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Boxer54, Toyota Technician
Category: Toyota
Satisfied Customers: 1755
Experience:  ASE Master tech with L1 certification, Toyota Master Diagnostic Technician
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Red triangle exclamation , break warning, vsc, and check

Customer Question

Red triangle exclamation mark, amber break warning, vsc, and check engine all came on at once suddenly. Still 2500 miles to go before next oil change. 2006 Prius with 124k miles
JA: How many miles are on the car? How has the car been handling lately?
Customer: Just started using AC and noticed that the car was sometimes hesitating on accelleration.
JA: Are you hoping to fix this yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: Was not planning to fix myself but would like a better idea of what it might be before putting myself in the hands of the dealer.
JA: Anything else you think the mechanic should know?
Customer: No
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Toyota Mechanic about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Toyota
Expert:  Boxer54 replied 11 months ago.

Thank you for trusting us with your questions. The check engine light being on will be the focus here initially. Have you had the codes checked to see what codes are stored in the computer?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
no, this just happened on my way back home.
Expert:  Boxer54 replied 11 months ago.

In most states, you can visit your local auto parts store such as Autozone and they will scan and read the codes for you for free. Without those code numbers, there isn't a whole lot of help I could provide. I would recommend calling your local parts store and ask them if this is a service they offer. Keep in mind, the codes don't always point directly to a failed part, but can help us figure out what is happening here based on the experience I have with these vehicles.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
the car is safe to drive?
Expert:  Boxer54 replied 11 months ago.

So long as the check engine light is not flashing, and the vehicle is operating normally, yes. One thing to be cautious of, though is the inverter coolant. I do recommend checking that, and all the fluids for that matter before driving it. With the vehicle in ready on mode, you should be able to take the cap off of the inverter coolant and see the coolant moving in the reservoir. If it is not, you should limit the driving as much as possible as the inverter can overheat and then cause more expensive issues.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Where is the inverter coolant
Expert:  Boxer54 replied 11 months ago.

Open the hood and you will see a coolant reservoir just left of center in the engine compartment. This is the inverter coolant reservoir and should have pink coolant in it at the full level as marked on the side of the reservoir.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** moving so took it in. P0A080 said it is the hybrid battery--I guess about the worst code you can expect. Do you know how long it can be driven?
Expert:  Boxer54 replied 11 months ago.

Let me look up the code.

Expert:  Boxer54 replied 11 months ago.

Dont get too overwhelmed here. There is a service bulletin that applies to this code. It involves cleaning the air ducts and the cooling fan that cools the hybrid battery. Unfortunately, it does also involve replacing the hybrid battery. Here;s my recommendation. The hybrid components have a 10 year, 100,000 mile warranty. So, you are just out of that. That doesn't mean all hope is lost for getting this handled by Toyota. If you have a good service history with the dealer, they can 'goodwill' warranty in a situation like this. Basically that means Toyota treats the situation as though you are still in warranty coverage. It is an option available to every dealer. What you will need to do is speak to the service manager about it and see if there is any goodwill warranty available for this repair. If that doesn't work, ask for the contact information for the dealerships district parts and service manager. This is a person who can authorize warranty coverage in a situation like this. Toyota wants to take good care of the hybrid customer and there is a very good chance that they will help you in this situation.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
OK thanks much, I had heard about that tactic before so will give it a try. There is a shop in Denver that apparently does hybrid reconditioned battery replacement which might be a good option. Another Boulder shop does plug in conversion but costs $10k (you recoup 3/4 of that with rebates apparently but would have to carry the cost till next April). Anyway, thanks for advice.
Expert:  Boxer54 replied 11 months ago.

Be very careful of the reconditioned hybrid battery, due to the fact that if all the packs aren't charging and discharging at the same rate, you will see a check engine light on again. Check their warranty period. I have heard of some issues with the reconditioned batteries. Thanks for allowing me to help you and please don't forget to rate my service.