From o2 sensor to engine replacement in 10 days?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by FantasticalMagicOne, Dec 29, 2018.

  1. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    If we're lucky, we can have this resolved by 350
     
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  2. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

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    I sure as hell hope so. My head hurts from reading this thread.
     
  3. VFerdman

    VFerdman Senior Member

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    You can stop any time!
     
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  4. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    It's like the Neverending Story, except no flying dragons.
     
  5. VFerdman

    VFerdman Senior Member

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    I think the origin of this problem was similar in nature to why the car is still broken. The action taken was the easier one (take to dealer for O2 replacement) rather than the correct one (buy an expensive socket and DIY). Similar things are being suggested now. Instead of using Occam's razor suggestions are made to check all kinds of far-fetched scenarios.

    The problem started after the first O2 (upstream?) sensor was replaced. Look there first! I would postpone compression testing, fuel pressure testing, can bus integrity testing, fuel quality testing, etc. until first change which preceded the problem is investigated. I realize it may not be the most convenient thing to do, what with the funky expensive tools and all, but if that's where the problem is, checking other things is a huge waste of time, even though they may appear to be "low hanging fruit".
     
  6. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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  7. mikefocke

    mikefocke Prius v Three 2012, Avalon 2011

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    Classically the O2/Lamda sensors feed information to the DME/ECU which then recalculates the needed air/fuel mixtures many times a second. An intake air flow sensor is also commonly used. Two O2 sensors, one in front of the catalyst and one after. The second to test how the catalyst is working, the one in front to see the contents of the exhaust gases before they are cleaned. Have to keep adjusting to keep the gases clean enough so the catalyst doesn't get fouled.

    A special wrench is used with an opening to allow the open end of the wrench to bypass the wire. They are calibrated from the factory and typically use crimped and then waterproofed connections at the sensor end. Don't solder as it affects their accuracy.
     
  8. FantasticalMagicOne

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    That's what my mechanic friend said last night when I spoke to him. He had previously mentioned that it could be off just enough to not throw a code, but still cause some damage.

    I think so too, and I've already ordered the Denso one, it'll be here on Friday. The one I purchased was advertised as such, and since I hadn't seen one before, I had no idea that it wasn't the same one. Looking at them side by side, it's easy to tell. I specifically set out for one that wasn't a universal, but that doesn't matter now. I think the toyota techs should have caught this, if not by looking at it, then by it not fitting properly when they installed it. I should have been alerted to it, and I would not have had them proceed with the replacement. That was a huge safety violation and one that had the potential to kill me (us). Admittedly, it was a two part error and I am very upset about it. Upset with myself for making such a folly, and upset with the dealership for not catching it or neglecting to say anything to me. They are, supposedly, the experts.

    The timing is right, the low power issue started when I left the dealership after they replaced that sensor. The rest of your information, which I appreciate, I did not know. And I am hoping that the threads aren't ruined.

    If the experts caught that the non OEM sensor was the wrong one, it would have saved a lot more than 300 posts.

    However, it was thanks to you guys that the bad 12v was discovered.

    Yes, but I'll have it remedied soon.

    It's probable.

    I share that headache.

    Train wrecks are hard to look away from.

    I'm not as concerned about the absence of luck dragons, as I am grateful for the absence of the fate of Artax. #308

    Agreed. Over-priced thin walled offset sensor socket will only be one of the expenses. I just got off the phone with my local harbor freight and they have the jack you suggested in stock. I'll pick up jack stands as well, whether or not I order them online or get what HF has to offer is yet to be determined.


    Good to know, thanks!
     
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  9. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    For what it's worth they are some of the coarsest, toughest threads under that hood. Good luck!
     
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  10. FantasticalMagicOne

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    I did not attempt to remove any oil today, but I did have need to go to the post office (about 2 miles from here) and I am obviously still having the power issue.

    But I wanted to note, for anyone who may encounter this problem in the future that the draining of the HV battery only happens when you attempt to accelerate. The car did take a long time to shut itself off when idling, and still shakes when it does. However, I did notice that when the ICE starts again (as it should), it powers the battery (as it should). The HV battery will have a good charge after the car is off for awhile, what awhile equates to, I don't know. I can tell you that it definitely does this over night.

    So here's what we have:

    1 - if you get an aftermarket sensor, don't believe everything you read (false advertisements exist), get the right one
    2 - if you manage to get the wrong one, as I did, don't trust that the expert techs at the dealership will catch it or tell you about it
    3 - pay close attention to the acceleration of your car, if it hasn't improved or has gotten worse, be cautious
    4 - if you notice that your HV battery is losing power very quickly - pull over immediately - your safety depends on it
    5 - if you reach number 4 on the list, stop here, the experts in this forum and on this thread have solved your issue, return to the
    dealership and drop the $225 plus labor to get the proper replacement - the cost for you to have it towed home while
    you wait for the $112 part from amazon, then towed to the dealership to have them replace it is comparable to eating the cost of
    their part - it'll save you a lot of aggravation (trust me on this)
    6 - if the dealership tells you its the downstream sensor - insist they replace the upstream first - they may be being kicked the wrong DTC which may/may not disappear after the upstream is replaced - have them run the diagnostic again after the upstream is replaced
    7 - if the service manager tells you that "it runs like a dream" (punch him) - be suspect and ask how far they went on their test drive - your invoice will tell you what the mileage was when it was brought in and what it is when you leave - so their honesty is easily tested - if it was only a mile - request they take it for a spin at highway speeds - make sure before you leave the lot
    8 - if they diagnose your car with a dead engine (punch them) - ask why they didn't run a diagnostic (remember the power immediately jumped when my mechanic hooked up his odb2 reader - making the car drivable) - if they insist they did - request a print out of the results (be very suspicious if you just had repair work the car and the experts didn't catch a destroyed engine)
    9 - any time the recommendation is a replacement engine - regardless of the cars issue - GET A SECOND OPINION!!!!!!!!!!!!
    10 - Bonus: If you ever ask to have the HV battery voltage tested when you're faced with the decision of a costly repair vs new vehicle
    and the service manager tells you that they need to remove the battery from the car to test it - punch him - unless your car is
    completely void of power (that's the only exception)

