Re: Intermittent Hybrid System Problems
The initial repair of the Prius had been performed at a BBB-certified body shop that has experience with rebuilding Priuses. With that said, I don't know if their Technicians are Prius certified. The techs have the usual ASE and I-Car certifications, and I brought the car to them since they're well known around my area as being more Customer-friendly and accommodating than any dealership.
When I suddenly had error codes after the body shop repair, I initially brought the car back to them for further diagnosis. However, they had been very truthful in disclosing their limited electrical knowledge of the Prius (due to its intricacies) and suggested I bring my car to a dealership just in case. Since I'm near two Toyota dealerships, I brought the Prius to the closer one (only a mile closer than the other). The dealership's diagnosis indicated a leak within the Inverter Coolant System, but they found nothing. After resetting the codes, I drove home only to have the error codes reappear. As noted above, I pointed out to the dealership that it seems the Inverter Cooling System definitely has a small leak due to the inverter reservoir suddenly losing its fluid within an hour after removing the reservoir cap (the pavement also showed signs of leakage). Again, I'm surprised they could not find the leak or leaks to clear the error messages.
I'm actually going to have the car towed to the other Toyota dealership for them to try to diagnose and fix what the current dealership had trouble with. Although the car is drivable, I don't want to chance further possible ruin to some components (as KTPhil mentioned above). I'm now envisioning many dollar signs while going through this exercise. Also as suggested above, I will have the dealership document that the Inverter Cooling System appears to have a slow leak and the inverter fluid level is low. Hopefully, the second dealership will do a better and faster job in troubleshooting.
As a previous Prius owner (I used to own a 2002 Prius which I sold at 150K miles), I'm becoming more puzzled with what I'm suddenly experiencing with my "new" Prius. Anyway, I'll post more info when available. Thanks again for those who have contributed to this post.