Do I have the oldest OEM 12V battery (261104W)

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by uart, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Today I took out my 12V battery to add some water (yes it's a "no maintenance" but I did it anyway).

    The battery is a "GS - Nippon Denso Denchi" and is fully black and opaque. The date code is 261104W, which I take to be 26 Nov 2004.

    Since my car was sold new in Feb 2005 I figure this date would make sense if it's the original battery. I'd often wondered if the previous owner had ever changed the battery and now I know the answer (they hadn't).

    So I guess I might have one of the older surviving OEM batteries. So far it seems to be hanging in there ok. The in car "no load" voltage measured via the service menu is 12.3 volts but surprisingly the true no load voltage when removed from the car was 12.6 volts (these are "resting voltages" - measured several hours minimum after car has been turned off).

    BTW. I filled with distilled water until the acid level was a little bit (about 1/4" to 3/8") over the top of the plates. I left plenty of space between the top of the acid and filler caps. Before adding the water, four of the six cells were dry at the top of the plates. I hope it works out ok.
     
  2. 2009Prius

    2009Prius A Wimpy DIYer

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    Can you really see the top of the plates? When I looked down mine I saw a bunch of white mats but not metal plates. I tried to look to the side of the chamber through the little vent hole and did see silver-gray colored metal but can not see the top due to view angle restriction. Maybe I didn't know where to look.
     
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    my daughters 04 is original (afaik) and i'm sure many people here have yet to replace the older batteries even tho the last couple of years have seen a large amount of defects.
     
  4. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Yes sorry, I saw the white mat and not the plates. I just assumed that the plates would come to about the top of the mats but that may not be the case.

    In this case, how far above the level of the mats do you think we really need to go (with the demineralized water)? I guess that functionally, any amount above the mat no matter how small, would be enough to keep it wetted and therefore the battery operating optimally. In practice I think we just need the level a little bit higher, purely so that it has a bit of capacity for future water loss. Do you think 1/4" above the mats sounds reasonable?
     
  5. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    An AGM is not supposed to have any amount of free liquid in the cell. Meanwhile, a number of posters have recently decided to add a substantial amount of water to their batteries, which is fine if the battery has the traditional grey lead plates but not so fine if the battery is AGM and has the white mats. I'm interested to see how much longer those AGM batteries drowned in water will last.

    In the past I had advocated adding maybe an ounce or two of distilled water to each cell if an AGM battery needed help, but certainly not filling it to the point where the mats are covered.
     
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  6. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    I think you might be right Patrick, it does seems to defeat the point of having the absorbent glass mat (which is the lack of free flowing acid) by flooding it.

    The thing that confuses me however is that some of my cells (2 out of 6) already had electrolyte levels above the mat. Several other posters have reported this as well. The more cautious members have been careful not to fill above the level of the highest existing cell. I however was not so cautious and took mine all to about 1/4" above the mat. Now I'm not so certain that this was a wise move. :(.

    Oh well we'll see how it turns out. In hindsight, one other thing that might be be an issue if the level is too high (in addition to the extra free acid in the case of a mishap) is the obstruction of intra-cell venting of gas. Obviously we need to have the level lower than the external vent, I don't think anyone here would be silly enough to go that high with it. But just thinking about this now, we really don't know exactly were the intra-cell venting is, so there could be a possibility of blocking that with the acid. I'm guessing that the result of this would probably be either forcing off of the caps or forcing acid our through the vent tube, both of which would be undesirable.

    I'll keep an eye on my battery for the next few weeks and see if anything undesirable happens. If it does, oh well I must be about due for a new one anyway.
     
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  7. 2009Prius

    2009Prius A Wimpy DIYer

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    In my battery there was one cell that had liquid level above the white mats. It may as well be that the levels were uneven to start with from the factory fill. I have seen other signs of sloppiness in putting the car together in the factory and hopefully the workers who did the more critical parts were better trained.

    I encourage everyone take battery measurements like I posted here:
    http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-ii-...e-measurements-12v-battery-4.html#post1444163
    so we can compare results.
     
