Tedh1979 2005 Prius Project with multiple issues looking for help!

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by Tedh1979, Apr 4, 2019.

  1. Tedh1979

    Tedh1979 Member

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    I have started a new thread that is correctly titled in order to keep the other threads on topic. I would appreciate all the help I can get from the users that have helped me in other threads. I am a new first time Prius owner. I have learned a lot from countless hours on this site, but I will be the first to admit that I don't know much about the Prius, yet.

    I bought a 2005 Prius with 183K for $800 plus $200 towing. I was told by the old owner that she was driving it and the red triangle came on and the check engine light came on and then it stalled. From reading many articles, those are common occurrences with a bad 12V battery and also a hybrid battery. I decided to take a gamble and buy it because I am capable of replacing hybrid battery cells or a whole battery and also capable of replacing a 12V battery.

    When the car was towed back to my drive, when unloading it I noticed a huge pile of oil under the Prius on the flatbed truck. This could be caused by the tow as the front of the Prius did scrap on the ground just a tad when it was loaded onto the flatbed. So I have an oil leak, a 12V battery that needs replaced, and maybe a hybrid battery issue. When I went to load the Prius onto the tow truck, I plugged a jump pack onto the 12V battery so I could put the Prius in neutral. The energy monitor showed the Prius had 4 or 5 bars on the hybrid battery. When I unloaded the car at home a couple hours later, the Prius is showing 1 bar for the Hybrid battery.

    The "Ready" light will not come on and I honestly don't want to start the engine yet anyways. The red triangle light does not come on either though. Is that because the car isn't into "ready" mode to trigger the red triangle? The car has a check engine light on but when using my Actron OBDII scanner, the scanner said "no codes". Today my bluetooth OBDII scanner arrived in the mail so that I can use Dr. Prius and Torque Pro apps. Today it was 38 degrees and rained all day so I did not get to work on the Prius. I recently was told if my hybrid battery was too low, it may be too low to start the car. The Prius, I can tell, has been sitting for quite awhile. I have read that batteries that sit too long may not even have enough power to start the car and the only way to charge the hybrid battery is to drive the car. So where do you hook a battery charger right? I've read that I need an expensive special charger to charge the battery. So am I to assume that all used hybrid batteries that are for sale at scrap yards completely useless because they have been sitting too long without being used? Something doesn't make sense about that at all. Now as I said I'm completely new to having a hybrid car. This weekend I have a mechanic coming to my house to assess the oil leak. Worst case scenario I can get a low mileage engine for $300 and I have someone willing to install it for a reasonable price, but it might not need an engine.

    As you can tell, I have a lot of questions and with every answer I hope that I can learn the answers. Now yes, many people's answers are opinions and sometimes aren't correct, and I'll try to ignore the smart wise cracks that don't help anyone. I will update on here when I know more about the engine oil leak issue. I would still like answers as to how to know if my hybrid battery is ok or not. Any other help or positive suggestions will be greatly appreciated. I very much appreciate all positive comments that help me out. Below are car pics including the dash lights. Thank you all again for your help and hopefully as I learn I'll be able to help others as well. Prius1.jpg Prius2.jpg Prius3.jpg IMG_20190403_172637.jpg IMG_20190403_172857.jpg
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    yes

    no. it depends on how old the salvage battery is and how long it has been sitting. there's really no way to know without testing.

    you've taken on a major project for cheap money. why not get a new 12v and tech stream?
     
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  3. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Once you've got a stable source of 12 volt power so the ECU built into the HV battery can boot up, and you have Techstream or another scan tool capable of communicating with that ECU, you'll be able to see the information it curates about the condition of the battery. It will show you the voltages across every "block" (pair of adjacent modules) in the battery, their calculated internal resistances, and the estimated state of charge of the battery, among other things.

    It is probably safe to expect the battery to be well and truly discharged at this point. As I understand it, below a certain state of charge (20% maybe), the HV ECU will choose not to try to crank the engine. Above that SoC, you might get a few tries at starting. but perhaps not very many, and the engine might not be in top shape to start on the first try, either.

