Triangle of Death

Discussion in 'Prius v Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by SSimon, Oct 29, 2020.

  1. SSimon

    SSimon Active Member

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    Hi All,

    I have an '06, well maintained Prius by a Toyotal dealership since purchase. I had front end damage in August due to a road tire hitting my under-carriage. Gerber Auto "fixed" the damage and upon picking up the car I the car threw P0A93. Gerber then filled the inverter coolant and I was on my way.

    Fast forward to a couple days ago. I'm driving and all is well. I pull in a gas station to fill my tires with air due to the low tire pressure light lit. I pulled in the parking spot and put the car in reverse to "right" my parking when the car made a high pitched alarm noise and the dash lit up with the Brake Light, Red Triangle, VSC, ABS, exclamation mark with a circle around it and parentheses around the circle, the tire warning light (which was already lit before the other lights lit up) and on the MFD display a car with an exclamation mark lit up.

    I dropped my car at the dealership and they say they find nothing wrong with it and that they found 2 codes thrown -C1241 and P0A08. They said the auxiliary battery showed a drop in the voltage to just over 10 and could be what cause the issue. Today the battery tests fine. Note - I had my heat and headlights on but in no time that this occurred was my car just sitting for any time. I drove around 25 minutes before the event and was not stationary at the gas station when the event occurred.

    I asked them to check whatever would throw P0A93 code (which I understand to be the inverter fluid) just in case Gerber's work wasn't completed correctly and continued to be a problem.

    They checked everything out and find nothing wrong (which I find to be an unreasonable answer in light of the dash lighting up like this). Any ideas?

    PS my hybrid battery was replaced a few years ago by the same Toyota dealer.
     
  2. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    The POA93 is your inverter water pump which commonly means it is failing but if it was low in fluid might have been the problem. Check the inverter coolant reservoir for signs of fluid movement and to ensure you are not losing coolant.

    9BDDBC58-E975-4E9F-B5B1-C4609B2570A3.jpeg
     
  3. SSimon

    SSimon Active Member

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    Gerber said there was a "bubble" that threw the POA93 code in August. They fixed this in August and corrected the fluid level. There have been no issues since until the other day and the car threw those two new codes I referenced in my OP. Toyota checked the inverter fluid and engine coolant and both are at required levels.
     
  4. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    P0A93 is Inverter Cooling System Performance.
    There are 2 subcodes that try to help distinguish which section is the culprit.
    This can be the fan portion of the system or the cooling water pump flow portion of the system.

    Most often, the code is due to the icw pump failing. Keep in mind that "Most often" doesn't mean every time.
     
  5. SSimon

    SSimon Active Member

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    Would a failed Inverter cause the car to light up 2 months after the POA93 code was thrown and now cause only codes C1241 and P0A08 to be thrown (which are the only codes currently)?
     
  6. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    You said the dealer found nothing wrong currently. If you still had an active POA08 dc to dc converter code they wouldn't say there is nothing currently wrong. So I would assume there are no active codes. You may have to wait for it to happen again.
     
  7. SSimon

    SSimon Active Member

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    I guess I wasn't clear - apologies. Also, I see I posted in the wrong forum. I have an '06 not a V. I'm hoping you have some input as it's clear something is wrong to have the dash light up as it did.

    To clarify:

    The POA93 code was thrown in August '20, due to Gerber Auto Collision messing up the car. I brought the car back to them after the dash blew up with lights. The POA93 code was discovered and they then corrected the inverter fluid level. The car has had no issues since.

    Except:

    A few days ago when my car made a high pitched alarm noise and the dash lit up with the same light as when the August issue occurred: Brake Light, Red Triangle, VSC, ABS, exclamation mark with a circle around it and parentheses around the circle, the tire warning light and MFD display lit up with a car with an exclamation mark in the car image. I now just brought the car to the dealer who finds nothing wrong to cause the dash to light up like this HOWEVER codes C1241 AND POA08 were now thrown. They only "issue" they found was a drop in the auxiliary battery voltage to just over 10 but they tested the current state of the battery and said it currently tests fine. Since the battery now tests fine, they said this shouldn't be the culprit for the dash lights to blow up as they did. The auxiliary battery is almost 3 years old.

    My concern is that they can find nothing wrong when it's clear something is wrong to have the dash light up like that. Have you any idea what would cause the dash to light up as it did?
     
  8. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    The codes that are not active often stay until they are cleared. I assume you checked the inverter coolant for flow. Its possible the low battery caused your problem or the inverter is intermittently not charging the battery. If its all good now it may be a waiting game. You could check the battery voltage before starting and after to ensure it is going up, indicating its charging. See below. In the video he states his weak battery caused the triangle alert. Sometimes a weak battery does fine until it is accidentally discharged by a hatch light left on or similar. I would say an initial resting voltage of 12.0 v is acceptable rather than a minimum of 12.4 he mentions. Otherwise, if you think the dealer was negligent and purposely ignored an active code, you could go to another dealer.

     
    #8 rjparker, Oct 30, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2020
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  9. SSimon

    SSimon Active Member

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    Hi there, RJ. This was super helpful. Thanks so much. I followed his exact instructions and the voltage was 12.0 or better until I performed step 3, whereby I put my foot on the brake and fully powered the car. Then the voltage went to 13.9. The heat was on and the lights were on. Does it sound like the auxiliary batter is the culprit or does the voltage sound about right in this state?

    Concerning the inverter flow, I have to rely on the dealer as I'd have no idea how to even check this. I did mention the prior inverter code to them as well as ask them to look for any electrical shorts and check the fluid and they said all is ok there.
     
  10. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Before you go to Ready, you are running on the aux battery alone. As soon as you go to Ready, the inverter is supplying the "12v" as if it was an alternator, eg carrying the "12v" loads by converting some of the hv battery voltage. So when you saw 13.9v you were seeing the inverter working as designed, carrying the "12v" loads and charging the aux battery.

    The inverter has its own coolant system and its own reservoir. And it has its own inverter coolant pump. See post 2 pic above for the reservoir location.. All you do is open the cap and look in while the car is in Ready. You can see the fluid moving.
     
  11. SSimon

    SSimon Active Member

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    Got it. Thanks a bunch. I’ll check it tomorrow and let you know. Thank you!
     
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