2006 Prius, P1151 code + red triangle "Problem" error - day after it was serviced

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by preeus06, Oct 12, 2018.

  1. preeus06

    preeus06 Junior Member

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    Hey guys!

    So as the title states, I have a 2006 Prius. It's got 225,000 miles on it. Trying to squeeze at least another year out of it! I've provided as much detail as possible, but also bolded some highlights/clues to make this more easily digestible. Yesterday I went to a drive through oil change. In addition to an oil change, I got:
    - a coolant drain/fill
    - automatic transmission service
    - oil pan plug seal replacement


    Immediately driving it away, everything seemed fine. They even told me to drive it around the block for 5 minutes and come back so they could double check the coolant level, which they said was good to go. I drove for about an hour, parked my car for a few hours, then drove home. On the 1.5 hour drive home, my heater did not work. It would only blow cold air until the last ~ 20 minutes of my drive after I accelerated up a big hill.

    This morning shortly after beginning a drive, after going down a hill then stopping at a light my engine was cycling between revving up and then quieting down. I have experienced this issue before on occasion after going down big hills and then stopping so didn't think much of it. Otherwise, things seemed normal.

    This evening after work, I turned my car on to see the check engine light on. Only code that it threw was P1151. On the drive home, when accelerating on the freeway above ~ 60 MPH, the red triangle would display for a few seconds and the screen displayed "Problem." This happened about 5 times. I subsequently kept the acceleration very light and went slow, and didn't see it for the rest of my drive.

    From some of the forum digging I've done it sounds like P1151 is related to the coolant system, but I haven't read anything about this specific cluster of symptoms, so not sure what to think. Thanks in advance for any help! You guys are awesome.
     
  2. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Remove the black plastic panel over the radiator, open the radiator cap, and check the coolant level in the radiator. It is very likely that you will find the coolant level low. Do not rely just on checking the coolant level in the overflow reservoir.

    Discontinue driving the car until you have fully filled the coolant in the radiator, to avoid causing further damage to the engine.
     
  3. preeus06

    preeus06 Junior Member

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    Thank you Patrick! I actually was just about to update about this - I went and checked that and you're right. The coolant level there is completely empty, actually. But looks normal in the overflow reservoir.

    Does it seem more likely that there was a leak and/or that they failed to seal something off? Or that they just goofed and failed to fill it? Just kinda surprised that they checked it twice and this still happened. Wondering if there's a bigger issue at hand here than just needing to fill the radiator coolant.
     

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  4. exstudent

    exstudent Senior Member

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    1) Why the Fahrvergnügen would you let those idiots do anything other than an oil change? Even that, they can F-up. You get what you pay for: incompetency.

    2) Which loop was the coolant drained/filled? Engine loop, inverter loop, or both? There is air in the engine loop for sure: lack of heat is a tell-tale-sign. Did they fill with Toyota SLLC, or some crap that they say is Prius "compatible." Few shops seem to be able to properly bleed the air out of the engine loop on the Prius. Quick lube clowns, forget about it; but now you know. Continuing to drive w/ a non-functioning engine cooling system can quickly cause a catastrophic and costly repair/early engine death. Bill the quick lube clowns for the tow and cost to properly bleed the cooling system at a Prius shop. Hopefuly the engine hasn't been catastrophically overheated from your continued drive when the master warning light came on.

    3) The Prius does not have an automatic transmission. It has a transaxle. This functions like a transmission (so people can understand), but it lacks a torque converter and is far simpler. Service of the transaxle is a simple drain and fill (~3.8 quarts) using Toyota ATF-WS Transmission fluid. How much did they ream you for this?

    4) Get the other codes read. If your code reader is not using Techstream software, it will most likely miss many Prius specific codes, that "universal" coder readers can not read.

    California is a big state. Best to get your car serviced by competent, reputable, and trustworthy shops:
    Lusciou's Garage (SF), Art's Automotive (Berkeley), Hybrid Fix (near USC)
    There may be others, but these three are known and respected here.
     
    #4 exstudent, Oct 13, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
  5. preeus06

    preeus06 Junior Member

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    1) Hah, I figured it was too simple to mess up, that's why! Guess I was wrong. I've had bad luck with mechanics, and these guys don't have a reason to mess up my car and suck out more cash from me since they're not mechanics, so I trusted them more.

    2) Good questions, no clue. I'm giving the manager a call tomorrow and will ask about those for sure.

    3) $92 -_-

    4) Sounds good. I'm planning to get another Prius in the future, so that sounds like a good investment. Hopefully can pick one up at O'Reily's tomorrow.

    And thank you for the suggestions! I'm in the Bay Area, so those recs may certainly come in handy.
     
