Prius C on it's death bed? "check hybrid system" [Eliminated a few diagnosis's]

Discussion in 'Prius c Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Prius20122020, Jul 16, 2020.

  1. Prius20122020

    Prius20122020 New Member

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    Hi

    I'm driving a 2012 Prius C with 183,000 miles. Love the thing but today the dreaded "check hybrid pull over immediately" cut on. I researched intensely and made the following observations.

    1. The hybrid battery fan is clear and running, while I did not take it out and clean it there is minimal but some dust on it. A few years ago I cleaned a lint ball off of it and it eliminated the "Rev after letting off gas problem" but I noticed that started happening again occasionally. Seems to be working OK

    2. The 12v batter was installed 6 months ago and is relatively new. When I disconnected it and reconnected it got rid of the dash warning. No indications that it is failing / the culprit

    3. The inverter pump I DO feel liquid and see fluid turbulence when the ENGINE IS RUNNING. But I see none/it's still in the start position. From my research here you should see it moving / hear an aquarium pump noise with the car in start and not running. I do not hear, and i do not see, and i do not feel fluid running. I hope this is the culprit but can't be sure knowing it seems to work with the engine on.

    4. I reset the code and drove it home (about 40 minute drive) without any apparent issue or the light re appearing. Wasn't the ideal move but I was stranded. ONE NOTE is the big loud noise it makes seems to disappear, the prius makes a lot of noises but this was some type of cycling noise and was pretty loud and normally randomly turns on and off. I couldn't figure out which noise this was but i suspect it's the ABS pressuring system? I noticed the noise seemed diminished when i started the car after the warning. It sounded normal after I reset the dash, and the noise completely disappeared on the rest of the drive.

    5. Scan tool from autozone, plugged it in and got this error code P0A80 "Replace Hybrid Battery Pack" so I guess I could just be coping and have a hybrid battery going out.. but the monitor system still shows the batter charging and driving appeared normal. I was under the impression that if the battery went bad you were SOL stranded or unable to get much power like over 30mph.. i reached normal speeds with normal MPG

    Given all this it's a confusing issue, would appreciate any insights / advice on what you think it might be. I plan to take it do a dealership ASAP but I am very weary of them, especially since they tried to sell me a $100 invoice to replace a cabin air / engine filter.
     
  2. Prius20122020

    Prius20122020 New Member

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    Update:

    I discovered the tire was flat today. My tire sensors haven't worked in awhile so I typically disregard the pressure warnings and check them monthly in winter. They were correct this time though and came up about a week before the check hybrid light

    I came to the theory that I've likely been driving on a LOW PSI of like 15 for awhile on one tire but it, where it looks inflated to the naked eye and the extra strain tripped the warning by causing the battery to overwork to compensate. The normal noises reappeared as well after filling the tire to 33psi.

    I am thinking that I will have to get one of those dr.prius apps and post the data here, that would seem to be a better investment than paying the dealer $100 for an inspection
     
  3. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    If you let us know what part of the United State you live in we might have someone on here who lives nearby to help you... As for P0A80, that's a primary code that doesn't indicate sub-code/specifics of what's wrong... To do that you need a Mini-VCI plug that runs Toyota Techstream, or easier is Dr. Prius app which runs on an OBD2 plug. Here's a buyer's guide for that plug: Hybrid battery diagnostic and repair tool for Toyota and Lexus
     
  4. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    A worn out traction battery ≠ SOL stranded, necessarily. This is your first warning. You can reset the computer (disconnect 12v) and it will forget the momentary conditions which caused this. The car will (try) to drive normally. And you will probably get away with it for a while, and it'll do this again and you can repeat, if you need or choose. Eventually that won't work anymore, it really will mean SOL.

    You really should diagnose the problem and it probably does mean getting a new traction pack, but you can get away with a little stretch.

    The car is old enough that a neighborhood mechanic would be a more appropriate choice, but if they don't know hybrids then there's no point.

    Last time I checked that battery pack was about $1950 at most dealer parts counters. DIY installation looks remarkably easy but I can't say I've done it myself.

    I'm not aware of any other worthwhile option for a replacement battery.
     
  5. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    While it probably is not the culprit here.......PROBABLY is not good enough.
    You need to have it tested and the main connections checked BEFORE you spend time and money chasing anything else.
     
  6. Prius20122020

    Prius20122020 New Member

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    Fair enough, can I test the battery without taking it out? I have a multi meter

    Yeah I'll see what I can come up with, I live in maryland

    From the options I've seen the greenbean thing sounds like the best, probably should get a mechanic to check out everything else before putting that coin in a vehicle with 183k just for something else to go (engine, transmission, etc) however I'd be extremely happy if I could extend it's life even a year.. which is 15-20k miles for me
     
  7. priusCpilot

    priusCpilot Active Member

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    Look at the prolong kits to restore the battery.
     
