Car died on me today- any thoughts on my issues?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by hybridmel, Dec 2, 2021.

  1. hybridmel

    hybridmel Junior Member

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    Hello there! You may know me from this thread from a couple of weeks ago, in which my car was acting strange.

    Overdue for oil change....car acting strange | PriusChat

    As mentioned in the thread, the dealership couldn't get me in till 12/7, so I've been plugging along. No major issues. Till today.

    This morning I was heading to work, and 2 blocks from my house, my car's "Check Engine" light came on, along with a red engine light on the screen. I immediately turned the car around, and headed back toward my house. About 1/2 a block away, it just stops. I wait a second, turn the car off, turn the car back on, and I am able to go about 10 feet, before it stops again. I repeat this 3 or 4 times to get me almost back to my house, at which point, I can't even get it in drive anymore. It will only go in neutral. I called my husband, and he came out to give me a push back into the driveway.

    When we got home from work a few hours later, we decided to investigate what was going on. I checked for error codes, and lo and behold, when I punched in the error codes, it directed me to a post.....a post that I actually made 2 1/2 years ago. Exact same set of codes.

    Please help me, car keeps dying, and I am stuck | PriusChat

    In that situation, my 12v battery was about 7 years old. So, we replaced it and that seemed to have done the trick. Even though it is only 2.5 years old, suspecting the battery, I decided to check the voltage, which ran from 10.7-11.2, it seemed. Although sitting in the car, I saw it drop as low as 8.8.

    So, I went inside to call my dealership about the battery. In the meantime, the car died completely. I couldn't even turn it on at that point. So we jumped my car, to see if I could at least get a little life in it. The car did somewhat come on....the screen came on, at the very least. But, I was never actually able to get the engine running. Other than the screen, none of the other electric components worked. However, I was able to see that the battery had a voltage of 12.8 after the jump.

    This has me concerned that a) it isn't the battery after all and b) that the dealership will not replace the battery if it isn't in bad condition at the time they looked at it. Will a battery show as "bad" on tests, even if a jump gave it juice?
     
  2. nancytheprius

    nancytheprius Member

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    what is the oil level at?
     
  3. nancytheprius

    nancytheprius Member

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    what codes did you get?
     
  4. hybridmel

    hybridmel Junior Member

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    01-DC 190-1A-3
    01-D8 190-17-1
    01-D5 190-67-B
    01-DB 190-08-B
    01-DB 110-1E-8
     
  5. SFO

    SFO Senior Member

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  6. nancytheprius

    nancytheprius Member

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    do you have an obd 2 code reader that you can plug in?
     
  7. hybridmel

    hybridmel Junior Member

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    No I don't :(
     
  8. nancytheprius

    nancytheprius Member

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    troubleshooting will be very hard without one. can you pick one up with another car? they are like 15 dollars at walmart and can bluetooth to free apps on your phone. (Some won’t be compatible with the hybrid system as a heads up)
     
  9. SFO

    SFO Senior Member

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    Sounds like you may have a 12v issue, if the last battery was purchased and installed at the dealer, then it should still be under warranty.

    Out of curiosity, when was the inverter coolant pump last replaced? (they don't last forever)
     
  10. hybridmel

    hybridmel Junior Member

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    Yes.....but will it even be usable if the car won't even turn on?
     
  11. nancytheprius

    nancytheprius Member

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    nah if it won’t power on im pretty sure you’re stuck
     
  12. hybridmel

    hybridmel Junior Member

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    I'm crossing my fingers that's all it is.

    I didn't have it installed at the dealership, as I couldn't even drive the car. So, we purchased the battery at the dealership and my dad installed it.

    It is under warranty, sort of. 24 months is the cutoff for full replacement. So, it would be pro-rated. But I guess that's better than nothing.


    As to your second question....I have no idea.
     
  13. SFO

    SFO Senior Member

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    Did you ever pick up a AGM compatible 12v battery charger?
    Next time you visit the dealer, ask for a "service history" printout. You may have to prove ownership by supplying reg or title.
     
  14. hybridmel

    hybridmel Junior Member

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    No, I didn't ever get one of those.

    I have my service history....I save all of my printouts anytime I visit the dealership. So, I could read through them. I will say it doesn't sound super familiar to me, but I can look.
     
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  15. Tombukt2

    Tombukt2 Active Member

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    12V get that to hold 12.5 to 12.9 or so and you'll have something that's after stabilizing off charger and sitting.

    SM-A715F ?
     
  16. hybridmel

    hybridmel Junior Member

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    Not sure if it's the same thing, but I had an Electric Water Pump replaced in 2013?


    I'm sorry, I am not understanding?
     
  17. Tombukt2

    Tombukt2 Active Member

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    You need a 12 volt battery in the back of your car that after it's been on a charger and after it sat and stabilized like overnight or 4 hours it still reads 12.5 to 12.9 volts and if you leave your voltmeter plugged up and have your wife son or daughter flip the high beams on and the lights that battery should not drop below 10 volts while that load is on if it does the battery is no good it doesn't meet this criteria pretty much it's no good You can go play with it and put it on chargers and fiddle fart around till you're sick of it but the battery is probably bad Good luck

    SM-A715F ?
     
  18. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    A bad battery is one that has little ability to hold a charge for a period of time. Even a good battery won't instantly charge after a jump. What you saw was a surface charge that is meaningless without a load. That is why batteries are load tested, not simply measured for voltage. Hopefully you just have a bad battery. It is the most common electrical issue.

