Traction batteries low when on freeway

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Andrew_Ph, Apr 27, 2020.

  1. Andrew_Ph

    Andrew_Ph Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2017
    45
    3
    0
    Location:
    MI,USA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    II
    I recently replaced the front wheel bearings and other front end stuff, so when at the same time the batteries were having a difficult time staying out of the low end of the on screen graph, i thought it might be because the old bearings caused to much drag on the engine, but turns out problem still there when I jump on the freeway and dont throttle back heavily, or go over 65 mph. They can be as low as 20% for quite awhile, and sometimes even sitting idly, doesnt automatically bring it back up to 50%. (And never ever gets into the green now). No on screen warning or codes about traction batteries though.
    From Torque: I have noticed that:
    doesnt charge until gets as low as 40%, then charges up to 43.5%.
    There is an engine code: a-camshaft position timing over-retarded. I assume related to the obviously detectable valve clearance and/or camchain problem.
    Checking to see if the charging system is working properly i get:
    high voltage (HV) current 20amps while freeway speeds, 85A while braking, 100A while coasting down from high speeds.
    HV (battery) power 5.4kW, 23kW, and 25kW respectively.
    also the MG1 shows 15hp output, and MG2 30hp.
    So I assume it must be some of the traction batteries. Some are consistently slightly lower than others, but most about the same, I think it was 15 or 16 something volts each.
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    90,531
    40,653
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    sounds normal for a 13 year old battery
     
    SFO likes this.
  3. SFO

    SFO Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
    3,488
    3,498
    0
    Location:
    Northern California
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Might think about a top balance on the HV battery before something goes south. Have you had a chance to peek inside the pack yet?
     
    Frank1234 and jerrymildred like this.
  4. davecook89t

    davecook89t Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2016
    868
    619
    0
    Location:
    Washington State, Florida
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius
    Model:
    Four Touring
    I'm not sure I agree. The sign of a weak HV battery is rapidly going from a full charge (80%) to a full discharge (40%) and back again to a full charge, not being stuck at a low level of charge.

    OP, will the display show 6 or 7 bars if you force-charge it?

    We had an issue with our Gen 2 not charging the HV battery when (through an oversight) we had different size tires on our front wheels vs. the back wheels. When we got onto the highway and got above ~55 mph, the Traction Control light came on and the HV battery began to discharge. Once we replaced the rear tires to match the front tires, the problem went away. Having had that experience, I have to wonder if even having a different level of wear on the same size tires front vs. back might cause something like that, but I would expect to see the TC light come on if such were the case. OP, your car wouldn't happen to be showing the Traction Control light when it gets above a certain speed, would it?
     
  5. kenoarto

    kenoarto Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    1,386
    363
    0
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    II
    You want the bar smack dab in the middle, not up in the green bars.
    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
    davecook89t likes this.
  6. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    5,043
    2,719
    0
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    When you are coming down a long grade with foot off the gas (and if required, a bit of brake pedal applied to hold your speed), it is possible and desirable to get in the green. You could also get in the green if you get a lot of stopping for red lights when doing anticipatory braking on the highway.

    On a healthy battery, 6 bars (3rd from the top and top blue bar) is where the car likes to keep it.
     
  7. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    8,773
    4,043
    0
    Location:
    Clearwater, Florida
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Battery sounds exactly like mine at 13 years old. Post mileage on your car. Your hybrid battery is on life support. The hybrid battery is no longer supplying sufficient power to the car so you have to drive the engine much much harder so keep an eye on the engine oil level. When the hybrid battery no longer contributes power the engine has to supply all the power. soon you will have to floor it to go anywhere.

    You can buy a Prolong hybrid battery Charger and bring it back to life. If not you will be one of thousands who need a new battery or rebuilt there battery. Use search forum tab up top and search hybrid battery to see what we are all going through.

    Im on my third year of Prolong charging. if you get to the battery before it throws the RTOD red triangle of death it can respond very well to a discharge/charge and get you another year or 2. If it throws that too late time for rebuild.
     
    #7 edthefox5, Apr 28, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2020
    Frank1234 and Aaron Vitolins like this.
  8. Andrew_Ph

    Andrew_Ph Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2017
    45
    3
    0
    Location:
    MI,USA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    II
    So by doing it myself you mean heavily discharge and recharge each of the 14 modules (28 cells) a few times with an RC NiMH charger? mileage is over 400,000.
    Actually its getting even worse than that. Sometimes the engine gets completely out of sync and disconnected from the driveshaft (and charging) so bad, I have to turn the car off and on again to reset it.
    The VSC and roundish symbol are on constantly now, and it doesnt let me use cruise control, although the ABS light is not on.
    If i try a code reset, it goes off for a second, then bad red vehicle! and battery stuff on LCD, and back to same. I think it knows the traction battery pack is not responding properly.
     
