Inverter going bad

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Larry Schuster, Apr 19, 2016.

  1. Larry Schuster

    Larry Schuster New Member

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    My 2008 Prius wouldn't start a couple of days a go. Took it to the dealership. The tech said he got the code reset, but couldn't get it to fail again. It is clear for now, but his experience tells him it will fail again, possibly in a few months. The code said the Hybrid Inverter was bad. Thy hybrid warranty ran out 2 months ago. I have only 67,000 miles on the car. It has been trouble free up to this point. The dealership said it would cost $5700 to replace. Called Toyota, they got the price down to $4200 and agreed to pay half. This still means I would need to pay $2100 for a part that shouldn't fail, and was in warranty just 2 months ago (8 year/100,000) with only 67,000 miles on the car. What should I do? Wait to see if it fails again? Pay the $2100 and get it fixed. Trade it in while it still runs? Or any better suggestions.
     
  2. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    I can't see why your inverter would fail, probably a false diagnostic. A used one on Ebay would run around $300.

    There's a recall on the inverter pump, that probably is the issue....not the inverter itself.
     
  3. dpeverhart

    dpeverhart Member

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    If it really is the inverter, find one from a local junkyard using this engine:

    Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market

    It should be listed under part 'Hybrid Converter/Inverter'

    Cost should be around $300, some are under $200. They rarely fail so a used inverter is fine!

    Make sure the mechanic first unhooks 12 volt battery, then remove hybrid battery safety plug.
    Coolant will be lost and needs to be bled properly also, very important!
     
  4. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    I didn't know a failed inverter can be reset and you can be on your way again.
     
  5. Larry Schuster

    Larry Schuster New Member

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    The code they got is P3110 HV main relay, which means nothing to me.
     
  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome! call toyota, and ask for a goodwill warranty. they're pretty good about it when you so close and low miles. all the best!(y)
     
  7. andrewclaus

    andrewclaus Active Member

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    That code points to a malfunction in one of two relays in the engine compartment relay block. There may be more codes or other issues the mechanic saw to come up with an inverter diagnosis, but given that code I would certainly try replacing the "B" integration relay first.
     
  8. Larry Schuster

    Larry Schuster New Member

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    Thanks, I called Toyota earlier today. They offered to pay for 50% of the $4200 cost they negotiated with the dealer. $2100 out of pocket still seems pretty steep for a part that went out of warranty 2 months ago and the car only had 67,000 miles.
     
  9. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Absolutely. The other possibility is that one of the traction battery main relays failed, but if that were the case then the car would not be drivable.

    Especially since 1) it is not obvious that the inverter is at fault given the DTC you reported, and 2) a used inverter can be purchased for a low three-digit figure.
     
  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    if it does come down to the inverter, a cheap and easy solution is salvage, as mentioned above.
     
  11. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    That relay is basically what turns the Inverter on hence the IGCT which is the power semiconductor system the Inverter uses.
    That relay is controlled by the Hybrid Vehicle Control ECU. That ECU tells the relay to turn on and it provides the 12 volt turn on leg to the Inverter and the Inverter fires up.
    The 12 volt through that relay comes from a yellow 20 Amp Fuse Labeled HEV.

    Its an interesting code as we have not seen alot of those. The relay is located in the C Block portion of the fuse assy under the hood and on the drivers side in the black plastic box. I have never pulled the B or C block covers apart but apparently the relays are buried underneath there. Looks like a job to get in there. You can see the yellow 20 amp HEV fuse its on the right about 4 inches down. The block its sitting in is the C Block. Right below it is a white plastic courtesy fuse puller.
     
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