Prius not driven daily

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by bill adkins, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. bill adkins

    bill adkins New Member

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    Hi i am a newbiel. Just wanted to ask if I only drive my 2013 prius occasionally mostly weekends will it be ok battery wise ect. Will the batteries last as long ect. Probably wont drive it daily for the first couple of years.
     
  2. css28

    css28 Senior Member

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    You'd do well to invest in a small battery maintainer (google "battery tender jr").

    This is only a concern for the 12V battery. Weekend only use should pose no problems for the expensive battery.

    P.S. - Welcome to Priuschat!
     
  3. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    The length of time between uses can be weeks without issues. But the longer the period of inactivity, the longer the period of READY mode must be to charge the 12v aux battery fully.

    If you only use it on weekends, and drive 10 miles a week with it, you will need a 12v battery maintainer because that is just not enough time to keep the 12v alive.

    The traction battery will take care of itself. Only if you are inactive for periods measured in months do you need to concern yourself with this.
     
  4. g4_power

    g4_power Junior Member

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    In reality, the 12v battery doesn't care how many miles you drive. The amount of charge it gets is based on time. I think you'll be fine. However, if it makes you feel better, either get a battery minder like what others have suggested, or you could do this once a month, turn on the Prius (make sure it's in READY mode) and let it set there for about an hour. This procedure is more important in the winter time.

    PS: I only drive my van for about 20 minutes a week. The battery in my van is working fine.
     
  5. css28

    css28 Senior Member

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    Your van might not have a smart key system sniffing around all the time though. Conventional wisdom is that this is what pulls the 12V battery down when parked for days.
     
  6. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster Brand New Prius Batteries

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    Also the Prius 12v battery is Japanese sized. Not the size that they usually put in for the North American market, they kept it the same as what it was designed to be. The battery is tiny but it works perfectly if you don't abuse it.

    So your van battery with less parasitic drain and a larger reserve may be fine. But the Prius is a different animal entirely.

    In the GenIII the SKS automatically disables after a long timeout function I believe. The same as pressing the SKS button under the steering wheel on the GenII.
     
  7. g4_power

    g4_power Junior Member

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    CSS and 2k1 have a good point. I don't know how much power the SKS consumes. The longest I left my Prius not running was 5 days and the battery was fine. I could tell you what I normally do when I know I'll be pulling more power from the 12v battery, but I think the battery minder is the easiest way to go.

    Just FYI. I have a 12v cooler for keeping my food cool and it's rated 60 watts. Whenever I take it with me on trips, I would hook a second 12v battery in parallel to the Prius 12v battery. With two 12v battery onboard, I could have my cooler running for 2 hours while the Prius is turned off. I think I could even go longer but I have never pushed it further. You could get a cheap tractor 12v for about $30. In addition, I use this extra 12v for jumping other people's car. I'd never use the Prius 12v for jumping and you probably should already know this.
     
  8. bill adkins

    bill adkins New Member

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    Thanks for all the comments. I actually am buying the prius new this week. I will probably only drive it weekends as i have a company truck i drive during the week. Drove one at the dealer last week. Really liked the car. All my friends are trying to talk me into buying a lexus ct but dont see the sense in getting somethning with 20 percent less mileage. Just my 2 cents worth. Thanks again
     
  9. g4_power

    g4_power Junior Member

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    I'm not trying to talk you out of buying a Prius. However, you may be surprised to know how little you will save in terms of dollars since you only drive it on weekends. My spreadsheet is showing you may only save $300 per year. Forget what I said if saving money isn't your concern

    Google Doc Spreadsheet Prius vs Other cars
     
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  10. jgilliam1955

    jgilliam1955 Sometime your just gotta cry! 2013 Prius 4.

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    I have read it is bad for the battery to not drive it. You may cause the battery to have a early death.

    SCH-I535 ? 2
     
  11. stevemcelroy

    stevemcelroy Active Member

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    Just remember the gas engine. Like any car you will need to give it a good long drive at least monthly - get it up to temp and then drive it for a half hour or more. This will keep moisture and other gunk from building up in the car.
     
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  12. macman408

    macman408 Electron Guidance Counselor

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    As others have said, only the 12V battery is really at risk. I've left mine for a little over 3 weeks without driving it; my parents went about 8 weeks once on theirs. No problems in either case. I rarely use my car during the week, as I bike to work. Most weekends I do take it out for probably at least an hour or so. No issues at all, and the 12V battery still seems to be in good general health after almost 3.5 years.
     
  13. mediahound

    mediahound Active Member

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    If the 12v battery runs down, can AAA jump start it just as a normal non-hybrid car?
     
  14. css28

    css28 Senior Member

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    Yes.
    The jump starting is a little tricky because the underhood jump terminal is copper on one side and plastic on the other. Some jumper cables are only conductive to the fixed jaw (the one the cable's actually crimped to) at each end. It's possible to clamp a cable onto the jump point without providing voltage to the car.
    The best approach (besides making *absolutely* sure that the polarity is correct (positive to postive, etc.) is to leave a door open on the car and watch for the interior lights to illuminate as you connect things (indicating a successful connection).

    The best jumper cables for this car appear to be the smallest (say, motorcycle grade) since the jump terminal is so small.

    There are some who claim you can jump from a 12V lantern battery. This would probably be most successful if the battery got drained from accidental causes instead of an internal flaw.
     
  15. mediahound

    mediahound Active Member

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    Interesting. Is there some device I could buy to keep at home that has a portable rechargeable battery (that I can plug in the house) that could jump start the Prius?

    I live in a condo complex where my parking space has no power outlet so I cannot put a battery tender there. And, I do from time to time leave the car un-driven for a couple of weeks...
     
  16. css28

    css28 Senior Member

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  17. mediahound

    mediahound Active Member

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  18. g4_power

    g4_power Junior Member

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    Ideally, what you really want to do is to keep your Prius battery alive so you don't need to jump it. If you knew ahead of time that you'll be leaving the car un-driven for an extended period, all you have to do is connect a second 12v battery (fully charged of course) to your Prius battery in parallel. The second battery will take some of the load so that your Prius battery would last longer.

    I normally do this when I go on a long trip and I have my 12v cooler with me. With two batteries, my cooler could stay running for 2 to 3 hours even after the Prius is turned off.
     
  19. mediahound

    mediahound Active Member

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    How do you fully charge the 2nd battery?

    Would one of those solar panel maintainers work instead?
     
  20. g4_power

    g4_power Junior Member

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    I have a battery minder for charging 12v batteries. If you don't have one, you could just leave the second battery hooked up and let the Prius charge it. That's how my second battery get charged when I'm on a long trip.

    I don't use solar panel for cars because I prefer to park in shades. The heat from the sun is not good for the traction battery and the sun light is not good for the paint.
     
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