Brake, Brake warning, ABS, VSC appear

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by popptj, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. popptj

    popptj New Member

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    When I got in my 07 prius this am and started, all four of these lights were on. Braking system does not work correctly. I can tell the ABS is NOT working when I drive. I read about a lose wire on an ABS module possibly being the problem? Can anyone shed any light on this? I drive a lot! Just turned 70000 today and need my car. Help.
     
  2. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    could be a loose wire or a multitude of other things, at this point it's all shots in the dark until you have the problem formally diagnosed. you don't want to be taking chances with your brakes. let us know what the shop finds and we can help if needed.
     
  3. popptj

    popptj New Member

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    Checked on my prius this evening at the Toyota place. The manager said the mechanic was still trying to figure out what is wrong. Nonetheless, they have had it for a day and are still looking.

    Update soon....
     
  4. jtlmd

    jtlmd New Member

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    I have been through this TWICE in the past four days. On the way from Minnesota to Michigan, got the same warning lights at 70 mph, including master caution light, and total loss of ABS--I could stop but required full brake pressure. Dealer took car in and "replaced a defective chip in computer". Car ran fine for 48 hours. Tried this same trip again today: same problem about 50 miles out on the road--sudden loss of most braking function and ABS, BRAKE, VSC, and MASTER caution lights all on. Back in to dealer---now they say that "perhaps there is rodent damage to a wire from the ABS module". When I said, "what do you mean" the woman started to explain to me what the noun "rodent" means. I was not amused by this insulting tactic. The dealer says that they need a week to find a new ABS module, that there are "none in the country right now...that they have to come from Japan". That's bullshit of course. The dealership is Maplewood Toyota here in the Twin Cities, usually a pretty reliable firm. I recommend that anybody getting a Prius become familiar with visiting service departments for MYSTERY problems. Be prepared to hear a lot of blarney and B.S. disguised as "explanatory customer relations". I miss my old Tundra already.

    I honestly don't think these folks know what they are doing with my sick 2009 Prius. Fortunately I bought the best warranty upgrade so I get a free, new Prius to use in the interim, BUT....BUT.....BUT how do we know that my brakes won't fail in the future, say 8 months from now? In Minnesota we have a Lemon Law and the timer/counter is now running on this dealership and this car right now. Documents are being preserved, and we are dotting the Is and crossing the Ts. A sad situation.

    James T. Lee, MD
    Saint Paul MN
     
  5. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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  6. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    yep, most dealerships should have brake actuator assemblies in stock. sounds like they're trying to buy time to find out what's wrong with the car...
     
  7. Dr. Barbara

    Dr. Barbara New Member

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    I was a happy 2004 Prius owner until 4 days ago when, while driving at about 60 mph on a foggy/drizzly 60 degree F. day on freeway blacktop, all warning lights on the dashboard suddenly illuminated, after which I took my foot off the accelerator, began merging across lanes to exit and detected significantly reduced braking power. It is a miracle that I live to tell the tale.[​IMG] I kept my cool and was able to exit the interstate and slowly stop the car by depressing the brake pedal full force. Only the passenger rear brake was even partly operational. . Towed vehicle to Toyota dealership where, after 3 days of electronic diagnostics and conversations with the regional service advisers, it was determined that the computer governing the ABS needed replacement. This will be a costly repair but more importantly my sense of safety has been eroded. Has anyone else had this frightening experience? (FYI: odometer110K miles, bought new, gently driven, impeccably maintained)
     
  8. NumberFan

    NumberFan New Member

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    Hi Dr. Barbara,

    I too was a happy 2004 Prius owner until last Tuesday morning. I went to start my car and to my horror found the dashboard lighting up with the dreaded red exclamation point , and ABS light and a car icon with an exclamation point in the middle of it. On some research, I found that yes, it would not be a good idea to drive the car that day. I turned the car off and the ABS light remained along with an orange banner entitled "Problem" emblazed" across it. My house mate later turned on the car and thought she detected brakes pumping.

    I had the car towed to the dealer and did some research on PC and thought the problem was an inverter pump failure. The symptoms I had were almost identical to the ones reported in that thread. The service manager called and reported a leaking water pump (apparently not the inverter pump), a bad starter battery and suggested a themostat change as well. Unfortunately, none of these remedies eliminated the Christmas light phenomenon. Problem codes continued to show up.

    A call was made to California and we were told the bad news yesterday. The CPU that controls the ABS braking system-- I suppose that is the VSC, is broken (?) and must be replaced. The total costs of all this is going to be more than 4K. :eek:

    We have religiously taken our car to the dealer for regular service since purchasing it from them brand new. There are 117K miles on it. I am wondering if the water pump leak could be the cause of the cpu failure. We had the car serviced at the end of March and I note that at that point I complained about the brakes feeling a bit soft. They found nothing wrong with the brakes at that point. It seems that after 100K, very careful attention must be paid to water pump issues because the cost of the damage to electronic components can more than wipe out whatever savings are achieved in gasoline costs.

    I'd love some advice and help in this matter. I would guess it would take a few days to get in the new part.
     
  9. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    It sounds like you need a new skid control ECU. A leaking engine coolant pump would not affect that ECU or any other brake components.

    You might look into the possibility of purchasing a salvage part since that ECU does not fail very often; hence you may find that you can buy one for a few hundred $s. Good luck.
     
  10. NumberFan

    NumberFan New Member

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    Dear Patrick,

    thanks for your advice. We will probably just go ahead with the dealer's parts
    and installation. We had a bit of bad luck here.

    NumberFan
     
  11. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    The engine water pump is unrelated to your VSC problems. Most develop very slow leaks and it takes many thousands more miles before running out of coolant or outright failure.

    Having the 12V fail can cause problems with the ABS computer. Also, you complained about the brakes feeling soft. That might be the stroke simulator. I'll tell you this: At $4,000, they have no idea Wth is wrong with the brakes and just want to make sure that they get paid if they have to spend a week working on the car.

    If the warning lights are still on, then ask for the codes that are coming up and post them here. If I remember right, Dr. Barbara complained vociferously but never posted any codes or the eventual resolution. Please don't waste our time like Dr. Barbara.
     
  12. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    Sigh. You should at least get a second opinion. I think you are getting ripped off.
     
  13. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    It's up to you. I agree that it would be wise to get a second opinion.

    Further, it is not clear that it makes sense to spend $4K on repairs for a 7-year old car with 117K miles.

    Within the coming year, the traction battery might die, or the inverter, or the transaxle. Each one of those will be a four-digit repair bill...
     
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