Prius Won't Start Despite New 12V Battery

Discussion in 'Prius v Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Viridis, Sep 25, 2020.

  1. Viridis

    Viridis New Member

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    I bought my Prius about a year ago, October 2019. It had 97,000 miles, currently has about 102,000. I'm work from home now, so it has mostly been sitting since March, however I was driving it about once a week for groceries/errands. Everything was fine, and then about 2-3 weeks ago it wouldn't start. The power came on, but not the READY signal. I called for a jump, got it jumped, everything was fine. Last week, it died again, and this time there was no power at all, I couldn't even use the key fob to open the doors. The guy who came to jump it said the 12V battery was nearly completely dead and recommended a replacement.

    So, I took it to the mechanic Saturday after another jump. They replaced the 12V battery. I picked it up Monday, drove it for errands Tuesday. On Thursday, it was totally dead again-- had to use the manual key to get in.

    Today, I pulled out my power pack and tried to jump it. Despite leaving the jump pack on 5 minutes (as the starter manual recommends), I couldn't get the car to start at all. I did check to see if I'd left lights on, but the headlight switch is in the OFF position.

    A mechanic friend of mine suggested checking/wiggling the battery connections to see if something is loose, but I'm not sure how to do that.

    I am totally baffled how a brand-new battery could die in 2 days. Any ideas on what is happening here? I hate to call roadside assistance out to jump the car again.
     
  2. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Connections could be a problem. Also check the negative cable's connection on the chassis. Verifying voltage with a meter at the front jump pump is also important. Sounds like a high current draw on the 12v even when shutdown. Could be the hatch light. Have to get the battery charged up and try once again. A good mechanic can find the current draw with a dc clamp meter while pulling fuses one for one.
     
    #2 rjparker, Sep 25, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2020
  3. Air_Boss

    Air_Boss Senior Member

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    I hate to put it this way, but are you sure they really replaced your 12V auxiliary battery with new?
     
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  4. Viridis

    Viridis New Member

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    They certainly charged me enough for it. >_> This mechanic has done reliable work in the past, but I haven't worked with them on a hybrid before. I will definitely be taking the car back to them to see if they screwed something up.
     
  5. Viridis

    Viridis New Member

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    Alright, i will call someone to jump the car again and take it back to the mechanic-- I dont' really have the equipment to measure voltage or look at fuses or anything.
     
  6. Viridis

    Viridis New Member

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    If anyone knows a recommended hybrid mechanic in Indianapolis, IN, I'd appreciate it. I went to my usual mechanic, but I've only worked with them on my old Corolla, I don't know how experienced they are with hybrids.
     
  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    could be something is draining it while off
     
  8. Viridis

    Viridis New Member

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    That seems to be a likely culprit. I will have the mechanics check to see what they can find.
     
  9. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    No, you're kidding yourself.
     
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  10. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Active Member

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    .......... have you had the inverter firmware updates? Check oil regularly...and keep a eye on the coolant level....Hybrids are great till things start going wrong... and if you can't do the repairs yourself...... it's very $$$$$
     
  11. TSonn

    TSonn Junior Member

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    Any resolution to this? I am in a similar predicament:

    2013 Prius v with 135,000 miles on it. Wife was driving home from picking up our daughter, said that the car, while driving, went from drive to neutral and then shut off. Wouldn't start again. Interior lights turned on, dash turned on but no maintenance lights. Power button when pushed goes from green to orange and then nothing - car doesn't start. Had it towed to the nearest auto shop. I requested they replace the 12v with a brand new one just because I know they are tricky and didn't trust the auto shop to make a legit diagnosis on reading battery levels (just because they don't specialize in hybrids). Just got a call that they replaced the battery but are still having the same issues and they suggested I have it towed to the dealer to diagnose. So, unless they didn't replace the battery correctly, something else must be going on. Any ideas?

    Just to recap:
    • Car went from drive to neutral to shutting off and won't turn on
    • Inside lights work including the dash which shows no concerning lights
    • Power button goes from green to orange when pushed like normal to start but car doesn't turn on
    • New battery installed
     
    #11 TSonn, Dec 31, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2020
  12. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Really not enough information to be specific but your mechanic should have read codes at least. I would expect some dash warning lights and even the big red triangle. Wild guess - your inverter failed. If so you may get a free one from Toyota.

    Saving money on a diagnosis is not the best idea on a hybrid unless the independent shop is a Prius specialist. They exist and sometimes they will save money but other times they will not be the best option as they may not know about recalls known as customer support programs.
     
  13. TSonn

    TSonn Junior Member

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    For sure. I appreciate the response. My wife made the call to AAA and just picked the nearest auto shop since she had a screaming baby in the back seat. I may have it towed to the dealer next week because the auto shop doesn't seem too confident in their abilities.
     
  14. TSonn

    TSonn Junior Member

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    Why might I get a free inverter from the dealer if it failed?
     
  15. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    Because Toyota watches our back when they design something that fails a lot. Many of these have failed so they put a ten year unlimited mile warranty (called a customer support program) on them.

    If you have your address on record with them you may have received a notice from Toyota earlier this year.
     
  16. TSonn

    TSonn Junior Member

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    That's great news - thanks for sharing. Now I'm hoping it's the inverter!
     
  17. tvpierce

    tvpierce Senior Member

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    These symptoms are consistent with an inverter failure

    This is not. An inverter failure should trigger a Check Hybrid System notification and perhaps ABS/Traction Control notifications.
     
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