Toyota Hybrid 12V Battery, Ouch!

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Old 07 Aug 2013, 01:28 pm   #1 (permalink)
sms
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Default Toyota Hybrid 12V Battery, Ouch!

Yesterday I got a call from the spousal unit that the Camry hybrid
wouldn't start. She was 40 miles away so she called the auto club (we
tried "Better World" club for a year--big mistake, so it's back to AAA
next month.

The tow truck gets there and he can't get the vehicle started by jumping
it so it gets towed to the dealer near us. I meet the tow truck at the
dealer at 11 pm and with some difficulty he unloads the car in the
service area (you can't get it out of Park with a dead battery, but he
hooks up his jumper cables and is able to get it into neutral). The
driver's window is down so he hooks up the cables again so I can roll it
up before I leave it. I push the start button and the vehicle starts and
I drive home.

After some investigation I find that the 12V battery is a special
deep-cycle battery that the dealer charges about $500 to replace, and
that it should be replaced every five years or so (deep cycle batteries
have a shorter life than regular car batteries). But a place in southern
California sells a substitute (you need one with a vent tube) for $160.
<http://www.elearnaid.com/opd51yetopba.html>. Why a company that sells
home schooling educational materials also has a division selling hybrid
12V batteries could be another story.

I'm not sure why the 12V battery went dead. No lights were left on (in
fact you can't leave the headlights on). My only thought is that perhaps
the vehicle was not really turned off, which is an easy mistake to make
on these vehicles since there is no engine noise when stopped. But the
spousal unit says she is sure she shut it down properly.

BTW, unlike on the Prius, the Camry hybrid has no place in the engine
compartment to jump the vehicle, you must connect the jumper cables to
the battery in the trunk.

Anyway, if you buy a Toyota hybrid, be aware that besides the higher
initial cost, versus the similarly sized Corolla (versus Prius) or
regular Camry versus hybrid Camry, there are also increased maintenance
costs.

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Old 07 Aug 2013, 03:34 pm   #2 (permalink)
nm5k@wt.net
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Default Re: Toyota Hybrid 12V Battery, Ouch!

On Wednesday, August 7, 2013 1:28:28 PM UTC-5, sms wrote:

> Anyway, if you buy a Toyota hybrid, be aware that besides the higher
>
> initial cost, versus the similarly sized Corolla (versus Prius) or
>
> regular Camry versus hybrid Camry, there are also increased maintenance
>
> costs.


Exactly my point.. When that new fangled stuff breaks, and it
always does sooner or later, they are usually very proud of the
replacement parts. And while you can often find generic parts
cheaper, they are usually sub-standard quality vs OEM.



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Old 07 Aug 2013, 04:51 pm   #3 (permalink)
Ralph Mowery
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Default Re: Toyota Hybrid 12V Battery, Ouch!


<nm5k@wt.net> wrote in message
news:9d7697f6-12d7-4ea3-b68c-2cdb195166e4@googlegroups.com...
> Exactly my point.. When that new fangled stuff breaks, and it
> always does sooner or later, they are usually very proud of the
> replacement parts. And while you can often find generic parts
> cheaper, they are usually sub-standard quality vs OEM.
>


Sometimes you are lucky if you can find someone that can even find the part
that goes bad. I had a 91 camry that started running rough. Autozone help
page said it could be one of 3 sensors (not counting the plugs, wires and
coil that I had already replaced). As the one at the top of the list was
about $ 600 I took the car to a dealer. He kept it over 2 weeks trying to
find the problem. I sent Toyota an email and they emailed me right back a
very nice email. Turned out it was the $ 600 part but the repair person ws
tying other things first.

Many replacement car parts are out of sight. Fellow at work had a cracked
tail light and it was over $ 100 for that piece of plastic. Bet it only cost
$ 5 to make if that much.




