Red triangle, won't drive unless battery reset

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by smcgk, Jun 9, 2019.

  1. smcgk

    smcgk Junior Member

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    I'm having a strange Prius issue and looking for some help on what to do from here. Background: 2005 with 120k on it; I've had it 5 years. Five weeks ago I finally got the coolant control valve replaced (P1121 etc). A year and a half ago my hybrid battery died and I had a local mobile company replace it with a refurbished one; I have 8 months left on that warranty. I'm in Texas, and it is HOT.

    A few days ago I was sitting in the cell phone waiting lot at the airport. When my passenger was ready for pick up, I turned on the car and got the big red triangle on the dash, a car with an exclamation point reading "problem" on the screen, and the car was stuck in park or neutral--couldn't turn it off or get it to drive/reverse. I was eventually able to turn it off, but when I turned it back on it had the same problem. I disconnected the battery, reconnected it, and everything seemed fine.

    I drove the car for three days (~60 miles), in which time I got new tires (had scheduled the appt a while back) and checked the 12v battery (reading 12.2v). Then today, the red triangle, VSC, and yellow exclamation point came on while I was driving. I took it home (it drove fine; I'd have taken it to get the codes read right then but my mom was in the car), turned it off, then had the same issues--the rest of the dash lights came on, couldn't drive/reverse, etc. I was thinking to drive it to O'Reilly's to pull the code(s), so I disconnected the battery again, but I'm assuming that will have then cleared the codes...

    I'm not sure what to do at this point other than wait for the problem to happen again, and hope I can get the codes read. Am I doing anything dangerous in resetting the battery? Is there anything I can do to narrow down the possible issues? Is there anything conclusive enough here for me to get the people who replaced the coolant control valve or the hybrid battery out to check it out? I've spent almost $1k on the car this year, and really don't want to pay for a diagnostic if I can avoid it!
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i can't see any other way, unless you get tech stream and read the codes yourself
     
  3. exstudent

    exstudent Senior Member

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    No. You are just prolonging the inevitable. As you continue to do this, the car will be completely dead/stuck in the near future, b/c the HV Battery will be too far drained.

    A poorly installed 3-way coolant control valve will present other symptoms that you aren't reporting.
    Do you hear gurgling/swishing sound? Do you have cabin heat, when activated? Granted its summer, so unlikely to need/want cabin heat.

    No codes, they won't do anything. STOP CLEARING THE CODES!
    I wouldn't waste any more money on a used HV Battery that will only put you back in this position again, SOON. FYI, disconnecting the 12V will clear the codes, except Skid and ABS codes.

    ALL symptoms you describe point to a dying HV Battery. Refurbished/Reconditioned/Remanufactured are all used, and these have a horrible reliability rate for obvious reasons: they are used and will never outlast a new battery. The accepted and understood definition of new = made from 100% virgin materials.

    1) Get Techstream
    Techstream is the OFFICIAL diagnostic and maintenance software made for Toyota/Lexus, and used at Toyota/Lexus dealerships. Bluetooth OBD2 readers and all the various apps for smartphones/tablets are junk: LIMITED code reading ability (can't read ALL codes) and can NOT do any maintenance (bleed brakes, engine compression check, activate CHRS pump, etc). Why waste money on a toy that limits what you can read and can't do maintenance?

    "But I don't DIY." Getting the codes read at a Toyota dealership will set you back $100+. The cost of the hacked Techstream from Amazon will pay for itself.

    Get mini VCI w/ Techstream from Amazon ($25+). Doesn't matter who you buy from, as the cables likely come from the same one or two suppliers from panda land. May have to return/buy a few, as some cables have problems. Installation easiest on a Windows 32bit OS (XP, Vista, 7). Ask friends/family if they know someone in IT, as this person will likely have obsolete laptops laying around, and might be able to donate for free. B/C the software is hacked, recommended to install on a spare laptop; do not use this laptop for sensitive information (log in & passwords: email, bill payments, etc). This laptop is now your Toyota/Lexus diagnostic laptop. Mac install possible, you just need to search online.

