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2002 Prius Inverter Pump

Could a service technician damage an inverter pump when performing a “Toyota Dealer Recommended” car maintenance service such as: “60k mile service” or “Induction Service Cleaning” on a 2002 Toyota Prius? My car was running fine until I went in for my regular oil change last week and they advised me to have them perform “those other services”. My mileage is 61k and I have had no major problems. Now 7 days later, my dash symbol warning lights come on: Check Engine; PS; Hybrid Vehicle Battery Warning; Caution !; Hybrid System Warning. I immediately towed it to the dealer this 7 a.m. They cleared the codes, P3125; P3130, said “no charge, no problem, just needed to reset after some more cleaning, carbon residue, blah, blah”. I left and drove 25 miles this day and those dash warning lights came back on, so I took it back to the dealer. They quoted me approx.$342 for a new inverter pump and $3,700 for the inverter (if the new pump does not take care of the problem). I have not signed anything to authorize the work. They were closing and said that they would order the part. I was so concerned about a ride home and they were busy closing up shop, they overlooked handing me any paperwork as they got caught up in giving me a rental car until Monday. I wish to call them Monday and put a hold on the work until I investigate this scenario further. I am very uncomfortable that this all happened so suddenly without my car showing any previous indicators prior to them servicing it??? What should I do next? Should I suggest that they double check for fluid levels, air in the lines,__etc? I am searching for Better Business complaints and Federal Trade Complaints, and internet blogs and recalls, etc. and that’s how I found you. Thanks for your input.

Victoria, Did The Dealer Refer To Or Mention A 6 Page Toyota Technical Service Bulletin Pertaining To 2001 - 2003 Prius Models Showing Warning Lights And DTCs P3130 And P3125 (information code 346) ?
(It says not to diagnose the P3125)

This bulletin may or may not pertain to your specific situation, but it’s highly suspect. It seems as though Toyota knows about Prius cars with this problem. The TSBs (bulletins) are written to help their technicians diagnose and treat certain problems. Keep in mind that these bulletins are not intended for customers/car owners.

It seems that new “improved” HV Water Pump Assemblies and Inverter Assemblies have been made available for purchase or warranty repairs to replace the previous versions of these components.

Here’s a link to the TSB.

On page 1 take a look at “Applicable Warranty*: </b?>” at he bottom of the page. You are probably out of both warranty periods, but maybe Toyota would help you with this since it concerns only 3 model-years. I’d arrange to meet with a Toyota Parts/Service Zone Representative. Perhaps your Service Manager/Director could help arrange this. Manfacturers sometimes offer “Goodwill” in situations like this one.

With this information, perhaps others will chime in with better advice for you. I hope this starts the ball rolling in your direction.

Remember, you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Although difficult, try and be polite as possible (easy for me to say) and see where that takes you before you try another approach. If this car is out of warranty, they have no obligation to help you.


How About It . . . Any Prius Or Toyota Owners Out There Who Will Weigh In On This Issue ?


Wow! For a person who never sees a Prius, or most other “foriegn” cars, your answer is fantastic.

Very impressive!

I hope the OP will read your post.

Victoria8, you’ve gotten some great advice - have you also gone to the Prius forums, like priuschat, and asked there?

Thank you so very much CSA and everyone! I have printed and am now studying the TSB pages 1-6. I just might be up all night trying to wrap my head around this technical information and figuring my strategy and approach. I hope that by morning I will be able to politely and intelligently approach them without making a total fool of myself. I also found some info from the website/ blog of a Hybrid specialist in San Francisco, CA. Carolyn is a female mechanic that runs a hybrid repair shop called LUSCIOUS GARAGE. If you are not already familiar with her, you may become quite surprised. After reading her News Flash, I was better equipped to formulate my question to Car Talk. Now, after reading CSA’s advice I have a chance to educate myself about the car that I am driving. I hope to be a more responsible car owner / operator. (Now, what is the trick to protect myself from intimidation?) (They will always know more than I do.)

Much appreciation for your time.
Victoria :slight_smile:

Texases, Thanks. I almost joined the Prius Chat forum, but I don’t know to trust where the info may be coming from. I love Car Talk Radio and feel that “Click” and “Clack” is on the listener’s side and that they want to promote truth and fact without a hidden agenda (more on my side). Anyone can throw advice around and you don’t know who is out there putting out anonymous info (i.e…evil technicians) and what their motive may be (besides a good chuckle).

Thank you Click & Clack. (You had me at hello.)
Victoria (lol)

Victoria8, just know that Click and Clack have nothing to do with the answers you’ll get here, it’s just us. And I agree, don’t accept any one answer without checking it out. But if you find a discussion on Prius Chat about your problem, and there seems to be a reasonable agreement, you can put some trust in that.

texases, Thank you for that clarification! I will be sharing the results / outcome for my car repair issues very soon…

Best Regards,