    So, yes, you might have to get access to a charger for the HV battery and try to get a bunch of joules in there first, and then recheck what the battery ECU thinks of its condition. You might see all 28 modules come back to correct nominal voltages, or you might see some of them come back while others stick at lower voltages suggesting reversed or shorted cells. That information will guide your next moves.
     
  4. VFerdman

    VFerdman Senior Member

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    As I stated in the other thread, first figure out the cause of the oil puddle on the flat bed. Next, get a known good 12V source. Power up the car in the ACC mode (press power button twice without having the foot on the brake pedal. If you press power while pressing the brake pedal the car will try to go into "read" mode and you definitely do not want that). That will allow you to use a scan tool to explore more.

    Once you have some information report back and you will get plenty of help here. Until then it's a waiting game as no one is able to know what the problems are without having eyes on the facts. Assumptions do not do anyone any good. You assume you have an oil leak, but you have no idea what the source of the oil was. That only confuses the situation. Report known facts, not conjecture and help will be forthcoming.
     
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  5. Tedh1979

    Tedh1979 Member

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    I ordered a 12V battery from Interstate Battery and it is supposed to be here Saturday but "might" be in tomorrow. So I've done that. I know not to press the brake pedal. I've been living in the PriusChat threads, trying to learn as much as I can but I still have a TON to learn.


    This is what complicates things. So many of the answers just don't match each other in this site, and I am trying to learn but therefore don't know if I'm learning the right way or the wrong way. I was told the ECU will not let the HV battery get so low that it can't start which is why there are so many Prius cars that don't need a charger. I was also told that a Prius only needs one bar and it can start with only one bar just fine. You are saying to get Techstream. I was advised to get Dr. Prius because it would test all blocks of my battery plus give me all codes of what is going on with the Prius. Others said to get the paid version of Torque App, so I got both. Now I'm being told to use Techstream. I'll use whatever is recommended to me, but that's the problem because different people recommend different things. I was told to concentrate on the engine because with one bar, the hybrid battery would start, but you are saying I may need a charger. The company that wants to sell me their charger has only one left so I don't know if I should order it or if I shouldn't order it? And I've been told that this charger is the only way to charge the HV battery or a Prolong charger to charge the battery but I've read on this site, if I have the patience I can take the HV battery out and charge it piece by piece and I could do that while the engine is being worked on. So there is a lot of confusing information. One thing that multiple users agree on is that I need to take action. I've had the car for less than a day and I've ordered a 12V battery, hired a mechanic to look at the engine tomorrow or Saturday depending on the weather, and I've been researching this website so for the people to say I need to do something, I am. I'm just trying to learn to do things right, and I know I'll screw up things as I go. I just don't want to do anything stupid to ruin the car. I've been told to disconnect the 12V battery and hookup my jump pack to the front connectors to try to start it. Most say not to start it. I KNOW not to start it. I guess I'll get the most information that I can and I'll go by the information that the majority agrees on. I don't know what else to do. I will keep reading this site and I will keep working on the car and I'll keep updating everyone on the progress. Thank you to everyone that is helping me out. If anyone can, please recommend if I need a Hybrid charger or not. I'm researching the HV battery charger on this site and the one on eBay. Ebay company tells me never to discharge......users on here recommend a kit that charges and discharges. I don't know what discharging means. And that is why I am here, to learn. Maybe some day I won't be so stupid about Prius cars. I know I can do it. I used to be stupid on all cars. Then I fell in love with Mustang 5.0 cars. I've owned and drag raced 13 of them and helped multiple people work on theirs. Now I'm taking on a completely new challenge and I'm starting as a newbie.
     
  6. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    In some cases it's like you're making inconsistencies out of things that aren't really inconsistent.

