Urgently needing options or suggestions

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by Renetx3, May 15, 2019.

  1. Renetx3

    Renetx3 New Member

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    2009 Toyota Prius Base 65,000 miles. In Texas.

    Below is the details of the problems, and when or how much they occur. Then the last years details about Incidents and possible reasons for problems?

    *** Sometimes. These issues occur occationally. Every few days or so. ***

    1. After hitting power button and removing key fob, it still dings, thinking fob still in.

    2. After hitting power button, then removing key fob, the dash lights up again like Ive put it in auxiliary mode.

    ***Once or twice daily***

    1. The car is either completely dead, with no lights or any sign of life, or its lights come on, but has to be jumped in order to start.

    For 4 days last week, the Key fob was dead, not lighting up, not unlocking or locking doors.
    Then randomly just started working again.

    **Everytime its driven***

    The horn blows non stop, a few times it would start honking when the wheel was turned left, then it started honking and didnt stop till I pulled fuse. If I put fuse back in, it will honk again.

    The motor kicks on more than it used to.

    Most of the time, when it kicks on while in Park, it jolts really hard, like its gonna take off.

    The car has started driving really rough after hitting a very large pot hole, and now, a few months later, I hear a clank sound when driving from under car.

    ****************************************
    ** Incidents/Symptoms and issues with car, and what car has been through in last year.

    ****TIMELINE****

    Got car in December 2017

    50,000 miles on car. No problems, No issues for 8 months.

    ** May 2018

    Kids and I lost home, and forced to live in car, 24/7 from May-July in very Hot weather. With 2 kids, for health and safety reasons, I had to run A/C non stop, so car stayed on whether we were driving or parked for the majority of the day and night.

    After about a month, the blue lines for the battery on the display, started to get lower alot faster than before. To the point where, we tried to always have someone awake to watch it, so car wouldnt die.

    Throughout these 3 months, on 2 seperate occasions, I had accidently fell asleep, and the car had run out of gas, so it died. A couple times, the car died and had to be jumped to start.

    ** June 2018.

    The car engine seemed to be acting up a little, it seemed a little louder. Then started to jolt when it would kick on. Checked oil, it was fine. Being unfamiliar with Hybrids, or any type of car really, I started thinking maybe it needed water, after running all this time. I put a small amount of water, it didnt help.

    The next day, A dash light came on, said "Maintenance",
    then a few days later, while running, but in park, it started clattering really bad, shaking, so I immediately hit power button, and pulled key out.

    Not having anyone to call for help with it, we were just stranded in the Heat, parked at a carwash for hours. When it got dark, the kids were now crying, the mosquitos in full force, and being alone and vulnerable at a dark car wash at night was not ok for my kids, so after hours and giving up on someone replying to my need for help, I decided, getting my kids to The Walmart parking lot, ( where we slept at night, safer, under lights, with security guard, and available restrooms) was more important than the car, so though I was terrified to blow motor, I went ahead and tried to start it up. It started and ran ok, the loud clanking was almost gone.

    *** July 2018 to April 2019

    It continued to jolt often, sometimes the motor ran pretty rough, louder. But sometimes, it was quiet and smooth. Sometimes it seemed like it didnt want to accelerate much. I do have 3 very bad tires.

    *** March 2019,

    I was finally able to afford an oil change at NTB National Tire and Battery. My cabin and engine filters were a little dirty, so I brushed them out, till I can afford new ones. .
    We are still homeless, but have been staying in a friends shed/mancave since July 2018. So the car has only been driven normally since then.
    For the last month or 2, when driving it does feel and sound like the transmission isnt going into second gear after take off.

    *APRIL 2019

    Car started being dead a couple times a week, we thought it was human error at first. Then noticed the dinging still on after pulling key out.

    Now at this time, we have to jump the car at least once a day, and sometimes only an hour apart. Then at times, its fine for a week without a jump. I finally saved up enough to buy a new battery,
    $200 installed. Took the car to have one installed at NTB National Tire and Battery, thats when they said there was a code was showing on their scanner that it was the Hybrid Battery needing replaced, not the 12V battery.…… ..

    This car is older, but only has 65,000 miles at this time.

    My tires are very bad, so Im afraid to get on freeway to drive to a Toyota dealership
    (45 minutes away). To see if what the repair shop said is correct. I cannot seem to figure out if it still has warranty, being a 2009, 10 yrs old. Im the second owner.

    If it is the Hybrid battery, are there any chances it could be a part on the battery needing fixed, or only replacing the whole thing?

