No Power whatsoever, for the second time.

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by CDSK, Feb 3, 2017.

  1. CDSK

    CDSK New Member

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    Welp, here's the run down of the illness my poor car has:

    • Had the Prius for about a year and a half prior to this issue with no problems.
    • Clock started losing time, radio stations reset after powering off. This was soon followed [as days went on] by complete loss of power that required the manual key to open the doors and several minutes to almost an hour before it would show any signs of life. No dash lights, nothing.
    • Replaced the FOB battery to insure that wasn't the issue.
    • Took it to the mechanic who checked the 12v and claimed it fine, used a multimeter.
    • Problem persisted. I attempted a Battery Tender that gave enough power to get it started. This slowly petered off until it was back to death.
    • Replaced the 12v and it seemed perfect, better than ever. The replacement battery is/was a new Optima Yellowtop.
    • Five months on and... tried to start today (coincidentally to get it smog checked for registration renewal that's due in two weeks) and it's back to showing no signs of power. Black screen, no dash lights, can't use FOB, etc.
    • Currently have the Tender back on showing a Red charging light, but after three hours it won't do more than lock my key in the housing when I attempt a start.
    For the life of me I can't find any one else with a similar issue. Most cases I read at least still have dash lights. To me it 100% seems like a battery issue, but I can't imagine the new replacement dying so soon. I drove it successfully just three days ago, as well.

    Does anyone of an idea of how to proceed? I'm completely open to it being my fault for unknowingly leaving something on, but I'm running out of things to check. (If it gets to enough power to turn on I'll be taking it in, but would like to avoid the areas exorbitant dealership prices.)

    Extra question: Can I attempt a jumpstart from any car, slash, regular battery? Or does it require another 12v to avoid any damage?

    Thanks for any help, very much appreciated as this has made me lose my mind!
     
  2. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Yes, I have a good idea about how to proceed:

    1. No matter how new the 12V battery might be, the most likely scenario is a dead 12V battery or loose battery cables.
    2. Check the tightness of the 12V battery cable connections, both at the battery and also check the negative cable where it bolts to the body.
    3. Measure the voltage across the 12V battery. A fully-charged AGM battery will measure 13.0V. A discharged battery measures 12.0V.
    4. The Optima battery will accept a 10A charging rate. A battery tender typically will produce 1A or thereabouts which will take you more than a day to fully-charge the battery from dead.
    5. Yes, you can attempt a jumpstart, but make sure you correctly connect the jump cables. If you make a mistake at minimum you will blow the 100A DC/DC fusible link (which may cost you $200 or more to replace at the dealer) and if you are unlucky, the inverter will fail which will cost you a healthy four-digit repair amount at the dealer.
    6. If the car starts, you must leave it READY overnight (8 hours or more) if you want the Prius to recharge the battery. The charging rate does not depend upon how fast you drive the car. If you do this make sure you have sufficient fuel in the tank and park the car somewhere where it will not be stolen while it is left READY.
    7. Don't think you can drive the car for 10 minutes and then the battery will be good.
    8. You will not be able to get a smog certificate immediately after the 12V battery has had a problem like this, because the ECUs will have reset due to failure of battery power. Once you resolve the no-start issue, you will have to drive 100 miles or more, under a variety of driving conditions (city driving and freeway driving) so that the engine ECU will report it is ready for an emissions test.
     
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  3. CDSK

    CDSK New Member

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    In regards to-

    5. I assume you connect the jumpers in the same method as the trickle charger? I've only jumped non-hybrids previously, so wanted to check. I'll do some googlin' on this to learn, as well.
    6. By READY do you mean completely powered on, engine running? I did the same with the previous battery, though never for 8 hours. Or just the electrical on?

    I checked on the charge just now and managed to get the electrical on, but no more. The gears flashed until they'd dimmed to nothing. But it's more than I had before.
     
  4. ILuvMyPriusToo

    ILuvMyPriusToo Senior Member

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    Depending on how the battery failed, it may not accept much of a charge.
     
  5. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Cloud Watcher

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    @CDSK how much are you using the car? If it's sitting for multiple days, and/or a lot of short trips: that'll run the battery down.
     
  6. Samprocat

    Samprocat Active Member

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    Take amp clamp meter and check your current draw......from there you will see if you have something using battery if car was not in use
     
  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    5) jumper cables and chargers and batteries are all the same. red = +, black = -. connect red to positive and black to negative.

    6) yes, ready means foot on brake, press power button once. engine will run as necessary.
     
  8. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Somehow your killing the battery.
    Make sure the hatch light in the rear on the drivers side is switched off.

    People that have recurring dead 12 volt battery on this site have one thing in common they do not arm the alarm with fob every single time they get out of the car especially in the garage.
    Which will alert you to the door or hatch ajar and light on. I've caught a door ajar many times,

    A battery discharged by a light bulb to 0 volt will suffer some chemical damage as it's deep discharged so perfectly and be prone to sulphation so will be sketchy from here on out. I would replace it as a dead 12 volt in a Prius is deadly.

    The only thing I would change about pats post is I would measure 12 volts
    At the front jump points not the battery. I don't care what the battery measures at the battery posts I want to see what it looks like in the fuse box after it goes through all the battery post fuses and all wiring.

    As far as jumping the car I would not start the donor car. Before hooking the jumps to the donor car I would turn on its headlights and then see how they dim when u hook the jumps from your Prius's If it kills the donor car lights disconnect it quick.
    That means your Prius battery is pulling a shitload of current. Not good.
    That when damage occurs.

