2002 Prius NO electrical working at all... help!

Discussion in 'Generation 1 Prius Discussion' started by juanftg, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. juanftg

    juanftg New Member

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    I bought a used 2002 Prius last year because I thought I'd be helping the environment and being part of this great green-driving movement.

    I'm sad to say the last couple months have been a nightmare...

    First off, about 10 weeks ago, I got the triangle of death + check engine light that means the main HEV battery is dying... I went to Autozone and got the engine codes so I confirmed this but still took the car to the dealer and payed 100 to toyota so I could be told the same thing and that I'd have to pay 3200 to have the battery replaced. I started commuting the 42 miles to work by bus for a couple weeks while reading up on replacing the modules by myself.

    During this time the car stood parked outside my apartment and I turned it on every couple days but I stopped doing this for 1 week because I wasn't able to do it and after that I noticed the power locks weren't working. So I took out my Duracell 300 Powerpack and connected the terminals in reverse polarity (!!!!!!!) because it was dark but somehow the powerpack lit the green "correct" connection led. I went ahead and tried twisting the key to turn it on at that moment the powerpack started beeping and I saw the powerpack led changed to red.

    I have had the 12v battery discharge previously but never had it "tricked" my powerpack into thinking it was correctly connected. So at that moment I realized something was wrong.

    I don't think it's simply a matter of replacing the 12V battery, because nothing turns on in the car... its completely DEAD even with jumper cables connected to a running vehicle. There's no lights on inside, the lcd never even attempts to power on no matter what I do.

    I since bought a solar trickle charger (live in NM, sun is HOT) but I fear it's too late :(

    Can someone here help me? I'm starting to think only people with 6 digit incomes are able to really afford these "green" cars with batteries that only last 8 years and then cost as much as the car itself to replace... :'(

    Did I kill something when I inadvertently connect the power pack in reverse polarity? Did the HEV battery discharge so much that the car will now refuse to start at all? Did I blow a fuse? How can I tell if I can do something myself without having to pay a lot of $$$ to toyota again?

    Any input would be really appreciated!!!
     
  2. juanftg

    juanftg New Member

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    One more thing... I'm not that knowledgeable about how cars work, but am willing to learn. I'm assuming that if the car needs 12v to start and power everything it SHOULD work if I have a second car's battery connected to the prius' battery because then both would have 12V in a serial setup, but with current halved(?) but still, even with low current output at least the lights in the car's cockpit should light up even if dimly right?

    So this is why I'm worried that maybe something else is malfunctioning.
     
  3. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    Sorry but there have been multiple posts in the Yahoo Group, "Prius Technical Stuff" about reversed, road-side jumps that pretty well blew the vehicle control computers. The only known fix is to replace them. However, it makes sense to see if the 'fusible link' might have possibly 'saved' the car (a first.)

    Take your B+ terminal assembly off the battery and using a volt-ohm meter, see if there is continuity from the terminal to the thick wire that carries 12 V. to the car. If the fusible link blew, replacing and/or jumpering may get power to the rest of the fuses that may also be blown. You're first step is to check every fuse and fusible link starting from the battery to the rest of the car.

    Once all failed fuses and fusible links are working, it the car still does not work, you are faced with the prospect of testing and replacing the multiple, ECUs. Although many are available from salvage, even these will be several hundred dollars each. Worse, the key and HV ECU have to be synced or the imobilizer will not let the car run.

    I wish I could give you better news but there are some failures that the cost of repair can rapidly exceed the value of a replacement car. Without a garage to work in, it becomes even more of a task.

    Bob Wilson
     
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  4. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    I agree that the fusible links and all fuses (especially MAIN, DC/DC and DOME) must be checked. Once this is done, if the car is still not working then the inverter probably will have to be replaced.

    Regarding the ECUs, I think that the 12V input may be protected with diodes, so the situation may not be quite as dire as Bob indicated above. Nevertheless, the task of replacing the inverter (or the traction battery for that matter) is really not DIY since you appear not to have prior experience with automobile service or dealing with high voltage and high current electricity. Prius is really not a very good car to be learning on because it is much more complex than a normal vehicle. If you decide that you want to try, regardless, then I recommend you download the relevant info regarding inverter and traction battery replacement at techinfo.toyota.com so that you can decide whether this is a project that you wish to take on.

    By the way, when you hook up the jump battery to the Prius you want the jump battery to be in parallel, not series. Parallel means that you have + to + and - to -. Series would mean that you are connecting the negative terminal of one battery to the positive terminal of the other, which is not helpful as you've learned at a very high cost.

    I think that you should have your Toyota dealer figure this all out for you since I doubt that you have independent hybrid shops in your city. Yes, this will be costly, into the four figures if the inverter needs to be replaced. If you rely on dealer service, the inverter plus the battery replacement will probably exceed the vehicle's market value.

    If you DIY the inverter replacement you may be able to buy a salvage part for several hundred dollars. Good luck with your decision.
     
