NEWBIE 2009 prius, do I need a new battery?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Brendan Husk, May 23, 2020.

  1. Brendan Husk

    Brendan Husk New Member

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    Hello everyone! Happy to be a part of the forums here, I have a few questions. I own a 2009 Prius, 122,000 miles. I got what I felt was a great deal on the car, only paid $3000 out the door from a private lot. Wasn't shopping a hybrid at all, so when this gem popped up and I test drove it, I didn't have a clue what to be looking for. It drive great and was like driving on clouds suspension wise. Now I should mention all of the lights were lit up on the dash. Red triangle of death, tire pressure, check engine, and vsc all on. The touchscreen shows a red car with exclamation in the middle too. I didn't know or really notice too many of them as the dealer originally showed me the car and immediately said it needs tires filled up because of the light. They checked it and said no codes came back at all, weird because of all the lights on.

    Bought the car and as I'm on my way home the worst possible thing happens... The engine makes a strange noise and feel as if it was in high "gear" (I know these are cvts), the car seems almost like overworking itself to drive super slow. Acceleration from a stop was 0 to none. Took a full 30 seconds to get to 40mph. The battery from the start of this slowly drained lower and lower and was not recharging as I coasted or was braking. I drove it home freaked out that I bought a lemon.

    Next day, works fine. Like nothing happened. Drive it 30 mins, no problem. So I'm thinking maybe idk how to drive this thing etc... But then it happens again, in the middle of driving boom same thing. This time I pull over. Restart and it works fine to get home. Now from my research I have found this is usually either 12v battery, the hybrid battery or some cells within, or the power steering pump? Or leak or some kind not sure. I have ran the 12v self test and it checks out perfect 14.2v under load.

    I have ordered a Bluetooth OBD2 Dongle to plug in and I plan on using TORQUE Pro to load custom pips for the Prius gen 2 and see what voltages these individual blocks are putting out from the hybrid battery. Only thing I'm not seeing is a Prius that works sometimes then doesn't other in this manner. If anyone has any clue on these exact problems, maybe I'm close to losing the hybrid battery as a whole and it's just a Toyota hanging on. Let me know what you think, sorry for the semi long post.
     
  2. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    The best thing you could do would be to get techstream and an older laptop so you can communicate with the car just like a Toyota tech.

    Were the lights lit after driving a while, or were they lit from the time the car was cold?

    That being said, your symptoms initially make me think you have an inverter cooling water pump issue. Sounds like the inverter is getting hot and kicking the car into limp mode. Let the car cool off a bit and it drives normal again, until it gets hot again. There could be other issues, but the only way to tell for sure is to use techstream (or a Prius friendly code reader) to get the codes. The dealer didn't get the codes because he wasn't using a code reader that communicates with the hybrid portion of the car.

    You can check the inverter cooling pump by starting with the car off, keeping your foot off the brake and pressing the power button 2 times. This puts the car into "ignition-on" mode, where the engine will not start. There's a small electric water pump located directly behind the driver side headlight. It should be running. It should be easy to hear. You should also be able to feel the pump running (vibrations of pump body). By the firewall, there is a small fluid reservoir. That is the inverter coolant reservoir. Remove the cap and look inside. You should be able to see a steady flow of ripples if the pump is running. No ripples=bad pump. If the pump has failed, it's about a $550 job at a dealer. If you can DIY, it's about an $80 job. New pump from online is about $65, then buy a couple coolant hose pinch clamps, Then watch you-tube videos to see how it's done. I always replace them by removing the driver headlight to gain access.
     
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  3. Brendan Husk

    Brendan Husk New Member

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    Thank you so much for the reply. The other bad thing about this Prius, the hood lid doesn't work (yes I bought a car without looking inside the hood lol). But sounds like if it's quiet outside I could hear it. I will try now and report back
     
  4. Brendan Husk

    Brendan Husk New Member

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    I did hear it running right behind the drivers side headlight
     
  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    congrats and welcome!
    3k is a great price, if the mileage is correct and there were no major accidents. are you going to do the maintenance and repairs, or take it to a dealer?
     
  6. Brendan Husk

    Brendan Husk New Member

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    Thanks, if the battery is shot it's not that great of a deal. But yes it's been Carfax checked no accidents, and mileage I would assume is honest at 122k. If the battery is bad I plan on going the cheapest route possible while still covering my butt. I have found an eBay seller who installs battery pack with 3 year warranty for $850. He has great reviews and I think that's the best price I'll find with warranty.
     
