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Help - professional installers stumped...

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Audio and Electronics' started by cmoehr, Aug 27, 2008.

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  1. cmoehr

    cmoehr New Member

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    I've hired a local shop to install 4 new speakers and an amp in my 06 base package Prius. We've worked though all the speaker issues, but we seem to have power issues. For one, they started the work on Saturday only to find they need spacers for the speakers. I drove the car home and it sat there for 2 days..... only to find the 12v battery completely dead when I went to drive it. They claim the new amp was not connected yet (no fuse in the amp) so it could not have been the issue. Ragrdless, I jumped it and got it going.

    Today, however, they cannot complete the install becuase every time the amp is connected, the battery warning light goes on. They are about to give up - any advice for me? I've seen many successful amp installs on these forums - any idea why I'm having the bad luck? They are looking at a more powerful 12v battery or possibley a second battery....? Anyone with advice on where to look \ what to do?

    Thanks in advance.

    Chris
    Madison, WI
  2. GeoGeek

    GeoGeek Member

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    2010 Prius
    Model:
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    Where are they tapping in for power?
    I pulled power directly off the 12V battery in the right rear corner of the car.
    Where are they trying to pull remote turn on from? I simply tapped into a switched power source the comes on when the car is on or in ACC mode.
    You might also check to see if they've got a good ground. I used one of the bolts
    that frames the compartment the hi voltage battery lies in (in front of the spare tire well). I have heard of another with this issue, but in their case the shop guys were trying to pull power from a fuse box under the hood.
    I've had the factory battery running my 480 watt system for 2+ years with no issues.
    Good luck!
  3. cmoehr

    cmoehr New Member

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    They are pulling power from the battery in the back.

    I'm not sure where the remote turn on wire is connected, but I will ask. I did specifically ask if somehow the amp was getting power all the time and their response seemed like a qualified "no".

    Here's 2 more variables. 4 weeks ago I got new tires put on, by the dealership (free for life). It was shortly thereafter I noticed my mileage go from a usual 48-52 to 42 if I'm lucky. Part of me wants to think the mileage comes from the car constantly trying to charge the battery, and that the install of the amplifier just brought to light the fact one of the batteries is dying. I don't know - so many ways to look at this. I'm having a full diagnostic at my dealership tomorrow to see where to start.

    I can't tell you how happy it makes me to hear that you (and others) have done this successfully before. It's not crazy to want an amp or two and a sub in this vehicle, right?
  4. cmoehr

    cmoehr New Member

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    I just had the car scanned at the Toyota - they found nothing but a drained AUX battery which they recharged. I paid $107 for a scan. He tells me the battery is totally healthy, but I still don't get why my mileage has dropped so much recently. I told him would replace the battery if need be, but he claims there is no reason. He claims the car install guys left the doors open and radio on while working and killed the battery while working, as it is only designed to last a tiny little amount of time when the car is off. The installer says there is no way a battery should work like that.

    S0 - Toyota tech says battery is fine and installer killed it. Installer says battery is suspect and should be looked at. In the meantime, I have no answers, just install and diagnostic bills that give me nothing. Any comments at all are welcome...
  5. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

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    i've had a dead 12v battery for the last 60k + miles and i'm still able to average high 40's low 50's if i try. I have other mods too... so.. i wouldn't blame your 12v too much... even though i have in the past...

    keep in mind your 12v computers have a brain.. they will re learn how the car is driven... it's designed to clock electrical flow so it can give you an accurate readout of mpg and battery soc. maybe you're in this new "re learn" session and your "driving preference" have been wiped?... even though every time my 12v resets i get better mpg....
  6. cmoehr

    cmoehr New Member

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    I hope I'm not reading this too literally - a dead 12v ? How does the car start?
  7. Presto

    Presto Has his homepage set to PC

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    Your tires are, likely, the culprit to your lower MPGs. It takes a little while to break them in. I had been running with a dead battery for awhile, and MPG wasn't affected.

    I think the audio shop may be inexperienced. For example, spacers should not need that much time to make, and with the many vehicles out there that need spacers for aftermarket speakers, you'd think the shop would have 'em in stock or can quickly cut a pair out of MDF. In terms of draining the battery, they may have left the doors open with the interior lights on, or maybe something stupid, if they really are inept.
  8. jelloslug

    jelloslug It buffed right out!

