A/C for my dog while parked

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by RhythmDoctor, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. RhythmDoctor

    RhythmDoctor Member

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    I am taking a 6-hour trip tomorrow with my dog, and may need to stop the car for a short meal. With temperatures set to reach about 100, I need to be concerned about temperatures in the parked car. I am thinking of leaving the car and A/C on and manually locking the doors while I go inside and eat near a window where the car will be in view. I assume the A/C will run off the traction battery, and the engine will come on if the battery drains too much.

    Has anyone else done this? Can I take the keyfob with me? When I go back to the car will the SKS cause the doors to open when I touch the handle or will I have to use the manual key? Any other suggestions/warnings?
     
  2. McDonald

    McDonald New Member

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    I have been in the same situation, wishing I knew what I could do. If you can't figure it out, you might want to find a place with outdoor seating, or somewhere you can run in and get take out.

    Also, a nice little product is a window grate if it's cool out and you want to leave the windows down anyway, but don't want people to reach in, etc.
     
  3. footprintx

    footprintx New Member

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    You have to take the key with you, or the car won't lock the doors. It'll beep at you, that the car is still on.

    Honestly, it'll probably be better for your dog and your mileage to just tie the dog up in a shaded area outside the restaurant, and leave a cup of ice water for it.
     
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  4. a priori

    a priori Canonus Curiosus

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    I haven't looked through the Owner's Manual yet for the answer (I'm guessing you haven't either), but I think I know how you can do this.

    Before starting the car, turn off the SKS system. There is a button on the underside of the steering column for this (I think it is the KEY button and I think that's where it resides). By switching this, you'll need to insert the key fob in the dash to start the car. Before inserting the key fob, take out the key from the fob.

    Insert the keyless key fob into the dash and start the car. When you want to leave with your dog inside, set the A/C to Auto with the desired Temp setting (how about 78 or 80?) and leave the car in "Ready" mode.

    Exit the car and lock it from the outside using the key.

    When you return, unlock with the key and drive away. The ICE will have run enough to keep the HV battery charged at a high enough level to allow the A/C to run as necessary.

    In order to go back to normal operation, just reverse the KEY button operation.

    Hope this helps. I suggest giving it a test run before your trip!!
     
  5. Tojo

    Tojo New Member

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    I have actually done something similar to this. I live in AZ where it is currently HOT. I had some clients in town and needed to take them to the airport on a 114 degree day. I wanted to start my car and "pre-cool" the interior without leaving the vehicle unprotected. I was able to do so and here is what worked for me:

    Start car as normal (no need to disable the SKS)

    Crack a window a little for your pooch :)

    Lock the interior doors while still sitting down and manually unlock the driver door.

    Close your drivers door (keep your fob with you, the car will beep a couple times, but will stop.)

    Use the physical key to lock the drivers door

    Worked ok for me with no ill effects. Hope this helps!
     
  6. JimboK

    JimboK One owner, low mileage

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    That will probably work but here's another, simpler option for the OP: Just exit the car with the driver's window open, reach inside it to lock the doors using the armrest button, and hit the button to raise the driver's window. Take the key fob with you because you'll need the mechanical key to unlock it.

    If you don't mind burning the fuel, the AC will work as you suggest, running the HV battery down to a certain point until the ICE kicks in periodically to recharge it.

    A word of caution: When the car is sitting without the ICE running, some well-meaning passerby may think your dog will suffer heat stroke inside a closed-up car with no air. You might find local police or animal protection officials descending upon it. I would keep a steady eye on the car to head that off.
     
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  7. mingoglia

    mingoglia Member

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    I do this frequently, also live in AZ. Well, I don't have a dog in the car, but I'll leave it running from time to time...

    Anyway, I open up the drivers window and get out of the car (with my key in my pocket). I close the drivers door. The car will now allow you to reach in and hit the lock button to lock all doors (if the door is open it won't allow you to lock the doors). After I verify it's locked, I hit the auto-up window on the drivers side and walk away.

