Question on storing a Prius

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by Scott near L.A., Jun 30, 2012.

  1. Scott near L.A.

    Scott near L.A. New Member

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    We're looking at buying a Prius 4 with the solar roof option this fall Hoping to get a good deal for any leftover 4's with the 2013 then coming out. The problem is we'll be out of the country for over 6 weeks over the holidays. With our gasoline car, we'll just disconnect the battery and let it sit. With a Prius, can we disconnect the starter battery, turn off the solar sun roof, and have it sit without any issues. This will be our first hybrid, so not sure how the drive battery would be effected while not moving for over a month. Thoughts?
     
  2. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    You can disconnect the 12V battery but be aware, you can't open the hatch to reconnect it unless you crawl in and release the hatch from under the hatch floor. If you take the floor out you will see a shiny lever by the latch (if you look closely). That's the release.

    Another option is to use a "battery tender" or "battery minder" (both names are for a specific device). You'll need to plug them in to use them though. You can connect them under the hood on the "boost point" in the main fuse box (the point with the red flip-up plastic thing).

    Don't worry about the solar sun roof. You can leave it on or off. It doesn't draw power from the car or put power into the car.

    The hybrid battery will be fine for 6 weeks. So will the fuel.
     
  3. Scott near L.A.

    Scott near L.A. New Member

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    Thanks for the info. If you use the battery minder, does the have to stay open? I assume the cable is connected to the boost point under the hood and then there will be a plug in to the garage wall socket to keep the minder charged...or am I completely out to lunch on how the minder works?
     
  4. Jon Hagen

    Jon Hagen Active Member

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    Just to add, make sure any battery tender is made to maintain a 12V AGM battery like the one in a Prius.
    The batteryMINDer brand is ok for any flooded cell, AGM or GEL cell battery, while many battery tenders are for flooded cell batteries only.
     
  5. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    They come with cables you can permanently connect in the vehicle and leave there, with a socket you can hang out the grill or open the hood, connect to, and close the hood. I haven't seen any easy connection point for the cable "pigtail" in the GIII, but Pearl (GII) had a nut on the boost point. I was just going to use the clip pigtail the unit came with in Pearl S (if I ever decide I need to use my Battery Tender on the car). I never actually needed it on Pearl, but bought it "just in case". I did use it to see what would happen. Worked just fine. The Battery Tender came with two pigtails, one with ring terminals and the other with clips. I see no reason you couldn't connect using the clips and close the hood.

    As far as which type of battery each device can work with, I doubt very much you would notice any difference. The difference in "float voltage" each type specifies is smaller than the charger/maintainer's accuracy. And for "short" times of 6 to 10 weeks it wouldn't matter anyway. For 6 months, perhaps. Even then I doubt there would be any effect with the "wrong type" unit. Just have a look at the voltage of the battery after one day. If it's in the 13.4 to 13.8 range after one day you're fine. But I agree that the "Battery Maintainer" may be a better design than the "Battery Tender". The latter is designed to be used with motorcycles and other recreational vehicles while they sit all winter waiting for "fun time" again. These vehicles are starting to move to different battery technology (AGM to start with, and lithium may not be far behind), so the "Battery Tender" may have to evolve as well.
     
  6. Scott near L.A.

    Scott near L.A. New Member

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  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    Our car was idle for just a couple of weeks, recently. I hooked up a CTEK 3300 battery charger to the 12 volt battery, at the under-hood connection before we left. I just used the charger's alligator clips, didn't bother with it's permanent connection. Didn't disconnect the battery from the car. Worked out fine.

    That's all I did. But for a longer idle time, a few more things to consider:

    1. Take a bit of weight off the tires. One way would be by setting the car on safety stands. Or just raise the tire pressures to max sidewall pressure all around.

    2. Fill the tank just before leaving. For really long idle times adding fuel stabilizer may be warranted.

    3. Put some rags under the wiper arms to lift them slightly off the glass.

    4. Leave a window slightly open.
     
  8. yeldogt

    yeldogt Active Member

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    When I mentioned to my dealer that I read about some Prius batteries not lasting while sitting for a few weeks - he said that they have not really had many? I wonder why some are having problems. I leave cars sitting for a couple of months all the time without any issue - on those that are going to be sitting longer or those that I don't drive that much throughout the year I attach a battery tender. Those that are going to be put away for the winter get a full tank of fuel with stabilizer - and I put a few extra pounds of air in the tires -- but for a couple of months nothing should have to be done.
     
  9. Jon Hagen

    Jon Hagen Active Member

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    I installed a batteryMINDer on my 2010 model . I installed the pigtail directly on the battery. There is room to route the pigtail to the right rear corner of the under floor compartment and up through the space provided by the RR tie down "D"ring. The rear hatch seal is soft enough to allow the flat power cord through the RR of the hatch without pinching it.
    When not in use, the batteryMINDer is disconnected from the pigtail and stored in the under floor plastic storage bin. It was a 15 minute install with no cutting or mods necessary to the Prius.
     
  10. dhancock

    dhancock 2 Prius Family

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    Here is a low cost ($20) 1.5 amp maintainer available at WalMart. I purchased one for our 2007 Prius for when we are traveling in our 2011.
    Schumacher XM1-5 1.5 Amp Fully Automatic Power Charger and Maintainer, Microprocessor Controlled Battery Charger, Automotive Battery Charger, Battery Charger Maintainer
    It comes with two cords: One with ring terminals, for direct connection to the battery; The other has clamps. I directly wired the ring terminal one to the battery (& ground screw). Has worked great for me.
     
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