Trying to keep my 2008 Prius on the road...

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by Diane Nesom, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. Diane Nesom

    Diane Nesom New Member

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    Hello,

    I'm Diane and my car is Max. I've been stalking this site for a while but I only joined up a day or so ago because I am fighting, with a pretty low budget, to keep Max on the road :( Max is a red, 2008 prius with just over 224k miles under his belt. I think I bought him used around 2-3 years ago...maybe 3-4 years ago and he already had A LOT of miles on him at the time. He's currently experiencing some hybrid system issues. I have Torque Pro but my reader is failing (according to Torque Pro) so I have a new one arriving on Thursday.

    I'm ignorant of the posting protocol here :/ Can I follow up to this thread and post the issues that I am having or should I post in the Gen 2 troubleshooting forum?

    Kind Regards,
    Diane
     
  2. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    Glad you have come out of the shadows.
    We'll be glad to help you.

    Go ahead and keep posting on here for now. I'm sure mods will move it if they feel that is necessary.

    Getting torque Pro was a good idea.
    Sometimes it can be fussy to get some of the lower cost bluetooth readers to communicate properly.
    You may have to go into the settings on your phone's bluetooth as well as in the torque app settings in order for things to work right.
    Use your phone's bluetooth setup to pair the reader with your phone.
    In torque app go to gear icon in the corner >Settings > OBD2 Adapter Settings> Choose Bluetooth device.
     
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  3. Diane Nesom

    Diane Nesom New Member

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    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
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    N/A
    History of Issue:


    On 11/17/17, while on the freeway, my dash lit up light a Christmas tree, very low power, and it seemed to stall so I pulled over, turned it off, restarted, and according to mobile tech #1 I limped it home in "safe mode". Basically, I could drive a little way and then the gear lights would flash, I'd lose power, and the car would "stall" for lack of better terms. I got it home and had mobile mechanic #1 come out on 11/21. He pulled some codes (which I don't have) and "rebooted" the prius and I was back on the road until 11/26 when the dash lit up again BUT, this time, the car was still running seemingly OK but the hybrid intake fan was on ALL the time. I had mobile mechanic #2 come out on 11/29 and he pulled codes (which I don't have and I know that's not helpful) and he said that most were pointing to a bad hybrid battery - something about inconsistent voltage and he did reference code POA80 as being one of the codes thrown out. On 12/1, I had a battery rebuilder come out (because after looking on the forum for how to do it myself I decided against that) and together, we swapped out my failing battery with his rebuilt one (and cleaned out the hybrid intake fan while we were up in there) and I was back on the road with no dash lights til the evening of 12/3...when the dash lit up again BUT the car was/is running OK. On Monday, I had mobile mechanic #2 come out again to pull codes (and again, I don't have them - shame on me) and he said the codes referenced a communication loss. He didn't actively clear out any of the codes but said my car's computer system cleared out those codes after he looked at them so, the dash was fine and the car was running OK. The rebuilt battery guy also got back to me and confirmed that several of the cells on my old battery were misbehaving but now I have the rebuilt battery in the car. Last night, I got Torque Pro (based on things I read on this forum) and tried to get it working with an old BT reader that a friend gave me (because I am spending WAY too much on having people come out just to read codes) but the app said the reader was throwing errors so I ordered a new reader, from Amazon (with high ratings) which should be delivered on Thurs. This morning, I went to take the car to work and the hybrid battery intake fan is back on ALL the time. I chose to leave it at home this morning since I don’t want to risk overheating the rebuilt battery that we just installed :/

    History of Semi-Major Repairs:

    8/5/2017 - water pump replaced
    6/18/2015 - serpentine/drive belt replacement, front brake pads and rotors
    June/2015 - replaced 12v aux battery

    Other notes:

    I did use the onboard diagnostic screen to check the 12v and my friend (with the same car) said that he thought what I was seeing was good. It is only 2.5 years old after all…

    I currently have a rebuilt HV battery in the car that comes with a 1-year warranty and I am in active communication with the rebuilder about my ongoing issues but I really don’t feel like it is the battery.

    With the HV battery intake fan on again (all the time and I’m in the Bay Area, CA so...it’s pretty temperate all the time), I was reading about the inverter :/

    With the “loss of communication” codes, I’m a little concerned that maybe it’s an ECU issue.

    Current Plan of Action:

    Wait for my newly ordered reader to arrive
    Try to get it hooked up and working with my Torque Pro
    Hopefully get some codes to post here and see what you folks think…
     
  4. strawbrad

    strawbrad http://minnesotahybridbatteries.com

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    The HV battery fan runs on high when the battery is too hot. There really is nothing else that will cause the fan to run on high.

    Brad
     
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  5. Diane Nesom

    Diane Nesom New Member

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    Yes, but I thought the inverter or something related to this is what is responsible for cooling the battery. I agree that I think the battery is overheating but I don't think the battery itself is the issue because it's a newly rebuilt battery. I think the issue may lie in whatever system is primary system for cooling the HV battery. The intake fan is just for additional cooling needs (as I understand it).
     
  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome diane!

    don't discount the battery because it is newly rebuilt, keep an open mind. battery rebuilds fail early and often.
    only a new toyota battery would be 99.9% immune to early failure.
     
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  7. strawbrad

    strawbrad http://minnesotahybridbatteries.com

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    The only system for cooling the HV battery is the fan. The inverter has nothing to do with cooling the battery.

