Warning Lights On Prius & Camry Hybrids! Help!

Hybrid Warning Lights?  Read On…

warning lights red triangle toyota priusI’ve only had my 2001 Prius Classic about 3 weeks. Today that warning screen came on showing the Main Battery symbol and the Car/Exclamation mark symbol. The dealership said it’s okay to drive it but bring it in Monday when the Prius guy shows up. The car seems to be running fine, I don’t smell anything, the oil is OK, power, A/C, etc seems to be ok. I hate when this happens within a technology I don’t understand. It reminds of the those “Fatal Error” messages I used to always get when I first got my computer. I also hate that I might be in for a battery or other repair that will wipe out any gas savings I might have for years. Any advice to give?

My Prius Story To Share

2nd generation priusMy 2005 Prius has about 224,800 miles on it. I has been driving okay until yesterday. While driving, there are many warning lights coming up, including the check engine light, Red Triangle, VSC and “!” lights are all on. I asked autozone to pull out the code to be “P0A80, replacing hybrid battery pack”. Does it mean I need to get a new battery? I heard it is very expensive, around $3000. Do I need to spend $150 to let Toyota Dealer to diagnose it again, just to be sure it is the hybrid battery problem?

In the mean time, after reading some posts from the forum, I did the following diagnoses myself:
1. I take out the fuel cap, and put it on until it clicks. It did not help
2. I tried to see whether it is the 12V auxiliary battery problem by checking the vehicle in the maintenance mode. I did it twice under two conditions
Now after the the car has been sitting/idling for 16 hours, I press the power button once and turned the head light signal 3 times while holding the MFD Info button, then “Menu”, “Display Check” and “Vehicle Signal Check”. I saw my battery voltage to be 11.9V . Then I press power button again and release, the voltage became 11.4V, less than the 12V as suggested. Then I press the brake pedal and press power again, enter into “ready” mode, the voltage shows 14.1V, which is supposed to be normal.
After driving the car for 30-60min, I followed the above procedure and checked the voltage again. The readings are: 12.5V (unloaded), 12.0V(loaded), and 14.1V (at Ready position).

I was told by a technician that the first time check was not accurate because the car has been sitting in the cold weather (30-37F) for 16 hours, it is normal that the battery to read 11.9V (unloaded). As he pointed out, the battery voltage returned to normal after driving 30-60min.

What is the best option to me at this point? I don’t want to spend another $3000 for my car because it is already old and has >200,000 mileage on it. Looks like I can do the following two things:
(1). Get a used battery. How much this will cost including installation?
(2). Trade in the vehicle and get a new one.

My Opinion…

affordable hybrid repair tampa bayWorking on Toyota Prius systems for years we have helped many Prius owners diagnose their hybrid system.  While the dealership now charges a $98.00 charge just to “figure” out what wrong we can come to you.  But here’s the catch, and a positive one at that.  Most Prius owners end up going to their dealership and finding out it is the main hybrid battery that is the culprit.  They will come to you and put you into a panic attack with a bill topping $3,000.00.  Our company will come to you, explain just what is going on with your hybrid system and rebuild just the bad cells saving you big bucks$$$$. 

Please do not feel that you must be loyal to your dealership at the sake of depleting your savings account.  Call me now for a full diagnosis.  (727) 565-5685 – Paul


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