( Another)ABS, VSC, Brake, and (!) lights on 2007 Prius

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Crowfeather, Jan 12, 2021.

  1. Crowfeather

    Crowfeather New Member

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    2007 Prius
    ~151k miles (bought used at around 145k)

    I started my car this morning, and the above mentioned lights were on. It drove fine but I'm a slow driver so my brakes are rarely utilized. I checked my break fluid and its not low. I have not checked the fuse box as I don't have a voltmeter.

    There are a plethora of posts on this issue, which I have tried reading, but I get lost in the terminology used because I'm not a car person.

    A lot of the discussions mention the 12 volt battery being the issue, but I replaced my battery in winter of 2019. I also had the hybrid battery replaced last summer. I booted up the self-diagnostic menu (the menu that is accessed by holding down the display button and flashing the lights 3 times) and it said my battery was sitting a bit over 14 volts.

    I used an autozone code reader and unsurprisingly there were no codes (check engine light is NOT on). I am currently trying the TC, CG pin method of getting codes to "flash," but this is where I get lost in the terminology and I can't find a clear set of instructions someone of my experience level could follow. I found an ODB port diagram in this thread and tried sticking a paper clip in the appropriate holes and then starting my car. I must've done it wrong because nothing happened. Where are the "flashing codes" I'm supposed to see even supposed to show up? On the dashboard lights, or on the console screen? The issue also may be that I didn't press the brakes an appropriate number of times or something (is it 8 times or 2?).

    If someone could provide a link to a step-by-step description of this process, it'd be much appreciated. Its unclear to me how far in I need to stick the wire, and exactly how the wires I'm using (paper clips) are to be inserted. The videos I've found were not detailed on this.

    From there I'll need to know what to do with the codes. Can they be found in the owner's manual? I looked up the ABS and VSC warning lights and of course it just tells me to see my dealer. From other threads I've read, it seems that an actuator or accumulator (or both) may need to be replaced, depending on the codes, which could easily cost a couple grand if its something I can't do myself.
    The car is probably only worth two grand anyway so if this isn't a cheap DIY fix, is the car basically totaled? I'm a grad student living in an apartment so its not like I have access to a garage and a bunch of tools aside from some wrenches.
     
  2. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    What city are you in? Was the hybrid battery a new or "refurbished" model?
     
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  3. SFO

    SFO Senior Member

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    Warning lights on the dash generally mean there are OBD2 codes (DTCs) stored in the vehicle ECUs.

    Not all scanners are toyota hybrid compatible. The best in class option would be to buy a 'mini-'vci' cable ($20) and use techstream (dealer technician diagnostic and repair software) on a window device (or emulate such). You could likely get by with using a OBD2 bluetooth adapter and an App for a phone, tablet or device; like Dr Prius, Hybrid Assistant or Torque.

    Another option might be to try the various auto parts store chains, as each location will likely have a different OBD2 scanner for loan. The downside would be if the chain stores or locations only offer cheaper loaners that fail to retrieve the needed DTCs.
     
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  4. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Zero. The correct number of brake pedal presses is zero. The idea of brake pedal presses is out there somewhere on the internet where every last poor sob who comes to PriusChat with a question has already found it somehow and thinks the brake pedal should be pressed. Not your fault, you're just the latest victim.

    You just connect the Tc and CG pins and turn the car ON (two power button pushes with no use of the brake), and after a few seconds the various warning lights on the dash start blinking.

    It needs to be far enough to electrically connect those two terminals. They are slightly recessed into the connector. You should be able to get a sense by looking.

    A paper clip is not really ideal, but often mentioned because they're easy to find. If you have some thin electrical wire, even better. If you have various paperclips available, one made from thinner wire is better. You do not want to go shoving a fat thick paper clip in there and distorting the contacts inside the connector, which could make it difficult to get a good connection later with a real code scanner.

    Because you say "paper clips" plural and I don't know what you know really, it might be worth mentioning that the point is to connect Tc to CG electrically, meaning with one paper clip (or wire); two separate ones would be kind of missing the point. Forgive me if that was already clear.

    No, they're found in the repair manual (more info).

    There are a bunch of threads around PriusChat already that cover this in step-by-step detail. You should be able to find a few that explain about counting the blinks, and the shortcut of searching for the code following a slash in the manual, and the importance of looking each code up in the right table.
     
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  5. Crowfeather

    Crowfeather New Member

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    It was "refurbished" I believe, which makes me suspicious of it, but it did come with a 2 year warranty. I was in Austin TX when I had it replaced but now am living in Lincoln, NE. Last time my hybrid batter gave out though I had a lot more warning lights come on.
     
  6. Crowfeather

    Crowfeather New Member

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    Thank you for the corrections, I originally actually tried a real piece of wire with no luck so that's why I resorted a paper clip. I got the following codes:

    (!) EBC: 65
    ABS: 42
    VSC: 45

    I believe the ABS 42 may be DT code C1355 (which indicates the brake actuator assembly as a trouble area), still trying to sort out the other two.

    I got a quote for a diagnostic from 2 non-dealership repair places for $150 so I'm trying to figure out as much as I can before taking it somewhere.
     
