Symptoms of display failure
- The problem: After living with an intermittent failure of the display on my 2005 Prius for a month and getting a costly estimate for a repair by the dealer, I decided to try to fix it myself. The online videos (below) seemed intimidating.
- Time and difficulty required: The disassembly, repair, and assembly went much easier than I expected - around 30-40 minutes. (I could do it again in half the time.)
- Savings: Because I didn't find anything wrong, I expected the repair not to work. BUT after 2 months, the repair is still working. Saved $800.
- No replacement parts required.
- Common tools required: Phillips screwdriver, 10 mm socket - no extension required, a micro-tip soldering iron (I used a fine tip, but you can make your own, see the 2nd link).
- My recommendation:
- Even if your display problem is different, try this repair. Mine was different than what was reported, but the fix still worked.
- If you don't want to try this yourself, ask a handy person to do it and save $800.
- It's possible that the soldering step may not have even been necessary (I saw nothing amiss): just disassembling the display unit and reassembling may have been what fixed the problem, fixing poor connections in the unit.
- Over a period of a week, the display on my 2005 Prius would go blank and unusable for many minutes. Colder weather seemed to make it worse - lessening as the interior of the car heated up.
- When the display would come back, using the display buttons would cause it to go blank again - the map functions were unavailable. But air conditioning and stereo would work using the steering wheel buttons. Trying to access the AC, radio, map buttons on the display unit would cause it to reset again.
- The Toyota dealer said to wait until it totally failed and they would repair it, for around $800.
- I read online other display failure symptoms (see third link below), different than above, but I'm guessing they all trace back to the same problem - documented in the second link below.
Online resources used used
- Be sure the car is off and the display is dark before continuing - don't proceed with the car activated. The display unit has high voltages that might be a problem if the car is on.
- This repair requires minor skill in dashboard disassembly, but much less than I thought - fairly easy following the first video.
- It also requires disassembling the display module (moderate difficulty of about 12 screws but well documented in the second link). This is probably the most challenging, but if you are comfortable with disassembling electronics, then it's easy.
- Finally, a micro-soldering of a terminal is required, but common for any repairs on modern circuit boards (also identified in the second link). The size of the terminal is the smallest I've ever soldered - just don't overheat it.
- Dash disassembly: Just follow the first video, stopping at each step - about 10 minutes max with fumbling. Once you get the hang of the tension clips and their removal directions, it goes fast. Nothing broke. 5 minutes to restore, reversing the process. Stop following the first video when the display unit is removed.
- Display unit disassembly: The disassembly is straightforward - using the webpage is optional. You must fully disassemble to get to the circuit board with the possible cracked solder joint. Requires about 5-10 minutes.
- Repair: Finding the "pin 60" to resolder is a bit of a hunt, but use the second link above. Look for "60" on the circuit board. Solder using a very small tip requires some skill, but a bit of practice will help. Don't over-solder or over-heat: lightly tin your iron and then touch the terminal. I could not see any hairline crack, but I just soldered it anyway. 5 minutes to complete.
- Reverse the disassemblies
- Hint: Some of the wires in the display unit are fragile and their positioning through the different layers is not obvious. Taking photos of the pieces before disassembly might help.
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