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Toyota Prius Hybrid System Questions

downinbhdowninbh Member 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 Member 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 Member 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.
  • dcjackdcjack Member Posts: 6
    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
  • docglenn3docglenn3 Member Posts: 1
    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.
  • dcjackdcjack Member Posts: 6
    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.
  • stevegoldstevegold Member Posts: 185
    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.
  • curtlercurtler Member Posts: 3
    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 Member Posts: 4,098
    "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.
  • lilredpriuslilredprius Member Posts: 2
    scary...y'all have me worried now
  • stevegoldstevegold Member 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 Member 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.

  • railroadjamesrailroadjames Member Posts: 560
    I'm just curious....how 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 Member 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 Member 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?
  • railroadjamesrailroadjames Member Posts: 560
    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 Member 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.
  • silverhuntersilverhunter Member Posts: 9
    when the batteries on an 08 need replacement, how much will it cost?
  • railroadjamesrailroadjames Member Posts: 560
    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 Member 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 passed...my fault on that!
  • stevegoldstevegold Member Posts: 185
    How long ago did this happen?
    I have a 2004.
  • prius08prius08 Member Posts: 1
    just want to know if anyone else has had this experience. when driving my car, or sitting in a parking lot, the volume of the radio will go off the charts. The first time this happened (it has happened 3 times total) I thought someone hit my car. the only way to reset the volume of the radio is to turn off the car and restart it. also, when this 'event' occurs touching the screen will also produce an ear splitting noise. the car is 5 weeks old and has 800 miles on it. so far, Toyota has said that i can bring it in whenever I am 'in the area' so they can see the problem for themselves. this response seems unsatisfactory to me, does it seem that way to anyone else?
  • annettesannettes Member Posts: 2
    May 6, 2008 at 8:50pm. AAA towed to Toyota and they started working on the car before they called me. It started up for them but with the engine light on. I got a free rotation and oil change out of that because no one called me until 8am when I was already on my way in. Anyway, the air filter was heavily dirty and after running a computer check, nothing else noted. I didn't fall within the "system" recall of 2005's so we'll see what happens. The dealership was great though I must admit. So many Prius's here and I'm the first with something odd to happen. I still love my car!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • mtrialsmmtrialsm Member Posts: 159
    What is the battery life of the Prius batteries? How often would they need to be replaced and the costs?
  • ck90211ck90211 Member Posts: 159
    Depending on where you live, Prius drive batteries (not the 12V one) are warranted 8-year 100K miles, or 10-year 150 miles (CARB states like CA, MA). And there are Prius taxis with 200K+ miles (and lots of Gen I Prius with lots of miles) that are still on original batteries. So honestly I don't think many people ever paid for battery replacement yet (not unless they go over the warranty or drive more than cabs).

    In terms of battery price, I have heard the whole pack is nearly $3500, but Toyota recommends replacing only defective batteries, not the whole pack, so one is unlikely to pay that much to replace a few batteries.

    If I ever have to pay $3500 for batteries, I am moving to a plug-in (hopefully it will be that cheap by then).
  • jana6jana6 Member Posts: 17
    Has anyone kept track of MPG manually and compared it to what the computer says you get? I am a gas mileage nut and have always figured out my gas mileage on all vehicles I've ever owned. I've had my 2007 Prius for a year now and, other than a few times, I have always gotten less gas mileage than what the computer says I'm getting. It should at least average out but that has not been the case. I still love my Prius but.......
  • peakoilpeakoil Member Posts: 8
    I have consistently gotten between 51 and 52 mpg over 47,000 miles on our '04 Prius (except for Dec & Jan in CA, when fuel has the 15% ethanol mandated by the state for pollution control help. Then I get about 48 mpg) I have checked the Prius screen mpg against 2 pencil and paper checks over the years. The screen mpg and pencil/paper checks were within .2 mpg of each other, on one the screen was ~.2 mpg more than my division, and the other the screen was ~.2 mpg less than my division.

