Low transaxle fluid = electrical death to hybrid system?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by V8Cobrakid, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2004
    3,790
    149
    0
    Location:
    Park View, Los Angeles, CA. U.S.A
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    I had a repair done to my car. 04 prius. They replaces the front left cv joint/system (from wheel to transaxle). During the install something failed.

    The other day the car freaked out on the highway. The seal ripped on the repair and the transaxle fluid was two quarts low. Now I'm getting battery high temp error.

    As I was taking it to the shop it wouldn't idle. I had huge amp spikes on the battery side which cut regen and overgen... It's as if it seized.

    Could the heat and friction and such cause "wrongful" spin on the psd due to lack of lubrication that could send power spikes that may harm the inverter and battery? Inability to change direction when it needs to. I hate to also think of the heat generated that effects the motors and inverters.

    The shop replaced the gaskets that were leaking. Cleared the codes. Said come back if it happens. If needed he will take it to toyota.

    I feel I'm losing focus here so I call to u guys. What to look for. What to test. Should I take it toyota and bill them? That way they can do the proper checks?
     
  2. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2013
    14,056
    6,731
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    V
    There are so many problems and symptoms you mentioned, I wouldn't know where to begin. Your car does have very high mileage, it wouldn't be surprising if the transaxle is failing due to mileage. All the other issues could just be related to the same thing.
     
  3. Data Daedalus

    Data Daedalus Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2013
    929
    1,022
    0
    Location:
    Wembley, London
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    II
    I'm curious, what's the mileage exactly on this 04 Prius? Just curious.....

    Even though it appeared my 08 had received a 60k service in April 2013 (at 55k - low usage vehicle), after I purchased it, I had another 60k service done to my specifications, particularly replacing the transaxle fluid - turned out it hadn't been done at the previous 60k service.
    I strongly suspect that the transaxle fluid plays a critical role in PSD operations. The thought of it being old, worn out or inadequate scared me enough to have have the car serviced again at my local Toyota Dealer.

    Kind Regards

    Tony


    iPad ? HD
     
  4. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2013
    14,056
    6,731
    0
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    V

    I knew this was coming, it's on his signature, 04 with over 193,000 1/2013
     
    Data Daedalus likes this.
  5. Data Daedalus

    Data Daedalus Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2013
    929
    1,022
    0
    Location:
    Wembley, London
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Holy Crapola! That's quite a bit!
    Oh, and I can't see his signature on my iPad ;)


    iPad ? HD
     
  6. nh7o

    nh7o Off grid since 1980

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2011
    1,686
    324
    0
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Vehicle:
    2009 Prius
    Model:
    II
    What happens when you come to a complete stop? Does the ICE shut off promptly? It happens that shops will discharge the 12V battery by leaving doors open, etc. This can cause all sort of things to happen, so make sure the 12V battery is OK, charged up, and does not have a shorted cell. Try disconnection 12V entirely and rebooting the system.
    I am not sure what specifically you mean by this. What are you looking at, something like Torque?

    It is possible that mechanical damage has occurred due to lack of fluid. I would say that electrical failure is not implicated, as the MG's have their own coolant loop. But more info is required, and if there are no warning lights, then it will be hard to proceed.
     
  7. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2004
    3,790
    149
    0
    Location:
    Park View, Los Angeles, CA. U.S.A
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    12v has been fine. I check its voltage anytime I enter or leave the car. It's pretty steady.

    I'm watching it on my scangauge2

    I was thinking earlier I'll try a 12v disconnect/reboot. When I wrote this I was at the shop. They told me it was done when it was still on the lift!

    HV battery has been very steady too.

    The only reason I went in, back in late nov, is because I was about to hit 200k and wanted to treat the car with new shocks. The boot was ripped so they replaced the whole piece.. Then it leaked and they negated it... Now it's too late. I'm going to take it to toyota to see if there is anything they can possibly check to see what's exactly wrong.

    I've never seen my scangauge show any bad values until now. (Last couple days) now nothing is normal.

    If there was a spike in amps and the system has to cut out to stop the increase... What battery module takes the hit?

    As I drive today it kept turning on. Engine would over rev. Battery indicator is going up then down quickly. I've seen "battery hot" error and "module 11" errors. This is why I ask what pack takes the hit. I thought it was 7 and 11...

    If I recall correct p0a80 and p3021...

    As I read the codes my scangauge starts cycling things like...
    U3c8e, u3d8f, u3e90, p0093, p0194, p0396, p0497, p0598, p0699,

    Scangauge voltage jumped as low as 198v to 244v

    Coasting was a steady 15-20amp gain. A 25-35amp braking season made 60-70 amps spiking at 148 before the system cut out back down to 10 gain (not even 0)... Acting as if the base gear ratio was bound somehow (restriction of the motors ability to spin or assist rate). If it can't turn against it spins with.