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Old 07 Aug 2013, 05:17 pm   #4 (permalink)
passerby
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Default Re: Toyota Hybrid 12V Battery, Ouch!

replying to sms , passerby wrote:
> scharf.steven wrote:
>
> BTW, unlike on the Prius, the Camry hybrid has no place in the engine
> compartment to jump the vehicle, you must connect the jumper cables to
> the battery in the trunk.





There are no battery terminals under the hood of my second-gen. Prius either.
Still have to get to the battery in the trunk. Not that I ever needed to...

--
posted from
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using MotorsForum's Web, RSS and Social Media Interface to
alt.autos.toyota and other automotive groups

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Old 08 Aug 2013, 05:16 am   #5 (permalink)
Elmo P. Shagnasty
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Default Re: Toyota Hybrid 12V Battery, Ouch!

In article <ktu3kf$k0h$1@dont-email.me>,
sms <scharf.steven@geemail.com> wrote:

> After some investigation I find that the 12V battery is a special
> deep-cycle battery that the dealer charges about $500 to replace


It's not a deep cycle battery at all. It's a 12v battery that does
nothing but provide normal 12v battery duties when the car is off, and
when you turn the car to ready it opens the relays to allow the traction
battery to then power the car.

It's a small battery, that's all.

Who told you it's a "deep cycle" battery? The dealer???

The Prius battery, which is the same battery, costs $300 at the dealer
to replace. If your dealer charges $500, he's ripping you off.

Aftermarket, it's still a $175 battery.
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Old 08 Aug 2013, 05:18 am   #6 (permalink)
Elmo P. Shagnasty
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Default Re: Toyota Hybrid 12V Battery, Ouch!

In article <6b42$5202c794$42bb6765$4366@news.flashnewsgroups. com>,
passerby <065b0505594b06f549b8b6640ba408f1_818@example.co m> wrote:

> > BTW, unlike on the Prius, the Camry hybrid has no place in the engine
> > compartment to jump the vehicle, you must connect the jumper cables to
> > the battery in the trunk.

>
>
>
>
> There are no battery terminals under the hood of my second-gen. Prius either.
> Still have to get to the battery in the trunk.


Ah, the sounds of the ignorant.

Have you ever actually read your owner's manual? No, you haven't...

There are battery terminals under the hood of your second gen
(2004-2009) Prius. You can lift the hood and hook up jumper cables just
fine--and even better, all the jumping battery has to do is open those
relays so the big battery can take over.

You don't have a battery under the hood, that's all.

And I am quite surprised that the Camry doesn't have these terminals. I
strongly suspect it must, frankly.
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Old 08 Aug 2013, 11:30 am   #7 (permalink)
Jeff Strickland
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Default Re: Toyota Hybrid 12V Battery, Ouch!


"Elmo P. Shagnasty" <elmop@nastydesigns.com> wrote in message
news:elmop-9EF54E.06183708082013@[78.46.70.116]...
> In article <6b42$5202c794$42bb6765$4366@news.flashnewsgroups. com>,
> passerby <065b0505594b06f549b8b6640ba408f1_818@example.co m> wrote:
>
>> > BTW, unlike on the Prius, the Camry hybrid has no place in the engine
>> > compartment to jump the vehicle, you must connect the jumper cables to
>> > the battery in the trunk.

>>
>>
>>
>>
>> There are no battery terminals under the hood of my second-gen. Prius
>> either.
>> Still have to get to the battery in the trunk.

>
> Ah, the sounds of the ignorant.
>
> Have you ever actually read your owner's manual? No, you haven't...
>
> There are battery terminals under the hood of your second gen
> (2004-2009) Prius. You can lift the hood and hook up jumper cables just
> fine--and even better, all the jumping battery has to do is open those
> relays so the big battery can take over.
>
> You don't have a battery under the hood, that's all.
>
> And I am quite surprised that the Camry doesn't have these terminals. I
> strongly suspect it must, frankly.



I'm with you on this one, Elmo. I find it impossible to believe that there
is no battery terminal under the hood. It's easy to believe there is no
battery, but there should be a terminal post that is used for jumping the
car with another car.




