I never thought I'd own a Prius...

Discussion in 'Generation 1 Prius Discussion' started by sweetbeats, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. sweetbeats

    sweetbeats New Member

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    But I've got one now, and I'm a bit hooked.

    Greetings everybody.

    My much missed and long since departed Grandparents bought a brand 2002 Prius...they waited months for delivery. My Grandpa was a chemical engineer/scientist by trade and loved all things technological...He loved his "Super White" 4-door Prius...Grandma loved Grandpa and anything that he was excited about and so too loved the Prius. After my Grandparents died my Dad and his wife kept the Prius...I think they liked it quite a bit...kept it reasonably well maintained (I have the records)...they liked it well enough that they paid to have the hybrid and H/V batteries replaced within the past couple years, but not at a Toyota dealer...the car now has about 105,000 miles on it. But some troubles began after the batteries were replaced and that's primarily what brings me here.

    By the way since I have a fair amount of automotive and electronics repair experience, when my folks couldn't fix the Prius' issues they recently passed it on to me..."maybe you can fix it" they said.

    The Prius runs and drives great...I'm really enjoying it. I'm getting 36+ mpg and I suspect that will improve with time...its been sitting a fair amount the last year or two. I've been using it as my daily driver for about a week now. Great commuter car, and honestly I think its the best looking Prius...Grandpa and Grandma ordered theirs with the alloy wheels and the rear spoiler...but no cruise control and just the AM/FM cassette audio system. :)

    I apologize in advance because I suspect the issues I *am* having with the car are far from new and if I spent some quality time on this forum I also suspect I'd find a lot of answers. But time is a horribly valuable commodity in my world and I don't want to spend too much time wandering either.

    Here are the issues in order of importance:

    1. Master warning, power steering, hybrid battery and hybrid system warning indicators are light at all times.
    2. Awkward dent in rear right quarter panel at the joint between the panel and the rear bumper cap...why on earth did they make it so there is passage from this joint straight up into the trunk? Moisture gets into the trunk when the car is driven in the rain...I'm not asking for assistance with this one here...its just on my list to resolve somehow without paying a mint to a body shop.
    3. Headlight alignment...for the life of me I can't find screws or adjusters anywhere on the exterior of the headlamp assembly or in the engine compartment...the passenger headlight needs aligned.
    4. A couple sections of dashboard lamps are out...climate controls and the section directly under the multifunction display...can't figure out how to access these to replace them...I'm usually pretty good at solving these dash panel puzzles but not so here.

    Regarding #1, here is some history:

    * 5/2017 at 103,443 miles the master warning light started coming on, non-Toyota service center identified P3000 and P3009 codes which would return immediately when cleared; indication was to replace the H/V battery.
    * I think my folks decided the non-Toyota service center didn't know what they were talking about and next day took it to a Toyota service center: "P3000 and P3009 indicate H/V battery malfunction, current leak, cleared codes, codes reoccur immediately indicating battery failure, needs battery and retest for leaks to see if generator and H/C power cable in good condition". I see a theme.
    * I guess my folks hoped the problem would go away by itself...there was some intermittent behavior with the warning indicators...but the warnings persisted and in 7/2017 at 104,192 miles they took it to the same Toyota service center; "P3000 and P30006 [typo? should be P3009?] stored in hybrid control and hybrid ECU, H/V battery voltage swing too much from min to max, indication is to replace H/V battery and possible H/V battery ECU". I have 4 pages of diagnostic reports from this visit.
    * I'm not going to ask exactly why...probably because they were undecided about what to do...but my folks took the Prius to the same Toyota dealer yet a third time in 10/2017 at 104,523 miles: "P3000 and P3009 stored in ECU, cleared codes would not return as a hard code. [Customer] has aftermarket H/V battery, code indicates need to replace H/V battery due to short to ground. Contacted TAS for assistance was informed to have [customer] get factory battery installed and if codes return then call back and they will provide diagnostic help."

    So...are there things I can check to confirm what the above theme screams, or do I just pull the trigger on what 4 visits to a mechanic indicate? If the H/V battery needs replaced, considering the history so far, is it best to have that done at a Toyota service center or is it a reasonable task for a fairly handy home auto mechanic? By the way I do have a good OBDII wifi port scanner and diagnostic app for my iPhone I used quite a bit to scan codes and run diagnostic reports and logs on a BMW E46 we used to own.

    Sorry for the long post, and thanks in advance for any replies.
     
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  2. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Welcome to Prius Chat (y).

    Given the info above and getting a leak to ground code, I would check for corrosion around the battery;).

    While the scanner you have is good, it might not be able to pick up the hybrid codes. Did you use the scanner or try to use it to pull the exact same codes the dealer did?

    Techstream is the toyota program to use when undertaking maintenance on the hv system:).

    Keep us posted (y).
     
