12V Battery Issue? Need advice pls

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Technical Discussion' started by Superstar18, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. Superstar18

    Superstar18 New Member

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    Hi,

    I am a second owner of a 2004 Prius and i need a advice.
    I got my car 1,5 years ago and after 3 months my 12v battery went dead (it was the first original battery) and i replaced it with a zapp battery.
    After ~ 1 year, the battery i bought went dead (after 1-2 days of not useing the car, the battery died and the car didnt start).
    I went to buy a new battery from a varta dealer (i leave in Romania and it was the only suitable option i had : VARTA Blue Dynamic 45Ah - 545157033) and after i installed the varta battery, the dealer from there checked it and when i started the engine the voltage was 13,77V ( he didnt gave me the warrantly because it wasnt over 13,8. He told me that i could have a problem with the generator or something like that.
    I checked on many discusions on priuschat and i saw that it must have between 13,6 and 14,4V.

    In Romania there are not many experts in prius cars and my only option is to go the the Toyota dealer (its very expensive).

    1) Do you think this is a problem? i must get concerned? Was the varta dealer right? is 13,77V not normal? (i checked by the car calculator sistem check and the battery voltage is 13,8V when the engine is on)

    2) Can it be a problem with my generator? Some friend mecannics told me this can be a very big problem...
     
  2. jdenenberg

    jdenenberg EE Professor

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    Your Prius has a "Constant Voltage" charging system which treats the 12v battery very gingerly so as not to ever over charge it, but that results in a very slow rate of charge. If you drive on long trips and often, then it works fine. If you drive only for short trips ( 5-10 minutes or less), then the 12v battery never gets fully charged and will die an early death.

    One solution for short trip drivers is to attache a smart maintenance charger when the Prius is resting to keep the 12v battery charged up.

    JeffD
     
  3. Superstar18

    Superstar18 New Member

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    Thank you very much. I understand this but i really need a answer to my questions :(...

    Is 13,77 V a normal votage of the battery when the prius is turned on (with the air conditioner and lights on? The Varta dealer must give me the warrantly?

    Must i worry about the electric generator? Could it be broken if the 13,77V on the dealers voltage meter analizor? (i understand prius doesnt have a alternator, because it has a generator or something like this)?
     
  4. jdenenberg

    jdenenberg EE Professor

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    13.8 volts is the nominal (normal, correct) voltage that the High Voltage Inverter supplies to the 12v bus when your Prius is in "Ready" mode. There is nothing wrong with your Prius.

    JeffD
     
  5. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Yep, the voltage will vary a little bit depending upon the load and temperature, but will typically be within 13.8 to 14.0 volts. Mine sometimes rises to 14.1 or 14.2 straight after starting the car (making ready) but drops back to about 14.0 after a few seconds.

    Your local battery dealer is harsh to not give you the warranty, yes he is definitely trying to weasel out of it. Can you check the voltage without the A/C and lights running, it should be over 13.8 volts.

    BTW. Normally if a specification is given like 13.8 volts then it is implicit that this is measured to one decimal place (if it was meant to be measured to two decimal places then it must be stated as 13.80 volts for example). So technically 13.77 volts is 13.8 volts, to one decimal place, and thus it should in fact meet the specifications!
     
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  6. Britprius

    Britprius Senior Member

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    I believe you now live in the EU, and since Varta list this battery as being suitable for the Prius the retailer cannot under EU law disclaim the guaranty. Go to him, and tell them of your rites under EU law and demand the guaranty but even this is not rely required, just keep your receipt as proof of purchase.

    The Varta battery is a very good product and should last you many years, guaranty is 4years. I have used these batteries many times in the past, (not on a Prius, but they are perfectly suited to it) and they usually reed about 13.8 volts strait out of the box.
     
  7. Britprius

    Britprius Senior Member

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    Superstar18 try leaving your lights on for half an hour without the car being ready then make it ready and check the voltage I think you will then find it will go up to about 14.2v.
     
  8. andyprius

    andyprius Senior Member

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    What is really important is not the voltage charging in ready, but, are you sustaining about 12.5 Volts in aux mode?
     
