Understanding PCS Error Codes and Battery Failure: A Look into Lexus Hybrids



In the world of hybrid vehicles, cutting-edge technology meets environmental consciousness. Hybrid cars offer the perfect blend of fuel efficiency and reduced emissions, making them an attractive choice for eco-conscious consumers. Among the frontrunners in this realm is Lexus, known for its luxurious and high-performing hybrid models. However, even the most advanced technology isn't immune to glitches, and in this blog post, we'll explore the intriguing realm of PCS error codes as a consequence of battery failure in Lexus hybrids

Check PCS system warning on Lexus hybrid


What is the PCS (Pre-Collision System)?

The Pre-Collision System, or PCS in short, PCS uses a camera and laser radar to detect objects ahead of the vehicle. When the system determines there is a possibility of collision it prompts the driver to brake with an audio and visual alert. If the driver notices the hazard and brakes, the system provides additional braking force. If the driver fails to brake in a set time, the system automatically applies the brakes, reducing speed by approximately 30 kilometres per hour to prevent or mitigate the collision. The operational range of PCS covers speeds at which at least eighty percent of rear-end collisions occur (that is, relative speeds of between approximately 10 and 80 kilometres per hour).


Battery Failure: A Catalyst for PCS Error Codes

In the intricate dance of hybrid vehicles, the battery pack performs as the energy reservoir, powering the electric motor and augmenting the combustion engine. In a hybrid vehicle, there are electric motors/generators integrated with the drivetrain. When you lift your foot off the accelerator pedal or apply the brakes, these electric motors/generators operate as generators, converting the kinetic energy of the vehicle back into electrical energy. This process slows down the vehicle while generating electricity.

As the battery ages or sustains damage, its performance wanes, which can lead to PCS error codes like C1259 and C1310. This is because there a multiple computers in a hybrid that all talk to each other. For instance, the brake computer needs input from the high voltage and battery computers so the regenerative braking process described above can be coordinated. C1259 is a code logged by the brake computer that means the high voltage computer has told the brake computer something isn't right somewhere else.

No matter the root cause, on your dashboard you're likely to get a "CHECK PCS SYSTEM" warning. We're not suggesting these codes are false alarm by default; you should always take your car to a licensed professional for a diagnostic using proper scan tools. This is certainly nothing to be ignored. However, the solution need not be a PCS repair. In case of the C1259 code, for instance, the focus should be on assessing the battery and high voltage systems for faults, and fix whatever problems you find there. The C1259 code will then take care of itself. 


Trust Your Local Specialist

We've been building hybrid batteries since 2015, and we've seen our fair share of all kinds of fault codes on hybrids (here's an overview of the most common ones). Some involve the battery, some don't. The only way to be clear on what's going on with your vehicle, is to pay your local specialist a visit. Give us a call if you need help finding a hybrid battery replacement specialist near you.