2001 Prius dead 12v battery

Discussion in 'Generation 1 Prius Discussion' started by Litehold, Feb 5, 2018.

  1. Litehold

    Litehold Junior Member

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    My 2001 Prius needed a jump this morning; it has been a little iffy for about two weeks.

    Since the cost of a new 12v is expensive right now , I'm trying to keep it going a little longer. Does anyone know if it will cause more problems to charge the battery overnight? I might have to do this for about a week.

    I also don't know why it's dead.

    Right now it's at 10v.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Sam Spade

    Sam Spade Senior Member

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    Things wear out due to use and age, including batteries.
    Charging it overnight might get you by for a week before you get a new one.......but it might not too.
    10 V is really bad.
     
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  3. Litehold

    Litehold Junior Member

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    I think it was damaged when the repair shop replaced the main battery. Thank you so much!
     
  4. Brian in Tucson

    Brian in Tucson Active Member

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    Any old small 12v battery will work--the standard is a deep cycle, but a lawn tractor battery will work and they're c heap. If you keep using a worn out battery, it'll go bad at the most inconvenient times.

    I'm using a computer UPS (uninterrupted power supply) battery in my 03. Seems to work fine. If it needed to crank a starter, I'd have a bigger battery, but basically the 12v battery is used to wake up the computers and click some relays.
     
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  5. Litehold

    Litehold Junior Member

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    Hi Brian, could you give me an exact type/brand I could go buy? Is it safe? Meaning would it damage anything?
     
  6. Brian in Tucson

    Brian in Tucson Active Member

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    Measure the old one, go to Walmart, O'reilly's, Autozone, etc. and find one that will fit into those measurements.

    Probably if you use User CP for my username and look at my old posts, you can get the size and source for a UPS battery. Or find a local Batteries Plus. and give them the dimensions you're looking for. Might be a scooter battery or it might be a UPS.

    No, a 12v battery won't damage anything. Probably a 12 or 14 amp motorcycle battery would provide enough power, even. The 12V does NOT power a starter motor.
     
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  7. Litehold

    Litehold Junior Member

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    Do I need to do any modifications to it? Thank you so much for the info. I'll go look for more info in your old posts. If I can do it this will help me out immensely.
     
  8. padroo

    padroo Senior Member

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    Pay attention to the battery post locations, take a picture and take it with you.
     
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  9. Litehold

    Litehold Junior Member

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    Okay, thanks again! :)
     
  10. Sam Spade

    Sam Spade Senior Member

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    AND has the same kind of posts as the old one.

    IF you go cheap, it will probably be a "wet cell" battery with caps that you need to check the water in occasionally.

    If it is smaller than the original, the charging system might "overcharge" it and cause more rapid water loss.........and the creation of more acid fumes, so be sure the vent tube is in place if your model has one. Problem there is: Many wet cell batteries vent through the caps and has no external vent tube.

    Then.......be careful with the polarity of the posts. With different size or style of battery, they can be reversed.

    I really think that a person who has to ask this many questions should get an "exact replacement" from a dealer or auto parts store.
    Trying to save a few pennies might end up costing MANY dollars.
     
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  11. Brian in Tucson

    Brian in Tucson Active Member

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    AGM motorcycle batteries and UPS/Scooter batteries don't vent at all. The only problem is that they use a different kind of connection post. Which can be worked around. When I started with Classic Pri's, batteries were critically supposed to be deep cycle, certain amounts of amps. Bottom line was an overpriced battery from the dealer or an online source.

    The Prius uses a voltage regulator (like everything else) that lowers the amps/charge when the battery hits full charge. Might be able to "overcharge" a battery, but something else that was wrong would have to be present.

    How would it end up costing "MANY" dollars?
     
  12. Sam Spade

    Sam Spade Senior Member

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    If you aren't paying close enough attention and get the connections crossed during installation.
    Or you short the + side to "ground".
     
  13. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    Whoops, just noticed this a Gen 1
     
  14. Litehold

    Litehold Junior Member

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    Thank you guys, a neighbor friend of mine who's a mechanic found a battery from a battery warehouse for $150. He's going to get it now. I went and got a battery from Autozone that was supposed to fit and didn't ($220), so my friend called around and found a battery. Thanks also for the heads up that if you aren't really familiar with batteries/polarity, etc. it's not a good idea to do the modifications.
    You all really helped me out.
    BTW, the Optima batteries were right there displayed behind the counter at Autozone.
     
  15. gittarpikk

    gittarpikk Junior Member

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    I have replaced the 12v battery with a small lawn mower battery (there are only 2 due to one config is pos on left...other is pos on right) Cost $30 incl core dep and will last anywhere from 9 months to a couple years depending on when you buy battery at Walmart...Spring is best because stock is fresh...fall /winter is bad as stock is old. Works like a charm...never smell any hydrogen in trunk area. second battery for me in 26 months, just now getting a bit weak. (PS will studder and PS alert may be thrown is voltage starts sagging)
     
  16. Sam Spade

    Sam Spade Senior Member

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    Hydrogen has NO odor.
     
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  17. Brian in Tucson

    Brian in Tucson Active Member

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    Most AGM batteries don't vent. A properly sized AGM motorcycle battery would be sufficient. The only problem is that the spec. for
    Prius batteries is a deep cycle. The Optima is one such battery. At EricBecky's suggestion I'm using a UPS Computer battery and after about a year, it's still working just fine.
     
  18. dabard051

    dabard051 Tinkerer-in-Charge

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    If your 12v battery fails, the replacement is type 51R - that's the closest mechanical size (a bit too tall), correct terminal location, but requires new terminals. "Modern" batteries have larger diameter terminals than the original Toyota battery. Preferred is an AGM design (like the original Toyota battery). Be prepared to replace the ground wire and the +12v connection. That's an extra $10 in parts. Yes, lawn tractor batteries will let you limp around for a while, but you really want to get a proper fit replacement for capacity.
     
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