Mini VCI revealed DTCs...maybe worst thing possible? Help please!

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by thestar, Apr 2, 2015.

  1. thestar

    thestar New Member

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    I know I can take the time to research and find the meaning of all these DTCs, and what the combination of them likely means, but to be honest, I’m so upset after doing the Mini VCI health check that I’m crying, and I have to leave for work now (in a car borrowed from someone, since mine’s almost useless) and won’t get home ’til late tonight, and I’d really like to get an idea of what I might be facing when I go to the dealer tomorrow morning, because I’m not sure I can trust them when it comes to giving me good, less expensive options.

    Codes the Mini VCI read from my 2007 Prius, 81k miles (EDITED TO ADD SUBCODES/TITLES):
    P3000-123 (current and history), battery control system
    P0011 (current and history), camshaft position A; timing over-advanced or system performance (bank 1)
    P0A80 (pending and history), replace hybrid battery pack
    C1310 (current), hv system malfunction
    B1421 (current)

    Warning lights currently showing: master warning, VSC, check engine, brake system, hybrid system (on center screen). Main symptoms: car shuddering a lot at stoplights, strong engine noises with car slowing when coasting and (sometimes) braking.

    Also, the 12V battery was replaced a year ago with an Optima yellow top, and already the first two voltages aren’t great when I do that three-step diagnostic battery check: 12.1, 11.8, 13.8. I was planning on replacing it or buying a good reconditioning charger this weekend, but now I know the problem extends far beyond this battery, and I most likely cannot afford the repairs, so there may not be a point.

    I know what all this likely means, but I need to hear it from people far more knowledgeable than me, and this is the place. So give it to me straight, I can take it. (I think…)
     
    #1 thestar, Apr 2, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    start with the 12 volt, hopefully it just needs a charge. it can effect a lot of computer stuff. once you know you have a good 12v, clear the codes and start over.
     
  3. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    After you are sure the 12V battery is fully-charged, if the same DTC come back then the car's major problem is it needs a replacement traction battery. However given the odometer reading of 81K miles, first make sure that the car's 8 year/100K mile hybrid warranty is no longer in effect before you resign yourself to the four-digit repair cost.
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    or 10/150 if you're in a carb state.
     
  5. strawbrad

    strawbrad http://minnesotahybridbatteries.com

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    First thing is to be sure about warranty coverage. Are you in a Carb state?

    Run the health check again. Next to many of codes will be snowflake Icons. Clicking the snowflakes will bring you to the freeze frame data. The freeze frame pages have titles so you will at least have words to go with the codes. The sub or info codes are also found on the freeze frame page. A dealer will charge you $100 to $200 just to check these codes. They will not suggest good less expensive options. Do your homework before running to a dealer. Share your city and state and others might be able to recommend an independent repair shop.

    P3000 is a very generic HV Battery code. The sub codes will give much more specific explanation.

    P0011 is related to the camshaft position sensor. This could explain the shuddering. It could also be just a symptom of a weak 12 volt battery.

    P0A80 is the HV battery code. Again sub codes will give more info. Unable to determine the cause of the triangle warning | PriusChat is a short thread that explains how to run a charge and discharge test using Techstream and your Mini VCI cable. This test is beyond what a dealer will do for you. Their only expensive option is to replace the battery. Using Techstreams live battery data weak battery modules will clearly stand out on charge and discharge.

    C1310 relates to the skid control ECU. I consider this one of the "Phantom Codes" that will often just go away once the battery is repaired.

    B1421 means the solar sensor for the air conditioner is in the shade.
     
  6. thestar

    thestar New Member

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    Thanks, everyone. So much great info and tips, which I'll follow, except I unfortunately was basically forced to drop the car off at the dealer just now after work. My poor parents, who have been driving to my house each day and sitting around while I use their cars to go to work, were absolutely fed up and demanded I bring it there tonight. My dad, however, is insisting on paying for the diagnosis, so that's small relief. This has become a family effort.

    Now that I have the above information and tips, I *really* wish I had tonight to look into that stuff with the Mini VCI. I'll certainly utilize it more when I get the car back and will follow the procedure you outlined, strawbrad, as well as perform the charge/discharge test. All of this is certainly a valuable learning experience. Before committing to any repairs, I may just ask the dealer to charge the 12V battery, which they said would be $20-$30--or I can bring it home, charge it with my charger, and go from there.

    I am just one month past the eight year hybrid battery warranty, and am not in a CARB state. So. very. frustrating. I'm in Wilmington, Delaware, about twenty minutes from Philly and a little over an hour from Baltimore. The awful part of this is that if the culprit is indeed the hybrid battery, unless I can find a much cheaper option to replace it, I won't be able to replace it at all, and will simply no longer have a car to drive.
     
    #6 thestar, Apr 2, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015
  7. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Try calling the Toyota Customer Experience Center, as they may be able to give you a break on the replacement cost of a new traction battery considering the just-lapsed warranty and the relatively low odometer reading. If you are lucky you may get a discount of 50% or more off the normal price. The center is more likely to give you a break if you have relied upon Toyota dealer service for routine maintenance.
     
    Mendel Leisk likes this.
  8. thestar

    thestar New Member

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    Will do. The car has almost exclusively been serviced by Toyota since it was purchased by my mom back in '07, and I'm the only other owner, so that should be helpful. Believe me, begging is not beneath me at this point, not to mention that I seem to lapse into sniffles and sobs whenever I think/talk about potentially not having a car, so that'll probably make the poor rep I speak to really, really motivated to solve my problem 100% and get off the phone as quickly as possible...
     