  8. romad

    romad 2004 Prīus Package 6 Owner

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    No, you don't. I have my original battery that came with the car when I bought it in August 2004. Since it was probably installed in July 2004, that makes it AT LEAST 90 months old!

    I'll be able to get the exact date off of the battery tomorrow; the battery died 2 hours ago! It reads about 7 volts.

    I picked up a new one at the dealer and will install it tomorrow.
     
  9. jdenenberg

    jdenenberg EE Professor

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    Sorry Nomad, my 2004 Prius was bought in April, 2004 and the OE battery was still holding a charge when I put in the new Optima pencil post last week at 213,500 miles.

    JeffD
     
  10. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    It's interesting to see I'm not the only one to have one last over seven years guys. :D

    Now I'm gonna try for eight, if I didn't kill it by adding too much water already. :embarassed:
     
  11. romad

    romad 2004 Prīus Package 6 Owner

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    Yep, it looks like there are a few of us who got more than the supposed max of 4 years. I have a hair under 90,000 miles and just had the 90K service done 2 weeks ago. I hope this new one lasts at least as long or until we sell the car, whichever comes first.
     
  12. 2009Prius

    2009Prius A Wimpy DIYer

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    It would be interesting to know if the battery died due to loss of water. Could you guys with long lived but now dead batteries open up and take a look? Thanks!
     
  13. romad

    romad 2004 Prīus Package 6 Owner

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    OK, the new battery is installed (manufacture date 2011.10.23) and the old one was made 2004.07.01. So it lasted 7 years, 6 months, 5 days.

    As for opening it up, it looks like it is sealed plus I need to return it to the dealer, so sorry I can't.
     
  14. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Just wondering why you need to return it to the dealer? Is it just for disposal or did they offer you some type of "trade-in".

    Anyway, it is sealed, but the "seal" is basically just a gum label and a little piece of plastic that is easily removed. So it's easy enough to take a look if you really want to, but if you don't want to mess with it then obviously that's your call. :)
     
  15. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Just an update. I rechecked the battery today after doing about 600km since the battery top off. There was no sign of electrolyte being forced out through the vent or anything nasty. The channel with the fill plugs was still dry (as it should be).

    The levels seemed a little lower than when I filled it so perhaps it took a while to fully absorb down into the mat. I don't think I've really lost any significant amount. All the mats are still fully covered with the acid, but most are probably only a few mm's over. I don't think the added water is going to cause any harm.

    BTW. Just had to edit some earlier information. My battery is marked "GS Nippon Denchi", (not Nippon Denso as I said previously).

    The battery also had the code S46B24R. Does anyone know what that signifies, is it the model number?
     
  16. romad

    romad 2004 Prīus Package 6 Owner

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    Remember, I live in the CPR with all of its draconian regulations. The dealer is supposed to charge a core charge, but didn't; he just trusted me to return the old battery. I don't know if they go back to Toyota, or are recycled locally.
     
  17. romad

    romad 2004 Prīus Package 6 Owner

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    That must be it. Here are the GS & Yuasa numbers:

    HH-S46B24R

    GS Japanese HH-S46B24R Prius Car Battery

    HJ-S46B24R

    Yuassa HJ-S46B24R OEM JIS SPEC Prius Battery

    Check out those prices; that means I only paid about 100 British Pounds for my new one!
     
  18. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Ok I see, it's like an enforced recycling.

    Actually metals prices are getting high enough that it's making incentive for recycling pretty good anyway. I've always disposed of my old car batteries responsibly anyway, but last time a took a few to be recycled they gave me good money for them. No regulations or anything, but if the recyclers are willing to pay money for it then why wouldn't a person do the right thing. :D
     
  19. Optimus

    Optimus Member

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    I just replaced my OEM black Nippon yesterday, date code of 2003 (forgot the month/day on date sticker) with an Optima--about $150 shipped to my door from Advance Auto Parts after a coupon and Mr. Rebates discount. MPG went back up to mid 40's already (Normal for Minnesota Winter mpg). MPG had dropped to low 30's on a good day during the last month or so with the old battery.
     
  20. Hal W

    Hal W New Member

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    Most places in the US have a core charge of $10 when you purchase a new battery. They add $10 to the price if you don't give them the old one. Hal
     
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