    Yes a car stores codes in memory which will be there when someone reads them later.


    fyi, Sams Club and others give you three years full replacement. If they can get you the agm equivalent your cost might be better than prorated at a dealer.

    Finally a decent battery, even one that is discharged significantly, will show well over 14 volts when the charging system in the car is operating under Ready mode. Your charging system is in the inverter. It is capable of 50 or more amps into a discharged battery. The inverter should instantly raise the observed voltage. When that higher voltage is not there the car is either not in Ready, the inverter is bad or, most often, the battery is very bad dragging down the charging system.
     
    #18 rjparker, Dec 2, 2021
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2021
  19. JohnPrius3005

    JohnPrius3005 Member

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    Hi mel, I'm sorry you are having these car problems. Here are a few ideas based on my experience. There's at best a 50/50 chance any of them are right.

    1. You will get a lot of advice about the problem being a bad 12v battery. While this is absolutely possible, I have NEVER found this to be the solution to the problem you describe. The 12v battery only powers up the various computers and as such doesn't need to be 100% brand new. To test this without buying an expensive Prius 12v battery you can get any good 12v battery that is well charged and first disconnect the ground wire from the Prius battery terminal, then carefully attach the good battery by way of jumper cables to the positive terminal and the negative/ground wire. Then try to start the car. You'll have to try to start twice because you "disconnected" the battery. In disconnecting the battery you will have also temporarily cleared the fault codes so again the car may start.

    2. If the car actually starts (ie the regular combustion - ICE - engine starts) you can carefully disconnect the "good" battery and reconnect the ground wire to the original battery. Then leave the car running for a while.

    3. If the car does not start try to note the level of charge of the hybrid/traction battery - how many "bars" do you see? If you only see one bar it's possible your "big" battery is at too low a level to be able to start the ICE engine. Since you've recently been driving I would guess this is unlikely - ie the big battery will still be able to start the engine. If your traction battery is really low you will need to charge it somehow. You can build your own "grid charger" to do this, but this gets a little complicated.

    4. Before you do any of the above, check the oil level in the engine, and refill it as necessary. Again, this is not usually the end of the world even if the oil is low.

    5. Most likely you will be able to start your car, and leave it running for a while - maybe 30-45 minutes.

    6. If you get warning lights this will indicate that fault codes have been reset.

    7. Go to Amazon a order a mini VCI cable. This is a device which you can hook up to the diagnostic port of the car. It comes with access to a bootleg copy of techstream which is the official Toyota code reader. If you have a junk laptop you can use that to install this hacked techstream. If you're not super paranoid you can risk installing techstream on your regular windows laptop. I've done this with zero problems.

    8. If all this is over your head, you need to find a local, independent, prius expert who will have the ability to do all this. A dealer can do it, but the dealer will almost always suggest some very expensive repair(s) which don't solve the problem, and before you know it you will have replaced a lot of expensive, probably functional, parts. And still have problems.

    9. Obviously this is quite a dilemma, especially with the insane level of used car prices now, so you can't just buy a cheap car, and take whatever time it takes to learn how to fix your prius. People here on PriusChat can give you an immense amount of help to do that, but the smartest ones will always ask you for the fault codes in detail because otherwise you are just guessing.

    Good luck. As I said, this is all from my experience. I have 4 priuses. One runs. The others I can get to limp along if I do some of what I've suggested above. Smarter guys than me would have had the other 3 up and running.
     
  20. hybridmel

    hybridmel Junior Member

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    Oh goodness...

    Well a lot of this is a bit over my head. I will say I feel like the 12V battery is as good a place to start as any; I have issues with well honestly, I'm not sure what the part is, but it's insanely expensive to replace, and my dealership said it will run fine without it, it's just an annoyance. Essentially, what happens is occasionally, especially when it is rainy or cold, the dashboard doesn't come on. And when that happens, the car won't turn off. So, there have been many times, my car has been left on for extended periods of time. Usually, the dashboard lights eventually come on, and I can eventually turn my car off, but it takes a while. I do turn the car "off" as much as I can...I turn the engine off anyway. But all the electric is still on. Anyway, I can't imagine this has been good on my battery.

    HELP! No dash lights and won't shut off | PriusChat

    I figure I will have my battery tested, and if it's bad, that's hopefully the solution. And, if it's not...well, then I don't know.

    I am rather concerned about the big battery, as I know how costly it is. Like you mentioned, it's kind of a dilemma. I will say, I have been mentally "shopping" for a newer car- I'm holding out, based on that rumor of a tax credit on used EVs in the Build Back Better bill. Not sure if that will go through or not. (Does anyone know?) But, anyway I've kind of been holding out for that reason. Of course, a Prius with a dead hybrid battery is as good as worthless as far as selling/trading in, so I am kind of screwed there too.

    So I am definitely hoping that it is not the "big battery" as we call it. I will say, when the car was jumped and on, the bar level was a 1, and it wasn't moving, as if it was charging.

    Unfortunately, I live in a pretty rural area, in a pretty rural state, so...Prius "experts" are pretty hard to come by. I can find local people who can do the basics. And I have a good local shop, but they aren't really experts on Toyota, espcially Prii. But, honestly, my dealership is the closest place with people with Prius experience, and they are 45 minutes away. I am not a huge fan of relying on dealerships, but in my area, and in my case, they have more experience with Prius repairs than just about anyone else around. So, it is what it is.
     
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