Dealer service says replace Transaxle Assembly P3009 + 526 info codes

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by MJFrog, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. MJFrog

    MJFrog Active Member

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    2004 Prius with 116705 miles...second owner; currently located in Michigan (COLD!!!).

    Pulled out from a light Friday and the Red TOD light came on along with the yellow roundish symbol that I gather indicates transmission. Car appeared to be responding normally, but I pulled into a nearby parking lot and shut it down, then tried to restart hoping to clear the codes.

    Net result was just about every indicator came on and the MFD stated "PROBLEM". Would not go into READY. I was able to put it into neutral, but not reverse or drive.

    Checked the 12V battery level and it read 11.7V...not good! To make a long story short, despite several people attempting to jump the car, it would not go into READY. Had it towed home where I hooked up a charger and let it charge overnight. By morning, the charger indicated it had given as much charge as it could (green LED on), so I tried to start once again...same results.

    I obtained a new battery and replaced the old one. The car DID go into ready at that point and I was able to drive it. However, it soon displayed the same indicators I noticed originally. Shutting it off and attempting to restart gave same results as originally encountered. Apparently, disconnecting the battery for ~10 mins will reset the codes and allow the vehicle to be driven.

    I drove it to the dealer Saturday and for the low-low price of only $102, they ran some diagnostics. The technician says it showed code P3009 with information code 526. He was ALSO unable to shutdown and restart without all the indicators coming on and it would not go into READY.

    I had the extended 60k mile drivetrain warranty on it but it expired ~8000 miles ago.

    Dealer says it needs new transaxle assembly...out of warranty...$4754 please...

    Need advice from the gurus out there. Normally mine is a two vehicle household, but my wife's Prius is on loan to and about to be given to my daughter. This leaves me without a way to get to work and run errands.

    I know I can get a used transaxle off eBay for a much cheaper price (dealer price is $3468). I haven't checked with the dealer to see if they would put it in for me or not.

    Anything else I can check or try?
     
  2. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    The issue is a high voltage ground fault. However, info code 526 is not sufficient to prove the transaxle is at fault. Info code 613 would point more definitively to the transaxle.

    Usually, a megger would be used to prove that the transaxle has the faulty insulation, by removing the cables to the inverter and using the megger to measure resistance of the MG1 and MG2 terminals to ground. You may want to inquire if this was done.

    As you have already discovered, you can get the Prius to run by disconnecting the 12V battery so that the DTC will be erased. So as a workaround, you might do that for a while, so you can do your daily commute.

    Assuming the transaxle is in fact at fault, your dealer may agree to install the used transaxle but you will bear the risk in the event the used transaxle does not operate. It sounds like their labor charge will be ~$1.3K which isn't bad.
     
  3. MJFrog

    MJFrog Active Member

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    I believe the only thing the service tech did was run a scan for codes (he managed to find something there...my Scangauge showed no-codes). He didn't have the vehicle long enough to disconnect any cables...just scan for codes and make a recommendation.

    Current plans are to go to a used car dealer tomorrow (not Toyota of course) and test drive a Leaf. They're asking ~$16990 for a 2011 SV. I would then rent it for a week or two (if they agree) to see how it works out before making a purchase. I would still pursue repairing or trading-in the Prius for a different Prius. The Toyota used car sales manager and I have a pretty good relationship (we should, I've bought 4 cars from them in the last 5-6 years...mine, wife, and daughters).
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    is this the one with the pis kit?
     
  5. PriusGuy32

    PriusGuy32 Prius Driver Extraordinaire

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    MJFrog, this sucks especially with this weather & this time of year!

    If it was warmer, I'd say tow it over and lets replace the trans in my driveway. with that low mileage and your otherwise impeccable maintenance record, I would replaces the transaxle with a used one. Buy it and have a local shop install it (call around). I can do some research for you tomorrow when I get into work, to see if there are any local shops that specialize in hybrids.

    Btw, where in SE MI are you? I do have Techstream software. I could hook it up and see if we can gain more information than the dealer revealed to you.

    EDIT: I just checked car-part.com and Middletons has a used trans with 50,000 miles for $600. A place in the D has one for $750 with 21,000 miles.
     
  6. nh7o

    nh7o Off grid since 1980

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    I would definitely want to pinpoint the source of the high voltage fault before assuming the transaxle is the problem. There is one possible insulation fault source that has been reported here a few times, and that is in the A/C compressor. It is any easy thing to check by disconnecting the cables to the compressor. If I am not mistaken, it does run when defrosting, so it possibly relevant even in winter.

    Doing the needed leakage checks is really the next step. It would be sad to do the replacement and come up with the same fault afterwards.
     
  7. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    I definitely agree with nh70 on this. With no mechanical issues by the sound of it, you definitely want to rule out any HV leakage anywhere else before spending a load of money on the transmission itself.

    BTW MJFrog. Have you ever had any wiring harness problems before, rodent damage or anything like that?
     
