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PS Main and does not start until key turned twice

Discussion in 'Generation 1 Prius Discussion' started by Bigger, Aug 26, 2014.

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  1. Bigger

    Bigger Junior Member

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    2003 Prius, 248k miles.
    Milage around 38 mpg.
    Car is cheerful, friendly and answers to the name 'Sally.'
    Located in sunny West Texas. Most drives are around 120 miles round trip, starting on rough dirt roads and ending in El Paso. Sally has significant rust on the undercarriage due to a youth spent in the heavily road-salted New England.

    History of problems: if we idle on a hot day with the ac on for ten minutes, we get the PS main display. So, we don't idle on hot days. This has happened for at least a year. There are no other symptoms when this happens.

    A few days ago, we tried to start the car and got PS main again, but this time the engine did not turn on. When I turned the key again, the engine started. PS main stayed up even after a dozen starts, and every start requires two key turns. PS main comes up every time we start (which always requires two key turns).

    I am going to visit m friendly neighborhood AutoZone the afternoon to get the error codes.

    Milage has dropped slightly. The car seems to be riding roughly too but that may just be m own hyperalertness, since I don't thing that the car has sensors in the suspension.

    So, what is wrong with Sally?
     
    #1 Bigger, Aug 26, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2014
  2. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    She's been trying to tell you for at least a year, and she wonders why you haven't looked for a Prius-capable scantool so you could listen (or at least gone to a dealer so she could explain it to them). She told me herself and she did not sound cheerful.

    Chances are the tool they will have at AutoZone can read codes from the engine computer, maybe even the brakes and airbags, but not the other half-dozen computers Sally has. Most of those computers have a way you can make them blink lights to spell out the code if you don't have the right scantool, but two that are most likely to have the information that matters in your situation do not.

    You can get a lot of the information with a ScanGauge II and some work, or the Torque app and a dongle and some work, or with a laptop and a J2534 dongle and Toyota's Techstream software (techinfo.toyota.com); some people are using pirated Techstream copies that came with cheap J2534 dongles on the 'net.

    Once we know what codes Sally's been trying to give you, we can start to think about what might be wrong.

    -Chap
     
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  3. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Hmm, backing up a little....

    When you say "PS main comes up" ...

    That screen has a box for PS, a box for MAIN (with a battery symbol), and a third box that's just a car being chopped in two by a raging mutant exclamation point.

    When that screen comes up, which of those three boxes are grey and which are red?

    -Chap
     
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  4. Bigger

    Bigger Junior Member

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    Warning is red, as is the poor bisected car. I am at Pep Boys now, hope to have codes soon.

    Is this a good dongle for Torque? Will it talk to all of Sally's computers?

    Thank you.
     
    #4 Bigger, Aug 26, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2014
  5. Bigger

    Bigger Junior Member

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    Pep Boys gave me a blank report, a blank look and an upsell pitch. Their scanner says that there are no error codes.

    Will this dongle work and talk to all the computers?
     
  6. primuspaul

    primuspaul Member

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    The ELM327 works with regular cars like Fords and will probably be able to get engine codes from the Prius, since I imagine they have to by law have engine codes that are readable by the DMV inspection computers. But the other codes, such as the ones you probably have, will be more or less unreadable with that ELM 327 dongle. You need a VCI dongle and Techstream software. You buy the dongle, install the driver for it on a Windows XP Pro 32-bit laptop, install the Techstream program, and connect the laptop to the car using the dongle (OBDII on one end and USB on the other).

    New Mini VCI 16 Pin OBD2 Diagnostic Cable for Toyota Tis Techstream Cable CD USA | eBay

    I'm pretty sure the ELM327 can't work even if you screw around with the drivers. It's just not meant for a car like this. Engine codes, maybe. Clear codes, probably. Hybrid codes, no way.

    Also, I'd stay away from Bluetooth for the sake of occasional trouble code diagnosis. It's not worth the extra system you have to work with (bluetooth). These things are hard enough to get to work as it is.
     
    #6 primuspaul, Aug 26, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2014
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  7. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    The symptom is consistent with an interlock signal that comes from the inverter in the engine compartment; back to a safety interlock switch on the "orange" plug on the battery, and; to the HV ECU. Anyone with a NHW11 can replicate the symptom by putting the orange interlock switch handle at a 45 degree angle. The power circuit is complete but the micro switch the handle actuates is open and voila. I have seen this symptom in one other Prius 'in the wild' but I could never figure out what was going on.

