My sister has a 2003 Prius. It stopped running the other day and she had to have it towed to the shop. After running a diagnostic, the tech told her the code P3125 came up which meant she had a hybrid inverter failure and it would have to be replaced at the cost of $4500. This sounded pretty high but my sister was in desperate need of a functioning care so she said okay. Now the tech says that after fixing the inverter new codes have shown up for the transmission and that will be another $2400. Does this sound right to anyone out there?
It is unfortunate that the inverter costs so much. There is a long test procedure that confirms any type of failure of the inverter. Having transmission codes popping up is odd but before anything is done request to the service department to clear the memory of the transmission computer.
There is a service bulletin on this procedure it is TRANSMISSION & CLUTCH TC002-03, REVISED Title: ECM RESET MEMORY FUNCTION Models: '00 - '05 All Models June 10, 2003.
Before any thing is to be done do this service bulletin first. If they won't do this then take it to another dealer and have it rechecked. I'm not saying there is nothing wrong, it may be a transmission problem. Just have them check it first before going further.
Let us know how you make out.
I don't really even know where to start! Turns out the repair shop says that the transmission code showed up in the beginning along with the inverter code (P3125) and they decided to determine that it was probably the inverter. When they replaced it, the transmission codes still show up, so that is why now they have determined that the transmission is what damaged the inverter. My brother did some research and found that in order to truly teat the inverter, you have to get the car up to 45 mph and you cannot do that with the transmission in the condition it is in according to the dealer. Any of this sound like something you have heard of?
When a code is stored in the computers memory it's labeled with a specific code to help identify a problem in a particular category.
Your car had two separate problems, both that needed to be diagnosed and repaired. If the transmission was repaired first, they could have told you after the repair that you need the inverter.
Both codes were registered in the computers memory, and both appear that they need to be repaired. Unfortunately those repair bills together were expensive.
If you want the car the repairs need to be done.
Depending on the codes in the transmission, when they appear it usually means the transmission needs to be repaired or rebuilt. Like I said; depending on the codes decides the repair. Not all codes require rebuilding.
The inverter has a long list of diagnostic procedures, after the process determines the repair. Your car's inverter didn't pass the process and the mechanic condemned the inverter.
I'm sorry I can't be of more help. Unfortunately the out come is expensive.
One way to save money is to find a Prius that was in an accident and get that transmission and have an independent repair shop install it. The chances are that the Prius in the accident ran well before it was wrecked. The labor rate at an independent shop is a lot less than a dealer.
Thank you for your quick response. I am still somewhat confused so just for clarity I would like to share the codes with you that the tech shows. My sister just gave these to me.
P300, P302, P303, P304
Do these confirm your previous evaluation?
From what I came up with, these are the descriptions of the codes I found on the Alldata information website.
PO3125 is the inverter code. DTC P3125 Converter & Inverter Assembly Malfunction
If driving the vehicle with the DCDC converter malfunctioning, the voltage of the auxiliary battery will drop, which will make it impossible to keep driving the vehicle. Therefore, HV ECU checks the operation of the DCDC converter and gives warning to the driver if malfunction is detected.
The BO101 code is for the Air Bag wiring in the steering column or clock spring.
The C1202 is the low brake fluid warning light.
The C1259 is a malfunction in the ECU for the brake system.
The P 300,302, 303, and 304 are misfire codes. When a cylinder in the engine does not fire properly it raises hydrocarbons in the exhaust emissions and could cause the catalytic converter to overheat. These codes give warning that a problem in a cylinder (s) is happening and could cause catalytic converter damage and should be diagnosed as soon as possible. These codes could have been set when the engine was running poorly do to the low voltage from the inverter fault. These codes should be cleared to see if they come back.
None of the codes you gave me mention transmission problems. I would take the car to another dealer or a qualified repair shop and get a second opinion.
Checking each system for any obvious malfunction should be done first, then all the codes should be cleared and see what code pops up and then diagnose those codes.
I wouldn't do anything until a second opinion is done to make sure there are any actual transmission malfunctions.
Keep us up to date when you can.