Inverter blew up and car won't start (no ready) - 2007 GS450h

Discussion in 'Lexus Hybrids and EVs' started by 450hLexus, Jul 16, 2018.

  1. 450hLexus

    450hLexus Junior Member

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    Hi guys and girls.

    I bought myself a beautiful hybrid - 2007 GS450h President with radar option. 180k km on it, with full service history. The car was sitting on the market parking lot for a while (maybe up to 8 months).

    Well, week after the purchase I went on a highway and floored it. First I accelerated to 140 km/h, took my leg off the gas pedal and then I pushed the PWR hybrid button and on 120 km/h I floored the gas pedal again - but this time after few seconds there was a mild bang, smoke under the hood, dashboard showed all of its lights and car shut down.

    I now have the car in my garage. First, we found out that the fuse before battery pack was done. Then we found out that the inverter was totally burned (we opened it, it was ashes).

    I bought a new fuse and a used inverter (got it cheap, right-hand drive model - just to test). We tested MG1 and MG2 with megger (ohm meter?), just to make sure that they are still there :D

    When I replaced the fuse and inverter I managed to get the car into Ready mode. But ICE wouldnt start, 10 seconds after Ready mode appeared I got hybrid battery error on my dashboard with VSC and others.
    It appeared that the hybrid battery was totally empty (soc 0%, voltages around 10 for a 2module pack). I thought that maybe when the inverter failed the battery was sucked dry when there was the fire inside the inverter until connections melted there (because maybe no control mechanism was working at the time of malfunction)

    Now, i disassembled the battery pack and charged (cycled couple of them) all individual batteries one by one. I assembled everything back together, battery soc is 60% voltages are nice. But now the car won't go to the ready mode.

    I have these codes currently:

    Under Hybrid control:
    P0A1B Drive Motor "A" Control Module
    U0110 Lost Communication with Drive Motor control Module "A"

    Under ABS/VSC,TRC:
    C1259 HV Control System Regenerative Malfunction
    C1310 HV System Malfunction

    I found out that the last two codes should be just informative messages and the problem should be the first one P0A1B. And the P0A1B is directing the problem towards inverter, based on my google skill (but not much information about this code out there :/ )

    Now, what should I do next, getting quite hopeless here... It is possible that the right-hand drive used inverter is also bad, but don't forget that I had the car on Ready mode for a short time (but at that time the hybrid battery was totally empty)

    Also the 12V battery is changed, good and full.

    Hope you guys have some good ideas.
     
  2. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome!

    if you are using tech stream, subscribe to the online service manual at tech info.toyota.com for troubleshooting tree.

    all the best!(y)
     
  4. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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  5. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Welcome to Prius Chat (y).

    Some questions:
    • Is the orange safety plug seated properly?
    • How is the 12 volt battery voltage after sitting overnight?
    • Any corrosion on the bus bars?
    • All connections are tight?
    Good luck and keep us posted (y).
     
  6. Dxta

    Dxta Senior Member

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    I have successfully handled a highlander hybrid 2006 with such a problem.

    You have to replace that inverter again. The inverter you got isn't OK.

    You stated something about right hand drive. Is your car a right handed one, or it's the inverter you replaced that's a right hande one?

    Can you open up the donor inverter casing, exposing the PCB, and compare with the burnt one?

    Meanwhile, in the highlander I worked, that problem made the car suddenly stopped on the highway, when it was driven by the client. Couldn't go into drive and all that.

    I had to order a replacement inverter assembly, and that fixed the problem.

    IMG-20180621-WA0010.jpg IMG-20180621-WA0003.jpg IMG-20180621-WA0000.jpg IMG-20180621-WA0004.jpg
    Dxta
     
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  7. 450hLexus

    450hLexus Junior Member

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    First of all, WOW, thanks for thinking along - great community here, cant compare with VAG (audi) and others :)

    Thanks for the information, didn't know that kind of information was available. I'm using techstream.