    The signal reaches the traction battery via one of the connectors on the left hand side facing the traction battery and through the microswitch actuated by the orange plug locking handle. Then the signal goes to the HV ECU. I think someone report a similar symptom from an interlock switch in a cover of one of the MG1/MG2 connectors.

    I tried to measure the signal with a digital VOM and oscilloscope without success. The maintenance manual and schematic shows the circuit but no signal profile.

    As for corrective action:
    • cycle the orange safety plug and hope it 'knocks the crap in the gap' out - test
    • reseat the traction battery signal connectors on the left side in the trunk and inspect for wiring issues - test
    • reseat the inverter connectors and HV ECU connectors and - test
    The Prius with the initial problem also had a bad 12v inverter and had to replace the power inverter. We could never find a fault in the wiring at the inverter so it may have been something latent induced by earlier handling of the replacement. The owner just 'lived with it.'

    GOOD LUCK!
    Bob Wilson
     
    #7 bwilson4web, Aug 27, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2014
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  8. Bigger

    Bigger Junior Member

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    I've ordered a J2534 cable. From China, so my next post will probably be in a few weeks, but I will share error codes when I have them.

    Thank you, all, for your advice and help.
     
  9. Bigger

    Bigger Junior Member

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    OK! J2534 arrived, laptop XPified, error codes read.
    • C0200 front speed sensor RH circuit
    • C0205 front speed sensor LH circuit
    • C1259 HV system regenerative malfunction
    So, looks like some sensors. I am suspicious that both sides failed at once, along with the C1259. I will keep digging.

    Thank you for your guidance!
     
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  10. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    If memory serves, those are all trouble codes from the ABS ECU, but the C1259 is a sort of catch-all code for when the ABS ECU is aware of some problem reported by the HV ECU that might interfere with braking coordination between friction (handled by ABS ECU) and regen (handled by HV).

    That being the case, I'm a little surprised not to see any HV ECU codes along with the ones you've posted. Are you using the Toyota Techstream software with your J2534 dongle? Is it detecting the right car model and all that sanity-check sort of thing?

    -Chap
     
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  11. Bigger

    Bigger Junior Member

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    TechStream 9.0 does correctly identify model and year. Those were the only error codes that showed up. I plan to test again later on tonight.
     
  12. Bigger

    Bigger Junior Member

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    Tested again. C1259 is all that is showing now.

    I wandered through the HV data. My ignorance about Prius tech is vast but there were no error codes, no voltages visibly out of line (all were between 15.75 and 15.90 IIRC), all resistances around .02. I had hoped to see a cell or two that stood out as wanting replacement. Since all of the cells seem uniform, I am hoping that a prior owner has already sprung for a new battery pack. At any rate, the HV battery shows no error codes. The only error showing now is C1259, an ABS code for Malfunction in Regenerative of HV ECU.

    So, what does C1259 mean? Does it point to one component, group or adjustment that I can either measure, replace or test?

    Also, Sally gets around 38 mpg (indicated). I assume that this supports a hypothesis that regenerative braking is not regenerating power.
     
  13. Bigger

    Bigger Junior Member

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    New error code! Yay?

    I cleared the error codes and immediately this popped up: P3140

    Does this clear anything up?
     
  14. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I'm now convinced Bob Wilson is psychic.

    Why? Because P3140 is the code for the interlock circuit.

    -Chap
     
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  15. Bigger

    Bigger Junior Member

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    SUCCESS!

    After way too long, I finally sat down and applied science to my poor car. And the problem was embarassingly simple. The HV battery plug latch had popped open. Plus was still connected, but the computer knew that something was wrong and tried to tell me.

    P3140- interlock open; and C1259- Malfunction in Regen; both were pointing to the same problem, and once I found the latch, both went away. I cleared DTCs and the car started on the first turn of the key.

    There are still a few mysteries (the LCD screen is now blank, for instance) but for a half-blind home mechanic, I feel pretty good about finally curing this problem.

    Thank you all who have patiently advised me through this mess!
     
  16. Bigger

    Bigger Junior Member

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    • You, sir, hit the right solution. I wish that I'd followed your advice sooner. THANK YOU.
     
  17. Brian in Tucson

    Brian in Tucson Active Member

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    WOW! Almost three years to solve it. Glad for your success.
     
  18. dabard051

    dabard051 Tinkerer-in-Charge

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    A blank LCD screen makes it tough to tune the radio... did that happen abruptly, or gradually (over weeks of on/off?).

    Congrats on the fix! My wife's Evy sends Sally her best...