2006 Prius just got warning lights

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Prius 06, May 13, 2012.

  1. Prius 06

    Prius 06 Member

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    Hi guys,
    I've tried to do a search, but couldn't find exactly what I was looking for.
    SO, I've come to ask!

    The car is a 2006 Prius with 200,000 kms on it (125,000 miles).
    For the past week or so I've noticed that our Prius' traction battery has dropped down to 2 bars when leaving for work. Not showing 2 bars right away, but just dropping down very quick as we make our way to the main road.
    Today, my wife went out in the car, and after 20 mins the car had the check enigne light, VSC, the red triangle and a car with a ! in the MFD. Also, the fan was running the whole way home.

    I swapped her cars and on my way home I noticed that the car's battery was all over the place. Charged all the way, then a minute later completely discharged, then charged again.
    It also didn't seem to want to run on the electric motor or use the regen brakes.

    I went into the screen where it shows the 12 volt batteries voltage and it said 11.3 volts. Now, the car is still on it's original battery (6 years), so I know I'm on borrowed time anyways, so it's being replaced tomorrow.
    I tried hooking up a battery from my other car, but I know this battery has a problem already (it has been on the minder charger).
    It also showed 11. something volts.
    When I did this, or even hooked the original battery back up, the car would not go into any gear, just park and neutral. Also, none of the lights went off the dash and the engine would never start.

    SO, in a last attempt, I tried hooking my good battery in the other car to the Prius.
    This worked! The Prius was back to normal. No lights on the dash, it went into both gears and the engine started. The battery on the MFD showed 2 bars shy of being full (which is normal when we park it) and even the gas gauge, which had been flashing 1 bar was now up to where it should be.

    So, my question is, is this just one of the weird symptom that the 12v battery can give when going? Or, is this the traction battery AND the 12v?
    Either way, the 12v is being replaced...being 6 years old and already out of the car.

    Thanks guys!
     
  2. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    It sure COULD be just a weak 12 volt battery. You will find out tommorow, I hope for the best!
     
  3. justlurkin

    justlurkin Señor Member

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    If I remember correctly, 2006 is one of the model years that had an inverter coolant pump recall. A failing inverter coolant pump might also cause those symptoms you describe.

    If your 2006 was one of those in the recall, was the inverter coolant pump recall repair done on your 2006?
     
  4. Prius 06

    Prius 06 Member

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    No, it hasn't had it done.
    I didn't want it done because I feel with the mileage on the car that if you disturb something, something else will fail.
    I guess I should look into getting it done.
    I'll see what the car does tonight after I get a battery.
    Only problem I can see with that is I want a optima, but don't know how long it will take to get it.
     
  5. justlurkin

    justlurkin Señor Member

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    The inverter is the electrical heart of the Prius-- it converts the voltages for the various electrical components (traction motors, battery, hybrid system electronics, cabin accessories, etc.) and current between AC (hybrid system) and DC (HV Battery) and it needs to be properly cooled.

    If the inverter coolant pump isn't working right, it WILL cause problems with the other electrical components in your car (including the HV battery).

    The recall involves replacing the inverter pump with a newer version, AND you get a free drain-and-refill of the SLLC inverter coolant fluid at the same time. It's a win-win for you.

    Get it done.
     
  6. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    If you battery fan was running on high after getting a red triangle, 20 minutes into a trip, it is most decidedly not a 12V problem. 12V problems manifest on startup and shutdown. By disconnecting the 12V, you've caused the battery computer to reset. You've erased all of the trouble codes as well, so you have no choice but to keep driving it until it codes again, in order to determine the course of action. You may get another week or two before having another red triangle during a trip. If this indeed turns out to be the case, get a used hybrid battery via car-part.com. They are cheap in Canada.
     