    Could me resetting the maintence light, or pulling the fuse for the horn, maybe something happening during oil change, adding water, or anything else Ive mentioned above, cause some kind of computer error, that now makes the car think the Hybrid Battery is bad?

    I dont want to sound rude by saying this, but I will be anxiously awaiting someone to comment with a possible actual solution, or idea, so please dont comment to just state the obvious. I know, I need to take it to the dealership for exam. I know I should have taken better care of it, etc. But this last year, my priorities had to only be about my children and I having food, and being safe.

    **This is extremely important to say, I will not be able to afford to replace the Hybrid Battery at all. We do not even have a place to live yet. So if there are any possible options for a solution, please advise me.

    I have attached the previous service and repair records to this post.

    Thankyou for taking the time to read all this, you are the only way of help with this, that I will have.

    Have a good day!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. SFO

    SFO Senior Member

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    Not that it matters beyond another possible oil change, but you've put on 6000 miles in the last 3 weeks?

    There should be a warranty manual in the glove box that spells out what and when, the warranty will start one the first day the vehicle was put into service. This first sold date should be on the registration or title, if not then the dealer would have that information.

    Find the VIN (look on the registration / title), log in at http://toyota.com/owners - it should tell you all about the vehicle and warranty.

    If you have troubles navigating the above website, call (or visit) *any* Toyota dealer with the same VIN as above and ask about the warranty status. Your 10 year clock (and mileage) is ticking rather quickly, what does the build date say in the drivers door jamb?

    After reading this I am still unsure if the 12v battery was actually replaced. If you're still jumping the car, you'll need a new 12v.

    If the key fob battery hasn't been replaced recently, go to a dollar tree and pick up a "2032 battery".

    You never mentioned if there were dash lights indicating a problem with the vehicle. Refer to the owners manual for explanations. If the vehicle didn't come with a set of owners manuals, download them at Toyota Online Owners Manuals and Warranty

    Did NTB tell you which OBD2 code(s) they were able to pull from your vehicle, or at least the ones indicating a failed HV battery?

    The next time you have the OBD2 codes scanned, write down the results and post them here for additional help.

    Please post any codes or updates in this thread, as we're here to try and help you. Log in often if you're looking for specific answers..
     
  3. oil_burner

    oil_burner Member

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    Best advice sell the car and get into a minivan or something. Too many issues and your not gonna be able to afford to fix any of them. Go CarMax it and get van with working AC you can sleep in, and deal with your other problems first.
     
  4. oil_burner

    oil_burner Member

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    Sounds like it might be a flood car with all those electrical issues. You can gamble with buying a new 12v battery but for $200 and whatever you could get from selling the Prius it's smarter to get a different car.
     
  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    tl;dr

    check in with hometown hybrids in houston
     
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  6. Renetx3

    Renetx3 New Member

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  7. Renetx3

    Renetx3 New Member

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    To, Oil Burner,

    I agree 100%, but I dont own the car out right, I financed through my bank.
    But one thing I couldnt do, is live in a minivan, ubless it was a hybrid. The weather here gets over 100°, so the car and A/C has to run for hiurs. That Hybrid saved our lives.
     
  8. Renetx3

    Renetx3 New Member

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    I know for sure its not a flood car, because I got it from a friend. But financed it at my bank, so unable to sell it.
     
  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    did your friend buy it new?
     
  10. MilkyWay

    MilkyWay Active Member

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    Where did you add water?
     
  11. MilkyWay

    MilkyWay Active Member

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    How many thousands you need to take it to the nearest auction and mail me the title?

    Just curious --- might be very interested if price is ok
     
  12. MilkyWay

    MilkyWay Active Member

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    He said he is homeless and doesn't have the money to fix it
     
  13. MilkyWay

    MilkyWay Active Member

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    The best thing is to find someone to fix it. Maybe if someone sympathizes with your story you can get it fixed on credit. Probably all simple/cheap stuff.

    As far as your job situation you can make $150-$200 every single day driving for Uber/Lyft. That is before gas/insurance/oil and whatever other maintenance. It's a slow process. For example, you might be at $60 in 3 hours.....$90-$100 after 5 straight hours.

    But if you put in a full day's work (8-9 hours) you'll pass $150 pretty much every time.

    These gig economy jobs have their ups/downs but have been a life saver for a lot of people.
     
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  14. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

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    He is a she. Would be easy to figure out if you did due diligence.
     
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  15. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

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    double post
     
  16. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

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    I like your solution but how clean do you think a Prius with 3 humans living inside it is going to be? I don’t want you to think I’m cutting on you, I’m not into believing a sob story myself.
     
