2006 200K Dashboard lights on MFD shows problem car in safe mode 12v battery changed

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by Med, Sep 9, 2018.

  1. Med

    Med New Member

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    Hi there!

    Here’s my car: it’s a 2006 Prius, that has 200k+ miles

    The symptoms and problems:
    I was driving almost 2 weeks ago and suddenly the car started making a continuous alarming noise and a few lights in the dashboard went on: Check engine (not sure), VSC, ABS, Airbag, and Brake. I turn off the car and turn it on again. Noise stopped but lights were still on. I moved the car few yards away to a sar spot. As soon as the car started moving the noise restarted. Turned it off again and then on and I had to move it one more time. At that time the noise went on, all lights including Warning triangle went on, and also the MFD was a red car with an exclamation mark in it. I decided to call the tow. When I was about to drive it in the tow truck, the same symptoms were persistant plus an additional one: the car started putting itself in Safe mode which means that the car moves by itself from Drive to Neutral and the steer wheel becomes immobile. We towed the car to my house as it was night time.
    In the morning I requested a second tow. When the tow truck came, we tried to put the car in but the car was in safe mode, the MFD was showing an additional problem: it shows a Red Battery in addition to the car. The gas level was blinking and was at the lowest level while the tank was full. The tow guy turned of the car and put his jump box and restarted the car: all symptoms were gone (no lights, no noise, no safe mode, absolutely nothing). His jump box was showing 8.4 Volts. He turned off his jump box and all the symptoms came back. He restated the jump box to be able to move the car.
    Gave all the symptoms to the mechanics (I don’t know any electrician). They changed the battery and said that the car runs well. The battery they put was bought from a Toyota dealership.
    I got my car back and drove it back to my place (2 miles from from the garage). Then drove it for an additional mile back and forth. The. I left it off for 24 hours. Went out and drove around 7 to 8 miles. All the symptoms came back gradually. First, noise and lights. Turned it off and on. Was a le to drive like 5 miles before symptoms came back gradually. Pulled over. Took back to the same mechanics. They charged the battery and did 3 test drive. I picked up my car yesterday and they told me it should be fine and it’s not a generator problem as the “Ready” light didn’t go off. They said that they charged the battery and asked me whether I was driving it with the key in slot or not. I said no. So they asked me to do the followings: drive with the key in the slot and not to plug anything in the cigarettes slot. So did I. Drove back to my place. In the meantime I opened and closed the windows three times. Soon as I parked, symptoms came back without warning light. Drove back to the mechanic but nothing happened. Went back to my place. Symptoms came back with the warning light and the car in the MFD. I decided not to call a tow and to drive to the mechanic’s. The only way I could drive it without putting itself in safe mode was: as soon as I turn it on, I put it in drive and dive off right away but if I stop a little bit the car goes safe and have to turn it off but it doesn’t go safe every time. Then what happend is that the brake was very hard and the only way to unlock it was to turn off the car. At some point when I drive too long without turning it off, when I push on the brake the wheels become slippery. After a mile or so, 1 minute in row, driving it without turning it off, when I turned it off I smelled like plastic burning, I opened the hood but I nothing.
    I kept it off for 15 minutes but then turned it on and drove it to the mechanics, it was close.
    If anyone has an idea, please help.
    My guesses now are: there might be a short circuit somewhere. A fuse is dead. The inverter might be dead. Beside that I have no idea.
    Please help.
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome!

    sorry for your troubles.
    the only way to figure out what is wrong is by reading the trouble codes. does your mechanic have tech stream diagnostic software?
     
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  3. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Tow it to Luscious garage, they'll know how to diagnose your car properly.
     
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  4. Med

    Med New Member

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    Thank you very much Bisco.
    I just found the labor description from the mechanic and it says this:
    “Attached scan tool found two codes: P0A08 DC/DC converter status circuit; and C2318 low voltage error (power supply malfunction). Found positive battery terminal loose. Tightened. And rechecked charging system.”

    That’s all I have.
     
  5. Med

    Med New Member

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    Thank you very much JC91006.

    Luscious remains the best option. The only reason I didn’t take it there is because they are very expensive. But it looks like I am gonna have to take it there.

    Thanks a lot for the tip.
     
  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    maybe check the 12v charge level and connections, especially negative to ground.
     
  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    check the inverter coolant reservoir for turbulence with the car ig-on (press power button twice without pressing brake pedal.
     
  8. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    you can also measure the 12v with the car in ready to see if it is being charged
     
  9. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Well at a minimum, you'll need a new hv battery for p0a80 code.

    Then if you have a problem with the dc/dc converter, you'll need a new inverter.

    But I'm thinking you probably just have a loose connection on your battery, hopefully tightening the connections will solve some issues. Which leaves the p0a80, New hv battery
     
  10. Med

    Med New Member

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    Hi guys!

    I reported the meaning of the codes to the mechanic. I also reported what you guys told me here.

    They brought an electrician to work on it. He worked on it today. According to them: the mechanic checked the water pump inverter, the 12v battery, the hybrid battery, and the inverter.

    The electrician diagnosis is that the car needs a new hybrid battery. They said that indeed the inverter is damaged and needs to be changed. Apparently, to change the inverter, the whole hybrid battery system has to be changed, because they come together.

    As I personally do not understand these kind of things at all, I said that google returns the chrome box under the hood that is on the left of the fuse box as the inverte, and that is the part that needs to be changed. They said no, the inverter is on the back with the battery.

    Anyway. Does it make sense to you guys?

    Thank you very much.
     
  11. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    The inverter is up under the hood (the gray or silver box);).

    What Bay Area mechanic are you using as you need to find another one(y).
     
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  12. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    "They" don't know what they are talking about. Here's the inverter. Its in the engine bay.
    inverterpic.png
    The inverter is expensive if you get a new one, but it's pretty simple to replace.

    The battery, as I guess you know by now is under the deck behind the rear seat. It's also pretty simple to replace and also pretty expensive.

    If I had a 13 year old car that needed both, I'd get rid of it unless I just loved fixing cars or just could not afford to replace it with anything reasonably reliable. Salvaged parts can save lots of money.
     
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  13. Med

    Med New Member

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    Thank you very much Raytheeagle.

    The mechanics I took it to is Excelsior Auto Care, it is in San Francisco.
    They ended up telling me to take it to the dealership, after 18 days and $300 expense for a new 12v battery.

    Tomorrow I am taking it to another mechanic who said that he will just change the inverter. That’s it.

    Thank you.

    Thank you very much Jerrymildred.

    I am not changing the battery as I changed it a year ago. Tomorrow I am taking it to another mechanic who will change the inverter.

    After we change all that. I am gonna sell it.

    Thank you very much.
     
    #13 Med, Sep 16, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 17, 2018
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  14. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    ask the mechanic to use a salvage inverter. way cheaper.
     
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  15. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

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    You might want to drive it a month or two before you sell it. Sounds like your biggest problem is a crappy mechanic.
     
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