Wow, a whole bunch of lights came on at once!

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by madler, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. madler

    madler Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    288
    10
    0
    Location:
    Pasadena, California
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    My 2005 Prius has worked absolutely flawlessly for the last four years and 66,000 miles. This morning it had a knipshin fit, which is repeatable. The BRAKE indicator is on when the parking brake is off, the ABS light stays on, the triangle with the exclamation mark is on, and on the MFD there is a "PS" in a box and a little car with an exclamation mark in a box. There are no other warning lights I can find, but that's plenty for me.

    The manual says PS means some concern with the power steering, the little car means something about the hybrid system, and the ABS and BRAKE are about the brakes. A bunch of relatively unrelated systems.

    Does anyone know what common cause could result in all of those going off at the same time? The batteries appear to be well charged.

    Can I drive the car to the repair shop, or should I have it towed? The manual says for the BRAKE light that I should "stop immediately and contact Toyota dealer". For the other lights the manual suggests that I "take the vehicle to Toyota dealer" or "take vehicle to Toyota dealer immediately".

    Thanks for any tips.
     
  2. firepa63

    firepa63 Former Prius Owner

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2005
    1,761
    204
    0
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    Are these lights on when you're driving or just starting up the car? Do you still have the original 12v battery in the Prius? One sign of the 12v going bad are strange dash lights. If the battery is still original, replace it.
     
  3. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    18,058
    3,053
    7
    Location:
    Northern Michigan
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Check the 12V battery.

    Tom
     
  4. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    18,181
    6,288
    0
    Location:
    Green Valley, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2015 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    I agree that the 12V auxiliary battery is the likely root cause linking failures of the disparate systems that you noted. If you can get a ride to the Toyota dealer's parts dept, buy a new 12V battery and install it yourself, that would be the least expensive way to resolve the issue.
     
  5. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    9,810
    441
    0
    Location:
    MD
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    i'm skeptical that the 12v battery would cause all this nonsense. sounds like a bigger problem.
     
  6. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    18,181
    6,288
    0
    Location:
    Green Valley, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2015 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Another possibility might be a failing DC to DC converter (maybe the inverter coolant pump failed), resulting in abnormally low 12V bus voltage. If the OP has a digital multimeter and can read battery voltage when the car is IG-OFF and when the car is READY, this would help to narrow down the problem.

    You would expect to see 13.8V when the car is READY. After the car has been IG-OFF for an hour or more, you would expect to see 12.6V or better if the battery is fully-charged.
     
  7. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    9,810
    441
    0
    Location:
    MD
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    PW, i hear that speculation a lot on the prius boards, yet DH rarely if ever saw that situation go down in real life. if the lights all came on at once (no warning of the inverter overheating before any of the other stuff went nuts) then it's hard to imagine a cause-effect relationship like that.
     
  8. fgoodyear

    fgoodyear New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    187
    10
    0
    Location:
    Tillson, New York
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    I agree with the possible 12V battery problem. But..... Why go to the dealer? There are lots of better warranted batteries out there for less then you will pay at the dealer, and if you can install it yourself you are even farther ahead of the game.
     
  9. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2004
    7,656
    1,016
    0
    Location:
    United States
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
  10. firepa63

    firepa63 Former Prius Owner

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2005
    1,761
    204
    0
    Vehicle:
    Other Hybrid
    Model:
    N/A
    Wrong!
     
  11. Zythryn

    Zythryn Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    5,350
    3,405
    1
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Vehicle:
    Other Electric Vehicle
    Model:
    N/A
    Had a very similar situation. And it was the 12V battery.
    Toyota replaced it and everything is fine now.
    Not saying it is what is happening with yours, but it definately fits.
     
  12. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2004
    7,656
    1,016
    0
    Location:
    United States
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    If you know of an aftermarket battery that fits perfectly we'd love to hear about it. The difficulty is finding one whose terminals will fit the clamps, and that will fit the vent tube. The correct low-cost option is to use the same Toyota battery.

    The Optima/eLearnaid solution is more expensive, but the battery construction should give it longer life, and the eLearnaid kit makes it a perfect fit. If you do this, note that you will need every tool they list and, if you don't have a bench vise, considerable hand strength to take apart the Toyota positive clamp assembly.
     
  13. madler

    madler Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    288
    10
    0
    Location:
    Pasadena, California
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    I see 12.48 V when the car is off, 14.07 V when running. When I turn the car off, it drops to about 12.5 V within about a minute. It certainly doesn't take an hour.

    The auxiliary battery is the original.

    All of the warning signals come on when the car is turned on, without having to drive the car.
     
  14. spitinuri

    spitinuri Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2008
    317
    13
    0
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    Change the 12V battery. It is the most likely cause.
     
  15. forrest_fire1

    forrest_fire1 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    23
    4
    0
    Location:
    Oregon, Roseburg
    Vehicle:
    2011 Prius
    Model:
    V
    Last night our master warning, ABS, VSC and check engine lights all came on at once as we were driving over the mountain. All at once, WOW!!! Very scarry...

    Sounds like my problem may be similar to yours. Maybe... Any ideas?

    After reading posts here we have decided to continue on our trip and stop at the next toyota dealer on our way. We have over 100 miles until our next toyota dealer...

    Please let me know if anyone has had this experience before. We will check our email every chance we get @ wi-fi hot spots along our way.

    Thanks,
    Forrest
     
  16. Vincent

    Vincent Don't Wait Until Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2005
    641
    31
    0
    Location:
    South Florida
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    V
    You might get an answer if you post your year and model Prius in your profile.
     
  17. forrest_fire1

    forrest_fire1 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    23
    4
    0
    Location:
    Oregon, Roseburg
    Vehicle:
    2011 Prius
    Model:
    V
    Oops, hadn't realized That info. was missing... Thanks Vincent.:rockon:

    :focus:Does driving to the next clossest toyota dealer sound ok?
     
  18. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    18,181
    6,288
    0
    Location:
    Green Valley, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2015 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    I'd say that the DC to DC converter is OK then. I again would suggest that you replace the 12V battery, as this is relatively inexpensive (~$160 if you buy from the dealer parts dept and replace yourself) and will rule that part out as a cause of your problems. As you disconnect the battery to replace it, this will also clear all existing fault codes, thus giving your car a fresh start.

    Hi Forrest,

    I advise using extreme caution if you continue to drive the car, as the braking system will be impaired. In your case the inverter cooling system may have failed. Does the MFD show any warning icons within?

    If you see the red high temp warning light come on, stop the car & let it cool off before continuing, or else risk permanent damage.

    Pls let us know what is diagnosed in your case.
     
  19. forrest_fire1

    forrest_fire1 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    23
    4
    0
    Location:
    Oregon, Roseburg
    Vehicle:
    2011 Prius
    Model:
    V
    We will post diagnostic as soon as we get it.

    ABS and VSC lights went off as soon as we restarted the car.

    Currently the only lights on are the master warning and check engine.

    Ok, we are now off on the road heading towards the next toyota dealer.

    Wish us luck... I sure love this car:(:(:(
     
  20. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    18,181
    6,288
    0
    Location:
    Green Valley, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2015 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    OK, this isn't so bad. You should be able to make the trip if you don't see other warnings appear. Good luck on your journey.
     
Loading...