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Here we go again: gas prices are spiking and sales of hybrid are zooming. The economics of buying a hybrid—more demand than supply—also mean that popular models, like the Toyota Prius, will cost a bit more. Given these trends, it’s a great time to revisit our expert guide to maximizing mpg in a Toyota Prius—so […]

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Diesel vehicles now account for nearly half of all new vehicle sales in Europe. In some European countries (such as France), diesel vehicles account for as much as 70 percent of new car sales. Are diesel vehicles a viable alternative to hybrids? The Diesel Difference Diesels are also known as compression ignition engines, and have […]

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We believe that referring unfamiliar (and sometimes unprofitable) work to the dealer will slowly chip away at our business volume, and our skill set. Every year new systems and designs are introduced. Sooner or later a shop that doesn’t keep up with new technology will find the number of people willing bring their car in […]

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Then I thought, “What if the new Key Transponder ECU comes programmed when sold with the lock set?” There is no mention of this in the instructions, but wanting to avoid the shame of failure, and the fear of having the same problem with the new part, provided me with all the motivation I needed […]

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My troubles didn’t end when I hooked up the battery charger. I put one of the new code cut RFID keys in the lock cylinder. The immobilizer light (yellow arrow) did not come on and stay on when the key was inserted in the lock cylinder and turned to the on position, as it should […]

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After relaxing my arm and stuffing it in bit by bit, I was able remove the bracket bolt, unplug the connector, and remove the ECU. Steering column support shaped indentations in my arm chronicle my progress. The hardest part was getting the connector lined up and plugged into the new ECU. Once the new Key […]

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After moving the wrong black box out of the way, we were able to see the top of the bolt that secures the bracket for the Key Transponder ECU (red arrow). The photo doesn’t really show how deep inside the dash the ECU is. Or how taut that wiring harness is above the bracket. Or […]

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When we got the call for a quote to replace the key transponder ECU, we checked the key registration procedure in the manual and it looked pretty easy. There was no flat rate time for replacing the Key Transponder ECU, but it looked like it would be under the lower portion of the dash on […]

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The Toyota Prius uses an “immobilizer” system to prevent anyone from starting the car without a special key. The key contains a RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chip in the head of the key. When the key is near the antenna loop around the ignition lock cylinder and the ignition switch is in the “on” position, […]

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