    It's true that the ECU will protect the battery from getting too low. But without charging, the only way to protect a battery from getting too low is to avoid discharging, right? Cranking the engine discharges it. So somewhere down around 20% true SoC, the ECU will say "no more engine crank attempts for you, I'm protecting the battery." It's not like those are incompatible facts.

    Keep in mind that the battery bar graph on the dash isn't showing you the full range of battery charge state. The car normally seeks to keep the battery right around 60%, nearly always between 40% and 80%, and that's the range the dash bar graph covers. When you are reading actual SoC over the diagnostic port with a scan tool, you'll see how that works.

    Techstream is the Toyota diagnostic software that is able to pull all of the info from your car that you might want. All the other options you've read about can have various attractive features too. It's just that sometimes you may run into a situation where one of those other tools isn't giving you the information you're looking for, and when that happens, sooner or later, someone is going to say "have you tried Techstream?".

    If it were my project car, I would relax and start by just providing 12 volts to the car's computers. A nice solid 12 volts is all the computers need to wake up and talk to you. They will all wake up if you put the car in "ON" condition (you do not need "READY", which is where it would try to start the engine.) You get to "ON" by pressing the power button twice without pressing the brake.

    When the computers are awake, ask the battery one what it thinks about the battery. For that matter, ask the engine one what it thinks about the engine, and the brake one what it thinks about the brakes, etc. (If you have Techstream, just select "health check", it'll talk to them all.)

    Next moves can be planned based on what you find out.

    Also a good visual inspection to figure out where that oil came from....

    Edit: oh, and pace VFerdman, "ACC" mode is where you get with one power button push, no brakes. For all the computers to be awake, you need "ON" mode (two power button pushes, no brakes). So, yeah, we're telling you two different things there, but you can use the owner's manual to break the tie. :)
     
  7. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Find out if you have an oil leak and any coolant. Hopefully your mechanic knows Prius systems, otherwise he may be equally in the dark. Send me your email by pm and I will send you some reading material. Most people have background on their vehicle and as a result have an advantage when diagnosing a failure to go to ready. The inverter is the most common hybrid failure causing no ready condition after a dead 12v battery. There is no magic bullet on these highly complex cars with all the technology of an ev combined with the mechanics of an internal combustion engine all syncronized by an amazing transaxle. WeberAuto on youtube has a university professor in a comprehensive video series explaining how most of the major components in hybrids work. Which is important to understand prior to serious diy diagnosis and repair. Here is an example:
     
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  8. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    I'm still less than a year into my first hybrid, just throwing in a couple pennies here.

    Hybrid vehicle battery conditioning and module-swap repair are pretty advanced steps for a first timer. None of the steps are particularly difficult, but I felt the need to point out that you really are jumping into the deep end. You mentioned familiarity with PC repair- Imagine giving someone their very first introduction to a personal computer by starting with the JTAG header on the motherboard. It's going to be a heck of an education by the time you're done, but it may not be the optimal starting point.

    There's a lot to be said for slamming in a new, fully warrantied genuine Toyota battery pack, assuming that the rest of the car is in decent shape. You can get some of the same end result with module swaps, but it's a lot of work that can be fraught with time-consuming disappointment along the way. And even when you do all of it right, it won't last nearly as long as a new replacement. Age really does drag these batteries down whether you use them or not.

    I'm not here to suggest that you can't do it- if anything I want to encourage you. But I am a bit concerned that you're well on your way to spending six grand on a car that'll be worth three before you even put the tools away.

    Obviously such a journey would also gain you quite an education- if that makes up the difference for you, then by all means... full speed ahead! But I do think it's worth asking you to plainly state your goals and budget for this car (in this thread) for the benefit of readers who haven't seen your other posts scattered around.
     
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  9. Tedh1979

    Tedh1979 Member

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    Thanks for the reply. One thing I made sure I knew, was how to power the car. I know and therefore have never even attempted to put my foot on the brake pedal. Even when I looked at the car, before knowing that the engine was pouring out oil, I never attempted to start the car. Next, I did order and am waiting for my 12V battery to come in by Saturday at the latest. And yes I've read many people say, and I've experienced it for myself, that you have to press the power button two times with no foot on brake. My Actron code scanner still didn't pickup any codes but I honestly don't think my jump pack with giving it enough power to turn on the computers.

