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Mult warning lights but coolant pump seems ok

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by blueandgreeneyes, Feb 28, 2012.

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  1. blueandgreeneyes

    blueandgreeneyes New Member

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    Location:
    Florida
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    2008 prius with 100,100 miles.

    I got the warning lights that many have spoken of - the red triangle, VSC, check engine and hybrid system - going down the highway. All the same things as everyone else - car seemed to run fine. I had to go another 4 miles to work.

    I checked the coolant for waves and I DO have waves moving - so seemingly my inverter pump is working. The pink coolant level is about a centimeter belowe the "low" level line though. I ran to auto store and the only code that came up was a coolant system malfunction (and I forgot to get the number). They don't sell the pink coolant and said I must get it from Toyota but it was late and I'm at work so it had to wait.

    A few questions...
    -is the coolant level being low enough to pop all those warnings on?
    -could the pump be going bad even though it seems to be working? and if so would that cause the warnings?
    -are there 2 pumps in this system as I've read so many posts now and I've seen inverter pump and inverter water pump used or are they one in the same?
    -on restart I have red triangle and check engine only - the VCS and hybrid system did not return - can I drive to dealer and/or home safely as long as waves do appear in coolant??

    Thanks in advance - I read seemingly a hundred posts before posting but didn't exactly find answers when your pump DOES seem to be working but you get all that...

    Lisa
  2. MNGoan

    MNGoan New Member

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    Location:
    La Crescent, MN
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2007 Prius
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    Check the voltage on your 12V battery. If it has dropped below 12V, it might be the reason for all your bells and whistles showing up. I know it did mine. Replaced the battery and it has been fine since. Actually think whether you plugged in an additional accessory before the lights showed up.
  3. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Location:
    Green Valley, AZ
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    If you see fluid circulating in the inverter coolant reservoir which is mounted on the side of the inverter, that would indicate the inverter coolant pump is running. There is only one coolant pump for the inverter/transaxle coolant loop.

    However, since the coolant is below the "low" line, it is possible that some air may have gotten into the system which would impair inverter cooling. It would make sense to fill the reservoir to the top line using Toyota Super Long Life Coolant. Also check the radiator coolant reservoir which is located behind the radiator, and top off with Toyota SLLC as needed.

    If that doesn't help, it is possible that your car has another problem and I would encourage you to have your local Toyota dealer check it as soon as possible, so that you are not stuck on the side of the road. It's unfortunate that you did not note the DTC, as that would reduce the guessing here.

    It is hard to say how far you can drive the car without causing damage. If your car has a cooling system issue, then since you are in Florida, and daytime temps are in the high 80's, I would say that you should drive the car as little as possible, when those warning lights appear.
  4. blueandgreeneyes

    blueandgreeneyes New Member

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    Thanks for the info. I definitely will be getting some coolant from Toyota in the morning to top off levels. And I am irritated I didn't get the code but I was rushing to get back to work. I will also check my other levels. There is a dealership about 7 miles from me and it's cool in the morning. If you fill the levels and that's the problem do the warning lights self correct or do they need to be reset? Just not sure how to tell if that corrects the problem or not... And if they do need to be reset - how? I will also check the battery just in case!

    Lisa
  5. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Hi Lisa,

    A distance of 7 miles should be OK if the car is not in obvious distress.

    If you should find that the engine radiator overflow container is low, you should also check the fluid level within the radiator itself.

    This will require you to remove the large black plastic cover over the radiator which is held on with six plastic "screws", which are actually plastic fittings. Rotate each "screw" with a Phillips screwdriver while exerting upwards pressure on the cover. That will pop out the plastic fitting. Once you get one out, you can see how it is constructed and that will help you to remove the other five.

    Once the cover is off, you will see the radiator cap. Do not remove it until the cap is cool, since the radiator is under pressure.

    Once the cap is removed, if the fluid level is not at the very top of the opening, fill the radiator with Toyota SLLC.

    If coolant levels were the only problem then the warning lights should turn off. If they don't turn off, then please have the DTC read and post. Good luck.
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