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Error codes C1522 & P3000, P3009

Discussion in 'Generation 1 Prius Discussion' started by sdfgsdfg, Aug 11, 2010.

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  1. sdfgsdfg

    sdfgsdfg New Member

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    The warning system light came on, the diagnostic codes are P3000, P3009 and C1522. Can someone post the TSBs for these codes or tell me where I can download them?

    Toyota said they will replace the battery but I have to pay labor. Toyota said the labor will be $875.

    Regarding C1522, my steering wheel vibrates sometimes when I turn on the car but it stops after a couple seconds. This has been happening for a couple years now. Toyota recommended replacing the entire power steering motor for around $3500. Is this really necessary?

    All help is greatly appreciated.
  2. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web 03 and 10 Prius

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    Leak to ground. One or more of your traction battery modules had developed an electrolyte leak to ground. This never gets better and the fix is:

    • replace traction battery - either Toyota or Re-InVolt, ~$1,700, using the NHW20 modules. The Toyota battery uses the original NHW11 modules which have this problem.
    • rebuild traction battery - in theory, you can remove the traction battery, try to identify where the leak is occurring, clean the modules, correct the corroded buss bars, and reassemble. Given there are 38 modules that have gone about 10 years through the same service, it is likely a second leak will occur even if you identify the leaking module (not a trivial task.)



    "Motor circuit malfunction." . . .

    The steering assembly is typically at fault. You could try finding a salvage EMPS ECU and swapping but . . .


    Good price if they are charging just the labor and nothing for the traction battery. Jump on it.



    You could pull the fuses and power down the EMPS ECU. This converts the car into manual steering. If you're good with manual steering, no problem. The boy I helped swap his traction battery has an EMPS power switch on his dash. So if he needs the power assist, he flips the switch but otherwise has a manual steering Prius.

    Bob Wilson
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  3. jk450

    jk450 New Member

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    The presence of P3009 does not necessarily point to a battery problem. P3009 refers to a leak of high-voltage current, AC or DC, positive or negative, to chassis ground. Again, P3009 does NOT refer specifically to an electrolyte leak.

    The leak can be from the battery, motor, inverter, or wiring. This has been discussed many times in this forum. You can read more about this code in the repair manual, as well as the forum archives.
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  4. sdfgsdfg

    sdfgsdfg New Member

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    How much would I expect to spend on a salvaged EMPS ECU? Is the installation process difficult? Can a regular mechanic figure out how to install it?
  5. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web 03 and 10 Prius

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    It is fairly straight forward although it is a lot easier with the maintenance manual.

    You can see the EMPS ECU by removing the glove compartment. There are two pins at the bottom that hinge and others at the top that limit the opening. Once you get the glove compartment out, you'll see the back of EMPS ECU. It takes about 5 minutes to get the glove compartment out the first time.

    Here is the thread that has the photos and connector signals:
    http://priuschat.com/forums/generat...rack-installed-now-dealer-says-needs-ecu.html

    Our historical data has been the torque sensors get 'noisy' and this causes the jerking steering. So removing the EMPS ECU power makes the car into manual steering.

    Don't be put off at the prospect of swapping the steering assembly. Jack the car up and it can be dropped down. Here is a posting that shows the steering assembly:
    http://priuschat.com/forums/generat...ead-orange4boys-2003-prius-4.html#post1005453

    [​IMG]

    Bob Wilson
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  6. jk450

    jk450 New Member

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    It is highly unlikely that merely swapping the EMPS ECU will have any effect on your problem. The problem is almost always in the rack itself.
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  7. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web 03 and 10 Prius

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    I didn't include David Taylor's URL for Re-InVolt:
    Remanufactured Hybrid Vehicle Battery Packs

    I'd helped a local boy replace his traction battery at 250,000 miles:
    [​IMG]
    The two of us took four hours to swap the packs.

    I'd done some work a couple of years ago with the NHW11 and NHW20 modules. You can see the difference in this photo:
    [​IMG]
    The lower, NHW20 module, has a substantially more robust case. Most important, the terminal seals were reworked and are much improved:
    [​IMG]
    Here you can see the sticky stuff Toyota tried to use to externally seal the terminals of the NHW11 modules. It really took redesign to solve the terminal leakage problem.

    If you check Ebay, you can find a number of Re-InVolt packs available from David's shop.

    BTW, I did a little testing, gathering some facts and data:
    Prius Battery Photos

    Because I understand how 'heat is the enemy' and a growing understanding of self-discharge effects, I expect my traction battery to last (knock on wood) a long time. The longested USA Prius went 350,000 miles before it was lost in an accident. The Dept of Energy ran two, NHW11s to 160,000 miles and studied the residual capacity.

    GOOD LUCK!
    Bob Wilson
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  8. sdfgsdfg

    sdfgsdfg New Member

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    Since my steering wheel has been shakes every now and then when I start the car... from reading above, if I don't do anything can I lose control of the car while driving?
  9. sdfgsdfg

    sdfgsdfg New Member

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    Also, does anyone know a mechanic in the Chicagoland area that can replace the power steering motor and rack? Toyota is quoting $3500.
  10. sdfgsdfg

    sdfgsdfg New Member

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    bwilson4web, Thank you very much the detailed posts!
  11. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web 03 and 10 Prius

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    That was one reason why the local boy has a dash-switch to enable and disable power to the EMPS ECU. On the highway, power steering is not really needed. Only at low speeds, like parking, does power steering come into its own. Of course he drives with a "PS" error showing but it doesn't bother him. He's been driving that way for years.

    You need to know, folks in Alabama are a little less concerned because we have no annual vehicle inspection. But in Chicago, you may have annual vehicle inspections and do a lot more urban driving. It would be better to get it fixed.

