Check engine light on 2015 Prius

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by kutztown46, Sep 26, 2021.

  1. kutztown46

    kutztown46 Junior Member

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    I have a 2015 Prius with 107,000 miles. It has been a reliable and trouble free car. Today (Sunday) the check engine light came on. I drove the car about 30 miles after the light came on, and everything seems fine. I will call the dealer Monday morning but my dilemma is that we are planning to take this car on a trip this week, leaving Tuesday morning and not returning until next weekend.

    It is unlikely that I will be able to get the car checked out Monday. How much of a risk am I taking if we take this car on a long trip (800 miles) before getting the car checked?
     
  2. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Have you done any checking, say the oil and coolant levels?
     
  3. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    You should take it to the dealer the first thing in the morning and have them look at it. Don't worry about calling. When you are there in front of them you have more influence. There are some problems you don't want to go on a trip with while others like evap are not as immediately concerning.

    Obviously having a code reader would be nice in this situation. You could take the car to an autosupply but many of their readers are too simple to read most of the Prius codes, plus there are not many check engine codes you can easily fix other than a loose gas cap.

    Consider ordering an obd2 bluetooth reader for future use. There are some free apps that work with it. http://www.bit.ly/ObdTwo

    Finally, be sure its the Check Engine light and not the less important Maintenance Required indication.
    E08727DB-AC68-40DA-B38A-A71BF15A563F.jpeg
     
    #3 rjparker, Sep 26, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2021
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  4. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Any recent maintenance done?
     
  5. kutztown46

    kutztown46 Junior Member

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    Thanks for responses. Oil and coolant levels look perfect. Gas cap is tight. Car has been serviced every 5000 miles at Toyota dealer, so last oil change about 2000 miles ago.

    It is the "malfunction indicator lamp" aka check engine light.
     
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  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    did you gas it up recently?
     
  7. kutztown46

    kutztown46 Junior Member

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    Last fillup was 9/15. It's getting pretty low now.
     
  8. kutztown46

    kutztown46 Junior Member

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    I drove the car another 35 miles tonight and again everything seems just fine. MPG is typical, no funny noises, etc. My hunch is that the car is fine but I would like to hear Toyota tell me that before I make my long trip. I like rjparker's idea of just showing up at the dealer first thing tomorrow morning. Maybe I can persuade them to at least check the code even though I don't have an appointment.
     
  9. kutztown46

    kutztown46 Junior Member

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    When I started the car this morning, the warning light was no longer lit. I went to the Toyota dealer anyway and explained the situation. The service advisor's opinion was that I have an intermittent condition and the light no longer being lit indicates that the condition is no longer present. He said the odds are in my favor that it is (was) a minor condition and that I should probably be OK to take the car on a long trip. He could not give any guarantees, however, and when I asked if they could take a quick look, he refused, saying they are booked solid today. He also said that with the condition not being present currently, diagnosis could be difficult. Had the warning light still been lit, I might have pushed harder, but now I felt that my situation really did not warrant such urgency.

    I plan to take the car on the trip tomorrow.

    Comments?
     
  10. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    It can be useful to have something with you on the road trip capable of reading trouble codes on the spot if your lights should come back.
     
  11. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    ^ That.
    You can get a basic code reader for about $20, and they're very easy to use.

    Also....before you go to the Toyota dealer you may want to consider going to one of your local parts houses and have them read the code for you. Most of them (AutoZone, Pep Boyz, etc) will read the codes for you.
    Armed with this information, you will be able to use the Googles to help you make an educated guess as to what your next step should be.
    Or?
    Share the results here in PC.

    Good Luck!
     
  12. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Ugh...

    You're going on vacation, had a check engine light, and they can't be bothered to retrieve codes. I'd second getting a simple code reader, and/or a trip to Pep Boys, and an email on their behaviour to Toyota Corporate.
     
  13. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Change dealers and get a Bluetooth code reader
     
  14. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Maybe contact their service manager directly first, might help.
     
  15. kutztown46

    kutztown46 Junior Member

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    And now, for the rest of the story...

    I was very busy the day before the trip and did not look for a code reader. We drove 400+ miles on 9/28. The check engine light did not return and the car seemed fine. So far so good. While driving around on 9/29, the light came back on, but then by the end of the day, it turned off again. The morning of 9/30, before checking out of the motel, I called the home dealer and made an appointment for this week to get the car checked. We got in the car and started for our next destination. Upon starting the car, the light came back on. We got on the interstate but only made it 3-4 miles before the high coolant temperature light came on also. Now I knew something serious was happening. I pulled over and shut the car off. There was a Toyota dealer in the town which we had just left. I called them and they said get the car towed in - they would take a look. I called AAA emergency road service and in an hour or so we and the car arrived at the dealer.

    This dealership treated us like royalty. They were booked too, but they looked at my car right away. In less than an hour, they determined the problem to be a leaky water pump. The code was P261B, overheat code. The technician was amazed that I had driven the car as long as I had before I got the high coolant temperature light. Unfortunately, they did not have a water pump in stock and neither did any other Toyota dealer in the area. The best they could do was get the part shipped in overnight and they promised to do the repair the next morning. Before I even had a chance to ask, the service advisor offered us a loaner car and told us to check with them the next morning.

