Back for MORE advice....

Discussion in 'Prius v Main Forum' started by Capecodbeachfront, May 10, 2020.

  1. Capecodbeachfront

    Capecodbeachfront Junior Member

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    Originally I had WARNING LIGHTS ( Brake, traction, inflation, ABS) come on. Dealer could find nothing wrong, said it could be tire slippage? Claimed to have tested current thru brake sensor (or something like that) all good. Because I heard noise (vibration?) at start up and idle they checked EGR valve. Again they said it checked out as normal. For my $200 I got a Tech Bulletin Program Upgrade, or what ever.
    Since then same lights have come on three times but then go off. I DID purchase 4 new tires.
    Now nearly a month later I still have the noise at start up and idle. But with warmer weather the ICE idle is much shorter. BUT now I just came back from a 600 mile trip. Same trip I make frequently. Normally MPG via dash is 46mpg or higher. This time 36mpg! Car seemed to run okay? But never have I made the same trip and been below 40 other than mid winter! I thought the 'e' shown on dash from braking might have been fewer but there was so much less traffic I am not sure?
    I am convinced something might be off? Tires were done the day before the trip and there was a head wind of 30 mph but still the mpg drop was very noticeable. Searching other posts re" MPG drop I sometimes heard of weak 12v battery having an effect? Is this possible? Car has 80K on it. Is there a way to test? Also I saw 12v battery prices of $250? Is that correct? At that price I do not want to replace as a trial and error fix for my drop in MPG. I will resume my local driving and keep checking... Any suggestions??? (and apologies for the lengthy post)...
     
  2. Ronald Doles

    Ronald Doles Active Member

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    New tires sometimes drop the mileage for the first few tanks of gas as they run-in.

    A headwind of 30 mph is significant. The drag formula includes the term velocity squared. If you drove 70 mph but faced a 100 mph headwind drag on your car would increase significantly which would drop your mileage significantly.

    It may be the start of a problem or just a combination of new tires and a significant headwind.
     
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  3. Capecodbeachfront

    Capecodbeachfront Junior Member

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    Also forgot to add.... One post mentioned "traction battery"? Not a term I have heard before....
     
  4. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Active Member

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    Don't just purchase a new battery. Get it load tested at Auto Parts. Free...... what is the tire air pressure? I have 42 front 38 rear...
    possible traction battery failure causes poor mpg but that is pretty low miles.
     
  5. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Active Member

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    That's the BIG Battery Pack in the back that propels the electric motor
     
  6. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Honestly I would have never gone back to a dealer that said tire wear was the problem causing brake, traction and abs lights with a buzzing sound. Complete bs trying to sell tires. I would be disappointed if my shade tree mechanic told me something like that much less a dealer. I won't totally repeat my brake booster/actuator point of view, its here: Tire wear trigger code lights? | PriusChat

    I will go with my original diagnosis of brake actuator and booster for the Brake, traction, inflation and ABS lights and suggest that the brake booster and actuator controls all of these except the inflation indicator. The buzzing is the repeated attempts of the brake booster to build up pressure so your brake by wire system will work. Realize, again, that the brake booster and actuator is a chronic problem on Gen 3 Prius' but a v is not covered by their special program. Otherwise its about a $4k retail price ($2250 at my dealer) and even then the brake ecu does not throw the specific booster code until a five minute timeout occurs. Yours may well satisfy long before five minutes. Mine never went longer than 15 seconds per cycle. But it was fixed with a replacement booster and actuator.

    The inflation indicator could be a tire pressure sensor going out, fairly normal if they have not been replaced.

    The 12vdc battery voltage is supplied by the inverter/converter once you are in Ready mode. It will read 14 to 14.5vdc most of the time even if the 12v battery is old and and fit for the scrap bin. If the 12v battery will cause the car to go into Ready you are pretty safe for that drive cycle. Granted a poor 12v battery will run down quick the one time you don't close the hatch 100% and then no Ready mode, maybe no door unlock or hatch open. You can read 12v voltages in realtime on the head unit: Prius v Display Audio Service Menu w Battery Check | PriusChat

    You have added a bag of worms with reduced mpg. Noise at startup and idle is likely the brake booster unless its ungodly bad mechanical clashing type of noise. I doubt that or everyone would recognize the issue.

    I would not get too carried away with the mpg "yet" with a 30 mph head wind but I would reset it and watch the mpg over the next couple of tanks. If you want to get relieve paranoia you might try a head gasket test kit. See link.

    Head gaskets can leak at a very slow rate at first and cause occasional severe knocking or metal to metal sounds at startup when the engine and transaxle can't immediately synchronize. Again, that's a major "for sure" bad noise, not a buzzing created by a brake booster pump struggling to keep up. At some point, a head gasket problem will move the coolant level up or down and eventually blow white smoke out the tail pipe. But there are milder symptoms at first and the car will run. Again, I'd continue to monitor the mpg and coolant level and focus on the brakes. I would say a return to that dealer is in order. Perhaps with a video of the lights and sounds.
     
    #6 rjparker, May 10, 2020
    Last edited: May 10, 2020
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  7. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Active Member

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    Great Post..... wish I was that energetic......... more reasons I don't recommend purchasing a Used 3rd gen.... unless you look forward to Big Problems.....
     
  8. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    The challenge is the scope of your reported problems is widening.
    All these things could be related, or not. Some may not even be problems at all.

