every light in the house . . . eer prius is on

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by archibald tuttle, Dec 4, 2020.

  1. archibald tuttle

    archibald tuttle Junior Member

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    a few days ago our 2012 Prius V began showing multiple warning lights continuously, from left to right:

    BRAKE , READY, glyphic of skid, glyphic of Steering Wheel, Glyphic of Car with a knife through the roof, and ABS

    Simultaneously, the speedometer and the energy consumption meter don't operate.

    Other than all the warning lights and lack of speedometer, the car seems to operate fine. My wife thinks that maybe the power steering is not up to snuff but I'm suspicious that all these lights would be the result of mild underperformance of the power steering.

    One thread suggested checking the health of the 12V battery when spurious indications show up. The battery is at 12.5V after a drive and goes dont to 12.25 V over about 5 or 6 hours after that. No indication of lacking current to boot.

    The 12 V circuit doesn't show charging current unless the engine is running. I thought the inverter was supposed to kick in once the computers booted and raise the 12V circuit to around 14V but this only happens once the engine starts in the cycles that I monitored with a tester.

    Any knowledge of this multiple light syndrome you have to share would be appreciated.

    thanks, brian
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    sounds like a traction/wheel/brake issue. 12.25 is a bit low, how old is it?

    how many miles on your car?

    it could also be the combo meter (the whole display on the dash with the speedo)

    lastly, a dealer or shop with tech stream can read the trouble codes, which point you in the right direction.
     
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  3. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Just read the trouble codes. It is what warning lights are telling you to do, and every form of guessing or speculating before finding out what the codes are is exactly that: guessing or speculating before finding out what the codes are.

    There is pretty much nothing to infer from a "multiple light syndrome". Those warning lights are controlled by a few different computers in the car, and those computers share information, and it is quite common for several of them to put up warning lights at the same time. When you read the actual codes, you will find that you have one or more codes indicating an original problem, and several other codes that you can look up and they will mean "brake ECU knows HV ECU has a code", "HV ECU knows battery ECU has a code", and the like.

    Three of the lights you have on are all controlled by the brake ECU, and pretty much always come on in combination when there are trouble codes to be read.

    So in short, there isn't anything special about your 'syndrome' that would support jumping to any conclusions before reading the codes. You just have a dash display telling you there are trouble codes to be read, and there will be more to say once that's been done.
     
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  4. archibald tuttle

    archibald tuttle Junior Member

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    i've got OBD 2 scanner. but this needs different? I seem to recall you can get a reader to plug into the computer running some kind of toyota program?

    its 2012 with 100,000 miles.
     
  5. archibald tuttle

    archibald tuttle Junior Member

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    got it. 2012 V. remind me where the plug is and what reader or combination of computrer program and USB to OBD adapter i will need. thanks
     
  6. MexicanChip

    MexicanChip New Member

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    It will be underneath the steering wheel close to where your knees would be. It’s a white OBD plug. Worst case scenario drive to a local autozone or auto parts store and have them read the trouble codes, they offer that service for free in my city. the plug location should be in the same spot as this video.
     
  7. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Toyota calls their software Techstream. Runs under Windows. Many people find an old beater Windows laptop for the purpose.

    It will work with a USB-to-vehicle adapter that conforms to SAE standard J2534. The one Toyota tests and recommends (and will sell you if you like) is around $500 and called the Drew Tech Mongoose Pro. At the low end, there are options around the twenty-dollar price point, where it's a little less certain that the one that shows up will do what you want. There are some middle-end options in the $80 to $180 range.

    They're all often discussed here, so some forum searching ought to turn up plenty.
     
  8. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Read codes with your obd2 scanner since you have one. You can get a bluetooth reader for $30 and a Dr Prius, Torque or Car Scanner app that will usually give you more info than Autozone, but an auto supply read is better than the unknown. There is a Toyota customer support "extended warranty" on the brake actuator you might qualify for with the right codes.

    The no charging without the engine running is not normal. It should jump to 13.5v-14.8v as soon as Ready occurs. How are you measuring it?

     
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  9. archibald tuttle

    archibald tuttle Junior Member

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    Didn't seem right to me either. But I hate it when something won't be all the way broken. Finally, after several more weeks went out yesterday morning and the battery was at 8.5 and wouldn't boot the electronics so the car wouldn't start. Stuck an AGM in there and back in business. Still weighing options for permanent replacement. The AGMs seem to be sealed and only vent in extreme overheat/charging scenarios and as best I can tell the battery compartment is itself vented in addition to the particularized vent hose from the battery. So I'm weighing some XS Power and Interstate AGM options that seem reasonably affordable and powerful and fit the compartment pretty well.

