Prius 12 Volt Battery Problem

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Old 08 May 2012, 02:59 pm   #1 (permalink)
casagiannoni@optonline.net
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Default Prius 12 Volt Battery Problem

I have a 2001 Toyota Prius with an intermittent problem with the 12
volt battery. When not used for one day I find the 12 volt battery
depleted and requiring a jump to start the car. The car then performs
normally for perhaps several days, before the problem repeats. The 12
volt battery has been tested and found to be OK etc. Apparently, on an
intermittent basis, there is a slow draw on the 12 volt battery. Any
informed help with this problem would be greatly appreciated and
thanks !
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Old 08 May 2012, 03:27 pm   #2 (permalink)
C. E. White
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Default Re: Prius 12 Volt Battery Problem

Who tested the battery? Are you sure the alternator is performing correctly?
Is it possible the alternator belt is loose? I'd certainly verify that the
battery is being properly charged before doing anything else. Once you are
statisfied the charging system is working properly, you could:

* Hook up an ammeter to monitor the battery drain.
* Pull fuses one at a time till the drain goes away.
* Then examine that circuit to see what is wrong.

BUT - you are likely better off taking it to a Toyota dealer. A Prius has a
more elaborate electrical system than your father's Celica, so it might be
wiser (and safer) to let an expert diagnosis the problem.

Ed
<casagiannoni@optonline.net> wrote in message
news:fkuiq7htt243gccjf03fdegq1hfluaj9pv@4ax.com...
>I have a 2001 Toyota Prius with an intermittent problem with the 12
> volt battery. When not used for one day I find the 12 volt battery
> depleted and requiring a jump to start the car. The car then performs
> normally for perhaps several days, before the problem repeats. The 12
> volt battery has been tested and found to be OK etc. Apparently, on an
> intermittent basis, there is a slow draw on the 12 volt battery. Any
> informed help with this problem would be greatly appreciated and
> thanks !



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Old 08 May 2012, 04:57 pm   #3 (permalink)
Mike S.
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Default Re: Prius 12 Volt Battery Problem


In article <fkuiq7htt243gccjf03fdegq1hfluaj9pv@4ax.com>,
<casagiannoni@optonline.net> wrote:
>I have a 2001 Toyota Prius with an intermittent problem with the 12
>volt battery. When not used for one day I find the 12 volt battery
>depleted and requiring a jump to start the car. The car then performs
>normally for perhaps several days, before the problem repeats. The 12
>volt battery has been tested and found to be OK etc. Apparently, on an
>intermittent basis, there is a slow draw on the 12 volt battery. Any
>informed help with this problem would be greatly appreciated and
>thanks !


Dunno if the Prius is supposed to be "special", but in my experience the
12V battery in most cars gets less dependable after 4 years or so. Yours
is 11 years old ... time to replace.


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Old 09 May 2012, 10:51 am   #4 (permalink)
casagiannoni@optonline.net
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Default Re: Prius 12 Volt Battery Problem

I had replaced the 12 volt battery about 4 years ago ...

On Tue, 8 May 2012 21:57:54 +0000 (UTC), retsuhcs@xinap.moc (Mike S.)
wrote:

>
>In article <fkuiq7htt243gccjf03fdegq1hfluaj9pv@4ax.com>,
> <casagiannoni@optonline.net> wrote:
>>I have a 2001 Toyota Prius with an intermittent problem with the 12
>>volt battery. When not used for one day I find the 12 volt battery
>>depleted and requiring a jump to start the car. The car then performs
>>normally for perhaps several days, before the problem repeats. The 12
>>volt battery has been tested and found to be OK etc. Apparently, on an
>>intermittent basis, there is a slow draw on the 12 volt battery. Any
>>informed help with this problem would be greatly appreciated and
>>thanks !

>
>Dunno if the Prius is supposed to be "special", but in my experience the
>12V battery in most cars gets less dependable after 4 years or so. Yours
>is 11 years old ... time to replace.
>

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Old 09 May 2012, 10:51 am   #5 (permalink)
Jeff Strickland
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Default Re: Prius 12 Volt Battery Problem


<casagiannoni@optonline.net> wrote in message
news:fkuiq7htt243gccjf03fdegq1hfluaj9pv@4ax.com...
>I have a 2001 Toyota Prius with an intermittent problem with the 12
> volt battery. When not used for one day I find the 12 volt battery
> depleted and requiring a jump to start the car. The car then performs
> normally for perhaps several days, before the problem repeats. The 12
> volt battery has been tested and found to be OK etc. Apparently, on an
> intermittent basis, there is a slow draw on the 12 volt battery. Any
> informed help with this problem would be greatly appreciated and
> thanks !


