12V Battery Replacement Options

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by wnrsm, Jul 29, 2019.

Tags:
  1. wnrsm

    wnrsm Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2017
    45
    21
    0
    Location:
    Virginia, US
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    TLDR: Got 6yrs with my first Optima battery and only 3.25yrs on the second Optima battery. Suspect that Optima has lowered their quality and discovered that their price is now 50% higher. Duracell is less expensive and offers a longer warranty. A wild Bosch battery appears. July 2019 pricing snapshot provided. I notice that Optima and Duracell make SAE-JIS post batteries now.

    So my 12V battery failed again.
    1. OEM 2005 - 2010
    2. First replacement 2010-2016 for $160 - Optima with conversion to SAE battery posts, got six years!
    3. Second replacement 2016-2019 for $160 - another Optima but this one lasted a few months after the 3yr warranty had expired
    4. Third replacement 2019 - Looking at options since an Optima replacement of questionable quality is around $240
    Here are my specs/options:
    • Battery Posts
      • SAE Automotive Post BCI Group 51 (I converted to SAE posts at my first battery replacement)
      • OEM SAE-JIS Pencil Post BCI Group S46B24R (I can put these back since I saved the parts)
    • Quality Tiers - indicated by the 2yr/3yr/4yr warranty duration
    • Consolidated manufactures that each sell under multiple brand names
      • East Penn, Johnson Controls, Exide are okay
      • Some brands are just universally despised
    IMO: There are crappy battery manufacturers, but good manufacturers have crappy low-end tiers with short warranties. I am not above buying a 2yr battery and gambling that it will last longer.

    Optima was $160 when I bought it in 2010 and 2016 - and the last one didn't last
    Optima (Johnson Controls) with 3yr Warranty
    Group 51 "model 8071-167" - $238 Optima Yellow Top AGM BCI Group 51 Dual Purpose (Starting/Cycling) Heavy Duty Battery - OPT8071-167 at Batteries Plus Bulbs
    S46B24R "model 8171-167" - $238 Optima Yellow Top AGM BCI Group S46B24R Starting Battery - OPT8171-767 at Batteries Plus Bulbs

    Duracell Ultra Platinum AGM (East Penn) with 4yr warranty
    S46B24R "model SLI51PAGM" - $215 Duracell Ultra Platinum AGM BCI Group S46B24R Car and Truck Battery - SLI51PAGM at Batteries Plus Bulbs

    Duracell Ultra (East Penn) with 2yr warranty
    Group 51 "model SLI51" - $125 Duracell Ultra BCI Group 51 Car and Truck Battery - SLI51 at Batteries Plus Bulbs

    Bosch Platinum (made by Exide when that name shows up at Pep Boys) with 4yr warranty
    Group 51 - $147 (on sale from $195) Bosch Premium Performance Battery Group, Size 51 | 647478 | Pep Boys
     
  2. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    18,047
    6,019
    0
    Location:
    Green Valley, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2015 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    I had bought the Bosch battery (with the correct JIS terminals) for my 2007 a few years ago. It failed after a couple of years and I got a warranty replacement which continues to function.

    You did not list the possibility of purchasing a battery from your local Toyota dealer. That battery will have a 7 year prorated warranty and should be considered as a high quality alternative. Of course the price is going to be on the high side as well.
     
    donbright likes this.
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    83,835
    36,695
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    i just replaced my 7 year old oem with another one. $200. plus tax.

    idk if optima quality has dropped, or you just had bad luck. there were a spate of bad ones for awhile, but i think it's improved lately
     
  4. oldtechaa

    oldtechaa Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2018
    167
    95
    0
    Location:
    KY
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    II
    Another option is to get a Super Natto LiFePo4 battery. I'm seriously considering getting one when my battery dies. It should last significantly longer than lead-acid and has some extra features, although it is in the $330-$350 range and is essentially no-name Chinese. It does have a one-year warranty though!

    In other good points, as some have mentioned before, it will "make your car full of speed and passion."
     
    bisco likes this.
  5. jzchen

    jzchen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    1,376
    372
    0
    Location:
    Arcadia, CA
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Five
    The Super LiFePO4 battery is what I replaced my parents’ with last October. I hope they adjusted the size to fit nicely by now. So far so good. Was only 9 lbs or so. Also came with adapters to convert from JIS to SAE. Also has a built in Voltmeter, which button also activated backup battery function in case you do kill the main internal battery. I bought an extended warranty so it has two years total warranty.
     
  6. M in KC

    M in KC Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2014
    314
    80
    0
    Location:
    KC, MO
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    I'm not sure how an owner could go wrong purchasing a battery from their local Toyota dealer. Patrick's assessment above about this is spot on as we have come to expect from him.
     
