Prius needs jump start, too often.

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by William Pappas, Aug 23, 2018.

  1. William Pappas

    William Pappas Junior Member

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    We have a 2010 Prius. It has been well maintained and has been fault free for 94K miles. Three weeks ago I had to go and jump start it for my daughter. Since a long trip to college was imminent, the next day I took it to the dealer.

    They found nothing wrong whatsoever. Fast forward to now. Same issue 300 miles away. I had my daughter take it to the local dealership. I called and told them the problem and they got her in quickly. After an hour or so of investigation they could find nothing wrong.

    Very flummoxed over this problem.

    Any ideas out there? Intermittent fault causing some type of drain? Two different dealers both find nothing.
    Kudos to them for trying.

    Concerned on the Gulf Coast.
     
  2. FuelMiser

    FuelMiser Senior Member

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    What would you check in any other car that needed a jump start? 12V battery...duh
     
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  3. ITBland

    ITBland Active Member

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    8 yr old undersized 12v battery in the hot South, with a car that does little more than trickle charge it. If the 12v battery got low because the car was not used often over the summer, or something caused it to deplete more than usual, you may need to get it fully charged using a battery charger before it will behave itself again. You might think a long trip would charge the 12v back up, but that is not my experience (in a "normal" car this would work, but a Prius never really changes the rate that it charges the 12v). Some here recommend an occasional "topping off" of the 12v with a charger, that is probably a good idea if the car is not used daily.
    But, it may just be time for a new 12v...
     
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  4. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    I'm strongly feeling, that even though the original dealership and now evidently another dealership aren't finding anything wrong with the 12 volt battery, that it IS the 12 volt battery anyway.

    You've got a 8 model year old Prius, I don't know if this is the original? But it could easily be time to replace.

    If it is the original? I'd replace without hesitation.
     
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  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    how sad that neither dealership even mentioned the 12v as a possibility.:unsure:
     
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  6. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    This is the original battery? It's well overdue: replace it. Any battery is slowly degrading over time, that's a fact of life. A jump start does not cure it.
     
    #6 Mendel Leisk, Aug 24, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2018
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  7. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    They are incompetent. But that is not unusual.

    IF.....it still has the original 12 V battery, the odds are OVERWHELMING that it is bad and just blindly replacing it probably would solve the problem.

    Might try a different dealer or even Auto Zone or AAA if you are a member and they have a shop nearby.
     
  8. William Pappas

    William Pappas Junior Member

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    Thanks everyone for the input. The battery is about 5 years old. Both dealers tested it. Car is a daily driver as well.

    Update. Very kind manager called me several hours after my daughter left. He wants her to bring it back in to run some more tests.

    Yes I am ready to replace the battery just for some extra pice of mind.

    Thanks again for yalls input on this.

    Take care.
     
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  9. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    I have a hard time believing that given the symptom...both dealerships wouldn't of checked the 12 volt.

    It just might be that for whatever fluke like reason, it's passing a voltage check.
    But with a 8 year old battery, on a Prius, even if "we" are all wrong?
    The Battery is on borrowed time at least.
    I'd replace it anyway.
     
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  10. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Most automotive battery retailers will have a pro-level electronic load tester, will test it for free. You can DIY with Solar BA5 or similar. At the least check the at-rest voltage with a digital multimeter, post what you get.
     
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  11. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    I'm putting all my chips on 11.9 volts. :)
     
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  12. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    dealers 'should' have a load tester. dealers 'should' have given the o/p the printout of the results.
    we have seen other cases where dealers have said the 12v is fine, only to find out after coming here, a replacement solved the problem.

    i think too many dealers are still thinking crank the engine test.
    so if the prius fires uphill it is at their shop, the assume the 12v is good. no need to load test it.
     
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  13. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    I think too many mechanics these days are just incompetent because of a lack of real training.
    I sometimes think about that when flying. :eek:

    Another fairly common cause is loose or corroded main battery cables.......which the dealer's "mechanics" often miss too.
     
  14. Lucifer

    Lucifer Senior Member

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    Blanket statements blaming a group of people making a living as mechanics is senseless.
    The dealer is an independently owned buisness, if it stays in buisness it must be somewhat honest, if it goes out of business it must be somewhat dishonest, word of mouth identifies the bad dealers.

    The op still hasen't trickle charged the 12v so it’s still going dead, yes a new 12v yellow top battery is needed, and it needs to be trickle charged before use, putting another Toyota oem battery in will be more expensive than a yellow top.
     
  15. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    honesty and trustworthiness are two different things.
    a dealer telling you that you should have a brake fluid flush every year is not necessarily dishonest.
    they may or may not know that some services are unnecessary (think they know) but are cash cows from naive customers.
    it is pretty routine in the dealership world, and i believe it is no accident.
    they likely have fallen to the dark side, and consider profit before ethics.

    in these cases, it is more likely that you will find untrustworthy dealerships growing, and trustworthy dealerships struggling.
    everyone can decide for themselves if the practices are dishonest, but there are plenty of google hits and shows like 60 minutes pointing them out. anreven some prosecutions in the more egregious cases.
     
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  16. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    And word of mouth identifies the bad mechanics too........and the testimony is OVERWHELMING.

    Going to a classroom for a few days where you learn to connect a computer to a connector and then "learn" how to look up the codes in a book.......does NOT make you a mechanic.

    Good technicians are really hard to find these days........in any type of business.
    Mostly it is not their fault but that doesn't change the bad service that results.
     
  17. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    You can have good people working in a shitty environment, pushed by their managers to sell services, take short cuts, whatever.

    Our nearby Honda dealership had ONE really good service manager: whenever we had a problem, HE would come out at some point in the process, explain the problem, the options. Very conciencious guy. A work colleague of mine happened to know the guy, said he wasn't a good "fit" there, he went on to teach automotive in a community college.
     
  18. Starship16

    Starship16 Senior Member

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    He said both dealers tested it. (Reply #8). Upon learning its been jumped and is 5 yrs old, it seems odd for two different service depts to not jump up & down in excitement, and not try to sell him a new battery?

    (I was curious about the price for a new battery. The Toyota parts dept, yesterday, couldn't even find my 2016 12V listed in the Toyota parts database! He said it's "not applicable." :eek::ROFLMAO:. I guess my Prius doesn't have one.)
     
  19. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    it runs on sand.;)
     
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  20. Starship16

    Starship16 Senior Member

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    or hamsters.

    IMG_0317.JPG
     
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