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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dan or anybody else with the manuals/wiring diagrams for an '05 Prius [Pkg #4 (AM)],

I know you're all going to think I'm nuts for doing this, but I want to add an EXTERNAL back-up beeper to warn all the people who keep walk'g behind me as I start to move in reverse. I guess because they don't hear an engine running, they don't even notice the back-up lights (at least in the daytime), & sometimes they'll even stop & stand behind my car.

I recently had somebody step behind my car AFTER i checked behind me & started to move. What a look of surprise (first & then a more ominous look next) I got from him. I must say I didn't like that 2nd look he gave me. I also just met a fellow Prius owner from the next town over from me who is being sued for $200,000 for a backing incident.

His car was already powered up as a car pulled in & angle-parked next to him on his left side. He saw the woman hurredly get out & watched her step behind his car in his left outside rearview mirror. He then looked up at his inside rearview mirror---no woman in sight. Next, he checked his right-hand outside rearview mirror---no woman (she must have really been in a rush). He put his car in reverse, turned around to look out the rear window, & started to move. Suddenly he heard a scream, immediately put it in park, & got out to find the woman lying on the ground.

As she had stepped behind his car (just after disappear'g from his left-hand mirror), she dropped something & bent or stooped down to pick it up. That's why he no longer saw her anywhere & thought that in her rush she was completely clear of the area. Being so close to the ground already, the woman just got bumped by the bumper (that's what they're there for, isn't it) & simply toppled over. She let out with the scream, not of pain, but for fear of being run over.

She said she wasn't hurt & showed no visible signs of injury & even refused to let anybody call to get medical attention for her. She was just shaken, surprised, & a little scared about what had just happened. BUT her son was a big-shot attorney in NY city, & when he heard about the incident with his mom he decided to make an example out of the poor Prius owner.

I think that case should have dropped or settled a long time ago (it's been almost a year I think he said), but the Prius owner's attorney & the woman's son are probably just dragging it out to get richer. I don't want anything similar to happen to me. That's why I want an EXTERNAL back-up beeper.

There are reverse light bulbs with beepers built in, but NOT for our #7440 bulb. I've also been told that somebody makes a license plate frame with a built in beeper (anybody know where I can find one of those?) & that would be better to keep the rear of my car look'g neater.

The only thing I've found so far is about the size of a tennis ball with a big bracket for mount'g (& I'm NOT putting that anywhere visible on the back of my car). If I have to use that, I'll mount it under the car on the big tab with the hole in it between the spare tire well & the rear bumper.

But regardless of license plate style (again, can anybody help me with that?) or the tennis ball sized unit, I will need to know which back-up light wire is the hot or positive one. The white one with the black stripe or the red one with the black stripe? I'm assuming the red with black, but you all know what happens when you ASS-U-ME something. So I'd appreciate an answer from somebody who can verify it for me from the wiring daigrams.

Thanks ahead to Dan, Michelle, or anyone else who can verify it for me & to anyone who can point me in the direction of the license plate style beeper.

Ken (in Bolton,Ct)
 

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I have seen replacement clear bulbs for this purpose that have a built-in beeper. Obviously it will be muffled inside the lens, but you might look at Pep Boys,. etc. for a special backup beeper bulb.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey, KTPhil,

I've been to all the big auto parts stores in my area [Pep Boys, Auto Zone, Advance Auto Parts, etc---I just remembered NAPA though (I'll have to check them tomorrow)] with no luck on the lic. plate frame style.

As far as the bulbs you speak about, there are only 2 sizes/replacements made : I think it was for the #1156 (round base with side pins) & the #3157 wedge base. There only seems to be one manufacturer (who got taken over by a new manufacturer) & I talked directly to the (new one's) customer service tech who said they only make those beeper bulbs for the 2 applications I just mentioned & he doesn't know of anyone else who makes it for any other bulb#. He said even though #3157 wedge base appears similar to our #7440 wedge base, it won't work because of the little bumps on the bulb that hold it in place in the socket being in different places on those 2 wedge bases. Because of this, their beeper bulb would soon fall out of its socket & start rattling around iside the tail-light assembly. He ought to know because they make regular automotive bulbs too, not just the beeper bulbs.

