Cold weather / 12v battery - 12v thread #6,739

Discussion in 'Prius c Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by well.rested, Jan 25, 2019.

  1. well.rested

    well.rested Junior Member

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    Hi all,

    Sorry to start yet another thread... but I'm not finding the answers I need.

    I had some trouble starting my 2014 Prius C One this morning (85k miles). It initially just wouldn't start; the dummy lights all light up, but noting else is happening. No "red triangle" electrical system error.

    Oddly, I accidentally hit the button on the stereo (stock) to play a CD, you could really hear the CD drive working. Noticed interior lights, maybe even dummy lights, are a bit dim.

    O snap, I think, the 12v battery must have gone out. It was in the mid-20s last night, cold for Georgia. I stop by the dealership... This was after the engine had been running for ~15 mins, eight miles across town.

    BUT and the big but for me, is these kids didn't really know what they were doing. I noticed they were searching the trunk for the 12v and talked to them for a few minutes, ask them if they know about the C vs. standard Prius... have to show them the battery... and how to access it...... got a senior manager over, and I suspect he knew what he was doing... tells me the battery tests "ok" - not great, but not too bad.

    Which leaves me in a tough spot. I've got a little money laid by for new tires, which I very much need, and the replacement batteries I see are around $240.

    Anybody have an opinion? I could pick up a jump box for $50 and keep me through the "cold" months (lows in the upper teens a couple of days next week), replace the battery in the warmer months, when I can better afford it? Is there a cheaper option for the battery? My model is the 2014 Prius One, I read a few places that the battery is slightly different based on trim model (?)

    Thanks very much for letting me draw on the experience of the people here... I've done lots of work on my own cars before, but never a hybrid.
     
  2. dubit

    dubit Active Member

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    Buy the battery - bad things seem to happen to a Prius when the 12v dies.

    I realize "safety first" as you said you need tires, but unless those tires have the steel belts showing I'd get the battery. Those tires will be cheaper than it is to fix all the problems caused by a dead/faulty/bad 12v. As for a replacement battery - as I understand it there really isn't a true "replacement" for the C's 12v other than the Toyota one. But there are a few people here who's managed to wiggle in various other 12v batteries. If you do it yourself - be VERY cautious not to get the polarity reversed. It happens more than you think, and in fact there's yet another new thread on that very thing today. Yeah, all sorts of things get screwed up when that polarity gets reversed it seems.
     
  3. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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  4. priustexasbob

    priustexasbob Member

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    My C is approaching 3 years old and 30,000 miles. should I be proactive and replace it even though I am not having issues? yet?
     
  5. cutter44

    cutter44 Member

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    I'll keep an eye on this thread, although I've seen no sign of my 2012 12v battery weakening. When I have to replace it, I'll probably go with the 51-440BAGM Bosch Battery that I've seen mentioned here and that at least according to Pep Boys, fits the C.
     
  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    like your title!

    pick up a cheap but appropriate trickle charger/maintainer, as well as volt meter on amazon. it might be that it just needs to be kept topped up, and start saving for a battery.
    in the meantime, enlist some help to install a new one and save the labor charge.

    does your c have the jump point under the hood?

    test your mechanical key now, and install new fob batteries
     
  7. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    I wouldn't. If College Station is in TX, you may see issues in the heat, not in the cold. but I would be on the alert for issues.
     
    priustexasbob likes this.
  8. frenzee

    frenzee Member

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    This is definitely NOT for everyone, but after my 12V died, I replaced it with a small, safe Lithium (LiFePO4) originally designed for scooters and such. I went with the top of the line version, but you can certainaly find cheaper versions on Amazon for under $100. Four months in, it's working perfectly if not better than OEM (e.g. brake pump runs at a slightly higher pitch with the car off, and the windows rolling down or up operate at the same speed with the car on or off). Evaporative system, headlights, hazards, all work fine with the car off. You'll need to fashion your own connectors, including a 50A fuse.

    Lithium 12v Battery | PriusChat
     
  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Obtuse Angler

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    Get an electronic load tester, Solar BA5 or similar, they're also around $50, see where you stand. You have to hook up directly to the posts.
     
  10. Oldwolf

    Oldwolf Prius Enthusiast

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    My 2012 has the OEM battery. We don't get too cold down here in NC, but since my oil change is coming up, I'll ask them to do a load test.
     
  11. priustexasbob

    priustexasbob Member

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    yes it is in Southeast Texas, 90 miles north of Houston. I appreciate the input on this.
     
  12. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i have an opinion :)
     
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