  9. Britprius

    Britprius Senior Member

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    Andy the problem the OP has is that the retailer of the battery is refusing to hand over the guarantee with with a newly purchased battery because the charging voltage in ready does not go up to 13.8v actually 13.77v in the OP's car.

    The Varta batteries from my experience come out of the box with a high state of charge so when fitted to a Prius the charging system sees this and reduces the charging voltage.

    If you take a reasonable level of charge out of the battery the Prius compensates and puts out a higher voltage usually around 14.2v and this output will keep his retailer happy and hand over the guarantee.

    I have explained however that under EU law the OP does not need the guarantee as his receipt is all that is needed to instigate the guarantee as proof of purchase date.

    One of the few advantages of living in the EU is our very strong sale of goods act that protect purchasers of any products within the EU.
     
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  10. andyprius

    andyprius Senior Member

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    Yes, I can understand that you have full confidence in the EU law, but can the OP living in Romania. Of course this is something he should have checked, before he bought the battery. In the US Battery warranties are not that good anyway, it is all prorated. That is probably the case in the UK also? Again this is all cut and dried when purchasing the battery, one gets warranty paperwork and the discretion of the seller is irrelevant. The seller has no real say so. :cheer2:
     
  11. Britprius

    Britprius Senior Member

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    No the battery or any other product is replaced FOC and the remainder of any guaranty left remains in force.

    Romania is part of the EU and in the EU all goods sold are covered by the trade descriptions act, and the sale of goods act, this gives purchasers very strong protection. If goods sold are not as described or become faulty in "the first year where no guaranty is given" the goods can be returned and a full refund given or the goods replaced at the discretion of the buyer. This period can be extended for goods that could be reasonably expected to last much longer.


    Where a longer guaranty is advertised this guaranty becomes part of the transaction and all that is required to enforce the guaranty is reasonable proof of purchase date. A credit card or debit card or bank statement or of course the receipt from purchase.
     
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  12. andyprius

    andyprius Senior Member

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    FREE OF CHARGE? That is one very nice Warranty. That is unheard of here in the US. Things like batteries, tires are prorated, you still have to pay for the portion that you have used upon replacement. They also use a one sided formula which favors the manufactuer. In the OP's case, the retailer was saying the car is at fault, for which he is not qualified. Hell, even the Toyota dealers have difficuties determining that. So under the EU regs can I get a new replacement on a car??? Too? :cheer2:
     
  13. Britprius

    Britprius Senior Member

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    Providing you have not accepted repair work under warranty yes. The law states that all goods must be of merchantable quality, and if they are not the customer may return the goods for a full refund or replacement at the customers discretion.

    Tyres are guaranteed for manufacturing faults on full replacement. We do get "rarely" pro rata guarantees on tyres usually for punctures that cannot be repaired.

    On balance though in the end the customer still pays I believe in Europe we pay more for our goods generally than in the US.
     
  14. andyprius

    andyprius Senior Member

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    YES, The UK and the rest of Europe is generally more expensive. My son feels that food is cheaper. I think that is debatable since the packaging is smaller and different. Be patient tho, we are catching up! And, of course I forgot all your free social services. We also need a lot more free social services! Cheers.
     
  15. Superstar18

    Superstar18 New Member

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    Hi everybody,

    I solved the problem, i called Toyota service from Romania and they had these problems in the past with other prius owners. They gave me the service guide where is written that the baterry can have minimum 13V and maximum 15V. At hibrid cars its a little bit different then other cars.

    I went with that copy from the service guide at the varta seller and told me its ok and gave me the warantly.

    Thanks everybody for theyr help. I hope this topic will help others.
    I learned a very important thing, dont listen to anyone when its a electric problem! They dont know how a hybrid works and they will panic you with what they think!!!!
     
  16. CharlesJ

    CharlesJ Member

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    Glad your problem is solved:D
    Your last sentence can be applied to most anything though, not just the hybrids. ;):D Unless you know more than they do.:)