Common 2G Problems, and What to Do About Them...

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Patrick Wong, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    A batch of bad valve stems? Search for that topic in the forum, there were several hundred thousand defective ones a few years ago. Or, if you got all of them at the same place maybe the installer screwed them up somehow.
     
  2. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    I agree that the 12V battery probably needs to be replaced now. However that may not be the only problem. Since the first occurrence of the driveability symptoms happened as you were leaving the dentist (and I assume the car had been parked for an hour or more before you left the dentist office) then the inverter coolant pump probably is not the issue.

    A couple of weeks ago my 2004 had similar symptoms and the remedy was to reflash the hybrid vehicle and engine ECUs. I've driven several thousand miles since then without recurrence of the problem so this seems to be a lasting solution.

    Good luck.
     
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  3. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    This was part of the fix applied by a dealer when the inverter cooler on mine went wacky. But does anyone have a theory on why the ECUs would need to be re-flashed? How can firmware in flash memory get corrupted? (I'm not saying it isn't happening, I'm just wondering how.)
     
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  4. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    Read-only memory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

     
  5. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    True enough. I would expect automotive-grade flash to be especially resistant to heat.

    In the past some memory devices unwittingly used packaging materials containing high levels of radiation sources (alpha emitters) that caused bit flippage.
     
  6. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    I think statistically speaking, the odds of memory corruption are probably very low but they are not zero. Sorta like your odds of winning the state lottery.
     
  7. alanh

    alanh Active Member

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    Problem: Vanity light will not come on.
    Symptoms: The light located over the visor will not come on even when switched on.
    Frequency: All the time.
    Diagnostics: N/A
    Cure: There are three conditions that have to be met before the light goes on: 1. The switch is on, 2. The visor is folded down, and 3. The cover over the mirror is open.
    Comments: The third condition is what usually causes problems. If you're only turning on the light to read something, you probably won't think of uncovering the mirror.
     
  8. ny biker

    ny biker Member

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    When I took my car in to have the coolant transfer pump replaced, it had been making the noise every single time I turned the car off for several months. So of course it did not make the noise when I got to the dealer. But I was able to get it fixed by explaining that I know the normal sound of the pump is hmmmmmmm, but the noise I was hearing was dit-dit-dit-dit-dit-dit. My description combined with the existence of the TSB was enough for them to replace the pump.
     
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  9. jonz

    jonz Junior Member

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    Just happpened to my wife's 2007 Prius with around 15,000 miles on the odo. Fault code was P0A93 on the work order. We live in a hot climate and temp. was probably 105ish at the time of the failure. We didn't lose power for more than a few seconds. The A/C did quit working though. So the inverter cooling system pump was replaced under warranty today. :)
     
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  10. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Thanks for writing about your experience. I'm concerned that we are starting to see a few failures where the car has relatively low miles and is only a couple of years old. This implies that a batch of faulty pumps might be in the 2007-2008 model year population...
     
  11. zonie911

    zonie911 Member

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    Thanks to all of you for these reports.
    You have compiled some really good info concerning matters involving gen ll into one short thread.
     
  12. orange4boy

    orange4boy Member

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    The following advice is for 12V flooded lead acid batteries. AGM or Gel batteries require a different charger or one with the correct settings but will suffer the same fate if chronically undercharged.

    Problem: Recurring 12V battery early death
    Diagnosis: Battery should have a float charge of 13+ volts when you come back from a trip . Resting voltage the next morning should be 12.6 minimum or 12.8+ is better. Voltage is a poor way to test SOC. Only way to be sure with a sealed battery is to charge with a good automatic charger.
    Cause: Short trips don't fully charge the battery. Battery becomes sulfated from chronic undercharging and acid stratification. It needs about a full hour to float charge and to eliminate acid stratification.
    Cure: Charge at home with a good automatic charger at least a couple of times a week. After every trip would be better. You may be able to install an automatic trickle charger under the hood, connect to battery wires there and have the plug come out thru a gap in the grille openings. The positive terminal is in the fuse box on the left side of the engine compartment. Any chassis gound point is used as the negative terminal.

    Your battery theoretically should last 6-7 years since all they do is boot up the computer and don't have to start the engine. Undercharging is a common problem and not just a Prius issue. Most car batteries are undercharged on short trips.
     
