2006 inverter cooling pump that nearly killed me

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Technical Discussion' started by Farmhand, Oct 17, 2017.

  1. Farmhand

    Farmhand New Member

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    Two weeks ago I was in the center lane at 55 and my Gen 2 died. I don't mean I got warning lights, or the engine stopped- I mean DIED. No engine. No electric power. No steering. No dash. No A/C or tunes. At 55 mph, surrounded by cars doing the same, on a major street, I am coasting in a death trap. I was lucky to wrestle it to the side between traffic (no blinkers!) before the road turned back uphill. Nearly had to change my shorts, but boy, it could have been a lot worse.

    Long story short, my inverter pump shorted out. Which killed the computer system, the inverter, engine management, dashboard - didn't even recognize the start button. Toyota tech was initially stumped because his computer was dark. Had to authorize additional diag time, because he actually had to disconnect things from the circuit one by one until he disconnected the pump, and by golly, the fuse lived. My pump cost me $850, and that was after the dealer knocked off 2 hours because I complained so much. I mean, Wth? Who designs a circuit with a motor on it that also feeds sensitive computer systems, and blowing a fuse can kill the entire friggin' car at speed without any warning?

    This was actually the subject of a recall in 2012. There was an earlier recall in 2010 for bubbles in the cooling system at the inverter pump, but because I took action on that one, Toyota said the 2012 bulletin was technically satisfied. I call BS. Anybody else experienced this? Had it out with Toyota as a result?

    Has anyone installed an inline fuse on the inverter pump to stop this insanity from happening again? Got a size and location you can share? My wife is now afraid to drive the car more than about 5 miles from the house.
     
    benjomothians, 05PreeUs, uart and 3 others like this.
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome!

    sorry to hear that, sounds like a safety issue that should be reported to nhtsa.
     
  3. R-P

    R-P Active Member

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    Wow, this sounds serious!!! Glad I had the recall in ~2012, but your idea of adding a fuse doesn't sound half bad given the consequences...
     
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  4. Data Daedalus

    Data Daedalus Senior Member

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    That’s scary indeed! Never heard of anything like that before.....that could have been fatal on a motorway at 70 mph....


    iPhone ?
     
  5. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    The toyota recall on the pump was to address this specific safety issue. If it's still happening, then maybe their new pumps are still not safe. I would continue to try and get Toyota corporate to reimburse you for the repair
     
  6. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Yes, it was a major safety issue for precisely this reason.

    It appears that in the OP's case that the recall was not done. It seems that the dealership believed it was unnecessary (due the op's pump having been replaced previously), however they may not have been aware that the pump had specifically been redesigned to make it much less likely to fail as a short. My guess is that the op never got the newly designed pump.

    "This was actually the subject of a recall in 2012. There was an earlier recall in 2010 for bubbles in the cooling system at the inverter pump, but because I took action on that one, Toyota said the 2012 bulletin was technically satisfied"
     
  7. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    That's really not a bad suggestion. I totally agree with you it's bad design for a faulty inverter coolant pump (blown fuse) to be able take out so many critical systems.

    Keep in mind however that the newer inverter coolant pumps should be very unlikely to fail as a short circuit.
     
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  8. 05PreeUs

    05PreeUs Senior Member

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    The answer is most OEMs. I am personally aware of a circuit connected to a Cummins "B" that is not fuse protected, it is a control circuit of the ECM, which shorts out and creates "thermal events" regularly.

    Computers think only in terms of Volts and Amps, seems obvious that an ECM output would have software controls "virtual fuses" if you like, designed into them.
     
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  9. benjomothians

    benjomothians New Member

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    [HELLO
    I have a question since i have this similar situation and problems
    When the actual thing happen did your instrument panel still had the power and the OBD2 could be read ?
    thank you
    If you are interested to read my story I have the newest descution with HELP in front
     
  10. R-P

    R-P Active Member

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    Unfused is madness.
    A fuse should always protect its wiring (blow before the ampere rating of the wire is exceeded). But some people don't grasp that concept.

    I worked on my father-in-laws Citroen Espace where a 30A fuse kept blowing. When tracing the wiring, I saw the 10Ga wire coming from the fuse being spliced to 12Ga, 14Ga, 16Ga and eventually to about 20Ga.

    Reasonable chance a 30A fuse won't blow when this 20Ga wire rubs through the installation and shorts to the chassis, thus heating up and worst case setting the car on fire...

    BTW, the fault was the insulation on the 12Ga wire to the sparkplugs or injectors that had rubbed through on an engine bolt. I eventually found it :) after both the Citroen dealer and an independant had spend a couple of hours on it...
     
  11. 05PreeUs

    05PreeUs Senior Member

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    Yup!

    The fuse protects the smallest wire cross-section in the circuit, not the largest. Amazing how often that is missed.
     
  12. benjomothians

    benjomothians New Member

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    Hi one more question though

    Did the ECUs got fried by the water pump shorting or it just shut them down.

    Thank you
     
  13. timoc

    timoc Junior Member

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    So whatever happened in the end after you replaced the pump? Mine did that late at night on a completely dark stretch of 70mph highway, no headlights. it was after replacing an old pump too that never caused that sort of problem, it just didn't work.
    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
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