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Check PCS system / Check Hybrid System message

Discussion in 'Gen 1 Prius Plug-in 2012-2015' started by Vulcanman, Apr 11, 2015.

  1. Vulcanman

    Vulcanman Junior Member

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    I have a 2012 Prius Plug-In (Advanced) with 38K miles.

    This morning (outside temp: 75C) we were driving on the interstate at 60mph with Cruise Control enabled. It was not in EV mode (we had forgotten to charge it last night).

    About 5 miles into the drive the cruise control turned off and it displayed a Check PCS system and a Check Hybrid System. error message.

    Other than the constant error messages and the cruise control being automatically disabled, the car was running fine. I exited the highway and ended up at a stop light for a couple of minutes. This is where the car typically shuts off the engine and goes into battery mode. Well, when I got Green signal ... I tried to move and the car was extremely sluggish. I put on the hazard lights and pulled into a parking lot and turned off the engine. Turned it back on after a couple of minutes ... kept in on and in Park ... about five minutes later the gas engine kicked in and I was able to move fine. I quickly turned around and took the interstate to head back home. It drove fine on the interstate (gas engine was on all the time). Took the exit to head home and same problem - the gas engine shut down and the thing became sluggish (could not drive faster than 10-15 mph). About two minutes into that the gas engine slowly kicked in and I was able to get back to decent speed to get home.

    I also noticed that the dash display that typically shows the animated arrows between engine / battery etc ... it was not showing any arrows - like there was no communication between the engine and battery.

    Now here I am trying to figure out what happened - any clues.
     
  2. Easy Rider 2

    Easy Rider 2 Senior Member

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    Something broke (stopped working) for some reason that really isn't important at this point because it isn't anything that you did.

    Since the problem rather obviously is with the hybrid propulsion system it still should be under warranty.

    Have it towed in and fixed.

    P.S. You ride a Vulcan ?? Mine's a 900 C.
     
  3. rxlawdude

    rxlawdude Active Member

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    I thought this was in reference to the OP reporting ambient temperature of 75 Celsius. :)
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i thought it was the mind meld.seriously though, where was the battery level reading?pcs, is that the inverter diode recall?
     
    #4 bisco, Apr 11, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 11, 2015
  5. Vulcanman

    Vulcanman Junior Member

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    The battery level (hidden diagnostic menu) is at 12.1V. PCS is Pre-Collision alert System Also, since I did manage to get back home, I charged the car and put in drive mode - the animated display does show that the battery is the sending juice to the drive train.
     
  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    you need a new 12 volt. it should be at least 12.5 when at rest.
     
  7. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Also note that if it fails the routine start up check (I'm sure the long list of parameters are listed in the repair manual), it'll also display the Check PCS error.
     
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  8. Vulcanman

    Vulcanman Junior Member

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    Are you sure - why would the 12V battery - turn off the cruise control while driving at high speeds (gasoline engine mode) on the interstate.

    Also - On the Plug-In what is the easiest way to get into diagnostic mode - I did manage to get it - but that was after trying 3 or 4 different methods - and now I forget which method actually clicked. LOL.Also - I see vents on the right side rear passenger seating ( its at elbow level ) - is that the vent for the battery fan? If not, can someone point out where it is?
     
    #8 Vulcanman, Apr 11, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2015
  9. sfv41901

    sfv41901 Masta S

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    Yes, that's the inlet vent for the traction battery.

    Have u been able to pull any DTCs
     
    #9 sfv41901, Apr 11, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2015
  10. Vulcanman

    Vulcanman Junior Member

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    No yet - also, I read somewhere that hybid system codes require a more expensive gadget than the one we owners typically invest in.
     
  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    yes, you need a toyota capable reader, or take it to the dealership.

    the 12 volt can make the car do all sorts of funky things, because it runs the computers, and they don't like voltage fluctuations. it's the easiest thing you can check on the car, besides the oil level. sorry, i don't know how to get into diagnostic mode, but i check the 12 volt with a digital volt meter, in the fuse box under the hood.i'm not saying it's the problem, but with the reading you got, it's worth a check. it's possible you just need a charge.
     
    #11 bisco, Apr 12, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 12, 2015
  12. Easy Rider 2

    Easy Rider 2 Senior Member

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    It is just a possibility, not absolutely certain.
    The 12 V system runs ALL of the computers in the car and they make EVERYTHING happen.
    If the 12 V goes haywire, it can make all KINDS of strange things happen.
     
  13. Eug

    Eug Swollen Member

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    I had a collision and had to get the car repaired, but the parts weren't available for months so the car just sat at the shop. Then not too long after it was fixed, the ABS module went out, at a little over 125000 km. Unfortunately, that ABS module problem turned on the hazards, even when the car was shut off, which drained the battery somewhat. The mechanic had to pull the fuse in order to stop the hazards from flashing.

