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lou's garage

My 2010 Prius with 305,000 km has “warning” lights coming on about loss of traction control, ABS and some others. Also, the cruise control is no longer functioning. The Toyota dealer says it needs a new, expensive master cylinder; my regular mechanic confirms it’s a big job but they don’t have the right tools to do it. My car is still working, 1-½ years later. I suspect the feature that went “off” is the dynamic radar cruise-control function. I rarely use cruise control, so I feel I can carry on without it. The brakes are working fine. Am I running a big risk or is this just a feature that I can do without? - Bette-Ann

I don’t believe your cruise control has anything to do with the root cause of why your warning lights are on. The brake master cylinder on a Prius is a complicated piece as it also houses the ABS control module and works in conjunction with the regenerative braking system.

The replacement of a master cylinder at 305,000 kilometres is not unreasonable on any car; it therefore owes you nothing. Immediately have your car inspected by a repair shop with hybrid experience. Perhaps they can offer a cheaper solution, as well as provide you with an opinion as to whether the vehicle is even worth repairing. The one thing I can say for sure is, that you should not be driving this car, as the brakes could fail at any time.

Lou Trottier is owner-operator of All About Imports in Mississauga. Have a question about maintenance and repair? E-mail, placing “Lou’s Garage” in the subject line.

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