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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-29-2014, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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Default Battery or something else?

I have a 2001 Toyota Prius with about 249000 miles... The red triangle with the exclamation in the car symbol comes on at irregular times while driving the car. Sometimes it loses power, sometimes it accelerates, sometimes it keeps working, but the light stays on. When we turn the car off 4 times the triangle light goes away and the check engine light comes on. The first time this happened we found nesting material from a small rodent in the engine compartment. We cleaned it out and the lights went away, but we took it to a dealer anyway and they got no information. This has happened several times since then and the info the dealer gets is that a cell in the big battery is losing charge, but when they check the individual cells they are all fine. They say we need a new battery even though the cells seem to be fine. This battery is less than 3 years old and has about 30,000 miles on it (this is our second battery - the first one lasted 10 years and more than 200,000 miles). Anyone have any ideas.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-30-2014, 06:58 AM
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How old and in what condition is your 12-volt battery? Sometimes, this can cause unusual errors.

Also, when was the last time that the hybrid system coolant pump replaced. When it starts to go bad, the hybrid electronics overheat, and it will cause the "triangle of death". (I have a 2002 Prius with 135,000 miles, and have replaced the hybrid coolant pump twice.)

Just guessing; but I doubt if your new traction battery is bad, since it only has 30,000 miles on it.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-30-2014, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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The 12 volt battery is about 4 or 5 years old and I have never had the hybrid system coolant pump replaced that I am aware of. Thanks for the suggestions, I will pass them on to the dealership. It is interesting to see you use "triangle of death" since that is what I call the symbol too.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-30-2014, 03:48 PM
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You can test your 12-volt battery from the instrument panel while it is still installed in your Prius:

Link to test instructions: http://www.elearnaid.com/opbaandkitfo.html

Look about half-way down the Web page for the header "Has your 12 volt battery failed? Prius battery test procedure for 2001 to 2003 Prius Cars".

Note: I have no connection with this company, other than being a satisfied customer. I have purchased several batteries from them; two for our 2002 Prius and one for our 2008 Tundra.

If the coolant pump is failing, the dealer should be able to tell from the fail codes. Do not continue to drive without repairing this problem. If the coolant pump is defective, the hybrid electronics can be permanently damaged, which can cost thousands to repair.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-30-2014, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advise. Our display will not do what the instructions advise to check the voltage on the battery, but I will try to get ahold of a meter to check it out.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-01-2014, 03:18 AM
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Most auto parts stores will "load test" a loose battery for free. However, this requires removal from your Prius.

If you decide to do this, remove the 12-volt battery and charge it overnight. Then, take it to Pep Boys, Autozone, O'Rielly, NAPA or similar store; and have them perform a "load test".

12-volt batteries only last about 2-3 years in Phoenix, due to the extreme summer heat. However, the last battery I installed was an Optima Yellow Top; so, hopefully, it may last a little longer.

Good luck!
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