I'm confused, mostly due to not ever looking at how a hybrid is put
together, but if there is a 12v battery, as there is in all other cars, that
does the job of performing initial start, then if the car does not start and
the battery in question is 12 years old, then it is dead and is crying out
to be replaced.

After all of that, your symptom set supports the idea that the battery is
dead.

It is common that a battery will require a jump, and then operate "properly"
for some period, and then require a jump again. Over time -- weeks,
usually -- the period where the jump start is required becomes shorter and
shorter, eventually a jump is needed every day, and then everytime the car
is started. This is a typical pattern at end-life for an automotive battery.


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Old 09 May 2012, 02:46 pm   #6 (permalink)
casagiannoni@optonline.net
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Default Re: Prius 12 Volt Battery Problem

On Wed, 9 May 2012 08:51:28 -0700, "Jeff Strickland"
<crwlrjeff@yahoo.com> wrote:

>
><casagiannoni@optonline.net> wrote in message
>news:fkuiq7htt243gccjf03fdegq1hfluaj9pv@4ax.com.. .
>>I have a 2001 Toyota Prius with an intermittent problem with the 12
>> volt battery. When not used for one day I find the 12 volt battery
>> depleted and requiring a jump to start the car. The car then performs
>> normally for perhaps several days, before the problem repeats. The 12
>> volt battery has been tested and found to be OK etc. Apparently, on an
>> intermittent basis, there is a slow draw on the 12 volt battery. Any
>> informed help with this problem would be greatly appreciated and
>> thanks !

>
>I'm confused, mostly due to not ever looking at how a hybrid is put
>together, but if there is a 12v battery, as there is in all other cars, that
>does the job of performing initial start, then if the car does not start and
>the battery in question is 12 years old, then it is dead and is crying out
>to be replaced.
>
>After all of that, your symptom set supports the idea that the battery is
>dead.
>
>It is common that a battery will require a jump, and then operate "properly"
>for some period, and then require a jump again. Over time -- weeks,
>usually -- the period where the jump start is required becomes shorter and
>shorter, eventually a jump is needed every day, and then everytime the car
>is started. This is a typical pattern at end-life for an automotive battery.
>

Thanks for responding ! I was not aware of the intermittent character
of the dying automotive battery. In the Prius it is of small size and
capacity, since it is not used to "crank" start the engine. As such,
it is very expensive and I'm naturally reluctant to replace it,
although it would seem that I haven't much choice.
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Old 10 May 2012, 10:37 am   #7 (permalink)
Jeff Strickland
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Default Re: Prius 12 Volt Battery Problem


<casagiannoni@optonline.net> wrote in message
news:s0hlq79b6hg2tf44difr1jv7g0is9lndan@4ax.com...
> On Wed, 9 May 2012 08:51:28 -0700, "Jeff Strickland"
> <crwlrjeff@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
>>
>><casagiannoni@optonline.net> wrote in message
>>news:fkuiq7htt243gccjf03fdegq1hfluaj9pv@4ax.com. ..
>>>I have a 2001 Toyota Prius with an intermittent problem with the 12
>>> volt battery. When not used for one day I find the 12 volt battery
>>> depleted and requiring a jump to start the car. The car then performs
>>> normally for perhaps several days, before the problem repeats. The 12
>>> volt battery has been tested and found to be OK etc. Apparently, on an
>>> intermittent basis, there is a slow draw on the 12 volt battery. Any
>>> informed help with this problem would be greatly appreciated and
>>> thanks !

>>
>>I'm confused, mostly due to not ever looking at how a hybrid is put
>>together, but if there is a 12v battery, as there is in all other cars,
>>that
>>does the job of performing initial start, then if the car does not start
>>and
>>the battery in question is 12 years old, then it is dead and is crying out
>>to be replaced.
>>
>>After all of that, your symptom set supports the idea that the battery is
>>dead.
>>
>>It is common that a battery will require a jump, and then operate
>>"properly"
>>for some period, and then require a jump again. Over time -- weeks,
>>usually -- the period where the jump start is required becomes shorter and
>>shorter, eventually a jump is needed every day, and then everytime the car
>>is started. This is a typical pattern at end-life for an automotive
>>battery.
>>

> Thanks for responding ! I was not aware of the intermittent character
> of the dying automotive battery. In the Prius it is of small size and
> capacity, since it is not used to "crank" start the engine. As such,
> it is very expensive and I'm naturally reluctant to replace it,
> although it would seem that I haven't much choice.


Toyota, and others, has started to make the clock fail to keep time when the
battery is weak. The idea is that the flashing time will attract your
attention to a depleted electrical supply, and you will seek a remedy before
the real nasty stuff starts happening. I have a friend that asked me to look
into his constantly having to reset the clock. He would start his
Highlander, and the clock would be flashing 12:00. He could set the clock
and it would be fine for the rest of the day, but the next day it would be
flashing 12:00 again. I suggested he have the battery checked, and they
discovered that it was at endlife. I don't know that this is discussed in
the Owner's Manual or not, but if it really is a feature, then it should be
covered. It makes sense to me that making the clock flash would be a good
way to show that the battery charge was going down. It would not be very
hard to make the clock demand 12.6v, for example, and when the voltage
dropped to 12.4 then the clock would flash. This would give enough reserve
power to let the driver react to the situation...




