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2001 Prius

Discussion in 'Generation 1 Prius Discussion' started by lifeonthelake, Dec 19, 2011.

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  1. lifeonthelake

    lifeonthelake New Member

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    Location:
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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2001 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Hi, I bought my Prius about 6 months ago at a County auction. The car only had 62k miles. The start battery was the only thing wrong with it.
    Since then we have put about 23k miles on it.

    Well the problem is that The triangle came up on the dash and the line threw the car was showing also. Went to AZ and bought a cheap pocket computer and got a code 3120. From what I've read on forums that it's not a good code..(Trans axle).

    I have about 4k in this car and don't want to keep spending more and more money. Just hard for me to believe that the Trans is bad with 85k miles. Thanks for any input.
  2. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer

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    Location:
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    2005 Prius
    Model:
    Four
    Disconnect the negative lead on the 12V battery for about a minute and reconnect. Drive the car around the city or neighborhood and see if the lights reappear. If not, your car may be fine. Does the car operate as normal (except for the lights)? I have had those symptoms (but I never read the code) If I put it in gear (P or R) before it is ready (before the engine starts). Disconnecting the 12V battery cleared the lights and the problem went away. Try and let me know what happened.
  3. lifeonthelake

    lifeonthelake New Member

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    I cleared the code and all the lights reset. Took the car to town, it's about 8 miles one way and everything reappeared on the way back. This time I got a high temp sign and the car shut off. I was close enough to pull on to my road and stop, smashed the gas and the battery brought me home.
  4. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer

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    Its weird that you're getting a 3120 but the tranny seems to be working fine (it got you sixteen miles) I can't imagine what would cause the high temp this time around. You could be low on tranny fluid, low on engine coolant, low on inverter coolant (I'm assuming you checked all of them) The water pump may be bad, low on oil?? Assuming all the fluid levels are good and the water pump works, we need to see what codes you have. Did you read the codes again to see if its still 3120?

    The only other thing I can think of is to contact Seilerts or Patrick Wong who are both waaaaaayyyyy more knowledgeable than me on this. I'm good with the basics but this is a little more in depth and something I have not seen.
    1 person likes this.
  5. telmo744

    telmo744 HSD fanatic

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    Too old trans-oil? I remember someone writing down that after changing, error disappeared...
    1 person likes this.
  6. lifeonthelake

    lifeonthelake New Member

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    Thanks for the info guys. Will change Trans axle fluid today and see what happens and keep you informed..
  7. strawbrad

    strawbrad Junior Member

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    Location:
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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2002 Prius
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    Can you hear the coolant pump running? It is located behind the drivers side headlight. It should be on whenever the ignition is on.
  8. lifeonthelake

    lifeonthelake New Member

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    Well today I finally was able to change my Trans axle fluid. Pulled the pan and it had about 3/4 inch of sludge on the magnet. Fluid looked okay, not a burnt smell or anything. Changed inverter fluid also and removed the air from the system.

    Took the car for a test drive and BAM!! the freakin light came back on!!! Maybe went half the distance than before. Read the code and 3120. I guess I will take it to the dealer after Christmas and let them try to pin point the problem, as much as I hate to.
    1 person likes this.
  9. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    Life on the lake, after the inverter and gas-motor coolant replacements, you may not have purged air completely from the system. Even if you think you did. The inverter system seems particularly touchy.

    Please confirm that you can see the inverter coolant moving actively in the topside reservoir, and that the liquid levels, front and rear in that reservoir are different.
    1 person likes this.
  10. lifeonthelake

    lifeonthelake New Member

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    Hi, I think I removed all the air. I Had a very good flow threw the reservoir and the pump was quiet. Would the Inverter give you a trans axle code?

    Thanks
  11. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer

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    In my view, you've done all you can with what you got. I hate to say it but, the dealer option seems like your best choice. Pls keep us informed.
  12. thegadget

    thegadget New Member

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    Model:
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    Did you find anything out yet? Just wondering..
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