Covid battery issues

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by bighouse, Jan 14, 2021.

  1. bighouse

    bighouse Active Member

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    With all this shelter-in-place and remote teaching I'm doing, I don't drive my Prius like I use to. So, I'm finding that my battery is often drained beyond the ability to start my car. I've been using a charger to remedy that, but I'm wondering now if my problem might be solved by a new battery. I'll often go a week between drives to the local store for groceries, and it sure seems like a battery should hold a charge for that length of time. SO, is this the preferred battery for my 2010 Prius?

    YELLOWTOP® DS46B24R | OPTIMA Batteries

    If there's a better one you folk are all using and recommend, please let me know!
     
  2. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    I have one of those, but in hindsight might recommend the OEM. Maybe with your current battery your charging measures were too little too late?? What’s the charger?

    FWIW with ours I keep it on a smart charger pretty much constantly, no harm. Using a CTEK 4.3. Often the car sits for a week or more.
     
  3. bighouse

    bighouse Active Member

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    Why, in hindsight, might you recommend the OEM battery instead?

    I do have a trickle charger that I keep in my truck (even longer periods of time without driving!). It just plugs into a cigarette lighter port- can I use this on my Prius as well, or do I have to actually attach it directly to the battery?
     
  4. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    I had a Yellowtop as well and replaced it. In my case it was due to a poor terminal design that cracked. It was still functional so I keep it on the bench for testing with a battery tender jr ($28) maintaining it when not using the charger to top off a spare 5 ah alarm battery. Either spare battery will start the Prius if necessary as will the Noco lithium jump box that rides in one of the cars.
     
  5. JC91006

    JC91006 Senior Member

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    The price of the Optima is $249.00 on the example you provided. The new OEM battery from Toyota should be less than that, and it's a better battery
     
  6. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    If that was the original battery, you really got your money's worth out of it. Why on earth would you expect better elsewhere? The Toyota battery is better and should cost less.
     
  7. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    NO, not in my book it isn't.
    An OEM replacement can be had from a dealer for about the same price.

    And yes, your current use pattern amounts to "abuse" for a 10 year old battery.
    Should not really be a problem for a new one that is fully charged every couple of months or so.

    AND.....you should not be using a "trickle charger". It should be a smart automatic tender type charger.
    If that is what it really IS, you shouldn't be calling it the wrong thing.
    The power plug in your Prius likely is disconnected when the car is off so your charger probably will have to be connected to the battery itself or to the "jump point" if you have that.
     
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  8. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Nothing terrible about the Yellow Top, no complaints. But:

    1. I've heard their quality control has been dropping lately.
    2. It has higher Cold Cranking Amps, but at the expensive of lower Amp Hours.
     
  9. Sean_999

    Sean_999 Junior Member

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    "Abuse"?!? Really?? Any car that needs to be driven more than once a week, despite having a huge honkin' high-voltage battery in its gut, needs re-engineering. I'm kind of disgusted with the fact that Toyota seems to have assumed anybody owning a Prius would drive a bunch of miles every-dam...-day.
     
  10. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    If you don't drive it once a week, keep a lithium jump pack, especially with an older 12v battery in cold weather. My 12v battery lasted more than 7 years with no issues except an occasional map light or hatch left on. It could have been jumped now and then for another year. Instead I paid $200 and bought another.

    The "huge honkin' high-voltage battery" in a Prius is not that big at a couple of kwhs. Compare to a Tesla at 100 kwh. You don't want to discharge the hv battery as its then a tow to the dealer and big money for them to fix.

    Disregard most of the smartasses around here that are either proper technical name nazis or only have one solution no matter what your current budget allows.
     
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  11. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    Yes. That situation is NOT unique to Toyota or to hybrids either.

    ANY vehicle with a 12 V "starting" battery is prone to battery damage if it just sits unused for too long.
    It also applies to things like lawn mowers that aren't used all winter.

    As a new user here, I think you need to be a little less abrasive with your posts.
     
  12. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    He fits right in
     
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  13. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    Sad but somewhat true.
     
  14. Sean_999

    Sean_999 Junior Member

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    I spoke strongly about the car company, you spoke strongly about what people on this board do or don't do. Which counts as "abrasive"?

    I certainly agree that any vehicle left unused "too long" won't operate at its best. But what counts as being unused for "too long" is the issue. I've owned motorcycles that could easily sit 2 weeks without use.
     
  15. Sean_999

    Sean_999 Junior Member

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    Thanks for the advice, and for info about the HV battery -- vs Tesla, and reminder of cost of draining it. I recently bought a 4A Schumacher charger/maintainer to try to revive the 12v that came with my Gen2 when I bought it about 4 years ago. Wasn't successful with that effort (replaced with the SKS-model version that AutoZone sells for $200.), but I do certainly plan to hook that up to the new battery once in a while.
     
  16. Sean_999

    Sean_999 Junior Member

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    One thing that surprised me about my recent 12v battery issue (would not go into Ready mode) was that this problem remained even with the 4A charger hooked up (at the under-hood jump points -- this is a 2005 model). Posts I've read seemed to say that with a bad 12v or even without a 12v battery installed, one should be able to get a Prius into Ready mode with a decent charger connected. Not so for me, with the bad (it turned out) 12v installed.

    I wish I'd tried getting to Ready with the charger but no battery at all, but didn't think of that idea at the time I had the old battery out.
     
  17. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Normally a charger is more limited than a lithium jump pack in terms of immediate amp output. Your charger may have allowed 4 amps where a good lithium jump pack may put out 50-100 amps for a few minutes.

    With a bad battery in the circuit it may represent a huge load to a jump source. The bad battery is attempting to fast charge and during that time the car's ecus are seeing a low voltage. Even a good battery that is severely discharged may need to absorb power for five minutes before the voltage has equalized enough. Prius jump start gen3.jpeg
     
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  18. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    And I have owned all KINDS of vehicles, including bikes, that can NOT sit fine for two weeks.........
    IF the battery was old and/or not fully charged at the beginning.

    ANY vehicle should be able to sit for several MONTHS if the battery is healthy and fully charged. Big IF.

    The other problem is people thinking that they can start the vehicle and run it for a few minutes to recharge the battery.
    That ain't happening, no matter what vehicle you have.

    SO.....as it turns out, your battery was totally shot.
    I don't quite understand your apparent bewilderment that a battery can go bad.
    And that the vehicle won't start when it does that.
    ALL batteries do that eventually in ALL vehicles, if you keep them long enough.
     
    #18 sam spade 2, Feb 19, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2021
  19. Sean_999

    Sean_999 Junior Member

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    I agree with pretty much everything you say here, except for the part about apparent bewilderment. I was not bewildered that the battery died, I was annoyed that with a Prius I apparently am supposed to drive it more than I need to do. (Even pre-Covid that was true.)

    Of course all batteries in all vehicles will eventually go bad, but (as I've said) many vehicles, including roughly 10 vehicles I've owned before this Prius, could sit longer unused without trouble, and certainly longer than many folks here are saying is necessary (or at least highly recommended) with a Prius. I certainly never ran any vehicle for just a few minutes expecting that to recharge the battery.

    I'm not complaining about folks saying that more driving is required, just complaining, a bit, about what that means for someone like me who doesn't need to drive as much as Toyota thinks I should.

    Sam, I know you have plenty to offer this forum, but I really think you're more prickly and abrasive than I've been.
     
  20. Sean_999

    Sean_999 Junior Member

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    Thanks for this, RJ. This [dead battery, esp. a bad one, is a huge load] is perhaps where my attempt to understand my situation was most faulty. I appreciate the explanation.
     
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