Inverter gone bad...

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by tr_blankenship, Mar 15, 2006.

  1. tr_blankenship

    tr_blankenship Junior Member

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    Bear with me while I catch you up to date before asking my question...

    In November I hit a small deer in my '01 Prius. Luckily (I think) she was small and went under the car instead of over. The condensor for the air conditioner (stationed in front o f the radiator) got trashed, as well as the bumper and a cross bar in front. Other than that, from an outside view not much damage for hitting a deer. ;)

    Well, it has been running fine since as I waited until I had my $500 deductible for my insurance to repair it.

    My local Toyota dealer doesn't have a body shop, so they referred me to a dealer down the way that sells Chevy, I think, as they are pretty much the only game in town for insurance repairs. They do not have a certified Prius tech.

    Well.... they got the car all back together and then called me to ask if I had had any problems with the car, as they couldn't get it to start now. They sent it to Toyota and discovered that the ECU and the inverter are bad. Well, the inverter is a $3500 part and my insurance company says that it can't possibly be related to the accident as it's location is on top of the engine.

    Toyota believes that the other dealer may have fried the system while welding on it without disconnecting anything.....

    My question is this: Will the vehicle run with a bad inverter? It was running fine prior to the other dealer working on it, would it work fine with a bad inverter, would it show a decrease in gas mileage or would it not run at all? Could it be caused by neglect on the other dealers part?

    Thanks, T
     
  2. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

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    the electric motors are required for the sytem to run. Without the inverter they don't get power. My answer is No. the car is completly unusable.. but that's just my opinion. I recently had an accident incident. I know they will have to do some welding.. hope they don't F up my car :(

    Hope all turns out well. Sorry to hear about this crappy situation.
     
  3. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    you can blame that one on the chevy dealer working on your toyota car. obviously they have no idea what hybrids are about, the precautions to take, what can fry your system, etc. they've had no training and likely have never seen one before yours.

    the car will not function without a working inverter, when you attempted to start it, you'd see every warning light come on the dash.

    your car insurance won't be paying for it.... but the servicing dealer's insurance should be. it's quite simple, really... you brought them a functioning car. they worked on it. now it doesn't function anymore. where does the blame go? hmm.

    good luck. :(
     
  4. tr_blankenship

    tr_blankenship Junior Member

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    The Checy dealer actually tried to tell me that they have welded on other Prius's with out disconecting them and never had any problems....well weren't they lucky.

    I just really wanted to confirm that the car won't even run wihtout an inverter.

    I've had the ECU go bad before, and I know ALL the lights come on and it shuts itself down, so I figured it must have been mishandled, since I hadn't had that problem prior to the working on it.

    Thanks, ya'll.

    T :D
     
  5. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    are you sure? or is that their way of covering themselves by saying they've done it before?
     
  6. tr_blankenship

    tr_blankenship Junior Member

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    Oh, I'm sure that they are talking to try and make this seem okay, but I am not going to take this sitting down. I am usually a very level headed person, but knowing that I gave them a working car and they are tying to pawn off their mistake on chance.... I'm gonna make a stink and they are going to fix my car or go to court. T :angry:
     
  7. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    Pursuing the "welding damaged the electronics" has merit, especially if they will admit (besides to you verbally) that they did it without taking normal precautions on the electrical system.

    But the first thing that came to mind in your original post was that the deer went under the car. The inverter has a separate coolant loop and small radiator, which is in front of and beneath the regular radiator. I would strongly suspect that it was damaged in the collision. If you would please further clarify details like how long (if at all) you drove the car in its damaged condition, maybe I can get a better handle on this.

    I guess what I'm not understanding is how this part was not noticed by the Toyota shop when they first saw it.
     
  8. tomdeimos

    tomdeimos New Member

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    Get the Prius body shop manual. Show them the extensive instructions on how to protect a Prius for welding.
     
  9. Tempus

    Tempus Senior Member

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    I would think the Toyota Dealer could look at the Inverter system and see if it had physical damage, in which case you argue to your insurance company that it was part of the accident and just missed, or if it is pristine, in which case the body shop is on the hook.
     
  10. tr_blankenship

    tr_blankenship Junior Member

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    I have been driving the car since the accident in November with only one small incident of the turtle coming on ever so briefly about two weeks ago, but nothing appeared out of the ordinary and it went away about 10 minutes later.

    The Prius tech has stated that the accident may have caused all of this....

    I just find it odd that I drove it for 5 months and it picked the day I dropped it off at the body shop to die. Way too coincedental for me. ;)

    Regardless, it is all being replaced and someone else is paying for it. Nice to have all those new parts right before my warrenty is about to run out.... :D

    T
     
  11. Frank Hudon

    Frank Hudon Senior Member

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    2004 Prius body repair manual states the following
    Welding
    Before initiating any repair involving the use of an electric welder , the ignition must be in the off position and both battery terminals as well as the ABS Control Unit disconnected.

    as both it and the G1's are hybrids I believe that the same precautions are to be taken.
     
  12. donalmilligan089

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    I am a welder and know that welding o a vehicle with out discooecting the electrical cN damage it .How ever in most instaces but not all there will be no damage,its not worth the chance
     
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