Red triangle sometimes shows, sometimes not, when starting 2008

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by howardbc, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. howardbc

    howardbc Member

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    I have a 2008 Prius. I noticed that a large red triangle displayed briefly on the left when I started my car the other day. I know all the other smaller icons light up briefly but I don't remember the large red triangle lighting up. It and all the other icons go off after a second or two. Then the next time I started the car there was no red triangle. Then maybe the 3rd time I started the car, the large red triangle did again appear briefly. I took my car to my Toyota dealership but the tech said that is normal and means a door must be open, but that cannot be correct. I make sure all doors are closed and the "Open door" icon is not showing. I have already been through the water coolant inverter pump disaster so I admit I am a little paranoid about any funny things showing on my dash. Any ideas? Please don't ask me about codes or any highly technical info. Thanks so much.
     
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  2. 2006_HK

    2006_HK First Hybrid

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    Check your 12v battery. It happens when the battery is low on charge or dying.
     
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  3. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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  4. howardbc

    howardbc Member

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    Is the 12V battery under the hood? If so, is this something my brother-in-law could check? He is very knowledgeable with American non-hybrid cars.
    Where is the MFD button? 'Sorry.
     
  5. Britprius

    Britprius Senior Member

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    The 12v battery is in the boot under the floor just in front of the passengers (for you in the US) side rear light.

    The MFD is (multi function display) in the center of the dash. Follow the instructions in post 3 above high lighted in blue.
     
  6. 2006_HK

    2006_HK First Hybrid

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    There is a jump point under the hood inside the black fuse box that can be used. The box has a lid and is located on the left of the inverter (looking from the driver seat). Press away from the headlight at the bottom of the box (the part that is close to the headlight) and it should come off. You can then check the battery voltage with a multimeter.

    Alternately, use the display screen to check.
     
  7. howardbc

    howardbc Member

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    Thanks so much for everyone's help but I guess I'll have to take my car to the Toyota dealer to check the 12V. I printed out the instructions from jdenenberg, but never saw anything that said Menu. I did fail to hold the Inf button at first but then went back and followed the instructions. However that was when I didn't see the word Menu on the MFD, so I stopped.

    When I turned the car off, there was a red car outline beeping and I didn't know what it was, so I shut car door and left. I don't think the red car icon stayed on. But no telling what will happen when I try to start it in the morning.

    I am really starting to hate this car. The bad water coolant inverter pump dying and almost causing me to wreck was just the last straw. I want another hybrid but maybe I'll try something like a Camry or an Accord.

    Thanks again.
     
  8. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    I wouldn't take it to the dealer to "check the 12 volt". In many cases, we've found their tests to be not only a waste of money, but also useless (sometimes claiming a bad battery is good). See Prius beeps after being turned off, then won't start | Page 2 | PriusChat. You're better off checking w/a volt-ohm meter and/or via the MFD.

    It's real simple. Just go into ACC mode then hold down the INFO button while flicking the lights back and forth between off and the parking light position 3x. It's pretty obvious after that.

    If using the volt-ohm meter, I would check the voltage of the at the battery (in the back), not via the jumping terminals. There could be a voltage drop between the back and front of the car. You can get cheap multimeters/volt-ohm meters are Fry's, Harbor Freight Tools or maybe a Home Depot or Lowe's. Radio Shack has them too, but I can't speak to pricing (at least their coin cell batteries are a ripoff).

    What do you mean by "red car outline beeping"? Are you talking about the flashing red light in the car after the car's been turned off? If so, that's normal. It's always done that.
     
  9. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    My car started throwing that RED exclamation point when my 12 volt battery was dipping below 11.2 upon start up.
    My battery was doing great but after the wife drove it 3 weeks straight I got in to use it one day and saw that triangle upon start up. Pretty sure she left a light on all day at work and killed my very well cared for going on 6 years old original battery. But it just throws it for a second upon start up and does not log a code. But it means the 12 volt is done.

    I put in a Optima Yellowtop.
     
  10. howardbc

    howardbc Member

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    Well, this morning, the red triangle came on again (plus all the other icons) and wouldn't go way; nor would the car start, nor would it shut off! It eventually shut off and I am awaiting a tow truck to take it to the dealer.
    Maybe it's the 12V battery but also I worry that I might have re-programmed something by trying (and failing) to follow the steps on the MFD. Not your fault but was hoping this forum was for us everyday non-technical types.
     
  11. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Nah that's another symptom of a bad 12 volt. You can't reprogram anything on the mfd.

    It was trying to warn you !!! lol...
     
  12. ahmeow

    ahmeow Prius Lover

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    As everyone said/advised, you are having a dead 12V battery. Change it.
     
  13. howardbc

    howardbc Member

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    Car wouldn't start this morning; had to have it towed to the dealer; needed new 12V battery; thank you to everyone; you are more knowledgeable than the Toyota service man. I will keep checking in.
     
  14. 2006_HK

    2006_HK First Hybrid

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    Little bummed that you decided to incur the expense of towing it to the dealer. There is a jump-start point under the hood. You could have bought a portable jump-starter at any store and started the car for probably 1/4th or less the cost + you own a jump starter now to use with any vehicle you want.

    I am sure any automotive store people would have helped you with the jump-start. Prius is very similar to jumping any other car, really.
     
  15. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    ^^^
    Just be sure not to reverse the polarity. That could lead to blowing the inverter --> 4 digit price tag to replace.
     
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  16. howardbc

    howardbc Member

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    Emergency road service is included in my insurance policy. The tow truck driver did say he could jump start the car and I could drive to the dealer but I was concerned that the battery might die on my way there.
     
  17. Britprius

    Britprius Senior Member

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    Once started (made ready) the 12v battery can be completely removed from the Prius and it will run just fine.
     
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