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Hybrid battery -- Warning lights - Brake, Hybrid, Master, and Check Engine

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by TommyG, May 3, 2011.

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  1. TommyG

    TommyG New Member

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    Location:
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    Your Vehicle Year:
    2005 Prius
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    Hi, i'm a newbie here, looking for experience and insights on a problem yesterday with my 2005 Prius with 120k miles. All these warning lights came on shortly after i started the car. Master warning, Brake warning, Hybrid warning, and check engine light. Other symptoms: at first i didn't notice anything, but the battery charging display started showing all green, 100% green, which is rare in my car. Acceleration from a stop seemed to hesitate a little. And the cruise control wouldn't turn on.

    I called the dealer who said it might just go away, but if not to bring it in. It didn't go away so i brought it in, and he said potentially bad news...they found one cell (#10 i think) not charging, but they re-charged it and it seemed to be OK now, but if it came back with the warning lights again I might have to replace the hybrid battery at $3,300. Well, i started driving it off the lot, and the warning lights came back on before i could drive out. They looked again and found the same thing. I also noticed the battery display showed only one bar (purple color). Cruise control still won't come on. Now they say it's definitely the battery and needs to be replaced, although the car could still be safe to drive, just with the hesitating acceleration I've been seeing. I don't really trust that...can't really go on a long trip this way, reliably. I called the dealer back after reading posts here and seeing i need the DTC codes. They are: POA80, and P3020, which they say points to the hybrid battery.

    So, i've since read online some options:
    1. replace it with new at the dealer, $3,300.
    2. replace it with a re-built from eBay, at maybe $2,000 installed, if i can find someone local to do it.
    3. repair the bad cell. I've read it's possible, but have a feeling i won't find anyone to do it for me.
    4. sell the car / trade it in for a new one. Next time trade it in before it gets to 100k miles or 8 years.

    Is there any chance this is not the hybrid battery, but something else, smaller, less costly? Is it worth taking it to another dealer to get another opinion? Any other options? If i replace it with the dealer, it will have only a 1-year warranty, unlimited miles. That's not much of a warranty for $3,300. Would you go with the replacement?

    Thanks.

    Tom
  2. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    It absolutely is the hybrid battery.

    Try calling the people at ACDC, who run Up Your Voltage, a hybrid repair training class for pro mechanics in Worcester. Auto-Careers.org: Hybrid Training Resources Since 2000. They may be able to recommend a local installer, if not a local battery rebuilder.

    There are two sensible options available to you: install a junkyard battery (must not have been sitting for more than several months) or install a reconditioned one from an online reseller, such as reinvolt or battery boy (ebay). Rebuilding the battery by yourself is a very time consuming process if you are just doing it as a one-off project and have no experience.
    1 person likes this.
  3. TommyG

    TommyG New Member

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    What a difference a day makes!!!! I'd basically accepted i was going to need to buy a new car to replace my '05 Prius due to its failing hybrid battery, rather than spend the $3,300 to have the battery replaced. All this because i understood from the dealer's service rep that i was out of warranty - 8 years or 100k miles. Well, that is not the case, and I only found out today by calling the sales rep at the original dealer (Acton Toyota in MA) where i bought the car, to tell him I was looking for a new car. He questioned the warranty info, spoke with his service manager, then called me back to confirm the warranty is actually 10 years and 150k miles, for Prius 2004-forward. I spoke with this manager, then again with the local dealer who had given me the bad info, and they confirmed the same...basically, they were wrong and admitted it. So i'm getting a new hybrid battery in warranty. I feel very lucky to have found this out, and to have a sales rep who gave me the honest truth rather than use my predicament to his advantage and sell me a new car. If you're in MA, and you want this salesman's name, let me know.

    Tom
    JMD and cwerdna like this.
  4. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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  5. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    That's great news indeed!
  6. debrahjg

    debrahjg New Member

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    Hi, Last Wednesday, May 11th this happened to my 2006 Prius. All the dash warning lights on and the little car with the line through it on the screen also. Toyota of Seattle service said it was the hybrid cell battery, but since I only had 86k miles, Toyota would pay and the car would be ready on Friday. Then Sat as battery was being overnighted from Portland. Then battery "in transient" from Japan and 300+ back ordered. This could mean on a boat and who knows where or when it would show up. With some very polite persuasion Toyota of Seattle is paying for a rental car for me from Enterprise. all went smoothly in picking up the rental. So my suggestion is to push a little and get a rental car too whenever part is in unknown transient. At this point they have called everywhere in USA without success so who knows when I will get my beloved pruis back.
    JMD likes this.
  7. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    The battery is probably "in transit" (as a transient refers to a temporary occurrence of some sort), and it is interesting to see this figure of 300+ in back order status. I'm surprised that we aren't seeing more posts from 2G members with failed traction batteries.
  8. 2009Prius

    2009Prius A Wimpy DIYer

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    Does this mean that there are 300 out of 900,000 cars in US currently having HV battery problems? That's 1 in 3,000 currently, would be higher cumulatively. Seems scarily high.
  9. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    300 does sound unusual. It'd be interesting to hear if that's for all Toyota hybrids or just for Priuses. Also, it'd be interesting to know how many are for failure vs. accidents.
  10. BSTMPG

    BSTMPG Junior Member

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    Location:
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    Your Vehicle Year:
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    My 2003 has rarely had any issues. I maintain it according to manufactures recommendations. It's got 180k miles on it.