  8. MJFrog

    MJFrog Active Member

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    bisco: is this the one with the pis kit?

    Yes

    PriusGuy32: Where in MI?

    I'm in Southfield. If you're close, I can start it by disconnecting the battery for ~10 mins and reconnecting it. It will drive then, but I don't know how far I can get. I'm also concerned about a short causing a fire if I drive it too far.

    nh7o: Pinpoint source of HV fault

    Absolutely!

    uart: any previous wiring harness problems?

    None.
     
  9. MJFrog

    MJFrog Active Member

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    All,

    I'm planning on removing the PIS kit from this car before replacing or repairing it. It's unlikely, but possible that the cables from the HV battery to the PIS side may have rubbed insulation off or something. It's worth doing just to rule that out.
     
  10. MJFrog

    MJFrog Active Member

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    Follow-up on the Leaf...I bought it. Dealer was not willing to rent it for a week or two, so it was either buy or find something else...and I needed something to drive.

    Overnight temps last night were around 13F. I put it on the charger (110V) around 5:30-6:00pm and the battery was full this morning. Estimated range was 91 miles, but with using the heater intermittently on my commute of ~17 miles (and those were city miles), the estimated range dropped to 61 miles when I got to work. Not bad for now...but later this week they're calling for sub-zero temps. :eek: I don't have the card that gives me access to the chargers at work (although I can use the 110V outlets in the garage), so I can't get an L2 charge yet...estimated arrival of the Chargepoint cards is 10 business days.

    I still plan to pursue fixing the Prius.
     
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  11. PriusGuy32

    PriusGuy32 Prius Driver Extraordinaire

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    Congrats on the Leaf purchase!! There was a volunteer at my work that had one and drove it here last week. I was enamored by it, lol.
    He said right now hes getting 80 miles of range and loves the car in general. (y)
     
  12. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Nice. :) Now are you gonna track it on fuelly? :ROFLMAO:
     
  13. MJFrog

    MJFrog Active Member

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    Sweet! What year? Did he have it/drive it when we had those -10F overnight lows? Did it work OK then? Does it have a battery conditioning package for cold weather? Does he keep it in a garage overnight or outside?
     
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  14. MJFrog

    MJFrog Active Member

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    :p
     
  15. PriusGuy32

    PriusGuy32 Prius Driver Extraordinaire

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    Ill ask him next time I see him (y)

    With all respect though, arent these the kind of questions you should've had answered before you bought it?? lol
     
  16. MJFrog

    MJFrog Active Member

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    I've wanted an all-electric car since '72. This is the first REAL opportunity I could afford.
     
  17. glyndwr

    glyndwr Member

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    [quote="MJFrog, post: 1967927, member: Estimated range was 91 miles, but with using the heater intermittently on my commute of ~17 miles (and those were city miles), the estimated range dropped to 61 miles when I got to work. Not bad for now...

    I still plan to pursue fixing the Prius.[/quote]

    Hi mj,

    I had a leaf on a 2 day trial last year, on both days I had it I managed a range of 80 miles, I'm in a hilly area, so was relatively pleased with that.
    On a recharge the leaf took 22 kwh from the wall which equates to 275wh/mile,
    As a reference my prius with a pis kit fitted in all ev mode does approx 400wh/mile, (I haven't got llr tyres on at moment either) no ice at all in that running, it is cold at the mo, so I'm hoping for a lower wh/mile then.

    I loved the leaf too, it's probably about 2 years away before I could afford to buy one, until then the plug in prius will fill the gap well.

    Also, the leaf in the uk doesn't seem to suffer the same battery degradation as you folks in the states, I've seen leafs with 45000 miles on odo meter with no fuel gauge bar losses, I'm assuming its because we are a colder climate, and apparently those leaf batteries hate the heat (as with most electronics I might add)
     
  18. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Yes, it's only been in the warmer southern states that they've really had complaints about battery range degradation. Part apparently caused by a true loss of capacity and part as a result of heavy use aircon usage.

    MJ, overall cold weather should be a positive for long term battery health. Batteries will self warm under usage, but there might be temporary loss of peak power capability in your coldest weather.
     
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  19. MJFrog

    MJFrog Active Member

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    That's good to know...although the CarFax shows it was originally put in service in Texas. :unsure:

    Looking at my range the past two mornings, it indicates around 90 miles available based on my 90% city driving so far. I drive it in ECO and mostly city, so peak power availability is a minimal worry.

    One thing I DO worry about is with the extreme cold weather lately, the battery temp is now only two bars above the bottom of the range. So far, the only issue I've seen is limited REGEN at that temp. The owners manual states not to store the Leaf longer than 7 days at < -13F temps. Tonight's low is forecast to be -3F. Not quite below the threshold temp, but closer than I want.
     
  20. MJFrog

    MJFrog Active Member

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    My ChargePoint card came in today. That means I now have access to L2 charging stations and I can try some highway miles for my commute.

    Regarding the Prius...it's parked for now waiting on warmer weather for a better diagnosis.
     
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