Hybrid Battery Dead at 50K?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Technical Discussion' started by 06BluePrius, Jun 20, 2009.

  1. 06BluePrius

    06BluePrius New Member

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    Hello,

    I've been lurking here and enjoying my pre-owned 06 (Carfax was clean) for about a month. Well, I went out to work yesterday morning (I drive nearly every day) to find CEL and "!" half way down the driveway. Got about a block before the car stalled and I had to pull over. Engine cut out and never recharged the battery. Battery bars just kept dropping. No regenerative braking either. Plugged in OBD reader and 3910 (?) "Low Engine Power". Had it flatbedded to a dealer. Looked at it yesterday and said they need if for a few days as they're bringing in a recharger. Hybrid battery is completely dead. They also replaced the 12V battery.

    I'm really beside myself. What would cause this? What should I keep in mind when the dealership calls in a few days? Will it keep a charge after they charge it? Should this be under warranty? Any help is appreciated as I bought the car for my wife and we both love it. It's disappointing and I want to understand what's going on.

    Thank you.
     
  2. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    Sounds like The Stall. My '04 had that happen, needed the software update

    There are some ways to discharge the NiMH traction battery: run out of gas and keep trying to drive on electric only, especially power cycling it over and over. Have The Stall happen (Not sure about 2006, it happened to 2004-2005 Prius) and continue driving.

    Hopefully with the NiMH recharged, everything will be ok
     
  3. firepa63

    firepa63 Former Prius Owner

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    Sounds like you were out of gas and depleted the traction battery by continuing to drive. What level was shown on the gas gauge?
     
  4. 06BluePrius

    06BluePrius New Member

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    The dealer asked me that (apparently, they've only seen this one other time and it was a driver w/no gas trying to drive on electric to the gas station).

    I had nearly a full tank and only drove it about 2 blocks after the "!" and before all battery bars clicked off.

    Sounds like it may be a software upgrade. Any further info on what a "Stall" is?

    Thanks for your answers and support.
     
  5. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

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    I believe the 2006's software was upgraded from the 2005's. Please report all codes the dealer finds. The traction battery is under warranty unless abuse is found.
     
  6. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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  7. TonyPSchaefer

    TonyPSchaefer Your Friendly Moderator
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    The question about the gas level should be easy to resolve since it was towed to the dealership presumably without stopping to get gas.

    If the car is bought used does the 80,000 mile warranty still apply?
     
  8. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    Carfax may show it clean but there's no way to know how the previous owner may have abused the battery. Let the dealer work his magic. If necessary contact Toyota USA yourself and ask for them to pay for some of it.
     
  9. Jabber

    Jabber Chicagoland Prius Guy

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    I assume you mean the 100k Hybrid warranty? Yes, the warranty goes with the car, not the owner. All factory warranties are like this regardless of the manufacturer. That also includes basic, powertrain, and hybrid warranties.
     
  10. 06BluePrius

    06BluePrius New Member

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    Just a quick update -

    Talked w/the dealer this afternoon. A "Toyota Engineer" is driving up (about 4+ hours) to the dealership tomorrow with the Hybrid battery recharger. Apparently, there are only 12 rechargers in the entire country and the local Dealership isn't even able to work on it due to the complexity. He mentioned that my problem has been issued a case number and "gone to the top". No other info.

    I can't wait to learn why and how this happened. I miss my Prius.
     
  11. firepa63

    firepa63 Former Prius Owner

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    Thanks for the update. Please keep us posted on what's found as the cause.
     
  12. 06BluePrius

    06BluePrius New Member

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    Another (hopefully final!) update -

    Dealer called this afternoon and said car was ready. I picked it up tonight and chatted with the tech. They installed a new 12V battery and recharged the hybrid battery and mentioned that it's ok. They stated the cause being that the 12V battery died, causing the car to run in hybrid mode (although I recall the engine starting once underway just before the car completely stopped) and completely depleted the hybrid battery.

    He also stated that there is a bypass function when the car door is opened to clear the "check engine" shut-down system (he said it would not have run down the hybrid battery if I didn't open the door). That could explain since I started the car, drove just in hybrid mode (under 7 mph) out of the driveway and then pulled back in the garage, turned it off, opened the door, checked ODB-II, cleared the code, then got back in the car and drove where it finally gave out two blocks away.

    I'm still scratching my head that a failed 12V battery (it's less than 3 years old) would completely immobilize the whole hybrid and engine system stranding me.

    Anyhow, I'm back on the road. Only drove it a few miles home from the dealer up to about 40mph. I noticed that the battery level is only mid-range and my MPG isn't nearly as high as it was before all of this. I called the dealer and he mentioned that this will straighten out with a few drives.

    Thanks to all for your thoughts and support. I hope this helps. If anyone has any further comments, I'd like to hear them.

    Hopefully all is well from here on out.
     
  13. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    The 12 vdc battery is used to boot up the computers before the relay closes at the NiMH traction battery. There are endless posts here about weird behavior caused by a defective or discharged 12 vdc battery. Sometimes you will get an odd message about the "park" being "abnormal" due to low voltage confusing everything

    Not sure what "bypass" they're talking about. Quickly searched the shop manual and found nothing, maybe somebody else knows what that means
     
  14. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    Whenever any weird behavior begins our default advice should be, first test the 12V battery.
     
  15. donee

    donee New Member

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    Hi O6...,

    With the memories wiped, the car will have to relearn your driving style to get back to the best fuel economy for your usage of the car. This may take a week or so.
     
  16. Mike Dimmick

    Mike Dimmick Active Member

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    If the aux battery was completely shorted it could pull down the 12V circuits, not providing enough power to spark, I suppose.

    One issue with the way that the car starts the engine - by spinning up to running speed with MG1, then applying fuel and spark - is that starting sounds like running. The Check Engine Light could simply have been telling you that the engine failed to start. The car possibly needs to be a bit more aggressive in telling you that the engine won't run and that you should pull over immediately.
     
  17. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    Why? A dead battery will strand a conventional car too.
     
  18. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    With a conventional car, the battery goes bad, it's patently obvious: turn the key to start, click-click-click-click-click-click

    Let's hope the OP has finally resolved this issue. It's also one more diagnostic puzzle solved for us
     
  19. Celtic Blue

    Celtic Blue New Member

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    Reminds me of one of my favorite cartoons from maybe 25-30 years ago. It showed a weary fellow walking back to his car in the middle of nowhere with a gas can in his hand. His wife said, "Good news, Honey! I was able to get it a mile closer using the starter!" :eek::eek::mad:

    And that can't help but prompt the recollection of a real life story of a lady who decided to surprise her husband by taking on some of the car maintenance. I'm sketchy on the details but it was something like rotating her husband's vehicles tires, setting the pressures, and greasing the brakes. He and the vehicle ended up in the field across the highway from their drive...very much surprised but uninjured save for cosmetic damage to the car going through a fence.
     
  20. oly_57mpg

    oly_57mpg New Member

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    Because the HV traction battery is also responsible for charging the 12v. It supplies enough current to run everything - even if the battery is dead.
     
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