P0A93 - One month after replacing inverter water pump

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by chimbo, Sep 22, 2019.

  1. chimbo

    chimbo New Member

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    I've done a lot of reading through these threads and was able to diagnose, purchase, and replace the failed inverter water pump in my Prius one month ago (August 23 2019, to be exact). I had the master warning light, the VSC light, the brake light, and the check engine light all come on, along with the A/C failing and blowing only warm air. I took it into the Toyota dealership, and they said I had a million things wrong. I replaced both the accessory battery and the inverter water pump myself and everything seemed to be working after that. I drove from Las Vegas to SLC and have not had any problems driving around town since.

    Well, I just had the exact same thing happen today while on a 1.5 hour drive. At 45 min in, all the lights came on and the A/C failed, and I drove over to Pep Boys and the guy said I had codes for the catalytic converter and the inverter water pump. He said he's seen those two problems together before so he thought it was the catalytic converter causing it and that I should "work" my Prius by accelerating full force and using a couple tanks of premium gasoline in order to clean it out. That seemed like a strange suggestion to me, but whatever.

    He reset the warnings, and I was off. 5 minutes later, all the warnings came on again. I decided to finish the other 40 minutes left to get to my brother's house since he has tools and know-how to fix this kind of stuff (although no Prius/hybrid experience unfortunately). I arrived okay, just without any A/C.

    He has an OBD and I got the code P0A93 only. No catalytic converter code. However, the check engine light has come on and off intermittently for 2 years now and every time I've had it checked, they said it was the catalytic converter warning code. So it might just be off temporarily.

    When I turn on the Prius to READY, now only the master warning triangle and the check engine lights turn on, and I don't see any turbulence in the coolant reservoir. The coolant level is at or slightly above the FULL line (When I replaced the inverter pump, I also replaced all the coolant with the Prestone 50/50 kind).

    Does anyone know what is going on? If the pump is bad, I guess I can replace it again, but that seems like a band-aid solution to me. Something is causing the pump to fail in the first place. Any ideas? I would really appreciate your help - I'm a poor graduate student with an unemployed wife and 4-month-old baby and inherited this car from my dad, without any other financial help from my parents. I'm in a lot of debt, and can really only do the cheapest solution possible. Thanks everyone!
     
  2. chimbo

    chimbo New Member

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    Let me also add that the past few times I've gone to Jiffy Lube for an oil change, they have said the dip stick is reading no oil. They haven't found any leaks, so several of the employees have told me that the oil might be burning off. I get my oil changed every 3000 miles now (but I'm going to start taking advantage of that free top-off they do in between changes).
     
  3. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    1. Burning oil and not checking the oil level is like waiting for a time bomb to go off. You know how to pull out a dipstick right? You know where they put in the oil? So why do you need to go anywhere for this "top up"? Isn't your time valuable with a little child at home?

    2. The inverter pump probably failed again. If you bought an original OEM pump from Toyota, it shouldn't last such a short time. If you bought one off ebay, then there's no way of knowing if you got the real deal or some Chinese Knockoff. Maybe you have a warranty?

    The repair should last about 100k miles of driving.
     
    #3 JC91006, Sep 23, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
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  4. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    (When I replaced the inverter pump, I also replaced all the coolant with the Prestone 50/50 kind).

    Was this the normal green type anti-freeze?
     
  5. chimbo

    chimbo New Member

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    Update: I really needed to get back home, so I hooked up a 12V battery to the pump while it was still installed in the car. It ran...intermittently, and it seemed to be very weak. I could feel/hear it reving up and stopping every 1-2 seconds, with no flow in the reservoir. Plugging the wiring harness back on and turning the car on to READY, it didn't even seem to fire intermittently. So the pump has definitely failed - in just one month of use!

    I purchased a new one (my brother helped me pay for that one). I tested it by placing it in a bucket of water and hooking the 12V battery up to it. It seemed to work great! I clamped the hoses, removed the old (well, 1 month old) pump and tested it in the bucket of water. It was doing the same intermittent, weak pumping that it did while installed in the car. I then installed the brand new pump, and I decided to keep the 1-month-old red coolant in the system.

    I took it on a test drive up to about 50 mph for 10 minutes and everything seems okay. I can hear the low aquarium-like hum of the pump and I can see a good flow in the reservoir.

    I'm going to do the 1.5 hour drive home now. My main concern is this: what the heck made my new pump fail?! I have no idea how to debug the electrical system to find the problem...I'm worried this one could also just fail at any moment.
     
  6. chimbo

    chimbo New Member

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    Sorry - I was typing up that update post while you guys posted your replies!

    So I purchased the part from Pep Boys. It's the Dorman OE Solutions Inverter Water Pump. Should be the first item on a google search for it (I can't post links yet because I'm too new).

    I haven't checked the dip stick because I am a dip stick and super ADHD and forget to do these things until the last minute. Seriously, I struggle with things like that. Dumb, I know.


    Actually no, it is red coolant. Is that the wrong kind? I watched a youtube video where the coolant the guy used was red.
     
  7. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    What made your new pump failed...is probably that it was not a new part? It probably was refurbished. I would get a refund.

    Checking the oil level when there is a warning light (last minute), is already too late. There's engine damage when the light comes on, indicating no oil pressure. Make it a routine to check your oil every week, on your day off. Set an Alexa reminder.
     
  8. pasadena_commut

    pasadena_commut Active Member

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    The Dorman I put in my car also isn't working right after a month and a half. But maybe it never did. The problem seems to be that sometimes it just doesn't start. Other times it ran just fine. I think the model may have an issue with its startup circuitry, so when it sees power it usually starts, just not always. Supposedly it was a new part, from rockauto.com. An OEM pump was installed in its place yesterday.

    See the last post (at the moment) here: How to Replace the Inverter Coolant Pump | Page 11 | PriusChat
     
  9. chimbo

    chimbo New Member

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    Made the 1.5 hour drive with no problems. Everything seems back to normal.

    Here's the interesting part - I actually have not had any warning lights about the oil. That's one of the reasons I keep forgetting and have been surprised to hear the oil is reading empty when I go in! (Then, of course, the memory of it all flushes back and I chastise myself for having gone this whole time without checking it - again. :eek:) I have been meaning to put a post-it note/sticker on my windshield to remind myself, but I can never remember to make it!! I'm setting a Google Assistant reminder right now...done.

    Man, this is great info. Thank you so much for sharing that with me. I was thinking I was just putting a band-aid on the problem and would have another failed pump a month from now, but knowing that this specific Dorman model has given someone else issues after 1.5 months is very reassuring. For now, I'll assume that it was simply a faulty part. The new model I bought is an Import Direct Water Pump from an O'Reilly Auto Parts store. It cost $200 (as opposed to $90 for the Dorman from Pep Boys), and is significantly shorter in height than the Dorman one. Hopefully I'm getting a higher quality part for that price.

    I called Pep Boys and they said I can indeed bring the part back and get a refund, thank heavens. You should try to get a refund from RockAuto as well! No part should fail after only 1-1.5 months...especially if it's new. Or, maybe our parts were refurbished like JC91006 said and we got duped.
     
  10. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

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    There is no low oil light in a Prius. It’s a no oil light as in it goes on when there is no oil pressure. Check your oil every week or 2.
     
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