    The morning of 10/1, the technician came to work an hour early to get a head start. By 11 AM, the car was repaired and we were on our way. The car has been fine ever since. To my surprise, the service advisor called me this week to make sure we got home safely. I was very impressed with the customer service at this dealership. Today I wrote them a nice letter and told them so.

    This week, I called my home dealer to cancel the appointment I had made. I spoke to the service manager and told her the full story. I told her I thought that they had let me down. She was empathetic and thanked me for the feedback. I am not planning to use this dealership for my service needs any longer. I have other options slightly farther away. If they just would have read the code for me, that additional information would have been highly useful. I would have left the car there and used my wife's Corolla for the trip. At least they could have asked me to leave the car there for the day with a promise to check it later in the day. Or he could have told me to go to Auto Zone and get the code read there.

    Today I stopped at the local Auto Zone. The gentleman was very helpful and explained to me how the code readers work. He showed me where I would plug it in to my car. However, they did not have any bluetooth readers and the ones they had were $60 minimum. He did remind me that I can stop at any Auto Zone anytime and get a code read for free.

    I did some checking on Amazon and found this one:



    Would this be a good choice?
     
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  16. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Check Amayama. They're shipping either from Japan or UAE. A little slow, but often better deals than US.

    Can't see your Amazon link btw. That's a common refrain here; a screen shot is more bulletproof.

    Time to give your regular dealership a "review"?
     
    #16 Mendel Leisk, Oct 7, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2021
  17. tellyourdogisaidhi

    tellyourdogisaidhi New Member

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    Which dealer is the one to stay away from, and which dealer is the one you would recommend using? I’m in the area and don’t mind using a dealer farther away if the experience is better. I have used Krause in the past and have not had good experiences with them. Bennett as well…
     
  18. kutztown46

    kutztown46 Junior Member

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    The villain was indeed Krause. We live in Kutztown. I am retired but used to work in Reading, so I bought the car at Performance Toyota in Sinking Spring. The location was more convenient for service. Last year, I retired, and started using Krause for service since they are closer to where I live. Until this incident, I had no complaints with Krause. For that matter, I had no complaints with Performance but they are about an hour from where I live, depending on traffic. I plan to pay a visit to Kelly Toyota in Hamburg. I've never been there. I am planning to replace my Prius next year with a new one, and I think Krause is not in the running.

    The good guys are in New Philadelphia, Ohio - over 400 miles away!
     
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  19. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Hopefully there is no permanent damage from the overheat situation. I wonder how it was leaking but no coolant was lost based on your earlier check?

    Lesson learned: Don't go on a trip with an unresolved check engine warning. The dealer would have seen history codes regardless of their active status.

    In my my experience many (most?) service advisors are not knowledgeable mechanics. They are salesmen. I once had an advisor quote spark plugs on my v. The price was excellent, so I had them do it knowing you have to take out the whole windshield wiper assembly. After an extended wait the car was ready. The advisor acknowledged his mistake and ate the extra time. This was a fundamental and often repeated job but the advisor had no clue. I even had trouble with a service manager who refused to look at my xm preamp while still under factory warranty. In this case, if his shop had not experienced the problem before, it did not exist. He outright told me the antenna module on the roof could not be bad. It was. Later Toyota came out with an antenna preamp test kit and instructions. I prefer to talk with the mechanics when possible.

    The obd2 hardware reader you linked works only on Android and has no app included, although there are several free obd2 apps. Most have marginal utility on a Prius. I recommend getting a bluetooth hardware reader that is verified to work with the Dr Prius app (initially free). One such bluetooth reader is the all platform version I linked above. Combined with Dr Prius you get a reasonable look at your hv battery along with active trouble codes. Free apps are not likely to give you history codes but accessing active codes is often enough to send up alarm bells.
     
    #19 rjparker, Oct 8, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2021
  20. dig4dirt

    dig4dirt MoonGlow

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    Very glad to hear that everything worked out. (other than I suppose an extra day)

    I purchased a few cars from Performance Toyota.
    Scion, and our first Prius, and my second Prius C. (maybe even my first C)
    They were really great with the sales (always dealt with Tommy P)

    For the service, they were always great and never pushy. Explained in detail, but when you tell them no, they were done.

    However, on my Gen 3, I noticed after a few years the section of the under panel for oil change was jaggedly cut off and missing.
    They were absolutely the only ones EVER to touch or service the car, so I knew they did it.
    Found on the forums here, that is pretty common, as it made it easier (oh boy) for oil changes.
    I contacted and called them probably 10 times. they always said they would get back to me or the service manager,
    or the main manager I even left messages for, nada.

    Well that is when I started to DIY all my maintenance.

    I still see them for my PA insp/emissions, but that is it....and they know it.
    I keep them on board for that only, and also just in case for warranty work.
     
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