    Then after the ABS module was replaced, a few days later I got the Check PCS System warning. Shutting off and restarting the car didn't help... but pulling the cigarette lighter adapter for my phone charger did. I turned off the car, unplugged the charger, and it started up normally, and has started up normally ever since. I then went for a 25 km drive to help charge the 12 V. However, I'm still worried about the battery, even though it's an OEM battery that had been replaced only a few years ago.

    Is this procedure to check the battery the same for the Plug-In?

    2012 Prius hatchback, MFD & Service Menu

    Also, if I do decide to replace it, what battery would you recommend in Canada? I'm not keen on spending CA$400 again for the OEM battery if there is a good third party replacement? I see the Optima costs almost as much.
     
  14. vvillovv

    vvillovv Senior Member

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    I had a 14 PiP that I put into maintenance mode once or twice. I believe the instruction you linked to are correct. And looking at this youtube sort of reinforced that that is how I got into maintenance mode years ago.
    plus the video is a lot clearer IMO than the written instructions.
    youtube.com/watch?v=9aXrofQmqeQ
     
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  15. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Patron saint of newly poured sidewalks

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    I was gonna say Canadian Tire, but entered your stats and it came back with “Sorry, we found no results…”. Hopefully just temporary; they usually have a compatible.

    SaskBattery? You may need to email them: their website can be out-of-date.

    Both of the above save $100 or so, but sometimes it’s “any port in a storm” time.
     
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  16. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Patron saint of newly poured sidewalks

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    "Maybe" CT has a few, now $300~ CDN. Here's a link for my area, with store set for my area:

    General PDP Template | Canadian Tire

    BTW: wouldn't hurt to show a little more specific address in your avatar.
     
  17. vvillovv

    vvillovv Senior Member

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    Here's an installation youtube for your model that looks pretty good to me.
    youtu.be/_Qat0tGfZac
    I had pretty good luck here is US calling around to local dealer parts departments for a price out the door for our Prime, ( 180.00 us ) since shipping a 12 volt typically cancels out whatever savings I could find for the battery online.
    That might change, if for you in CA. batteries are costing almost twice what they are at some US dealers after us/ca $ conversion.
     
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  18. Eug

    Eug Swollen Member

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    After driving the car for a couple of 25 km trips, I've been driving around for short in-the-neighbourhood trips of just a few km, and so far the PCS warning hasn't come on again, even after I reconnected and started using my phone charger again.

    I talked to the mechanic who did the ABS module replacement. Because of the aforementioned hazards draining the battery, he had to recharge the battery in the shop. He said he checked the voltage afterwards and it was 12.something, but he doesn't remember the exact voltage, say if it was 12.1 or whatever.

    I don't have a "Car" button on my MFD. I have the version with the flip out display and CD hidden underneath. However, by trial an error I discovered that is roughly the same procedure on my Plug-In.

    Press the Start button twice
    Hold down the "Info" button (which is roughly in the same position as the "Car" button on other models).
    Turn on the headlights twice.

    It's only reading 11.8 V.

    IMG_1656 Large.jpeg

    The last time I replaced the battery, I believe it was in about the 11.8 V range. However, what I didn't check last time was voltage when the car was on. This time I checked that.

    If I plug in the 12 V to USB-C charger and attach my MagSafe iPhone charger to charge the iPhone, the voltage doesn't change. It sits at 11.8 V. When I press the brake pedal, the voltage drops to between 11.4 - 11.7 V. However, once I start the car the battery voltage jumps to 14.8 V.

    IMG_1657 Large.jpeg

    So is my battery still OK?

    :LOL: I'm in Toronto.
     
  19. Eug

    Eug Swollen Member

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    Hmmm... They have the Optima battery on Amazon but there is a comment saying that the battery causes brake module failure, which is similar what I experienced.

    https://www.amazon.ca/Optima-Batteries-8171-767-DS46B24R-YellowTop/dp/B006VFEJJQ/

    Brakes failed due to this battery - Beware Prius owners

    Reviewed in Canada on August 2, 2017
    Verified Purchase
    Replaced my Prius battery with this one. A few months latter we kept getting warning lights about the braking system. We would shut the car off and turn it on and the warning lights would go away. One night my wife received the same warning and then had close to complete brake failure. Everything was OK but she was understandably badly shaken. Toyota service department said it was because the battery was not providing the correct voltage to a part in the braking system. Toyota replaced the battery ~3 months ago and we have never experienced any issue since. I would have never suspected the battery as the root cause.Sharing in the interest of safety.


    However, mine is not the Optima. I have this one. Is this OEM?

    IMG_1659 Large.jpeg
     
  20. Eug

    Eug Swollen Member

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    Please ignore this double post.