2004 Toyota Prius Base Model Used
Peter Neilson's picture

Toyota Prius P0A0F And P3190 No Throttle Response: SOLVED

If you are a Prius owner who is suffering from an instant occurring trouble code P0A0F And P3190, take a look at what caused mine and the repair for it.
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There are few things worse than getting a trouble code on your Prius when you least expect it. Is it a failed hybrid battery? A water pump? Head gasket? The swarm of thoughts can quickly strike fear into your heart.

Rest assured you are driving one of the best-designed vehicles, a Prius. More than likely, your problem is not as bad as it seems. In my recent event with these exact trouble codes, I learned not to panic but be analytical with the issue.

What Causes A P0A0F And P3190?
Both of these codes first need to be broken down. If you do not understand the description of the code, you will never find the root cause for it.

A P0A0F is defined as Engine Failed To Start. A P3190 is defined as Poor Engine Power. While these codes seem vague, they are pretty helpful in the diagnostic process.

The possible trouble areas for a P3190 are:

  • Air induction system malfunction.
  • Defective throttle body.
  • Improper fuel pressure.
  • Defective engine.
  • Defective Mass Airflow (MAF) meter.
  • Vehicle is out of fuel.
  • Defective Engine Coolant Temperature (ECT) sensor.
  • Defective crankshaft position sensor.
  • Defective camshaft position sensor.
  • Defective Engine Control Module (ECM).

The possible trouble areas for a P0A0F are:

  • SFI system
  • Faulty Power management control ECU

So what causes these two codes could be anything on this list, and that is where skill comes into play.

How To Diagnose These Two Trouble Codes
These codes can be as easy or as hard as you make it. The first thing you need to do is consider what it is you are dealing with. Prius is a well-built machine, so things like an engine ECU or bad sensors will not be on the top of the priority list.

Sensors should be checked and verified, but only after you do the stuff that easier to access. Looking at the list, I know instantly I will check the fuel level and the mass airflow sensor. Why? Because of how easy they are to do. Add fuel (at least 3 gallons if low), and checking the MAF takes less than 5 minutes.

2004 Toyota Prius Air Intake Box

If both items check out 100%, you can move on to testing sensors and work your way down to the more complex to test things. Ruling out the easy stuff can help you better understand what you are working with.

If you think about this logically, how possible is it that a MAF sensor or no fuel is the issue over a bad ECU? Common sense tells me that Prius has a meager rate of ECU replacements, hence starting with the easy stuff.

Conclusion
Sure enough for me, there was debris in the MAF sensor. A quick snag with my tweezers and a rinse with MAF cleaner, and the Prius was back in business.

2004 Toyota Prius MAF sensor

Debris in MAF Sensor 2004 Toyota Prius

I know that trouble codes are confusing; trust me, I was not always as brilliant as I am now. I spent a lot of time learning how trouble codes work so I can diagnose them. Now that I do know, I am happy to share my knowledge with other Prius owners.

If you check your Prius with these codes and the MAF is ok, and there is fuel in the tank, let me know. I am happy to advise on how to proceed next.

That is all for today. Please find me on Twitter @the_hybrid_guy or Facebook in the Toyota Prius Owners Club, and remember Today's Adventure is Tomorrow's Story.

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Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter. Find his page on Facebook at Certified Auto Consulting. Read more of Peter's stories at Toyota news coverage on Torque News. Search Toyota Prius Torque News for more in depth Prius coverage from our reporter


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