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  13. hschuck

    hschuck Member

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    FOR THE RECORD---

    Inverter coolant pump replaced on my 2005 with 70,000 miles

    All costs covered by Platinum extended warranty.
    Invoice costs were:
    pump $116.09
    coolant 17.30
    labor 108.00
     
  14. Weinerneck

    Weinerneck New Member

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    If you are having a recurring 12V battery problems there is something wrong some place. Charging the battery with a charger a couple times a week is not a cure, nobody is going to do that.
     
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  15. Steph411

    Steph411 New Member

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    I bought my 2008 Prius last Dec 08. It was used, and had about 20,000+ miles on it. Last month though, the battery died, and I had to have someone jump it for me. (that was an ordeal itself to figure that out!) I was out at a swap meet with my mom all day, and the car was in our vendor spot. I just thought I left a door open too long or something. It's been fine since then. Well, until tonight. It died again on a short trip.

    Will it die like this if we don't take long trips?? I'll have to visit a Toyota dealer tomorrow to see what they tell me, but also don't want to be taken advantage of. I had to get someone to give the car another jump tonight, just to get it home. It started perfectly fine when I left the house too. (which was a short trip that lasted less than 5 minutes) Then it didn't start at all when I was trying to come home (ran out to get something to eat).

    I read on the original post that the 12V battery should last 3-4 years in extreme heat (I live in the Phoenix area). But I've only had it a year, and it's a 2008!? Would it be bad already??

    Thanks in advance!
     
  16. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Although the 12V battery should have a life of 3-4 years in adverse climates, this assumes that the battery hasn't been severely discharged a few times during its life. This also assumes that the car has been driven enough to keep the battery charged. If you mostly take short trips, that is not helpful for battery life.

    When you have to have the battery jumped, how long do you leave the car READY before you turn it off? If your answer is < 3-4 hours, then that is not enough time to charge up the battery.

    Here's a reference point: yesterday I bought a new 12V battery for my Highlander Hybrid. Open circuit voltage on the new battery was 12.6V which means it was ~75% charged. I put a lab power supply on the battery set for 13.8V (which is the voltage that Prius will produce.) It took 11 hours for the battery to become fully-charged, where the charging current dropped down to only around 60 mA. After letting the battery rest for a few hours, the voltage reading was 12.9V, which confirms the battery was 100% charged.
     
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  17. zcapp

    zcapp New Member

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    I've experienced difficult starting recently on sporadic occasions with my 2006 Prius with 81000 mi. 12V battery is original. Reading threads sounds like my 12V battery is getting weak. Took to dealer today to replace battery, dealer insisted running electrical diagnostics for $45 and came back with a diagnosis that the power button needs to be replaced for $186. I declined. Seems to me the button may indicate failure if voltage dropped. I've also experienced weird beeping while exiting car after shutting it down, and the locking buttons with my remote entry have not been responding and locking car without pressing them multiple times. All this is sporadic and not consistent. Has failed to start 4 or 5 times and if I wait, hold the power button down long enough, play with it long enough the car will shut down and I can restart normally and drive away. Should I go ahead and replace the battery? How do I get them to replace battery instead of running me through the mill with diagnostic charges?
     
  18. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Yes, I think you should replace the 12V battery as well as the fob battery. Then see if you still have a problem with the POWER button. (I have not seen any posts reporting such a problem in the past.)

    It would be best if you could DIY the 12V battery replacement. Otherwise you will be subject to the dealer's practices regarding their labor billing including a diagnostic fee. Or, see if you can find another dealer to help you. You'll probably end up paying at least $100 in labor, is that sufficient incentive for you to DIY?
     
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  19. Flying White Dutchman

    Flying White Dutchman Senior Member

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    Problem: People dont like that i get better mpg then them and make my prius look bad at every time there is something better about the car owned by them.
    Diagnosis: i drive a good car with good milage.
    Cause: the prius is a good car.
    Cure: tell them to buy a prius and that the car ty own is not THAT bad.. just...
     
  20. Frenetic in Seaside

    Frenetic in Seaside New Member

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    Or play the radio REAL LOUD.
     
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