Tow Truck Driver Reverse Polarity Jumpstart

Discussion in 'Generation 1 Prius Discussion' started by Cleoprius, Dec 27, 2021.

  1. Cleoprius

    Cleoprius New Member

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    1. An AAA tow truck driver kept trying to charge my 2002 Prius's dead 12v battery (with a portable battery) for about ten minutes although the alarm system was sounding. I didn't realize until days later he could have unknowingly caused additional damage to the car.
    2. Toyota service department said 3 fuses were blown and kept blowing after being replaced. They said they'd have to charge $675 for an electrical diagnosis to look for a short somewhere. I said to go ahead if the electrical diagnosis would be comprehensive.
    3. They found the 100 amp fuse was blown and estimated it would cost more than $1500 to replace that fuse (but didn't explain why). However, the electrical diagnosis wasn't actually finished; they wanted the 12v battery replaced plus the $1500+ fee to replace the 100 amp fuse before proceeding with their electrical diagnosis.
    4. A technician wrote up an estimate that also included replacing the hybrid batteries for $3200 even though the service advisor had texted me earlier that the hybrid batteries tested okay. (The aux battery would need to be replaced, I know.) There was no written report provided of what had been done up until then.
    5. Now another service advisor won't get back to me about why the hybrid batteries would need to be replaced. (I realize I don't know how the status of the hybrid batteries would be determined if the 12v battery is dead.)
    6. Could continuing to jump start the Prius for ten minutes have caused additional damage to the car? Could electricity have been forced past the 100 amp fuse to sound the alarm system and damaged anything else?
    7) I think I'd had less than 165,000 miles on the Prius, so I had thought if the only problem was a dead 12v battery, I could keep the car going for another year during this time of very high car prices. But if it does appear the tow truck driver unknowingly damaged the car beyond the 100 amp fuse, what conditions should I ask AAA or the local dispatching company to meet to make good on the damage?

    I'd welcome other thoughts about this situation, too.
     
  2. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    If I remember right, it is just no fun at all to get to. You can see it (which makes Gen 3 owners jealous), but its legs are still bolted down, so for access its whole little module (82620B here) needs to be extracted from the disassembled fuse box, for access to the bolts on the side into the fuse legs.

    [​IMG]

    As for the actual fuse that goes in that module, I haven't found the part number as easily as I hoped. In the top left of that drawing, showing the top view of the fuse box, I think it is the circled (12). That says to see a different figure 82-02 and look for a PNC 82210C. Ok, so I can find that diagram ...

    [​IMG]

    ... but it turns out the PNC 82210C is just used to mean any big-nice-person fuse, and you have to scroll down to all the 82210Cs in the list and try to find the right one, and I see a couple different part numbers for 120 amp ones, but I do not see the 100 amp one offhand. (My 2001 wiring diagram does agree with your mechanic and say that one should be 100 amps.)

    Sometimes @Elektroingenieur is able to find stuff like that when it stumps me.

    As you can see, none of the fuses should be much more than 10 or 20 bucks, it's just the tedium of getting that fuse box disassembled to change the thing, multiplied by $100 an hour or whatever your shop's rate is.

    $1500 still seems too high ... tedious job, yes, but 15 hours??
     
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  3. ammdb

    ammdb Member

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    Reversed jumper cables will pop the 100A and other fuses. The fuse should have done its job and protected the DC to DC converter. I'd say $1,500 isn't the cost to replace the fuse, they're trying to get you to buy a new car. The fuse is cheap and you can replace it yourself but it's not an easy job. Perhaps a different dealer or reputable independent mechanic will replace it for a reasonable price.

    Reversed jumper cables blew 100A fuse in engine compartment | PriusChat

    You're right, engine codes can't be read until the 100A fuse is fixed. If the car was driving okay without any warning lights the main battery should still be good.
     
    #3 ammdb, Dec 27, 2021
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2021
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  4. ammdb

    ammdb Member

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  5. Elektroingenieur

    Elektroingenieur Senior Member

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    I don’t know why SimplePart omits it from their version on parts.toyota.com, but the 100 A fuse is in the catalog data published by Toyota:

    90982-08246 X 200005-999999 000001 NHW11 100A,TERM.:MALE,BLUE

    This fuse is used on many other Toyota models, including Prius c, and there are many pictures on the Web. One dealer near me claims to have them in stock; the list price is $12.64.
    That looks similar to Toyota’s, which is probably a PEC SBFC-BT series (data sheet, drawing, time-current curves).
     
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  6. WHCSC

    WHCSC Member

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    Shouldn't AAA be covering the cost to repair their mistake?
     
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  7. Georgina Rudkus

    Georgina Rudkus Senior Member

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    To be a AAA affiliate, they must have to be covered by liability insurance. As I recall, most commercial business liability policies have a $1,000 deductible.
     
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  8. Cleoprius

    Cleoprius New Member

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    A Toyota service advisor is now telling me the hybrid battery failed after they got the car running for 30 minutes (but I hadn't authorized fixing the 100 amp fuse). Does that make sense? How could the car have been running again with a blown 100 amp fuse? (And he had initially said the hybrid batteries checked okay.)

