P0A80 and P3000 codes, Check Engine (!) VSC warnings on dash

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by WhatNext, Apr 2, 2017.

  1. WhatNext

    WhatNext Junior Member

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    I've read some other posts on this forum about the symptoms that I'm seeing now in my 2005 Prius with 115,000 miles on it. This is what I've been seeing in my vehicle so far and what I've done about it so far (which doesn't amount to all that much at the moment)...

    I bought this vehicle from a private seller and for about three weeks after the purchase I noticed no sign of problems. Then I saw the warning lights I mentioned in the subject line appear on the dash and it scared me enough to bring it immediately to the specialty repair shop that the previous owner had the car serviced at before I bought it... Pinpoint Repair in Buffalo, NY, associated with the Buffalo Motor Works hybrid independent dealership. The mechanic there hooked up his scanner and showed me the P0A80 Replace Hybrid Battery Pack code on the display. He also told me that his shop wasn't equipped to service this problem. So I drove it to a nearby Toyota dealership to have them run diagnostics on the car and get their estimate on the cost to fix it. They confirmed the P0A80 code (and told me that Battery Block #11 was bad) and also came up with a P3000 Battery Control System code and gave me their printouts and told me that they wanted $3800 to fix it. So I paid the fee for the diagnostic only and continued to drive the car, planning to get as much overtime at work as possible to help me deal with this new problem and whatever can be done to fix it that hopefully can be less than what the Toyota dealership wants.

    Ever since this problem developed with my Prius, I've been watching the arrows on the Trip Info Multi Function Display to keep tabs on what's happening with the battery. I'd been noticing that the battery sometimes lost all but one or two bars of its charge on the display as I'm driving and then the gas engine kicks in to recharge the battery after that discharge. Looked like an annoying problem that was losing me some gas mileage as the gas engine was being asked to work harder but not awful. Then one day as I'm heading to work on the freeway, I hear the gas engine rev up incredibly high and I see no arrows coming from the battery or going into the battery on the Trip Info display and all the charge bars on the battery are gone. With the gas engine audibly straining under the load, I'm able to maintain highway speed and accelerate *very* slowly on the city street when I exit the freeway and stop at a stoplight. I can also hear a fan running loudly at the back of the car on the passenger side while all this is happening. I was able to get myself to work with the car in this condition and the Prius is still parked in the parking lot at work nearly a week later because I don't feel safe taking the car out again if this is likely to happen again with the car in this state. After working my shift that day, I turned on the Prius to see what I would see at this point... I saw the same warning lights on the dash I mentioned in the subject line, I saw the gasoline engine recharging the battery on the Trip Info display and I heard the same loud fan running at the back of the car on the passenger side. I remembered reading something on this forum about a different poster having similar symptoms and being asked to check for turbulence in the inverter reservoir with the car in Ready mode. So I pulled off the inverter reservoir cap with the car in Ready mode and I saw the fluid inside was moving slowly... didn't look like turbulence to me, more like the slow flow of a lazy river. I don't know if that's enough "turbulence" to show that the inverter is working properly or if the slow movement I saw means that there's a problem there.

    So that's the situation I'm in right now... the Prius is sitting in the parking lot at work because it doesn't look like I can trust it in its current state to take it out on the road. From what I've been able to read on this forum so far, I see potential hope that I can get what's wrong with the car fixed for less than what the Toyota dealership wants to charge me. But I will probably need help with replacing what needs replacing even after (hopefully) finding cheaper replacement parts on the internet and/or at a nearby junkyard. And I don't know who/where to tow the car to at this point, since Pinpoint Repair told me they can't fix the problem and the Toyota dealership wants to charge me $3800 for their fix. Any helpful advice, diagnosing or directions I can get from the people here who know their way around a 2005 Prius far more than me and know how/where to find local people that can give me a reasonably cheaper repair bill to get this taken care of would be very much appreciated. Please help!
     
  2. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Yeah that's all the classic signed of a bad traction battery. A new replacement from Toyota is by far the most reliable option, but seeing as it's an older Prius you might take a gamble on one of the cheap rebuilt options.

    Then of course these is always the possibility of a DIY job (replace the faulty module yourself), but that is not always a long lasting solution unless you really know what you're doing.

    It looks like you're another victim of a seller doing a quick fix (or even just resetting the codes) then quickly offloading a failing Prius.

    Over the past few years we've see increasing numbers of new (s/h) owners reporting exactly the issue that you're having. Buy a s/h Prius and a few weeks to a month or two later and bingo the battery's gone. The problem is that they do give some warning when they're about to go, so many savvy owners will know this and offload it as soon as that happens (or as soon as Toyota gives them a quote for the repair).