    That reminds me also of the "never let it spin backwards in drive" warning toyota gave out. If they are forced in the wrong direction it causes spikes that can harm the system (part of the reason they added hill assist)

    If psd is running dry, the bigger motors will win as things "bind" (I use that term loosely.) maybe I should say as friction increases. If it doesn't go to the road then the smaller motor takes the force. (Kinda like the way it's naturally set up) but as that friction increases the harder it is to change directions. Since these are electric motors... Something either gives out (electrical) or it breaks the psd. (Assumptions)

    The big battery was doing great up till the other day when the seal broke and covered my undercarriage.

    I wasn't quite getting the distance I used to in EV mode but the distance was definitely crying "good battery" not weak cells

    (Sorry... Had to post it) people see the bad battery code and think... 200k... Dead battery..

    If the cell was failing before, it would have shown by killing my usable amps and amp hours from the battery beforehand. I do watch the scangauge pretty close

    I remember hearing torque has a lot more feedback than scangauge. Anything interesting like cells or mg1 or... Anything fun?...
     
  8. nh7o

    nh7o Off grid since 1980

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2011
    1,686
    324
    0
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Vehicle:
    2009 Prius
    Model:
    II
    The symptoms of charge level rapidly increasing and decreasing, battery hot, and the codes you report all point to HV battery failure. All the modules in the battery are in series, so there isn't any one that "takes the hit". They all have exactly the same current. The hybrid system will not allow much regen current in that condition, so that is what you are seeing on your ScanGauge. The engine over revving is also part of the usual symptoms. All well know in the many HV battery threads here on PC. So that is where to start, locating a salvage or rebuilt battery, and deciding how much the car is worth.
     
  9. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2004
    3,790
    149
    0
    Location:
    Park View, Los Angeles, CA. U.S.A
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    I remember reading that there still are cells that get more activity (usually the cells closest to the connection)

    I'm seeing extremely high regen as if something is spinning wrong... Regen kicking out at 148 isn't "strange". It reaching that extremely fast is strange. I wish there was a way to see isolated voltages in the scangauge.

    I've been watching those for a long time. That's why I ask the question regarding low transaxle fluid. Has it been gone through as to what harm it causes? I haven't found anything exactly relevant for the past couple month or so. The leak worried me so I started looking further.


    If a cell is going out, in theory, it drags down the system as a whole. Like solar. I should have seen performance loss or less engine-off time than usual... I just feel the transaxle being two quarts low could have caused serious harm. (Specially ran at highway speed)

    Did I mention that two tech centers scangauge tools had trouble reading my car? They've never seen that.
     
  10. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    7,552
    3,252
    0
    Location:
    Clearwater, Florida
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    They didn't replace the transaxle inner cvt seal at the trans when they replaced the inner cvt joint. Its the seal that keeps the fluid in as the axle enters the trans. Easily damaged when replacing the inner and at the mileage should have been replaced anyway.

    The trans is probably toasted and its putting an extraordinary load on the Inverter/Hybrid battery. I bet the Inverter coolant is running very hot. Pull the trans fluid and look for metal in the fluid.
     
    uart and V8Cobrakid like this.
  11. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2004
    3,790
    149
    0
    Location:
    Park View, Los Angeles, CA. U.S.A
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    They did replace inner and outer seals the first time (replaced the entire left axle). Then they had to fill the transaxle. I think it was abuse by the mechanic when they installed. The first time, they held it overnight because the special one of a kind driveline (couldn't just replace the joint itself) didn't fit. I heard a Mini sludge... Maybe it was just a hammer?

    The next morning they said it worked. Didn't explain. Said it was the same part.

    This time they kept it overnight because they replaced this hard to find piece (so I'm told). I've scooted the damaged piece do its visible. I see all sorts of other damage to this piece.

    image.jpg
     
  12. nh7o

    nh7o Off grid since 1980

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2011
    1,686
    324
    0
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Vehicle:
    2009 Prius
    Model:
    II
    No, the definition of a series connection is that all modules get exactly the same current flow. Now it is true that the modules in the center of the pack get higher temperature excursions than the ones on the ends, but that is just due to thermal conduction, not current flow.
    If you mean OBDII scanners, then this is fairly common. One has to use a scanner that is designed to read the Prius manufacturer specific hybrid system codes. Otherwise, there can be false readings, but usually no reading other than generic engine codes.
     
  13. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    18,068
    6,036
    0
    Location:
    Green Valley, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2015 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    P0A80 points to a failed traction battery, and P3021 points to a failure within block 11.

    The other DTC that you posted are not valid Prius DTC, so your ScanGauge really is not helping to shed further light on what is wrong with your car.

