Red Triangle :( Idling in the heat with the ac blasting

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by Xtine000, Jun 6, 2021.

  1. Xtine000

    Xtine000 Junior Member

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    Hi Guys, I have a 2005 Prius with 270,000 miles on it. It just took a pretty big hit from a deer but is still running fine. I have an appointment to get a new radiator guard, front bumper, left side front panel and hood in about a week - total cost $2800.

    The accident with the deer was on Mar. 28, 2021, 9 weeks ago. I wanted to give the car some time before I spent $2800 to fix it so that it could pass inspection, just in case it developed problems. It didn't, and handles the road just fine. I put a lot of previous work into it.

    Today it was very hot. I was sitting outside a local store idling the engine and talking on my phone, texting to my friends with the AC blasting. I do this sometimes especially in the summer, it's just a habit. Well....I got the Red Triangle. Scared me half to death. I quickly turned the car off and let it cool down. I was terrified it was leaking coolant or something.

    I turned the car back on in about 5 min, and it seemed fine. I turned the AC completely off. I was worried it had drained out the battery.

    I just moved on April 7th, to a new neighborhood where I don't drive nearly as much as my previous one. I used to live on a 3 acre property and the nearest store was far from my home - enough to give the battery a good chance to charge. Now the nearest store is a couple blocks away. Do you think this has caused my battery not to charge as much as it used to, and caused the battery to dip low when I sat with the AC blasting, then causing the red triangle to turn on? When I checked the battery after driving home, it had 4 purple bars in the battery. This is low compared to how full it used to be when I was driving it long distances. I would turn it on and it would be full all the way to the top with the green bars.

    I drove the car home and parked it. I lay down on the pavement to look under and see if anything was dripping but nothing was coming out. I have a service appointment tomorrow, so I'm going to see what they have to say.

    Thanks for any and all advice about the Red Triangle, what could have caused it and so forth.
     
  2. Xtine000

    Xtine000 Junior Member

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    Bump - any opinions on what caused the sudden Red Triangle while I was idling? Thanks!
     
  3. ski.dive

    ski.dive Active Member

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    A 2005 Prius with 270k miles= you are about ready for a new hybrid battery
     
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  4. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    It's likely that it has something to do with the air conditioner, but it might be something else. Guessing is usually more expensive than replacing the car. Thankfully, the car will be happy to tell you where to look for the source of the trouble code/s that triggered the warning triangle if you read the codes. There are countless threads here that deal with choosing a code reader.
     
  5. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    I'm thinking that IF your car isn't spitting codes and the "change owner" light flickers then it's usually one of two things:
    1.) A long term oil volume loss caused by owner neglect. This often expresses itself while the vehicle is in a sweeping turn and the remaining oil sloshes to one side of the sump causing a momentary low oil pressure warning and another "sudden oil use" thread in PC.

    2. A temperature transient.
    This one is a little trickier since you drive a car that lacks proper instrumentation, but I'm guessing that one or both of your fans stopped fanning when you wounded the deer in the collision.
    Deer in your commonwealth can get a little bigger than the 120-pounders we see down here in the deep South, so I cannot presume that you killed it with a Prius-sized car.... ;)
    Fun Fact:
    The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania allows its citizens to keep a deer that they harvest with their cars.

    It's either that or you're leaking coolant, but I'm guessing this is not the case.
    It's pretty easy to troubleshoot.
    Park the car with the A/C on and wait for the fans to come on.
    You should hear the whirring fairly soon if your windows are down and if you don't then I'm thinking that the fans are either physically damaged or one or both wires are loose or disconnected.

    It's also possible that your coolant system is marginally effective since your car has lunar mileage and the loss of some of the radiator shrouds that you haven't yet replaced are causing the fans to be less efficient in letting the radiators radiate.....but I'm leaning away from this theory since the fans (or fan - I haven't seen the G2 but they usually come in pairs) usually sit right in front of the radiator and thus not much ducting is required.

    Anyway.....that's my prognostication from 1,000 miles away and with no physical evidence.
    If I'm right, eat some deer sausage for me!
    I'm a self-loathing mostly plant eater these days.... :(

    Good Luck!
     
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  6. Xtine000

    Xtine000 Junior Member

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    thanks for your help :)


    "
     
  7. Xtine000

    Xtine000 Junior Member

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    Yes I thought of that, thanks for confirming my thought.
     
  8. Xtine000

    Xtine000 Junior Member

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    Hey, as a follow up, when I brought my car into the dealer today, I saw there was a nice little white 2015 Prius c two hatchback, so I bought it. It's being delivered next week, when I will drop off my old 2005 silver prius as a trade in. It's been so many adventures with the 2005 Silver Prius, and that car proved itself to be one of the best cars around in so many ways. At the end of it's stay with me, it took a full on deer strike and didn't stop rolling the entire time. These are amazing cars. I'm going to be sad to see the 2005 go, but it has run it's course and it's time.
     
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