War with Toyota

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by jessewilson, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. jessewilson

    jessewilson New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    1
    1
    0
    Location:
    Regina, Canada
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    My Dad has a 2007 Prius with 27000 miles on it. It has been in service for 40 months. Recently the battery went dead on several occasions and he boosted the battery with battery cables. The last time it went dead he could not start it with cables and therefore had it towed to the local Toyota shop.

    After one week in the shop they have advised that the battery must have been boosted backwards and the inverter is ruined. Total repair cost required is $6000, including $4700. for the inverter. Apparently they have $1300. already invested in time (6 hours) and parts ($700) in diagnosing the problem.

    Dad boosted his first battery 50 years ago and has never had a problem before, and is very sure that the cables went on as directed in the owners manual.

    To add insult to injury the dealer has offered him $3000. for the Prius "as is", on a trade on a replacement vehicle.

    He would be interested in any comments from your readers as to the the treatment he has been offered by the dealer. Although he did buy this Prius from an out of town Toyota dealer, he has purchased 7 vehicles from the dealership in the last 22 years!

    Jesse Wilson
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. Colonel Ronson

    Colonel Ronson New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    443
    33
    0
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    II
    not trying to be rude but did you ever consider he did boost the battery the wrong way? Jump-starting a prius isn't like an ordinary car.... its completely different seeing how there isn't a 12V battery under the hood for you to work with. Jump starting once or twice should've been a big warning, and he should've replaced the battery then. a bunch of jump starts aren't healthy.

    The inverter is a very expensive part. Its basically your 2nd engine in the car. Can't think of any other reason why the inverter went out.
     
  3. Rokeby

    Rokeby Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    3,033
    704
    75
    Location:
    Ballamer, Merlin
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    jessewilson,

    :welcome: to PRIUSchat.

    What kind of troubles has your Dad had for 40 months?
    Or do you just mean that the car has "been in use" for 40 months?

    It is disheartening to hear stories like this in a first post. On the face
    of it, it looks like your Dad is between a rock and a hard spot.

    "Jumping" or "hot starting" a Prius is potentially a dangerous business.
    If you had the time and/or inclination to search this site, you would find
    many, may warnings to folks who have weak 12V battery about the
    dangers of doing so. The biggest danger being that if the jump isn't
    done exactly right, the inverter an be ruined -- as an example, contrary
    to common practice, the engine on the "hot" car should not be running
    and even "sparking" the leads when they are on the right terminals can
    cause inverter damage. (The Owner's Manual has a whole pack of
    Warnings! and Cautions! about jump starting... they seem to be seldom
    taken with the full seriousness they deserve.)

    There is one thing you should do before going further.

    The car stores codes that describe what the on-board computers have
    seen as systems fail. If you can get the codes from the dealer and post
    them here -- in your Dad's case it may be a very long list -- the
    experienced trouble shooting gurus can tell you from an independent
    point of view what your Dad's situation looks like.

    I wish your Dad the best of luck.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    18,015
    5,976
    0
    Location:
    Green Valley, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2015 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Sadly, your dad's story is fairly common, and is the result of a reversed polarity jump. I am guessing that the fusible links within the main relay/fuse box also need to be replaced, specifically the 100A DC/DC fusible link.

    I'd be interested if you would provide a full list of parts that your dad's dealer has suggested need to be replaced.

    Since there is a good supply of 2G in salvage yards due to accident damage, an inexpensive alternative may be for your dad to purchase a salvage inverter, and have an independent mechanic install that part. This is not particularly hard to do given access to the Toyota repair manual documentation. Good luck.
     
  5. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    7,364
    3,116
    0
    Location:
    Clearwater, Florida
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Thats too bad. We have heard post after post after post describing the same event. So many people swear they hooked up the cables correctly and still smoke the inverter.

    In fact it seems to me one of the main reasons people come to this site. Dead batteries.

    Hybrids and dead batteries are becoming a very common thing.

    And there's so many micro processors in the Prius its so easy to damage it jumping it.

    Most importantly you cannot spark it...not over current it.

    Make sure the donor car's engine is off. Make sure the cables negative side is hooked up both ends to good grounds.
    Try not to spark it when you hook up the pos side.

    Best way is to hook up the pos side to the Prius first as its kinda hard with the tiny L bracket under the hood. Then with donor car off connect the pos side to the donor battery with authority. I wouldn't even clamp it it to the donor + terminal.

    Just slap the clamp side to the pos end of the donor pos battery terminal and hold. Hold it on there while someone "Readys" the prius. Remove as fast as possible after prius "Readys".

    Even then its a crap shoot.

    Best thing I've heard is a poster said he could jumpstart his prius with a Dewalt 14 volt drill battery. Smart. It takes so little to charge up the aux battery enoough to throw some relays.

    But very very easily prevented by always locking the doors every single time you get out no matter where the car is.

    I'm going on my third year of oem battery on my 07. Caught the lights on by mistake lots of times with the lock trick.

    But, if my Prius ever went dead its a tow home and a new battery.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    5,723
    3,319
    0
    Location:
    Rocky Mountains
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    If your dad continues to leave lights/doors on and drains the battery needing a tow, I highly reccomend "smart" jumper cables. They have a delay when you connect them (i.e. no sparks) and are polarity insensitive, you can hook any cable clamp to either terminal, and it will correctly sense which is + and which is - on both sides preventing this sort of thing from happening. You can pick them up for $25-$50.

    Dont take "I've been doing it 50 years" to mean he is infallible. It happens to everyone, and the proof is there. In a normal car, you overheat the batteries real fast and/or explode them. Perhaps throw some fuses. In the Prius, you melt the inverter and potentially destroy one of the hundreds of computers.
     
