Accelerator pedal - lost power while driving

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by jaw444, Jun 9, 2019.

  1. jaw444

    jaw444 Member

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    My 2007 prius with 79,000 miles on it, always trouble free until March 29 of this year when i went over a road hazard, steering now not returning to center and wandering right and left in lane, most noticeable at higher sustained speeds, feels unsafe and unstable, unsuccessful finding a mechanic who had any clue about repairing it--yesterday suddenly got a new problem. i don't know if they're related.

    i was driving about 40mph, i heard a beep sound come from the front of the car, a short beep, and right after that i could feel that pressing the accelerator had no effect.

    i pulled over and called AutoClub to tow me home, it was a Saturday afternoon and i don't have a mechanic, i need one, still looking related to the steering problems.

    While i was on the phone with AutoClub, the engine still running to have the AC on, the rep was asking me about the symptoms and i revved the car and said it doesn't respond if i rev it, but then i noticed that it does respond a little when my foot gets near the floor. There is enough fuel going in so that it can be backed up or moved forward, the guy drove it into my garage at my house.

    i will be having it towed to a mechanic tomorrow. i would like to know if anyone has knowledge/experience with these symptoms, i googled it, i guess there are a lot of possibilities. thanks
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    any dash lights?

    pretty sure there are some decent hybrid shops in la

    try hybrid fix
     
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  3. jaw444

    jaw444 Member

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    no, everything appeared normal. the only abnormality was the beep
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    see if there is movement in the inverter fluid reservoir
     
  5. jaw444

    jaw444 Member

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    OK, thanks, how do i check that? what is the inverter fluid resevoir and where do i check it? Under the hood, right? i will be checking to see if it's out of fluid?
     
  6. exstudent

    exstudent Senior Member

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    79k miles is suspect. Are you the original owner?

    Have you not heard of a vehicle alignment?
    You need to go to a shop that does alignments: PepBoys, Firestone Tire, Good Year, Just Tire, Big O Tire, even Toyota Dealership, others.

    The alignment is definitely out. Suspension components may need to be replaced due to age and damage possibly caused by the road hazard. At the very least, front struts and rear shocks, and their accompanying components should be changed if they have never been changed.

    If any dash lights or MFD lights came on, post the codes using Techstream.
    Techstream is the OFFICIAL diagnostic and maintenance software made for Toyota/Lexus, and used at Toyota/Lexus dealerships. Bluetooth OBD2 readers and all the various apps for smartphones/tablets are junk: LIMITED code reading ability (can't read ALL codes) and can NOT do any maintenance (bleed brakes, engine compression check, activate CHRS pump, etc). Why waste money on a toy that limits what you can read and can't do maintenance?

    "But I don't DIY." Getting the codes read at a Toyota dealership will set you back $100+. The cost of the hacked Techstream from Amazon will pay for itself.

    Get mini VCI w/ Techstream from Amazon ($25+). Doesn't matter who you buy from, as the cables likely come from the same one or two suppliers from panda land. May have to return/buy a few, as some cables have problems. Installation easiest on a Windows 32bit OS (XP, Vista, 7). Ask friends/family if they know someone in IT, as this person will likely have obsolete laptops laying around, and might be able to donate for free. B/C the software is hacked, recommended to install on a spare laptop; do not use this laptop for sensitive information (log in & passwords: email, bill payments, etc). This laptop is now your Toyota/Lexus diagnostic laptop. Mac install possible, you just need to search online.

    Should you stop driving a Toyota/Lexus, you can easily sell your Techstream laptop set-up here. Private Sales | PriusChat
     
  7. exstudent

    exstudent Senior Member

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    Open the owners manual. It clearly shows where the Inverter reservoir is located and how to check.

    You should read through the owners manual, on all vehicles you own. Boring, but helpful.
     
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  8. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    yes, see your owners manual for descriptions of items under the hood. with the car 'ready', after the engine has warmed up and shut off, remove the reservoir cap and look inside with a flashlight. there should be movement in the fluid. if not, the inverter pump has failed.
     
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  9. jaw444

    jaw444 Member

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    No, i'm not the original owner, i'm the second owner, i have all the service records from the first owner, at dealership. The car had 28K miles when i got it in january 2009 and i had it serviced at the dealer regularly until the dealer changed service managers and my service advisor suddenly left, and the guys i used after that were not the same, bad feel, i was just a dollar sign.

    i've had the car for 10 years and it's been totally trouble free until late March of this year when my two left wheels went over a road hazard, small black low to the ground thing, i have photos of it, tow truck driver said he almost hit it and took me back to get pictures

    Towed to tire shop, they put new Yokohama avid acend GT, four tires, and did alignment. Later that day that i got the car back, i was driving on the freeway, no traffic, cruising long, listening to something on the audio when i suddenly thought "why do i have to keep correcting the steering and bringing it back to the center of the lane?" it would tend to wander both left and right, i never had a car do this before. A couple of days later i took it back to the tire shop, they checked the alignment and said it was fine.

