Intermittent red triangle and problem message on MFD

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by DocDNA, Nov 23, 2019.

  1. DocDNA

    DocDNA Junior Member

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    My daughter drives my 2005 Prius and we are fighting an issue where the red triangle comes on and the message "problem" is displayed on the MFD intermittently. It clears itself in less than four seconds and repeats every once in while. It does not trigger a check engine or log a DTC. The dealer suggested I just drive it until it "hopefully" throws a code that can be read. Their HUD showed an error with an X between the engine and the HV battery. Any suggestions? I am hoping to narrow it down and really do not want to keep driving it until a DTC is logged.
     
  2. Frogblast

    Frogblast New Member

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    One potential cause I encountered was when I let the car get low on oil. I when taking a sharp downhill left turn at speed, the problem light sometimes activated just for a moment: that was apparently enough to uncover the oil pump’s input line in the drain pan, until the oil sloshed back around again. There are a lot of possible causes for an intermittent light, but at least this one is easy to check.
     
  3. George W

    George W Active Member

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    If this comes up again, make note of battery bar, and which color is displayed. Does it happen while accelerating (under load)?
     
  4. Elektroingenieur

    Elektroingenieur Senior Member

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    How are you checking for stored DTCs? Most generic scan tools made for OBD II engine and emissions diagnosis can’t communicate with the hybrid vehicle control or battery ECUs, only with the ECM. Have you (or the dealer) tried using a Toyota Techstream diagnostic system or third-party equivalent?
     
  5. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    +1 for check your oil level.

    STOP driving this car until you have checked to see if the engine oil is low.

    If you don't see any oil on the dipstick, add 1.6 qts at a time and re-check. Repeat until you have oil on the dipstick. Also, do your checking after the car is off for at least 15 min, preferably first thing in the morning. Always wipe the dipstick clean and re-dip when checking your oil.

    Then make a point to check the oil level every time you fill the car with gas until you get an idea of how much it is using. Looking at the space on the dipstick between the top and bottom mark, add a 1/2 qt every time it is a 1/3 the way down from the top mark on the dipstick.

    Let us know if it was or wasn't the oil. If it was not low engine oil, we will try more things.

    Hope that helps.
     
  6. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    add 1.6 qts at a time and re-check

    Curious why 1.6? Is that how much it takes to go from very bottom of dipstick to the full mark?
     
  7. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    Yes, well, that is the amount between the two dimples. As it is not known how much oil is in the sump when it doesn't register on the dipstick–there could be anything from 0 - 2.3 qts, it is a safer way to ensure you don't overfill. At least that is my logic.
     
  8. DocDNA

    DocDNA Junior Member

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    I check the oil weekly and it is fine. The dealer checks the codes with their tools as my code reader cannot see everything.

    To answer some questions.

    The issue happens when the HV battery bars are at any point. Two bars to full bars.

    The issue occurs when there is heavy acceleration. The cars accelerates fine to a point and the there is a lack of power and the triangle and problem message occur.

    Just today the temp icon came up on the MFD. This is new. Stopped driving immediately. Coolant level is fine. Have not checked flow.
     
  9. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    Put the car in IG-ON by pressing the power button 2 times with your foot not on the brake. The Inverter cooling water pump should be running. It's located directly behind the driver headlight. Should be humming and there should be flow ripples in the inverter reservoir.

    If not, the pump has failed and you may be experiencing inverter over temperature problems. Often, this causes a P0A93.

    Many times this also causes intermittent AC problems, as the car will shutoff the AC if the inverter starts getting hot, but won't always trigger the P0A93. Unfortunately, this sometimes leads to $$ being wasted troubleshooting the AC system.
     
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  10. DocDNA

    DocDNA Junior Member

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    Well the car decided to give me a big clue in the form of inverter coolant leaking. Thank you, as you were on the right path. The pump is running fine. I had it replaced under recall/warranty and replaced it twice since. Looks like a leak somewhere. No P0A93 this time. I will take a look and if I cannot find it, have it towed and repaired.

    I will let everyone know. Thanks a bunch.
     
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  11. George W

    George W Active Member

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    The triangle being triggered under heavy demand, imo, indicates weak cell in the pack. My 2008 had triangle appear under acceleration, the car would continue to drive normally. I reset the code, get another week of use before triangle would again be set while stepping on the gas. Rinse, repeat a week later. Almost a month of. This before pack took a serious dive.
     
  12. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    Given the report of Inverter coolant leaking, it is more likely the inverter over-temperature problems described by TMR-JWAP. This could have a flow-on effect that may have a detrimental effect on the HV battery, depending on the current state of the HV battery. Fix the Inverter coolant problem and the HV battery will come right too.
     
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  13. DocDNA

    DocDNA Junior Member

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    So the temp symbol on the MFD / coolant leak is the radiator leaking at the neck where it cracked from age. Glad it is not the inverter coolant. That is flowing fine.

    The issue of the red triangle and the "problem" message on the MFD turned out to be a misfire in cylinder two. The plug is fouled and the ignition coil is not firing.

    Hope to have the car back Friday and fixed.

    I will make a final post to verify everything is good.

    Thank you all for the info and advice!!
     
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  14. DocDNA

    DocDNA Junior Member

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    Saga continues. Radiator was replaced. Spark plugs replaced. Drove the car home and same issues.

    Now no heat either. Probably related to the radiator and heater core. Geesh. Check your work.

    Back at the dealer today getting the heater fixed and having them figure out the initial red triangle, problem and temp warnings on the MFD.

    This is getting tiring.
     
  15. George W

    George W Active Member

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    I stand by my original suggestion
     
  16. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Yikes!!! Doesn't sound like such a good shop. Sorry for the encore performance. :(
     
  17. DocDNA

    DocDNA Junior Member

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    Heater issue fixed. Air pocket to heater core after radiator replacement.

    Looks like fuel injector issue for cylinder 2 causing misfire. Will know more soon.
     
  18. DocDNA

    DocDNA Junior Member

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    Well the Prius died.

    I spent $2750 for a new catalytic converter.

    Then $850 for a new radiator.

    Then $115 for new sparkplugs.

    They told me it was a fuel injector causing the misfire. Nope! Coolant in the cylinder.

    New engine is all they will offer due to many factors. I will try a $12 bottle of sealer and sell the car if it works.

    Had to get my daughter a new car so she can go back to college.

    Thanks all. End of saga. I will let you all know if the dealer works.
     
  19. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    What a sad ending. I'm really sorry you got so expensively mislead. I hope you will be better than those who took your money and tell the buyer what's really going on with the car. :unsure:
     
  20. DocDNA

    DocDNA Junior Member

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    The misfire is gone after addingnK-Seal ST5501 One Step Permanent Coolant Leak Repair to the radiator. I now need to sell it to recoup what I spent. At least it has new plugs, radiator, and catalytic converter. Also fairly new tires and a new battery which I replaced last month.

    Was probably just the gasket leaking.

    I will let the buyer know what was done to fix the leak permanently. Only asking $4K max.

    That's the end of my 15 years with my faithful Prius.
     
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