  7. Berch1943

    Berch1943 Junior Member

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    Have you determined if the battery needs to be replaced?
     
  8. Brendan Husk

    Brendan Husk New Member

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    I have got the obdii scanner working. Here are the codes I received.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Brendan Husk

    Brendan Husk New Member

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    This as well Screenshot_20200525-200805.jpg Screenshot_20200525-200627.jpg Screenshot_20200525-200458.jpg
     
  10. Brendan Husk

    Brendan Husk New Member

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    So as I observed more I noticed an odd trend. So the voltages look fine except for block 3 as indicated by the code and also the voltage. When in drivable mode the voltage of just block 3 goes down to 14.2 then races up to above the rest at 17.4 or so, then back down. Over and over again. The HP of the electric engine also drops to negative values while this happens. Eventually it goes into "safe mode" revs high and doesn't allow any acceleration or battery/elec engine usage. This is where the batteries all show balanced even block 3 at 17ish volts. As I totes around I cleared engine codes and about half had a heart attack when the car would barely start then die out from low idle... This happened several times and I thought oh crap I screwed it all up. Eventually I learned and hit the gas a bit when it started up, gave it a test ride around the block just fine. Let it sit and idle for 5 mins and it started to die again. So what is going on here... I'm so confused lol could a bad block #3 really cause all of these issues???
     
  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    what do you mean by 'die'? the engine is supposed to shut off when not needed.
     
  12. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    btw, a craigs list battery may not be 'covering your butt'
     
  13. Brendan Husk

    Brendan Husk New Member

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    Oh sorry, die as in stalling out. My bad, rpms drop to like 900 and it starts to go off but by hitting the gas a bit it revved back up. Seemed like a low battery thing. And I'm going to purchase a refurb battery from eBay his user is hybridplusbatteries, he has 411 positive reviews all on just these batteries. Called him on the phone and get a good feeling, also he's pay after install and accepts PayPal so I will purchase through eBay to get buyer protection if need be.
     
  14. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    Do you understand that a Prius is designed to turn the engine off when it's not needed? Like when you stop at a red light or at a stop sign, or you're going through a drive-thru, or going downhill?
     
  15. Brendan Husk

    Brendan Husk New Member

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    Sure, but it will still have the electric motor to work from then. I'm talking about a full shutdown to power off state. No lights in dash. Have to restart with foot on brake. Getting battery replaced Thursday by technician for $850 with an 18 month warranty.
     
  16. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    So you're saying that you pull up to a red light and when you stop, the engine tries to shutdown, along with the dash going blank? But if you press the accelerator pedal, the engine revs a bit and the dash lights back up? The codes obviously show you have a HV battery problem. But you may have more than that going on. Before I threw 850 bucks at it, I would verify everything is good with the 12v system.

    From post #10: Let it sit and idle for 5 mins and it started to die again. So what is going on here... I'm so confused lol could a bad block #3 really cause all of these issues???

    Don't worry, because after reading the thread, we are too
     
  17. Brendan Husk

    Brendan Husk New Member

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    I'm sorry if I haven't been super clear. Also these were not driving tests. These were standstill in the parking lot tests. Only drove it to recharge the battery once it started stalling and the only way to keep the car running was to hit the gas.
     
  18. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Yes.

    Used (aka rebuilt) are a gamble. New will last for another decade or so.
     
  19. ericspoor

    ericspoor Member

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    i wouldn't be sold on having heard the inverter cooling pump, theres a coolant control valve that is audible under the hood in that location. Once the hood is up, you can open the inverter coolant overflow tank (back right of engine bay, obvious looking - has a screw cap), and see if the coolant is swishing around (caused by a working inverter coolant pump). If the coolant isn't moving, the pump is bad.
     
  20. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    This is exactly what is confusing. What do you mean by 'keep the car running'? Because to every single other person here, we're wondering WHY? Once the car is in "ready", the engine just does it's own thing. It turns off when it's not needed and turns back on when it's needed. Pressing the gas pedal can also make the engine start again.

    So I'll throw this out there again, slightly modified:

    So if you get in the car, put your foot on the brake and press the power button one time, what happens?
    Does the dash come alive? Does the "ready" light come on? After a few moments, the engine should start and do a warm up cycle, then turn off again.

    If this does happen, are you saying that when the engine turns off, the dash also turns off? But if you press the accelerator pedal, the engine revs a bit and the dash lights back up? The codes obviously show you have a HV battery problem. But you may have more than that going on. Before I threw 850 bucks at it, I would verify everything is good with the 12v system.
     
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