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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got into "Smudge" yesterday morning, started her up, and got the Master Warning triangle, the Check Display warning (meaning "look at the MFD"), and my fuel gauge started flashing, first one bar for 6-7 seconds, then all ten (I'd just filled up). On the MFD, I get the Hybrid System warning icon.

She seemed to work just fine when moving her back & forth a little to see if there was a transaxle problem, but no matter how many restarts, same behavior. Checked all the fuses, etc, no luck. At one point when putting her in D I got an error along the lines of "Place engine in Park; battery will not charge in Neutral" or some such, even though the transmission display indicated I was in D. This error didn't come up every time, though.

Took her around the block and the battery kept draining to one bar, with no ICE kicking in! Finally, she just rolled to a stop. Battery stayed at one bar, ICE wouldn't recharge or drive the car. ABS and Road Condition lights came on, as well, and the Ready light flashed a couple of times, then went out!

I pushed her to the curb and just this morning called Toyota Service (this always happens on a Sunday).

They're coming to take her in, and I'll let everyone know the Diagnosis. Here's a pic (sorry for the night view):

 

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Sounds pretty bad, we'll see what the prius tech says... i do know, however, that the message you saw about the battery not charging when in neutral has come up before... It's kind of odd, but if your door is ajar you'll get it.

Also, for everyone's benifit, if you get into a situation like this and you see the battery draining excessively without being able to engage the gas engine (by accelerating quickly, for example), it's always best to pull over and park imediately rather than run the battery down. While the car does everything it can to protect the battery, forcefully draining it when out of gas or having a problem like this can cause expensive problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Good catch, Eagle. The door WAS open when I got that error.

Hyperion, I'd gassed up approx 20 miles and two days before and the ICE worked fine until yesterday morning. I put in 7.757 gallons, so the tank wasn't empty just prior to the fillup. No other indications of any problems at all.

Still waiting for the tech to check her out. Updates to follow.
 

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The blinking gas guage is interesting. I don't think it does that with a 'engine failed to start' error.

Eagle beat me to the answer regarding the 'place in park' issue.

I suspect network communications problems, possibly with BEAN. Code retrieval should confirm/disprove this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The "techs" called back with "you're out of gas." Guess they saw the flashing single pip & tuirned the car back off. After I told them about the fillup they looked again. Code reader got a lot of weird (they said) codes, which I'll get from them later this week. Cannot communicate with the ICE ECU, they say. Either a bad connection from the main fuse box or a bad ECU. Basically, the ICE didn't know it was supposed to kick in - at all.

Since I was about to leave for DC (I'm there now), I had to leave my baby in the shop, steal my wife's VUE, and let her drive a Scion for a while. Will post Dx when it's confirmed.
 

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I figured it was communications errors. There might be a TSB or two for that. What troubles me is that the gas guage is not reading properly. It should read OK, even if the ICE ECU (ECM) was not working.

I was thinking that maybe the guage sender was not operating properly, but I would think ICE would still start, since when one does actually run out of gas, it is attempted when one powers up, and I am sure the sender is telling all systems that there's no gas.
If the pump were failing, then ICE wouldn't start, but the guage should still work.

I would have the tech concentrate on getting the guage to work. The guage operates in IG-ON. Ig-On doesn't engage the hybrid system, so there should be less trouble code clutter to work with in solving the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Fixed!

Ok, the Dx is apparently that the #10 wire coming from the junction box to the ICE's ECU was loose. Because of this, the ICE would not come on, and the battery slowly ran down.

Took them a few hours to run it down, but it seems to be ok now.

Thanks to everyone for your help & advice!
 
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