In the 4th paragraph UP from the bottom of my previous post, I said that there wasn't a replacement for our #7440 bulb. But if there had been, I would have used 2 of them at $20 each [for twice the sound (even though the manufacturer says you only need one)] because I agree with you that the sound would probably be somewhat muffled inside the tail-light unit.

I'd really like to find that lic. plate frame style beeper that somebody I talked to said they remember being available at one time. That would be easier deal'g with than that big bulky tennis ball sized one that I'm think'g I will end up having to put underneath the car (where road splash may end up giving it a pre-mature death.

Ken (in Bolton,Ct)
 

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sorry, I don't have the wiring diagram. I don't think I could make heads or tails out of it anyways...

On a quick web search, it seems that the models that attach to the reverse lights are an external audible alarm, while the license plate versions are ultrasonic sensors to beep internally to tell the driver that something is behind them.

Of the two, I'd probably go for the reverse sensing equipment (keep noise pollution down, and not everyone knows what the beeping is about). These are sold by Toyota UK dealers and some European dealers, so you can get some reviews by popping over to those local lists.

Alternately, I'd look into installing the reverse camera from the 2006 into your 2004-2005 or through http://www.coastaletech.com/new_page_73.htm ; http://www.coastaletech.com/camera.htm or http://www.coastaletech.com/rear_view_camera.htm for a Classic.
 

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I'm with you on this one CT. Ken V!
I've brought it up on this and other Prius lists, and was ridiculed and told to watch where I'm backing, and that a beeper won't make people get out of the way, and they shouldn't have to anyway............

I have the unit you are talking about on my '88 Vanagon. Its an aftermarket device, looks like the top half of a licence plate holder. The two mounting holes are spaced for the bolt holes in a plate. It has two tiny beepers, and a rectangular reflector between. Works like a hot damn on the big VW van.

However, I took it off this morning looking for a name. No trade name, no brand, not even "Made in C......".

I have several suggestions:
1.) Find a beeping unit (door ajar, seat belt, key in ignition, etc) from under the dash at a wrecker, and mount that in the rear.

2.) buy the beeper bulb, get a suitable socket from a wrecker and mount the whole thing in a safe place under the bumper.

3.)Manouver your car in the mall parking lots, with the window down, going "BRM, BRRRM, BRRRRMMM"!

I'm working on option 1 at the moment, when I get time.

I'm scared and tired of people not realizing a Prius is moving silently.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks,

To Dan, for confirm'g the polarity of the wires.

To spitsnrovers, for taking the time to remove your plate frame unit look'g for some mftr's I. D. & your alternate suggestions. I thought about chg'g the bulb socket (for use still inside the tail-light unit), but the #1156 & #3157 bulbs have a large teardrop shaped globe & are dual filament (I believe), whereas the #7440 Prius back-up bulb is smaller & cylindrical shaped. So the beeper bulbs won't fit into either of the 2 small holes in the clear area of the tail-light assembly (the amber turn signal bulb is the small cylindrical shape too). The bigger socket open'gs (if they are even bigger) would only be in the red areas of the tail-light assembly.

I could just ty-wrap a wreck'g yard socket underneath the bumper as you suggested, but the beeper bulbs are $20 each & are designed for use inside an enclosed tail-light unit free from moisture & road dirt. How long would that $20 beeper bulb last before it shorts out from rain or puddle water splash'g up underneath or before debris or road dirt plug up the sound openings on it? I would have the same problem (maybe) with the under-dash beepers you suggested in option #1 too. At least the larger tennis ball sized unit I mentioned earlier is a sealed unit made to be used externally. It comes with a solidly attached mount'g bracket & only costs $10.

Ken (in Bolton, Ct)
 

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Ken,
You ignoring option 3? :lol: :roll:

If you can get the tennisball sized unit for $10, you're luckier than I. Here I was quoted $30 to 50. They're a commercial looking thing for big trucks I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Now your turn, Michelle,

Thanks for your ideas too. I forgot to say in my 1st post that I did a web search too & found the ultrasonic sensor lic. plate frame (NOT what I'm look'g for).