    I personally would never ever jump start my Prius. It would get towed home a lot cheaper in the long run.
     
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  9. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    5. Yes. Positive (red) to positive. Negative (black) to body ground.
    6. Yes, READY means the car can be driven away. The engine will run only when the hybrid vehicle ECU turns it on, which will not be very often if you have the heater/air conditioning and other accessories turned off.
     
  10. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Cloud Watcher

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    You can use a regular multimeter too: put it in series on neg side, start on amp side (just in case there's an extreme load). Close up car (run leads under hatch), wait say 15 min, on milliamperes scale.

    Doing this I saw 15-20, with occasional spikes to around 40. Maybe the security light blinking??
     
  11. Michael Carlson

    Michael Carlson New Member

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    Ok.. I have had the same or a similar problem. The first time it happened, I put a charger on the battery and it wouldn't start. But after a hour it started.. Like it would have IF the battery was dead.. BUT that isn't the issue.
    First, there is a GIANT battery that will drive the car from its power attached to the system. And the likelihood of your battery being dead from leaving on a few lights is very low... I was shocked that my battery seemed to be dead when I remembered that the main drive battery showed a 80%-90% charge on the dash as i had parked it.

    Second, this happened again, and after 3 hours on a charger it still had absolutely no power to anything. I tried testing the battery and it showed a full charge. Yet, the dash had no power..
    After some time it started up again, as if nothing was wrong..

    This has been going on for over a year now.. It happens at random times.. but always after the car has been shut off..

    I find if I open and close the door, turn on and off different lights, get in and out of the car. After a bit, something triggers something and everything works again..

    Now, all I can figure out what the problem is would be some sort of short in the system.. but a short that is within the electronic systems someplace microscopic like on a switchboard or within a chip. Because the short repairs itself and doesn't show signs of a normal electric wire short.

    I have been lucky that it hasn't decided to short out permanently YET.... that is why I am here looking for someone with a similar problem.. so maybe i can repair the issue before it becomes a big problem and leaves me stranded at a inopportune time and cost me $
     
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  12. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    The hybrid battery’s charge condition really has nothing to do with the 12 volt battery. The hybrid battery does even participate in anything till the 12 volt battery is commanded to close the system relays.

    And yes leaving lights on will definitely kill the little AGM in fact it kills it perfectly dead down to 0 volts and
    That’s a real bad thing. Sulphation begins and the battery will never hold a proper charge.

    ReaL easy to tell the condition of you battery. Shut the car off at night and measure the battery at the fron5 jump points, then next morning do the same with car off. Then with car off turn on the headlights and measure again, your battery under that test will probably measure 10.5 volts stone dead.

    And no dash lights means you probably have a bad combo meter. That’s the dash board not the mfd.
    Very common failure issue primarily happens to go out when very cold out.
    When u think the car is dead turn on the headlights. No headlights the 12 volt battery is dead.
    No big mystery here.

    Oh and almost every poster with a bad battery thinks there’s some short in the system when in fact your battery was basicly destroyed th3 first time it went dead to 0 volts.

    Buy new battery. If dash goes out again you need a combo meter. Search

    Combo meter
     
    #12 edthefox5, Jan 17, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2018
  13. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Cloud Watcher

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    How are you doing that?
     
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  14. Michael Carlson

    Michael Carlson New Member

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    I have a Fluke multimeter and I also had the battery load tested..

    The battery is never low charge..

    It is not my battery!!!
     
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  15. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Cant tell you how many people on here have had there battery load tested at the dealer of all places and the battery was bad.
    The dealer is incapable of testing this battery.

    Do like i said and load test it yourself with the car off and the lights on. Whats the voltage? I am trying to help you.
     
  16. valde3

    valde3 Senior Member

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    If the 12V battery is tested ok it could be a bad connection.

    There are many possible bad connections near 12V battery. Battery posts tight to battery? Positive cable to battery terminal connector clicked in correctly? Negative cable ring terminal to body bolt connection rusted or lose? Negative cable to ring terminal crimp connection corroded or lose?

    Visually (or with multimeter with loaded circuit) checking all of those only takes couple of minutes.
     
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  17. mrspike55

    mrspike55 Junior Member

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    I am having the same issue with my 2014 PIP, I turn off the car, lock the doors, come back in 15 minutes and it appears the Key Fob is dead, use the key to open the door, no lights, no power of any sorts.... I open the hood, and walla, I hear the "prius noises" as they make and all is good. This has happened to me 4 times in 6 months now.
    I have had the dealer check it, they said all is fine, battery is good, etc...
    It did it again last night, so I am going to have the dealer check everything again
     
  18. dolj

    dolj Senior Member

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    As your car is a Plug-in , maybe ask your question in the Prius Plug-in or Gen 3 forums to get targeted knowledge from the owners of that generation rather than tack onto a Gen 2 thread.
     
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  19. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Somethings whacky with this if the car is dead or fails to start it will throw numerous codes when it recovers. Dash will be all lit it when it comes on. It will not go through a dead car event and not be very unhappy.

    Next time you get in and it’s a dead car turn on the headlights. No headlights the basic 12 volt path is bad loose ground loose positive battery clamp loose at the fuse box. But even if you never attempted to start the car if you lose 12 volt buss the car will see that and log numerous dtcs.
     
  20. Neohippy

    Neohippy Active Member

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    My 2013 plugin is doing the same thing. It just starting happening. I cant figure it out. Please let me know if you find something
     
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