Home » Toyota Prius » Toyota Prius Maintenance » Toyota Dealership almost got me to pay for fixing the water pump on a 2017 Prius PRIME

I’m glad I knew what I knew and didn’t clear any codes. Anyone else would’ve paid to have their water pump changed.

Recently, my journey with the 2017 Prius Prime took an unexpected turn when a tiny yet crucial indicator caught my attention—the coolant icon on the dashboard. It was one of those moments where a split-second decision could make all the difference. But it wasn’t the first time I had encountered such a situation.

As a seasoned Prius owner, my 2013 model had its share of challenges, including a notorious water pump failure. That experience taught me invaluable lessons. So, seeing that indicator flash reminded me of those past encounters and urged me into action.

Speaking of which, it’s become a bit of a mantra for me: every Prius owner should have an OBD2 device in their arsenal. Luckily, mine was already plugged in, allowing me to swiftly retrieve the error codes once I got back behind the wheel. It’s a game-changer, having that level of insight at your fingertips. Those error codes, often cryptic to the uninitiated, can reveal so much about your Prius’s health. It’s like having a backstage pass to understand what’s going on beneath the hood.

Water Pump Error Code is in PENDING

However, what many Prius owners might not realize is that not all OBD2 devices are equipped to handle the intricacies of our beloved hybrid. It’s a critical point to note. Without an OBD2 tool explicitly designed to read enhanced diagnostics, you’re left with incomplete data. And incomplete data in such situations can be the difference between a swift resolution and an extended troubleshooting session.

Thankfully, my 2017 Prime didn’t have a coolant issue—it wasn’t a good sign to find the reservoir dry. With the nearest auto parts store a mere three miles away and the experience of past water pump woes fresh in my mind, I drove in eco-mode, conserving every bit of energy. The store, almost a beacon of hope at that moment, provided the necessary coolant to replenish the system.

After installing the bypass to the heat exchanger, my coolant temperatures returned to normal.

Reviewing the diagnostic codes afterward, I couldn’t help but feel grateful for having a spare water pump propeller stashed away. You see, these components have a knack for failing when least expected. That’s why I make it a point to recommend to fellow Prius enthusiasts the importance of having not just any OBD2 dongle but one explicitly equipped for enhanced diagnostics. It’s akin to being prepared for a cross-country journey; you wouldn’t set off without the right gear, would you?

So, as I reflect on this experience, I’m reminded of the importance of being prepared and equipped—whether it’s having a spare part in the trunk or ensuring your diagnostic tool can truly comprehend the complexities of a Prius. It’s these small yet pivotal moments that define our journey with our beloved vehicles

Notice the code for the coolant pump? But it also says pending, meaning the system hasn’t been able to perform the test which can only happen under set parameters over time. So during the Toyota warranty repair, they advised us they would note that they advised the customer and the customer refused service yada yada bad for the engine. The thing is, after installing the bypass for the exhaust heat management, I monitored the coolant temp and drove spirited for a little distance and upper 180s to 190s and never over 200. That let me know the water pump circulation is fine since the heat exchanger was bypassed the flow after I refilled the system was fine. I mentioned they just needed to clear the codes and it’ll go away, I didn’t clear them after the bypass as they need to see the codes to warranty the fix! Had I cleared them after installing the bypass, I would have had to remove the bypass, put it back to stock then have the code trigger again, and then take it back to them to warranty the part and labor.

Above are the codes returned soon as I picked it up from the dealership. I monitored the coolant temps on the drive home, all was well and we didn’t have to pay the if not mistaken $1000 parts and labor to replace the water pump.

Thats how they get ya folks! Just like that…


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