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124949Re: [toyota-prius] Inverter cooling died on 2001 Prius

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  • Peter Blackford
    Jul 15, 2014
      Had a somewhat similar experience - with different re$ult:  After idling for some time (keeping occupants cool...), then driving a very few miles, the car quit (TOD) as I pulled into a parking lot. 
      Nothing to do for it then, so enjoyed our ice cream & socializing, while it concurrently cooled off a bit, then gave it a go.  Started OK, but I happened to have a plug-in-the-12V socket voltmeter which showed that the battery was not being charged at expected voltage.
      Drove home.  Next morning the battery was better, and charging was back up to snuff so in good shape when I got to work.
      A few days later, again after idling (same reason), battery again showed a weakening of charging voltage.  Caught it, no TOD that time.
      So, what's going on?  When the inverter coolant pump fails, and inverter internal temperature rises above its happy place, it seems the first thing to be affected is the output of the DC-DC converter which provides "ship's power" = the 12V which charges the battery, etc.   If this goes on for a while, then battery voltage falls and the car ultimately "fails to proceed".  If, OTOH, the weather is cool enough and/or vehicle speed is kept fast enough to manage the inverter temperature, then the car remains sufficiently happy to mask the root cause - i.e. the failed coolant pump.

      On Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 11:16 AM, Steve Goldfield stevesage@... [toyota-prius] <toyota-prius-noreply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

      Last week, I drove 1300 miles from Oakland to Denver with no issues. However, soon after, I got the triangle of death and not long after, I totally lost power. I got towed to Boulder, where they installed a new updated battery for $450 (I had installed an Optima less than 2 years ago but they said it was only producing 8 volts). I drove to my destination, but the warning lights came on again. I was able to return to Denver, where another Toyota dealer apparently fixed the problem, which was with the inverter's cooling system. I'm just glad it didn't happen in the middle of Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, or in the Sierras. I bought the car in October 2000, and it has 177,000 miles on it so I'm not surprised that something like that failed. I'm just passing on the experience in case it happens to anyone else.

      Incidentally, cruise control stopped working first and then power steering. So, if either of those go out on you, that could be a signal of a similar problem. Both came back after I let the car sit for a while and after the inverter issue was fixed.

      Steve Goldfield

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