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Prius won't start...HELP

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by pandeyrajiv, Feb 2, 2012.

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  1. pandeyrajiv

    pandeyrajiv New Member

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    All,

    I came back from a vacation of 10 days and tried to start my 2007 Prius and it was not starting when I had the key in my pocket (as it used to before)...The automatic doors, windows etc were not responding as well to the remote...

    So I inserted the key physically and it came on with the Malfunction light and then beeped for a few seconds and then that light went away as well...I pressed the on off button to turn off the car...

    I ejected the key and then reinserted it and now it is not even showing any indicator light...

    In my other cars, this was a sign of a dead battery but since this is my first hybrid I am confused...What do I need to do?

    Please help...

    BTW, The car is still under the Toyota warranty...

    Thanks
    Rajiv
  2. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    Yes, this is a dead battery.

    No, unfortunately, you probably are not covered by warranty.

    If you jump start it, do not use a running vehicle. Leave the donor vehicle turned off, or use a jump pack. Be very careful to make sure that you have the polarity correct. You must put the battery on a charger at 2+/- amps for several hours to have any hopes of saving it, otherwise plan on buying one from the dealer or the optima yellowtop.
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  3. pandeyrajiv

    pandeyrajiv New Member

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    I did read a lot of posts about jump starting a Prius and how you can damage stuff if you screw up the polarity...I do have AAA...Can I trust the tripleA guy to know what he is doing? :)

    My followup question is - Typically in a normal car, you jump start and things start to charge (if the battery is not dead itself)...and you can run a few laps around to get things back to normal...

    What do I do here...I guess if I stop I will need a jump start again, right? If that is the case then I guess I should get it jump started when I am ready to take it to the dealer for the battery replacement, right?

    Please advise...Also, given what you said about the warranty, is it cheaper to get it done elsewhere? Do Walmarts, Sams etc change Prius batteries or do I need to go to a dealership?

    BTW, Is this the 120$ battery with the 90$ labor that I am reading in the forums?

    Thanks
    Rajiv
  4. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    Rajiv: The 12-v battery in the Prius is tiny. It does not need to run a starter motor as in other cars. The 12-v. battery only boots the computer. The computer then opens a relay to bring the big traction battery on-line, and that battery starts the engine (unless you have the EV switch and you tell the car not to start the engine).

    If the 12-v battery is dead the computer does not boot up and nothing works. Get a jump, as seilerts says, and you'll be good to go. But since your car is a 2007, the battery could be on its last legs and you probably need a new one. Four years is about right for these batteries.

    Ten days is awfully short for the battery to drain, though. You might have left a light on. If I'm not going to drive for a while (and I don't drive the Prius much any more, since the Tesla is more fun) I switch off the SKS (little button by your knee) and I make sure the headlights are turned off at the stalk and all doors are shut all the way.
  5. pandeyrajiv

    pandeyrajiv New Member

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    You point is valid about 10 days not being enough to drain...but come to think of it I recall something else that might be telling - Right before I left for my vacation I drove this Prius (this is not driven much as I have a 2011 Prius - this one is waiting in the garage to be sold)...I noticed it did not respond to the remote keys and I had to insert the key physically the last time...I did not think much of it then but I think the battery was weak already and as you rightly pointed out - the 12V battery is only needed to provide power to start the computer systems which in turn kick off the larger hybrid battery...so even a little juice can keep it ticking until it just died on me today...

    As you rightly said then - guess it time to fork the money for another new battery...what a bummer, whoever buys it will get a new battery...

    Thanks!
    Rajiv
  6. ryogajyc

    ryogajyc Active Member

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  7. northwichita

    northwichita .

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    As you state, this one is waiting in the garage to be sold, seems the practical thing would be to follow Seilerts advice, and charge it for a while with low amp's, I would suggest overnight, or the weekend, and see what the results are.
    Trickle chargers are nice to have, and many new ones have 'smart' technology so they won't overcharge, and you can use it with your other Prius in the same situation in the future.