  7. SW03ES

    SW03ES Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2004
    2,480
    173
    0
    Location:
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    When our Prius threw up the warning lights when the inverter coolant pump failed I called AAA, since the car was out of the factory warranty for Toyota roadside.

    The guy who came said it was their policy that they don't even jump start Priuses, they just tow them to Toyota when the batteries are dead. Too much liability he said. He called the car "their nemesis", jokingly of course.

    I don't blame them. I wouldn't jump start the car.
     
  8. Bob64

    Bob64 Sapphire of the Blue Sky

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2007
    1,540
    84
    0
    Location:
    Virginia
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    I wonder if the "smart jumper cables" would work on the prius... You know, the ones that connect with a box in the center....
     
  9. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    5,723
    3,319
    0
    Location:
    Rocky Mountains
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    That's what I posted 2 posts up :)

    It is perfect for the Prius
     
  10. alexmac56

    alexmac56 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    40
    1
    0
    Location:
    Long Island, ny
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Question ???
    Would the jumper cable that plugs in to 12volt cig/aux outlet in car be safer??
     
  11. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    5,723
    3,319
    0
    Location:
    Rocky Mountains
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    The cig lighter port in the prius is not connected when the car is not on. So it would be useless. Those in general are useless, since on general cars, you are limited to 10A or 15A and it would take forever. Your car needs enough power to turn on, but not crank so the cig lighter is connected to the circuit, then charge. By the time it is charged to start, you could have walked to where you were going in the first place.
     
  12. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    8,251
    1,195
    0
    Location:
    NorCal
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    I'll do this from memory, it's important -

    To jump start the Prius -

    * may jump start Prius from another car that has 12V battery
    * open the Prius hood and fuse block cover
    * open cover on the exclusive jump starting terminal
    * connect positive cable to exclusive terminal
    * connect positive cable to positive terminal of 2nd vehicle
    * connect negative cable to other vehicle's negative battery terminal
    * connect other end of negative cable to Prius ground (bolt near strut tower, left side under hood)

    * with Prius powered off, start engine of other car, rev it a little for 5 minutes to charge Prius battery
    * Try to power on Prius and start hybrid system, look for ready light on Prius dash
    * If no ready light, open and close door, then push power button once firmly.
    * If ready light on, disconnect cables in exact reverse order they were connected.


    .... checking to see how I did ...

    I forgot, during 5 minutes charging, open and close any of Prius doors with power switch off.

    Also, if ready light does not come on, power off Prius, push power button once firmly. If ready light does not come on, contact Toyota.

    Also, once the hybrid system starts, have the checked ASAP at Toyota.

    I would consider any discharge of the 12V or hybrid battery a serious issue needing checkout with a Prius technician ASAP.
     
    2 people like this.
  13. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    8,251
    1,195
    0
    Location:
    NorCal
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    I have noticed from the many times I have disconnected the Prius 12V negative cable to work on the driver's seat ....

    after reconnecting the negative terminal, then trying to start hybrid system ...

    when I push brake pedal, then push button once, lights come on the dash, the hybrid system does not go into ready (I didn't note what state it goes into).

    I push power button one more time, then the hybrid system goes to ready state.
     
  14. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2008
    8,251
    1,195
    0
    Location:
    NorCal
    Vehicle:
    Other Non-Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    After hearing all this, I'd try to have my car towed to Toyota if any problem with the 12V battery.

    Question is, let's front wheels inaccessbile ..

    If the 12V battery is dead ...

    how do you get the car in neutral to load it on a flatbed tow truck?

    -----------

    Isn't it true the driveline would be ruined if moving the car without it being powered on and in neutral?
     
  15. DetPrius

    DetPrius Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2009
    545
    91
    0
    Location:
    Southeast Michigan
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III
    Given the expense of the inverter, and the inexpensive components required to produce jumper cables with technology that detects polarity, why isn't this technology built right into the Prius to prevent burning up the inverter? Any guesses other than to insure the sales of a few inverters? :D
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2004
    7,656
    982
    0
    Location:
    United States
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    That only happens if you try to pull it flat on the road at high speed. The tow truck guy will just drag it up onto the flatbed. The worst that happens is that a little rubber gets scraped from the front tires onto the pavement.

    [D'ohh!! Thanks to Patrick for his correction below.]
     
  17. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    18,015
    5,976
    0
    Location:
    Green Valley, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2015 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Well, the parking brake activates the rear brakes, so there's no point in making things more difficult than necessary by setting the parking brake. If it is necessary to drag the front tires on the pavement when the car is in P, then some rubber will come off the front tires, that's about it.
     
    1 person likes this.
  18. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2006
    7,028
    1,101
    0
    Location:
    South Jersey
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    V
    That extra dollar or 2 multiplied over hundreds of thousands of units adds up to real money.
     
  19. rudiger

    rudiger Active Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2006
    696
    44
    0
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    The same rationale used by GM in not putting an anti-sway bar on the Corvair and Ford in not putting a plastic gas-tank shield on the Pinto.

    Toyota used to be smarter than that. Maybe with Watanabe gone, they'll return to those days.
     
  20. DetPrius

    DetPrius Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2009
    545
    91
    0
    Location:
    Southeast Michigan
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    III
    I suspect you're right but these kinds of decisions build ill will over time as folks learn of expensive inverter replacements. Good will would have been built if we had read of the reverse polarity preventer that protects the several thousand dollar inverter. If this was the reason, it really smacks of the Detroit automakers and we all know what these types of decisions did to them over time.
     
Loading...