  7. Crowfeather

    Crowfeather New Member

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    My 12 volt battery is at 11.5 volts when the engine is NOT on (2 start button pushes), 14.something when it is on (although I'd have to check again). It'd be a blessing if its just the battery causing the problem, but how common is it for a <2 year old battery to go bad?
     
    #7 Crowfeather, Jan 13, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021
  8. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    I can definitely tell you that the ABS 42 is not C1355; that would be a ECB blink code of 27.

    DTC No. Blink Code Detection Item INF Code Trouble Area
    1 C1344 65 Rear Hydraulic System LH Malfunction
    • 581
    • 582
    • 583
    • 584
    • 585
    • Fluid leakage
    • Brake actuator Assembly
    • Disc rotor


    We have had the ABS: 42 and VSC: 45 come up in another thread and the repair manual does not have a ABS 42 or a VSC 45. There is an ECB 42, a TPMS 42, and a ABS 45. I'm wondering whether the ECB and ABS codes are incorrectly assigned to the wrong system in the repair manual. The only way to be sure is to use a capable code reader like Techstream to see if there is a C1344, C1242, and a C1245.

    I believe this to be a bit academic, though, as the C1344 is probably the main problem to resolve.

    I hope this helps.
     
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  9. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Speaking of the C1344, those "hydraulic system malfunction" codes don't always have to mean the problem is in the hydraulics. They are codes that mean something like "I'm trying to hold the rear left hydraulic pressure at a steady value, but I'm not getting it there, or it's fluctuating." That can be caused by mechanical issues too, such as a warped rotor (because it wobbles the caliper around and makes the fluid pressure fluctuate).
     
  10. SFO

    SFO Senior Member

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    Grab some free OBD2 scans at every local auto part chain store location, as each may offer a different scanner and returned results.

    Unlikely that a dealership would charge over 150, have you inquired about the diagnostic cost at one of the local dealerships?

    Is there a reason for not buying an inexpensive OBD2 device (mini-vci cable or bluetooth adapter) to perform an OBD2 scan yourself?
     
  11. Crowfeather

    Crowfeather New Member

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    Surprisingly the local dealership (there's only 1 toyota dealer here) charges $99 for a diagnostic, less than the first two places I got quotes from. The only laptop I have is a work laptop and while I could emulate windows on it, its a POS but I don't think its worth the risk of (further) ruining a computer that isn't mine. I don't have the money or space to have spare laptops lying around and neither do my friends. I'd be interested in getting tech stream at a later time although based on reviews it seems like a 50/50 shot that the cable and software will actually work.

    I ultimately ended up taking it to a mechanic that charged $70 for a diagnostic. Unfortunately I did not get to write down what the mechanic told me, something along the lines of the rear brake pressure being off and they adjusted the rear brakes to fit according to the shoes remaining life. They asked me if I had ever had the brake line open and I said no but the car has had 4 previous owners so who knows what they did with it. It cost a total of $157 for the diagnostic and brake adjustment. Perhaps I could've done it myself with techstream but I don't trust myself to work on something as important as brakes and working outside in a Nebraska winter is miserable. They drove the car for 10 miles to make sure the lights stayed off and the brakes worked, and the lights remained off on my trip home and my outing yesterday. I should've asked what DT codes they got but didn't know if that's the sort of think that a mechanic will tell you.

    The prius got a multipoint inspection at a dealership 8 months ago and the only thing they noticed was the drive belt needing to be replaced (which I later did on my own), nothing about the rear brake pressure or shoes. Perhaps that isn't normally covered in an inspection or something happened between now and then. The temp fluctuates a lot here so I keep an eye one tire pressure, which supposedly can cause braking problems if your pressure is too far off. I'm very gentle about braking and the only fiddling around I've done was to change the oil and the drive belt, plus having someone but in the refurbed hybrid battery when it died about 3 months after the inspection. I didn't think to ask what could've caused the uneven pressure.
     
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  12. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I should add here that I have a new, fairly confident theory about the ABS 42 and VSC 45 business.

    They are not listed in the Gen 2 manual, but they do appear in Gen 3, where they are actually oddball blink codes that do not have any corresponding 5-position DTC. They turn out to be simple 'echo' codes, like various other DTCs that are listed. That is, ABS 42 means "go pay attention to your ECB code", and VSC 45 means the same thing.

    I suspect they were just left out of the Gen 2 book by mistake (maybe because they organized those tables by DTC and overlooked these because they have no corresponding DTCs), and then somebody said "oops" and made sure they got in the book for Gen 3.

    Perhaps they are even already fixed in the Gen 2 manuals, for anyone who views the current editions online on TIS rather than relying on old saved PDFs. I haven't checked.
     
    #12 ChapmanF, Jan 21, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021
  13. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    May as well put here in one place the several brake blink codes that are explained in the Gen 3 repair manual but are missing from the old Gen 2 one that gets found on the web:

    Blinked on the ABS light:

    • 42: note you have codes on the ECB light

    Blinked on the VSC light:

    • 43: note you have codes on the ABS light
    • 45: note you have codes on the ECB light

    Blinked on the ECB light—((!)) or BRAKE depending on sales region:

    • 36: note you have codes on the ABS light
     
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