3 Reasons Why Toyota Prius Dashboard Light Not Working?

Damaged LED lights, fading lights from an accidental touch with the light dimmer knob, and a blown fuse can stop the dashboard lights from turning on. There is a way to reset the dashboard lights and reset their connection to the battery.

Why the Prius dashboard display not working?

There are a number of different issues that could affect your Prius lights and keep them from working.

How to fix the dashboard lights if you have a second-generation Prius

Sit down in the driver’s seat and turn on your Prius. Leave your driver’s side door open.

Check behind you and see there’s no one and nothing in your way. Then switch your vehicle from park to reverse and place your foot on the brake. 

Turn off the car and then wait a few seconds. Then, lift your foot off of the break and turn on your vehicle, and doing this puts the vehicle in accessory mode. 

Then, click on the climate button and hold the button for about 15 seconds.

While you were holding the climate button, on the left side of your steering wheel, turn your headlights on and then off.

If everything worked correctly as it should, then you should see a small dashboard Light on your dashboard.

The small light that you see should be the open-door dashboard light. Now just press the brake and power button and the dashboard should light up.

If it does not work the first time, skip the first couple of steps. Hold down the climate button and turn off the headlights one more time.

But if it doesn’t work after that, then place your vehicle in park and then turn off the vehicle and try again.

Common causes of Dashboard Light issues

If your Prius’ dashboard lights are not turning on, then it could be an indication of a bigger issue. One major issue could be that your battery is draining or old and needs replacing. 

Replacing a Prius battery can cost up to $8,000. On average, the cost to replace a Prius battery is about $4,400.

Usually, the battery of a Prius should be replaced around 80,000 miles or about 10 years, whichever one comes first.

If it hasn’t been that long since you purchased your Prius, then the battery should still be under warranty. So you can replace your battery without spending any money.

The fuse for the dashboard light blew out

Fuses eventually blow out for one reason or another. The lights on your vehicle’s dashboard are wired to the hybrid battery.

But the electricity from the hybrid battery passes through a fuse. Once the fuses stop working, the electricity cannot reach the dashboard.

Luckily, replacing your fuse is extremely easy and cheap. You may even be able to do it in your own garage.

The location of the fuse box depends on the Prius model and year. Most fuse boxes are located on the driver’s side underneath the cover underneath the instrument panel. It is fairly easy to see. 

You can even use the light on your smartphone to find it. There should be about 30 different fuses in the fuse box.

You will need to read your vehicle’s user manual to figure out which fuse belongs to your dashboard panel.

For Toyota Priuses made from 2004 to 2009, the number for their dashboard is 17, which is the panel. So they will have to look for fuse number 17. 

They can remove the fuse and replace it with a new one. A box of car fuses costs less than 20 bucks.

Not all dashboard panel fuses are number 17 in the fuse box.

If you do not have your vehicle’s user manual, you can download a digital user manual from the Toyota company.

The LED lights are damaged

In most Priuses, especially in newer models, there are no light bulbs underneath the dashboard. LED lights power the dashboard lights, and these lights are not supposed to burn out. 

But if you were recently in an accident or water found its way underneath the dashboard, then the LEDs can stop working.

Drive over to a Toyota-certified Prius mechanic and tell them about the damage to the dashboard.

Replacing the LEDs in a dashboard cost around $1,000.

The dashboard lights are on, but they are dim or fading. 

Fading dashboard lights could be a sign of a damaged fuse. But it is not the only reason for fading lights. Actually, dim dashboard lights may be due to an accident on your behalf. 

The dashboard lights are on, but they are dim or fading. 

There’s a part of the steering wheel that controls the brightness of the dashboard lights.

You could have accidentally switched the lights to dim while you were steering or turning on your headlights.

Some Prius models have a dimming light on the steering wheel. Other Prius models will have the dimming light on the side of the dashboard. 

It will look like a small black knob. All we have to do is locate the knob and turn it to the right until the lights on the dashboard become bright enough to see them.

How to reset the lights

If your dashboard lights keep turning off and on, then you have an ongoing issue. Before you head over to the mechanic, try resetting your dashboard lights.

Here’s how to reset your dashboard lights:

First, turn on your vehicle and check that the lights are all off.

Then turn off your vehicle and open the hood. Locate the hybrid battery and disconnect it from its wiring. 

The vehicle should not be on while you are disconnecting the cables from the battery. 

Wait 5 minutes and then reconnect the cables to the battery. 

Now turn on your Prius. If the lights are on then there was probably a glitch in the electrical system. 

If the lights do not turn on, then the fuse blew out or the battery is dying.


Accidentally flicking the dimmer knob can lower the brightness of the dashboard lights and make them seem like they are fading. Also, a dying battery will not be able to power the dashboard lights.

Resetting the dashboard lights is easy and you should do it before taking your vehicle to the mechanic.

  • 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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