Toyota Prius Display Problems 2021 – MFD Touch Screen Repair

Like the 12volt battery issues, the Toyota Prius display problems are yet another challenge owners of Prius are confronted with. But it must not be mistaken that the Toyota Prius is a bad car; no!

In fact, it is one of the most ecofriendly and economical cars on our roads today. The Prius is highly advanced in the latest technologies present, and this is where some of its problems come about because they are new.

And the only time most of its upgraded features get any realistic test is after they hit the roads on the consumer’s end. That is not to say the manufacturers don’t get them tested before putting them out.

Still, there is always a difference in results from short-term testing, which are commonly the type they undergo on the manufacturers’ side, from prolonged use of the vehicle’s features on the consumer’s end.

Only when the Toyota Prius starts a vigorous road application, many flaws are often realized with some of the vehicle’s components. And the Toyota Prius display Problem is one of them.

What kind of displays does Toyota Prius use?

Toyota Prius 2010
Source: motorbiscuit.com

The Toyota Prius uses a Multi-Functional Kind of display or MFD.

Benefits of using touch screens

There are a host of benefits of using a touch screen of which include;

  • Allows access to control by soft touch
  • Organizes controls on the screen and leaves the surfaces of devices clean.
  • It gives the screen a full-sized display because it is free from obstructions by external buttons, which may take up a considerable amount of space.
  • It gives ease and convenience in operating the device.

What is Prius Multi-Function Display (MFD)

Toyota Prius display problems
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The Prius Multi-function Display or MFD is a central screen that allows every control on it, settings on the car’s hybrid systems, and displays results of the vehicle’s functions running at a given time.

It also shows multimedia plays/functions, stereo, GPS, air condition status, steering wheels, and gear functions.

Some generation of the Prius even has a more advanced display on the MFD like; weather report, Auto drive display, road alignment display, and displays warnings and emergencies by using information processed from the car’s sensors and computer. To put it simply, the MFD is the Prius monitor of its computer systems.

The MFD is located in the middle of the Prius dashboard. It has a built-in motherboard where all sensors and computerized devices communicate with MFD.

The Andriod OS, which comes preinstalled, gives it compatibility with many Andriod applications and is compatible with Apple features.

Toyota Prius Multi-Function Display has a dimension of 16inches in width and a capacitive screen that gives it extra sensitivity to touch. The widescreen size allows impressive display so that one does not have to strain the eyes to have a clear view. The multimedia feature of the MFD enables a variety of media play.

With its wireless features, we can have more devices connect to it wirelessly and even browse the internet on the go. MFD also has a navigation system that allows real-time GPS display.

For some generations of Prius, they have the LED, but subsequence generation is much improved with the OLED. It also has a back-up camera that gives HD display of the rear when reversing.

Features of the MFD can be accessed by a soft touch on the screen or the buttons located at the steering wheel and around it. Once the Prius power button is hit to start the car or open the ignition, the display begins on the screen.

Prius Multi-Function Display (MFD) features

Prius Multi-Function Display (MFD)
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The Prius multi-functional display features include:

  • Android OS
  • Capacitive Screen
  • Wireless
  • Back-up camera
  • Multimedia
  • USB ports
  • 16inch screen

Prius Multi-Function Display (MFD) failure symptoms

The Prius MFD presents several signs or symptoms when it is failing. And as concerned owners, we have to observe them carefully to give a better explanation when we talk the problems to an expert who could help get them fixed if they are fixable.

The failure symptoms that Prius MFD presents are:

  1. Power–up failure; one of the failure symptoms of the MFD is the failure to power up. Although it is not very common, it does happen with a good number of Prius MFD. The loss is an ominous sign of a problem that is most likely to come from the motherboard.
  2. Slow response to touch on the touchscreen; another acute symptom of the MFD that is faulty is the sluggishness in response to touch. Ordinarily, the capacitive screen should give a quick reaction by responding to the command due to its sensitivity, but when it takes longer than it should respond, then there is a need to see what’s going on with the MFD.
  3. Unable to read out mileage or energy flow, the MFD was programmed to display the mileage the Prius has covered and the energy consumed. But this information does not come on the display sometimes. And when you start experiencing these issues, the MFD is perhaps telling you, ‘Hey, something is wrong.
  4. Sudden stop of radio and other media play; could be one of the annoying symptoms of MFD failure. While enjoying your favorite radio playing or music, it just cut you off in the middle without a command initiated to stop.
  5. There are no features like; climate control in the car or only a few controls on display; there are usually features to control the car’s temperature displayed on the screen. But sometimes, this function is lost, and when you start experiencing such, your MFD is faulty.
  6. Loss of Bluetooth; this is yet another sign to tell you the MFD is having a problem. With the loss of Bluetooth, devices cannot be connected wirelessly to the MFD, and it could deny you access to some essential files you would like to play through the display unit.
  7. Loss of Navigation features; could be challenging, especially for those who rely on the GPS for direction only to realize they can’t have access to the navigation features of the MFD. This is a sign that the MFD is failing.

Causes of Prius Multi-Function Display (MFD) failure:

There could be several causes of Prius Multifunction Display failure, and they include;

  • Problem with the 12volt battery; the MFD could fail due to insufficient voltage. And this may come from the 12volt battery being inadequate or poor contact from the battery terminals, which cause a shortage in the voltage.
  • Poor soldering on the motherboard; vibrations on the vehicles which could result from it hitting a bump, could trigger off sensitive connections in the motherboard because of the poor soldering job done on it.
  • Faulty Ribbon cable; the ribbon cable on the touch screen digitizer can develop some fault, and this could cause the Multi-Functional display to fail.