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    Sounds like you need another installer....
  9. cmoehr

    cmoehr New Member

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    The guy told me he could fabricate spacers, but he was not completely sure they would hold up. He ordered some premade ones that came in 2 days later and he didn't charge me for them. I think that was just the easy way since he couln't finish the install anyway due to the battery issue.

    So...tires? really? I would not have thought new tires would do that....
  10. Jack66

    Jack66 Kinda Jovial Member

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    Yes, the OEM tires have low rolling resistance -- most other tires will have a higher rolling resistance and cause your Prius to push harder and get lower MPG.
  11. 9G-man

    9G-man Active Member

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    what kind/size of tires did you get and what pressure are running them at?
    That's the logical root of the gas mileage issue.
  12. cmoehr

    cmoehr New Member

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    The are yokohama (or something). They were highly recommended by the dealer. They have since told me that if I want the same ones I had before I will need to buy them from them at some trade in cost - even though I have a tires for life deal and they were the ones who put me in them in the first place.

    Sorry to muck up the audio area with my MPG issue - I just want may amp and sub. The speakers they put in are now hooked up to the headunit while we figure this out and it sounds awful - Focal fronts and back - woefully underpowered.
  13. Presto

    Presto Has his homepage set to PC

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    Focals like a lot of power delivered to them. The stock amp, regardless of JBL or not, will not output enough power to satisfy your Focals and ears. Give them at least 40 watts RMS.
  14. cmoehr

    cmoehr New Member

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    I totally agree - I bought an alpine mf550 with 4/90.
  15. morpheusx

    morpheusx Professor Chaos

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    When I installed my amp (I think its a 4 channel 600 watt RMS amp if I remember correctly) anyway. This is how I connected the 3 power wires.

    12v+ I connected directly to the Positive terminal of the 12v battery on the right side rear of car. (remember to ensure that you retighten all the terminals after connecting)

    Negative ground I connected it directly to the Negative terminal on the 12v battery on the right side rear of car.

    Remote turn on I connected this one by buying one of the fuses that have a wire coming out of it. I selected a fuse that only becomes live when the car is in position 2 or Ready the fuse I chose was for the rear defrost or rear wiper.

    Its been installed now for about a year and a half and 35,000 miles no problems whatsoever. I don't think your "professional installers" know what they are doing, I am just an amateur at installing as I probably only install a system or radio for someone about once a year.
  16. cmoehr

    cmoehr New Member

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  17. Presto

    Presto Has his homepage set to PC

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    ^^^

    Nah, he's just upping the importance to sell a product.
  18. cmoehr

    cmoehr New Member

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    Ok - here's the latest - with a possible fix that might help others. After a lot of testing, the battery seems fine - but the system check in the prius seems to freak out with the load from the amp.

    My installer, after having the battery completely certified and recharged by Toyota, still had the battery warning light come on after adding the amp to the 12v battery. He read it was from the system detecting more than 1 amp difference in draw. What he did then was hook up the amp WHILE the care was running.

    The light did not come on then. He then drove the car and still no light. Turned it on and off 5 times - still no light. He then parked it - left it alone for an hour - and started it again. And still no light.

    I have not picked it up yet - but he says its ready, all set up, and sounds great.

    Thoughts?
  19. GeoGeek

    GeoGeek Member

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    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    I think your MPG issues are tied to the tires.
    The factory tires were Goodyear Integrity 185/65 R15 (if I recall correctly)
    I replaced mine with some 195/60 R15 Michellin MXV4+.
    The difference in circumference of the tires means that the car is under-reporting
    the actual miles being traveled.
    Do you know if the Yokahamas they put on wer exactly the same size as the ones they were replacing?
    That, and the break-in & inflation factors are the most likely culprit.
    Sounds like you've maybe worked out your battery light issue.
  20. cmoehr

    cmoehr New Member

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    Excellent thought on the "under reporting" possibilty. I'm taking a reading from this tank manually - and thus far I've got 150 miles and the gas guage has hardly moved (which I know is common, but it's visually reinforcing the idea that I'm not totally wasting gas....). I'll contact the dealer about the possible size difference.

    Just got back from the first 45 min trip. Oh my god, does it sound so fantastic. SO powerful.

    One thing - it has a slight whine coming through the speakers, which drops completely when the car is not using the gas engine at all. I'm thinking a JL Audio cleansweep might remove this from the signal (right now its speaker line to RCA converter to amp). Anyone with similar symptoms? Cleansweep worth it? I cant hear it at all when the stereo is on - just if i turn it down or off.
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