    1. Safety plug tested and seated properly.
    2. Can test this, but I'm charging it whenever it seems to be not totally full anymore - to prevent trouble from 12v batter
    3. There was, but under the nuts very clean and definitely no connection problems there - nevertheless I cleaned them all, now like brand new.
    4. Connections are tested and tight

    My car is left hand drive. For testing purposes I bought a right hand drive inverter.

    As stated before, for a period of time, i got Ready mode (using the right hand drive inverter, new fuse, new 12v battery and after clearing all the codes), but then the HV battery was totally empty. If ready mode appeared there was always 3x a very quiet sound (like MG1 wanted to start spinning, but no power from HV battery) and then all the codes pop'd up.

    We tried so many times before realised that the HV battery was too empty, and then the codes wouldn't clear anymore. Then I stumbled on this topic: failed-inverter-check-hybrid-system-error-u0110-lost-communication-w-drive-motor-cntrl-mod-a.141136

    Because i cycled the ignition also for more than 20 times, maybe I should try to do the key code registring thingy on that topic or am I understaing it wrongly?

    Also I haven't open the new inverter to compare with the burnt one, but I'll upload some photos just about the process.

    It's just that, I think we were so close... With ready on, but hv battery empty, but managed to screw up something with cycling the ignition for 30 times and locked something... Now we charged the hv battery but can't restore the previous situation with ready on....

    IMG_20180616_125101.jpg download_20180615_210549.jpg download_20180621_225404.jpg download_20180621_225411.jpg download_20180621_225413.jpg IMG_20180623_201818.jpg IMG_20180623_204427.jpg IMG_20180710_220634.jpg IMG_20180715_144715.jpg IMG_20180715_144726.jpg
     
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  8. 450hLexus

    450hLexus Junior Member

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    About that right-hand drive inverter, to be clear... I'm planning to buy a correct side inverter eventually (I'm doing this car for myself), but I was afraid to put big bucks into the game before I haven't tested everything. Maybe the problem was somewhere else and I put in new expensive inverter and HV battery and on the first test drive - the same accident is going to happen. I got this inverter very cheap and charged the HV battery so I could start and drive the car before I put in the new parts. I also ordered a new battery from CEBA china.
     
  9. Dxta

    Dxta Senior Member

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    My instincts still tells me problem is from the inverter. Get a used one from a junk yard, and replace.

    Do recharge the battery to also see what happens.

    You don't need any kind of programming on the ignition system, since you cycled it more than 30times.

    Fixed the items, then erase codes.
     
  10. 450hLexus

    450hLexus Junior Member

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    Thank you for your reply. I have one question, does replacing the inverter require any kind of programming/coding? Or I can just remove old one, install new one and nothing else? I have seen on some ads that are saying you need to code or change VIN somewhere - is that jibberihs?
     
  11. Dxta

    Dxta Senior Member

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    It doesn't need any special kind of programming. I do lots of these stuffs.
    Get an old inverter assembly, and install em. It would work.
     
  12. 450hLexus

    450hLexus Junior Member

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    Thanks, it was my thought also. I bought 2-day subscription to techinfo Toyota and have been going through of these manuals. They seem very good, only thing regarding hybrid that needs "reprogramming" seems to be HV ECU change, there you need to write new VIN, but that's not the case right now (i hope).

    One more thing. I can see almost all the live data using techstream (ICE temp, MG1 temp, MG2 temp and so on), but Inverter temp is 0 when others are around 20C (my garage temp). So probably the inverter is the issue (or the connections to inverter). I'm going to buy a inverter from junkyard and keep you guys posted!!
     
  13. 450hLexus

    450hLexus Junior Member

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    Hi guys! Had a major improvement (or not?). Going through techinfo and my codes I found out there that:

    If you have this code -> U0110 Lost Communication with Drive Motor control Module "A"

    And you delete it without fixing the cause, it will come back with a new code -> P0A1B Drive Motor "A" Control Module

    It also stated there, that in that case you should ignore error P0A1B and focus on U0110, but first check the fuse for IGCT no.2 (fusebox nr. 14 7.5A).

