Prius won’t turn off? Here’s the solution!

My Prius doesn’t turn off when I press the power button

The 2004-2009 Prius has a common issue that can make it impossible to turn the car off in the normal way. Here’s how you can turn your Prius off if this happens to you.

  1. Insert the Smart key into the key slot in the dashboard. You’ll find it to the right of the steering wheel, under the Power button.
  2. Press and hold the power button.
  3. Remove the key from the slot.

That should get the Prius to turn off.

inserting smart key into key slot

Why won’t the Prius shut off?

When your Toyota Prius won’t turn off no dash lights, the most common cause is the combination meter. The combination meter is the gauge with green LEDs behind the steering wheel. It has the speedometer, fuel gauge, and shift selector position as well as a few other things. When the combination meter fails, there are usually a few symptoms:

  1. The speedometer is blank
  2. The rear hatch may not open
  3. The car won’t turn off

How to repair the problem

The fix is to repair or replace the combination meter. The combination meter stores the odometer data, so the current mileage must be programmed into the new unit. It also houses the inclination meter, which is necessary for an accurate fuel level calculation due to the Prius fuel tank bladder.

New combination meter

If you’d like a new combination meter, the process goes like this. First, we’ll require a full deposit for the part before ordering. Once ordered, it’s not returnable, since your mileage will be written to the part. Frequently, the symptoms are intermittent, and we have had people change their mind when the car starts working again.

It takes about a week to get the part. Once the part arrives, we can set up an appointment and fix your Prius in a single day.

Heater registers may break

The dashboard must be removed and disassembled to replace the combination meter. The vent trim parts will sometimes break. Old plastic baked in the sun for at least 10 years is brittle. We’re very good at pulling and prying in just the right places and with just the right force, but sometimes our best efforts aren’t enough, and a vent will break.

Combination meter inclination sensor calibration

Once the new meter is installed, we’ll calibrate the inclination sensor so your fuel gauge remains accurate, or as accurate as the Prius fuel gauge can be. This procedure is actually pretty simple and doesn’t require any special tools. The important part of the procedure is parking on a level surface. We use our alignment rack for calibration because it is perfectly level. It’s also important to set the tire pressures.

Meter repair

We can remove, repair, and replace your combination meter in a single day is most cases. There’s no need to pre-order parts since we stock the components that fail on the display board. If you’re interested in repair, check our combination meter repair page for more information.

Questions? Price Quote? Appointment?

Parts prices and labor rates tend to increase with time. If you’d like a quote at current prices, have questions, or want to set up an appointment, you can call us or email us at