. All summer, it took 150 miles to lose the first bar. *sigh* What exactly was the point of that fuel gauge TSB again??? :roll:
 

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I took my 04 in and had the work done, haven't seen any noticeable improvement. Last week I was driving to Kansas City and after about 390 miles on the tank of gas, the last bar started flashing and it beeped. I stopped and put in 3 gallons of gas, enough to get me to KC but when I started out again the last bar was still blinking. I stopped, shut down completely and started again, still blinking. I reset trip meter B so I'd know how far I'd driven and went on. When I filled up in Kansas City, about 70 miles later, It only take about 7.5 gallons. The fuel gauge is not completely worthless but it's close. The trip meter is what I go by.
 

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Susan, the gas gauge (Guess Gauge) is the one thing I don't like about the Prius. I have just learned to accept its inaccuracies. I judge my fill-up periods more by miles driven that I do using the guess gauge.
 

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Re: Update

Susan5s said:
As of my appointment last week, I think they finally may have solved the bouncing dash problem. However, there was some confusion about whether or not field engineers worked on the car. Various service people at the dealership said various things, like the engineers were not actually at the dealership during my Oct. appointment. Then the service manager said they were there. At this point I have no idea, but I got the car back and dash seems pretty solid. I saw some mechanic's notes about reinforcing the underlayment and the manager swore to me it won't happen again.

I'm considering going to a different dealership because I feel like I've been lied to and manipulated.

Now that the weather's cooler here in NJ, my tank is harder and harder to fill. Yesterday, with 250 miles on the tank, 46 mpg on the MFD, 4 bars left and a trip to NYC coming up, I had to squeeze in 4.6 gallons. I know it didn't fill because the 1st two bars are now gone with 110 miles on the tank. All summer, it took 150 miles to lose the first bar. *sigh* What exactly was the point of that fuel gauge TSB again??? :roll:
Cooler weather will cause you to burn more gas. It's a function of the physics of thermodynamics. Additionally, if the temps go below 40F or so, your bladdered gas tank's capacity will decrease by as much as 1.5 gallons.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi, Bif,

What exactly was the point of that fuel gauge TSB again?

Your bladdered gas tank's capacity will decrease by as much as 1.5 gallons

Yes, that's my point exactly. The guess gauge problem has more to do with the bladder and temperature than constant tank capacity calibration of gas. So what the point of the whole TSB procedure was I have no idea. But I'm getting over the frustration some because the rest of the car is so great.

I realized that the tech "cool" factor is one of the things that pleases me so much about this car. I'm just as tickled by how cool jump drives are. I only own one computer and no handhelds or iPods, so I have no use for one, but I really want one anyway!! :lol:

Susan
 

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I believe the point of the TSB was because many were running out of gas when within only a few miles, they had 1 or 2 bars left. My guess is that Toyota probably fixed the tank design so that gas is more likely to be at the outlet, and that the 'reserve threshold' was higher.

As for still blinking at 3 gallons, it should indicate the new level after putting in 2.5 gallons, but even 3 gallons might keep the original displayed level. It might have gone up one or 2 bars if you had put in 4 gallons.
 
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