Death in the Cold

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by MaggieMay, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. MaggieMay

    MaggieMay Active Member

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    Not meaning to sound like a murder mystery, but my Prius 10 has been parked outside in the uncommonly cold weather for 2 days without my starting it and she's just dark and cold - no response at all from that friendly Start button. Can my neighbor and I jump it from his BMW using attaching the cables to the + and the bolt described? How long should it take? Should I head off to purchase a new battery? Thanks as always for your help!!
    Maggie
     
  2. spiderman

    spiderman wretched

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    Hey Maggie,
    Long time no post.

    There is a jumper post in the fuse box under the hood (engine compartment). Open the fuse box and on the upper part there is a red tab that you pull up on the right side of. Attach the + jumper here. The - negative can be attached on the block or a bolt on the side of the panels. Should take no time at all to power up.

    Well covered in your Owner's Manual.

    Yes, I would vote for a new battery.
     
  3. MaggieMay

    MaggieMay Active Member

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    Great! Thanks Spidey! For a half a second I thought - maybe if the weather warms up it will start! LOL
     
  4. spiderman

    spiderman wretched

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    It might recover enough charge to start when it warms up and it might be perfectly good for another year or two. The questions is; do you want to take a chance? The factory batteries are not all that reliable. Mine is still strong but I have a garage.

    Oh, be absolutely positive (pun) you have the cables correctly connected (polarity). Mixing them up can cause some serious problems with the Prius.
     
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  5. RRxing

    RRxing Senior Member

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    p. 543 in the owner's manual, Maggie.
     
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  6. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    I believe it's good for the donor car to be running when you start up. Also, disconnect in opposite order of hook up: negative off yours, neg off donor, positive off yours, positive off donor.

    It will likely need charging, at the least, say overnight (or two) with a decent 2~3 amp charger. First check with a digital volt meter. Should read over 12.6 volt if it's healthy. If that doesn't pan out: new battery time.
     
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  7. MaggieMay

    MaggieMay Active Member

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    Just to 'close the book' on this (I love bad puns!) My neighbor and good friend spoke with his BMW dealer who warned him NOT to jump my car because a surge would ruin both our electrical systems. So I called AAA (which I should have done in the first place) The jump worked and I headed to the dreadful dealer so I could spend $300 on a new battery. But - what is it with Bimmers? Wouldn't any battery jump have a possibility of a surge? Do they design the cars so that they are unable to help others? German snobbery?? Just speculating...

    Thanks again for you your help - I love that you guys are always here !!
     
  8. spiderman

    spiderman wretched

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    Gak, $300 for a new battery! :( Sorry to hear about that but that is highway robbery. Thanks for updating us, happy motoring!
     
  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    I'd try recharging first. Of course that involves expense as well, but it's something that will last you. You'd need a digital multimeter and some sort of intelligent charger in the 3 amp range. There's something in the manual regarding charging limit. I do know 3 amp is ok. Mine is CTEK 3300, but there's a lot of charger available.

    Battery Chargers - CTEK Battery Chargers Multi US 3300
     
  10. RRxing

    RRxing Senior Member

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    Reverse order would be to remove the positive off of the donor car first:

    Jump Start.JPG
     
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  11. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney EditProfOptInfoCustomUser Title

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    Jesus, I've overpaid for a battery once, but if they quoted me that price I'd have told them:
    1) To go **** themselves
    2) That I'm never coming back
    3) That I'll tell others about the rip-off pricing.

    What was the name of the dealer everyone should avoid?

    The Bimmer dealer was probably just scaring them off since it's over-priced repairs that turn Beemer drivers into pissed-off ex-Beemer drivers.
     
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  12. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Thanks to RRXing above, regarding connection sequence. That'll teach me not to "wing it". Let's see how this sounds:

    Hook up sequence:

    Positive on dead car.
    Positive on good car.
    Negative on good car. *
    Negative on dead car. *

    * Bare metal on engine or body preferable to battery post.

    Disconnect by reversing the above steps.
     
  13. MaggieMay

    MaggieMay Active Member

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    RRXing - I'm making a copy of that to tuck in my glove box - thank you.

    Its - The total bill was $311 - I actually paid $263 due to an $18 credit they owed me and a $30 coupon they applied. Ira Toyota, Danvers never gets good marks from me on the Toyota surveys. I feel like I need a rape kit every time I leave. If my trusted neighborhood mechanic had had a battery 'in stock' I'd have gone to him. I swear this is the last trip I make to the dealer!
     
  14. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Batteries are expensive. With the coupon applied that's not so bad. I'd be cautious getting a third party battery: the Prius battery is in passenger compartment, has a vent tube (to vent hydrogen gas), and is a design that suspends the acid in a mesh, to avoid spillage in an accident.

    Your battery might have been recoverable. Likely just an interior light left on, significantly depleted the charge, but it might have been recoverable. I appreciate sometimes it's simpler to just bite the bullet, get a new one. But just saying.

    Intelligent chargers are around $50~80, and a digital voltmeter (allowing you to do a rudimentary check of the battery's status) around $20~50. They're good to have on hand, for future events.

    BTW, the hook up diagram RRXing posted is in the Owners Manual. Maybe just put a bookmark on the page ;)
     
  15. tumbleweed

    tumbleweed Senior Member

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    I think this is just a case of the BMW mechanics not understanding the Prius. There are a lot of false ideas about hybrid car batteries and most people don't realize there are two batteries, the HV hybrid battery and the 12V battery which is like any other car battery execpt it's a little smaller. No danger of a "surge" that would hurt anything.

    Same as Spiderman my battery is still hanging in there, but I too keep the Prius inside where it doesn't get below 35 or 40. I have been thinking about buying a new Optima battery anyway just to be sure I don't end up with a dead battery.

    DS46B24R YELLOWTOP® Prius® Auxiliary Battery 8171-767 :: OPTIMA® Batteries
     
  16. Jonny Zero

    Jonny Zero Giggidy

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    I carry a rechargeable jump starter / tire inflator in the car, for occasions such as this, and the fact the Prius cannot be used to jump start another car, and I am the family's roadside assistance guy. :cool:
     
  17. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    D.O. I was storing a vehicle, when we had our previous Civic Hybrid. I jumpstarted it a few times, then read that's a no-no with it's diminutive 12 volt, so picked up a jump-n-carry jnc660. It'll actually fit in the underfloor tray, but it's about 20 lbs, so I'd likely only take it along if we were on a road trip.
     
  18. tumbleweed

    tumbleweed Senior Member

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    I think there is another solution:

    Buy a couple of good quality 6V dry cell batteries and hook them in series. If your 12V battery is too low to start the car disconnect one of the terminals. Then connect the 12V from the dry cell batteries either to the under hood jumper connector and ground or to the battery terminals (now disconnected) in the back. (Be careful to observe polarity)

    This should give you enough current to boot the computer and close the relay that connects the traction battery so you can get the car into Ready. When the car is in Ready disconnect the dry cells and hook up the 12V battery and away you go.

    All you need is a couple of 6V lantern batteries hooked + to -, two jumper wires with alligator clips on each end, and a tool to disconnect the battery terminals.
     
  19. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Yep 2 6's will work fine. And its best for the donor car to be not running.

    Very little energy is required to boot the car.
    In fact a while ago one poster used his 14 volt battery off his drill with success.
     
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