Prius Hack: Enjoy the Silence

By | March 16, 2008

hack_your_prius_2.jpg…This week’s post goes out to other North American Toyota Prius owners who, like me, fail to see the logic of having the car beep on the inside when driving in reverse! Are you a 2004-2008 Prius owner suffering from this cacophony? If so read on… while the instructions below have been available on the Internet for a while, I regularly meet Prius owners who are unaware of this and are begging for a way to put an end to the annoyance.

BONUS: a variant on this hack, detailed below, will also turn off your seat belt warning beeps if you so desire. Happy Prius Hacking (ecofabulous takes no responsibility if you choose to apply these tips and then back into a tree or get a ticket for forgetting to buckle up).

Instructions (from our friends at PriusChat.com):

  1. Power on the car with your foot on the brake to IG-ON or READY. IG-ON will do for this purpose.
  2. Using the Trip/ODO button, set the Trip/ODO display to ODO (not Trip A or Trip B ).
  3. Power off the car.
  4. Now power the car to READY (brake on). This is required so that step 6 works correctly.
  5. Within 6 seconds of powering on, press and hold the Trip/ODO button for 10 seconds or more (there is no indication… just count).
  6. While still holding ODO *after* the 10 seconds, shift the “gear” selector to R, then press the P button. Now release the Trip/ODO button.
  7. If the last step was successful, “b on” or “b off” should be displayed in the location where the Trip Odometer or Odometer is normally displayed (front dash area). “b on” is beep on (default), and “b off” is beep off.
  8. Press Trip/ODO to toggle the mode.
  9. Now power the car off to exit the toggle mode.
  10. Power the car on to READY and confirm the reverse beep status by shifting to R. The beep should not be audible if “b off” was selected, and should be audible if “b on” was selected.

Seatbelt beep: The driver and passenger seatbelt reminder chime can be disabled or enabled using similar steps. Instead of shifting from P to R to P in step 6, simply buckle then unbuckle the appropriate seatbelt while continuing to depress the Trip/ODO button. – ecofab

Updated  3.22.2009. The above is also listed on Wikihow with some caveats:

  • To re-enable reverse beep, repeat the procedure. “b off” will be displayed in step 7. Toggle it to “b on” in step 8.
  • Please note that this procedure will work ONLY on a North American model Prius, not on any other model.
  • This procedure will not work if a passenger (or any other object) is sitting in the passenger seat. However, there is some discussion about whether this tip is actually correct. It may work just fine whether or not someone’s sitting in the passenger seat.
  • To disable the seat belt beep use same steps as above, but instead of shifting into reverse, fasten the driver’s seat belt and then quickly press “park”.
  • The reverse and set belt beeps are there for your safety. Be aware that if you turn them off, you will not be warned that you’re in reverse or that someone’s not wearing their seat belt.
  • Whether you disable the reverse beep or not, you should be aware that it is only audible inside the car. It does not warn pedestrians that you are reversing your silent car.

6 thoughts on “Prius Hack: Enjoy the Silence

  1. mirko

    boolshit. I just spend half an hour in the car trying this rediculous procedure. It DOESN’T work on Prius 2008.

  2. Xeno Post author

    Worked for me with a 2008. Did you give it the full 10 seconds and follow all of the other directions exactly?

    Do you have a North American model Prius? To find out, use this site to check your VIN number and see in which country your Prius originated. Sorry if you wasted time on this with a non North American model.

    Here is more from Yahoo Answers:

    The reverse beep is only on 2004-current NHW20 Prius. It is only heard inside the cabin, to remind the driver of what “gear” that they are in. (It is not heard outside of the car.)

    There is a certain button-pressing dance that can be done to disable the reverse-beep, but it may take you a few tries to get the procedure done correctly. The reverse-beep disable only works on North American Prius, so if you’re in the UK/Europe/Australia – sorry, it won’t work for your Prius. (However, the similar seatbelt beep disable procedure works on all NHW20 Prius.) Should your 12v battery be disconnected (or go flat), then when it is reconnected the Prius will revert to default/beeping again until you turn it off again.

    Reverse beep disable instructions:
    http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/Priu
    http://www.vfaq.net/FAQ-misc.html#revers
    http://www.priusonline.com/viewtopic.php

    Don’t bother asking your dealer about it. Even if they know that the procedure is listed in the Repair Manual, they are more than likely to tell you that the reverse beep is a standard safety item and for liability reasons they will not disable it.

    (I know of quite a few owners who have praised having the reverse beep, as that saved them from hitting something accidentially. The “gear shift” joystick always returns to a default position, so you cannot tell by feel what “gear” you are in – you have to look at the box on the PRNDB display. The location of the R position on the joystick does manage to confuse some people.)

    (If you have a non-North American Prius, then to get rid of the reverse beep you would have to cut a wire. However, that would also stop some other appropriate beeps. I don’t know anyone who has been daring enough to try that yet.)

    (I think I recall reading that in some countries (UK mainly) the dealer may fit an aftermarket accessory item that has a separate beeper to warn the driver of how close they are reversing to another item, and this item’s beeping can interfere with the Prius’ default reverse-reminder beeping. are you maybe asking about this dealer-added item?)…

  3. tsuchan

    More about the seatbelt beep in case you didn’t get it to work. Xeno’s quote from Wiki Answers says non-North American Prius cannot disable the reverse beep without cutting a wire. That may, perhaps, be true, because when I followed the instructions above I was unable to get the B-ON message. However, for me the reverse beep is nothing – absolutely nothing – compared to the enraging seatbelt beep. And I tried and better tried to disable that before succeeding, so I’ll share my method. This worked on a UK Series 2 Prius (sold from late 2003).

    Power on the car with your foot on the brake to IG-ON or READY. IG-ON will do for this purpose.
    Using the Trip/ODO button, set the Trip/ODO display to ODO (not Trip A or Trip B ). (If you know your ODO is already set appropriately, you can omit the first two steps.)
    Power off the car.
    Now power the car to READY (brake on). This is required so that step 6 works correctly.
    Within 6 seconds of powering on *and not before the READY light appears*, press and hold the Trip/ODO button for 10 seconds or more (there is no indication… just count).
    While still holding ODO *after* the 10 seconds, plug-in the seat-belt and leave it plugged-in. (If you want to disable the passenger belt-beep, do it on a completely separate run-through of these instructions, and make sure someone or something heavy is on the passenger seat to trigger the seatbelt warning from the start.)
    If the last step was successful, “b on” or “b off” should be displayed in the location where the Trip Odometer or Odometer is normally displayed (front dash area). “b on” is beep on (default), and “b off” is beep off.
    Press Trip/ODO to toggle the mode. That is, if B-ON is displayed, press the ODO button so it becomes B-OFF. You’ve only got a few seconds to operate this toggle before it becomes unavailable.
    Now power the car off to exit the toggle mode.
    Power the car on to READY and confirm the seatbelt beep status by driving the car some distance. The beep should not be audible if “b off” was selected, and should be audible if “b on” was selected.

    Good luck.

    1. Xeno Post author

      Timely as I just learned another Prius trick today. The orange “Maint Reqd” dash light is just a timer. It does not sense any problems according to my Toyota dealer. It seems to go off even if you don’t have any maintenance items set. If you have all your maintenance done (oil, tires) and want to turn off that light, I was told to hit the ODO button until the odometer readout is showing (not Trip) then power off and power on while holding down the ODO button.. I think about ten secs. Didn’t try it myself yet.

      Sent from my iPhone

  4. Harding

    I just heard Toyota is in the process of recalling all vehicles with braking problems . My brother drives a Toyota, can the Toyota be used before the recall?

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