Drove 2011 II into dealership for a cosmetic repair. Now it won't start P2118

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Technical Discussion' started by Cora Devoira, Oct 7, 2021.

  1. Cora Devoira

    Cora Devoira New Member

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    Hi everyone,
    I love this community. The Prius in question is 2011 with around 180,000 miles. It was taken to another dealership four months ago and was given a clean bill of health.

    I filed a comprehensive claim with my insurance when my front hood flew up and smashed my windsheild, also damaging the side fenders. The body shop recommended as a "Geico AutoRepair Express" location Excalibur Auto Body in Ohio botched the job. Replaced two fenders and a windsheild and they had my car for three weeks. It was confusing, and it really seemed like something was wrong.

    When they failed to replace the windsheld properly the second time, I took it into the Toyota dealership in another town to get the job done. Oddly, they also had my car a long time - a week.

    After the windsheild was replaced, the dealership called me to tell me it won't start - "Check Hybrid System" P2118 Actuator Contol Motor Current Range/Performance.

    They claim to have checked the ETCS fuse, battery, and wiring harness groudning. The dealership is claiming the ECM (may also be called the engiene ECU?) must be replaced - $980. To repeat, I drove the car to them, and now it won't start.

    It has been over two months since I smashed my windsheild and side fenders. This is a rare malfunction, and I do not trust that I'm getting all the information. Geico has determined that this is not part of the accident (surprise!) Any experience or advice would be greatly appreciated!! :)))))))))

    - Possibility that the failed windsheild replacement allowed water leakage?
    - Possibility of voltage relay in repair process?
    - Possibility force of accident caused ECM to experience delayed failure?
    - Rate of ECM total failure? (They claim it cannot be reflashed)
    - Any alternative diagnoses?
    - Is there any actual chance this is a freak coincidence (what the dealership is claiming)?

    Thanks so much,
    Cora
     
  2. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    It seems a dealer would have checked more than the the ETCS fuse, battery, and wiring harness grounding. I wonder if they did a complete diagnosis?

    If I had the car I might read codes. If I found only a P2118 (out-of-range voltage or poor performance from the throttle actuator control motor) I would then check the specific fuse and the power flow through the engine fuse box.

    We had one guy who reverse jumped his car after letting the 12v battery go low. Its not impossible a dealer could do the same. The P2118 code was up, the ETCS (Electronic Throttle Control) fuse was blown and the 125amp "dc to dc" fuse was blown. Replacing both fuses fixed the car and the code.

    Obviously the throttle actuator, wiring, grounding or ecu could be faulty but I have seen some dealers miss the obvious. The 125a is hard to access but is an easy visual or voltmeter check.

    By the way, in a separate reverse jump case, the dealer wanted to replace the ecu when it was really the 125a.
     

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    #2 rjparker, Oct 7, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2021
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  3. Cora Devoira

    Cora Devoira New Member

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    Wow, thank you! Attached are the mechanic's notes from the diagnostic process.

    Are the ECM and engiene ECU the same thing?

    Am I understanding you correctly by summarizing:
    - Yes, it's possible that the dealership (or people that replaced the windsheild) caused this malfunction by jumping the car
    - 125amp "dc to dc" fuse should be checked (they say ETCS fuse is okay, though I need to verify this as well

    Is there anything else I should ask the dealership? And if anybody has any knowledge as to whose responsibility this is, as the car drove fine before I left it in their custody?

    Thanks sooooo so so so very much!!
    Cora
     

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  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    did that say the 12v battery is original?
     
  5. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Yes, ECU is the general term (there are a couple dozen ECUs in the car), but the ECU controlling the engine also has the older specific name "engine control module" ECM.
     
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  6. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Yes they are talking about the same computer (ECM) in this case. Use their terms. Most of us, like you, believe a car that drives to the dealership and does not after should be their responsibility.

    They are going by the steps in the RM (repair manual) but it still seems their process has tunnel vision.

    I would go down to the dealership and talk to the Service Manager. If that does not work ask to talk with the appropriate Toyota Corporate representative. Be cordial, let them know you are coming to discuss the problem, if possible take someone with you that has some car knowledge. Do not work the issue and possibilities on the phone! You want eye to eye in person.