    This was during the time that my dog was dying from a long illness and i didn't need to drive much so i postponed dealing with the car. After my dog died, it was about a month since i got the tires. i called Yokohama to ask if they heard of this before. The guy said go back to the shop and get some measurements and call him from the shop . i went to the shop, the mechanic drove my car and as a passenger i could feel the weird feeling of how the car drove. The mechanic said he could feel it, he went different speeds. To me, it was weird because i could be driving and the car would drift left or right, but if let go of the steering wheel, it would go straight. it would drift when i wasn't paying such close attention but when i was watching it to test it, it kept going straight. it's hard to explain. But it didn't feel like normal tires that lay flat on the road, it felt like my car was sliding around on the road and that i didn't have control.

    Back at the shop they did another alignment and i called the Yokohama guy. He talked to the tire sales guy and then they hung up. The sales guy said there was nothing wrong with the tires, maybe it was caused by a leaking shock, which they could replace. i needed to learn more first because they were saying now the problem was gone, but i tested it and it wasn't gone.

    I started taking it to mechanics, wanting for someone to drive it and to feel what i was feeling and then tell me what they think, and then i would leave it to be fixed, but the first guy that drove it around the block didn't feel it or wasn't sure. i could feel it at any speed but sometimes more than others. He said maybe i'm just not used to the new tires.

    If that would solve the problem, i'd throw away the tires and get Goodyear Assurance Triple Tread all weather which i put on the car when i first got it, they were perfect, but no one could tell me that different tires would fix the problem, i've had many sets of new tires in my life, nothing like this.

    Another guy drove it, without me in it, and had it out for at least 5 minutes. When he came back, he said he didn't find anything that could explain all the symptoms i was trying badly to describe. He said "if you want to be picky, it's not returning to center." On left turns only. The second he said that, that was great, yes, that's exactly what it was not doing, i know nothing about car mechanics, i don't know why, but all the cars i ever drove knew how to stay in the center of a lane when driving, or also, after a turn, the wheel would spin around and come back to the center of the new lane i turned on, and i had gradually realized my car wasn't doing that anymore, i had to use effort to get it back to driving on a road i turned onto.

    i don't know why the guy called it 'being picky,' but he said to bring it back the next day and he could put it up on the rack and have a guy look at it. i could see he didn't know what it was but at least now i had a few words to capture what it was doing. That opened google to me. i googled 'not returning to center' and found lots of stuff. There was a great article by a guy in Grants Pass OR about 'returnability issues.'

    So i brought it back to the shop the next day, it is a father and son business. The son had told me it doesn't return to center. The father seemed skeptical when i brought it in, i left it, i said i needed it back by about 2 unless it was being repaired. No one called me, i called and the father told me there wasn't any problem on it worth fixing. i asked him some questions after discussing it a little on Prius Chat. He said he would put it up on the rack and call me back, so they didn't put it up the rack and were going to just have me bring it in there for nothing. i called back after it seemed long enough to look at it on the rack. He said everything looked fine---i had told them about rolling over that road hazard, going about 50, but this seemed not to be meaningful to anyone i talked to. But googling it, yeah it's meaningful. The guy said all he could do was replace my rack and pinion steering for $1000 and that might not fix it. He did not want to do that, he was trying to discourage me, and at that point, i had no intention of having them do anything on my car .

    When the second alignment was done when i took it back for the Yokohama guy, they gave me a print out that they didn't give me the first time. It showed that everything was corrected, except the negative camber on the left (i use these words not knowing what they mean but thinking it's important). The camber on the left was -1.97% That was not able to be corrected. The castors were also off before the second alignment but were corrected (they were each off about 35 degrees). i asked for a print out from the first alignment they did about a month before the second one but he said they don't save that information. So why were the casters out only a month after the first alignment they did? no one seemed to care about that.

    In googling returnability issues, i learned that negative camber is involved in the cause, but you can't adjust i so you need a new control arm. That would be fine, if someone can just diagnose it, if someone would even care. the car is really messed up, the steering, it's not safe and i think it's hurting the car, but what do i know, expert mechanics say there is no problem or i am being picky. But at least people on line know about this, including mechanics, who think it's very important. The two times it was looked at on the rack, no one saw anything worn, like worn control arm bushings. But does that mean that running over the road hazard couldn't brake something or put it out of adjustment? Maybe the guy who did the alignment messed it up, i don't know but it's messed up and i just want to have it competently fixed.

    if possible i want to avoid fixing things that won't fix the problem until after the problem is fixed. Here is a link to the article by the guy in Grants Pass, he explains a systematic approach. i need to find a mechanic who thinks this way. maybe it's just the control arm, not cheap but not as much as a new rack and pinion steering. i'm really frustrated.

    this article describes exactly what my car is doing and the stress and discomfort for the driver

    Steering Returnability - Henderson's Line-Up Brake & RV Inc.
     