    For the first time since I drove it off the lot, the warning lights came on. An "SP", a picture of a battery and a red icon w a car and "!" going through it. I pulled the manual and the first two say, "see dealer", the third one says, "take to dealer immediately".

    1. What could it be?
    2. What kind of questions can I ask the dealer?
    3. if it's the battery, are there any suggestions for experienced Prius mechanics in Phoenix?

    Thanks a ton!
  11. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Usually, only one of the three icons will be highlighted in red. That is the one to be concerned about. Also, the one icon should be "PS" which relates to a fault in the electric power steering system.
  12. BSTMPG

    BSTMPG Junior Member

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    should I check a fuse for the power steering? Now that you say that, the only one lit up in red was the ! but the manual doesn't say what that could be.

    The car actually drives ok, not much difference in the ride, but did notice the steering is different. Does the Prius take PS fluid?

    I just had the oil changed and all the fluids checked. They mentioned changing out the air filter, could that be effecting anything? Where do I get a new air filter?

    Thank you for your help.
  13. BSTMPG

    BSTMPG Junior Member

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    Also, I see you are local. I am in Deer Valley/Arrowhead area, can you tell me where might be a good place to take my car to get looked at?
  14. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    If the only icon in red is the ! superimposed on the outline of a car, then that is the one to be worried about. That is telling you that the hybrid vehicle system has a problem.

    The Prius has an electric power steering system and no PS fluid or hydraulic pump is involved.

    You can buy air filters at your local Toyota dealer but that is not why the warning icon is on. I usually buy my Toyota parts "in bulk" from Champion Toyota in Houston, since they offer a good discount from MSRP and have excellent order fulfillment. toyotaworld.com

    I do not know of any Phoenix-area Toyota dealers to recommend for service. If you were in Tucson I would recommend Precision Toyota.

    I suggest you do a search to see whether that topic has been previously addressed. Good luck.
    1 person likes this.
  15. cbourque

    cbourque New Member

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    Wow deja-vu. I have the same car with the almost the same mileage as the original poster here - TommyG. It have a 2005 prius with 115k miles. On May 6 I started having the same problem lights and took the car to the dealer and was told the same thing (need a new hybrid battery). Same error codes even - POA80 and P3022.

    Dealer told me the battery warranty is only valid for 80K miles. I did some research and it seems to that only CARB states (California Air Resource Board) get the 10 year 150K warranty. So that would apply to these

    California
    New Jersey
    Connecticut
    Oregon
    Washington
    Rhode Island
    New York
    Maine
    Massachusetts
    Pennsylvania
    New Mexico
    Florida
    Colorado
    Arizona
    Utah

    Is that correct? So, the rest of us are just screwed!
  16. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    As far as I know, CARB warranty does not cover Gen II sold in New Mexico, as it was not scheduled to go into effect until the 2011 model year here.

    Buying a new battery from your dealer ought to be the last option. There was a story recently about someone else from Houston that was able to get a junkyard hybrid battery installed, for about $1000.
  17. direstraits71

    direstraits71 Member

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    I posted this in another thread and it may help some here:

    Regarding the price for a new Gen 2 traction battery, I see that it has now dropped below $2000.

    Champion ToyotaWorld

    Also I assume California was inadvertently left off the list of extended warranty states above.
  18. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    Word on the street is that Gen II traction batteries are currently on national backorder due to the natural disaster. Also, cbourque is looking at paying >$3,000 to have the job done at a dealership ($2500 MSRP + 3-5 hours labor + tax), unless the service department can be talked down closer to the wholesale price of $1941.

    I should have mentioned, that with the error code of 3022, it is probably just one single cell in one single module that has gone bad. It is a non-trivial job to replace modules, but it can be done.
  19. jdenenberg

    jdenenberg EE Professor

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    I had a Re-InVolt rebuilt battery drop shipped to my Toyota dealer for $1600 and the dealer charged me 4 hours of labor for the install.

    Some of the states in the CARB list came onto it later so it also depends on when you bought your Prius. My 2004 HV battery had a 8yr/100k mile warranty in CT.

    JeffD
  20. cbourque

    cbourque New Member

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    This is great information. The battery in this link is $1000 less than the dealer. Is this OEM?
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