    Next, Techstream sounded good. I already have Dr. Prius, paid version of Torque Pro, Hybrid Assist, and ToyotaSys. I searched the Google Play store and there is no Techstream or Tech Stream. There is ELMScan for Toyota for $4.99. I did find an app called Smart Car made by Techstream but it gets 1.0 out of 5 stars so I don't think that's it. Any advice to get Techstream. I hope my battery comes in tomorrow. I'd like to have it installed before the mechanic comes over tomorrow or Saturday.

    I'll keep you guys updated once I get the 12V battery installed and run Dr. Prius and ToyotaSys on it. I'll also keep you updated if I find out the status of the engine. Thank you all again for the much appreciated help.

    Oh! Also, the question about my expectations and the amount of money I'm willing to put in. I see 05 Prius models around $3000-$4000 dollars that I would consider good deals. There are even more expensive 05 models, and some junk for under $3000, but if I get done with under $4000 and I have a new low mileage engine with 132K, a new or good hybrid battery, new 12V battery, good running, and the bumper covers with new clearcoat for $4000 or less, I'm happy then. I have access to a compatible engine with only 132K for $300. I have a friend that will put it in for cheap. I've been offered a good hybrid battery with a one year warranty for $300, if I need it. I have mentioned that I buy and sell cars except this car I'm wanting to make a personal vehicle. My dealer cost on the battery was $62 for the 12V. That is the most expensive battery I've purchased with my dealer price, but much less than the going rate of $200+.

    So, Car $800
    Tow $200
    New Engine $300
    Labor for engine install $200
    12V Battery $62
    Hybrid Battery $300

    TOTAL. $1862

    Maybe it doesn't need a new engine? Maybe the Hybrid battery is ok?

    Paint work will be at most $200

    So, with everything wrong that I can think of, plus then painting the bumper covers

    TOTAL. $2062


    That leaves me room for any surprises. Water pump, suspension problems, brakes. There are always unexpected costs but I'm also hoping that not every single that on my list is bad.
     
  10. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    Congrats on the purchase.
    Lots of fun stuff to learn about hybrids. Once you learn it, then you can hopefully share it with others in your local and online community.

    I've seen your other posts about all kinds of topics.
    People are sharing some good free advice and info with you.

    If you ever want to have a quick chat about Prius feel free to give me a call. 608-729-4082. I have my own shop and work on hybrids for a living.

    It will be more helpful once you have some diagnostic equipment. Although some things you could do ahead of time.

    I'd be curious about the part number and see a pic of the $62 battery.
     
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  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    tech stream = amazon. it is not a phone app
     
  12. ETC(SS)

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

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    Color me envious!

    Can't wait to see how it all works out.
     
  13. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    If you can work on the car yourself, have avvessato cheap used partsp and have another dependable car, then buying a cheap semi-working Prius can be fun.
     
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  14. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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  15. VFerdman

    VFerdman Senior Member

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    Yes, @ChapmanF, you are correct, the term is "ON" mode, not "ACC" mode. I used an incorrect term, but I did say press power button twice without brakes.

    I am attaching a PDF copy of the owner's manual. It's good to at least go through the basics with it.

    To @Tedh1979. You already have the diagnostic tools that will get you started. A bluetooth dongle and some Android apps like Dr. Prius and Torque Pro are fine and will get you where you want to go most of the time. One thing is to make sure you get a good quality dongle. There are some out there that simply do not work due to being total junk. I use this one and it works well. But I also have similar to this I got earlier and it's an example of junk that is useless. Once you have a known good dongle, you should be able to set up Torque to read most of the ECUs on the Prius. Certainly the hybrid battery one and many others. Enough to figure out the hybrid battery and engine situation.

