Code POA80, check hybrid system light

Tiny
JOY BARAGARY
  • MEMBER
  • 2009 TOYOTA CAMRY HYBRID
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 182,000 MILES
I am the only owner of the car listed above, I bought it in 2010. I live on a gravel road, so there is plenty of dust much of the year. While 200+ plus miles from home 2 warnings alternated - "check VSC system" and "check hybrid system". Stopped a couple of times at a safe place within ten miles. Turned the car off at least the last time and "check VSC system" quit alternating with the other warning. Ended up driving 250 miles back home since and "check hybrid system" warning remains.

A local independent mechanic shop checked codes and found POA80, which they said needs a new battery pack. They don't have anyone trained to work on hybrid batteries and recommended I find a different independent shop with a specially trained hybrid mechanic or a Toyota dealer. After doing a bit of research (not much makes sense to me) a specialist too far from me recommended I ask if they checked ABS codes as well. After 5:00 pm. So, I took it to O'Reilly, also local, but still open. The only codes O'Reilly found were also POA80 (pending and stored) "checked hybrid system" and ABS code C1365 (1/1) Current, Accumulator Pressure Sensor.

I'm trying to weigh options without knowing enough to understand my options. 1. Toyota dealer charges about $160.00 to diagnose problem - says "it might not be/need hybrid battery replaced" but if it does it's over $5,000.00 and they have some on backorder so it could be weeks. 2. An independent shop says it'll cost me $140.00 to diagnose the problem before they estimate what it might cost.

Car "maybe" hesitates after pressing accelerator but otherwise, as of yesterday it still runs.
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Tuesday, May 17th, 2022 AT 7:19 AM

7 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

The code you provided, P0A80, does indicate an issue with the hybrid battery. However, it doesn't mean 100% it is bad. There is an HV battery smart unit that may have failed. The battery smart unit monitors the HV battery condition signals (voltage, current, and temperature), which are needed to determine the charging or discharging values that are calculated by the hybrid vehicle control ECU and transmits them to the hybrid vehicle control ECU via serial communication.

Next, if you look below, it explains the code and possible causes for it. Take a look through them.

Now, the reason the dealer suggested checking the ABS is that it also includes traction control. If the code you had was set, it could be an issue within the electronically controlled brake system.

If I had the vehicle, that is truly where I would start. If there is an issue with the ABS, it could be something as simple as a sensor.

Let me know if this helps or confuses you more. LOL

Take care and let me know if you have other questions.

Joe

See pics below.
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Tuesday, May 17th, 2022 AT 8:30 PM
Tiny
JOY BARAGARY
  • MEMBER
Thank you very much! It helps. So, I may at least understand the process a little more when whichever place/mechanic checks it out and explains what they recommend to me. I hope they will check those things (the ABS sensor and HV battery smart unit) before jumping straight to the hybrid battery. If it turns out not to be an ABS sensor or HV battery smart unit, or something else less extensive and they give me choices. For them to either recondition the current battery or replacing it with a reconditioned battery or a brand new (not OEM Toyota battery, assuming if Toyota can't get them in timely manner, independent shop can't either) would you go with reconditioning or a reconditioned battery as an option? I didn't put the mileage in my question because it was asked on the "pre" question blanks, but the car has 182,000 miles on it. It wasn't a dealer that suggested checking ABS codes. It was the hybrid battery specialty shop that offers lifetime warranty on their reconditioning "if I was in their trade area", which unfortunately I'm not. Thanks again.
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Wednesday, May 18th, 2022 AT 7:20 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

Reconditioned vs new is a tough one for me to answer. These batteries are very powerful and there is a lot of demand placed on them. Actually, they produce enough power/electricity to cause injury or death. Also, they are combustible and can catch fire if the power cells short.

I really don't want to scare you with this. I just want you to know these things to help make an educated decision. If I was to purchase a remanufactured one, I would really need to trust the rebuilder. The one thing you mentioned was a lifetime warranty, which leads me to believe they do good work.

However, unless there is a substantial difference in price or the "new" part isn't available, I would likely purchase the new one.

Let me know if this helps. Also, let me know if you have questions.

Take care,

Joe
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Wednesday, May 18th, 2022 AT 6:59 PM
Tiny
JOY BARAGARY
  • MEMBER
Thanks again! I appreciate your caution warnings. We had already figured out how dangerous hybrid batteries can be and certainly wouldn't attempt anything ourselves.

That lifetime warranty offer was on rebuilding my existing battery, but I live outside his trade area unfortunately. Same guy said he could buy/put in a reconditioned battery so he must trust his source. And he could do a Toyota battery for $700.00 more than that. Same 3-year warranty on both of those batteries but he said Toyota battery would last longer but kind of too much in a car with so many miles. Bummer, I live outside his trade area. The reconditioned "other" battery or Toyota brand battery aren't prices to even consider given the distance from me.

Since though I found a more local guy that gave me a price on an aftermarket battery (I assume new, but don't have that verified yet) or Toyota brand battery for $750.00 more. Both of those are about the same price on those as the mechanic not in my area. So how about aftermarket if it's new vs a genuine Toyota brand? My concern is (though my initial communication was through a 3rd party) is that mechanic would replace battery first instead of try other parts to attempt to fix the problem. Unless I understood the third party wrong. That doesn't make sense to me. And it also contradicts the approach you suggested which did make sense to me. I don't have any details verified with that guy yet except battery prices. The third party said there would be warranties, but didn't say how long or how many miles.

Neither Toyota dealer, nor other more local guy will check on actual availability of Toyota battery until they actually diagnose my car.

If it's the hybrid battery and we do nothing will my car continue to run but just on the gasoline engine? Or will it eventually just stop? Will it damage it further to continue to drive (short or long distances) before it's repaired? What's your best guess to those questions?

Again, thanks.

Joy
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Wednesday, May 18th, 2022 AT 8:33 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

If the battery is new (non-Toyota) I would feel better. Also, I don't feel it would damage the vehicle, but it will likely always run the engine.

Let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

Take care,

Joe
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Wednesday, May 18th, 2022 AT 9:45 PM
Tiny
JOY BARAGARY
  • MEMBER
Thanks. Please clarify. You don't feel it would damage the engine to continue to drive it as is, not replace the hybrid battery? Or you don't think the new (non-Toyota) battery would damage it?

I'm still going to get it diagnosed and get it fixed - especially if it turns out it's not the hybrid battery. I just wondered if it's happens to be the hybrid battery if I had an option to continue to drive it without damaging it further, wait the few days it's taking to get it seem by Toyota (or drive it a hundred miles or 500 miles) to an independent shop that sounds like they know more what they are doing.

My husband's original thought (when I was 200 miles from home) that my car would run on the gas engine, just not get as good of gas mileage. Camry hybrid's don't get much better gas mileage than a regular gas Camry.

Thanks again.
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Thursday, May 19th, 2022 AT 4:57 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
I agree with your husband. If you made it 200 miles without incident, you will be fine.

Let me know if you have questions or if I can help in any way.

Take good care of yourself,

Joe
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Thursday, May 19th, 2022 AT 7:18 PM

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