  7. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2016
    2,441
    2,898
    0
    Location:
    Columbia, SC
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    This post may seem like it goes a little off topic in a minute, so I'll start it with a "fully" on topic item. My 2007 has an OEM Toyota battery with a manufacture date stamp of 261011 which is October 26, 2011. Almost 8 years old. It's an SKS model battery, as called for, and it's rating is 325 CCA. I tested it this morning and it showed 400. Last month it tested at 425. Hard to go wrong with a Toyota battery.

    I had a small golf tournament Friday. An hour before I'm supposed to leave, my wife is on her way out of the house to visit some friends, and says "I forgot to mention the battery light and brake light were lit all day yesterday on my car". What? What????? You're just now mentioning that? Geeeeezzzzz. She has a 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe. I go out to her car to check her battery. It's an Everstart MAXX-124R, 700 cca. Date code 7/2014. Hmmmm 5 years old. Test it...11.5 volts. Start the car...11.5 volts....sigh. Grab a metal rod from the garage and put a few love taps on the alternator to "reseat" the brushes.....lights clear and 13.7 volts. Good enough for now. Guess I'll spend Saturday installing a new alternator and may as well replace the battery. She heads out. As I'm getting ready to leave, I'm thinking...this could be bad. Grabbed the charger and an extension cord and went to her friends house. Connected the charger up and left them like that. Any other running around and the friend was going to drive. Good deal. Swung by NAPA to buy an alternator and then I'm off to the tournament.

    So I got back about 6 hours later and stopped at her friends to see how things were looking. They said it had been on "float" for about 2 hours or so. great. It's only 10 minutes to our house, so we headed home. I tested the battery and it showed 475 CCA. Yeah, guess I need to replace it soon. And of course, the alternator light is back on. I put the Santa Fe in the garage and connected the charger again, with plans to start work Saturday morning.

    Saturday morning. I tried to test the battery again, but tester wouldn't let me since it had been on the charger. Turned on the headlights for a minute and then tester worked. Tested at.....475 again. Consistent. Did I mention that Hyundai Santa Fe + Alternator = PITA? Well, it does. Almost exactly 4 hours from the time I put the jack under the car until I backed it out of the garage. Works like a champ.

    Now back to battery stuff. While connecting the charger, it dawned on me that this charger has a "Battery Recondition" button. Hmmmmmm. Wonder if that really works? So I decided to test it. We ran some errands Sunday and were home for the night around 8pm. Tested the battery again and it showed.....475 again. Awesome. I connected the charger and let it rip on the recondition function overnight. Guess what it tested at Monday afternoon (I'm on vacation this week)....625. Guess what it tested at this afternoon?...625. Wow...does this really work? So now its connected to my Prius 12v, which tested at 400 today. I'm going to do the "recondition" setting as much as possible today and then leave it running overnight. Will post results tomorrow. If my Prius battery shows improvement, I'm going to throw it back onto the wife's car again. Considering how many Hv Battery modules I've put through "reconditioning", I'm at a loss as to how it never occurred to me to use a similar process with our 12v batteries. I think this charger uses a "pulse" type process for reconditioning lead acid batteries. Anyone know for certain how it works?
     
  8. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    83,835
    36,695
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    golf should be 14 holes
     
  9. jzchen

    jzchen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    1,376
    372
    0
    Location:
    Arcadia, CA
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Five
    I’m sure we sound funny to the Chinese when we try to write or speak Chinese. I only mentioned the features I find nice on the unit, but along with that is the unworldly price difference from a Braille unit as an example...

    This is true. The AGM battery is a sturdy design. But it can be run dead by listening to the radio for an hour or so, as my dad did one day waiting for my mother outside church for approximately 1 hour. After that I found the battery teetering around the border of where TIS says recharge and test again, (12.4 V IIRC).

    Still waiting on a verdict on this unit. So far so good. Who knows what will happen after 1 year (this October), or how long more it will last after said 1 yr warranty is up.

    I’lol be quiet now...
     
  10. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2016
    2,441
    2,898
    0
    Location:
    Columbia, SC
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    One thing that's kind of weird about the 12v system is that there are several areas in Toyota manuals where they have you verify the aux voltage and as long as it's >11 volts it's not considered to be a problem.
     
  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    83,835
    36,695
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    that is weird. one day, my 12v was 12.7, the next day, the car wouldn't start
     
  12. oldtechaa

    oldtechaa Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2018
    167
    95
    0
    Location:
    KY
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    II
    You're quite right and I didn't mean to be disparaging of English attempts by Chinese sellers, or the inherent quality of Chinese products, or for that matter products and descriptions from any country or language.

