Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Toyota Prius Hybrid System Questions

downinbhdowninbh Posts: 7
I bouught a used 2003 prius in sept, 2007. Monday I had the oil changed by toyota. Since then it has run harder and louder. Yesterday it stalled and gave me three warning lights: Power Steering, Hybrid Battery, and Hybrid System. I called toyota and asked what I should do. They were closing in about 2 minutes. The guy on the phone told me he didn't know basically. I asked if I should drive it home and he said he couldn't give advice either way. I looked in my manual and it said to drive without excellerating too much. So I drove it home slowly, about 2 miles. When I got home I read the book further and it said I was suppose to park the car and take it to toyota immediately. Why couldn't the toyota service guy have told me that? Why wouldn't he know that about the warning sign I got?

Is there a problem with the 2003 battery and hybrid system that I should know about before I have it towed to toyota when they open on monday morning? I want to go in there knowing something. I don't want them to talk past me and give me the run around.

thanks for any advice you have.



  • dcjackdcjack Posts: 6
    This has happened to me twice in the six years I've owned my 2001 Prius. As the car is running, there's a little "pop", then the gas engine quits, and the "hybrid system failure" light comes on. The only message is "problem". The car continues to run on battery only, but pretty poorly.

    The first time this happened, I had it flatbed-hauled to Toyota, but when it got there, everything was operating normally, so they couldn't tell me what had gone wrong.

    Today it happened again, close to home so I was able to get there and park it. Restarts after 10 and 20 minutes yielded the same "hybrid system failure" result. Then, after about an hour, everything started up as normal, with no hint of a problem.

    Any ideas as to what the problem is?

    -- Jack in DC
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    I'll bet you have an oxidized or corroded fuse connection in the hybrid system. Either that or a loose connection. Pull out and put back in all the fuses you can find. Do so with the power off, of course. If any come out really easy, the fuse connection has become loose and should be repaired.
  • The dealer traced the problem to a faulty accelerator-pedal sensor. Evidently this occasionally produced an incorrect output, and the hybrid control computer, detecting invalid inputs, shut down the system. "Rebooting" with the triple-restart process revived the system, which would then function correctly until the next time the accelerator pedal sensor stumbled. Replacing that seems indeed to have ended the problem. -- Jack in DC
  • On 3 separate occasions in the past 6 months my wife's Prius has lost power while operating at high speeds in the commuter lane on the freeways in Southern California.It is amazing that she was not involved in an accident on any of these occasions.Each time, She had her car towed to a Toyota dealership.The warning signs all came on with each episode.The Toyota dealership has never told us that this has been a problem with Prius automobiles in 2004 and 2005.One dealer actually accused her of running out of gasoline and precipitating the power failure.We are disappointed in the way Toyota has handled this situation.They have not been honest with us.My wife is seriously considering going to arbitration with Toyota and getting a new car that she can drive with confidence.
  • From my experience, I've learned that "inconsistent" sensor inputs will cause the Prius control computer to shut down. Evidently the gas pedal sensor in my 2001 Prius was occasionally putting out a faulty signal, causing the shutdown, after which the car would struggle along on battery only. From an Internet board I learned that turning off the ignition, waiting, then turning the engine on again, three times, will "reboot" the computer. Indeed, that got me back running the last time this happened. (That also explains why, when the car was hauled back to Toyota, they found it running okay.)

    A good technician at Toyota was able to identify the problem through the computer readouts. Since the gas-pedal sensor in my Prius was replaced, I've had no more of these on-the-road failures.
  • Several years ago, a dozen or so similar incidents were widely reported in the national press. All were traced back to a software problem that prevented the ICE from coming on due to a false faulty sensor that the software did not handle. With the ICE not coming on automatically, the big traction battery soon runs out and the car comes to a quick halt, most times in a fast traffic lane. I had heeded the TSB and had the software updated a few weeks before and have never suffered from that problem although your 2006 won't have that software problem, it might have another. More likely, it's one of the many sensors thats shutting down the ICE for some other reason.
  • I read recently that sustained highway driving can result in the hybrid battery failure, causing the car to run on the gas engine only. The article claimed that deceleration and braking were necessary to recharge the battery. Is this true, or is this bogus??
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,719
    "Several years ago, a dozen or so similar incidents were widely reported in the national press. "

