Hybrid system overheat 2012

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by solarhome, Jun 26, 2014.

  1. solarhome

    solarhome New Member

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    Last summer I had a catastrophic experience on a family vacation when my wife's 2012 Prius overheated on the highway and lost power. The dealer that we limped into kept it for a week and couldn't find any concrete problem, except to say that since it was a salvage vehicle rebuilt without Toyota brand parts, that all of the cooling system would need to be replaced. I waited until we barely made it home and had my mechanic replace the inverter pump. Since then the "hybrid system overheat" warning light comes on regularly, especially when driving up a long climb, even in moderate weather. There are no codes. Is it possible that there is air in the lines? My mechanic says that it feels like the inverter pump is working, tho I don't see turbulence in ready mode. A link to bleeding the air? What else can I look for? My wife will no longer drive the car. Thanks.
     
  2. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    So this has been happening since last summer? 1 year ago? I would think if there is an issue with an inverter pump, the issue won't let you drag out for an entire year. Something isn't right.

    How about a little history on the car? How long you've owned the car? How many miles do you drive a day? and whatever info you want to share
     
  3. m.wynn

    m.wynn Senior Member

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    Any detail regarding the accident history if you have it, too...

    I spent last Thursday in Putney and try to get over there at every opportunity. It's heaven on earth.
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    how many miles on her?
     
  5. solarhome

    solarhome New Member

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    We've had the car a year and a half. It was driven 20 miles roundtrip to work 4 days and then once a month 90 miles and 120 miles. The overheat would come on on the Mass Pike driving up into the Berkshires ( after the inverter pump was replaced.) Now it is coming on during a not hilly 30 mile trip, one person in the car, no AC on. Remember that prior to us replacing the inverter pump, the dealier told us it was working normally. They felt like we needed to replace the radiator and entire cooling system.
     
  6. solarhome

    solarhome New Member

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    The car has about 13k.
     
  7. neez

    neez Member

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    Ouch, that's why i wouldn't buy a front end damaged salvage vehicle, rear end, or side end may be ok.

    1. Did you have the recall performed on your 2012 prius? In particular this one, which is to lower the operating temperature of the transistors: Toyota Announces Recall For 2010-2014 Prius To Update Electronics

    2. If they had to replace the inverter radiator, which is under the main engine radiator, it's much shorter. They may have used a crappy brand, or possibly put the wrong coolant in it, which clogged it up??? They also need the toyota scantool to run the pump to prime and bleed the air out of the lines. If the rebuilder didn't have all the right tools, this may have not been done right. You probably won't see the pump come on until it gets up to temp.

    3. It's entirely possible it's not the coolant at all. Maybe something was damaged inside the inverter unit.

    I'd have toyota exhange the coolant first, they'll do it properly with the correct tools. You may even want to replace the inverter radiator as well.
     
  8. Blu-ray

    Blu-ray Blizzard Brigade #215

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    That's your problem right there. It's a salvage vehicle rebuilt with non-Toyota parts. Obviously if it's considered salvaged it was wrecked/flooded pretty badly. When buying these salvage cars, one should not be shocked when issues arise.

    Now, to fix the issue I would suggest taking it into Toyota, having the recall performed. They will check everything to ensure that non of the equipment was damaged before the recall that is consistent with damage that would occur if the recall was not performed. However, if they find the damage was from the issue which caused the car to be considered a salvage title vehicle then it will not be covered in the recall and you will need to pay for any replacements. Take it to Toyota and have them look at it.
     
  9. Former Member 68813

    Former Member 68813 Senior Member

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    Not sure it this related here, but once I bought a cheap newish/low miles car with salvage title and it seemed to work fine for a couple of years. Once I took my family for vacation to colorado and tranny blew just as we arrived there. It turned out there was an aftermarket radiator and tranny overheated. I paid nearly $3000 to fix that (20 years ago!) and I hated the car since. When I traded that in several years later, I got under $1000. The whole thing turned out not to be a good deal in the first place.
     
  10. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    I believe safety recalls are to be performed regardless if the car is salvaged or not. The only thing that is voided is the warranty on the car, salvaged vehicles no longer have the factory warranty.
     
  11. neez

    neez Member

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    Warranty was voided the moment the insurance company stamped a salvage sticker on it, and wrote it off. It's now in every database, every dealership has carfax or similar programs, so if it was suspected to be salvaged, it's easy to look up.
     
