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I have had 2 different problems in the one week and 2 days I've owned my new Prius. At 100 miles, the check engine light went on (even though I couldn't find anything specific about it in that TERRIBLE manual...with the index from Planet Gobbledygook). We took it to the dealer, they said they checked everything and reset something to do with the catalytic converter...and sent us home.

Today - I noticed that when I tried to go uphill, the car was straining. Then, an odor of rotten eggs came into the car. I tried to convince myself that it was coming from the surrounding area instead of from my NEW car. When I re-started the car, about 2 hours later, all of the lights on the panel came on - (the exclamation point and all the other symbols were easy to see for the first time since I've driven the car) - but they were a faint yellow, so that I thought perhaps I was hallucinating. I tried to convince myself that maybe I could see them b/c the sun was shining onto the dash (no such luck). I had to get somewhere, so I kept driving...of course...hoping nothing terrible would happen, but imagining the worst.

When I got back in about an hour later to drive myself home, the lights did not go back on. On the other hand, I noticed the car had little pick-up, and the brakes made a slight squealing, squeaking noise each time I gently braked.

Is this car a lemon? Is this normal - or do these breakdowns only happen to ME? Man oh man, I am so discouraged. I waited 7 months for THIS?
 

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It's time to take it to the service people. You need to give them a chance to diagnose and fix it before assuming that it's a lemon.

Good luck, and please keep us posted.
 

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the check engine light coming on within the first 100 miles or so is a common issue. see TSB EG018-03. some gunk burns off and lands on the O2 sensors (related to the catalytic converter), and triggers the check engine light. Fix is to clear the code, and drive on the highway a bit to burn the rest of it off. No biggie. (happened twice in the first 125 miles or so on my 2004.)
(another common cause for the check engine light only to come on is to not screw on the gas cap tightly.)

yes, if the car is in the correct angle of direct sunlight, it'll appear as if all of the dash lights have come on. any odd "ding" sound with it? If the ! on the dash came on, you'd also get a warning screen on the LCD, which error of the three was highlighted?

You are aware of how the CVT works? You cannot listen to the speed of the gas engine. (BTW: the gas engine is limited to about 4500 or 5000 RPM, so it is never straining.)
If you are going up a steep hill, the engine RPM will increase (sound like it's "straining") because of the higher power demand. If you are going down a hill, it's possible for the gas engine to shut off, even if you're going the same speed up the hill and down. Quite often people new to a CVT will accuse the car of no pickup, as they are used to driving by engine sound, and instinctively back off of the accelerator pedal when the engine speed increases like it's supposed to.

A rotten egg smell is usually from sulfur in the gasoline. It can happen to any car. Toyota has TSB EG003-03 listed for All Toyota models/years, regarding a sulfur smell, and it's usually the fuel. Try a different gas station.

If you don't want to ask your dealership to check over your car for issues, ask another Prius driver in your area with a "normal" car to swap with you for a short while (drive around the block, or a few days, whatever) and see if it is your car, or your expectations about it.
 

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Then, an odor of rotten eggs came into the car. I tried to convince myself that it was coming from the surrounding area instead of from my NEW car.
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Most people blame that on their dog.
It may have a few bugs is all. Don't let it get you down. On the other hand would you believe my mother's best friend got Toyota to take back her Camry under the lemon law? I was shocked but it just shows it can happen even with the best of their cars.

jim
 
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