    Sadly, since the time when this model first became old enough for battery failures to occur in moderate numbers, there have been increasing numbers of people experiencing exactly what has now just happened to you.
     
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  3. WhatNext

    WhatNext Junior Member

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    That's something I was wondering about, naturally... did the seller hide a problem with the car, knowing that it would pop up again in a few weeks after my purchase? Because of course there were no warning lights showing on the dash when I test drove the car and also none when I bought it. I don't think it was as simple as clearing the codes, because the Toyota dealership did that after they ran their diagnostics... no warnings were showing on the dash as I drove the Prius out of their lot and only about ten minutes later the Check Engine warning light returned.

    So, assuming this is what happened, how did the previous owner conceal the problem for up until three weeks after I bought the car? Most likely she had help from a mechanic she was working with at Pinpoint Auto Repair. If I got swindled, which is looking pretty likely, I want to know how they pulled the wool over my eyes and I want to know if taking the car to Toyota for a diagnostic before buying the car would have found the problem and spared me from the situation I'm in now. So how did they do it?
     
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  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i don't know if resetting the codes would take that long to resurface. could just be a coincidence, and it will be hard to prove otherwise.
     
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  5. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    If you think you may have recourse against the seller I would check the VIN in Toyota owners to see if was brought in recently at the Dealer for this problem.

    That said, yes, unfortunately it is a failed battery.

    Hopefully there is somewhere that can replace it for less than the dealer cost.

    Feel free to call me to discuss options. Not sure how handy you are with tools.
     
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  6. Andyprius1

    Andyprius1 Senior Member

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    I had a 2005. There are several simple things you can do before giving up on this car, you bought a used car, which always "sell as is" Now, since you have had the car what Maint have YOU performed?
    1. Air Filter, change
    2. Air throat sensor, clean plus sensor
    3. Air cooling intake(s) to HV battery, open up and clean out all dirt and debris.
    4. Engine oil change
    5. Left trunk panels and observe cleanliness and tightness of every Module. Especially the so called bad one.
    All contacts and surfaces can be cleaned with a baking soda and water solution. Cleansuspected module very good and reinstall. Buy a cheap multi-meter s you have a idea of voltage levels. At this point you may want to order one module. Some techies here may even give you one! Ask Bob Wilson
    6. I forgot to mention, disconnect 12V battery before you start.
    7. Check the maint history thru the dealer before starting
    8. Were all the recalls done? the inverter pump.
    You must have a good place to work, where you can leave the car, don't just abandon the car and the capital invested in it.
    9 Stay on Priuschat, everybody will help you, Listen to Pat Wong.
    Around electrical, always work with one hand.
     
  7. Andyprius1

    Andyprius1 Senior Member

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    Forget that recourse, you bought as is, a total waste of time and direction
     
  8. andrewclaus

    andrewclaus Active Member

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    Well, one way to mask a problem with a failing battery is to try changing out one module that caused a code. Sometimes that works well, but often it becomes a game of whack-a-mole. You'll see plenty of threads reporting that here. You can open up the battery case and look at serial numbers, which should be sequential.

    Others will attempt to recondition a battery with draining and charging cycles. Maybe something like that got it good enough to sell without a code.
     
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  9. WhatNext

    WhatNext Junior Member

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    I don't think I have recourse against the private seller... what I've seen on the internet so far tells me that there's no lemon law option or other recourse in that situation under New York State law. Looks like pure buyer beware to me, and the signs point to me not bewaring enough.

    I did check the VIN number earlier on Toyota's website and saw no reference to battery problems. But I also saw that the last reference to any sort of work or diagnostics with this vehicle (other than when I took it in to the local Toyota dealership to run diagnostics 3 to 4 weeks ago) was years ago at a Toyota dealership in Florida, where the car spent the first 10 years of its now 12 year old life according to CarFax. I see references to other stops at other shops both in Florida and in Buffalo, NY on CarFax, but Toyota only has info about visits to its own dealerships by the look of it.

    As for how handy I am with tools... I like to think I do okay, but the most I've actually done with one of my cars so far is when I replaced a bad speed sensor. I'm pretty sure it's a big leap from that repair to this one. I have a high school friend, a relative of my stepmother and a father of my girlfriend who all have years of professional experience working on cars... though probably not with Priuses or other hybrids to the best of my knowledge. I'm really hoping that one or more of them can give me a hand with this repair, because I'm pretty sure I'm going to need all the help I can get.
     
