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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-27-2007, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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Default 05 prius warning lights

i have an 05 prius, model 6. this morning (it has been cold all week, between 0 and 20 F) i turned on my prius to warm it up and several warning lights came on: VSC, the master warning light (MUD gives the battery warning light with the car/exclamation point), engine warning, and the yellow exclamation point in a circle with brackets. i ran the car for about 15 mins and the lights didnt turn off. I drove it last night and no lights were observed.

things that may possibly be contributing/symptoms:
three days ago my car slid out of control on the ice (going about 5 miles an hour) into a curb on the front right rim (snapping off a piece of my chrome rims ). it appeared fine (no lights came on then or until today) except i noticed my steering wheel is now turned slightly when driving straight - i thought this was because i was pulling hard into wheel trying to steer away from the curb during the incident.

any thoughts? i am going to take it to a dealer but i'm not quite convinced the two events are connected. i was wondering mostly about the effect of cold weather on the prius warning lights for this MY.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-27-2007, 02:16 PM
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When you were "warming" up the car, was it in neutral or park? You have to be in Park to get an "work" from the ICE, such as charging the traction battery, etc.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-27-2007, 05:38 PM
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As to warning lights and cold weather, my '05 hasn't displayed anything unusual in as cold as -10F.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-28-2007, 12:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firepa63
When you were "warming" up the car, was it in neutral or park? You have to be in Park to get an "work" from the ICE, such as charging the traction battery, etc.
That wouldn't give him the warnings you described. If the driver door was opened while in neutral or drive, then the screen would show the paragraph informing you that the car can't charge the battery in neutral. No icons on the screen are present during that event. He has icons on the screen.

It is interesting that it drives normal with all those warnings.

Ah I think I might know what it is: high voltage ground fault.
The ECUs check for any current leakage in the high voltage system, from the battery down to the MGs. The high voltage system is completely isolated from the 12V, including ground. Even a harmless high resistance leakage will trigger a fault, but will still allow the system to run. The AC compressor is also within the scope of this check. You may have damaged the AC compressor motor, which is located on the right (passenger) side.
Incidentally, using the wrong oil in this AC system could trigger this fault.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-29-2007, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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well, i'm not sure what the reason is.. but when i had it turned on the first time (when all the warning lights came on) it was running at full blast (AC on, defrosters on) in park - for over 15 mins. it seems to me like the battery ran down quite low.. that the system had 'decoupled' some how (the battery and gas engine), draining the battery and i think causing all the warning lights. I turned it on the next day, put it in drive, and noticed that the gasoline engine wouldnt turn on. I tried to drive it a bit to get the engine to kick in, but in stead it stalled and turned off after going a few feet... turning it on a few moments later, the gasoline engine engaged properly and the multiuse display (which until this point hadnt been responding) told me there was no juice in the battery and proceeded to charge it..

the VSC light and amber exclamation had turned off at this point, but the master warning and check engine signs did not turn off until it had run more than 30 mins.. but they have all turned off now and the car seems fine.

does anyone know why the system is this way? why doesnt the gasoline engine turn on when it needs to if the engine isnt in drive? doesnt this seem dangerous? or is this a fault in my car? i dont know enough about cars to check for a voltage leakage.. and the AC compressor hasnt been adjusted since i bought the car, so i dont know how the oil could be incorrect. does it use engine oil? i go to the dealer to get it changed so...
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-30-2007, 12:43 AM
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All AC systems have some oil in the refrigerant to keep the compressor lubricated. The Prius needs a special hi dielectric oil to prevent a voltage leak. I wasn't saying that your car had the wrong oil, I was just giving an example of how even something that isn't normally considered to be conductive can cause an error with the Prius.

As long as the car is in READY and not in Neutral, the ICE will normally maintain the charge of the HV battery. Normally it won't be allowed to go below 1 bar. Of course if the ICE is unable to start, such as running out of gas or some other engine trouble, there's nothing to charge the battery, so eventually it will go to no bars and the car will power off to prevent an undercharge. The car is drivable until the battery gets too low, which isn't very far; about 1-3 miles.

Before you indicated several icons on the display, which suggested a systemwide fault, so I suspected a high voltage leak. It could also be a communications fault. The drivetrain components communicate over a network called CAN. By the way there are 2 other networks in the car: BEAN for the body electronics, and AVC for the audio-visual components, such as the display and the radio. The 3 networks interchange info via the Gateway ECU.

What you need to do is extract the diagnostic codes which will give you a direction to go. It might not be too late to get the code. The master warning lamp doesn't turn off until 3 error free trips. A trip being powered on, then powered off.
Many auto parts chains will extract the codes for you for free. Some other shops will too. Any scanner can get the codes, though they may not be able to interpret the meaning of the codes.
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