    By the way, how did I discover I had a slow leaking tire, you ask? When my mileage dropped from ~51.3 to ~50.3 I decided to check the tires, and sure enough, my right rear was down to 16#. Another benefit of the running mpg screen.
  • happyman2happyman2 Member Posts: 1
    You must have the secret touch! My Prius will only bless me with
    a 45 mile average no matter how I drive. If I must drive 55 to get
    50 mph my average is ok.

    Please tell me how you do it.
  • angela501angela501 Member Posts: 1
    My daughter has a Pruis that she (we) have been mostly pleased with. We bought it used about 9 months ago and had it checked at the dealer at purchase. We also have it regularly maintained at the dealer.
    Yesterday she experienced some hesitation on her way to the store. After about 15 minutes she returned to the car and when trying to start, the dash lights fickered a few times and the horn beeped. She managed to drive it home without any more trouble but once it was turned off, it won't run anymore. The lights, horn, keyfob and radio all work. When I turn the key, I get nothing. Well the console and dashboard lights, do light up but the engine isnt engaged.
    I was planning to have it towed to the dealer but was hoping for some ideas before I get there .. and find out what this is going to cost me. Has anyone here experienced the same thing?
  • foxzcarfoxzcar Member Posts: 1
    When I park my hybrid and turn the engine off, a small red image of a car
    appears just to the right of the normal lights, that blinks on and off. This
    error light is not documented any where in the manuals that came with the
    car. I can start up the engine after this, and it drives normally.

    But again after driving, I turn off the motor, go into park mode, this little
    red image of a car (facing left) appears blinking to the right of where the
    normal running lights are. It is NOT documented and I can't see any
    think wrong under the hood. This just happened on this 2008 model.
    if anyone has a clue, please let me know. Email proactivator@mac.com, my handle is foxzcar.
  • dcjackdcjack Member Posts: 6
    My 2001 Prius has encountered "hybrid system failure" several times now. The fix is just to turn the car off and on three times, which reboots the computer, and all is well. The dealer traced the problem to a sensor providing sometimes erroneous data.

    Try the engine off-on routine before doing anything else. That can save you a lot of trouble.
  • scottc3scottc3 Member Posts: 137
    Where did you find the information about the computer rebooting if the car is turned on and off 3 times?

  • cheepercheeper Member Posts: 5
    This is the security light. It blinks to tell you it is set, alarm will go off if someone tries to steal your car.
  • belsybelsy Member Posts: 1
    I am the second owner of this vehicle. I love my little car. I got it againts my husbands wishes as he was not ready for the technology. Now a year later and 80.000 miles on it all of the sudden as I am driving and my Navigation system and radio quit working the screen appears black. following this incident all light came on the triangle, the battery and the light sugesting air bags. Broken hart, I manage to get home and next day turn on the engine and all warnings disappear. Except I still do not have navigation and radio. I do not have the funds to take it to Toyota as I have been told it can cost $3,000 to $ 4,000.00. Has this happen to any body? any sugestions? I forgot to mention that the radio and screen tries to come on only for a few seconds on and off.
    I also experience twice failure as i am driving. with out warning it quits working and the speed nly goes to 35mp having plenny of gas. I turn off engine wait an turn on and woala!! it works!!
    :confuse: :confuse: :sick:
  • dcjackdcjack Member Posts: 6
    Don't let the price tag scare you. This sounds to me like a faulty sensor -- one of the many sensors that the car's computer uses to run everything. Unfortunately, the reaction of the computer is to shut down when it gets a "bad" reading, leaving your car crippled. Turning everything off and on again resets the computer, and you're okay -- unless the faulty sensor again triggers that reaction.

    Take it to Toyota, let them interrogate the computer to find out why it's croaking. Replacing a faulty sensor will not be such a big deal, certainly not in the $3000 price range.