  8. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    You can NOT "restore" a battery that has really failed because it is worn out.

    You sometimes can "prolong" the life of a battery that is still good but just a bit weak.
     
  9. priusCpilot

    priusCpilot Active Member

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    You CAN "restore" to serviceable and up to near new with the prolong doing a full treatment. The failure is often due to cell in balances and doing a equalization process every 3-6 months can stop warning lights from coming back for years.
     
  10. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    That is NOT a given. It depends on your exact starting point.

    And if any cells really are near DEAD, your results won't be near that good.

    For things like that to be useful at all, you must start early.......before it is obvious that you need to.
     
  11. priusCpilot

    priusCpilot Active Member

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    Yes that's why I used the word "OFTEN" because the odds are in your favor to get the results I stated. Now in the case of 1 or more cells not recoverable, you can replace the cell and equalize the pack which OFTEN results in years of restored service.
     
  12. Prius20122020

    Prius20122020 New Member

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    I hope there is this much passionate discussion about my results from Dr. Prius on monday

    stay tuned!
     
  13. Prius20122020

    Prius20122020 New Member

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    The long anticipated results are in, doesn't look good from my laymens understanding. Any opinions on a. how long it may last and b. given that everything is reading normal besides the battery will I damage any further by driving it around? FullDiagnostic_2020-07-23_06-05-32.jpg LifeTest_2020-07-23_06-22-39.jpg Screenshot_20200723-182343_Dr Prius.jpg
     
  14. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Basic battery maintenance (deep cycling & eliminating corrosion) can greatly extend a battery pack's lifespan and can restore capacity back up to 96%. But that's a different measure than the measure for your particular test.

    The Dr. Hybrid test can't account for a huge number of variables and may not accurately represent the health of your hybrid system. However it's a good reference point from when you first started taking care of your battery pack, so start a spreadsheet with it, or keep a journal. You might also want to try Hybrid Assistant app with it's companion app Hybrid reporter, which will give you data from every sensor in the car put on lots of nerdy charts and graphs.

    Here's more info about nickel based batteries: http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/how_to_restore_nickel_based_batteries
     
  15. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    I've never used that app but I'd agree that the report looks like trouble.

    I know you can milk the thing a little bit after they first report failure, but at some point one of those modules in the battery is going to literally *pop* and that's no fun.

    You can probably get a battery out of a crashed c for the same money as that prolong gadget. There are some 2015s available near me in the $500-700 range. And if you got it out of a new enough wreck, it would just be a one shot deal, install it and keep driving for x years, no rigamarole involved in conditioning the battery. It can be very time consuming.
     
  16. Prius20122020

    Prius20122020 New Member

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    Thanks I'll look into the options. Any idea if the battery affects MPG? I noticed it was in the 40's during the heat wave and now it's back in the 50's. Usually only drive for long trips 40+ miles

    The first day the warning came out I borrowed a car and was astounded at how much gas it burned through in comparison to my prius, guess I'm use to being spoiled
     
  17. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Oh, absolutely! As a very general rule, the more the battery can participate, the less fuel you will burn. The computer always tries to maximize battery participation, but it will silently introduce limits as necessary for the management of state-of-charge, thermal and other conditions. When the computer knows the battery is old and weak it won't expect as much nor push as hard, and it totally shows up in your MPG, because the hybrid ECU will seamlessly increase demands on the gas engine in response to your right foot.
     
  18. Prius20122020

    Prius20122020 New Member

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    So just a couple of questions on what triggered my warning light.. does a battery have to drop below a voltage threshold?The dr prius It did not identify a bad cell which i've seen in many peoples cases. I could not find that optimal voltage range per cell for a prius c online

    Or could I assume it's just a warning because the battery is getting weaker, in theory if it has roughly 33% left 66% produced 183,000 miles and that 33% could go for another 90,000 miles
     
  19. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    I understand that it's more sophisticated than a voltage threshold, but you've got the theory right. A test got failed and the computer no longer trusts the battery.

    I think you are banking just a little too much on the idea of linearity in battery longevity measurement. :whistle:
     
  20. Prius20122020

    Prius20122020 New Member

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    INTERESTING, I wouldn't dont it would crank out a few more tens of thousands of miles because I drive 80% highway. I wonder if the fact that I live on a dirt road the think is in constant filth has anything to do with it, although the battery is inside. Anyways I'll be somewhat proactive but if I can crank out another few months I'd be ready to go new
     
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