Toyota Hybrid System Malfunction (Solved & Explained)

For a long time, Tesla was the only major player in the electric vehicle (EV) market, with its Model S and Model X being among the first widely recognized EVs. However, other car manufacturers like Toyota also released their own EVs, such as the Prius, which helped to expand the options for consumers interested in electric vehicles.

The Prius, as well as other hybrid vehicles by Toyota, come with a Hybrid System that allows the car to run on both gasoline and a high-voltage battery intermittently. Unfortunately, things can go wrong with your Toyota Hybrid System. If this happens, read along to see how you can fix it.

What is a Toyota Hybrid Vehicle?

What is a Toyota Hybrid Vehicle?

Hybrid Toyota vehicles operate on both gasoline and a battery. You have probably seen commercials for them on tv. You may have even test drove one at your local Toyota dealership.

These hybrid vehicles help you cut down on the cost of gasoline. They also reduce your carbon footprint, something the environment desperately needs.

You drive on gasoline for a while and then switch over to the high-voltage battery to operate your vehicle.

The way this works is quite simple. Yet it’s also amazing. Imagine those experiments where a hamster or rat runs on a wheel, and it generates enough energy to play a transistor radio. With a Toyota hybrid vehicle, the same principle is at play.

While you’re driving and employing your brake system, it sends electrical charges to your car’s battery. This gives the battery enough juice for you to drive for miles. The distance you can drive on battery power depends on a few things:

  • The size of your car – The heavier cars and SUVs take a lot more battery power to run. This is why the Prius was so popular at the start. It’s small enough to go long distances on a small amount of battery power.
  • The number of people in your vehicle – The heavier your vehicle, the harder it will be to run the engine on battery power. 
  • The initial charge your battery is carrying – If you use your car often, there’s a good chance you recharge it constantly. If this is the case, you’ll get a lot more mileage out of your Toyota hybrid vehicle. 

While running on your battery saves money, when your Toyota hybrid system malfunctions, it can be a nightmare.

How Do You Know There’s Something Wrong with Your Toyota Hybrid?

How Do You Know There’s Something Wrong with Your Toyota Hybrid?

If there’s something wrong with your Toyota’s hybrid system, you’ll know right away. There is an indicator or warning light that comes on. You’ll likely also hear a noise letting you know there’s something wrong with your hybrid system.

If this happens, the last thing you want to do is ignore it. People ignore their “check hybrid system stop the vehicle in a safe place” message all the time. This is a huge mistake. The longer you let the problem linger, the more it will cost to fix it.

You also risk causing serious damage to your vehicle’s engine and hybrid system if you don’t get it checked out right away.

The Good News is That You Can Reset Your Toyota Hybrid System

Having automobiles rely on electrical systems is a good and a bad thing. It’s great when it works right. You have access to all sorts of features you never would’ve had ten or twenty years ago.

At the same time, it can be a curse. When one thing goes wrong with your electrical system, everything is affected.

You could think you have a minor issue with your Toyota hybrid system only to find out it’ll cost thousands of dollars to fix. Thankfully, you can try to fix the issue yourself.

Step-By-Step Guide to Reset Your Toyota Hybrid System

Step-By-Step Guide to Reset Your Toyota Hybrid System

If you want to try to reset your Toyota hybrid system yourself and save a few hundred dollars, we say go for it. Here, we’ll break down the process to reset the system into a few easy steps.

If this doesn’t work, there are still other things you can try before you take your car to the mechanic.

  • The first thing you need to do when the warning light comes on is turn off your vehicle. The car needs to be off for at least 5-10 minutes before you do anything.
  • Turn the car back on. If the light turned off, it was probably a false alarm, and your Toyota hybrid system is fine. If the light is still on, move to the next step.
  • Check the fuse for your hybrid system. This is located under the hood or dashboard. Consult your owner’s manual to see which fuse corresponds to the hybrid control system.
  • Unplug the fuse and look at it. If it’s dirty, discolored, or broken, you need to replace it. If it’s just loose, plug it back in, wait 5 minutes and turn the car back on. If the light disappears, you can be on your way. If it’s still lit, move on to the next step.
  • Drive to the local auto parts store in another vehicle. It’s not advisable to drive your Toyota hybrid vehicle if the warning light is on. Purchase a new fuse. Plug it back in, wait a few minutes, and start the car. The light should come on. If it doesn’t, you may need to take a trip to your local mechanic or Toyota dealership.

You May Need to Check the Hybrid’s High-Voltage Battery First

Before you shell out hundreds of dollars on a diagnostic test, check to see if your hybrid’s battery is in good condition. You can do this by opening the hood and looking at the battery.

If the battery cables are not connected, it will be an easy fix. All you have to do is reconnect them, wait a few minutes, and start the car. Your Toyota hybrid system may be working just fine. If this doesn’t work, you may need a new battery.


The last thing anyone wants to do is take their hybrid to the mechanic. They’ll charge you about $120 just to run the diagnostic tests. This is why it’s a great idea to try the above suggestions before you take it in to be fixed.

  • Eric Williams

    I'm the founder of Daily Car Tips. I wrote articles in the automotive industry for more than 10 years, published in USA and Europe. I love sharing my knowledge and insights with fellow enthusiasts. Join me on this journey as we explore the exciting world of cars together!

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