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Main Warning, yellow (!) light, limp mode

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by rw53104, Apr 24, 2016.

  1. rw53104

    rw53104 New Member

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    I'm in a pickle here- moving down from Alaska to California, my wife and I are driving our 2005 Prius with 130k miles and have experienced some weirdness with the car while driving. We've got the master warning light (red triangle w/ !), and another yellow (!) warning light, plus the center display shows a red car with an !. I've gathered that it means something possibly with the brake controller, so when I parked I put the e-brake on.

    The car was driving fine with these lights on (we were in the middle of Canadian highways and couldn't stop anywhere) except that cruise control would not work.

    Eventually, it actually went into limp mode, where we would floor the pedal and the car would barely accelerate. Pulled over, turned it off for a few minutes, then back on and it drove fine, warning lights still on.

    I just replaced the driver's front wheel hub, and I can hear the passenger front going bad, so I'm suspicious that this may be related. Just replaced the 12v within the last few months with an Optima, so Idon't thinkt hat could eb the issue.

    Can't get a hold of my aftermarket warranty company until Monday, which means no shop ti then either. We're stranded mid-move until we get it fixed.

    Any help is appreciated!
     
  2. S Keith

    S Keith Senior Member

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    Code reading options in my signature.

    I'll make a guess though... bad HV Battery. 130K miles, 10 years old. Why not? I could be wrong of course.

    I wouldn't expect your aftermarket warranty to cover that. I've never seen one that does.
     
  3. rw53104

    rw53104 New Member

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    Yeah, that's always a possibility. The battery is charging and draining, charging again fine. We've seen full green and down to red in the same day, doesn't seem to mind being worked.

    We've noticed water pooling in the battery compartment, and draining it once or twice. I worry this may have caused some kind of short in the brake controller, that may just be sending wonky messages to the rest of the car. Sometimes it won't regen, sometimes it will.
     
  4. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    try to disconnect the 12v negative for a few seconds to reset the car. Maybe that'll help get you to your destination without being stranded. I'm with S Keith on this one, I believe it's a HV battery failure as well. The good thing is that battery is not used much in highway driving, so if you keep your driving to highway speeds, you might make it to where you need to go.
     
  5. exstudent

    exstudent Senior Member

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    They are somewhere in Canada with the endpoint to be somewhere in California. If the final destination was maybe 30 miles away, forcing a reset (disconnecting neg 12V lead), so ECUs will have to recalibrate might work for a relatively short distance of say 30miles. Given their current journey distance of 100s of miles, more likely a 1000mile journey, the .3V variance w/in a module pair of the HV Battery will be detected quickly. They have too much ground to cover to hope to make it to their final destination in California. Also, there will be some elevation they will have to traverse outside of California as well.

    Do you have AAA? If so, do you have the Premier tow option: upto 200miles on one tow? Hopefully you are close to the US border, and can get the car towed to a US Toyota dealership under or just over 200miles. Reason being, given your mileage, your Prius has a lot of life left in the car. A new HV Battery ($2071) would be your best bet for longevity vs a used/rebuilt (cheaper, but many stories of regret). This new battery could always be transferred into another Gen2 Prius should something happen to the current car; this assumes no damage to the HV Battery. All of this assumes the current Prius has been well taken care of since the original owner, you have the finances to do so, and were planning to keep the car as long as possible.

    Maybe the US Toyota Dealership will price match other US Toyota dealers who sell online.
    2007 Toyota Prius Parts - Toyota of San Bernardino Online Parts Store

    Where has the car been regularly serviced? If a Toyota dealership in Alaska, maybe you might get some goodwill warranty work with a discounted HV Battery replacement; but the work would likely have to be done in the USA. Canada and the USA are different books of business, that Corporate Toyota will not want to mix.

    Water in the battery compartment is a well known issue here. Read the following thread in its entirety!
    http://priuschat.com/threads/water-filling-driver-side-floor-pan.140242/#axzz3PRRj7bmR If you do so, you will be able to duplicate the steps the OP(Original Poster) performed, and most likely find where the water is entering the car. This assumes the car was not in an accident; if it was in an accident, the repairs were correctly done. Don't forget to check for possible water leakage via the tail light assembly (brake light/parking light/reverse light); this would be accident related as well.

    You left on this LONG trip with a known front bearing going bad?
     
  6. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    If the objective is simply to make it to their destination on highway speeds, there is a high likelihood a failed battery can fulfill that. A battery starts failing but isn't totally disabled right away.

    Given they are stranded mid trip, the best advice I can give is to keep driving after resetting the battery. Keep repeating the procedure when needed.



    SM-N900P ?
     
  7. goldfinger

    goldfinger Active Member

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    I wouldn't take an 11 year old car on a long trip. Go for the code reset, it can't hurt. You really need to get the codes to know what's going on. Probably have to stop at a garage or dealer and get it scanned. Good luck.
     
  8. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    I agree. However if in fact the traction battery is at fault, the repeated ECU resets may allow a battery module to overheat and eventually catch on fire. So the OP must be on guard for that.

    There are other possible reasons for the symptoms noted. The OP should look at the inverter coolant reservoir for fluid turbulence when the car is either IG-ON or READY. If he does not see that then the inverter coolant pump has failed.

    A failing wheel hub is not going to produce the symptoms noted by the OP. However it was not good judgment to take the car on an extended road trip with a known mechanical problem.
     
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  9. exstudent

    exstudent Senior Member

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    Good thing Patrick is here to catch what everyone overlooked.
     
  10. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    If the pump had failed, his car would've died. But still possible I guess

    SM-N900P ?