  10. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Yeah a quick and nasty repair (like replacing a single module) is more likely. However I suspect that there may be times when a Prius could throw "the battery code" due to a marginally weak cell after hard driving (like in the mountains for example), and yet still manage to cope with more casual driving for some time after that code was reset.

    I suppose the other possibility is that a long term owner simply sees the battery deteriorating (state of charge rising and falling ever more rapidly, difficultly coping with mountains etc) and knows the warning signs to offload the car before the error code actually pops up.

    In any case, it is uncanny how many people seem to come to this forum with a failed HV battery on a Prius that they've only owned for a month or so. It certainly seems to make buying an out of warranty Prius a bit of a risk!
     
    #10 uart, Apr 3, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2017
  11. WhatNext

    WhatNext Junior Member

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    Okay, here's where I'm at now with this... I wasn't able to find *any* specialty hybrid shops in this area with a Google search. Not even Pinpoint Repair, the specialty shop that I know exists around here because I've seen their website and I visited their shop when I first saw warning lights on the dash of my 2005 Prius. So, not seeing any other options, I texted a mechanic there whose phone number was on the Pinpoint Repair web page. When I brought the car down there at an earlier time, a different mechanic hooked up the scanner, showed me that it read Replace Hybrid Batter Pack and he told me that they can't do that work there. The mechanic at that same shop who I texted just recently told me that actually yeah, they do do that work down there, just like their web site says they do. Not sure what's going on with the guy who told me I couldn't get that done at Pinpoint earlier... he was the main reason why I hadn't had them work on my Prius a long time ago. So the mechanic who says he can do the work at Pinpoint gives me these prices for these two options...

    $400 (parts and labor) for repairing the HV battery that's in the car now. He tells me that this is likely to be only a temporary fix... two weeks later or maybe as long as three months later the battery will probably fail again and I'll be back in the same boat.

    $1800 (parts and labor) for replacing the current HV battery with an aftermarket replacement HV battery from Dorman with a three year warranty

    Both of these options are far better by a long shot than the Toyota dealership who wanted to replace the HV battery to the tune of $3800. And I took Eric Becky on his offer to call him (thank you, Eric!) and I told him what the Pinpoint mechanic told me and he basically confirmed that these are pretty much my options as the situation stands. Unless I have the tools and knowledge to do the job myself or direct somebody else who has tools and years of experience working on cars... which frankly I don't.

    And actually, now that I've had that $400 module replacement temporary repair option explained to me... I'm pretty sure that this is what the previous owner of the 2005 Prius did with this car's failing HD battery not long before selling it to me. It would explain so much.

    Right now I'm at a crossroads with this car, and I'm looking for opinions and advice about what to do with my ailing Prius at this point. I'm not sure if I want to keep this car at this point and I have people I talk to in person giving me conflicting advice about what they would do in my shoes. I paid $4000 for this 2005 Prius with a bad HV battery and I'm sure as hell not going to put in almost that same amount ($3800) to replace the battery at Toyota. But I'm on the fence right now about whether I'd rather...

    1) take the most likely temporary $400 fix for the HV battery and quickly trade the car in for what I can get for it at a dealer... because I'm not going to do to another private buyer what was done to me.

    Or

    2) take the longer term $1800 fix for the HV battery, keep the car and hope that nothing else expensive fails on it for at least the next three years. Because quite frankly, $4000 was pushing it for the amount I had available to spare for a vehicle as it is.

    I have a kind and generous stepmother who gave me $500 to help me deal with my car woes when I told her about them. So that's something very helpful towards taking up Pinpoint on either of their offers to work on the car. I have some people (two of them mechanics with many years of experience) telling me I should not put too much more money into this car and get rid of it quickly and get something gas-powered, something that gives me many more options to repair than just one or two specially trained people in the area if something goes wrong. I have other people telling me to take the $1800 fix ($1300 after the generous stepmother discount) and get some driveability out of this car that I've already put a big chunk of money into acquiring. One plus towards keeping the car that I have now is that it has spent 10 out of the 12 years of its life in Florida where road salt has not been eating at it and rusting it like so many cars that have spent years here in upstate New York. That seems like it can give this car some longevity that another car I pick up here might not have... assuming that nothing else goes wrong with another specialized part of this 12 year old hybrid vehicle.

    So that's the situation as it stands right now as I'm seeing it. Dump it or keep it? I'm indecisive and I could use some more advice and insight from people who know a lot more about a 2005 Prius than I do. So what say you?
     
