2005 Prius - Red Triangle of Death Troubleshooting

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Josh Gold, Jan 11, 2020.

  1. Josh Gold

    Josh Gold New Member

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    Model:
    II
    Writing this post more as a log of my own issues and my troubleshooting steps. There are lots of good posts on this forum, but I thought I'd add my own troubleshooting experience.

    Mileage: ~95000
    Issue: Driving home from a business trip. 1.5 hours into a 3 hour trip. In the rain on the highway. Cruise control is on and I am going up hill at around 75 MPH. All of a sudden the cruise kicks out and all lights kick on -- red triangle, VSC, check engine, (!). After I crap myself, I slowly pull off at the next exit and turn off the car. At this point, I am 90 minutes from home at 6:00 PM. I start trolling this forum and see lots of issues, but for my immediate situation, it seems everyone kept driving it, at least minimally. I check the oil to make sure its not empty. It's in between the 2 dots, so I press on. The VSC and (!) are no longer on when I restart.

    Car drove fine at 65-72 MPH all the way home. The VSC and (!) did come back on, but I did not hear or feel any difference in driving experience.

    This morning I changed the oil. It was overdue as I was at about 7500 mi. since the last one (I use Castrol synthetic high mileage). I also tested the 12V battery as that was an easy check and it was good. 12.4V.

    So, next steps:

    1. Get the code checked. Some posters said the lights went away on their own. I plan to stop by my local parts store, as the nearest Toyota dealership is 40 minutes away. I assume it will return nothing, but I can always hope. I will share the results of that once its done.

    Other notes:
    * I have noticed my mileage dropping with the weather. I bought the car last Spring, so I thought maybe it was the cold weather (though my Prius is always garage kept). Wondering if it is something else.
    * Other posts point to the wetness of the roads, the inverter water pump, battery pack, and transmission. I will wait and see.

    Today is Saturday, I will let it "rest" today and take it to the parts store tomorrow.

    I am not much of a mechanic, but am looking to learn, and always willing to try new tests and troubleshooting ideas, esp. if there is a YouTube video ;-)

    More updates to come.
     
  2. Josh Gold

    Josh Gold New Member

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    Status update: Just returned from my local O'Reillys. They read the code(s):
    C1241
    C1300
    C1357
    PA093

    The C1300 and esp. C1357 seem to point to the battery pack, which would align with my mileage issue, I think.
    O'Reilly's quoted me a new battery pack for $1417. Another thread recommends a greentec battery pack with a 4 yr warranty for $1600

    And this post spanning over the past 6 years and 121 pages discusses testing each module and recharging/balancing them:
    gen-ii-prius-individual-battery-module-replacement.125588/

    My short-term plan, unhook the 12V battery lead, wipe out the codes, and see how fast it comes back. I also plan to test the voltage of each module when it does.

    If anyone with any experience is reading this, I'm looking for feedback:
    * Is it worth going to a dealership to make sure I have the right codes?
    * When it comes to recharging or swapping out modules/cells vs. buying a new battery pack, where does the payoff end? I have a standard trickle charger, but would probably have to buy charging equipment.

    Thanks
     
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    depends on how long you plan to keep her, how much money you want to spend vs time.

    'newpriusbatteries.com' $1,600. dealer oem, as low as $1,650.

    a couple modules and a lot of learning curve = time
     
  4. Josh Gold

    Josh Gold New Member

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    Thank you for the quick response!

    I just bought this vehicle in the Spring. It only had 80,000 miles on it and the previous owner took very good care of it.

    If you have any recommendation on YouTubers or people that have documented steps on how to test & replace, I'm interested.
     
  5. pasadena_commut

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    POA93? Inverter pump. If the failure is intermittent it would do just what you observed. OK to drive 15 minutes or so with that out in mild or cold weather since it will take that long to overheat, bad idea to drive on the highway though. It isn't hard to replace it yourself, search for the thread in this forum. Get a Toyota one from the dealer or on line. I tried a Dornan replacement, and it worked for a while but then started to intermittently not start up when the car turned on, which only caused problems when the car went on the highway since most of my other driving was in short trips. Maybe it was just that one Dornan unit, but no problems since going back to an OEM pump, and at this point I wouldn't put anything else in.
     
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  6. davecook89t

    davecook89t Senior Member

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    If the HV battery is still original, it would not be surprising that it would now be in need of replacement.

    However, the codes that you got from O'Reilly's are not necessarily indicative of HV battery failure. In fact, the first 3 you mention can have a wide variety of causes having nothing to do with the HV battery. I can find no information on a PA093 code. A P0A93 code, on the other hand, is very common and always points to an inverter pump failure. (I suspect you transposed the characters to get PA093.) Fortunately, replacing the inverter pump is one of the most common and least expensive repairs these cars need. You can do it yourself in about and hour, with the OEM part costing about $100. That should definitely be your first priority. If the HV battery is truly failing, I would expect to see other codes, especially P3000 and P0A80. Possibly O'Reilly's code scanner is missing some of the codes. Before you start spending money on the HV battery, I think you need to get a more definitive indication that it is failing by getting Techstream (do a search in this forum to get more info on that) or by having the codes read at a Toyota dealer.
     
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  7. davecook89t

    davecook89t Senior Member

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    I see someone else already beat me to the punch on the inverter pump replacement.:)
     
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  8. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    x2 with @davecook89t, nothing in that list is indicative of an HV battery issue.

    The 1300 is a skid control ecu dtc. The 1357 is possible also related to that ecu. P0A93 is a 1.5-2 hour job for someone who has never done it before but is capable of watching you-tube videos and following directions, etc.
     
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  9. Josh Gold

    Josh Gold New Member

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    II
    Just an update to my situation. After resetting the 12V battery and clearing the codes, I purchased the Dr. Prius app for my iPhone (and I forked over the $30 for the mechanic version), as well as the Veepeak OBD2 BLE ELM27-compatible scanner ($25 on Amazon). Totally worth it. It told me that my that battery level was still in pretty good shape. So I did nothing for a while.

    Last week, the red triangle of death came on again. About 95K mi. on it at this point. Weather was clear and roads were dry, unlike the the last time my dashboard lit up like a Christmas tree. I plugged in my Veepeak and it threw the P0A93, but nothing else. Based on the comments from @davecook89t and @TMR-JWAP, I'm going to give it a go to replace it. So thank you both!

    Thanks again for everyone's advice. I will continue to update this thread on my little Gen II.
     
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