    Meanwhile a friend read the codes for me beyond what my standard OBD will read and I get ABS Module failed to communicate with Hybrid Control or something to that effect. A lot of these communication errors appear to originate if the 12V battery voltage drops low so that could indeed be my problem but putting a new battery and having the codes read did not reset or erase them. So I'm back to what OBD/Techstream technology can actually reset or clear codes so I can see if a new battery solves the problem.

    thanks for all the replies on techstream alternatives. have been searching for right alternative. looks like the beater laptop and maybe VX Diag is relatively stable and modest in cost, so not the absoluetly cheapest but reasonable cost and utility.. But I can't figure out if the VX Diag implementation is capable of clearing/resetting. It seems to have full reading capabilities. There are apparently some programming functions, e.g. key fob programming and engine control module reprogramming that require an 'account'–assume that is with toyota–but can I clear these faults iwth a VX Diag, or is there another alternative I should look at.

    thanks,

    brian
     
  10. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    $27 for a bluetooth obd2 adapter which could be delivered tomorrow and a free app like Dr Prous, Torque or Car Scanner will read most codes and clear them from your phone or tablet.

    Warning! Don't clear brake codes as they are necessary for Toyota to give you a free brake actuator/booster.

    How were you meauring the voltage or current when it was not charging in Ready mode?
     
  11. archibald tuttle

    archibald tuttle Junior Member

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    amazon? which one or is there only one?


    assuming this wouldn't apply to my ABS module failed to communicate code but not sure. Is there a thread on this or something on toyota.com that indicates conditions that would lead to a replacement.

    multi-meter at battery terminals in rear of car.
     
  12. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Yes, Techstream can do all that. DTC reading and clearing are standard functions that any OBD tool can do. Techstream is an OBD tool that also knows how to do proprietary Toyota-specific things. The VX Diag is just the dongle (one among many possibilities) that will let Techstream on the laptop connect to the car.

    Code-clearing won't always seem to work. Naturally, if you clear a code that was telling you some problem condition exists, and that condition still exists, the code will be back. How soon it's back depends on how finicky the conditions are that the computer has to see to detect it. Sometimes it may be a month or two before the computer realizes the condition is still there. Other times it will be re-detected so fast you won't think the code ever cleared. And there are some codes that simply won't clear with a command from a scan tool, but only when you actually convince the computer in the car that you have fixed the problem, by following a specific procedure or going on a specific sort of ceremonial drive following all the details in the Repair Manual for that particular code.
     
  13. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    See post 8.

    Never assume. Honestly the codes won't help you much without a good understanding of the theory of operation. If a module is really bad, it may not communicate. But you have not reported appropriate symptoms to indicate the brake controllers are bad. The best you can hope for is some direction from others if you report the actual codes, A failing inverter is also a good candidate with your charging scenario.

    "The 12v circuit does not show charging current unless the engine is running." More detail please. Did you use a dc current clamp meter? Did you series the battery lead to your meters amp function? Or was it voltage measurements that makes you believe it does not charge in Ready unless the engine is running? If so what were the readings?

    You are dealing with one of the most complex cars ever made. Sometimes the fastest diagnostics are from the dealer, especially if you can still drive it. You could get their laundry list with codes and then seek alternatives. Maybe it will be covered by one of their special customer support programs. That would be worth the nominal diagnostic fee.

    Believe it or not, some people have paid thousands for major failures at an independent shop or diy not realizing Toyota would have taken care of them.
     
    #13 rjparker, Dec 23, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2020
  14. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    One feller here had a bad hv, he got a refurb and still had issues afterwards. When we asked for year and miles on the car, his hv battery warranty was still valid.
     
  15. archibald tuttle

    archibald tuttle Junior Member

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    got that. obviously the quality of the dongle and version of software seems to matter. I'm going to go with the bluetooth phone unit as a first line of offense but it does seem that the VX Diag and whatever techstream they ship or offer for download installed on an XP beater is a good combination if the Dr Prius or Torque software comes up short.
     
  16. archibald tuttle

    archibald tuttle Junior Member

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    I was speaking relative to your point that there is a brake controller recall or modfication. So I was wondering what codes to look for that might trigger that replacement or if that ABS communication code was amongst them but I don't yet have number so I ordered the bluetooth device for starters and i'll see what that can find. Get it on Sunday.