    Techstream is the software Toyota dealers use to interact with their cars in the their shops. That means that it's pretty much the best setup you can get. It's very expensive if bought legitimately (we are talking thousands of $$). It involves buying a cable that connects to the OBDII port and the software itself. Software runs on MS Windows only and it likes the 32 bit versions of OS, though it's not impossible to run it on 64 bit Windows. I have not tried Techstream yet as I have not had a need to do so. I use Torque Pro, Dr. Prius and Hybrid Assistant. That has been enough for me so far, but my car is relatively healthy (with 207+K miles now). You can purchase a Chinese knock-off for the cable on Amazon here. But just as with the crappy OBDII dongle, this has a good chance of simply being junk that does not work. Many people here have had luck with it. I have not tried it (though I own a copy). It comes with an old copy of Techstream that usually also has viruses on it and most people install it on a sand-boxed old laptop that they do not need for anything else. I am sure there is more and better info out there on Techstream. I have not installed or tried it yet. I am sure I will at some point, though.

    As for the hybrid battery charger, you are getting good info. You are simply not understanding it correctly. On board software in the car will protect the battery from getting too low under NORMAL OPERATING CONDITIONS. It can't do much for the battery that is left to sit without being operated in the system and self-discharge. Also, it can't do much if your engine does not start. That engine is the only way software knows of to charge the hybrid battery. If the engine won't start after enough tries the hybrid battery will discharge (hybrid battery is the one that starts the engine, not the 12V) and the software will protect it by not allowing any more engine starting attempts. This is the situation that will require the charger. Prolong sells a grid charger that will do the job. It's expensive and you will also need to buy a harness to wire up to your hybrid battery to use it. It works well and is separate from the discharger, which is used in conjunction with the charger to cycle the battery for conditioning and life prolonging effects. This conditioning is outside the scope of this discussion right now, so you will not need to buy the discharger, just the charger and ONLY if your hybrid battery has fallen below that dreadful level where it won't be able to start the engine properly. Before any of this is discovered you need to know that the engine is capable of being started and run. Does it have oil? Does it have coolant (and while you are checking coolant, does the inverter have coolant and a working water pump, which is separate from the engine water pump. Inverter pump is electric, engine pump is mechanical)? Does it have spark plugs?

    Lastly, a 12V battery in a gen 2 Prius is tiny and the system does not need a lot of amps to start. There is no starter to crank, just a few relays to close and power up some ECUs. So your jump pack should be more than enough to power up the car. You are not getting the codes because they have been erased by disconnected or dead battery (that's a "code reset switch" of sorts). In order for the codes to come back the 12V supply must be constant and conditions under which the codes have been set repeated. If the 12V is interrupted the codes will go away until next time both 12V and conditions that caused the codes are there.
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    I love this thread (including preceding towing dead battery Gen2 comments) and what OP is trying to do. I have no knowledge nor ability to help the OP's effort, but enjoy reading the comments by others and learning more about Prius and car repairs in general. Good luck with your endeavor.

    That said, shouldn't this thread be moved to Gen2 forum to get more people with experience with this car to see it?
     
    #16 Salamander_King, Apr 5, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2019
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  17. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

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    A lot of your confusion is actually a result of your own actions. You have posted questions in many different threads without giving full detail of the car and it’s problems. Currently you have absolutely zero idea what the state of charge of the traction battery is. ZERO. you need to figure things like that out first before asking for help. And 62 dollars for a Prius battery? Is it used or something?

    You also mentioned you have Dr Prius and torque pro. Do have a reader that works with those? I have never used either but I think both of them can tell you the state of charge of the battery pack. Just disconnect the old battery so it doesn’t draw down your jump pack and hit the start button twice with your foot off the brake. That will start the computers. Don’t expect any codes though. Most get erased when the car has no 12 v power.

    You said you never tried to start the car but I’m pretty sure many of the people before you did.
     