  10. jaw444

    jaw444 Member

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    Thank you ! i see a small diagram of under the hood and the inverter unit. When i went out to look earlier, i thought that was probably it. i see an arrow on one side that says high and on the other side says low, confusing, look like they're at the same level. anyway, i started trying to take the cap off but it got hard to turn at a certain point and i didn't want to force it, that was before i saw your post.

    i'm sorry to be so limited in understanding, what does 'with the car 'ready' mean? i mean, do you mean with it in park and idling? Would the car be warmed up after about a couple of minutes? the weather is warm out right now, and warmer in the garage Or should i idle it longer?

    Then i can touch it because it's not going to be hot yet after just warming up for a couple of minutes, and i can take a rag and turn the cap, and when it gets hard to turn, just keep forcing it, right? look inside with a flashlight and it should be moving if the pump hasn't failed? will i see it moving even though the car is still? i tried moving it before and it's very rigid.
     
  11. exstudent

    exstudent Senior Member

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    Were the roads you were test driving on appear to be flat and in good condition? A bad road/lane would have require some input by the driver to maintain course, even in a perfectly aligned car.

    The vehicle may have been aligned with the steering wheel slightly off center, when it was driven onto the alignment rack. This off center angle is now the dead center and straight ahead. It is hard/near impossible for most shops to align the car to get the steering wheel back to dead center. I just live with mine slightly off center to the right.

    Pay for a consult/diagnosis at with Avi at Hybrid Fix, near USC. Hopefully he can figure it out.
    avi fix hybrid - بحث Google

    Alignments will always go out simply driving, b/c all of these can throw it off:
    speed bumps, pot holes, driving over objects (intentionally/unintentionally), driving over/off curbs (intentionally/unintentionally), hitting the parking stop concrete block, parallel parking and hitting the curb, ....

    Thats why I purchased a Lifetime vehicle alignment plan at Firestone Tire. Few shops seem to offer these now a days. I just drop the car off once a year and they check the alignment. If its out of spec, they adjust it. It has always been out of spec every single time, and I get a before/after printout of the alignment specs.

    These plans are a loss leader for shops. While inspecting, they may find a bad suspension component (shock/strut, ball joint, tie rod, UCA/LCA, etc) that will prevent the vehicle from keeping an alignment. Most people will probably choose to have them repair it at this time.
     
    #11 exstudent, Jun 9, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
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  12. jaw444

    jaw444 Member

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    bisco -- when i read what you said the first time, i understood it different. Now i get you're saying to turn on the engine and wait until the engine warms up to the point where it shuts off, i realize you said that but i wasn't thinking of how the car does that.

    i decided not to do it tonight, just in case anything weird happens. my garage is on an alley and it's dark out there. i guess replacing the pump wouldn't be too expensive (a few hundred?), i hope that's what it is.

    You asked if there were any dash lights. There was nothing, it continued looking normal and the engine sounded normal and felt normal at low speed when parking. The AC was on the whole time until AutoClub came.

    But i want to add that a year ago early March, i had all the dash lights go on, right after starting up the car and pulling out of a driveway onto the road, merging into traffic with a high pitched sound coming from the front. I pulled into a parking lot and when backing into a parking space, the car's power steering went off and it was hard to turn. Soon after that, while stopped, it shut off and went dark. AutoClub came and the guy manipulated something under the hood on the driver's side and then the car started up. I didn't have the problem again, and then almost a year to the day, it happened this year, same sequence of events. AutoClub came and did something under the hood and it started back up and i haven't had the problem again.

    I don't have a mechanic now, the good service person i had at the dealer is gone and there were a couple of bad shady experiences there after that.

    i guess what happened with the accelerator is completely different from whatever made all the lights go on and electronics to die, but these are the only two problems the car ever had.
     
  13. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    it sounds like you need a mechanic. call avi at hybrid fix. he is a well respected member here.
     
  14. jaw444

    jaw444 Member

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    i had my car towed to a place called California Automotive. i could only hope for the best because i don't have info except Next Door recommendations and Yelp reviews.

    I am glad to know about Avi, it's just very far for me.

    They called with the outcome. Bad.

    i would like to post a new thread about it because this one is kind of long.

    But the bottom line is, the codes are

    p3000 battery control system
    c2318 low voltage error.

    transmission replacement, remove/clean battery motor fan/area,
    maybe inverter would need to be replaced
     
  15. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    maybe time to move on

    are you sure these chaps know what they're doing?
     
  16. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    Jaw,

    You are making a serious mistake by not having your car at a shop that understands and is familiar with the Prius. The place you're at now appears to me to have no idea what they're doing with your car and plan to empty your bank account.
     
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