    This has been a very expensive lesson, and one that I won't forget. Purchasing the wrong sensor, when you don't know much about them, is an understandable mistake. Installing the wrong sensor when you are the expert, is not. This situation was easily avoidable, and instead, the negligence of the techs put myself and my family in danger. Twice I left that lot with the reassurance that I was in a safe car when I wasn't; the second time my family was with me (my other half and my twins - age 7). That, to me, is the most infuriating part of all of this. The overpriced labor and parts, the urgency placed on unnecessary repairs, the being talked down to and lied to are all things I, sadly, expect when I visit a place like that. I do not expect negligence. New engine, indeed.
     
    #310 FantasticalMagicOne, Jan 9, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
  11. FantasticalMagicOne

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    It's worth quite a bit.

    With any luck I'll have replaced this by Saturday. I'm choosing to go with the adage of "If you want something done right, do it yourself."

    Seems I'll be up to my ears in tutorials until all the components arrive. Here's hoping I can find that damned sensor socket with fast shipping.
     
  12. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    No need to remove oil anymore.....

    The dealer will not admit negligence because you gave them the part to install. But I sure would make a complaint about your service experience to the dealer owner and Toyota corporate
     
  13. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    I've never tried to get a specialty sensor socket from them, but autozone stores have a fair tool library. They charge you the full price on your credit card, and credit it all back if you return it within... 90 days? check that, but it was a very generous tool loan program. I've used it to access a few weird tools that I needed once.
     
  14. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Based upon post 310 it appears you've decided the A/F ratio sensor is the culprit. Although this seems likely based upon the circumstances, and for your sake I hope in fact that is the problem, I recommend you keep an open mind about that until you've replaced the sensor and driven the car sufficiently so that the sensor is warmed up and providing signals to the engine ECU. If you can drive 50 miles with no warning lights and good drivetrain performance, then declare victory.

    Based upon post 311 it sounds like you intend to replace the A/F ratio sensor yourself. According to the repair manual (techinfo.toyota.com is a source of that info) it is necessary to remove the inverter. That is not a minor task.
     
  15. FantasticalMagicOne

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    I know, I don't intend to touch the oil until it needs to be changed.

    I know they won't admit negligence, but if it's my job to fix cars and I'm not supplied with the right part to fix the car, then it's my responsibility to ensure that the correct part is obtained. I'll eat the first day of service as I knew that part wasn't guaranteed, but I won't overlook that they put their seal of approval on an unsafe vehicle.

    I'm not going to eat the 2nd service as they misdiagnosed the car, proceeded with a repair that didn't solve the problem, then lied to me by putting their seal of approval on an unsafe vehicle (again). And the 3rd service, also not eating that one as they provided me with a highly suspicious diagnosis, one that (if accurate) should have been caught when they were diagnosing the car during the 2nd service, but they couldn't have since it was another lie. When I didn't immediately decide to get the engine replaced until I had enough variables to make that decision (how's the HV battery holding up), he lied some more and then, as you know, the customer service became terrible.

    As per corporate, I'll never contact them again. Their customer service is horrendous and their promise of having me contacted by someone at the dealership today was not kept.

    This has been a harrowing experience and there still aren't enough words to show how grateful and appreciative I am for everyone here that helped me. If it weren't for you guys, I may never have figured it out and would be devastated to lose my tiny car power. This is the first car I've ever owned that wasn't a junker. I know that it's not shiny and new, but it's mine and I worked hard for it. It is essential for me to have a reliable car so that I may continue to provide for my family, as I'm sure it is with everyone.

    In the end, I learned a lot about my car, got shiny new tools, will soon have the essential parts I need to perform regular maintenance on it. The information in this forum has helped give me the confidence I needed to take care of this job myself, something I never would have considered a week ago. I've a feeling this confidence boost is going be invaluable and, for that, I can't thank you enough.:rolleyes:
     
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  16. FantasticalMagicOne

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    Thanks for the tip, I'll give them a call tomorrow.
     
  17. FantasticalMagicOne

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    I know it may not be the cure all, but it's a fair start.

    I know the this job is a major pain, and that it'll take a lot of patience and time to do it right, but I'm sure I can do it. It'd have to be me anyhow as I can't trust anyone with it. Thank you for the repair manual source. Much appreciated.
     
  18. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    I'm just now looking into the specifics of this socket deal...

    I have one much like this hastily found representative- seems like it would be just the thing to get into that heat shield.
     
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  19. FantasticalMagicOne

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    Signs point to yes, when I added it to my cart - the sensor came up as a suggestion. :)
     
  20. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    That's awesome, drawing selection validation from their list of stuff commonly sold with it. Thin, but smart. I like your chances.
     
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