Does my Prius really need a grille shutter?

My 2017 Prius jumped a curb and dragged the middle underside on it for a second. A week later the notification screen showed “Grille shutter inoperable. Please see dealer.” When the mechanic shut off the check engine light it turned back on, so it seems that the grille shutter is actually broken. After researching this, it seems the grille shutter, is almost pointless and too expensive. I am told the car can’t pass inspection in Texas with the light on. Is there a way to turn off the light at least long enough to pass inspection without buying a grille shutter?

Tampering with a check engine light to pass inspection is illegal in most jurisdictions


You are trying to work around it because you don’t want to pay for part
It’s a bleeping Prius. You have many pointless parts on a hybrid.

I would get rid of this Prius that decided to jump a curb on it’s own.

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Try to figure out what type of input the PCM wants to see (for example, a reed switch closing after a certain time) and see if there’s a way to simulate that input. Also, try to figure out if this is a continuous monitor, or if it only runs under certain conditions. It might be possible to clear the codes and keep this test from running long enough to get the car through emissions.

I can tell you that many people have cars with unrepairable EVAP leaks, and it is possible to disconnect the battery, which clears all codes, and then drive the car for a while keeping the fuel topped off above the level at which the PCM runs the EVAP test, and that will keep the CEL off–while allowing all the other monitors to “set”–so you can pass emissions. Maybe there is a similar sequence of actions which will bypass this test long enough to get through emissions?

I’d get it repaired, this is a pretty new car, no need to start the ‘heapification’ process now.


What code was the Check Engine Light showing? From some basic googling it looks like the Grille Shutter is to open and close the front grille shutters to balance aerodynamics and engine cooling, so I doubt that the CEL would be come on just for that. (and I guess more to the point, was it actually CEL that was on or was it some generic malfunction alert?)

It’s actually a federal crime.


Likely some part of the mechanism is bent and hanging up.
Someone with mechanical savvy can bend it back or disconnect the hung up part while still allowing the actuator move and satisfy the computer.
Probably a lever arm that can be detached.
Just make sure the shutter is fixed open.


Good to know

You likely have insurance , use it and move on. Drive more carefully.