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Skyvisions
Skyvisions, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 14417
Experience:  Toyota Master Diagnostic
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My 2011 prius has been sitting month with occasional

Customer Question

my 2011 prius has been sitting for a month with occasional starting yesterday when i tried to start it it made a loud clanking sound before starting today the same thing the charging system warning light has also come on my car has 194,000 miles but i have had no trouble with it before
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Skyvisions replied 1 year ago.

Do you have a simple code reader that will check for malfunction codes that may be set in the Engine Control computer? Can you get me an audio clip of the noise under the hood when this happens on your phone and post a link here?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
do not have code reader the best description of noise is a clanging sound
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i need to know if i would be safe to drive it 25 miles to nearest toyota dealer
Expert:  Skyvisions replied 1 year ago.

Noises are very difficult to diagnose in this type of format unless I can hear it. Any chance you can record that on your cell phone and post a link here? Does the noise seem to happen while it's idling and if you push on the accelerator does the noise go away after a minute or two?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the noise goes away after a bit but comes back when i restart car
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
maybe its because the car was sitting so long and the hybrid battery wasnt being charged although th battery indicator light on dashboard was at 100%
Expert:  Skyvisions replied 1 year ago.

Any chance you would be able to get a recording of the noise to me? Otherwise I can give you a couple of ideas but it's purely conjecture without hearing the noise.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
unable to get recording to you
Expert:  Skyvisions replied 1 year ago.

Okay based on your description and the time and occurrence that it happens the most probable cause is due to very slight cylinder misfire. On this engine when that happens it causes a severe clunking or knocking sound especially at idle. If you raise the engine RPM very quickly by depressing the throttle pedal all the way to the floor anthe noise goes away and it smooths out then you have a issue with slight cylinder misfire. This can be caused by multiple things sparkplugs possible water contamination underneath of the ignition coils or even a defective ignition coil. Without having a code reader to at least find out what the basic malfunction codes are in the Engine Control computer its difficult to say for sure if the car runs fairly well can you get to a nearby auto parts store like Autozone or similar where in most states except California they do free malfunction code reads. Any generic code reader will work to check the engine computer to see if there any cylinder misfire codes.