Issues starting Prius in the cold

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by N H, Jan 3, 2020.

  1. N H

    N H New Member

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    I drive a 2013 model (purchased new). The issue below started about 1-1.5 years ago. I am just wondering if this has happened to anyone else and if anyone has any insights into why this is happening? (other than the cold) and if there is anything that can be done for it.

    When I press the start button, all the lights would light up (including all the error lights). Everything would boot up, EXCEPT the engine. If you tried to change it to drive, the car would not move.

    This first started in the winter months. I live in upstate Central New York where it is cold with a lot of lake effect snow. I noticed over the year that after pressing the button once, if I let the main screen (with GPS/audio/etc...) load, I can press the engine start button again and it would start it. However, if that does not work, I need to jump the car.

    When this first happened, I had to call AAA and geico a couple times before buying a portable one myself. I brought the car into the dealership/service thinking it was a battery failure. When they checked it, they said battery was fine and there were no issues.

    When summer came, the problem went away. Now that winter is back again, the problem has arisen again. Just wanted to see what you guys thought. Please feel free to ask if you need anything else to clarify
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    they were wrong, you need a new battery. is it original?
     
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  3. bettergolf

    bettergolf Active Member

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    Agree, it's the 12v battery probably. Mine did the same, wouldn't go into gear so when I pushed the start button ghain to turn it off gave me a "low accessory battery" warning....and then allowed me to put it into gear.
     
  4. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Is this the original battery?

    If so, it's a little surprising that a dealership would tell you a 6~7 year old battery is still fine. By that age it's hardly worth testing if you're having problems.
     
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  5. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    This is an easy one.

    Only the incompetence of some (most?) supposed mechanics makes it difficult.

    You need a new battery. The battery capacity temporarily goes down when cold.
    It comes back up as the temp comes up.

    Leaving a small load on it for a minute or two often warms it enough to gain more capacity back than the current drain uses.
     
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  6. N H

    N H New Member

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    Yes original battery.
    Car is 2013 model (purchased new). Driven 48-50k miles (rough estimate since idk number off the top of my head).

    How long does the typical battery last?
     
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  7. N H

    N H New Member

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    Ahh okay. Would you trust said mechanics to do the battery swap?
    How much should a 12V battery replacement cost? (rough ballpark so I have an idea that I'm not getting ripped off)
     
  8. N H

    N H New Member

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    That's what I read back then and remember now that you mention it. I'm honestly amazed that they went through the testing. In hindsight, they did it for the $$. Honestly, reading this stuff really makes me hate my dealer that much more. What's worse it is like they've been getting awards for #1 dealership or something. I see plaques for it.
     
  9. BZzap!

    BZzap! Senior Member

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    Change the 12v battery.
     
  10. dig4dirt

    dig4dirt MoonGlow

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    +1 to all

    no further questions your honor
     
  11. Johnny Cakes

    Johnny Cakes Active Member

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    What Bisco said.
     
  12. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    a new battery is around $200., install is all over the board. are there any other dealers close enough, or a local mechanic?
    some auto parts stores will install, and they all do a free test. is there a pep boys near you?
     
  13. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    We're like the TV show "The View" in here sometimes; we all speak but no one listens to each other. Typical car batteries will last 3 - 5 years under normal driving & parked conditions. In your shoes, it's lucky 7 so symptoms of battery failure has reared it's ugly head. Before throwing thousands of dollars of parts at it, begin by replacing the 12v battery first, and make sure have the store measure the shelf batteryit in front of you that it's above 12.6 volts. Voltage lower than 12.6 volts, you'll be right where you started.
     
  14. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Battery retailers now often have a pro-level electronic load tester, should be willing to test your prospective battery. The voltage is a clue, but running a CCA test with the aforementioned tester gives a more complete picture to battery's overall health. For example, it's voltage may be down a bit, but it's in very good shape, will bounce right back with a charge. On the flip side, a freshly charged battery that's near-death may show high voltage, but will go off fast.

    Google Solar BA9, for one DIY level tester.
     
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  15. N H

    N H New Member

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    Okay, will do. Thanks a lot.


    I did some searching and theres a lot of places around that can do this at a significantly less price than what was quoted at the dealer.


    Thanks everyone for all the help!
     
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  16. toyolover

    toyolover Member

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    Go with the Optima Yellow Top battery. For 2013, use Model DS46B24R. Price around $200. It is located in the trunk area, on the right near the tail light. No need to pay dealer for installation. Just roll up your sleeves and do it yourself. It takes less than 30 minutes to complete. Remember to take the old battery back for your core charge deposit.
     
  17. N H

    N H New Member

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    Awesome. Thanks for the help!
     
  18. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    And where the vehicle spends its operating life helps determine where it will be on that scale.

    DdLSi4iXcAA-Mrd-1024x768 (1).jpg
     
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  19. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    There is no "typical".
    But I think it is generally accepted that you are on borrowed time after 5 years.
     
  20. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    Can't agree with that recommendation.
    Optima has had some quality problems in the near past.
    And you don't need the extra CCA in a hybrid.
    Seems like I remember that PEP boys and some others have good ones for around $160 USD.
     
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