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Old 08 Aug 2013, 12:19 pm   #8 (permalink)
SMS
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Default Re: Toyota Hybrid 12V Battery, Ouch!

On 8/7/2013 2:51 PM, Ralph Mowery wrote:
> <nm5k@wt.net> wrote in message
> news:9d7697f6-12d7-4ea3-b68c-2cdb195166e4@googlegroups.com...
>> Exactly my point.. When that new fangled stuff breaks, and it
>> always does sooner or later, they are usually very proud of the
>> replacement parts. And while you can often find generic parts
>> cheaper, they are usually sub-standard quality vs OEM.
>>

>
> Sometimes you are lucky if you can find someone that can even find the part
> that goes bad. I had a 91 camry that started running rough. Autozone help
> page said it could be one of 3 sensors (not counting the plugs, wires and
> coil that I had already replaced). As the one at the top of the list was
> about $ 600 I took the car to a dealer. He kept it over 2 weeks trying to
> find the problem. I sent Toyota an email and they emailed me right back a
> very nice email. Turned out it was the $ 600 part but the repair person ws
> tying other things first.
>
> Many replacement car parts are out of sight. Fellow at work had a cracked
> tail light and it was over $ 100 for that piece of plastic. Bet it only cost
> $ 5 to make if that much.


A lot of the after-market parts related to emissions are of poor quality
so you need to be careful because you could end up replacing the same
part multiple times (and paying labor each time if you're not doing it
yourself).

Some of the after-market parts are acceptable. I had a radiator replaced
on a 96 Camry and the mechanic (a relative) advised against the Toyota
part. Even though it might have been slightly better, it was six times
as expensive, and for a 16 year old vehicle spending nearly $800 on a
plastic radiator that might last another 16 years, versus a $125 plastic
radiator that might last five or ten years, made no sense.

You want to stick with OEM for water pumps, timing belts, and
alternators, and also avoid jobber brake pads and oil filters (though
there are some good aftermarket ones available, they aren't cheap).


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Old 08 Aug 2013, 12:22 pm   #9 (permalink)
SMS
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Default Re: Toyota Hybrid 12V Battery, Ouch!

On 8/7/2013 2:51 PM, Ralph Mowery wrote:

<snip>

> Many replacement car parts are out of sight. Fellow at work had a cracked
> tail light and it was over $ 100 for that piece of plastic. Bet it only cost
> $ 5 to make if that much.


What it costs to make is immaterial. What the market will bear is what's
important. He could have went to a junk yard if it was a popular vehicle.

One of the end-caps to my Toyota 4Runner's roof rack rails fell off.
This is the second time it happened. The first time they were available
from Toyota for just a few bucks. The second time they no longer could
get them. My neighbor was at a junk yard looking for a part for his
Honda and I asked him to see if they had any of the end caps. They did.
$25 for a used end-cap. They said that $25 was their minimum charge and
it was not worth it to them to do the disassembly for less.



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Old 08 Aug 2013, 12:27 pm   #10 (permalink)
SMS
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Default Re: Toyota Hybrid 12V Battery, Ouch!

On 8/7/2013 3:17 PM, passerby wrote:

> There are no battery terminals under the hood of my second-gen. Prius
> either.
> Still have to get to the battery in the trunk. Not that I ever needed to...


In reading more about the Hybrid operation on Toyota, I found that the
reason for the AGM deep cycle battery is because when the gasoline
engine is off, which is often, the 12V battery needs to power all stuff
like blower fans, lights, radio, navigation, 12V outlets, etc.. It's not
like a normal vehicle where these are all powered via the alternator.

Some other manufacturer's hybrids never shut the gasoline engine off.

Costco used to carry Optima Yellow-Top AGM batteries which can replace
the Panasonic AGM battery in Toyota hybrids, but they no longer do.

Personally I think that the tow truck driver made no real effort to jump
the vehicle because he wanted the long tow, but I can't prove that and
it doesn't really matter now.
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