Inverter problem?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by nofrillscustard, Aug 20, 2020.

  1. nofrillscustard

    nofrillscustard New Member

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    Hi all,

    I lurk a lot here for research and assistance, but this is the first time I've felt the need to post. I think I may have an inverter or relay problem, and would really appreciate any advice or guidance. I'll try to be as clear and concise as I can.

    I have a 2008 Prius with 70,000 miles on it (used to be a prison car). I've owned it for a year, and while the hybrid battery isn't 100%, it hasn't given me any trouble until now.

    About a week ago when we were driving, the red triangle came up. The car continued to drive fine. We slowly drove the rest of the way home, and I looked up the code on an OBD2 adapter: P3110. This code seems rare, and I read a couple of posts suggesting it might have been a glitch, and something to do with a relay. In any case, the code disappeared the next time I started the car and everything seemed ok.

    Cut to late last week, we noticed a couple of times powering up the car that the clock had reset, like it had lost power, but the car still worked. The last couple of days, however, after a drive, when I press the power button to turn it off, it cuts off dead - everything just turns off abruptly. At this point, the car won't power on at all, but then it seems to work again after a long rest.

    I was at work yesterday afternoon for three hours, came back to the car, and it was dead again. I jump started it with our Sienna - without the Sienna engine running, it did nothing, but when I started the Sienna's engine, the jump start seemed to work. So I thought it might be the battery (which is only 6 months old). However, this morning, I checked the battery voltage using the system check mode, and the voltages were in healthy ranges.

    Yesterday night after I got home, the car died again when I turned it off. As I was leaving I noticed the headlights were on: got back in the car, and the car was on (not in Ready state though). It's like it had randomly turned on again after 10 or 15 seconds.

    The oil level is fine, I recently changed the filter, the coolant levels are all normal. It has been very hot here lately, averaging highs of 100f, in case that makes a difference. The Prius is primarily used for occasional short trips.

    I am wondering if there is possibly an inverter problem or a relay problem. If anyone has any guidance on where to go next, I would really really appreciate it. Thanks for reading.
     
  2. nofrillscustard

    nofrillscustard New Member

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    As an additional note - I started the Prius this morning and drove my wife to work, no problems, but when I got home and powered off it just cut out again. I just checked the car again, and it was on and in Accessory mode (not Ready), and the clock said 2.40, which I think means it had been on for 1 hr and 40 mins (it seems like the clock resets to 1:00). When I powered off this time, it powered off normally.
     
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    could be a loose connection, especially negative to ground. what does the healthy range of the 12v look like?
     
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  4. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Have you looked up the detection condition for that code yet? Not any one-liner fortune cookie for it, but the actual conditions that have to exist for the code to be set? That'll be in a box on the first page of the workup section for that code, in the repair manual (more info).

    That'll usually jump-start your thinking on what might be happening.
     
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  5. nofrillscustard

    nofrillscustard New Member

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    On the first pressing of the power button, it read 12.4 volts. After I put it in accessory mode, it read 12.1 volts. I'll have a look at the connections and see if there's anything loose.

    That's very helpful, thank you. The detection item for P3110 reads as "HV Main Relay Malfunction". There are 2 P3110 entries, one for 'Normal Driving' (INF Code=223), the other for 'Impossible to Drive' (INF Code=527). I'm guessing as I was able to drive the car I would be looking at 223.

    The detection condition for that read "IGCT relay is always closed", and the trouble areas are
    - Wire harness or connector
    - Integration relay (IGCT relay)

    I'd have to do more research on these. I'm a brake pads and oil kind of DIYer, I'm hoping to at least get an idea of what the problem is and if there's anything I could do.
     
    #5 nofrillscustard, Aug 20, 2020
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 21, 2020
  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    maybe some corrosion inside the battery or at the connectors
     
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  7. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    P3110 is main hybrid relay malfunction. My guess is the battery pack has rotten connections. The fact that it has sat for so long not used can almost guarantee bad corrosion. Especially if it lived outside.

    Really doesn't matter the pack is coming out for inspection one way or the other.

    Good news is it may be corroded but may have enough energy left in the battery's themselves to respond well to an outboard charge/discharge.

    Many of us myself included have used this charger on our elderly G2's with much success.

    Prolong Battery Systems | Hybrid Automotive California, USA

    I have included pictures of typical corrosion these just came off my battery i installed an after market new battery. These are not bad at all. Yours will be much much worse I'm afraid. Time for that battery to come out for an inspection.

    This is about all we see now on this G2 site there all failing.
     

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  8. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    The copy of the gen 2 manual I looked in did not associate P3110 with the main relay. The workup clearly called out the IGCT and IG2 relays, both of which are in the fuse box under the hood.

    Are you looking at a different source that associates it with the main relay in the battery case?
     
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  9. nofrillscustard

    nofrillscustard New Member

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    Nope - I'm just an idiot and didn't realize there were different relays. It looks like the IGCT relay, as the car is still running. The code isn't there any more, but I can still run through the checks I suppose. Would a problem in this relay explain the kind of trouble I am having with the car?
     
  10. nofrillscustard

    nofrillscustard New Member

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    That is really helpful - I might take the battery out for inspection then and see what it looks like.

    I'm interested in the product you linked, but the details on the site are a little scarce. Is that something that entails a routine maintenance task? Will it help with the corrosion?
     
  11. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Seen this before its reporting the relay itself has issues but don't think I have ever seen any of the relays fail on a G2. Its getting erroneous reports because of the corrosion is my hypothesis.

    I would take out the battery or at least take the top cover off with it in the car to have a look. Take alot of pictures of any corrosion.
    I would not be surprised it will have significant corrosion which can be easily dealt with. Harness would need to be replaced and the connecting plates cleaned. Unless it has the classic ecu connector or pcb corrosion which is another discussion.