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  5. statultra

    statultra uber-Senior Member

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    i hope its the fusible link, or your in for big money.
     
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  6. juanftg

    juanftg New Member

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    Thanks everyone... I have to admit that this is a very disheartening experience with my first prius... I guess I'll just stick to recycling and driving efficiently. That's one thing my prius was good for, I now get about 33mpg from my rav4 by driving it the way I used to drive my prius.

    So I put the car up on craigslist to be sold as is broken down and such, I don't want to sink any more money into it be it a tow truck service or a dealership $100 diagnostic scan. :(

    I hope somebody can find some use for it.. at least the seats and engines should be worth something to someone right? Maybe the steering wheel? :'(
     
  7. slimfrancis

    slimfrancis Member

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    hello patrick! i'm having a "no-lights or power coming to dash" issue. i have a GOOD 12 volt battery and i'm getting continuity from B+ to fusible link. can you tell me where the MAIN is located? is MAIN my fusible link? i see DOME and DC/DC in my manual. thanks much! -ac
     
  8. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    The MAIN fuse is located within the red positive battery terminal connector, attached to the 12V battery.
     
  9. slimfrancis

    slimfrancis Member

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    ok, that looked good to me as i didn't see that it's burnt or that the wire is broken inside. i'll take a better look tomorrow when i have more daylight. thanks much! -a
     
  10. Tropicalarcadian

    Tropicalarcadian New Member

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    Is this the legendary Bob Wilson? Almost every Prius forum I've seen says "ask Bob Wilson", so here I am. We had the earning lights hat everybody else has,but decided to let the battery go for a while, but last Sunday, we were driving and a loud pop came from the trunk. I opened the trunk and some chemical smelling smoke rose from the trunk space. I assumed a battery cell had popped, so we had the battery replaced today. I drove it for about an hour, and even though the battery charge indicator didn't go above the plus and minus symbols, it seemed to be working great. I went home, let it sit for a couple hours, then got back in to drive it. I opened the door sat down, put in the keys with the door still open, it dinged twice, then silence, no power to anything. I checked every fuse I could find. The only thing I found was that the 12v battery cables were loose. Do they undo these when they change the HV battery? Would them being loose have caused an ECU failure? How can I drive it off a cliff when it won't start? Comments appreciated, thanks!
     
  11. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    Uh no, I often copy the work of Prius pioneers: Patrick Wong, Doug Schafer, Good Prius Friend Hobbit, FireEngineer, and others who have been my teachers. Thankfully, we have a good community of Prius rebuilders hangin' here and you'll find a lot of good sense and applied practice here.

    I'm going to need more details:
    • "earning lights hat" - sorry I don't know what this means.
    • "last Sunday, we were driving and a loud pop came from the trunk. I opened the trunk and some chemical smelling smoke rose from the trunk space." - many things can make a 'pop' including an electrical arc.
    • "the battery replaced" - which one, the 12V or traction battery? By who?
    • "drove it for about an hour" - sounds good.
    • "the battery charge indicator didn't go above the plus and minus symbols" - my traction battery status only shows charge and discharge direction. I don't remember seeing a "plus" or "minus" symbol.
    • "put in the keys with the door still open, it dinged twice, then silence, no power to anything" - sounds like the 12V circuit is dead.
    • "the 12v battery cables were loose" - that would do it. Did you tighten them? Have you measured the 12V battery voltage?
    • "Would them being loose have caused an ECU failure?" - Sounds unlikely.
    • "How can I drive it off a cliff when it won't start?" - tow it to an incline that ends at a cliff; jumper long enough to shift out of "P" and let it roll. However, it may make more sense to put it up for sale.
    Bob Wilson
     
  12. Tropicalarcadian

    Tropicalarcadian New Member

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    Thanks for the help :) "earning lights hat" was supposed to be "warning lights that". I'm still learning to type on a touchscreen device.
    After the pop sound, there was a dusty kind of smoke in the trunk. Since I was able to drive it fifteen minutes to the dealership, I doubted my assumption that one of the HV cells had burst. But since we had the Triangle of Doom, Check Engine Light and getting 37 mpg, it was time for a HV battery change anyway. BUT, if the pop was not the HV battery, I don't know what it would have been, because I examined everything in the trunk.
    Are the HV and Traction different names for the same battery? The 12v is less than two years old.
    HV battery was replaced by Toyota Dealership
    By Battery Charge Indicator, I mean the traction batter indicator as you stated. On our 2002 ,The Battery symbol has a pos and neg symbol on it and never got full for the time I drove it. That included no ac, lots of coasting, conservative driving.
    The voltage was 12.48. There are no dome, dash or headlights or anything else, not dim, just dead. I cleaned the connections on the 12v and tightened them. I have some mechanical experience, but not much electrical. And with two different battery systems, it leaves me more confused. How can I trace fault in the 12v system? I've done it on a regular car, but this Prius is beyond my present knowledge.
    We just spent our only savings, buying and fixing a car to save us money on gas, hence the driving off a cliff sarcasm. So I would love to have it towed and repaired, but that just ain't happening. Thanks again.
     