  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    all the best!
     
  10. strawbrad

    strawbrad http://minnesotahybridbatteries.com

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  11. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    Another choice:
    Buy a new traction battery and install yourself
     
  12. thestar

    thestar New Member

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    Thanks for the well wishes and additional info. I was just able to get someone to take me by the dealer, and they hadn't yet looked at my car, so I hooked up the Mini VCI and collected some more info. (I didn't do the charge/discharge test, only because I didn't see a battery button on the left side of the screen, or anywhere, and I couldn't find a way into any section in which I could view live data. I'm not sure why this is.) I've saved all the freeze frame data for each DTC section, so please ask if you want to know the particulars of anything in those sections, but here is updated DTC code and subcode info (there weren't subcodes or additional info for some):

    P3000-123 (current and history), battery control system
    P0011 (current and history), camshaft position A; timing over-advanced or system performance (bank 1)
    P0A80 (pending and history), replace hybrid battery pack
    C1310 (current), hv system malfunction
    B1421 (current)

    In the freeze frame data for the hybrid battery, all the battery block voltages were within .2V or so of each other (about 14.9-15.1V) except for block 10, which is 13.79V. Is this significant?

    I'm toying with the idea of getting my "helper" to bring me back to the dealer, picking up my car, charging the aux battery myself tonight, and going from there. Since I'll be disconnecting the battery (it's not a strong charger but is pulsed, so don't want to leave connected), I'm wondering--will these codes pop up again, and relatively quickly, if the problems are unrelated to the aux battery? I'm just a little paranoid about driving around much more and potentially causing further damage if the above codes are indeed accurately reflecting the problem, and if they are I'd hope they'd pop up right away after charging the aux.
     
    #12 thestar, Apr 3, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015
  13. strawbrad

    strawbrad http://minnesotahybridbatteries.com

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    Block 10 being 1.3 volts below the highest is what caused the battery codes. It is significant:eek:.

    It would be nice if Techstream came with instructions. To get to the battery live data first run a health check. On the results screen there will be categories on the left. Click on the battery category. Once in the battery page click on the data list. That test will just confirm what you already know that pair number 10 has a bad module. You can look for other weak module pairs.

    Does anyone know how to capture and save freeze frame data in Techstream?

    Do you have a warranty on the Optima 12 volt battery? They should last more than a year. The retailer you bought it from should be able to test it for you.

    The P0011 could be a real second problem or just a funky 12 volt issue. I do not think it is a 12 volt problem. The battery codes are NOT a 12 volt issue.

    The best thing the dealer can do for you is to start the process to get Toyota to replace your battery under warranty. There is no way Toyota would ok a warranty replacement without dealer confirmation.

    Good luck!
     
  14. thestar

    thestar New Member

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    Brad, thanks, I figured as much as I continued to research this afternoon. After looking over all the Techstream data, I was researching away online and called a web store that sells a few Prius specific items. It was such a fruitful call; the guy knows a lot about the hybrid battery system and repair options, etc. He essentially told me exactly what you just did: that at least that specific module must be replaced, that the car isn't really safe to drive at this point (partly because the brake system light is on, indicating that that system is being affected and could cause a serious issue while driving), and that the 12V battery, while not at optimal charge, isn't the primary culprit here.

    Yes, the Optima battery has a three year warranty, BUT I made the mistake of purchasing online from batterymart.com (not doing that again), and the process of paying to return it and then waiting weeks for them to test and charge it, with the likely result, according to them, that they'll just end up sending it back to me isn't at all appealing and probably not worth it, as long as I can charge it myself and it can hold a charge. Anyway, the dealer is doing a free battery check and said it would be $20-$30 to charge--not so bad, and probably what I'll do since I have bigger fish to fry now and need to focus on that.

    I left the car at the dealer and told them to go ahead and do the diagnostic process, which I'm expecting will give me the results you specified, and on Monday I suspect I'll be calling Toyota to politely yet firmly beg. I'm trying to tell myself that I still love the Prius and think it's a wonderful car, but I can't help but be angry that this is happening at 81k miles, and mere weeks after the warranty expired, to a car that I and my mother have immaculately cared for, a car that I rely on entirely for my job and that is my family's only car. I suppose someone has to be hit with the inevitable early battery failure, but why oh why does it have to be me?! But, armed with the advice in this thread, I have a glimmer of hope and a few decent options.
     
  15. exstudent

    exstudent Senior Member

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    I predict Toy will give you a HV Battery lotto of some type b/c you were so kind to overpay for all the services. 100% free or 50% off.

    I say save the ridiculous $20-$30, 12V battery recharge, and just buy the Toyota 45Amp Hr battery for the Prius. There are probably dealers in your area that have percent off retail parts purchase (ie 20%), you just need to look for these; use this to get the 12V battery. You can also perform an Internet search of "Toyota OEM parts," and try to find dealers in Deleware, or a neighboring State, that will have the 12V battery for far less than a retail purchase. You just have to call around and see if a local dealership will match or come close to the cheaper price. I did this w/ a local dealership who also happened to have an online presence; saved just under $40 vs blindly walking into a parts department.

    Hopefully your car has SKS, as the 45Amp hr battery is for the SKS car. The non-SKS battery is at least $50 more, and only 35Amp hr (which is fine for non-SKS cars). If you don't have SKS, but decide to upgrade to the SKS battery, you will need to cut the battery tie down tray or replace it w/ an SKS battery tray (~$13 online). Will be cheaper to upgrade to SKS battery, even if you buy a new SKS battery tie down tray.
     
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