    In regards to quality, I'm generally willing to try a significantly cheaper unbranded item shipped from China (or wherever) in non-critical use, or even more critical use like this. But some would be turned off by that question of reliability and support.

    In regards to language, I am well-aware that learning a language is difficult and many mistakes will be made. I have made some significant mistakes in Spanish and while I am understood in very very basic Chinese, which my friend says is an achievement, I'm sure I sound funny or say the wrong thing. I am surprised there isn't a larger market for Chinese-English translators for these companies to use to increase their appearance of professionalism in the eyes of the general American public.

    It's good to hear your so-far successful experience with the LiFePo4 battery. It would probably be a choice between that or the OEM battery for me.
     
    #12 oldtechaa, Jul 31, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2019
  13. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2018
    2,715
    1,379
    0
    Location:
    Northern California
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
  14. jzchen

    jzchen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    1,376
    372
    0
    Location:
    Arcadia, CA
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Five
    I found that same note when I was checking the original battery after hearing it died on my parents. I hope this is correct as I had to search for a while to find my more recent post on testing the AGM 12 V:

    After driving/running engine shut car off. Turn on high beams for 30 secs to remove surface charge. Measure voltage at battery terminals: 12.5 V or higher and battery is still good. 11.0 to 12.5 V recharge. Below 11.0 V replace.

    So if you use a charger (I believe 4.2 A or less IIRC,) once charged, disconnect it. Turn on high beams for 30 secs. Measure battery terminal V at the battery posts. 11.0 - 12.5 V (not including 12.5) you’re supposed to repeat charging and test again. Ours kept reading 11.46 V or something around there. I felt this was borderline and looked for a replacement, then kept the original as a spare.

    Did you use a method to “remove surface charge”? Batteries falsely test good due to this “surface charge”, but they actually can’t support the voltage long (30 seconds of high beam) if they are weakened/bad.

    I’ll be back home on the 5th. Hopefully no new car wouldn’t start story when we get home. About 2 1/2 months until the 1 year mark, when the extended warranty takes over. I’ll update my experience then since I’m afraid I missed doing so at 6 months....
     
  15. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    83,835
    36,695
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    i check it first thing in the morning, after it has been off at least 15 hours. is that sufficient?

    the weird thing was, when the triple a guy tested it, it was 4 volts. it seems like an internal short, but i don't know much about batteries
     
  16. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2016
    2,441
    2,898
    0
    Location:
    Columbia, SC
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    Touring
    So now its connected to my Prius 12v, which tested at 400 today. I'm going to do the "recondition" setting as much as possible today and then leave it running overnight. Will post results tomorrow. If my Prius battery shows improvement, I'm going to throw it back onto the wife's car again. Considering how many Hv Battery modules I've put through "reconditioning", I'm at a loss as to how it never occurred to me to use a similar process with our 12v batteries. I think this charger uses a "pulse" type process for reconditioning lead acid batteries. Anyone know for certain how it works?

    Well.....I'm feeling pretty stupid today. After all the times we've discussed AGM batteries and recommended charge rate limits, I pulled this totally dumba** move. Now I remember why I've never used that charger on my Prius batteries. It's a .....15 amp charger, lol. oops... of course, this popped up in my head early this morning. Pulled the charger off, hooked up the tester and it showed 12.2 volts...quite a bit lower than expected....tested at....300CCA. Double oops. I've had it on the trickle charger all day and plan to leave it all night. Will check it again in the morning. If worse comes to worse, it's had a good run. Almost 8 years old now, so it's about due....
     
  17. jzchen

    jzchen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    1,376
    372
    0
    Location:
    Arcadia, CA
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Five
    All you need to do is pull it off, reconnect immediately and set it to charge again. It won’t ever be 100% upon reconnection if the charger is too fast...
     
  18. jzchen

    jzchen Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    1,376
    372
    0
    Location:
    Arcadia, CA
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Five
    I did that exact same thing when I was testing my parents’ battery. (I assumed it was close enough to equate to 30 secs of high beam). Since ours was borderline no matter if I had just charged it I knew the battery at that point was marginal.

    4 V falls under the replace category. Any voltage below 11 V is. (Can’t remember at this moment if that includes 11.0 V or just below...)
     
  19. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    83,835
    36,695
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    yeah, it was a major surprise. guys meter showed a sad face :(
     
  20. wnrsm

    wnrsm Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2017
    45
    21
    0
    Location:
    Virginia, US
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    The price is not on the high side. It looks like the Toyota 12V battery is $240.
    This is the same price as the Optima is today! I have heard that the Optima quality is sketchy these days.

    I can't seem to find anything from Toyota that states the battery warranty. My searches turn up blog posts. Do you have a link?

    I wonder who manufactures the Toyota 12V batteries.
     
Loading...