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  3. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    Welcome!
    Users here have not had good experiences with aftermarket rebuilt HV batteries. At least one user of a newer Prius had issues getting the dealer to accept an aftermarket battery as a returned core.
    I know @3prongpaul is one expert familiar with Gen 1 Prius. My preferred salesman still drives his Gen 1.
     
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  4. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Headlight aiming.

    Center finish panel removal.

    First thing to do with a voltage-leaking Gen 1 battery is tear it down for a good boric acid scrub. Modules could be leaking electrolyte, creating conductive paths to the case ... or could be growing conductive crystal formations at some terminals, possibly touching the case. A thorough cleaning could get you some undetermined amount of trouble-free time again; the modules may continue to ooze electrolyte or grow crystals, but it won't give you another P3009 until it has happened long enough to touch the case again.

    I would not put off that attention as long as they did. A single HV leakage path is enough to give a P3009, but isn't really a big problem on its own. As soon as the battery grows a second leakage path, though, and it probably will just by the same processes that grew the first one, you've got a battery with an internal short, and that can get exciting.

    Beware: even one known leak does mean you want to be extra careful, and don't pooh-pooh the high-voltage gloves, when disassembling the battery the first time. People sometimes get cavalier with the protective wear and procedures when working on non-leaky batteries because they trust removing the service plug will have made it pretty safe to work on, but you can't count on that when you already know from the P3009 that alternate current paths exist.

    -Chap
     
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  5. sweetbeats

    sweetbeats New Member

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    Wow! Thanks for the replies, information, links, suggestions everybody. This is encouraging.

    Are there any good primers on the hybrid system for new-to-Prius folks like me? In particular something that will help me identify components and component locations, proper procedure and safety precautions for removal of said components (like the H/V battery)? Or is getting a FSM the way to go? Of course I have the owner’s manual and it covers basic components and component locations, but naturally that’s as far as it goes.

    Like, when we say “H/V battery” is that the smaller one that’s on the driver’s side of the trunk? I’ve been calling that one the H/V battery and the large one behind the back seat the “hybrid battery”. Yes? No?

    Thanks for your patience with the 101-level questions. I’m still very new to this car.
     
  6. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    The HV battery is the large high voltage one. It is sometimes called the traction battery.
     
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  7. WHCSC

    WHCSC Member

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    Buy the 2 volume service manual set (& wiring diagrams) or get an online subscription as needed.
     
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  8. strawbrad

    strawbrad http://minnesotahybridbatteries.com

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    You are going to need to get a new hybrid battery from Toyota.

    The time for rebuilding Gen 1 batteries has come and gone. The individual Gen 1 modules are all just too worn out. New battery modules have 6500 mAh capacity. Typical Gen 1 batteries are now down around $500 to 1000 mAh.

    The real question is Granpa's car worth a $2000 + investment.

    Brad
     
  9. sweetbeats

    sweetbeats New Member

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    Bummer. So the assumption here is the aftermarket H/V battery is just not going to cut the mustard and is likely the incurable cause of all the trouble?

    There is a lot of surface mold in the trunk because of the moisture infiltration secondary to the aforementioned dent in the rear passenger side quarter panel. Here is a pic:

    Dropbox - File Feb 13, 10 11 52.jpeg

    And here is the passenger rear corner of the trunk:

    Dropbox - File Feb 13, 10 12 30.jpeg

    And there’s even surface mold on the H/V battery cover:

    Dropbox - File Feb 13, 10 12 49.jpeg

    So with those visuals, is the opinion the solution is more likely than not to be cutting bait on th existing aftermarket H/V battery?
     
  10. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    You're looking for a slim little book called the New Car Features manual; in paper form it was NCF182U for the first year Gen 1. (If you do the easy thing and use techinfo.toyota.com for your repair manual access, it's just the "NCF" tab after you sign in; the repair manual is the "RM" tab, electrical wiring diagram is the "EWD" tab, etc.)

    That's the book that explains what all the stuff in the car is and why it's there and what it does and how. The repair manuals are written starting from there, so they can feel like jumping in the deep end if you haven't familiarized yourself with the NCF yet.

    Depends on what the issue is with the HV battery. If the car is complaining because the modules have lost capacity, there isn't much to do but replace it. But those weren't the codes you were seeing. If the car is complaining because conductive leakage paths have formed in the battery, they'll respond to a thorough cleaning. They'll eventually form again, but you'll have built up your repair-or-upgrade fund by then.

    -Chap
     
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  11. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    As mentioned already, the HV battery is referring to the big battery. The smaller battery that's on the driver’s side of the trunk is the aux battery or just the 12 V battery.

