hybrid battery water damage

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Technical Discussion' started by jaegerd, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. andyprius

    andyprius Senior Member

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    I have had the covers off the HV a couple of times, and I cannot picture how a quantity of water can even enter the battery contacts area. If any sustained amout of water were to be poured over the covers it would drain from the flat top to the sides and then to lower elevations, such as the floor of the trunk. If the water could enter the actual contact area it would have to be a quantity large enough to span a + and - of any one module ( whatever the smallest Emf source is ) and hold this shape long enough to short out and destroy that module. The chances of this happening are very slim to impossible. The initial person that gave you this diagnosis was an IDIOT!!! :mad: PS: The fact that you have been given a loaner is a very good sign.
     
  2. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

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    couldn't get the top wet?... the exhaust for the rear battery is inside your rear quarter-panel. there are rubber flaps to prevent moisture from coming in.. it's kinda hard to hit with a bottom blast. even if the water did make it up, it may not be able to make the jump into the battery exhaust tube... but idk.. i wouldn't recommend a bottom blast or engine blast anyway. both could hit the spark plugs and potentially short (since toyota uses a cheap bolt down method... it's the bolts really, not the method.. it makes a poor seal sometimes)

    even if the water did make it up that side vent, i would imagine your 12v battery would float in water 1st... and that really never drains... you would see it.. same goes for the spare area... it's all pretty water tight... you would be carrying around water. or as someone else said.. 55 gallons of water... but i assume that much would make it spill out into the rest of the car... 5 gallons would be sufficient to wreck havoc in that area...

    if it is that rear hose feed, then i would imagine a lot less would be needed to kill it because the only spot i see it being vulnerable is basically next to/above the battery casing. (off to the side really... on top of the wheel well) i've looked at that casing and it didn't see too tight, although photos show it as a shell almost.
     
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  3. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    OK good. I got little lost - did they actually see water? If so the only other thing I can think of is condensation like on my glasses going from cold to warm.
     
  4. energyandair

    energyandair Active Member

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    How do they know that the main battery is water damaged? Batteries are generally not soluble in water. They don't seem to be too sure what the problem is.

    Is there clear evidence that the battery is faulty and there is damage from a short circuit? If so, what caused it? Unless the battery design is really bad (eg both terminals exposed and close together at the low point in a well which is pretty unlikely) or there was clear evidence that a LOT of water got in then I would also consider the possibility of other causes. (eg. a mechanic inadvertently causing a short when looking for a problem).
     
  5. jaegerd

    jaegerd Junior Member

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    Yes, the dealer did open the battery case up and found water damage, so says he. There was no water in the back compartment.
     
  6. jaegerd

    jaegerd Junior Member

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    Okay, so what I'm hearing is that water damage to the battery would not be an easy thing to happen, correct? So... normal grocery hauling and several plants in the cargo area does not seem likely to cause this malfunction. If the service tech is telling me he's sure it's water damage, and we are ruling out car washes, and kids pouring water down the vent, we seem to be left with a leak somewhere (though no evidence of water in my car that is visible, and no odor) or what???? It concerns me that the service manager told me he would never carry ANY liquid in the back of a Prius. Has he seen this before????? It very well might be an insurance claim, and I have contacted State Farm, but I am much more concerned with WHAT happened??? If I don't know what happened this time, how in the world can I feel okay about continuing to own this vehicle? By the way, State Farm agent said she has never heard of this before and has no idea if they would cover such a loss.
     
  7. jdcollins5

    jdcollins5 Senior Member

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    If the service tech in fact did find water in the battery compartment, I can see where the dealership and Toyota may be balking at replacing under warranty. This would not be an equipment defect or workmanship type issue, which is what the warranty covers. And this is certainly not " normal wear and tear".

    Most of the leaks that I have read about on here have been around the hatch door and have been discovered by water accumulating around the spare tire compartment. Have you ever seen water in the spare tire compartment ?

    So the issue, IMO, is like you are saying, where did the water come from ? It seems to me this needs to be determined before knowing what to do next.

    Good luck. Keep us posted.
     
  8. twittel

    twittel Senior Member

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    If water is inside the battery case, then there has to be evidence of how it got in. The dealer is not investigating this thoroughly. They just want to jump right to the guilty verdict and pronounce "customer charge"! It's more than possible that some other dealer (or tech at the port?) may have opened this case some other time and never sealed it properly, thus allowing water to enter.
     
  9. andyprius

    andyprius Senior Member

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    At the time that the battery case was opened were you shown the so called damage? Which module(s) were damaged? I believe Toyota Motors Corp will rule in your favor.
     
  10. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    I am not convinced it is water yet, but if it is, the car wash sounds suspicious to me. I once had a mini-van that rain water would seep into somehow, small hole or something, and soak the floor mats. Then windows would fog up and condensation, mold etc. Royal mess. Traded it in for the Prius for $700.
     
  11. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Member

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    What kind of car wouldn't be protected from running thru puddles?
    Even if you did use a car wash,I don't think Toyota should blame you for water getting to the battery from a car wash. It-the wash- certainly couldn't blast water in more violently that going thru a 2" puddle at 70 mph.
    The "plants dripped water into the case " is obvious BS.
    If water damaged the battery-and you didn't run it thru a 14" deep stream- it is Toyota's fault for not protecting it better.
    It should be obvious if water got in the case- they should see water staining.
    I suspect Toyota USA will favor you.
    Charlie
     
  12. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    [​IMG] Leak under body in the center rear

    Recent thread discussing possible causes of water getting in car
     
  13. jdcollins5

    jdcollins5 Senior Member

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    Once again water was found pooling in the spare tire compartment. That is why I asked if the OP had seen water in the tire compartment. He has yet to respond.

    Every leak that I have read about on here was found with water in the tire compartment. This is the first for water in the battery.

    If I am not mistaken the battery sits higher than the spare tire compartment. So, if there was an external leak then water should be in the spare tire compartment also.
     
  14. Bootjacker

    Bootjacker New Member

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    Find another dealer fast! The small 12 volt battery is in the back on the right under a cover, but the big battery to drive the electric motor is over the rear axle and shouldn't be bothered. You'd have had to flood the back area.
     
  15. FLteacher

    FLteacher Junior Member

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    It's been a week. Is your car fixed yet?

    By the way, my owner manual warns against water in the rear seat on the right side because it could damage the battery.
     
  16. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    now when we say water, what exactly do we mean? a case of poland springs? an aquarium? hosing down the back seat? passenger with a bottle of water? baby with the bathwater? mobile hot tub? seems they should elaborate a bit if it's that important.
     
  17. macman408

    macman408 Electron Guidance Counselor

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    The amount isn't so important as the location it happens to reach. A single drop in the wrong place could do pretty significant damage to the battery. On the other hand, you might very well be able to hose down the back seat with a hundred gallons and miss the most critical areas, avoiding significant damage.
     
  18. revhigh

    revhigh MPG Enthusiast

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    Bunch of BS on both sides of this if you ask me ....

    REV
     
  19. Teakwood

    Teakwood Member

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    Yep-yep-yep!
     
  20. LulzChicken

    LulzChicken Prius Enthusiast

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    I third this.:hurt:
     
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