Highway driving possible problems

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Technical Discussion' started by Caleb1122, May 22, 2019.

  1. Caleb1122

    Caleb1122 Junior Member

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    The last few times I’ve taken road trips in my 07 the battery doesn’t want to stay charged with the cruise at 74 mph. I can get off the highway and go a bit slower and it charges right up. Actually got it down to no bars on the battery gauge this time before it went back up. I do not have any check engine lights and all fluids under hood are full and look clean. Battery was also replaced with a green bean one about 20k miles ago. Other than the highway driving I have no problems with the state of charge on it.
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    could be the high speed is stressing it, and it will continue to get worse.
     
  3. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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  4. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    This is pretty unusual. It's odd that the battery would be supplying any significant power assist during that time, unless the engine is having trouble making enough power to maintain 74 mph.

    Do you have any apps like Hybrid Assistant that you can use to monitor engine and battery in real time to see what you have going on?

    Of course, by highway driving, I'm picturing semi flat normal highway type terrain. Throw some mountains in there and anything goes...
     
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  5. Caleb1122

    Caleb1122 Junior Member

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    It wasn’t flat that’s for sure but it wasn’t super hilly. Was on I 65 north in Alabama. Then coming on i 39 north in Illinois same thing. Any amount of incline for just about any amount of time as long as there was for than like 3 hill ish inclines in a row it will drain the battery then it takes forever to recharge the battery. During the road construction times would have to slow to 45-55 problem went away it seemed. I don’t usually highway drive the thing so it’s just got me a bit worried.
     
  6. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

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    You bought a refurbished battery, not a new one. The battery could be going bad again.
     
  7. srellim234

    srellim234 Senior Member

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    Staying away from the cruise control on uphills is a must. I've also noticed on our long distance trips there is a "sweet spot" around 69, 69.5 mph that is really efficient and easy on the system. I haven't seen the lack of charging you're seeing but you could try finding that sweet spot on the gas pedal pressure and see if that helps. When the charge hits the purple, back off the speed a touch, using lighter and/or varying pedal pressures to charge it back up. No guarantees but it might help.
     
  8. Caleb1122

    Caleb1122 Junior Member

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    Is this causing long term damage or just some poor fuel economy when the battery drains down to the one bar left?
     
  9. srellim234

    srellim234 Senior Member

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    I don't think there would be any damage but it should cause a bit of a drop in gas mileage. The gas engine has to run more to keep the battery from running all the way out. Do you track your gas mileage manually and record it on an app or at a place like fuelly.com? That would tell you what's happening with regards to your mpg.
     
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  10. Skibob

    Skibob Senior Member

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    An excellent question, one I have no answer for. You could assume that it would cause more wear to the engine based on the fact it. Has to work SOMEWHAT harder. How much harder??? And how many miles does your car already have? I would agree with sremelin. One true thing about a Prius most people don’t think about, when you have an old regular car with a worn out engine, it just accelerates slower. When you have a Prius it just can’t produce as much electricity as when new. That can factor into how the battery is recharged
     
    #10 Skibob, May 23, 2019
    Last edited: May 23, 2019
  11. Caleb1122

    Caleb1122 Junior Member

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    I have 178k miles and I usually average like 47-51. I’m a delivery driver so I drive a lot of miles with it. Florida summer heat usuing ac all the time will drop it down to maybe 45-47. Still super good to me.
     
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  12. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i don't understand how 'no bars' isn't setting a trouble code.
     
  13. Caleb1122

    Caleb1122 Junior Member

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    The last purple bar is pretty hard to see especially driving 74 mph. There may have been the one left but i couldn’t tell.
     
  14. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    mine has never gone below two
     
  15. landspeed

    landspeed Active Member

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    My Wife wasn't driving, was she?
     
  16. landspeed

    landspeed Active Member

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    It sounds like there is a problem within the hybrid system, probably involving the battery. It also seem you are seeing the 'problems' due to being observant, even before the car shows any warning lights.

    Have you worked on cars before; do you have a basic set of tools, socket set etc?

    Do you have a smartphone; most Android phones are OK, also, iOS iPhones are also OK. These could let you get more data about the battery and what is happening, even before the car computer 'throws a code'.

    It is possible the fault is due to many different reasons; most of these are an easy fix. If the 'battery' has failed, then you can get any months or 1-2 years, for a day or two's work, and a few 10s of $ - if you find the fault soon.

    PS I don't have a Green Bean battery, but I understand the only safe replacement batteries are either a *new* Toyota one, or the one in my signature below (I have no reason to add that link in my sig, except that 'reconditioned' batteries are usually faulty when installed and will fail very quickly, so NewPriusBatteries are a good choice for DIY replacements).
     
  17. strawbrad

    strawbrad http://minnesotahybridbatteries.com

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    This is not a battery problem.

    Your gas engine is not producing enough power to drive the car up hill at high speeds. The battery takes up the slack for as long as it can and gets drained.

    Check the easy stuff like spark plugs, air filter, and clean the MAF sensor first. A plugged CAT is also a possibility. Does your engine use a lot of oil? How does the engine sound? A loud tic at idle is a very bad sign.

    You may have an engine replacement in your future.
     
  18. Caleb1122

    Caleb1122 Junior Member

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    What sort of things am I looking for when I pull up the info on a scan tool? Or what’s the fault? It possible that a fault only occurs at high engine load? 65 and slower it doesn’t have a single problem.
     
  19. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    It seems to me strawbrad has the better analysis ... not a battery issue, but a tired engine: at 74 mph up an incline it's producing just enough power to move the car, nothing left over to store in the battery.
     
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  20. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    I also agree with @strawbrad even though I don't have much respect for most rebuilt batteries except a few done by folks like you, Chap, who are very diligent. I wouldn't be surprised if @Caleb1122 gets battery problems before long, but this sounds like an engine that simply can't produce enough power and there can be several reasons for that.
     
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