    What I came to learn recently that the HV actually stands for Hybrid Vehicle, not high voltage (although this is true) as many people assume (including me).
    This is no assumption. The so called after market batteries are not new batteries, that is, containing new battery modules. This is very important distinction to get your head around. "Aftermarket" batteries are all rebuilds and rebuilds use recycled battery modules from other failed batteries. If the modules come from original Gen 1 cars, then these modules are over 15 years old and well passed their useful life. It is possible to rebuild a battery using modules from recent model cars, but you would need 2 Prius c, Prius v or Prius Gen 2, 3 (maybe more) packs or maybe a HyHi pack as the Gen 1 used more modules than these other models.

    If time is a valuable commodity to you, then it is a no brainer, you will have the least aggravation and quickest solution by going for Toyota OEM new. As already mentioned, is the car worth spending $2000 to you?

    As Chap said, all this is depends on what the actual issue is with the HV battery, but if it is unserviceable, go new.
     
    #11 dolj, Feb 13, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
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  12. padroo

    padroo Senior Member

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    I am curious about the voltage leakage from the HV battery. I understand how it works and has anyone ever measured it with a meter and what does the manual give for a tolerance?

    When I was in the service our aircraft Nicd batteries had leakage like you mention and it could be measured with a meter from one of the bus bars to case. Are we talking about the same thing?
     
  13. sweetbeats

    sweetbeats New Member

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    Thanks again deeply for all the info and replies...the resources too...very glad to have those.

    So here's a plot twist...we've had several days of dry weather here, even some sunshine. After work today when I got in the Prius to head to various places after work, surprise...no more warning indicators are lit. I've driven it about 75 miles since I left work earlier this evening...mixed city and highway...its been shut off and started back up at least three times during those miles...every time no warning indicators.

    I looked closer at the paperwork...the car has only been driven about 1,200 miles in the last 9 months, 300 of them are in the last week since I picked up the car and early in the previous 900 or so miles is when the H/V battery was replaced. It sat a lot. The trunk is moldy...there has been moisture along with organic growth back there because of the gaping hole from the dent in the passenger side rear quarter panel. Is it possible just getting it out on the road and dried out and driven regularly has, at least temporarily mitigated the problem? I want to closely inspect connections at the H/V battery and do some cleaning in the trunk...also need to get the welder out and tack some rod to the quarter panel to see if I can pull the the dent out some and close the gap between the panel and bumper cap...

    But it is running like a champ...I think the gas in the tank had been in there for many months (note to self...replace the fuel filter)...fresh tank of 91-octane fuel and half a bottle of Sea Foam additive went in the tank. I'm getting 46mpg easy with mixed city and highway driving.

    By the way it looks like my folks spent about $2,800 on the replacement H/V battery. It *has* to be aftermarket if it was not replaced at a Toyota service center, yes?
     
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  14. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    For that price it should be a New OEM battery. It would pay to check, because if it was a rebuilt your folks got swindled.
    No. Independents can purchase and install OEM batteries. Toyota are the only source of new OEM Gen 1 batteries AFAIK.
     
    #14 dolj, Feb 14, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
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  15. sweetbeats

    sweetbeats New Member

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    So...you know my next question is how can I tell if it is new OEM or aftermarket?
     
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  16. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    Should be obvious looking at it. As well as that it should have a Toyota branded label on the outside of the battery case with a serial number on it. The serial number has a date code embedded. If you get a photo of it and post it here, we can tell you if it is new or not.
     
    #16 dolj, Feb 14, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
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  17. WHCSC

    WHCSC Member

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    Wouldn't a rebuilt pack have a Toyota OEM case though?
     
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  18. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    Many rebuilders put their own label on the case to advertise & identify it as their workmanship (or lack thereof.)
     
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  19. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Did the price come from your folks memory or from the invoice?

    If the invoice, what was the part number?
     
  20. Brian in Tucson

    Brian in Tucson Active Member

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    Go to toyota.com/owners, create a login, when it prompts you to enter the VIN enter it. You can get the service history for Toyota dealers. If it has a factory replacement battery, the service history will show it.

    What I would do. Your family Prius has unusually low miles and probably some sentimental value. For me, reasonable economics would probably go out the window and I'd spring for a new OEM battery. For the $2600 to $2800, you would get a brand new, relatively freshly manufactured Gen 1 Prius battery with a 3 year warranty. In return, you would get a like new, classic Prius that would easily last another 100,000 miles and might make it to the next generation of your family.

    It's hard for me to think of a car as part of my legacy, but this was your grandparents last car, that they bought new, and loved it. In Dec. I celebrated the 50th anniversary of my Driver's license. Driven lots of cars over the years and my 02 Prius is by a wide margin my favorite car of my lifetime. I did a long road trip to Oregon last summer for the eclipse, and driving ~500 miles a day, the car performed extremely well, is relatively quiet, and very comfortable. And for such a small car it has so much room. (Yes, I could be a salesman for these cars.)

    You don't really have any skin in the game, you should put a new HV battery in it if it needs one.
     
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