    It's been a while since this stuff was covered on the Forum, but IIRC there were around 50 unique complaints in the NTSB database on the problem. There were more reports than that, but some appeared to be duplicates.
  • scary...y'all have me worried now
  • stevegoldstevegold Posts: 185
    That was an old software+sensor bug that has been fixed. Anyone who had the TSB applied could not have had the problem.
  • downinbhdowninbh Posts: 7
    I never got a response from anyone, but incase you have a similar issue, you may still be interested. The problem with my 2003 prius ended up being the fuel tank and the computer associated with the fuel tank. Sounds like other people have had problems too. I needed a new fuel tank and computer. The computer was still covered under warranty, but not the fuel tank. Tank + labor was about $600 for me. I fortunately bought an extended warranty when I bought the car used in sept, 2007. So, I only have to pay $50 deductable.

    Still, I've only had this car for a few months and that's a pretty major problem. What happens when toyota warranty goes out and the computer system fails? I'm not sure I'm so happy with this car or technology.

  • I'm just many miles on your '03 Prius? Toyota really refined the 2nd generation '04 Prius and I must say that, of the 5 or 6 folks that I personally know who own '04 or newer Priis, they have had no problems to speak of. I have an '04 with almost 74K miles and nary a problem.
  • downinbhdowninbh Posts: 7
    My '03 has 39000 miles. The explanation they gave me was very generic, although they did say admit the early models had some "glitches".
  • blburkeblburke Posts: 2
    My 2007 Prius has now done 30000 Km. Fuel consumption is poor at around 5.5 litres per 100 km. Sometimes when I accellerate the petrol engine simply spins (as if the clutch was slipping in a convention car) and there is no accelleration. The dealer says there is nothing wrong. Has anyone else experienced this?. Any ideas as to what the problem may be?
  • This is a bit confusing since you use metric sys. and here in the good ol' U.S. of A that just makes for ???? marks. About average milage you should be getting 42-46 mpg's (winter) and 44-50 (summer) "English". As to your accelleration...I'd say that you have something amiss. Of course since the tranny does not shift, that takes some getting use to. Your dealer should "test-drive" it to see what it is that you're complaining about. The Prius should accellerate smoothly simply put.
  • blburkeblburke Posts: 2
    Thanks for the reply. If I convert my 5.5 litres per 100 Km to English gallons and miles I get just over 51 mpg. The 5.5 is based on the Prius display so I think I need to do a proper measurement between two fill ups.
  • when the batteries on an 08 need replacement, how much will it cost?
  • This battery issue is one to clear up. The cost can vary. Not to be quoted but, the battery varys from $2600.00 to over $3,000.00 but not to worry... In the event a battery should become faulty repair usually requires only the replacement of the individual cell unit NOT THE WHOLE BATTERY!!! I've owned and happily operated an '04 Prius with over 75K miles and not found one article as to a battery failure yet. That speaks volumes as to the dependability of "the battery." I was just as concern as anyone as to the various components of the "hybrid" side of the Prius. Rest assured....I'm satisfied with the car after over 4 yrs of dependable fantastic service. As to the price of the hybrid battery, remember the great warrantee on same unit. Over the last few yrs the price of the whole battery has steadily come down and continues to do so. I've owned over 50 cars in my lifetime and, without a doubt, the Prius is by far the most impressive automobile I've ever come across.Nuff said! :)
    P.S. I've yet to find even one dissatisfied Prius owner.....If there are any. Of course there are dealers that fall short of good service and satisfaction unfortunitely.
  • annettesannettes Posts: 2
    The one night I didn't bring my cell phone to church!!! System failure on my 2005 Prius going about 65 mph on country highway. It slowed down in speed and I pulled over where I could. If there was an "update on the software" I was never notified. AAA came out and dropped it off to Toyota..on my way there this morning armed with the CNN article. What is this? I just made my last payment two days ago!!!! I had to walk in the dark for about 1.5 miles in heals before a neighbor fault on that!
  • stevegoldstevegold Posts: 185
    How long ago did this happen?
    I have a 2004.
Sign In or Register to comment.