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  7. Prius 06

    Prius 06 Member

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    Ok, I'll look at that when I get it running again.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but following this video is correct for what you are talking about:


    I check what this video shows every few weeks (because I believe that this is what the recall is for). I checked it about 2 weeks ago and it was still working based on what this video shows.
    Ofcourse, that doesn't mean that this isn't the problem, I just want to check with you that I've been checking the correct thing.

    I went to the dealer this morning to grab a battery, they want $270 plus tax ($305) and it's a special order.
    I'm waiting for a local performance shop I deal with to get back to me about a Optima.

    Thanks for the help!
     
  8. justlurkin

    justlurkin Señor Member

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    Here's the recall bulletin from Toyota: 2004-2007 Prius Recall - HV Water Pump

    In the Prii involved in the recall, the inverter pump may be working, but not circulating the fluid fast enough, so heat builds up.

    The recall repair is free of charge to you I think. And having brand-new SLLC fluid is good for the health of the inverter components. I'd take advantage of it.
     
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  9. Prius 06

    Prius 06 Member

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    Thanks!
    I didn't even think of the car-part.com site, although I haven't used it for anything in ages.

    I should mention that I kept my battery pack connected to the car while working on it, just so I didin't run into a problem with the car loosing the power.
     
  10. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    That's really not true. If the fluid is moving, it will be doing a passable-enough job at cooling. Fresh fluid might help things, but it would not make the difference between red triangle or no red triangle.

    Battery fan + red triangle = big problems.
     
  11. justlurkin

    justlurkin Señor Member

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    The Toyota recall bulletin which I linked to above did say that reduced fluid flow will cause higher temps in the inverter. That's all I'm pointing out. :)
     
  12. Prius 06

    Prius 06 Member

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    So I found a dealer that had a battery.
    Put it in and took the car out.
    I got no lights on my 30km trip.
    When I got back, I shut the car off and turned it back on.
    This time I got all the same things that showed on the dash as yesterday.
    I also noticed that the hv battery was really low and even though the engine was running/charging, the battery still dropped a bar.

    So, I guess it's a new traction battery for us.

    Do you guys think I should take it to a dealer and let them do the recall and fix/replace the battery?
    If I buy my own battery, is it something someone can replace on their own?
    Just looking for input here as what you guys think is best.

    Thanks!
     
  13. Prius 06

    Prius 06 Member

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    So just another update.
    As per justlurkin's advice, the car has an appointment on Friday morning for the inverter recall. They are going to check the car out while they have it.

    I took it over to get gas tonight, no warning lights on again.
    Only things I noticed was the engine will turn on right away when pulling away from a stop, and the battery showed one bar when I started the car up, and then fully charged within a few minutes.

    I'm tempted to see what they'll give us for it and grab a new Prius V.
    But I know they won't give us enough with what is needed to fix it.

    Thanks for all the help guys!
     
  14. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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  15. Prius 06

    Prius 06 Member

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    Thanks. Came across them yesterday. They are about 30 mins from me.
    They are the next place after the dealer visit.
     
  16. Prius 06

    Prius 06 Member

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    Update:
    So, the car went in this morning to the Toyota dealer. Had the recall done, but didn't fix the problem.
    Took the car to Autodex and they've determined it's one cell.
    So, I'm having them replace the battery.

    Thanks for all the help with such limited info!
     
  17. PlugMeIn

    PlugMeIn KlnAir4U Plugged-In & e-Prius

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    How was your experience with Mony at Autodex Hybrids? Did he get you back on the road again? Great Price?

    Tell all ...
     
  18. Prius 06

    Prius 06 Member

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    Mony is GREAT!
    He had the car for about a week (was a long weekend the Friday the car went in, so you can subtract a day right there), but I also had him do some other stuff while it was there, as well as he wanted to keep the car to road test before handing it back to us.

    I've got an unlimited millage from Autodex on the new battery, for one year. I've put over 17,000 kms on the car since I've gotten it back. Not a single hiccup since!
    Well, other than I literally just finished replacing the original headlights when I got an email of your post.

    I would highly recommend him to anyone with a Prius.
     
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