Battery Wore Down in Funeral Procession

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by PriusSport, May 5, 2009.

  1. PriusSport

    PriusSport senior member

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    I was involved in a funeral procession yesterday-- a slow one traveling 8-10 mph for maybe 30 min.

    My battery was really wearing down--to as low as 3 bars--mostly from level ground traveling, where the car wants to run by battery at this speed.

    What saved me were slopes--hills and valleys-where the battery charged going up from the ICE and down from the wheels.

    Pulsing--hitting the accelerator and backing off continually--seemed to be somewhat effective in forcing the car into the ICE (battery-charging) mode.

    After the funeral, and I got back into normal driving, the battery charged up to normal levels within just a few minutes--very quickly.

    Anybody have any experiences similar to this? How about shifting to the B mode? I didn't, because I wasn't sure what to expect. Would that help in this situation? thanks.
     
  2. paprius4030

    paprius4030 My first Prius

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    I was stuck in a long traffic jam on the interstate but I just let the Prius do it's own thing. Got down to 2 red bars then the ICE would run for awhile to charge up a little then it would shut off and run just on electric till it got down to 1 or 2 red bars again and repeat the cycle. I think it's better not to second guess it's computers, I figure the guys that designed it are ALOT smarter then me LOL
     
  3. 1r1shaz

    1r1shaz New Member

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    Happens to me at lunch time when I run out for a quick bite up the street my car runs mostly electric at the lower speeds by the time I get to the sandwich joint its down to 2 bars ICE kicks in eventually and charges her back up. I don't think its anything abnormal.
     
  4. Politburo

    Politburo Active Member

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    Same thing happened to me this morning in traffic. Nothing to worry about, as the computer will run the engine as necessary to charge the battery and avoid any damage.

    B mode will not help you here. In fact it may hurt. B engages the engine to allow engine braking on long hills, and regenerative braking is reduced. B is similar to using "2" or "L" on a conventional vehicle.

    More info than you ever wanted on B mode: http://www.techno-fandom.org/~hobbit/cars/b-mode.html
     
  5. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    Dude! What they wrote: this is totally normal. Just Drive It.
     
  6. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    Although it seems alarming, remember that the battery SOC indicator is more of a "guess gauge" more so than our gas gauge. One bar is still about 40% battery charge.

    What the Prius did was perfectly normal. Nothing to worry about
     
  7. a priori

    a priori Canonus Curiosus

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    Absolutely normal operation. You can only make things worse (in an MPG-fashion) by trying to force the car to an ICE-charging mode.

    As has been said before: Just drive the car and let the computers manage the charging of the HV battery.

    And . . enjoy the car!
     
  8. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    I have to chime in with "Just Drive It" too. Just change the Multi-Display to something else and let the hybrid system manage itself.

    The slow-crawl drain is common during the winter here when a fresh, heavy snow really messes up the work commute. So, I've seen that quite a few times over the years.
    .
     
  9. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

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    i don't get the point of this post.

    if you're looking for techniques to charge the battery.. hold the gas and brake at the same time... the engine will spin in place charging the battery. (while in drive)
     
  10. TonyPSchaefer

    TonyPSchaefer Your Friendly Moderator
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    I think the point is that the first time this happens to someone they are a little freaked. I know I was the first time I was stuck in traffic creeping along and watching the battery drain down to two bars.

    These days, though, I just get annoyed. I sit and creep twice on my drive home. Each time speeds average less than 10mph and the battery just drains. On really bad days, I don't have time to recharge between the two creeps so I go into the second on with only 3-4 bars to begin with.
     
  11. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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    Remember that the battery SOC indicator on the Energy screen is simply a fun graphical display. It is not a warning signal, it is not intended to suggest that you alter anything about your driving. It's there for information only.

    If it's all green/8 bars--change nothing. If it's all pink/1 bar--change nothing. The car will do the hard work of keeping the battery adequately charged.
     
  12. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    My 1st time (in 2004) was driving back from Kalispell MT south on Interstate 15 to So Cal. Passing through Vegas ... 120 degree summer temps heading up the grade. Fatal accident ahead. Stop & go with the AC running. Looking down at the power display ... even the pink bars went away :eek: ZERO. But ...

    [​IMG]

    Since I'm who I am . . . :)D Corporate toyota give-away for winning their trivia contest) well ... I already knew this scenerio meant that batteries STILL have appx 20% reserve even though the meter is blank. Keeping this much battery 'out-of-the-picture' is why the pack will last 100,000 miles and beyond. The system avoids deep charging as some EV's do.
     
  13. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    ya, like what everyone else said...

    one thing to keep in mind... the battery gauge is not like a gas gauge... the battery gauge only shows "the range for maximum battery life"....so one bar is the minimum SAFE charge level... not empty...big difference here. and one bar is about 40% SOC... as in 8 bars is not full, its the maximum SAFE charge level not full... max is about 80%...

    now as you know, the battery wants to stay as close to 6 bars as much as possible. that would be around 60-65%
     
  14. zenMachine

    zenMachine Just another Onionhead

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    :rip:

    I would be more concerned if the battery went dead in a funeral procession...
     
  15. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

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    I probably would not be concerned if it was my procession.....
     
  16. timwalsh300

    timwalsh300 Member

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    This is what the battery is for (well, one of the things it is for). It's more efficient to run the electric motor at those speeds than it is to steadily burn gasoline with the ICE.

    No matter what, going 5-10 mph is not an efficient way to get from point A to point B in an automobile... But the Prius does it more efficiently than any other car would.

    Tim
     
  17. zenMachine

    zenMachine Just another Onionhead

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    Goin' Green into the afterlife: all-electric hearses for your last ride

    Emucesa, the company that manages the cemetery of Granada, Spain (here's a link for more on the cemetery's history), has decided to replace its three hearses with greener vehicles: electric all-new ones. An unnamed Spanish company is currently working on the design of the models, which will be unveiled next January. Emucesa will replace the current three diesel Mercedes hearses, which are converted E-Class station wagons, for these all-electric end-of-life rides...

    ... The project, called Ion, will not only include the design of the powertrain and the vehicle itself, but requires that the hearses have other features, such as a sound system that plays music. Traditional funerals in Spain end up with relatives and friends walking behind the hearse to the cemetery. Now they won't have to breathe in the hearse's fumes. Emucesa is also offering greener options for funerals, such as biodegradable coffins made from carton and fabric...
     
  18. donee

    donee New Member

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    Hi All,

    Take the Hillside Strangler (I88 through Hillside, IL) eastbound during rush hour and the same thing will happen. The car is programmed to take care of that for you - No problem.
     
  19. darelldd

    darelldd Prius is our Gas Guzzler

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    I'm going to call you out on two points, and the answer is the same:

    Electric cars. Extrememly efficient at 10 mph, and WAY more efficient at any speed than the Prius.
     
  20. darelldd

    darelldd Prius is our Gas Guzzler

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    Yikes. A better subject line would be, "Car worked exactly as designed in funeral procession."

    Your car used battery power since inching along on gas power is silly. And if the battery power ever gets low, the gas engine will have to fire up to keep the battery charged. The problem isn't that your battery was being used - the problem is that the Prius requires gasoline to charge it back up.
     
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