    And oh well, there was a blown fuse :D I replaced it and I'm error free!!! Can you belive that, no errors and car goes to READY mode.

    Only thing is, the car won't move and ICE won't turn on. How can that be?? It even shows on the center console display that power goes from the battery to rear wheels. For some reason, it blinked the engine to the battery and rear wheels lines also, but actually, car didn't move and ICE didn't start.

    So here I am, in ready mode with no codes but it's not working...

    I'm trying to get the new inverter asap, maybe it's still the problem (I mean I need left hand drive part anyways for my car)

    Another thing is, I don't know what "calibration" column and values mean in techstream, it seems that I have some there. Also Engine and ECT is showing up orange, but no codes are shown. What does monitor status inc. means?
     

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  14. 450hLexus

    450hLexus Junior Member

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    Little update, I can now see inverter temperatures from live data (was 0 before, now similar to others) - so with that and no fault codes, I think our system is ok when not considering the inverter itself. We are removing this inverter right now from the car. It is very suspicious that the guy sold this RHD for 100€ - where cheapest RHD is offered around 300€ and cheapest LHD around 1000€ by others. Also, the top of the inverter went really hot when we were in ready mode (cooling was working).

    Also, I found out that the calibration column in techstream is like software update by the manufacturer - ignoring those.

    Stay tuned
     
  15. Dxta

    Dxta Senior Member

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    Nice progress being made dude! Replace that inverter like I have said, and should be OK!
     
  16. 450hLexus

    450hLexus Junior Member

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    Finnaly...

    Got an used inverter from Moscow Russia :D for 1250€

    Everything works like new. Now I have to go test... Bit nervous, don't know should I floor it and use "PWR HYBRID" button like last time :D

    Can it be possible that something else caused the inverter to blew up, not the inverter itself?

    Thanks a lot for your help !
     
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  17. Lwerewolf

    Lwerewolf Junior Member

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    I'm pretty much in the same position as you (well, still waiting for the inverter, hope it's good as I got a LHD for RHD prices... :D ). Inverter overheated once during a trip back home - 4 hours at a border crossing in the morning, floored a bit afterwards to avoid a truck overtaking me - the car went into limp mode. Stopped, checked the error, checked for coolant leaks, checked pump, cleared errors, restarted car, went home (~600km) carefully. Lots of flooring back home to make it fail if it was about to - failed right after accelerating hard from 60kph (went out at about ~100). ~20deg. ambient outside. At any rate, same errors as you, but the big battery fuse was fine. I love the smell of BBQ---inverter in the morning :p

    From what I've gathered, the most probable causes are:
    1) Overheat due to inverter coolant pump failure (or maybe it's just out of spec - how do we know, can we overhaul them?)
    2) Overheat due to air in the system (bad bleed, coolant leak...?)
    3) Overheat due to clogged radiator / malfunctioning fan
    4) Old electrolytic capacitors go boom - has anybody ever replaced those as a preventative on a HSD vehicle? I mean, it seems like a common practice on industrial equipment, and new inverters cost ~5k euros... (funnily enough 5k for a prius, rx400h, gs450h, probably for lc500h/ls600hl too haha)
    5) Overvoltage/current/whatever due to failed transmission - this is what I'm most worried about, as I had a weird noise from underneath when the car was being loaded onto the tow truck - we tried pulling it with rope for ~20 meters before but that got us scared. So at any rate, if the transmission breaks and locks up in a bad way inside, it might overspin one of the motors. I thought that the gs450h transmissions are bulletproof, until I read this:
    (can't post links yet, google "lexusownersclub getriebeschaden-und-dadurch-inverterschaden", should be the first result)
    It's in german, I went through the whole thread using translate. Basically transmission failure during hard acceleration, took out the inverter as well. The engine was fine apparently. There is no description of what exactly failed (or at least I haven't found one yet, haven't scoured the whole forum). At any rate, common failure is the hydraulic pump, apparently a simple bearing swap tends to bring it back to life. Haven't found another case of transmission failure on these cars, but still...

