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Discussion Starter #1
Just got my Prius 2 days ago, about 200 miles on it so far. Today the sun is out, and I can barely read the screen. I have set it to "daytime" mode, and increased the brightness as high as possible. At some points, all I can see is finger print smears on the screen. Any ideas? :?
 

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Re: Dim screen

The screen can be quite dim when it is cold, and never is bright
enough to see if the sun is shining directly on it. If it was very cold,
simply wait for the car interior to warm up. If direct sunshine is
a problem, wait until you're driving in a different direction or the
sun is further overhead and it won't shine directly on the screen
anymore.

Be sure that you used the "Display" button and the touch-screen
itself to turn the brightness up; the dashboard knob doesn't control
the MD display brightness.
 

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Since you say you've selected the day mode, that means you also have parking or headlights on. When your lights are on, the backlight in the MD doesn't run at full power. All that the day mode does that I can see is tell the computer to draw the brownish background instead of leaving it black. As an experiment best done at night, turn your lights on, and set day-mode on the MD. Then turn your lights off. You'll see quite clearly that the "day-mode" is just the background, and that the display is still darkened when your lights are on.

I need to go play in my car again, but the instrumentation dimmer knob does have an effect on the MD when you turn it all the way up. I can't remember if it only sets day mode, or if it reverts to headlight off mode, but it definitely does something.

This is all based on my 2002, but I suspect 2003s behave the same way. I also concur with the previous poster's comment about cold weather. Until the MD warms up, it will be dimmer than normal. This is true of all LCD backlights I've seen; the flat-panel displays in my office are by the window, and are also dim on cold mornings.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Harry and Award, now I feel really stupid! I have to drive through 2 long tunnels to get to work, and had turned the parking lights on. I'm used to a car that has an alarm if you leave the lights on, Prius does not, it just shuts them off. So, this was operator error, :oops: not the car, it's working fine now!
 

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Dim Display

Another tip: Check your sunglasses. If you have polarized lenses, the display might appear dim or black because of the lenses in your sunglasses.

Tip your head 90 degrees to the right and left while looking at the display. If it gets brighter and dimmer while your head is tipped to the side, it's your glasses.

Another clue is to look through your rear window with your sunglasses on. If you see gray polkadots, your sunglasses are polarized.

The display is polarized because of the liquid crystal inside the glass panel. I don't want to go into a technical explanation of how liquid crystals work, but suffice it to say that they are polarized. For example, try looking at a watch or calculator with an LCD display, while wearing polarized sunglasses. By rotating the device, you will see the display alternate between black and normal.

Not much you can do about that, except don't wear the sunglasses, get new sunglasses that aren't polarized, or just put up with it. -- Just a small annoyance that is certainly not a good reason to avoid buying a Prius (or about any car with an LCD panel in the dash).
 
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