  13. Tropicalarcadian

    Tropicalarcadian New Member

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    I just went to get something out of the car and the dome light was on, so lets see if it stars... Put in the key, everything switched off as soon as the key reached the ON position, now it's dead again.
     
  14. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    1. Having just spent a four-digit amount to have the traction battery replaced, it would be reasonable for you to report the no-start problem to your dealer and ask for help. It is certainly possible that your current issue is related to the work performed by the dealer tech.

    2. If you are reluctant to do that, then the first step with any electrical issue is to confirm that all relevant fuses are good. You need an ohmmeter, do not rely on visual inspection. Remove each fuse, one at a time, and measure its resistance which needs to be near 0 ohms. In particular, inspect the large 120A MAIN fuse mounted on the red positive battery terminal connector and insure it is properly installed in its holder. Also make sure that the battery cables are tight. Check both ends of the negative cable, both at the battery and at the body.

    3. Look at your owner's manual to identify the locations of other fuses. Fuses within the relay/fuse box near the inverter needs to be inspected, as well as fuses within the fuse box on the driver's side of the dash.
     
  15. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    Ok, now we have something useful but you are going to need a volt-ohm meter. Harbor Freight often has adequate units for $5. But your symptoms are consistent with a major 12V battery problem.

    First get access to the 12V battery by removing the liner over the 12V battery:
    [​IMG]
    Gently with persistence remove the push-tabs that hold the felt so you have something similar to the above photo. BTW, take photos to document your work and don't be in a hurry. Then remove the battery hold-down and shield:
    1. Confirm the negative terminal is near the bumper and the positive near the wheel well. A reverse polarity mounted battery is bad news but we want to eliminate the obvious (others have done this before.)
    2. Disconnect the ground from the battery negative terminal.
    3. Unclip and remove the red safety cover: [​IMG]
    4. Disconnect the positive battery terminal.
    Now look carefully at the B+ terminal clamp assembly. There is a 120A fusible link and a 5A fuse. Carefully inspect both and using the ohm meter, verify they measure very low. Just to be sure, measure the resistance from the battery terminal clamp to the thick wire, black-green, that goes forward. We are just making sure nothing at the battery is a problem.

    Since the battery is disconnected, measure the DC voltage. Anything over 11.9 VDC is OK. If under 12.2 VDC, now would be a good time to put a 12V charger on it to bring it up to 'like new' 12.85 VDC. Reassemble leaving the ground terminal to the negative terminal for last to prevent "sparks" while making the regular connections. When the ground terminal is connected, there will be a few 'sparkles' as various caps and the trunk light come on.

    DO NOT PUT THE KEY IN OR TRY THE IGNITION

    Turn on the head lights and see if they come on. This means you have 12 V power from the battery. Turn off lights.

    Try the door lock/unlock with the keyfob. This also confirms the 12 V power is reaching the keyless entry system.

    Next locate a 15A fuse AM2, in the engine compartment, fuse box, on the driver side. There is a column of five fuses and the next column of three, the 3d fuse, is AM2. This is the fuse that feeds the ignition switch. Make sure it measures good with the ohm meter (ever see a fuse that looks OK but is really blown?)

    In the same column, there are five relays. The first close to AM2 fuse is the horn relay, the second the ignition. Swap the horn and ignition relays. Get in the car and tap the horn to test the relay and horn. If the horn bleeps, swap the relays back because we know it is good. Tap the horn again and both relays are known to be good.

    PUT KEY IN AND TURN TO ACCESSORY ONLY

    Repeat the headlight and horn test. Do any displays light up such as the clock and MFD? Can the radio be turned on? Do the electric door locks work?

    TURN TO IGNITION ONLY

    Repeat the headlight and horn test. Do any additional displays light up such as the speed indicator? Can the radio be turned on? Do the electric door locks work?

    TURN TO IGNITION ONLY

    Repeat the earlier tests.

    What we are doing is testing the electric system in stages to see how far the car will go before problems shows up.

    Bob Wilson
     
  16. Tropicalarcadian

    Tropicalarcadian New Member

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    "You need an ohmmeter, do not rely on visual inspection."

    Using this philosophy, I discovered rust on the ground screw threads of a screw that looked new and shiny on top(by visual inspection) 20 seconds of sandpaper and the issue was resolved. You guys just saved me lots of time and money!
     
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  17. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Amazing how many things can boil down to poor connections. Those sandpapered threads might stay even more conductive and trouble-free with a dab of something like Ford's electrical grease (as was also plugged back in this thread).

    (If the grease link I gave above doesn't work, try going here first and then try the above link again. Weird site session management....)

    To ward off any confusion, their electrical grease above is not the same as their dielectric grease (which is also useful stuff, just not for this).

    -Chap
     
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