    It sounds like you are trying to blame the traction battery failure on the transaxle's lack of lubrication. Certainly if the transaxle is not operating properly that may have put additional stress on the traction battery, prompting a failure.

    Since the 28 traction battery modules are wired in series, the current flow to and from the modules will always be identical from one module to the next. Please do not be confused by that concept. In any event, you already know which block the failed module resides within.

    I suggest that you visit your Toyota dealer so that the correct DTC can be obtained. It is likely that you will find some fault codes have been logged having to do with the transaxle. I wouldn't be surprised that it has failed after losing 50% of its lubricant and being driven at highway speeds.

    I also suggest that in the future you avoid the shop that did the halfshaft replacement since, as Ed pointed out, they should have replaced the transaxle case seal at the time that the old halfshaft was removed - or if it had been replaced, the new seal was damaged when the new halfshaft was installed. That seal caused the leakage of transaxle ATF.
     
    V8Cobrakid likes this.
  14. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2004
    3,790
    149
    0
    Location:
    Park View, Los Angeles, CA. U.S.A
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Thanks guys :)

    Between dealing with my grandmothers death and family members freaking out because of it... The new business venture for this year, and my car bleeding out, its hard to keep things in perspective. You guys are very much appreciated.

    I'm taking it to Toyota. I need to verify things are ok. I don't want a new battery if the system is going to fry it or shorten its life. I'm not in denial that my pack has 200k miles. I see this incident as a really large coffin nail to the pack (based on a few fail mileages I've seen) I've read a few where it was a fair amount sooner. A few that are a lot higher too.
     
  15. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2004
    3,790
    149
    0
    Location:
    Park View, Los Angeles, CA. U.S.A
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    an update: I replaxed the hv battery and everything worked fine till about a week ago when i lost power right before jumping on the highway. 12v line failed. it gave a code foe dc/dc inverter overheat. i suspecy the oump as its not making ripples and its kinda loud. i also supect the 12v but a decent recharge and other test didnt fix anything. ive oulled the inverter apart to see if there os any visible damage to the dc board but there isnt.

    once i reset codes i never did see the code again, or any codes... whoch troubles me. there should be something visible or else an ecu died?... i dont have the sub code. p0A49 was the main code.

    advice, tips? ive been scrubbing to find details to see what i can test without special equipment. ohm checks, voltage and amperage are my multimeters limits.
     
  16. nh7o

    nh7o Off grid since 1980

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2011
    1,686
    324
    0
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Vehicle:
    2009 Prius
    Model:
    II
    I think P0A94 is what you meant, which is DC-DC converter failure. It could be subcode 553 which is overheating. That would go along with your symptoms of a not totally failed inverter coolant pump. The failure is only registered by eventual overheating, as there is no ECU that monitors the pump directly. So short trips won't see a problem. But longer trips on a hot day will stress it and a problem will show up.

    Did you have the recall done? The service procedure to check the pump is to just hook it to 12V (+ pin 1 and - pin 2) and see if it works properly. I don't see where "properly" is defined.
     
    #16 nh7o, Jul 15, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2014
  17. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2004
    3,790
    149
    0
    Location:
    Park View, Los Angeles, CA. U.S.A
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Recall? No? If I remember it has something to do with the programming of the inverter that could lead to this code? I think I briefly read a toyota paper on it.

    At 200k I figured they wouldn't look twice at me. A recall is a recall though.

    Btw. As a recap about the battery. My battery failure was cell 11 and 22. 11 showed right away. Cell 22 didn't show problems till it was disconnected for 24 hours. Both over a volt less than the rest.
     
  18. nh7o

    nh7o Off grid since 1980

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2011
    1,686
    324
    0
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Vehicle:
    2009 Prius
    Model:
    II
    There is a safety recall to replace the inverter coolant pump. Applies to all GenII. They will replace the coolant pump for free. It is safety related because in some cases a totally shorted pump can blow the main fusible link which shuts off all the electronics, brakes, steering, etc.
     
  19. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2004
    3,790
    149
    0
    Location:
    Park View, Los Angeles, CA. U.S.A
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    ill look up my vin to see if its appliable. i did read a little about it last night. if that recall was active a few years back, i may have had it done. either way ill check.

    its a start.
    regarding my error code. im wondering if i can replace the dc/dc inverter to fix my problems. no visible signs its that but the only code i was able to pull was regarding it. the test i did a few days after and didnt get better results. car wouldnt start or give any codes. chrismas lights. ready flashes bit never stays on.
     
  20. nh7o

    nh7o Off grid since 1980

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2011
    1,686
    324
    0
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Vehicle:
    2009 Prius
    Model:
    II
    The 12V charger is part of the main inverter, so can't be replaced separately. The DC-DC converter has not conclusively failed, based on what I have seen here. Overheated to the point of shutting down, yes, but failure without other problems first, no.
     
Loading...