12v Battery Wierdness

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Technical Discussion' started by PrimeRisk, Apr 26, 2012.

  1. PrimeRisk

    PrimeRisk New Member

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    I converted to the Optima Yellow-Top AGM battery (elearnaid kit) when my 2004's original battery died in late 2008. I feel pretty lucky, I got 4 1/2 years out of the original battery. Today, 3 1/2 years later, I got back from a 3 day business trip and opened the door to the Prius and nada, nothing, zip. Not even the dimmest inkling of any power at all. So I throw the booster pack on the jump terminals under the hood and go back and open the door. When I open the door I hear a relay click and everything leaps back to life. I press the power button once and everything is like normal...clock is set, stereo is resuming on the CD where I left off, etc... Before kicking her on so I can back in and easily attach the BatteryMinder I notice the booster pack isn't sitting where I want it in case the engine starts before I can pull it off of the terminals. I get out to readjust and while doing so I pop off the negative battery terminal. Much to my surprise the stereo is still running and the lights are on in the cabin. What the?? Without reattaching the booster pack I hop back in, press the power button again and do the sequence to get into the diagnostic screen. Ok, battery is at 10.9v, certainly drained down, but enough to run the computer, screen, stereo and the A/C fan is running slowly. I closed the door kicked off the A/C and the voltage bounced back p to 11.3v. What the heck, so I attempted to start...tada, it did.

    I think I didn't get the driver's door completely shut on Tuesday morning, so I think I shot myself in the foot and I know I may be in for a new battery considering the age and the 2nd time I've flattened it, but what is going on here? Did the battery get so low that the Prius kicked open a relay to prevent the battery from being completely flattened? I've nearly flattened the battery by leaving a map light on for a week at the airport. I still got a very weak dome light when I got into the car, but it wouldn't start without a jump.
     
  2. Britprius

    Britprius Senior Member

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    The Optima battery should not be damaged by being discharged to 10.9v it is a deep discharge battery. The battery needs fully recharging though so on a 2amp charger it needs to be on charge for about 20hours, at 4amps 10 hours to fully recharge.

    The Optima should last a lot longer than 4years I would reasonably expect 7 to 8 years.
     
  3. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    ^^^^ This

    Yes it may have killed or fatally weakened an OEM battery, but the optimo should survive this relatively unscathed. Give that battery a good 2A overnight charge as soon as possible and keep us updated as to how it turns out. You can be the official test pilot for deep cycling an optimo in the Prius. :D
     
  4. PrimeRisk

    PrimeRisk New Member

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    Re: 12v Battery Weirdness

    I'm not too worried about the Optima. I do have a BatteryMinder wired in so I put it on 2A overnight and will see how the voltage settles after 12 hours at rest. I'll report back on the results.

    What concerns me is the weirdness where the Prius appeared to be completely dead...not even the dimmest dome light, but after having a booster pack on the terminals for seconds I suddenly had power back. This somewhat acts like a traditional vehicle when the battery cables get severely corroded and while you get accessory power OK, when you try to turn it over you just get a click and lose all power for 10-20 seconds, but then the stereo and dome light all come back on. I'm going to get into the battery compartment to check for corrosion and/or lose connections, but there are no other signals of this.
     
  5. DetPrius

    DetPrius Active Member

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    PR, you already noted it but as I was reading your story, I was wondering about corrosion on the terminals.
     
  6. Britprius

    Britprius Senior Member

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    Re: 12v Battery Weirdness

    The Optima battery will have taken some charge from the jump start battery even in a short space of time, however if you can only charge it with a battery minder over night at 2amps I strongly recommend you charge it again the following night to bring it up to full charge. Even the Optima will degrade if left in a partly charged condition. This applies to all lead acid batteries of any construction.
     
  7. cnschult

    cnschult Active Member

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    are there any instructions on how and where to mount a permanent battery tender in the engine compartment?
     
  8. dhancock

    dhancock 2 Prius Family

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    Most folks just install a connector in the car and don't permanently mount the tender unit under the hood.

    I've mounted my connector in the trunk. When I want to use the tender (when the car will be unused for awhile) I put the tender in the trunk and run the AC cord out under the hatch.
     
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  9. PrimeRisk

    PrimeRisk New Member

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    Just to report back on this anomaly. The Prius appears to be just fine and operating normally. I got into the battery compartment and found nothing amiss...no corrosion, no loose connections, or anything else out of the ordinary. After the full charge via the battery minder we're back to perfectly normal operation. I'll report back if there are any other occurrences.
     
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  10. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Thanks for the PrimeRisk. If possible it would be very interesting if you could post the results of you 12V battery voltages (no-load / headlights-load) now that it's back to normal.
     
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