Big Battery Go Blooey? Advice? References?

Discussion in 'Generation 1 Prius Discussion' started by GDonald, May 14, 2015.

  1. GDonald

    GDonald Junior Member

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    The dashboard on our 2002 lit up: the check engine light came on & a red outlined cartoon of a car bisected by an exclamation point. On re-start, that icon flashed five times then stopped and did not go away, nor stop flashing, after multiple re-starts. Hoping to ease-on-down-the-road to my friendly neighborhood garage to get a diagnostic code, I pulled over again when I noticed a persistent, new, noise that I'd never heard before, in the back of the car, which, on investigation sounded like a fan, located in the neighborhood of the auxiliary battery. Hoping for the best, continuing on toward the FNG, I put the dash display on "consumption" and pulled over right away: The icon for the big battery showed it 3/4's discharged, and some of you have told me to NEVER let the big battery get fully-discharged. The car got flat-bedded to a station that services Prii, but I'm not sure how deep they're prepared to go, and it won't get any attention until next week anyhow. Advice? A friend says I need to pay close attention to what tests get run by the service people; that it's tempting to take the easy fix to replace the whole battery; she also says there's a ton of stuff about this already written in the Gen I chat room. How do I find information about "big battery" troubles in a Gen 1? (I'm new to this stuff. Do I have to wade through all twenty thousand threads or is there a way of narrowing things down a bit?)
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    how many miles on her?
     
  3. C Clay

    C Clay Member

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    Yes you do have to wade through this forum to find your answer. If you get any assistance from Patrick Wong, Chapman Flack, or Bob Wilson you have struck gold.




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  4. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    Use the search box at the top RHS of this page to narrow things down a bit. Try HV Battery or Traction Battery as search words.

    hope this helps
     
  5. GDonald

    GDonald Junior Member

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    162,000.
     
  6. GDonald

    GDonald Junior Member

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    Funny you should say that, C Clay. After emptying all the family piggy banks to buy this Prius, the very first chat room post I read was Mr. Wilson's (I believe) piece on "Who shouldn't buy a Prius." And, if my memory serves me right, his very first point was that people who didn't have money in the bank shouldn't buy a Prius. I've been slapping my forehead ever since. You're right, though: I've read his posts; they're brilliant.
     
  7. GDonald

    GDonald Junior Member

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    AND, now that I look back through my earlier threads, I see not only B Wilson, but F Chapman and USNavySgt and a whole host of really great responders. Best of all, using the "search" box in the fashion suggested by "dolj" I find Laura Skovlin started a thread "Please give me suggestions and help" that's all about what's happening with my car. I asked my questions of your folks prematurely. I should have waited for the code readings. Now I'll go looking for the cheapest way to read my car's dtc's.
     
  8. GDonald

    GDonald Junior Member

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    Thanks, hope this helps, found a perfect thread to follow started by Laura Skovlin "Please give me suggestions and help." And I'm getting schooled by FChapman and BWilson to slow down, take it one step at a time--and find a way to read diagnostic trouble codes before I push the Prius Chat Panic Button. Live and learn.
     
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  9. greasemonkey007

    greasemonkey007 Active Member

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    I have to disagree with C Clay on ONE thing: I'll save you the trouble of digging through all the threads. Buy the mini VCI and check your own codes. Then post them. But it does sound like the traction battery is bad. Depending on your mechanical abilities, it is possible to repair or recondition at home. Or have someone like a repair shop replace it with a Dorman battery, which is way cheaper than Toyota and comes with a 3 year warranty.
     
  10. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    If every new poster followed this example we'd have a stream of solved problems flying out of this forum like who laid the rails. You've made my morning.

    -Chap
     
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  11. C Clay

    C Clay Member

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    Yes. Agreed. I was trying to provide humor without rendering any assistance. Get the miniVCI & Techstream!


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  12. C Clay

    C Clay Member

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    So... You also read the post AFTER buying the car eh? Well, I have to remind myself I did research this car, just not this forum. I actually went to the library yesterday to validate that I wasn't crazy and that consumer reports STILL recommends Gen 1 base on their consumer surveys.

    Isn't there a database someone on here has compiled of GEN 1 reliability that is surely much larger than consumer reports members with a GEN 1?



    [​IMG]


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  13. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    but you have to keep in mind, you're buying a 12-14 year old car.
     
  14. C Clay

    C Clay Member

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    Agreed, but my limited research indicates that is one of the most reliable 13 year old vehicles on the road. This report is from 2014


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  15. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    I just wanted to give the OP some kudos for the phrase "Big Battery Go Blooey"...

    Because over the years I've heard the failure of the hybrid battery described in many ways. But perhaps never one so honestly straight forward and without unnecessary sophisticated pretension.

    Best of luck getting everything Un-Blooey.
     
  16. GDonald

    GDonald Junior Member

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    So, finally got a code readout: P3000 and P3006. Advice?
     
  17. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    For P3000, there should be one (or more) of four 3-digit subcodes: 123, 125, 388, or 389, all of which refer to different issues with the battery or battery ECU. These codes are stored in the Hybrid Vehicle ECU (probably based on information communicated to it from the battery ECU). If you got your own code readout, can you post those codes, or if you had someone else read the DTCs for you, can you ask to have the subcodes too?

    P3006 indicates too much variation in the states of charge of the different modules in your battery. There's no subcode to read, that's just what it means. The two-page workup section in the manual describes a load test you can do confirm the problem; it can be done in the car and only requires a scantool that can monitor the MAX V and MIN V parameters over time. Techstream will certainly do that, if you have it.

    -Chap
     
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  18. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I'm going to cast my vote against adopting the phrase 'go blooey' for this sort of battery problem. My only reason is that there is a different, fortunately rarer, but much more potentially damaging thing for 'battery go blooey' to mean.

    A battery that uneventfully grows old and tired and pines for the fjords has not gone blooey in that sense—and that's a good thing.(y)

    -Chap
     
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  19. GDonald

    GDonald Junior Member

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    Thanks, Chap. The person doing the reading will be back in the shop on Monday, and I will share this with him.
     
  20. 3prongpaul

    3prongpaul Hybrid Shop Owner, worked on 100's of Prius's

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    In my shop we install 2-3 Hybrid batteries a week. Things have changed over the last couple of years due to age, supply, and demand of used NiMH modules. In my opinion you are "rolling the dice" with any rebuilt or reconditioned gen1 battery. Even if they are rebuilt with gen2 modules, there's a good chance the modules the rebuilder used are already old and tired.

    Even Dorman has a high failure rate. Luckily they are big enough to be around to honor their warranty, but it's a hassle to remove the battery, ship it, then try and get reimbursed for labor. (BTDT!)

    Some of the smaller firms won't even be around if/when you need to USE their warranty, and a warranty is only as good as the company behind it.

    For the last year or so we don't bother with used/reconditioned packs for Gen1s, -- too many failures. The only sure way to make the Gen1 battery "happy a long time" is to buy a NEW ZERO MILE battery from a Toyota dealer. Yes it's more expensive but you get what you pay for in this situation. Even with the short one year warranty, the Toyota battery will still outlast the rebuilt ones.
     
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