Stuck in a snowbank

Headed into town this evening. I was going about 3 mph in the curve where I previously tested my VSC. Road had about 4" of snow over ice. Slowly slid
to the right into the snowplow's windrow where it now sits. Popped the cap from the front bumper for the first time and discovered that it comes out easily and stays attached with a plastic tether. Installed the tow screw and walked a block and an half back home. Went to town in the Explorer. Plan is to pull the Prius out tomorrow. Were the towing eye in back this would be quite easy but with it in front I'll first have to dig out the windrow with a front end loader. Rats.
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Bill wrote:

Oh cr... crud, that's it! That's bad news--but good to have the forewarning here, where it's nasty out. Good luck getting it out!
--
Jean B.

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Trouble comes in threes they say. Neighbor cleared the plow bank from the front of the car with his front end loader. I shoveled away snow packed under nose. I drive it out with a gentle assist from my Explorer and a tow rope connected to the eye bolt. Left it running while I drove the Explorer home, walked back, hopped in, drove 100 yards and all the warning lights came on. No, I haven't had the fix installed yet. Drove another 100 yards on battery and then rebooted the car. This got the ICU running and extinguished all alarms except the check engine one. Now it works OK but the light stays on. Hopefully it will extinguish after a few trip as the manual suggests.
Is there a clever sequence of operations that will reset the check engine alarm? My dealer is 65 miles from me.
BTW, the plug that covers the eye bolt port snaps nicely back in place. What a great feature!
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The check engine light will go off by itself (assuming the problem was also temporary) after something like three warm-up cycles with driving. Alternatively, anyplace that can reset the trouble codes in ordinary cars can reset the check engine light but not the hybrid warning light. Around here, that means most of the car pars chains, like AutoZone.
Mike
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I've decided to ignore it until I have the shutdown fix installed early next year. Thanks for the info.
Bill
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Well, the check engine light is out now but things went from bad to worse. Drove the 3 miles to town with just the check engine light on. Shut the car down at the hardware store and when I returned and started it the radio came on but everything else was blank. The ICE was running so I drove to the gas station 1/2 block away. Had no power steering. Shut it down, filled it with gas, and started it again. After a 5 second pause it came up normally except now I had a hybrid warning indication in the top left corner of the LCD display and a red triangle with an exclamation mark on the dash display. Watched the info display on the way home. Battery was 3/4 charged and the indicator showed it was being charged. Turned off the climate control and tried to get into stealth mode without success.
Book says I should take it to the dealer immediately. That's 65 miles away. Dare I drive it there? I'll call them in the morning and let them make the call.
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Bill wrote:

Gee, a spate of troubles for you. :-( I hope this is resolved without too much more pain on your part....
--
Jean B.

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Bill wrote:

Why should sliding on ice cause warning lights to come on?
Merely a coincidence?
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I'm starting to wonder if the failed hybrid drive system caused me to slide into the snow bank. I've got a lot of experience driving under these conditions and took that curve at a fast walk. Since parking the Prius (I'm driving it to the dealership on Friday) I've taken it three times in my Explorer without a hint of a problem.
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That's a possibility. Sometimes it's hard to know why we slide on a slippery surface, so a hybrid failure could have led to the "crash." It all happens so fast.
Mike
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Bill wrote:

Why should sliding on ice cause warning lights to come on?
Merely a coincidence?
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I was barely moving when I slid into the snow bank, Mike. Had you been there you could have reached the bank faster on foot. I watched for the VSC light and didn't see it or any other warnings aside from the slippery road indicator. After the snow stopped me I put it in reverse, noted that it wasn't going to back out, installed the tow bolt, and walked home. The next day, after removing about 10' of the bank in front of the car, it effortlessly came forward with slight pressure on the gas in conjunction with a gentle pull from the Explorer. There were no alarms when I left it running to take my neighbor home. The alarms came on as I was driving away, after about 100 yards.
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My interpretation of what happened was that he slid into a snow bank. It sounds like he drove into it some small distance (feet). Enough that he could not get it out and left it overnight.
It sure sounds like one of the sensors was messed up or disconnected during the accident or while it was being towed out of the snow bank. I've seen snow banks flatten the sheetmetal fenders up in show country. It would make sense that the snow refreezing into ice under the car might snag a wire.
I hope the dealer said to tow it. People freeze to death in cars that break down in that weather. Any car that has a check engine light after an accident should not be driven at all till the cause is isolated.
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I'm embarrassed that this most logical explanation didn't occur to me. Thanks!
Mike
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While that explanation is both reasonable and logical, it doesn't explain why the alarms didn't come on until the car had run for 15 minutes and gone 100 yards. The car was cold when I got stuck, having been run for less than a minute. I doubt there was melting and refreezing under the engine and I only removed a couple of shovels of snow from in front of the right front wheel. The car was stuck in a situation that a conventional car could have been "rocked" out of and would have easily backed itself out if I'd had a couple of guys to push and wasn't worried about bending the soft metal body. I'm heading for the dealer this morning, hybrid warning and all, so perhaps I'll find out what went wrong when I pick it up next Tuesday.
Bill
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