Problem with 12 Volt Battery in 2016 Prius 4 Touring

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by mjustice, Mar 21, 2017.

  1. mjustice

    mjustice Member

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    Not finding anything similar doing a search I thought I would post a recent experience with my 12 volt battery. We have a 2016 Prius 4 Touring and 2005 Prius. We have mounted, studded snow tires for our 2005 Prius and decided to run it during the winter storms rather than buying separate rims & snow tires for the 2016 Prius. That part has worked out fine, but it left the 2016 sitting in the garage for over 4 weeks.

    Took it on a 90+ mile drive to Reno, NV from our home. Car had started up fine at the beginning of the trip and drove fine. Arrived at our first stop in Reno and when we went to restart the car we had all types of lights and messages on the dash, including cautions about brakes and that the car needed to be taken to the dealer. Fortunately the dealer was a block away.

    Took it in and kudos to the dealer as they were able to get it in to be checked out and when they decided they wanted to keep it over night they gave us a loaner car. (Separate issue, but why give us a loaner (Toyota Sequoia) that got 16 mpg when I dropped off a Prius?)

    They decided that the 12 volt battery as low due to sitting for such a long time. They cited the multiple computers that exist in the Gen 4 Prius and that some computer checks take place every couple hours even when sitting off in the garage. This is quite different from our Gen 2 Prius where we could push a button below the steering wheel to disengage the key fob sensor if the vehicle was sitting for a long period of time.

    They charged the battery overnight, said it was good to go, and that I needed to drive it more. No problems since then, but I did not get a good explanation why the 12 volt battery did not receive a sufficient recharge on the 90+ mile drive before it had a problem?

    Just completed a 250+ mile drive and decided to put a volt meter on the battery. Not certain if I did it correctly, just put the leads on the battery terminals and it only registered a bit over 9 volts. Should it read higher? I have sent an email to the service person who worked with us last time, but have yet to hear back.

    Just wanted to pass on the potential problem with getting a dead 12 volt battery if your Prius is sitting for several weeks. Also, interested in any thoughts anyone has.
     
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  2. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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  3. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    Was a Key Fob close to the car? I think that can cause a drain due to the smart key system.
     
  4. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Nine volts is basically dead. I would replace, look into smart chargers. When mothballing the car keep it on a charger and/or disconnect negative cable.
     
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  5. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Is it still starting OK - the 9v could be a bad reading, and could be worth verifying.

    I too had "... all types of lights and messages on the dash, including cautions about brakes and that the car needed to be taken to the dealer ..." - but it happened while I was driving 7 mths ago. I stopped, turned it off, restarted and it never happened again. I asked at the next service (5 months later) and they checked and it showed that it went into a PRIUS-PANIC because it detected a faulty stop-light switch (which is still on order from Japan).
     
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  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    recheck your battery reading after the car has been off a few hours. make sure there aren't any loads on it. something is not right. i just left my 5 year old battery for 5 weeks in the cold, and it was fine when i got back. and the gen 4 is supposed to be beefier.
     
  7. Gen 2 Tom

    Gen 2 Tom Active Member

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    If I remember this the 12V is not used for starting the ICE. So a fairly week battery wouldn't show up as a poor cranking as in a conventional car. But with electronics anything under a threshold voltage things don't work. I would assume the battery terminals should be at 12 volts stopped and 14.2 when charging. I would get it looked at.
     
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  8. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    IMG_0265.JPG Here is the info from my 2017 battery.
     

    Attached Files:

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  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    cold battery reads 13+ volts when new. my 5 year old reads 12.8 volts.
     
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  10. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    Don't forget the 12 volt battery is now under the hood.
     
  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    even better.(y) although, some claim it will do much better in the climate controlled cabin, i have always felt that size matters.
     
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  12. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Which may not be a good move.

    My VW Microbuses (74 & 78), air-cooled, had the battery in the corner of the engine compartment right in the fresh-air intake. The batteries lasted well. I replaced them with a Mitsubishi Forward control microbus, the engine and battery were jammed under the front seats, very hot under there - I was flat out getting 2 yrs out of a battery.
     
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  13. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Geez that's seriously higher than the OEM 3rd gen. Looks like you've been doing donuts in death valley, btw...
     
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  14. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    image.jpeg
    That is the side of the battery. Here is the top. The pictures were taken at the same time.
     
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  15. William Redoubt

    William Redoubt Senior Member

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    Bisco, we are discussing batteries, not sex.

    Seriously, though, electricity is part black magic. A long hibernation may have affected a connection or ground (corrosion) that was corrected by movement of wires that occurred during travel, inspection or both. "One and done" issues are common electrical horror stories.
     
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  16. Twiggy52

    Twiggy52 New Member

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  17. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    Notice the battery is made in the USA. I didn't think Japan imported batteries from the US.
     
  18. kithmo

    kithmo Couch Potato

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    I reckon it was corona discharge :eek:
     
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  19. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    that is odd, never heard of penn manufacturing. you think they install the batteries at port?

    google: east penn manufacturing is a private company, and the world's largest single site lead-acid battery facility'
     
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  20. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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