Check Hybrid System message came on during a short trip while jiggling the ODB-II connection to m...

Discussion in 'Prius c Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Skylis, Apr 21, 2017 at 7:42 AM.

  1. Skylis

    Skylis Active Member

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    Check Hybrid System message came on during a short trip while jiggling the OBD-II connection to my Ultragauge

    Greetings.
    I went on a 1.6 mile trip this morning. Toward the end of the trip, I pulled into my parking lot at work, and I jiggled the ODB-II connection to my Ultragauge, because it was coming lose and wanted to move it away from my leg for safety reasons. The hybrid battery showed 4 bars at this time.
    As I did that, the "Check Hybrid System message came on."

    When I turned off the car, with the Ultragauge plugged in, it would not start up, and the READY light would not show.

    For the first few minutes of panicking, depending on how/when I restarted the car, with/without the Ultragauge plugged in, I would get other weird messages, such as Engine Oil Pressure Low, or the driver side door displayed as being open when it wasn't.

    But if I disconnected my Ultragauge, the cart would start up, and the READY light would come on, but the "Check Hybrid System message" would stay displayed. I could drive the car, use the brakes, use the EV Mode button (as long as the engine was still warm) to drive a short distance on electric, and turn the engine on. It is like there was no problem.

    I checked 30 minutes later, and it *seems* that even when I reconnect the Ultragauge, I can still use the car, even though "Check Hybrid System" still shows.

    So, my guess is that the wire from the Ultragauge to the OBD-II port has a short in it that triggered a code.

    However, I'm not totally convinced, as this never happened with Ultragauge before.

    Yesterday, after refueling my hybrid, normally it would ask me to update the gas price, but it didn't ask me that, and the crusing range never updated to the 480-ish mile limit that it was supposed to display.


    I need your help to be sure.

    Is the car still safely drivable given what I just described? And do you think that it is a code that I can just reset (if so, how do I reset the code), or is the problem a dying 12V battery that needs to be serviced?
     
    #1 Skylis, Apr 21, 2017 at 7:42 AM
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017 at 8:14 AM
  2. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I would start by reading the trouble codes that were logged when that happened. I'll guess they will be Uxxxx codes indicating a communication disruption on one of the networks. Which one will suggest which pins of the diagnostic connector will be involved.

    In the past, it has not been unheard-of for certain scan-gauge-type devices to try to autodetect what they are talking to, and put probe signals on certain circuits that different cars use for different purposes, and disrupt communications in the Prius. Sometimes the device will have settings to disable autodetection and lock it to using certain protocols and pins only. Sometimes strategically snipping a wire or two in the cable will do it. (Linear Logic, the makers of the ScanGauge II, had a separate cable for the Gen 1 Prius that you could have them send for free if you needed it. Gen 1 was pre-CAN.)

    Not knowing more about the Ultragauge specifically, that's about all I've got.

    -Chap
     
  3. Skylis

    Skylis Active Member

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    I'll have to do this later today.
     
    #3 Skylis, Apr 21, 2017 at 8:32 AM
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017 at 8:49 AM
  4. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Lapsed Cargo Cultist

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    I had a ScanGuage connected to the OBD port on our 2010 for maybe 3 years when I got "check hybrid system" message, coupled with a noticeable "returned to defaults" feel to the brakes. Took it into the dealership, and they reported brake communication related codes, dismissed them. There were a few more occurrences over the next couple of years, and repeated dealership visits to dismiss.

    The last time, coming up on 2 years back this August, I was with the mechanic. He had a techstream laptop hooked up, and noticed that when he wiggled the OBD connection he would lose signal momentarily. He suggested I try leaving off the ScanGauge.

    I've done this since, with no further problems, so I would say that was the probable cause. At any rate, disconnection of the SG has been a good solution so far.
     
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  5. Skylis

    Skylis Active Member

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    Success. I told Ultragauge to clear the check engine light, and the Check Hybrid System indicator went away. (Apparently there were no codes.)

    But I want to see what the RPM is when I'm driving, both during the day and clearly at night. Now back when I got the car in 2013, the Ultragauge and Scangauge were hot gadgets to get. I'm not sure what else is on the market that could plug into the OBD-II port that would be appealing to look at and readable at night.
     
  6. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Lapsed Cargo Cultist

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    Yeah I miss coolant temp, and a few others. But I got over it.
     
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  7. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Ignorance is bliss;).
     
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  8. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    My ScanGauge II is constantly plugged into my Gen 3 and has never caused the least problem. Before that, it was in my Gen 1 for six years and never caused the least problem there, after I got the Gen 1-specific cable for it that prevented it from trying to talk to the airbag computer as if it were a CAN bus.

    I guess what I'm saying is, these "glitches" aren't eternal cosmic mysteries, they are typically deterministic behavior of machines, and once found and solved, they stay solved.

    -Chap
     
  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Lapsed Cargo Cultist

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    Mine was constantly plugged in too. Could be fine on some problematic on others. Anyway, its something to try changing, see what it does.
     
  10. TheTimob

    TheTimob Member

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    Sounds like a lost network communication fault on the canbus. The Ultragauge's partial connection might have stopped the signal from other modules on the canbus from talking to the hybrid control module. This would set a communication fault code in that module that the ultra gauge couldn't read but could reset. The hybrid module needs to be able to talk to the battery controller and the engine module, if it can't, you get that message.

    I had a Pontiac once that would occasionally loose contact with the instrument cluster, and it would set a U code dtc every time. It was a loose ground connection.
     
  11. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Lapsed Cargo Cultist

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    Talking with the Service Manager about our case, he was favouring expressions like "communications problem" and "missed handshake". Which is just what I wanted to hear. The codes in our case were brake related (and there was the return to defaults brake behaviour) and the LAST thing I wanted to hear was "new master cylinder" or something like that.

    And yeah, about 21 months post ScanGauge disconnect, no further problems. I'd love to have the ScanGuage reinstalled, but it's no big deal. I suspect the weight of the connector was stressing something, being on there constantly. The OBDII port is likely designed for temporary use, typically with the car stationary.

    Plea to Toyota: at least put a bloody coolant gauge in there, c'mon.
     
  12. Sean Nelson

    Sean Nelson Active Member

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    Connections are the least reliable part of any modern electronic device. All you need is a little grit or oxidation of the contacts in the connector to cause an intermittent signal that could put glitches onto the bus. And those kinds of problems are the ones that get more likely with the passage of time, as vibration, thermal expansion and wear take their toll.
     
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