    Bottom line is, I'd read up on the transmission and open it up just in case, especially if there are any weird noises from around there. If something's broken, it might be new transmission time. Check the oil pump :)

    ...And most of all, hope that you can enjoy your rocket now :D

    n.b. power button is just the throttle response, as far as I'm aware. The car accelerates at about the same rate when it gets going.
     
  18. Lwerewolf

    Lwerewolf Junior Member

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    Thought I'd share a bit more info, for any that come after.

    The dirt cheap inverter that I got works. No weird transmission noises either... not sure where the "clap clap" sound during the attempted towing came from. The new inverter was all wet upon arrival and I think the vehicle that it came from was in a fire at some point... or maybe the package was left outside in the rain during shipment or whatever. At any rate, after a short acceleration burst on the uphill the water on the outside evaporated in white smoke. A week and a half later and it's still going strong - temperatures go up to ~110 Celsius (~30deg. ambient) right as I floor it but then sharply drop to ~80 sustained during full throttle acceleration from ~110kph, hitting speeds that I won't share here. Not sure if the coolant pump speeds up or the radiator fan starts working overtime... or maybe the inverter helps spinning up the engine/providing extra power while the engine revs up/etc - at any rate, with 22deg. C ambient it wasn't getting past 90 (70-80 during light accel/heavy regen, mostly mg1). Was hitting upwards of 120 with a bad inverter coolant bleed, so make sure you do it proper :)

    From what I've read so far it looks like it's the transmission oil pump bearings - harsh and slow shift ups/downs during moderate-heavy acceleration, and both times that I had trouble with the old inverter (the "overheat" message and when it blew up) the freeze frame current vehicle speed was 90kph. I've yet to replace the transmission oil pump bearings so I'm using very light throttle when going from ~80 to ~1110kph (and after decelerating from 70 to 50 - from my experience it seems to shift up at 90kph and down at 60kph). MG1 and MG2 winding insulation measurements are all at 250megaohms so I guess that's good.

    Managed 6.7l/km city (after midnight but still stoplights) and 7.5 highway at 110kph (so in between 29 and 33 us mpg) so I guess the rest is fine, even though the battery seems to last a bit less now... need to check the cells for deterioration/rust/etc. First priority is finally changing the rear shocks/springs and the upstream o2 :D
     
  19. Lwerewolf

    Lwerewolf Junior Member

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    I should've checked the transmission oil levels first...

    I drained the ATF via the drain plug (didn't even bother looking at the check plug), disconnected lines to oil cooler, removed and disassembled the oil pump and the bearings were fine. Ran a test via techstream - holds the RPMs steady. Filled the transmission (new toyota atf-ws fluid) according to the repair manual over at techinfo (still can't post links, google that with toyota and it should be obvious). Reset transmission learning. Burned off all the remaining penetrating oil/freeze spray around the exhaust bolts (I should've used the impact wrench from the get go but silly me). Went for a test drive - shifts in under half a second during hard acceleration, speedo and sound are just like all of the youtube videos...

    Bottom line is, check your transmission fluid level. Manual says "raise the car, KEEP IT LEVELED, open drain plug, ATF should be coming out in a thin line" (do check the manual yourself when doing this, never trust random internet comments without reference :) ). Wondering if the original inverter blew due to a short from overheating the trans fluid or whatever... I don't know.

    P.S. Never ever seen a leak from the car (AC-caused condensation drips aside), so I guess it wasn't slowly leaking out either. I also let the oil circulate around the transmission by "idling the engine" (well, force-charging the battery and revving it a bit in D-mode) and checked the level afterwards - had to add a little.
     
  20. philmcneal

    philmcneal Taxi!

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    man I so want to buy a gs450h but the repair procedures look super scary! My old prius 04 is running at least 500,000 km now on the original battery so not sure what to look for if I were to buy one used since some of them are for a good deal.

    Great report though, love reading these repairs!