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This 1 Tip Can Help You Better Understand The Toyota Prius Trouble Code P3190

Trouble codes can be frustrating. They can be even worse when there is a list of possible causes associated with one code. Here is one tip that may save you hours of frustration.

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Check engine light, malfunction indicator lamp, service engine soon, and others all associate with one thing. Trouble codes. When it comes to understanding the plethora of trouble codes your Toyota Prius can set, it can seem overwhelming.

While the P3190 is not super common as some others are, it can be tricky to figure out what is causing. This is especially hard when you have the P3190 because of what it does to your Prius when you try and start it. Here is what the code means and 1 tip that can save you loads of frustration.

What The P3190 Trouble Code For Toyota Prius Means
Unlike the P0A80 trouble code that Prius hybrid batteries seem to get all the time, this code has a different meaning. P3190 description is nothing more than Poor Engine Power. While this seems pretty darn useless, once you look at what you need to check with this code, it becomes more clear what diagnostic path you need to go down.

The possible causes of the code are as follows
Air induction system malfunction. Defective throttle body. Improper fuel pressure. Defective engine. Defective Mass Airflow (MAF) meter. The vehicle is out of fuel. Defective Engine Coolant Temperature (ECT) sensor. Defective crankshaft position sensor. Defective camshaft position sensor. Defective Engine Control Module (ECM).

Toyota Prius check hybrid system trouble code P3190

While this seems overwhelming there is an easy way to rule out many of the potential issues just by using logic. The Toyota Prius is a very durable car and logic reasons with durable. Many of the common issues it faces are relatively simple fixes that do not take much skill at all to fix.

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Given the reliability of the car, I would reason that having an ECU failure is pretty far fetched and could be the last resort after all the other things were checked first. A damaged crank or cam sensor, while a good potential is also unlikely. The coolant temperature sensor is also right along the lines with cam and crank. A damaged engine is likely and can happen it does take a lot for these little cars to quit ticking.

So far we have not ruled out but logically deduced that 5 of the things on this list are good causes but also things that are less likely to cause a problem over the other issues which are mass air sensor, no fuel or fuel pressure, a dirty induction system or faulty throttle body. These 4 things are much easier to diagnose and pin down a problem.

The main issue with this code is that when you try and start the vehicle it is using the hybrid battery to do so. Every time you try, it knocks the power down by 1% of the total battery voltage. This means that you only have so many attempted starts before the hybrid battery is too low to be able to attempt starting again.

This can mean you would have to get equipment to recover the hybrid battery before you could attempt another start again. This is one reason to try and narrow down exactly what you think could be the cause and rule out the less likely reasons.

The Toyota Prius Will Lock You Out If
When it comes to a no engine power code, Prius does not play around. Here is the thing though, something as small as a leaf or small amount of debris can fall on the MAF and stop it from working. Also running the car out of gas will do the same thing. It will set that specific trouble code to get the owner to take notice something needs attention.

Toyota Prius hybrid system check trouble codes

If you are experiencing this trouble code here is the 1 tip that I have to help you out. Check the fuel level and add if you are not sure what the actual level is despite what the gauge says. Once you are certain you have at least a gallon of fuel in it, do not start just yet. Next check the intake system starting with the air filter and MAF. Check and ensure there is nothing that has fallen inside that would keep it from functioning.

Once you have done this, power on to accessories clear the trouble code and see if it will ready on. If it does you should be set to go. If this does not fix it, make sure you have the proper tools on hand before attempting further diagnostics on it.

I hope that this clears up some confusion on what the code means and how you can do a simple troubleshoot procedure. Thanks for reading and see you in the next story.

Check out my amazing results with the BG hybrid repair kit that saved me thousands of dollars in repairs

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Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He is an automotive technology instructor at Columbia Basin College. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter is also an Adjunct Instructor of automotive technology at Columbia Basin College. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter.

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tc phi (not verified)    December 31, 2020 - 11:21AM

hoping you can help me with an 08 prius. it was stolen and recovered. by the time I got it back there was no gas in it and catalytic converter was gone. I've replaced the converter and the O2 sensor, added gas, but now it wont stay running. the ICE wll start up and ran for 10 seconds, then stopped and throw code P3190. I've cleaned the throttle body and MAF sensor, but still same symtom. since it was driven until running out of gas, could the fuel pump be bad? I don't have any way to diagnose it...maybe time to tow it to a mechanic? thx