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Old 10 May 2012, 11:22 am   #8 (permalink)
C. E. White
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Default Re: Prius 12 Volt Battery Problem


"Jeff Strickland" <crwlrjeff@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:jogn97$cjn$1@dont-email.me...
>
> <casagiannoni@optonline.net> wrote in message
> news:s0hlq79b6hg2tf44difr1jv7g0is9lndan@4ax.com...
>> On Wed, 9 May 2012 08:51:28 -0700, "Jeff Strickland"
>> <crwlrjeff@yahoo.com> wrote:
>>
>>>
>>><casagiannoni@optonline.net> wrote in message
>>>news:fkuiq7htt243gccjf03fdegq1hfluaj9pv@4ax.com ...
>>>>I have a 2001 Toyota Prius with an intermittent problem with the 12
>>>> volt battery. When not used for one day I find the 12 volt battery
>>>> depleted and requiring a jump to start the car. The car then performs
>>>> normally for perhaps several days, before the problem repeats. The 12
>>>> volt battery has been tested and found to be OK etc. Apparently, on an
>>>> intermittent basis, there is a slow draw on the 12 volt battery. Any
>>>> informed help with this problem would be greatly appreciated and
>>>> thanks !
>>>
>>>I'm confused, mostly due to not ever looking at how a hybrid is put
>>>together, but if there is a 12v battery, as there is in all other cars,
>>>that
>>>does the job of performing initial start, then if the car does not start
>>>and
>>>the battery in question is 12 years old, then it is dead and is crying
>>>out
>>>to be replaced.
>>>
>>>After all of that, your symptom set supports the idea that the battery is
>>>dead.
>>>
>>>It is common that a battery will require a jump, and then operate
>>>"properly"
>>>for some period, and then require a jump again. Over time -- weeks,
>>>usually -- the period where the jump start is required becomes shorter
>>>and
>>>shorter, eventually a jump is needed every day, and then everytime the
>>>car
>>>is started. This is a typical pattern at end-life for an automotive
>>>battery.
>>>

>> Thanks for responding ! I was not aware of the intermittent character
>> of the dying automotive battery. In the Prius it is of small size and
>> capacity, since it is not used to "crank" start the engine. As such,
>> it is very expensive and I'm naturally reluctant to replace it,
>> although it would seem that I haven't much choice.

>
> Toyota, and others, has started to make the clock fail to keep time when
> the battery is weak. The idea is that the flashing time will attract your
> attention to a depleted electrical supply, and you will seek a remedy
> before the real nasty stuff starts happening. I have a friend that asked
> me to look into his constantly having to reset the clock. He would start
> his Highlander, and the clock would be flashing 12:00. He could set the
> clock and it would be fine for the rest of the day, but the next day it
> would be flashing 12:00 again. I suggested he have the battery checked,
> and they discovered that it was at endlife. I don't know that this is
> discussed in the Owner's Manual or not, but if it really is a feature,
> then it should be covered. It makes sense to me that making the clock
> flash would be a good way to show that the battery charge was going down.
> It would not be very hard to make the clock demand 12.6v, for example, and
> when the voltage dropped to 12.4 then the clock would flash. This would
> give enough reserve power to let the driver react to the situation...


I doubt if this is a "planned" feature. More likely it is the result ot the
battery voltage dropping way below 12 V. Modern starter are able to turn
over at much lower voltages than in the old days and therefore can draw the
system votage even lower. I figure when you start a car with a weak battery,
the voltage might be well below 11. Electronic devices don't not like this.
Interestingly my old Fusion had a similar "feature." When the car was ~5
years old the ABS warning light started coming randomly after I started the
car some mornings. I was sure it was going to be some horrid expense. I did
a web search and found that this was a system of a weak battery. I replaed
the battery and sure enough the random ABS failure light went away. I guess
when I started the car I pulled the battery down so low that it messed up
the ABS computer self checkout.