    But when you are talking about various dash light, intermittent.
    Noise on start up.
    MPG decline.
    !2 volt battery-questions.
    Then "partial" solutions such as tire replacement and service center assessments
    Evaluation becomes like a juggling act, with more and more balls being added and thrown in the air.

    I think what you need to do is focus on exactly what you want to find out first.
    I think the 12 volt battery is a good starting point, because it's condition should be totally ascertainable.-Have it tested.
    Then you can either check it off the list as a potential problem or replace it, and see how that affects other issues.

    In the meantime, you are watching your MPG, not on one specific trip, but over the course of multiple fill ups.
    You're watching for the return or disappearance of the dash lights.
    You can continue to listen for noises on start up.

    Have your 12 volt tested. Because despite the price for replacement, you either need it, or not.
    If it needs to be replaced, then it's expense is necessary and worth it. It shouldn't be replaced on trial and error, but knowing if it needs to be replaced is something that should be very determinable.
     
    #8 The Electric Me, May 10, 2020
    Last edited: May 10, 2020
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  9. Capecodbeachfront

    Capecodbeachfront Junior Member

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    RJParker... I did listen to the brake actuator sound, when opening door. Foot on brake.... sound is not repeating itself. Just took me awhile to recognize the sound. So I am hoping that is eliminated. The sound I hear disappears once the ICE engine idle shuts down. During the winter the protective plastic guard under engine had to be reattached as it hung down and came lose. But I would have thought a mechanic would have spotted that immediately? If dealer was open for test drives I would drive a different Prius as a comparison. Doubt it is in my head but my wife claims to not hear anything different. Of course she only drives my Prius once every 2 weeks.....
    I am not in the deep boonies but there are not a lot of Toyota dealers close by. The whole situation is making me 2nd guess owning a hybrid. Too many different sounds, too many high priced "could be" choices when it comes to repairs. Ex: $500 to replace a 12v battery?
    But I appreciate the suggestions.....
     
  10. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Active Member

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    Battery at Auto Zone..... $195
     
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  11. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    12 volt battery itself is not that much, and replacement is $0 if you DIY.

    I haven't seen your trouble codes posted here yet. When those dash lights come on, it means there are codes to read. Sometimes it look overwhelming because a bunch of dash lights come on at once, but the way the car is built, several of those lights can be controlled by the same ECU (the brake, skid, and ABS lights are) and it's no great surprise when they come on together. Reading the trouble codes will reveal why they came on.

    So far, in all of the times I have had those lights come on in any Prius in my family, never once has it meant the actuator or accumulator needed replacing. Can it mean that? Sure. But read the codes. There are a couple hundred possibilities, many of them fairly straightforward.

    There is always someone who will tell you it probably means your actuator, the same way if you mention having a headache there is always someone to tell you their cousin had a brain tumor.
     
  12. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Active Member

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    I personally think it's the Henway. Have heard of it before....
     
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  13. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I never have, but I'd guess about five pounds.
     
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  14. Capecodbeachfront

    Capecodbeachfront Junior Member

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  15. Capecodbeachfront

    Capecodbeachfront Junior Member

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    Dealer at the time said wheel speed sensor coded.... but claimed it tested out fine? Said replacing was major expense re: pulling bearings etc. That's when service writer said he thought it was from worn tires.... Sounded bogus then, and still does now. IF I get warning lights again.... will they leave a code if they clear themselves? I assumed lights had to still be on to get a code?
    Isolating the vibration sound at idle has been hard... Once ICE shuts off the sound is gone. so it will be a 2 person job. I swear it is a 'vibration' but I've wedged every loose or semi loose piece I can get to.
    As for the mpg drop... I will monitor closely for the next week. I am now driving 20 miles or so a day so engine has a chance to warm up. I do not check at every fill up so there may have been a gradual drop off? But the 600 mile trip gave me a known comparison as I make that same trip 10-12 times a year. Upstate NY, near Saratoga, to Cape Cod and back!
     
  16. Air_Boss

    Air_Boss Senior Member

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    We had had a Stability Control System indication and a wheel speed sensor code thrown. Turned out to be the anti-icing brine that NJ put down on I-95. Cleaned up the connector, sealed it, and the lights and code have never returned.
     
  17. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Generally you can still pull historical codes.

    It is convenient to have a reader of your own so you can quickly see what's what.

    Many of the ECUs in the car have a fallback trick, often discussed on PriusChat, where with a short piece of wire you can make them blink out two-digit versions of their codes on the dash lights. The brake ECU (responsible for the brake, skid, and ABS lights) is definitely one of those. So there's always some information to get even if an actual code reader isn't handy.
     
  18. DrElectron

    DrElectron Junior Member

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    I believe your 12v battery is bad. ECU runs off the 12v and performs the diagnostics that control the warning lights. Voltage drops when you start the car and the ECU gets say 9v instead of 12v and you get false warning lights. Also, MPG drop can be caused by bad 12v battery because 12v gets charged by the traction battery (thru DC-DC convertor). If the traction battery spends too much juice trying to charge weak 12v battery, it will have less juice for the motor and then your gas mileage drops. Another (less likely) possibility is DC-DC converter is bad and not charging the 12v battery correctly. Both the 12v battery and charging voltage are easily tested as others have said.
     
  19. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Active Member

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    That's a Big Henway.....
     
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