I also don't think I want to spend the big $$ for the rear camera & adapter kit as that won't fit MY needs either (althought it would have helped the guy getting sued to spot the woman bend'g/stoop'g behind his car).

My problem isn't so much with people stand'g or walk'g behind my car. I could just give the standees a light tap of the wimpy horn, or wait for the walk'g ones to move past.

My problem is with the people who seem to come out of nowhere & STEP behind my car as I'm START'G to move. They don't hear an engine running nearby & seem to be in a tunnel vision daze [so they don't notice the back-up lights (unless it's dark) or the fact that my car is slowly creep'g backwards]. I want the EXTERNAL beeper to AWAKEN these people out of their daze & tell them that something nearby is about to happen & to WAKE UP & look around them. I don't think many people will have trouble know'g what the beep'g means because I'm sure just about everybody has seen delivery trucks back'g up & heard their beeepers.

The auto parts store also has a TALK'G unit that LOUDLY says "this vehicle is about to back up". I had them hook both the beep'g & talk'g units up to a 12 V source so I could hear them. There's no mistak'g what's going to happen with the talk'g one, but it's really annoy'g (especially if you have to back up any distance or a long driveway). That's really a lot more noise polution than the simple beep, beep, beep.

Ken (in Bolton,Ct)
 

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Ct. Ken V said:
I don't think many people will have trouble know'g what the beep'g means because I'm sure just about everybody has seen delivery trucks back'g up & heard their beeepers.
Except for young children (may approach the beeper), inattentive adults (I've had parents with children in hand from a school bus stop walk right in front of one of my previous cars (Saturn SL2, engine on) and just stay there in my way...), animals, and inanimate objects (all of my reversing accidents have been with low rocky outcroppings)...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
O.K. , Michelle,

I'm beginning to see the light in favor of the back-up camera. Still a fairly expensive addition to my '05, though well worth it if it keeps one person from getting hurt.

As far as rock outcroppings, trees, poles, fences, or other inanimate objects that could do body damage to my car : well, I'm not normally back'g up anywhere near those kinds of surround'gs.

Ken (in Bolton,Ct)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks, everyone,

To Earl : for alert'g me to the J C Whitney website---I found what I was look'g for. I hadn't thought about them in years. Thanks again!!

To spitsnrovers : again, for taking the time to remove yours look'g for ID mark'gs. Thank you!!
If you're look'g for a couple more of that lic. plate style for your other cars, definitely check out J C Whitney as Earl suggested. It's there for only $9.99 I believe. Click on "Alarms, Security" in their index or do a word search. I can't remember if I typed "back up beeper" or " back up alarm". The only difference between your old one & their new one is : your reflector between the beeper units is replaced by a strobe light (accord'g to their description).

To Dan : again, for confirm'g the polarity of the wires. Thanks!!

To mrv : for making me consider the rear camera. That expensive choice will sit on the table for a while though (mainly for reasons I already stated in one of the earlier posts) while I evaluate how well the lic. plate frame beeper (with strobe) works out. Thanks to you as well!!

Ken (in Bolton,Ct)
 

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Legal Notice

The Consumer Products Safety Commission has just issued a request for comments on a notice to be affixed to all hybrids. "Caution: Do not stand, sit or stoop behind this vehicle. This vehicle may begin to move in the reverse direction without any engine start or run noises to indicate that is preparing to move."
 

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Like anyone is going to read, let alone pay attention, to such notice.

So what are they going to do when the dream of fuel cell vehicles, or any vehicle that uses electric drive, becomes commonplace?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Dennis (romad),

That's exactly the item I found & was trying to tell spitsnrovers about after I took Earl's suggestion to go to J C Whitney's website. I'm not even a mediocre computer savvy person, so I don't know how to post links to a specific site or item like I wanted to for spitsnrovers (in case he wanted additional units or to upgrade from his with a reflector to one with a strobe light too). Thanks, Dennis, for doing it for all to see.

Ken (in Bolton,Ct)
 
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