    When I asked him to check the $1548.24 charge for the 100 amp fuse, he wrote: The fuse runs through the bottom of the junction box, which requires the removal of the hybrid IPM (power module) to remove the junction box to replace the fuse.??? The power module? Is that right?
     
    #8 Cleoprius, Dec 28, 2021
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 28, 2021
  9. Cleoprius

    Cleoprius New Member

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    AAA requires the completion of forms to estimate the cost of all the damage. I don't have that information unless I go ahead and approve everything and I still don't know if they've checked everything that might have been damaged. I also need to see if the affiliate will propose doing something else.
     
  10. ammdb

    ammdb Member

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    The fuse protects the DC to DC converter, which charges the 12V battery. Might be possible to start the car and have it run for a little while until the 12V battery is drained. Still this isn't the time to check the hybrid battery, since the car needs a good 12V to report proper diagnostic codes.

    I changed the 100A fuse in my '01 without any prior experience. It took a few hours and the part cost less than two dollars. It's tricky to get to the screw down terminals, which does require pulling out what the manual calls the 'Engine room J/B' (fuse box). I didn't have to remove anything else.
     
  11. ammdb

    ammdb Member

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    If AAA will pay to have the fuse replaced, then it may not matter how much it cost. Once the car is running you can take it home. If you don't have any warning lights on the dash, then the hybrid battery is okay.
     
  12. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    The inverter (the big silver "Toyota Hybrid System" box in Gen 1) is bolted down beside the fuse box, and maybe getting it out of the way there makes the fuse box disassembly a little easier. I wouldn't picture them doing much more than taking the mounting bolts out and shoving the box a bit out of the way.
     
  13. ammdb

    ammdb Member

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    I agree, the service department must be charging labor to remove the inverter to get the fuse junction box out. This might be the proper procedure, but seams like a ridiculous design to put so much labor into replacing a fuse. The fuse box comes out without removing anything else, it just take a whole lot of cursing. :)
     
  14. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    When they're on the clock, you pay for the cursing too.

    I decided pretty early in my wrenching experience not to spend too much energy trying to work contortedly around something that takes four bolts to move out of the way.

    Still, I don't think I'd be doing anything like taking the inverter completely out. Just unbolting and shoving it to the side, or propping it up on a board as some folks do for access to a pump beneath it, ought to be enough.
     
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  15. Cleoprius

    Cleoprius New Member

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    I'm waiting for AAA to decide what to do but the longer nothing is done by the service department to charge the hybrid batteries, the greater the chances the batteries will die and not be able to recover. The extremely high charge for replacing the 100 amp fuse, charging $675 for an electrical diagnosis they're saying can't be completed without paying them that additional $1500+ charge, and not answering questions for ten days about why they oddly thought the hybrid batteries should be replaced further delayed preserving the HV batteries.

    Can the hybrid batteries be saved if they had initially checked okay but they're not charged despite requests to charge them?
     
  16. ammdb

    ammdb Member

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    The car can sit for months on end without being driven and it won't hurt the hybrid battery, there's really nothing to worry about.
     
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  17. BlastFromThePast

    BlastFromThePast New Member

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    In traditional cars there is a diode that prevents the ignition relays from turning on if the polarity is reversed. Other always on stuff could potentially be damaged still. The 100A fuse in the Prius must be the equivalent of the alternator fuse or fusible link in a traditional car. I assume the presence of the diode is to the protect portions of the vehicle that are covered by the power train warranty. If your keyless entry isn't covered by the warranty, then they probably don't care if it gets fried by user error.

    Whatever is behind those 3 fuses that keep blowing got damaged or destroyed by the reversed polarity. Modern cars have a lot more digital stuff that is always on even when the ignition is off. For instance, the interior lighting is no longer just a switch on the door and a light, it's a module that dims the lights and turns them on from the locking module that responds to the key fob, and that module will be damaged from reverse polarity if it does not have protection designed in to it. Those modules will need to be replaced or repaired. If you go on a trip to the junk yard to get new parts, you could get the 100A fuse and whatever else there.

    So the Prius has a feature where the alarm is powered by the hybrid batteries, and disconnecting (or improperly charging) the 12V battery will sound the car alarm? That seems like what was going on, and if so that's a nice feature!

    The shop might be wanting you to replace the hybrid batteries so that they can have a fairly good spare set around that came out of your car, which they can sell to someone else. In fact, they may be already doing this to you.

    This repair could potentially require a lot of labor including pulling replacement modules from junked cars. Since this place seems to already be trying to scam you, I suggest find a place that has better rates.
     
    #17 BlastFromThePast, Dec 30, 2021
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2021
  18. ammdb

    ammdb Member

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    The car is at a Toyota service center. Toyota never sells or installs used modules, only complete packs with new modules.
     
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  19. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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  20. BlastFromThePast

    BlastFromThePast New Member

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    Well they appear to by trying to scam the customer with an unnecessary hybrid battery repair. Somebody might go home with a used hybrid battery pack that is in fairly good condition.

    Well the alarm has to get power from somewhere. As long as the alarm was working, then the 12V battery still had positive Voltage in it and things weren't being damaged. The battery would have gone reverse polarity after the alarm stopped then. Or could it be an after market alarm with its own battery?
     
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