    When I get back I take the metal key off the keyfob and open the door manually. THE KEY FOB ITSELF WILL NOT UNLOCK THE DOOR WITH THE VEHICLE RUNNING. YOU HAVE TO USE THE METAL KEY. Just wanted to throw out that disclaimer. ;)

    Mike
     
  8. mingoglia

    mingoglia Member

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    Looks like you hit the submit button before me...but we're on the same track. There have been those that suggest leaving a note on the car saying it's a hybrid and the A/C is running. For me, at least in Arizona the engine fans are running full blast and the Prius is very loud when sitting. In fact other than my diesel truck, my Prius is the loudest of my 4 cars when sitting idling during the summer. In the winter it's almost silent...but in the summer it's pretty loud.

    Mike
     
  9. a priori

    a priori Canonus Curiosus

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    I don't quite understand this. It sounds as though you left the car on but unlocked. If it beeped three times after you left, I think it sensed that you walked away with the car in "Ready" mode, but without having locked the car. Are you certain all doors really were locked?

    If the doors were locked, are you certain the car was in "Ready" and not IGN or ACC? If it is not in ready, then the ICE will NOT turn on, but the A/C would run until the HV battery died. Very, Very Bad News. Not a problem for 5 or 10 minutes, but a disaster after that.

    I've not tried this, but perhaps you've got another way of doing it that I'm just not aware of (you never know what you'll learn on this site!!). Please let me know. What you describe sounds much easier than my suggestion.

    Another question: Why crack a window open? If the A/C is on, then the windows should be shut.
     
  10. McDonald

    McDonald New Member

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    I vote this the best method. I will try this!
     
  11. a priori

    a priori Canonus Curiosus

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    It has my vote, too.

    Amazing what you learn on PriusChat -- without even trying!

    Many thanks to JimboK and Mingoglia.
     
  12. RhythmDoctor

    RhythmDoctor Member

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    Thanks for the advice, everyone. I'll consolidate your suggestions into my own action plan.

    My dog loves take-out :hungry: , which is why I need to eat outside the car.

    Reaching into the locked car to close the window sounded like a good idea at first, but then I realized that my very excitable little poodle might decide to stick her head out as the window is going up. :rip: So I'll use the metal key to lock it instead.
     
  13. McDonald

    McDonald New Member

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    Haha, I can only imagine. My dog is in the car with me about 95% of the time I drive, so I have taught him the "WINDOW" command, and he pulls his head back in the car.

    Pictures are now mandatory to this thread!

    Here's my guy, Chihuahua named Kid Rock. He gets his own special lookout seat because he likes to have his head out the window (he's strapped in). First picture isn't really accurate, he rides in the backseat now because the boyfriend wanted to ride in the frontseat (imagine that!).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  14. rfruth

    rfruth Member

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    Like someone said, put the pooch on a leach outside the car with water
     
  15. McDonald

    McDonald New Member

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    Oh yeah, in a neighborhood you don't know or at a potentially unsafe or busy rest area? Not my dog!

    And the people who say this have never had a cute little dog. People walk by a lab and pat him on the head, he's the old faithful, wag-his-tail kind of dog. People walk by a 5 lb Chihuahua and think about how much money that kind of dog is worth, or how easy he'd be to grab and walk away with, or how it'll be fine if the kids run up and pet him (little dogs don't particularly like strangers pestering them). People offer me money for my dog, ask if he's a boy or a girl (to ask if they can breed him with their pup), people scream at him, go to pet him without asking, kids run at him, etc. He would be gone in a second, too fast even if I had my eye on him inside a restaurant.
     
  16. Godiva

    Godiva AmeriKan Citizen

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    Better also post a sign so some well-meaning samaritan doesn't break a window. I'd also check the law to make sure it isn't illegal to leave your dog in the car, A/C or not.
     
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  17. rfruth

    rfruth Member

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    if unsafe or busy rest area for you or the dog don't stop there :confused:
     
  18. RhythmDoctor

    RhythmDoctor Member

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    EXACTLY!!!
     

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  19. McDonald

    McDonald New Member

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    Thank you and YAY for the picture! I have always loved poodles, I had a boss who had (a Yukon XL and) 3 Std Poodles. Smart, cute, and hypoallergenic. What more could you ask for?! Hope you figured out a good solution to the car issue!
     
  20. spidey

    spidey Junior Member

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    Never leave a dog alone in a locked car no matter if you left AC on or not. Would you leave your child locked up in the car alone? Did ya ever think the dog could hit some control?
     
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