    Brad
     
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  8. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

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    If you had a bad inverter coolant pump the car would shut down (no power) when the inverter got too hot. Once it cooled down the car would operate normally--until the inverter got too hot... You are not experiencing those symptoms.

    Rebuilt batteries are built out of old cells. The newest Gen 2 cells are 7 years old. You have (another) failing traction battery. You'll soon discover how good the seller's warranty is.

    The only way to get brand new cells is to buy a new battery from a Toyota dealer or the kit from member 2k1toaster. Either way some assembly is required.
     
  9. Diane Nesom

    Diane Nesom New Member

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    Could there possibly be something else wrong with the prius which is damaging the battery and making it overheat? I am aware of the failure risk with a rebuild, it's just that, mobile mechanic #1 actually claimed to have checked the hybrid battery and said it was just fine right before he "rebooted" the car. He claimed that the other codes that he got were related to the catalytic converter.(That was referring to the original battery in my car.) Since then, the rebuilder has confirmed that my previous battery did indeed need a facelift. Subsequently, mobile mechanic #2 said that his codes all pointed to a failing HV battery (which is why I swapped with the rebuilt) and he said something about the other codes were related to the inverter. It's all the "other codes" that are leading me to feel like something, *in addition* to the battery, is misbehaving.

    I have reached out to my rebuilder to advise him of the overheating issue. He has been very thoughtful and accommodating. He is working on another rebuild to try in the car as well as having offered to make a special trip out to me tonight to pull codes from the car but, since I am borrowing a car for the time being, I'll just wait for the reader to arrive tomorrow night and hope I can get it working. If I knew, for a fact, that the *only* major thing wrong was the battery, then I would cough up for a brand new battery but I'm simply not yet convinced that the battery is the only thing misbehaving right now and I don't want to spend that much on a new battery only to discover there are other relatively serious things wrong as well. I was hoping that the rebuilt battery would buy me time to figure out if anything else is wrong or if it is, indeed, just the battery.
     
  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i agree, a car with a quarter million miles is probably not worth a new battery, even if it is the problem. you'll just be fixing something else expensive soon after.
     
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  11. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

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    When you retrieve the DTC we'll have a better idea of what's going on. Without codes it is just speculation.
     
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  12. RCO

    RCO Senior Member

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    From everything I've read, I am not convinced that the two mechanics who are telling you what they're found are not serving you well. Perhaps they believe they understand what's going on with your car, but it is just possible at least one of them is selling you snake oil. There, now I've gone and said it. Beware!
     
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  13. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Sometimes the rebuilder has the best intentions but the product is just not working. Try another battery and see if things improve
     
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  14. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    From the symptoms, it really does sound like it's the hybrid battery. BUT! The codes will tell the story. Be sure to look for any sub codes to help pinpoint the problem. Don't rule out the rebuilt battery or anything else till you get those DTCs.
     
  15. Diane Nesom

    Diane Nesom New Member

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    Yes...this is why I ordered the reader and downloaded the Torque Pro so I can attempt to get the codes for myself and see what they point towards.

    My rebuilder is in the process of rebuilding another battery to try in the car.

    Does the Torque Pro give subcodes? Honestly, I have only ever used the regular Torque (lite?). Pretty sure that one only returns basic codes. The reader is supposed to be delivered today.

    Agreed. I'd just rather have time to find the right vehicle match for myself rather than being in the position of *having* to find a lesser milage car.

    I am learning A LOT from this forum. I'm glad I finally joined and can troubleshoot with folks who know *way* more than me!

    Thank you!
     
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  16. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    Your rebuilder is probably fixing the battery he took from you. That is the one he's going to bring back to you
     
  17. Diane Nesom

    Diane Nesom New Member

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    OK...as promised, here are the codes that I was able to get from Torque Pro after a bit of massaging to get the reader to play nice with Max and my tablet:

    The "current fault" is P3012
    The "pending faults" are PO303 and POA80

    I'm already familiar with the POA80 :| That's the one everyone was getting and said to replace the HV battery... I haven't looked up the other ones yet but wanted to post the update as soon as possible.

    I'm using Torque Pro with a Samsung Galaxy tablet. It doesn't *seem* to give "subcodes" but I could just be ignorant and not know what to look for :/

    Hoping to collect piles of pennies as you contribute your 2 cents worth :D

    Thanks again,
    Diane
     
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  18. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    P3012 battery block 2 becomes weak.
    P0A80 failing hybrid battery.

    You wil not have subcodes with Torque app.

    But you do not need them.

    You battery is the problem. Block 2.
     
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  19. Diane Nesom

    Diane Nesom New Member

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    Agreed! I sent the codes to the battery rebuilder and he's hoping to have the "new" battery ready soon...

    So...in the meantime, he said that I *could* drive the car even though the battery is overheating. I'm not sure that is such a good idea if I don't absolutely *have* to drive it (which I don't since I am able to borrow my mom's leaf) but, generally speaking, *is* it "ok" to drive with a battery that is overheating? I mean, I know it's obviously not ideal but I don't know what is "likely" to happen if I needed to drive the car. I mean, it runs fairly normally for the most part and just get's relatively bad MPG. It is operational though.
     
  20. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    You should get your money back from the rebuilder. Did you pay cash?

    If your car breaks down while you're driving it now, you should send the rebuilder the bill for towing
     
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