  17. MilkyWay

    MilkyWay Active Member

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    Whoops. What do you think of the "I don't know anything about cars but I think it needed water so I added water"....I'm curious where she added water?
     
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  18. a_gray_prius

    a_gray_prius Rare Non-Old-Blowhard Priuschat Member

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    OP, it's kind of difficult to help you because it sounds like you have multiple problems going on with the car and there's probably no single magic bullet to clear them all. If a 12V battery isn't going to fix most of them, you're probably up for a large bill.

    Do note my disclaimer: I am not a mechanic any these are just my thoughts about your car from what you've described. You are best served by a professional who knows what they're doing and not some guy off the internet who worked on his car a few times.

    I'll start with the bad:

    First, you noted that you ran the car down to no gas and the car needed a jump. Draining the hybrid battery to that level has likely degraded it some (not to be confused with parked, running AC). While many people have replaced individual cells in the battery somewhat economically, I'm of the opinion that it's really something you'd want to do if you were a hobbyist and not fully reliant on the car. This is because it's very possible to spend a few hundred dollars on a band-aid that will only work for a few weeks or months, if at all - there's no certainty. That's why I'm almost sure Toyota would recommend you replace the entire battery pack. Even that would be a toss-up because it sounds like you're having other electrical issues.

    Second, you noted that the car runs rough - our car (a bit older than yours, at 270k miles) started running loud before I noticed that we were burning engine oil and were low on oil. Running the engine on little oil is going to damage it as well as the exhaust/emissions system (if I replace it, the part alone is like $1200).

    Your tires are worn: these are going to be a big risk. If your engine fails, you'll lose power and it's clearly not a safe situation. but compare that to not being able to stop or steer in an emergency. I think the latter is quite a bit worse.

    With all that said, our Prius lurches a little too when the engine kicks on. I don't know what yours looks like so it's impossible to say if what you're seeing is normal.

    A list of things you can practically do for free to maybe figure out where some of your issues lie:

    1. Your car runs rough: check the oil level and make sure it's OK. Our car ran loud when it was low on oil.

    2. I'd be pretty concerned about the clunk from the suspension when going over potholes. I could at least make a visual inspection of the suspension to see if anything looks out of place - you can do it just by taking videos with your cell phone camera of both sides of the car and comparing them. Do the parts look like they're in the same places? Do the springs on the shocks look OK? You can video them without having to lift the car. This wouldn't be a guarantee that nothing is wrong, but you will be able to catch problems that are really obvious.

    I also wouldn't count on the car having been to NTB recently as being any guarantee that someone knowledgeable has made an inspection. It is my opinion that I would maybe trust NTB to put tires on my car, but nothing else. I wouldn't take the vehicle to chains like Jiffy Lube either.

    3. OBD2 codes can be read for free by many auto parts stores. I've had it done at AutoZone a few times when I misplaced my reader. Call around and ask if they read codes for free. They will often look the codes up for you and tell you what they mean and maybe what to replace (since they're an auto parts store and want to sell you parts).

    4. Maybe try the Maintenance Mode 12V battery check procedure (listed here, quoted below). If you want a Toyota battery, the two part numbers are 28800-21181 (without proximity key) and 00544-21171-325 (with proximity key). I see them online for $194 and $175, respectively. Your local parts desk is probably going to quote you more - always ask for a discount and see if they'll try to come close to the price you can find online. We replaced our stock 12V with an Optima Yellow Top.

    Procedure:

    Engaging in a little vulture capitalism?

    Compensation for rideshare drivers has been decreasing. OP may also lack the capital necessary to get the car into the state where it will pass the required mechanical inspection/certification. With that in mind, this is not a good suggestion.


    OP: we have been helping a family friend who has been on food stamps for some time. I have some understanding of the position you're in when every last dollar is precious and I sympathize. Good luck, you'll need it.
     
  19. oil_burner

    oil_burner Member

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    I think the money you're saving on gas you will pay in repairs. The electrical problems could be a bad 12v battery but could be something worse. A mini van would use more gas but would be way better to live in. Or look for a roomy hatchback with a small engine like a Toyota matrix/Pontiac vibe, or a mazda5. Just giving you the facts chasing down issues on a hybrid is expensive. I mean just look at the situation. your car is almost undriveable, you have to count on it to run in order to use the AC, by the sounds of it you have trouble affording gas to keep it filled. The problem with that is after a few times of running these cars completely dead you ruin the hybrid battery which costs ~$2500 to fix. Otherwise..

    12V battery $200
    new tires $200
    clanking noise probably broken spring or engine mount or exhaust $200-500
    electrical problems with key - who knows?
     
    #19 oil_burner, May 17, 2019
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
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