Common Prius display problems:

The state-of-the-art display, a technological masterpiece that puts the Toyota Prius at an advantage over other vehicle brands of its generation, is often plagued with some issues that leave owners scratching their heads about what could possibly be wrong.

Surprisingly, even those who just got their brand new Prius are not spared these problems. The problems could range from two to three kinds, and while sometimes they may appear as though it is a temporary issue, some could be more frequently until they lead to a complete failure of the system.

Yes, it can be frustrating as owners are denied the enjoyment of this unit they paid for, not necessarily due to their own poor handling or care, but due to some engineering flaws during the process of putting all its pieces together. Some common Prius display problems are;

  • Loss of power; this is one of the problems the Multi-Functional display unit is plagued with and the problem owners most often encounter with their MFD. The MFD can change from an active display screen to a dead screen in a question of seconds, giving you little or no warning at all. Or you may just park your car after the day-use only to return moments later to discover the MFD won’t power up when the vehicle is started. While a couple of question could run your mind as to what has gone wrong, the problem is most likely to be from the faulty circuit board, which leaks out current due to some poor soldering job on the board and cause the MFD to lose power.
  • Loss of touch; another problem owner of the Prius experience is loss of communication or no response by the screen after a command is activated by touch. The capacitive screen is highly sensitive to touch and will respond as smoothly as possible with a faultless MFD. But due to a common issue which troubles the display screen, apps or commands sometimes get frozen and cause a delay in response. Also, other times, they don’t even respond to touch at all.
  • Sunburst effect; you’re probably thinking it’s the regular sun we are talking about, but no, it is an effect on the screen that results in what is termed sunburst. Some Toyota Prius owners may have encountered such development but wonder what it was. It is a kind of effect that causes the screen to turn yellowish and nothing else on display. That is, features like every standard display that comes up when the screen powers-up is not displayed, leaving you with no access to any control button or app on the screen.

Solution for Toyota Prius display problems

There is hardly a problem that has no solution. But there is always a degree of resolution one may get to some issues. And for problems concerning hybrid technologies, available solutions may be limited.

Such tech is still in its evolution phase, and few individuals could be specialized in handing advice and solutions to the new tech when a problem surfaces.

However, there may be quick fixes we could do by using simple manipulation to get some faults back to normal function. But again, this may only work for a few who are lucky.

And the best option for the many that couldn’t get it fixed may be to visit an expert to give a proper diagnosis of the problem and advice on the best way to fix it.

Fortunately for some people, they may have the provision of a warranty within a given limit, and if their MFD fails within that time frame, then they can opt for a replacement from their dealership for a faulty MFD.

Owners must be wary about fixing the MFD by themselves as they could do more damage to the unit, which could make any solution it could get complicated. Now, some possible solutions to the Toyota Prius display problem include;

  • Checking the battery’s health status to see if the power lost on the MFD is caused by the 12volt battery problem.
  • If you start experiencing the touch screen problem or the device is not responding to touch, then switch off the car ignition and put it back on to reboot the system.
  • Some problems can sometimes be fixed by a simple software upgrade. So, consider a software upgrade if you start having issues of no display even when the screen is on or experiencing the sunburst effect.
  • Another possible solution Prius owners can have to their screen is to see if they are still covered under warranty. If they are, then take advantage of it to get them replaced or fixed if possible without extra cost.
  • We should also consider visiting certified auto repairs to thoroughly diagnose the MFD and advice what best solution to affect it.
  • Lastly, owners should look to change the MFD by replacing them with new ones. Although this may be expensive, especially if no warranty on it.

FAQ

Prius Multi-Function Display (MFD)
Source: static.cargurus.com

How do you reset your Prius screen?

  • To reset the screen; hold down the Prius trip reset button
  • Turn off the key and turn it back on again, while yet holding the button
  • Continue holding until you see the number near the Odometer reads Zero. Here! Your screen has been reset successfully.

How much does it cost you to fix the Prius screen?

Cost may vary according to location, mileage, or even familiarity with the mechanic. But on average, it will cost $80-$100 to fix the Prius screen.

What is the estimated cost to replace the MFD?

It depends on the type of replacement you will prefer. If you are replacing it with a refurbishment unit then you can spend $400-$600. But if you replace it with a brand new one from a dealership then it will cost $3000-$4000.

How do I program my radio preset on my Prius MFD?

  1. To program the radio preset; choose the radio band of your choice
  2. Turn the knob to find the station you want
  3. Choose one of the six number buttons on the display then touch and hold it until you hear a beep. If the preset you choose displays a frequency then, the new station will replace the previous preset.

Is there a really quick way to get my touch issues fixed on the MFD?

Yes, there is a quick way to get the screen touch problem fixed. But it works well for some and not for all. However, you can try it out. To fix it, simply use a finger or pen and run it through the edges of the MFD.

While doing it, you should apply a bit of pressure. Hopefully, the problem will be fixed

Can the motherboard issue be fixed?

The motherboard issue can be fixed but it has to be done by certified personnel. However, we recommend you go for a replacement of the board if possible.

Verdict

The Toyota Prius display problems can be managed when owners are adequately updated about dealing with them. But also, they must be willing to search for this information to make them aware of the problems they are dealing with so as to get a perfect solution for their MFD issues.