Warning Lights on my 2008 Prius

We had a great trip visiting my aunt and uncle in the Poconos this weekend. On the way there, we had a bit of a misadventure because some warning lights on my car (2008 Prius) came on:

At the start of the trip, everything was fine. The car had recently received a new suspension and some other repairs. Twice since then, before this trip, the triangle light (above) turned on during hard breaking. This had been accompanied by the word “PROBLEM” on the car’s monitor, but both had only lasted as long as the breaks were being applied. This trip, things got more interesting. After about 70 miles, the triangle and the check engine lights came on. Those were later joined by the exclamation-point-in-parentheses and VSC lights. On the monitor, there was a persistent picture of a car with an exclamation point. Leaving the car off for a while and turning it back on, only the triangle and engine lights were on, but the other two came back after more driving.

We decided to stop at an Enterprise and rent a car to drive the remaining 170 miles. We did a one-way rental so that the rental could follow the Prius on the way back home the next day (Sunday). The Prius had similar issues on the return trip – it started with the two lights and it become four after a while. After about 50 miles, the car couldn’t maintain speed and started slowing down on the highway. I pulled over and turned off the car for a few minutes, after which it was able to drive again. We made it to the local Toyota service center near our home, so we will see what they say…

1 thought on “Warning Lights on my 2008 Prius

  1. Don Engel Post author

    Update! I just got the call from the shop. The problem is with coolant pump. The car was cutting power to its engine and hybrid motor to avoid overheating. The cost to fix this is about 1/10th what I thought it might be (if the problem had been a dying hybrid battery). We really thought this was the end of my car. I was anticipating it wouldn’t be worth repairing the car. I’m quite fond of it and I’m delighted it will be with me for a bit longer, particularly since I understand I’ll be getting a Habitent this weekend for Father’s Day!


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