Can a Prius be driven with a broken inverter/how to check inverter function

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by ProspectivePriusPeruser, Jan 14, 2020.

  1. ProspectivePriusPeruser

    ProspectivePriusPeruser Junior Member

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    Hi all.

    My car has some issues such as: Red triangle, Orange exclamation point, Red car on MFD, Check engine light, Engine always running, No regen braking, No cruise control, No EV Mode. I've been made aware that this could be related to the inverter/inverter coolant pump.

    I'm wondering if I can test this myself without pulling codes, the car is going in for diagnosis in two days but I want to be prepared for the worst. I have checked the fluid reservoir in IG-ON and didn't notice fluid moving or noise but I could be mistaken, I'm hoping it is just the pump out of the two possibilities.

    Context:

    The car showed battery draining symptoms, eventually threw a P0A80, then one day I took it for a drive as I wasn't sure if it would be fine to leave sitting so long. It was a somewhat hot day, I was about to go up a highway at 40mph and the car went into limp mode. I got it home and let it sit until closer to taking the car for the new HV battery. I cleared the codes by disconnecting the 12V which allowed me to drive it to get the battery, the lights came back on when I started the car to head to get it installed. After this the symptoms I detailed above started showing.

    Thanks.
     
  2. DWJM2513

    DWJM2513 Junior Member

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    Yes and no..... I got the red triangle of death and the exclamation sign in my Prius at 236k. I got P0A80 and P035... I think... (3rd HV Battery block weak) I cleared the codes and drove to 238-239k and over those 2k miles the car would go to high rpms with no power, I had to pull over, shut completely off and restart, clear codes and then go for another 15 miles roughly. Then in the home stretch the battery pack went BANG! the back seat started smoking and I immediately smelt burnt electrical. I got the Dr Prius app and found out 2 cells are very weak. I just haven't had the time or money to tear into it and replace the cells.... Long story short, it'd probably be a good idea to part it if your batteries are on their way out
     
  3. ProspectivePriusPeruser

    ProspectivePriusPeruser Junior Member

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    Sorry, might not have been clear about my issue. I had the battery replaced after the limp mode issue. I'm wondering if the symptoms I'm now facing are potentially the inverter or just the pump. Thanks anyway :)
     
  4. DWJM2513

    DWJM2513 Junior Member

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    Oh.... Shoot. I guess I missed that one lol. I seen the POA80 code and my mind shot to weak HV battery lol. Sorry bout that man. Good luck!
     
  5. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    The inverter cooling water pump is extremely easy to test.

    With your foot OFF the brake, press the power button 2 times. This puts the car in Ig-On mode. It powers up the dash etc, but the car will not go ready and the engine will not start, but the ICWP will run. You should hear a good humming noise from directly behoind the driverside headlight. You should also see some flow waves in the inverter coolant reservoir. If you are unsure about the fluid motion, you can unplug the ICWP from it's power by disconnecting the "one wire plug" located just above and toward the passenger side of the engine compartment fuse box. If you see no difference in the reservoir "motion" with the plug unplugged or plugged in, well then, the pump isn't pumping....

    Replacing this pump at a dealership is about $550. Doing it yourself can be as low as about $95.
    New pump online = $55
    Set of coolant hose clamp pliers = $12
    Coolant = $20
    Piece of tubing for venting air bubbles at end of job = $5
     
  6. ProspectivePriusPeruser

    ProspectivePriusPeruser Junior Member

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    Definitely the coolant pump, what's the likelihood that the inverter is now dead too? Car still goes into ready and drives, just with the symptoms as above. I'm still taking it to the dealer as there are other unrelated problems like my obd2 port being "stubborn" and I want to know if they're trying to rip me off if they say the inverter is gone.
     
  7. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    Unless you really abused it, not likely very high at all. The inverter is pretty good at ensuring it doesn't self destruct.
     
  8. George W

    George W Active Member

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    The OBD2 port being stubborn doesn't necessarily reflect that plug. I wonder if the issue is a technician.

    Everytime I took my Pruis to Auto Zone, or O Reilly, they couldn't be sure of the code being displayed. I finally decided to try a wireless adapter and see for myself, but even that didn't work the first time. Tried 2 wireless adapters, and 2 smart apps, to finally find the combination that connected every time.

    There's 4 steps,
    Adapter getting power through the port
    Blutooth recognizing adapter
    Smart App recognizing adapter
    ECU recognizing the adapter

    It wasn't that both adapters were bad, they worked fine on a non-hybrid car.
     
    #8 George W, Jan 16, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
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