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Discussion Starter #1
So I know I've been asking some Q's that are a bit more off the wall and I'm really hoping someone knows the answer to this because even a lot of people at my work want to know. On the front bumper of the 04 Prius, on the driver side, there's a circle that looks like it was a piece later added or that is removable. People at my work speculated it was either a place to plug in (not likely! :wink: ) or for the laser assisted cruise control (not an option on the prius)
So my friends, what the HECK is the point of this little circle? The entire staff of the Seal bach Macaroni Grill would appreciate the correct info. :D

A close up pic of this query can be seen on John1701A's website. It is in prius photo album #60, second photo. Enlarge and you can clearly see it.

Thanks!
 

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The circle in the front bumper is a cover that is removed so that you can insert the tow hook (located in the trunk with the spare tire), just in case you need to be pulled out of a ditch or pulled onto a flatbed.
 

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I would suggest you open up the little cover and grease the threads where the pin screws into the bumper. I went to use the one on my '01 and it was rusted useless.
 

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I tried to get it open the other day, using a credit card, and it seemed very hard to get out. I never got it out, for I was afraid of bending the credit card.
 

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retiredautodealer wrote
I suppose you could use it for a tow hook but it's actusl purpose is as a tie down hook on the ship.
If it's actual purpose is a tie down on the ship, why do they have a molded spot for it in the back of the car?

If our cars did not have this hook, you would have to hook a tow cable to something under the car. With most winches on flatbed tow trucks sitting at least 4-5' in the air when the bed is tillted, the tow cable would try to rip it's way through the lower air dam as you winch the car onto the bed.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Reply and a seperate Q

Thanks Michele and Frenchie! Don't think I ever would have guessed that. I read the entire string you linked me to. Is it really on most new cars in the market?
And for reference, so I'll know (that Japanese diagram was pretty small) does it completely pop out (remove), is it hinged, or...? I don't want to try and take it off the wrong way and break it or something (the flip cap for the 12v under the stereo broke the first time I opened it :cry: and I don't want a big ol' hole in my front bumper.

On a seperate note, I made a recent post mentioning that I wanted to put racing seats in, but then I did some research and realized my side airbags are IN the seats... I assumed they were in the doors or the moulding... Are racing seats available that have side airbags preloaded? And if so, OBVIOUSLY this is an aftermarket idea so Toyota won't even give me a yes or no, but perhaps anyone with experience in the matter (or can ask their friends?) Can they be successfully installed to provide the same protection as those found in my current, factory seats?

Thank you!
 

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Brad,

If you are looking for a company that makes a seat to work with airbags, I don't think you will find one. The biggest issue would be liability. The second issue would be the way the airbag mounts in the seat. What I mean is Toyota doesn't use the same side airbag for all their cars (too many mounting variations). I think your only option if you really want to change the seats is to fool the system into thinking the bags are still installed in the car. Let me know if that is the option you want to do and I will tell you how to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Seat covers then?

gary91 said:
Brad,

If you are looking for a company that makes a seat to work with airbags, I don't think you will find one. The biggest issue would be liability. The second issue would be the way the airbag mounts in the seat. What I mean is Toyota doesn't use the same side airbag for all their cars (too many mounting variations). I think your only option if you really want to change the seats is to fool the system into thinking the bags are still in the installed in the car. Let me know if that is the option you want to do and I will tell you how to do it.
Thanks Gary. I think I'll pass on fooling the system since I partially got #9 for the extra airbags. Do they make seatcovers that can break away, or whatever the coversactually do when the airbags need to come out?
 

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Re: Reply and a seperate Q

bradca21 said:
And for reference... does it completely pop out (remove), is it hinged, or...? I don't want to try and take it off the wrong way and break it or something (the flip cap for the 12v under the stereo broke the first time I opened it :cry: and I don't want a big ol' hole in my front bumper.
I would suggest you take it off just for the practice. Try finding and screwing in the tow eyelet too. If you ever need it, you are going to need it bad, and you will want it NOW. That is not the best time to learn how it works. The cover is designed to pop on and off. It just dangles there.

If you know how to do it yourself, you will not have to stand by helplessly while the night shift monkey from Big Al's Discount-4-Cash Towing tries pulling your car out by the plastic bumper cover, the mirror, the door handles, radiator frame, etc.
 

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Re: Seat covers then?

>Thanks Gary. I think I'll pass on fooling the system since I partially got >#9 for the extra airbags. Do they make seatcovers that can break >away, or whatever the coversactually do when the airbags need to >come out?

Was thinking about just putting regular ones on but the wife said , coffee stain or sombody possibly getting hurt

I was considering cutting the outside of the seatcover and sewing velcro
in the seam and barely attaching them together

Idea of a friend

Same friend told me of somebody getting in a wreck with nobody in the passengers seat and the airbag put a nice bulge in the windshield
 

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seat fabric and covers

The seat fabric is already fairly easy to clean and stain resistant. (It's made by an Italian firm that usually sells it to luxury models...) I have attached their fabric care instructions.

For seat covers, if you plan on using them I'd suggest finding the ones that are made specifically for in-seat side air bags, that have the specially cut sides with break-away threads.
 

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mrv said:
The entire circle for the towing eyelet comes off, but is attached to the bumper by a small plastic tether so it won't get lost. Maybe 1" at most it'll hang there.
So is it just a matter of popping out the cover with a screwdriver or something similar?

Louie
 

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I would hope there is a simple way of removing this plug without damaging the paint job. I wouldn't go near it with a screwdriver unless it was positively necessary. It's location is right up front where damaged it would look like the "sore thumb" I found referance to it the first day of perusing the manual but no referance to removing it.
 
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