    Insofar as clearing codes, it sounds like the car does not keep a history so clearing the fault doesn't leave a history trail that there was such a fault but, assuming it doesn't immediately throw that code again, I was hoping it would turn the speedometer back on and the holiday light display on the dash off. But I will see if I can get a number becasue if there is a chance it points to something the dealer would fix guess i shouldn't clear it, alhtough without clearing it, I don't know how I'll know if it was low voltage from the 12V battery that caused the problem in the first place.

    There are no other symptoms on the brake side. In the good old days I could test my ABS by just jamming on the brakes at speed and hearing'feeling it pulse and in theory i guess there is an ABS indicator if it doesn't get some kind of routine signal from one of the sensors but it was a very limited to the ABS and didn't communicate with other systems in the car.

    This whole 12V battery boots the system which then kicks in the HV battery to do everything else is, I admit, a new routine to me and I get the general idea but not complete theory of ops. I didn't test amperage flow, I tested as I am used to testing any car's 12V system, car off, test the battery voltage looking for high 12s and then once the car is started and alternator spinning high 13s or low 14s.

    I think the voltage reading I got resting had been low 12s (12.25 to 12.5) but jumped to 14 once the engine started (but not to my recollection just once the car booted to on. I will test that again with the new(ish) battery in place.

    I never stopped to think if there is a 12V alternator in addition to the inverter since it has such high powered charging capabilities for the HV battery and electric drive train although but i assumed it was an alternator when the engine started and the voltage jumped, although now I wonder if it was slow to boot maybe and I misapprehended that it was fully booted and actually it started the engine once it had booted thus confusing me regarding the inverter or resting "on" in park voltage.
     
  17. archibald tuttle

    archibald tuttle Junior Member

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    thanks for that reminder. that at least doesn't seem to be the problem of the moment. I'm well under 150,000 miles (105,000) and somewhere I have the inservice date, so I think the HV battery is covered for another year and change.

    I don't think the inverter would be considered part of the emissions control systems so that is probably out of warranty if that's the problem but I'm glad to be disabused of that notion.

    thanks, brian
     
  18. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Still missing some fundamentals it seems and clearly not understanding what a customer support warranty on a part means.

    There is no 12v alternator. The inverter/converter charges the 12v battery and runs all 12v loads when the car is in Ready Mode. It takes high voltage battery power and reduces it to charge the 12v battery. The engine does not need to run but will normally start ten seconds after Ready is achieved after a cold start. The purpose is to warm up the coolant. The engine can spin one of the motor generators in the transaxle to charge the hv battery. The wheels can also spin the motor generator to produce hv power.

    Customer Support programs are special warranties to cover certain problem prone parts OUTSIDE of the car's normal warranty. The inverter and brake actuator/master cylinder each fall into a Customer Support program on the v's.

    So its seems your symptoms of no charging unless the engine runs was wrong. Likely the inverter is ok.
     
  19. archibald tuttle

    archibald tuttle Junior Member

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    only car I've had that I ever even thought of the dealer because its the only car we ever had that wasn't theoretically an antique when we got it. I hope it runs for another 25 years as have my late 80s and mid 90s camries. but the thought that there are parts that were so widely troublesome and complex that they have elicited support from toyota is new to me. awaiting the bluetooth code reader.

    do you favor one program over another given the area of problem i'm confronting. i imagine they all have strengths and weaknesses. and are android adaptations of aspects of the techstream software? i believe you mentioned Dr. Prius, Torque and Car Scanner.

    brian

    PS-i would say inverter is fine. new battery is 12.6 resting. I powered the car up and couldn't get to the back before the engine started (I'd say notably less than 10 seconds ) but ,as you pointed out the arrangement is dependent on inverter from the HV system which should work regardless of engine I don't think it made any difference that the engine was running. Voltage jumped to 14.76. so i think i can cross that off for now.
     
  20. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Are all of the first post symptoms still there? Does it drive normally? If not what does it do now?

    I would start with Dr Prius. It is arguably easier. Report codes if you are successful in installing it, bluetooth pairing it and operating it.

    Remember reading and clearing codes will not fix broken parts. For example the brake actuator is a mechanical hydraulic pump prone to internal leakage.

    If the car is running perfectly after installing a new battery, then clearing codes may get rid of the warning lights. If something is broken, it will stay broken.
     
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