    #11 WhatNext, Apr 17, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
  12. WhatNext

    WhatNext Junior Member

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    Giving this thread a bump, still hoping for more thoughts/insights/feedback from the knowledgeable and helpful people here... Eric already sent me a private message, thank you for that!
     
  13. andrewclaus

    andrewclaus Active Member

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    Some of the more technical DIYers will have another option or two.

    I think you're going through something many of us will be facing sooner or later. It's a tough decision, especially when gas is "only" $2/gal, and the economic benefit of a hybrid is diminished.

    We all have different criteria, so our solutions will vary. I, for example, find the body style and size of the Prius to be perfect for what I need a car for, and will probably put more substantial money into keeping mine going reliably. And as a retired electrical engineer, I really enjoy the car for what it is.
     
  14. WhatNext

    WhatNext Junior Member

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    Haven't heard anything new from the DIYers mentioned earlier at this point... but another option occurred to me a while back.

    3) Take the $1800 fix (replace the bad HV battery with a Dorman battery with a 3 year warranty), get the car into a condition where I would not feel wrong about a private buyer taking it off of my hands and *then* sell it to a private buyer. Drive the Prius in between repairing and selling, take the OT at work, and maybe enough money will come to me that way to pay off at least the loan I'll need to take out to repair the car and maybe take a bite out of the loan I took out to buy the car.

    CarFax.com seems to think that this car in good condition could retail at about $5400 and that a fair price for a private seller would be around $4600. Is it wildly optimistic for me to think that after buying this 2005 Prius for $4000 and then putting close to $2000 total into repairs on the HV battery and the brakes that I could ask for and get $5000 for this vehicle to recover the lion's share of my costs if it comes down to that?
     
  15. WhatNext

    WhatNext Junior Member

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    So the Prius is at Pinpoint Repair now, diagnostics show P0A80 and P0321 codes. He tells me that P0321 indicates a problem with Block 11, but I haven't been able to confirm that with any of m Google searching. Does that sound right for P0321? I can't find that code mentioned anywhere on PriusChar

    He says there's faults in both Block 11 and Block 14, where the Toyota dealership some weeks back only found a problem with Block 11. Sounds like one more reason not to waste time and money on replacing modules to me, seems more likely that more blocks will just keep going downhill. He says he can replace this battery with a Dorman aftermarket battery with a three year warranty for $1800, parts and labor and tax all included. He also says he can put in a different hybrid battery if one is brought to him or delivered to the garage's address. I have people I know who are good at finding tech deals on the internet looking online for Gen 2 hybrid battery packs, but they don't know hybrid batteries like this group does. So that's my other question... what's the best place to look out there for a deal on a good quality replacement hybrid battery, preferably one without miles already on it and with a warranty? Or heck, does anyone on the forum have one they're looking to sell that meets that criteria?
     
  16. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    $1,800 is a good deal.

    For a bit more maybe he could install a brand new one from Toyota?
     
  17. WhatNext

    WhatNext Junior Member

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    I found this from a Google search looking for Dorman hybrid battery packs online... would this count as a better deal?

    587-001 by DORMAN - HYBRID BATTERY

    FindItParts dot com is showing a Gen 2 Prius battery pack for sale for about $1250. They also mention a core deposit of about $1,150 which it looks like you get back when you ship your old battery back to them so a new rebuilt battery can be made from it. No tax and just a couple bucks in shipping according to the Google search. The hybrid mechanic says he'll install a battery you bring or ship to him for $135 in labor, which would bring the cost of this $1800 fix down to $1400 or so by the look of it.

    Is this as good a deal as it looks or am I missing something important here? Because Lord knows I've done that before.
     
  18. BuffaloJoe

    BuffaloJoe New Member

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    I am having the same codes and same problem last night. Before I buy a HV Battery I want to feel certain that is the problem. I have a slight doubt that it is the HV battery because my scanner shows all of my blocks being in the 16.7-16.9v range with all having a resistance of .026. Can it still be the HV battery? I notice that it does charge up fast from 2 purple bars but it drains pretty quick as well. I have noticed it revving high while coasting in the last few months. I have also noticed the engine continuing to run after I stop more frequently. My question is: could the Battery ECU be bad, or is the HV battery the culprit?
     
  19. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    Sounds like you are watching the data live in Techstream?

    If so see how the block vimtages do at the outer extremes.

    Fill the pack and watch to see if things separate too much as it gets full.

    Drain the pack and see if things separate too much as the pack gets full.

    Alternatively, maybe there is a break or problem in the wiring at that block. Opening it up and maticulously inspecting it would be good to do.

    Call me if you arent sure how to fill or drain the pack quickly.
     
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