Check Hybrid System

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by Swaroop Handal, Oct 22, 2022.

  1. Swaroop Handal

    Swaroop Handal New Member

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    2012 Prius Plug-in
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    Plug-in Base
    Hello, I have a Prius 2012 and just a few days ago, the check hybrid system notification turned on for a days worth of time. After that, it turned off by itself and hasn't shown up again. On the day that it did appear, I drove up to my local university at about 7:30 am, so it was about 60 degrees out and the EV system would not turn on and I could not use or shift into any of the PWR, ECO or EV-HV buttons. When I reached my destination after about 30 minutes of driving, something under the car shook quite violently and it sounded like something metallic shaking roughly. Additionally, the EV system never turned on while idling during the whole drive. I opened the hood just in case to check and it was quite warm. After finishing up what I had to do, I started up the car about 9 hours later and the EV system worked fine. However, the warning message never went away. I brought the car back and experienced no problems aside from the warning message on the dash. After this day, the message went away and I have had no other problems that I can see affecting the car. I can not reproduce the shaking beneath my car (I think it came from the alternator because the feeling of shaking felt like something bound by belts experiencing more torque than they could handle). The local dealers want me to wait until the message comes back before bringing the car to them and I am not sure what to do. Any ideas of what could have been the cause and future actions? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome!

    how many miles on her? do you plug in?

    i'm surprised the dealer didn't scan for trouble codes, maybe it was some bad gas
     
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  3. CR94

    CR94 Senior Member

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    Your Prius has no alternator and no belts.
    Are the coolant and oil levels ok?
     
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  4. Swaroop Handal

    Swaroop Handal New Member

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    Plug-in Base
    The prius is at 99950 miles. The dealer told us to come back when the error message shows up again, and that hasn't come back. I do charge it, but not religiously.
     
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  5. Swaroop Handal

    Swaroop Handal New Member

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    Plug-in Base
    We just had an oil change after the error message showed up at VIP Auto and the car mechanic said that everything was okay as far as oil and coolant levels.
     
  6. Mr. F

    Mr. F Member

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    If you have a Windows laptop lying around, I would look into acquiring a mini-VCI cable (Amazon) and Techstream. These will help you diagnose your current and any future problems with the vehicle by yourself—for free—without having to run to the dealer every time.

    With Techstream, you can even retrieve codes that were previously set. This means that you don't need to wait for the symptoms to return before you start diagnosis. If it is known that a problem exists ('Check hybrid system' message, violent shaking), it's best to be proactive and figure out exactly what it is.
     
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  7. Swaroop Handal

    Swaroop Handal New Member

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    Oh, that sounds very useful, I do have a windows laptop. Is there anyway to find the codes through the dashboard of the Prius? Or would I have to use a VCI cable and the software? Thanks for the info.
     
  8. Mr. F

    Mr. F Member

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    DTCs (diagnostic trouble codes) related to the vehicle's braking system can be read using nothing more than a short wire or paper clip. With the car turned off, short pins 4 and 13 on the OBD2 connector using the wire/clip, then put the car in IG-ON (press the POWER button twice with your foot off the brake).
    upload_2022-10-24_21-13-24.png
    Now observe the blinking pattern of the ABS warning, brake warning and slip indicator lights in order to identify the DTC. If there are multiple codes, they will blink out in ascending order. Each of the indicators may blink out a different code so note that carefully. The two digit codes obtained correspond to full DTCs that can be looked up in the repair manual.
    upload_2022-10-24_21-14-29.png
    I don't think this shows historical codes, though. And to be able to check codes from all other ECUs, you really do want Techstream.
     
    #8 Mr. F, Oct 24, 2022
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2022
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  9. Swaroop Handal

    Swaroop Handal New Member

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    Plug-in Base
    Is there a specific mini-VCI cable I should purchase? I saw a few different ones and wanted to check before buying one. Thanks!
     
  10. Mr. F

    Mr. F Member

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    This post by @ChapmanF and the thread it belongs to may be illuminating.

    There are only two genuine cables I know of—the XHorse M-VCI (sure does look like the original, unlike all the XHorse clones on Amazon) and the DrewTech MongoosePro Toyota 2. Only these are known to maintain a stable electrical connection with the vehicle, which can be pretty important when performing longer operations such as bleeding brakes, flashing firmwares, running tests, or logging data during a test drive. However, for only pulling codes or changing a few customizations, any of the others should be fine.
     
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  11. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Well, I'll be darned—I was sure the only genuine X-Horse ones you could buy were rare vintage units.

    Still, the DrewTech is the only one Toyota actually endorses.

    I sometimes use an Openport 2.0, which is also 'genuine' in the sense of being designed and built by a known company that's actively in business developing it. At least, you can get genuine ones by buying directly from Tactrix. They also are plagued by cheap clones sold elsewhere.

    My Openport is stable and reliable, but has certain Prius tricks it can't do, like some TPMS operations in Gen 3, or some key fob registration in Gen 2.
     
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