  6. exstudent

    exstudent Senior Member

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    Mechanics/Contractors/Physicians/Lawyers, all the same in terms of you rely on their supposed expertise, but get screwed. Competent AND honest professionals are rare.

    $92 would be a very good price, if they used Toyota ATF-WS transmission fluid. I recall people posting Toytoa dealers charging $100-$150. Labor wise, its as difficult/time consuming as draining the engine oil.

    Techstream is the Official Diagnostic Software made for Toyota/Lexus; it is what all Toyota/Lexus dealers use. You can get your own hacked copy from Jeff Bezos' store. "mini VCI Techstream" Get whatever is cheap, as the cables and software disc all come from the same one or two suppliers from Panda Land (China). Quality of the cables sucks, and you may have to order/return a few before getting one that works. The latest version of Techstream is always floating around somewhere on the Net too. Installation is easiest on a Windows laptop, 32bit OS (XP, Vista, 7). If you are not in IT, ask friends/family if they know anyone who is, as this person will likely have some obsolete laptop laying around collecting dust. Install possible on a Mac; just search how. Most people use this spare laptop ONLY for Prius diagnostic purposes, and NEVER for any personal online transactions (email, banking, shopping, bill payments) out of precaution against malware.

    Next Prius, invest in a magnetic transaxle drain plug. Gen3 and later no longer come w/ the anemic magnetic transaxle drain plug like the Gen2's.
    Read Post #473, page 24: ATF fluid changes ARE Required. | Page 24 | PriusChat
    A magnetic engine oil drain plug is optional, and may not be as beneficial as a magnetic transaxle drain plug. But, something to consider when browsing Gold Plug's magnetic drain plugs (engine/transalxe).

    Since the quick lube idiots screwed up. Go nuclear on them and demand they pay for the tow to a Toyota dealer to have them redo everything correctly with the correct fluids (Toyota SLLC coolant and Toyota ATF-WS transmission fluid). They will balk at that but be firm they don't know what they are doing. Don't let them know your desire to just get the car to last one more year b/c they will not want to pay more than they have to.

    Consider getting your hands dirty by DIY. You'll learn a lot. If you don't want to, and can't get your vehicle service by Lusciou's or Art's, call those two shops, and ask who they feel is a good shop near your home/work.
     
    #6 exstudent, Oct 13, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
  7. preeus06

    preeus06 Junior Member

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    Awesome, thanks for all the advice and info. I'm not in IT, but not opposed to doing some research and will see what I can do. And yep, definitely support the DIY encouragement. I have done a few small things myself over the years, and plan to continue to work towards becoming more self sufficient. It's always rewarding when I fix it myself.
     
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  8. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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  9. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    The two photos you provided are of the overflow reservoir.

    Remove the large black plastic panel that has six plastic fasteners holding it in place. Use a Philips screwdriver to rotate each fastener as you apply upwards pressure to pop the fastener out of the hole.

    Find the radiator cap under the large black plastic panel, remove the cap and look in the radiator. You likely will find the level there is low or non existent.
     
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  10. preeus06

    preeus06 Junior Member

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    Ahh I see, thanks. There are two reservoirs I suppose then.

    Looks pretty damn empty to me! Also checked for any leakage where I parked - nothing.
     

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  11. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Yes, fill both the radiator and the empty reservoir before you drive the car again.
     
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  12. preeus06

    preeus06 Junior Member

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    So I ended up playing the whole “loyal and firmly disappointed customer” role, and they are handling it really well. (It’s Oil Stop by the way, not sure if anyone has an opinion on them). They’re refunding the coolant service, and they’re going to pay for any damages caused to my engine and the extra service I’ll need. Towed it to Toyota.
     
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  13. exstudent

    exstudent Senior Member

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    Good JOB!

    Incompetent workers are everywhere, and they come and go.

    The upside is that that location (if it is a franchise) or the company (if the stores are all centrally run by the corporate office), accepted responsibility w/o making you go through hell, and will cover the costs to fix the problem. With this outcome, I would be comfortable giving them business, if I didn't DIY. I would definitely be comfortable recommending that location, given your outcome.

    You should be celebrating! I have heard horror stories where it took months to get a national chain to accept responsibility for a replacement engine b/c the mechanic didn't tighten the oil drain plug correctly.

    Count your blessings and go buy a lotto tix. If you win, feel free to throw anything my way.
     
  14. preeus06

    preeus06 Junior Member

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    Yeah, I'm super happy! I was pretty stunned at how easily the manager just said "Yeah, that's really bad. We've got you covered." I didn't have to push for anything. Just told my story and got the best-case-scenario response. Now here's to hoping they truly hold up their end of the bargain. Still waiting to hear back from Toyota, and may not have it fixed until Monday. But woohoooo. (y)
     
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