    At minimum, ask if they had to jump the car, ask how this ECM could have failed while at their dealer, ask what they can do to solve this issue. Maybe they will have another look at the car, maybe Toyota Corporate will cover it.
     
    #6 rjparker, Oct 8, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2021
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  7. AzusaPrius

    AzusaPrius Active Member

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  8. xliderider

    xliderider Senior Member

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  9. Cora Devoira

    Cora Devoira New Member

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    Yes, 12V is original. Sorry for the delay - this is a total nightmare. Thank you for the help!!
     
  10. Cora Devoira

    Cora Devoira New Member

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    this is really interesting. This is a photo I took from the Toyota dealership's notes on the car. This dealership is in Muncie, IN. What exactly does the handwriting mean to you?
     
  11. Cora Devoira

    Cora Devoira New Member

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    Thank you. I am going to follow your instructions to the letter. I am about to head to the dealership right now to discuss this in person.
     
  12. Cora Devoira

    Cora Devoira New Member

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    Yes, 12V battery is original and specs are great. The car was just inspected by another dealership about 5 months ago and checked out perfectly.
     
  13. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Mechanic might be taking (handwritten) notes as he/she works, it's actually refreshing to see first hand. Service writers then "translate" it, with caps-lock on, and maybe edit, abbreviate and generally mangle it in the process.
     
  14. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    sometimes reconnecting the 12v can kill a pc board. still, i wouldn't trust a 10 year old 12v without checking it myself.
     
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  15. Cora Devoira

    Cora Devoira New Member

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    Could you say anything more about the battery frying the computer? Is there any way this could have been prevented? Dealership is now pointing out that the car failed in the possession of their windshield subcontractor.

    And if I'm understanding correctly, you think there's a possibility the battery failed but is testing okay? I know that with older cars, not driving them can be a killer. I'm deeply annoyed that a simple comprehensive accident landed my car in the first body shop for three weeks in the first place.
     
  16. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    I'm not sure I'm seeing their point; is the car still their responsibility, while in possession of a sub-contractor? Sounds like circle-the-wagons talk...
     
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  17. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Extremely unlikely that connecting the 12v battery hurt anything. Don't even bring this up to the dealer or you will lose credibility. Even a reverse polarity jump, a screwup that might blow boards on other cars, routinely just blows cheap fuses on these cars.

    When they try to shift responsibility to the windshield guy, they are acknowledging someone other than you is responsible. Realize they want you to pay because it makes them money and makes their guys look better to management. Simple as that.

    Did you talk to the service manager face to face?
     
    #17 rjparker, Oct 24, 2021
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  18. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i have been told by a mechanic that reconnecting power to an older pc board can fry it on rare occasion.
    prius 12v batteries sometimes test well, but are not well. the tester doesn't always understand the proper method. at ten years old, it is a possibility. they don't typically last that long, but you're right, sitting harms them more than use, because they are under constant discharge, with infrequent recharge.
     
  19. Cora Devoira

    Cora Devoira New Member

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    Haha! Mr. Leisk, you are killing me. Posters like you have helped me so much over the years with solid advice. I totally agree! That's why I'm so unsettled by the situation. There's a lot of shifting of blame. When I brought my car to the dealership, I expected professionalism.
     
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  20. Cora Devoira

    Cora Devoira New Member

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    Excellent points!!!!

    - Do not suggest battery was fried by reconnection
    - Dealership is acknowledging that someone other than me is responsible
    - Yet, they have asked me to pay $941 out-of-pocket

    A friend and I visited the service office yesterday. Only an assistant manager and another salesman I had spoken to previously was there, but not "my" salesman. The assistant manager seemed a little frazzled and left the room to call the salesman and their manager. This was when they shifted the blame from the previous auto body shop (their first story), to the windshield subcontractor. I expect a call Monday, and plan to visit again in person to have the next conversation.

    My car was my source of income, so getting it back can be my job for now. I'm very persistent and these men are working my nerves.
     
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