  9. Andrew_Ph

    Andrew_Ph Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2017
    45
    3
    0
    Location:
    MI,USA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    II
    It can get up to the middle blue after sitting and charging, but usually much lower. I dont have any hills of any size nearby.
    Driving and decelerating is much worse. Seems the faster you go, the more it wants to use the electric motor and not use it for charging, although i would think it could still use the smaller generator.
     
    #9 Andrew_Ph, May 6, 2020
    Last edited: May 6, 2020
  10. Andrew_Ph

    Andrew_Ph Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2017
    45
    3
    0
    Location:
    MI,USA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    II
    I mistakenly had that problem when I still had the snow tires on front and summer tires on back, but no, now thats not a problem. It wouldnt let me go more than about 30mph.
     
  11. Andrew_Ph

    Andrew_Ph Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2017
    45
    3
    0
    Location:
    MI,USA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    II
    So this brings me to another question, yes, i have the back seat off, and the metal case off. I dont see any problem with the voltage on any of the cells. So I want to find out the Ah or KWh capacity of each cell, how would i go about doing that?
     
  12. SFO

    SFO Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
    3,488
    3,498
    0
    Location:
    Northern California
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Think we've found the problem. If you have warning lights on the dash, then you have DTCs (codes) stored in the ECUs.

    Once you have scanned and recorded the OBD2 codes (DTCs), post them in this thread for further guidance.
     
  13. SFO

    SFO Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
    3,488
    3,498
    0
    Location:
    Northern California
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    You can do the above via either of the options below (and there are others) :

    Many here prefer to use toyota dealer grade software to scan for OBD2 codes or repair. Buy a mini-vci cable and use a copy of techstream (dealer software) on a device that is windows and usb compatible, or you can also emulate such.

    If the above is too much, consider a OBD2 blue tooth adapter with an app like Hybrid Assistant/Reporter or the app Dr Prius/Hybrid, or Torque
     
  14. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    5,043
    2,719
    0
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    That would be 14 Blocks (28 modules). Each module has 6 cells, but you cannot get to them.
     
  15. Andrew_Ph

    Andrew_Ph Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2017
    45
    3
    0
    Location:
    MI,USA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    II
    The only code I get consistantly is P0012 camshaft timing, which doesnt surprise me.

    For a moment I was getting:
    P0A08/09 DC/DC converter status/circuit low, but that may be because I use a LiPO 12v battery instead of the expensive AGM one, and it can get really low if you left an interior light on or something.
    P0A9C hybrid battery high temp. May be because i had the metal cover off and the fan shroud missing and warm interior.
    P3000 battery smart module - unable to recharge during normal operating procedures. this one makes the most sense, but like i said it only came up once.
    I think now that i have been reconditioning the batteries a little, things have gotten a little better.
     
  16. Andrew_Ph

    Andrew_Ph Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2017
    45
    3
    0
    Location:
    MI,USA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    II
    That only tells you the voltage, state of charge, and internal resisitance, not the remaining capacity or power of each module.
     
  17. Andrew_Ph

    Andrew_Ph Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2017
    45
    3
    0
    Location:
    MI,USA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    II

    I have used a discharge/charge cycle on a few of the modules that show the lowest voltage while travelling.
    going something like:
    M11 initial voltage 15.87
    1st discharge 190mAh
    1st charge 990mAh
    2nd d 730
    c 1266
    3rd d 723
    c 1150
    end voltage 16.3V

    so far I have done modules 7,12,11,10,and 3.
    seems to improve a little, but i still get the ((!)) and VSC. And also red battery and car ! on the LCD when i try a code reset, but those are only there until i restart the car.
     
  18. Frank1234

    Frank1234 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2020
    137
    60
    0
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    ----USA----
    I will try a top balance if you can get you hands on a grip charger, I did it on my 06 because i feel the same about my car before now after the grip charger top balance several times I can archive real easy 6 bars and even green bars, I will take a look inside the hybrid pack just to make sure the bus bars are not in need of a good clean, something else if you do the grip charge you can drain the hybrid pack lower than 40% just by putting the car on N and will help to archive a better results, just be careful no to damage a cell by going way to low, I used dr Prius app to help the process, my battery before top balance was 27% and now after bus bars clean and top balance it’s now 59% battery capacity left according to dr Prius app.
     
    #18 Frank1234, May 11, 2020
    Last edited: May 11, 2020
  19. Andrew_Ph

    Andrew_Ph Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2017
    45
    3
    0
    Location:
    MI,USA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    II
    yeah i did the bus bar clean and reomved and washed some of the nuts. not sure what a grip charger is or where to get one.
     
  20. Frank1234

    Frank1234 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2020
    137
    60
    0
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    ----USA----
    I have my from hybrid automotive, not cheap but it will extend the life of you already aged hybrid battery as long you still have good cells, (if you have dead cells it will not help), so what it does it balance the battery (top balance) and it eliminates the memory effect on the hybrid battery pack create because the car only charge-discharge 40% to 80% on Toyota, if you don’t buy the discharger you still can discharge under 40% just by putting the car on “N” just monitor the volts of the cells with dr Prius app.
     

    Attached Files:

Loading...