    If the battery does recharge, the future owner can then decide which 'new' battery they want in this Prius, as shown at this site, there are a variety of opinions on the matter.

    .
  8. ryogajyc

    ryogajyc Active Member

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    I think practicality depends on if it is being sold to a dealer or private party. If it's to a dealer, sure, get it working and the dealer can deal with it. If it's private party, a new battery could avoid a soon-to-be unhappy buyer.
  9. pandeyrajiv

    pandeyrajiv New Member

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    Now that I have slept on this matter I think given the car was barely driven in 2 months I think I just might do that...but a battery charger and see where I end up...if I manage to recessitate it then I save myself some bucks :)
  10. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    A new Optima yellowtop would be a major selling point, IMHO. 12V battery is probably the #1 topic of discussion here.
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  11. pandeyrajiv

    pandeyrajiv New Member

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    Thank you all for this insight in the past 24 hours...I cannot thank you enough.

    Based on what I have learnt, I feel the next step is to try and charge the battery with an external charger (with a 2-3 Amp charge) overnight...My question is -

    Can someone please point me to a good tutorial (video would be better or written word) that shows me how to charge the battery *without* having to remove the battery - Basically a way to charge the battery with minimum disconnections or hassles :)...

    Thanks in advance again!

    Rajiv
  12. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Open the hood. Open the black fuse box on the drivers side. Find the red jump point near the upper left side inside the black fuse box. Attach the red (positive +) charger wire to the jump point terminal. Attach the black (negative -) charger wire to a chassis screw above the fuse box (any of the metal screws going into the body of the car). Turn on the charger.

    When you use this method the car's electronics are exposed to the charger. Make sure you are using a modern charger of decent quality or damage may occur. Make doubly sure that you observe polarity (red to red, black to black) or you will cause damage of an expensive nature. If you are unsure, get a qualified person to help.

    Tom
  13. ryogajyc

    ryogajyc Active Member

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    If your car is garaged or in an otherwise safe location, I think the easiest way is to leave the car on (Ready) to charge it. If you can't start the car, you can connect it to another car battery to get the engine computer on and then disconnect after that. I read on some post it takes about 8 hours to charge. This way you don't need to remove the battery, nor do you need a separate charger. Be sure to turn off climate control, headlights and anything else that drains the battery.
  14. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    The failure of the fob is likely due to a dead fob battery. That is easily replaced.
  15. northwichita

    northwichita .

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    One more note about attempting to recharge a severely discharged battery, time is a factor. The battery sulfates when at a low voltage state which is a bad thing (makes recharging less likely), so recharging should be done asap.
  16. pandeyrajiv

    pandeyrajiv New Member

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    All,

    Thanks to your advice I did manage to re-charge the battery and as long as it is charged I can start the car etc...BUT the battery is losing that charge very quickly (I mean an hour or so) which tells me the battery is dead or near dead.

    Can anyone please recommend a place where I can buy a replacement battery and are there any specific recommendations...What is the cheapest? :)....I heard some folks talk about the Optoma (something) which seems to work...is that the cheapest?

    Reason I ask - I called our local Toyota Of Dallas for a cost quote and those ba#tards are asking $185 for a battery (JUST the battery not even the install!)...and I know folks have said its more like $120.

    Thanks again.

    Rajiv
  17. seilerts

    seilerts Battery Curmudgeon

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    OEM battery MSRP recently jumped to $183.

    elearnaid.com is now selling the Optima direct fit replacement for $170 + shipping (about $25). The Optima battery is a superior product, and elearnaid includes detailed installation instructions.
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  18. RobertK

    RobertK 6-year Owner

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    Another option if you like the Optima battery is to buy the Optima for your 2011 Prius and put the original 2011 battery in the car you plan to sell. That way you get a new Optima battery and the buyer of your old Prius gets a one year old OEM battery.
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