Ed


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Old 10 May 2012, 11:44 am   #9 (permalink)
Jeff Strickland
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Default Re: Prius 12 Volt Battery Problem


"C. E. White" <cewhite3@mindspring.com> wrote in message
news:jogq4q$v42$1@dont-email.me...
>
> "Jeff Strickland" <crwlrjeff@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:jogn97$cjn$1@dont-email.me...
>>
>> <casagiannoni@optonline.net> wrote in message
>> news:s0hlq79b6hg2tf44difr1jv7g0is9lndan@4ax.com...
>>> On Wed, 9 May 2012 08:51:28 -0700, "Jeff Strickland"
>>> <crwlrjeff@yahoo.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>>
>>>><casagiannoni@optonline.net> wrote in message
>>>>news:fkuiq7htt243gccjf03fdegq1hfluaj9pv@4ax.co m...
>>>>>I have a 2001 Toyota Prius with an intermittent problem with the 12
>>>>> volt battery. When not used for one day I find the 12 volt battery
>>>>> depleted and requiring a jump to start the car. The car then performs
>>>>> normally for perhaps several days, before the problem repeats. The 12
>>>>> volt battery has been tested and found to be OK etc. Apparently, on an
>>>>> intermittent basis, there is a slow draw on the 12 volt battery. Any
>>>>> informed help with this problem would be greatly appreciated and
>>>>> thanks !
>>>>
>>>>I'm confused, mostly due to not ever looking at how a hybrid is put
>>>>together, but if there is a 12v battery, as there is in all other cars,
>>>>that
>>>>does the job of performing initial start, then if the car does not start
>>>>and
>>>>the battery in question is 12 years old, then it is dead and is crying
>>>>out
>>>>to be replaced.
>>>>
>>>>After all of that, your symptom set supports the idea that the battery
>>>>is
>>>>dead.
>>>>
>>>>It is common that a battery will require a jump, and then operate
>>>>"properly"
>>>>for some period, and then require a jump again. Over time -- weeks,
>>>>usually -- the period where the jump start is required becomes shorter
>>>>and
>>>>shorter, eventually a jump is needed every day, and then everytime the
>>>>car
>>>>is started. This is a typical pattern at end-life for an automotive
>>>>battery.
>>>>
>>> Thanks for responding ! I was not aware of the intermittent character
>>> of the dying automotive battery. In the Prius it is of small size and
>>> capacity, since it is not used to "crank" start the engine. As such,
>>> it is very expensive and I'm naturally reluctant to replace it,
>>> although it would seem that I haven't much choice.

>>
>> Toyota, and others, has started to make the clock fail to keep time when
>> the battery is weak. The idea is that the flashing time will attract your
>> attention to a depleted electrical supply, and you will seek a remedy
>> before the real nasty stuff starts happening. I have a friend that asked
>> me to look into his constantly having to reset the clock. He would start
>> his Highlander, and the clock would be flashing 12:00. He could set the
>> clock and it would be fine for the rest of the day, but the next day it
>> would be flashing 12:00 again. I suggested he have the battery checked,
>> and they discovered that it was at endlife. I don't know that this is
>> discussed in the Owner's Manual or not, but if it really is a feature,
>> then it should be covered. It makes sense to me that making the clock
>> flash would be a good way to show that the battery charge was going down.
>> It would not be very hard to make the clock demand 12.6v, for example,
>> and when the voltage dropped to 12.4 then the clock would flash. This
>> would give enough reserve power to let the driver react to the
>> situation...

>
> I doubt if this is a "planned" feature. More likely it is the result ot
> the battery voltage dropping way below 12 V.


But the voltage did not drop way below 12v because nothing else was
affected. The car did all of it's various operations perfectly, including
starting. If the voltage was way below 12v, then starting would have been
affected.

Ironically you end your comments agreeing with me that lights start flashing
when the battery power drops without any other malfunction being indicated.
Planned feature or not, I was attempting to steer the OP, and everybody
else, to look at other symptoms that include "randomly" flashing lights
along with the AAA truck in the driveway as a strong indication that the
battery is dead.




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Old 10 May 2012, 12:25 pm   #10 (permalink)
C. E. White
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Default Re: Prius 12 Volt Battery Problem


"Jeff Strickland" <crwlrjeff@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:jogr6t$6f3$1@dont-email.me...

>> I doubt if this is a "planned" feature. More likely it is the result ot
>> the battery voltage dropping way below 12 V.

>
> But the voltage did not drop way below 12v because nothing else was
> affected. The car did all of it's various operations perfectly, including
> starting. If the voltage was way below 12v, then starting would have been
> affected.


An how do you know that? Maybe only the clock is espeically sensitive to low
voltage. In the case of my Fusion, only the ABS computer seemed particuarly
sensitive. The clock, radio setting, etc. were unafffected and the car never
failed to start.

> Ironically you end your comments agreeing with me that lights start
> flashing when the battery power drops without any other malfunction being
> indicated. Planned feature or not, I was attempting to steer the OP, and
> everybody else, to look at other symptoms that include "randomly" flashing
> lights along with the AAA truck in the driveway as a strong indication
> that the battery is dead.


Definitely agree that you should pay attention to symptoms usch as clocks
that randomly reset to 12:00. I doubt it was a planned feature.

Ed


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