    Should you stop driving a Toyota/Lexus, you can easily sell your Techstream laptop set-up here. Private Sales | PriusChat

    2) Read post #9 & #11 to put NEW OEM HV Battery cost into perspective, 2k1Toaster alternative to OEM HV Battery, the dangers of used/rebuilt/remanufactured, and how to search for Toyota parts. Indianapolis area battery repair? | PriusChat

    3) Since you are in Texas, look up Matt @Texas Hybrid Batteries. Texas Prius Battery Replacement Good alternate source for Genuine OEM 100% NEW Toyota HV Battery.

    4) A better way to read the SOC (State of Charge) on the 12V battery
    Is my inverter coolant pump slowly failing? | PriusChat
    Post #5) How to apply a load.
    Post #8) State of Charge chart, AGM compatible battery chargers.​
     
    #3 exstudent, Jun 9, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
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  4. smcgk

    smcgk Junior Member

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    Thanks for the replies. Warning light came back on Monday, so I took it to O'Reilly's. They read the codes P0AA6 (hybrid battery voltage system isolation fault), C1310, C1259. I had to disconnect the 12v battery again to get the car home, and I'll have to do it one more time, as I'm driving it back to the people who put in the refurbished battery, since it's still under warranty and it seems to be a battery issue (when you get the battery, they come to you. But if you need warranty service they make you drive to their garage 35 miles outside of town!). They say they'll clean it up and replace any bad/leaky modules with OEM ones.

    I realize now that getting a new Toyota battery would have been worth it--this mobile refurbished co. just had great reviews. I'll hope against hope that this repair will last, since I was hoping to get another 5 years out of the car; if it doesn't, I'm not sure it's worth putting a $2k+ OEM battery in a 2005 car.

    It looks like there are lots of threads on P0AA6, and I'm slowly reading through them, but are there any other factors known to trigger this problem? If there's a root cause outside of the battery, I want to make sure I take care of it too. I checked the hybrid battery fan, and it looked fine, just a little dusty.
     
  5. exstudent

    exstudent Senior Member

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    Toyota does not sell modules individually. They are installing a USED module that came from a donor USED HV Battery. There will be another failure soon (days/weeks/months).

    Unfortunately some of the BEST lessons in life a learned the hard way.

    I hope you stop putting a lot of weight behind online reviews. So many fake/paid reviews: positive for the company, negative for a competitor.

    Sorry. Not going to happen, just like you and I won't win Lotto/PowerBall/etc.

    Start working on plan B.
    1) Are you able to DIY? If so, this would keep maintenance/repair costs down.
    2) If the 120k mileage is correct, not manipulated w/ a combo meter that had a a lower mileage, there is a lot of life left in the car, assuming previous owners took car of the car. A lot of assumptions here.
    3) The upside with getting a NEW OEM HV Battery is it gives you options. You can transfer the pack into another Gen2 w/ a bad battery. You can get a Gen3 (2010-2015) w/ a bad HV Battery, and transfer your good Gen2 modules into the Gen3 HV Battery case. You can't do this w/ a Gen4 b/c those cars are likely still under HV Battery warranty. You can sell the HV Battery recoverying maybe 1/2 of your purchase price, then sell the car to a junk/salvage yard.
    4) Car could be worth $zero, $1600-$2k for a battery to have reliability again sure beats getting a new/used car, esp if you have to finance it!
    5) Amortize the costs, using your desired 5years. Lets say $2k for a NEW OEM HV Battery.
    $2000/5years = $400/year
    $400/year / 12months/year = $33.33/month
    $33.33/month / 30days/month = $1.11/day (don't buy a candy bar every day)
    $400/year / 52weeks/year = $7.69/week (brown bag a sandwich made at home to avoid a big mac meal once a week)
    Over the next 5 years, could you save an extra: $33.33/month, $7.69/week, or $1.11/day, to pay for this NEW OEM HV Battery?
    Few people approach expenses this way. Most just look at the expensive dollar amount, and say no, since the car is worth nothing.

    Only you can determine you cost/benefit analysis and what you are willing to risk. Any car that is kept long enough, parts will fail at an unknown rate and inconvenient schedule.
     
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  6. Tom Seymour

    Tom Seymour New Member

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    I had this and it turned out a 5amp fuse had blown that I guess powers battery level indicator cost £3
     
  7. Excedium

    Excedium New Member

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    Do you happen to remember which Fuse that was? I'm having a similar issue.
     
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