    As for Chicago independent mechanics, I can't really help. But there is a Chicago Prius Group:
    Chicago Prius Group

    See if you can make one of their meetings. Wayne, the 'Johnny Appleseed' of block heaters participates. They would be an excellent resource.

    LATE NOTE: I noticed there was little current activity so I sent a PM to a couple of notorious members and the OP. Hopefully, they can come up with a good resource.

    Bob Wilson
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  12. Kaminsky

    Kaminsky New Member

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    Hello everyone,

    My name is Nick, from Seattle. I am a first time Prius owner. Bought my 2003 Prius about eleven months ago. I am having an electrical problem as a couple of day of now. Several things, like check engine sign, triangle with exclamation mark in it, a car symbol with exclamation mark. After taking it to the dealership, testing came back with P3000, P3030, C1202, C1213, C1215, C1241,C1242, C1259, C1551 - any idea what these might mean. They told me that has something to do with a HV battery and that in its turn causes all these other error signals. However when I look at the battery funtionality of the dash boards, everything appears good as before. The car drives fine, sometimes powering down. If I pull over and restart, it goes again. Please help if you can, any advice?
  13. jk450

    jk450 New Member

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    Start here:

    Luscious Garage | Blog | Toyota Prius code P3030 “High Voltage Line Snappedâ€
  14. oldnoah

    oldnoah Member

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    I'm having the same code, but it comes and goes. The first time it the triangle warning came on, it had disappeared by the following morning and Toyota said they couldn't find a code. The next day it came back, and they said it was P3009. The battery I have is used, and supposedly has a warrantee (it was installed in July) so I contacted xvipers, where I got it from, and didn't have toyota replace it. Since then, the triangle warning has gone out twice, but then it comes back.

    In another thread I was advised to reset the computer, and then check it with the key and drive selector in several positions, to see what component is leaking. I don't have a code reader, but I'm thinking it's time to buy one. In any case, if the code is intermittent, is it really possible to isolate the location of the leak?
  15. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web 03 and 10 Prius

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    I can not recommend any of the 'over the counter' scanners (aka., Sears, Harbor Freight CEN-TECH, Auto Zone or O'Reilly.) I've tested these and found the following to be useful:

    • Graham miniscanner - no longer in production, this is the best integrated, NHW11 specific scanner. I have two that I rent as a 'lending library.' Tool rental deposit is $150 and a monthly. rental fee.
    • Auto Enginuity - requires a PC, laptop, and provides most of the NHW11 data. At $400, it is not cheap and a little buggy but usable.
    • Scangauge II - I've only had it for a week and it costs $170 but w2co and vincent are leading the way in how to use this tool on the NHW11.


    Pool supply companies sell pH test and the KOH electrolyte is a very strong, caustic base. I'll try and take some photos later showing how to do it. The DVM approach to finding the leak to ground is experimental based upon finding the resistance of the leak to ground.

    With the vehicle safe by pulling the 12 V ground, remove the battery cover. Clamp the ground of the DVM to the frame and use the probe to measure ground to bus bar voltage. Every two terminals are a pair and will be the sum of the voltages. As the probe gets closer to the leak (assuming a single leak,) the voltage will decrease to a minimum and then increase on the other side but with an opposite polarity. I'll try to photo that too later.

    But understand that a leak to ground based upon KOH is going to also be a function of humidity. The stuff is hydroscopic and it takes a thin film of water to make a conductive solution. From Wiki:


    Bob Wilson
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  16. oldnoah

    oldnoah Member

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    Thanks Bob, the voltmeter approach was what I was originally looking for. Up to this point my car hadn't given me any problems to work on, so I'm just getting started on this whole thing, but at this point I've got two batteries, so I might was well dive in.
  17. jk450

    jk450 New Member

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    The above photograph illustrates one of the potential problems with Gen I battery packs that have been rebuilt with Gen II battery packs. The Gen II modules are longer, and are not designed to fit inside the Gen I battery pack housing.

    Gen I module terminals are protected by the busbar plastic, which protrudes from the terminal area, and are also covered by a plastic insulator. Most importantly, the case is sized so that there is sufficient air space between the terminal area and the sides of the case. This provides a path for air cooling, as well as for crush space in the event of major collision.

    That pathway disappears when Gen II modules are used to rebuild a Gen I battery pack. In fact, the interference is so tight that the upper battery pack housing must be pushed down onto the pack so that the bolts which hold the upper and lower cases together can be started. Of course, tightening those bolts will pull the upper case down upon the modules sides with even more force. Keeping in mind that battery packs flex a bit with the vehicle chassis, this is not a good thing.

    I have also seen claims that cases are being modified to address the situation, but given the design of the cases, that would not be an easy task. At any rate, the rebuilt packs I have seen in the field had no such modifications. The Re-Involt pack I saw had the stock upper case pushed down on the modules with so much force that it took some effort to remove it after the bolts had been removed. By comparison, the upper case of a Gen I Prius battery pack can be lifted off with little effort; there is no interference.

    No doubt, some folks will blithely skip over this design issue and predict that compromising Toyota's design will not cause any issues. Perhaps they are right. Ask them to explain the testing methods that they employed to address the issue, and to share their test results. If they have done their homework, the answers should come pretty quickly.
  18. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web 03 and 10 Prius

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    I was wondering what happened to the old battery.

    I would be very interested in:

    • how long it has been out of service
    • the voltages of all 38 modules with #1 being adjacent to the control electronics
    • what 'codes' or symptoms did you have before
    • photos, we like pictures
    As a thought, you might consider starting a new thread along the lines of 'traction battery autopsy.' <grins>

    Bob Wilson
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