  12. m.wynn

    m.wynn Senior Member

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    solarhome,

    neez and Blu-ray are on the right track with what needs to be done to get the car sorted, IMO.

    If you're DIY inclined, Mini VCI (available on eBay or Amazon) with an old 32-bit OS laptop will give you Toyota Techstream capability same as a dealer tech. The ECU flash recall talked about in this thread will need to be done by a dealer. Will be interesting to see if they honor the recall or put you on the hook due to the salvage title. From there, fitting an OEM inverter radiator (assuming an aftermarket is in place now) and flushing the hybrid coolant loop to Toyota Super Long Life Coolant should be done without question. Fairly likely at this point you'll be good to go, but who knows...

    If you're not DIY, not sure if your independent mechanic is right for the job and scared of what a dealer bill may end up looking like, Steve at Accurate Automotive in Erving, Ma. is a real deal Prius guy.

    Good luck!
     
  13. jzchen

    jzchen Senior Member

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    When refilling the inverter coolant you can use techstream to activate the inverter pump.

    Plug w/ new gasket torque: 39 Nm

    Add coolant (don't reuse)

    Slowly pour till full line

    Connect techstream
    Turn power switch on IG
    Menu
    Powertrain/Hybrid Control/Active Test/Activate the Water Pump
    Keep coolant at full level

    Bleeding is done when noise from pump lessens and circulation in reserve tank improves.

    W/out techstream (I just noticed this set of instructions)

    Power switch to READY
    Power off
    Add coolant to full line
    Repeat cycle until same as above "Bleeding is done..."

    Instructions note that damage can occur with air in the system and many different DTCs are listed that can be stored, 19 from my count.

    SCH-R530M ?
     
  14. solarhome

    solarhome New Member

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    What do you think about the idea of bleeding air from the coolant? What else besides the inverter pump would cause the car to overheat? Thanks.
     
  15. solarhome

    solarhome New Member

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    Oh, now I've found the posts you mentioned, which were not displayed before. Thanks!
     
  16. solarhome

    solarhome New Member

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    Thanks for your ideas!
     
  17. solarhome

    solarhome New Member

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    We did have the recall performed a few weeks ago. thanks.
     
  18. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Please describe the salvage damage & repair? Does the AC blow cold too?
    No turbulence in the Inverter tank is no pump movement. I would replace the Inverter coolant first. New coolant has much more turbulence than old coolant. Use Toyota SLLC.

    I'm from Bennington/Arlington area btw.
     
  19. solarhome

    solarhome New Member

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    Thanks. I assume when inverter pump was replaced, coolant was changed, but I'll have to ask my mechanic. He is not a Prius mechanic but he is conscientious about following procedures. A/C blows cold. My last 100 mile trip up from Hartford at 90 degrees ambient temp. the car went 35 miles OK & then the warning flashed on for a couple seconds every 5 minutes or so when I went up an incline. I am going to have the inverter radiator replaced and change the coolant and see if that does it. I find it hard to believe that the inverter pump has failed again after 6 months. The damage was such that the rebuilder replaced the entire cooling system using aftermarket parts. The doors in the heater core were also damaged, so my mechanic has rigged it so that they are all open when the heat/defrost is on. I expected to have some issues paying $18K for a 2012 Prius 4 with 6k miles. My experience with Priuses up to now since 2003 has been great.
     
  20. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    There have been reports of new pumps failing a few months later. I remember 2 I think over the last few years. Not unheard of but I think your issue is the Inverter coolant never had all the air bled out of it. Especially since it was not a dealer installed pump and coolant.
    You should see violent agitation in the Inverter coolant tank when in ready. Unmistakable movement.

    I think the dealer method of replacing the pump is to duckbill off the in & out hose and swap in the pump that way no air lock and no refill and no bleed just top off. Your mechanic probably dumped the coolant but didn't get all the air out. The pump makes unmistakable noise when air in the system Not a smooth hum but irregular agitation sounds.

    Replace the pump and the coolant and bleed it. Its fairly easy. The pump is cheap. Not sure if it has the bleed valve like the G2 where you just hook a hose to the valve and stick the hose back in the Inverter tank. Someone will chime in soon on the procedure.
     
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