Disable Traction Control on a Prius

With the snow and ice here in Olympia last night, I once again had to disable the traction control on my Prius.  Otherwise, the car will not make it up a hill!  Most cars with traction control have a button to turn it off.  Why the Prius does not is beyond me.  This is my 2nd Prius with traction control, and both cars have been a real pain in the snow.

You can turn off the traction control; however, it is convoluted to say the least.  Since there is a way to turn it off, why the hell can’t Toyota simply provide a button to do it??

To disable traction control on the Prius:

  1. Turn the car to ignition by pressing START twice without pressing the brake.
  2. Floor the gas pedal two times (two full top to bottom pressings)
  3. Make sure the parking brake is on, and while pressing the brake pedal put the car into NEUTRAL
  4. Again press the gas pedal two times
  5. Push PARK and press the gas pedal two more times
  6. Now put your foot on the BRAKE and press START one time while holding the brake down.

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  • kkent

    Thank you so much for the information. It has been a real hassle trying to get my prius home up our steep driveway if the road is even a little slippery. Before I try this, can you tell me how to re-engage the traction control?

    • You’re welcome. Seems like whenever I need to use that trick, I can’t find it, so I figured what better place to put it than in my blog 🙂

      When you turn off the car and turn it back on, it will automatically revert to being on.

      Why there is no button to turn it off is beyond me. Most cars with traction control have a kill switch.

      • A BougeeHomie778

        I think it doesn’t have a kill switch for the traction control because it is so slow and powerless and no one will try to take it offroading.

  • Russ

    Just used this again this morning. We just got 6 inches of snow 🙂

    • Rod Lewis

      Thanks a ton Russ!

      Cowboy Cab, Jackson Hole Wyoming

      • No doubt you’ll use it more than I, based on where you live 🙂

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  • icy NH

    I have a 2006 Prius. It’s not possible to go into neutral in that start mode. The car actually has to me in run mode to switch gears. It’s a shame – I live in icy New Hampshire and get stuck on the bottom of my hill once a week.

    • Steve

      Put your foot on the brake when you try to shift to neutral and yes I had the same problem

  • Konor Sacks

    Thank you!