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Battery smell solved!

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by hobbit, Jun 3, 2010.

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  1. hobbit

    hobbit Senior Member

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    Remember the "Sniff Yer Duct" thread? I finally have the answer
    to that question, and it's part of a new teardown page that goes
    on safari deep into the HV battery box and turns up some
    interesting things:
    .
    http://techno-fandom.org/~hobbit/cars/batbox/
    .
    Another resource to point Prius battery skeptics toward. Also
    discusses the cooling blower, and that mysterious black box
    back there that powers the brake system. Enjoy.
    .
    _H*
    16 people like this.
  2. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    :hail:

    As usual, excellent job

    A minor note to the light surface corrosion you noticed on the bus. Have seen similar surface corrosion on large DC power systems, eg >1 MW UPS systems, large DC power supply systems (Eg, paper mill DC motor control) etc

    It never seems to get truly bad, unless you have an environment with a lot of halogens in it. Eg: chlorine at a paper mill

    There are dedicated sprays that are used to protect bus bars. Not sure if its worthwhile for you to do so
  3. silentak1

    silentak1 Since 2005

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    Holy molly, major props to you.... you sir indeed went too far to find your solution.

    :hail:
  4. jelloslug

    jelloslug It buffed right out!

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    Have you tried sourcing those tubes from a dismantler? They may have some laying around from a failed pack.
  5. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

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    Nicely presented!!!
  6. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    Thanks, learned something new. I have not noticed the smell.
  7. andyprius

    andyprius Senior Member

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    An absolutely great write-up. Those little plastic pins can be replaced with wall anchors the plastic type ) with a little dyke work mod, Also, the same diagonal pliers can remove those plastic pins easily without damaging them. The dealer wants $3.00 ea. for tthose.. Did you ever attempt to clean the copper strips and hardware while apart? I have been running my car w/o the last portion of ductwork for the last 5 yrars as my wet cell 12V is a bit taller, everything appears to work fine. But, I don't skimp on AC in favor of mpg. Again nice job.:grouphug:
  8. andyprius

    andyprius Senior Member

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    Inspired by Hobbitts thread I delved into my HV Bat today. It was absolutely pristine and each of the modules read almost 8 Volts. Since it wasn't broke I didn't fix it.:grouphug:
  9. primus57

    primus57 New Member

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    Hi,
    I read your post with great interest and hope to fix this terrible smell problem in my prius 08, the only problem I have that it seems that after I park my car smell getting stronger( which is contradicts your discovery of rubber horses in my opinion).Thank you .
  10. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Why exactly would that contradict hobbits findings? When the car is running then the battery blower may be slowly running which would push the air (and smell) out through the wheel-arch vent. When the car is parked their is no airflow to push the air (smell) away from the cabin.

    BTW. I don't have the problem so I've never smelt it.
  11. BobInCT

    BobInCT Junior Member

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    My wife refuses to ride in my 2006 which she claims has a terrible odor that I can't smell. I drive 70 miles a day to/from work and guess my smeller isn't quite as good as hers - it isn't, I admit it. Anyway, we had the dealer do the ozone thing when we first got the car for this reason and it did kill it for a few days, but then it came back. I'll be doing the same sort of investigation, just never took the car apart before, so got to figure that out. Great article though!
  12. MyKuruma

    MyKuruma New Member

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    I have this problem in my new (to me) 2009 Prius. I am not mechanically inclined. How can I have this dealt with by a mechanic or dealer? Do I ask them to replace the "battery vent tubes" -- and will they know what I mean? Also, has anyone found a way to remove the smell from the upholstery once it has already gotten in there?
  13. nh7o

    nh7o Off grid since 1980

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    Are you sure this is the cause of the smell? There are many more complaints about bad odors from the AC, which can be helped by cleaning the evaporator. Also, the cabin air filter can get all kinds of things, living and dead, on it. Check those first.

    The battery vent smell referred to in the OP is minimal and transient, and is normally vented outside by the HV battery cooling fan. Check to see that the battery fan is clean.
  14. Magic

    Magic New Member

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    Hadn't noticed this smell in my 2004 Prius until this summer (2013) when my sister started driving it after I got a newer car. She rarely opens the window, preferring to use the AC, while I did just the opposite. After I scrubbed the floor mats with no relief from the smell, I had the car detailed, with the upholstery and floor shampooed. Smell still there. Yesterday, I rode with a friend who has a 2009 Prius and her car has the same smell! If this is coming from the battery vent tubes and they don't truly vent properly, how can the problem be resolved?

    It's not clear that these tubes *ever* pass any gas coming from the batteries. In the experience of everyone I know who has overcharged these modules, the vents never actually vent. Instead, pressure builds up inside the cases and they bulge out at the sides, puffing like chipmunk cheeks if things get bad enough, and can force their way right out of a fairly strong battery enclosure from the combined pressure and bend themselves into useless crap in the process. You would think that the vents would let go to relieve the overcharge pressure long before the point of destruction, but I don't think *anyone* has ever observed them actually doing so.
    As tempting as it is to leave the silly tubes off entirely, I put them back in so they can continue stinking up the seat vent. At least now I know what the deal is.
  15. nh7o

    nh7o Off grid since 1980

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    While you were back there, how was your battery fan? I think the odor has to do with the rubbery vent tube material heating up and volatilizing a bit, rather than the batteries venting. And the batteries do seem to let go a bit over time, as some see green corrosion on the bus bars, although it is minimal.
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