Check engine light came on for a Toyota Prius that is only being driven about once a month since COVID-19 pandemic began.
OBD-II scanner shows P0302, which indicates the problem is a misfiring cylinder (cylinder #2, if it matters).
Vehicle had no issues before today, except:
- Possible minor hesitation when pressing the gas. Usually not noticeable, but occasionally felt some lag.
- When started 2 months ago, the vehicle made some horrible sounds shortly after starting. After about 5-10 seconds, the sounds stopped, and everything worked normally. Those sounds have not recurred since then.
Since that drive 2 months ago, there have been no audible or visible problems at all (except the check engine light coming on just now).
Spark plugs were all changed at 90K, and vehicle has 150K on it now. Those plugs should last for 150K (until 240K), so they should be okay. Putting in new plugs is a bit of a chore on a Prius (here is a good instructional video, if your are interested).
I don't know anything about misfiring cylinders, so I did some research and found much conflicting advice.
Is this something that should be fixed before driving the vehicle at all? Or is it likely something that is just the result of lack of use and can be resolved by just going for a long drive with some fresh fuel and maybe an additive?
If it needs to be fixed before driving, is it recommended to drive it to a mechanic (15-25 minutes drive each way), or have it towed / hire a mobile mechanic?
And yes, it needs to be driven more often. With so much going on related to COVID-19, there just hasn't been time nor any reason to go anywhere.