    But like I said earlier it has not thrown a failed battery pack so may be re-chargable using the prolong charger lots of us use including myself. Unless its really rotten.

    You buy the charger/discharger install its interface cable into the battery then you are able to just plug in the charger/discharger any time using that interface cable. What really wakes the battery up and gives it new life is to discharge it using light bulbs as a load from it's 240 volts down to 85 volts. Then charge it back up to 100% that really refreshes the battery. My battery was pretty good for about 2 years after my first discharge/charge. Then you can do maintenance charges every few months. battery really likes that. So does the 12 volt btw.

    Both those battery's have become a maintenance item.

    I installed a new battery system sold by a long time member here using Chinese modules and car running great. I put my prolong charger up for sale on ebay.

    new battery lots of us are using:

    Newpriusbatteries.com

    If you go to that hybrid auto website I linked there is complete instructions on how to dismantle the back of the car to get to the battery.
    Just alot of unbolting. Very easy if you know how to wrench. And use a volt meter.

    You must do this because if you let it go it will eventually turn into pack failure and brick the car.

    Its just time....there all dying now especially during covid no ones driving anymore. You Stop driving a 13 year old G2 it's a death sentence for that battery.

    Bottom line there is literally hundreds of battery recondioning posts on this site. Start reading.
     

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    #11 edthefox5, Aug 22, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2020
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  12. Calimobber

    Calimobber Member

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    I would not even think about the battery conditioner at this time. Just look for the corrosion like stated. If you have the corrosion I just use a wire brush and clean everything up real good. Get the copper shinny again and reconnect. Go for a good long drive litting the car charge and drain the battery cycling it a few times and it should be good.

    I just think the car had decent conditioning built into the design. You can see this since the batteries last so long without any maintenance in most cases.
     
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  13. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I was following up to post #7 really; you had already given the detection condition, with IGCT, in #5, which matches the manual I'm looking at. #7 kind of went off in the direction of the main relay in the battery case, which isn't implicated by this code in anything I'm looking at, so I was wondering what the source was for that.

    Given that, from the codes you have mentioned, nothing has pertained to the battery case or its internals in the reference sources I have anyway, that probably isn't the direction I'd be sending my workup efforts in at this point.
     
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  14. nofrillscustard

    nofrillscustard New Member

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    So, being Saturday morning I can finally devote some time to the car. I planned to check the corrosion on the battery terminals as I had been thinking about that anyway, and was pretty sure it had spent it's life outside. In the process of starting to take the hybrid battery out, I noticed the positive connection to the 12v was just a little bit loose... so I tightened it... and turned the car off and on a few times, went for a drive, and wouldn't you know it... no problems. :( .

    I decided to take the battery out anyway and check the corrosion. Not as bad as some I've seen, is it still worth a clean for prevention? Pictures are attached.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. nofrillscustard

    nofrillscustard New Member

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    With the 12v positive terminal tightening seeming to make a difference, and the fact the code only came up one time and then disappeared on it's own, I'll just see how it goes for now. I wouldn't really know where to begin diagnosing a problem with the harness or IGCT relay anyway to be honest.
     
  16. nofrillscustard

    nofrillscustard New Member

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    The wire brush idea would make things easy - I've seen a lot of people soaking in solutions etc. I'm hoping I could get the battery back in the car and still have some time to myself today :)
     
  17. nofrillscustard

    nofrillscustard New Member

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    I will do some more reading. That looks like a great price for a new battery, or at least the new guts for an existing battery case. It sounds like an cost equation for me:
    - just clean the terminals (free)
    - get a reconditioning pack ($400)
    - buy a new battery ($1600)

    I'm getting 42-43 mph right now. I'd want to get an idea of how mpg and life of the car might increase with the 2nd or 3rd option above - if you have any ballpark ideas about that I'd really appreciate it.
     
  18. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Your car would be the ideal candidate for a new NPB battery since it’s so low miles.

    Was expecting to see lot more corrosion on it looks like like mine use a bench grinder with a wire wheel to clean those jumpers. A new NPB battery comes with all new jumpers.

    A loose 12 volt connection will not throw that P3110 code or we would see that by the hundreds
    So many 12 volt battery issues on this site.


    I would take the ecu out too and look carefully at the connector ends and sockets make sure there’s no corrosion. Take the little metal case out it’s 3 nuts and then once out take its cover off and look at the circuit board
    Itself.
    Then one by one take the 4 leads off the relay check them for corrosion then put them back on one by one. If you see any sand paper it off then apply grease to it. Must be synthetic grease.

    Then when all done before the case goes on put the safety switch back in and with a quality volt meter check the dc across the relay on the battery side see what the voltage is. Makes sure the battery connections sre properly done.

    Remove the safety switch

    Put the case back on.

    Is there standing water in the 12 volt battery well? Pretty common most g2s leak water in the hatch area. If there is have to check the battery fan blower connector as water drips right on that connector and rots it out.
     
    #18 edthefox5, Aug 22, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2020
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  19. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    The battery-terminal photos looked ok to me. As you saw, even when some discoloration happens outside of the contact area, you still have good copper under the nut flanges, as with proper torque on the nuts that area is gas-tight as long as it isn't disturbed.

    As long as you're in there, checking the pins in the multi-pin orange connector to the ECU is worth doing, as that's a known trouble spot, even if it hasn't given you any trouble yet.
     
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  20. Calimobber

    Calimobber Member

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    Mine didnt increase at all. Original battery at 240k miles vs new toyota battery. I get 42mpg avg on computer.

    Pixel 4 ?
     
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