    -- Jack in DC
  • dtagliafdtagliaf Member Posts: 6
    do you have any idea what the cost is for the individual cell unit?
  • hlee_goodhlee_good Member Posts: 4
    My friend has a year 2001 Toyota Prius and it has about 160,000 miles, everything works fine until last week. Dealer found the car needs a new battery, quote almost $3000 (parts and labor) for the battery replacement. Any good suggestion?
  • bwilson4webbwilson4web Member Posts: 80
    Check for "Re-InVolt" in North Carolina. They rebuild packs using the newer NHW20 modules. Everything I've seen and in some technical exchanges, these folks have a clue.

    Bob Wilson
  • bwilson4webbwilson4web Member Posts: 80

    A 2001 Prius with 250,000 miles had the battery go bad. The owner contacted me and the two of us swapped the battery in four hours:

    After shipping and everything else, $1,700, and the new traction battery has the stronger, more powerful NHW20 modules.

    Bob Wilson
  • loulou4loulou4 Member Posts: 1
    does anyone know where in K.C you can find a place that does hybird revolt for batteries.
  • priusgalpriusgal Member Posts: 1
    My car died suddenly, with a red triangle, a car, and some other symbol showing up on the screen. The tow truck driver read the codes as hybrid system failure, and towed it on a flatbed to the dealer, as it would not re start. The dealer has it, and tells me that error codes p1325 for inverter, with info codes 287 & 303, and code c1259 for HV regeneration are coming up. They are recommending replacing the inverter and transaxel. Transaxel damage was diagnosed because the motor won't turn over, and vehicle can't be moved. The cost is $5000+.

    Shall I sell it, as the dealer recommends, or get it fixed? Any other ideas?
  • rayrico55rayrico55 Member Posts: 3
    edited July 2010
    The car ran for three years with no problems, three weeks ago the car won't start, the ready light would come on, but when I push it, the engine turned once and the dash lights would come on, but won't start? I had the car towed to a Toyota Dealer. The Toyota Dealer told me that it was the HV ECU. After replacing it and programing it for $1,000.00, the car still won't start. Now they are telling me that it might be the inverter or the transmission? Can anybody help?
  • bwilson4webbwilson4web Member Posts: 80
    Is that "p1325" or "P3125" ?

    Do you still want an analysis?

    Bob Wilson
  • bwilson4webbwilson4web Member Posts: 80
    Sorry, not enough information. Did they give you any error codes? What city is the car located?

    Bob Wilson
  • rayrico55rayrico55 Member Posts: 3
    edited July 2010
    The error code is P0A1D, the car is located in Jackosnville, FL
  • piglets1piglets1 Member Posts: 1
    my 2001 prius died 3 weeks ago and the main battery had to be replaced. At the time they gave the car a once over and there were no other problems. 3000 poorer and last night the various warning lights come on. Towed to station an told today that due to stress on car due to battery that was replace (keep in mind we never had any warning lights until car would not start one day) that now our transaxel is shot and it would cost 6000 to fix. Help is there any recourse. This is crazy. if a low battery was going to caus a problem would there not have been codes when they checked car 3 weeks ago. This car only has 115K miles. Please advise. :mad: :sick:
  • dmathews3dmathews3 Member Posts: 1,739
    New Fusion Hybrid.
  • bwilson4webbwilson4web Member Posts: 80
    Sorry to be late. On the P0A1D, there should be a subcode but Google shows it to be "internal ECU faults." This is potentially pretty expensive.

    Bob Wilson
  • rayrico55rayrico55 Member Posts: 3
    I changed the dash hardness and now it give my a new code POA1F, is there a way to charge the HV battery? I need HELP??
  • dcjackdcjack Member Posts: 6
  • bwilson4webbwilson4web Member Posts: 80
    "dash hardness" - Huh? I do not understand this term.

    "a new code POA1F" - this is a hybrid vehicle control computer general error. The subcode is needed to understand what is going on.

    "is there a way to charge the HV battery" - Yes but normally at the dealer.

    Bob Wilson
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