    #17 Skibob, Apr 5, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2019
  18. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

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  19. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I'm not sure it's quite that bad really. If you go for the cable that Toyota actually tests and recommends (Drew Technologies' Mongoose Pro), that piece of hardware is a little under $500. There are less expensive J2534 cables available that will also work, and it's not illegitimate to use one, you just won't have Toyota support if it doesn't work.

    As for the software itself, your license to use it goes with the 'professional' or higher level of subscription at techinfo.toyota.com, which is priced at $1295 for a year, or $65 for a two-day period. If the shorter period is all you need, that's not really any worse than you'll pay the dealer to drink their coffee while they use their copy. Well, of course you also need to scrounge a Windows laptop to run it on.

    If you have a need for the year subscription, and you want the Toyota-blessed Mongoose Pro dongle, you can save money the first year with their bundle (first year of subscription and the $500 dongle, for some number I don't remember exactly, but less than $1295 + $500).

    So yeah, it's not down at the low-price end of the available options, but also not as awful as it's sometimes made to sound.
     
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  20. Tedh1979

    Tedh1979 Member

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    When one user says that one bar on the display will start my engine, another user says the batteries rarely ever go below 20%, and another user says that my battery is probably dead from sitting too long, then how is that a result of my own actions? I'm on here seeking information and most is good information and some of it is contradicting. I've already known how to turn the ACC on by hitting the power switch twice with no foot on the brake. I've known this before I ever looked at a Prius. And you're probably right that others have probably tried to start it. Read my next post for 12V battery problems. Yes you're right about the $62 battery. I buy a lot of batteries from one place and from one guy. He is simple minded and when he said $62, I was like, SOLD! A usual battery from there is about $30-40 for my cost. They look new but must be reconditioned. They are dependable and last about three years. I used to buy batteries from Crown Battery which also sold nice "looking" batteries. They are batteries for car dealers to install to sell cars. But they barely last a year so I stopped buying them.

    @VFerdman Thank you for all the information! I'll try to answer your advice and questions in order. As far as a Bluetooth OBDII scanner, I went on the Dr. Prius app and read a long post that basically went into detail about what scanners would work with his software and what scanners didn't work with his software. He said even some that worked, didn't work as well as others. My scanner was cheap, but it was what he recommended. If it goes out or I need a better one in the future, I'll get a better one.

    I now understand that Techstream is a PC diagnostic program. I have a MacBook Pro and HATE Windows based operating systems now. I got tired of the automatic 6 hour updates that would occur without my permission. I got tired of viruses. I don't enjoy the layout. I used to love Windows and sold a ton of Windows computers when I owned a computer business. So, I have no plans to get Techstream. Hopefully Dr. Prius, Torque Pro, Hybrid Assistant, and ToyotaSys will be enough to help me. Yes I understand that my HV battery should be fine under NORMAL OPERATING CONDITIONS. I have a bad feeling about that. I turned my jump pack on today to give the Prius enough juice to open the hatchback. Then I turned the jump pack off. The hatchback lining was crammed full of leaves and tree debris. It is clear now that I was getting crooked advice from a knock off wannabe Prolong battery charger. He told me to NEVER discharge the HV battery, yet Prolong sells a kit TO discharge the HV battery. I honestly do not know ANYTHING about how to maintain a HV battery as this is my first Hybrid car. I don't know what discharging or conditioning even means or what is the purpose, but I asked a user that should know, and I have been reading and trying to learn about it. A mechanic is coming over tomorrow at noon to look at the engine on the Prius. I don't know if he knows anything about the inverter part of it all, but hopefully he can diagnose the engine and oil leak.

    I am positive that I can remove the HV battery, replace cells with new, and re-install. My cousin did this with my help before there was even a good YouTube video that explained the process in amazing detail. My cousin has offered to help me do this job if I need his help. He has had 4 Prius cars and now has a 2017 Camry Hybrid. He knows a decent amount about HV batteries but knows nothing about the engines, inverters, or anything else. He is blessed with a lot of money and he sells his cars before they usually need anything major.

    I am getting ready to make my next post below. Thank you for the help!
     
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