Rear seat vent: should it blow air out or suck air into it?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by icyrius, Apr 10, 2016.

  1. icyrius

    icyrius Member

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    Hello all,

    I sat in the back of my recently purchased 2011 Prius Three, not III, for the first time yesterday. I learned from this forum that the vent in the rear seat is to keep the hybrid battery cooled. However, while sitting the back during a ride, I noticed it was blowing air out instead of sucking air. I would think the vent should be sucking air from the cabin to keep it cool, but that does not seem to be the case here. After a 30 minute drive, I even felt the air coming out of it was warm and the A/C began to feel that it was not enough for my area in the back of the car.

    Is this supposed to be how it works?
     
  2. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    It should be sucking air in.

    Someone else here noticed the same thing, a year or two back. I forget the outcome, maybe he didn't do a follow up post? At any rate, if it's definitely blowing, something's awry. You could get down to the fan, check the power connector. Could it somehow get reversed, someone somehow got clever??

    Some steps:

    1. With a good light, and ratchet with a 6" extension, push down on the rear seat pillow and look through: there's a bolt securing the vent portion of the seatback, reachable in the gap. Going from memory, it might need a 12 mm socket. Try to get a finger or two on it as you back it out, difficult to recover if you drop it.

    2. With that bolt out you can then coax the grill portion of the seat back up and off.

    3. Then pry up the hatch floor directly behind the rear seat back. It has a lot of tenacious push-in fasteners* holding it to the battery case. Fold the rear seat back forward, pull off the velcro'd carpeting between floor and seat back, there's a bolt in there also needs removal.

    Nothing's too complicated, with a little exploration and removal it's pretty easy to get down to the fan. There's a few bolts and "christmas tree" style fasteners, the latter just pry out. Once you get down to the fan check it's electrical connector. Something maybe messed up, reversing the fan flow??

    * You can leave the bulk of those fasteners off and still have a secure hatch floor, and it makes things easier for next time.
     
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  3. mrbigh

    mrbigh Prius Absolutum Dominium

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    the rear vent inlets are intake air for Hybrid batteries ventilation
     
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    it may feel like it's blowing, just because of swirling air. have you owned it since new? carry any pets?
    if you're not the first owner, it might be worth pulling apart. especially if it's running all the time.
     
  5. icyrius

    icyrius Member

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    It's kind of late to try it today. But I will inspect it next weekend and post any findings. Thanks!
     
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  6. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    I guess #1 is to verify air flow direction. That's complicated by the fan only running intermitantly. If you've done a good drive it should be running at speed 1 or 2. It's got about 5 speeds.
     
  7. icyrius

    icyrius Member

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    One thing I noticed while cleaning the back of the car was that a video in Youtube showed an air outlet tube above the 12V battery bracket assembly. However, my car did not have than exhaust air vent tube on top of the battery. Could that be causing the airflow to go in all directions? I wish I would have a diagram to see what it looks like.
     
  8. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    To test the direction of flow, could you hold a paper tissue over the vent - if it gets sucked toward the vent - or pushed away from it, will give a definite indication.
     
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  9. RRxing

    RRxing Senior Member

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    It's entirely possible that the HV Battery vent could be blowing air OUT if that vent piece over the the 12V battery is missing. That piece is there to direct air flow after it passes by the HV battery to the 12V battery compartment, which then flows out of the side shutters to outside of the car.
     
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  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i think so. if you absolutely know that the fan is running, it should hold a tissue against the grille. i've never heard any of mine running, so i wouldn't know when to test.
     
  11. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    It's very quiet. I've seen ours up to speed 4, but never hear it.
     
  12. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    yes, very possible.
     
  13. icyrius

    icyrius Member

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    This is a picture of what mine looks like. But it seems to me that there is no space for any vent. 20160410_180734.jpg 20160410_180728.jpg
     
  14. stormchaser

    stormchaser Junior Member

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    Very interesting. I'll also check my ct200h and see what that's doing as I discovered the vent yesterday.


    iPhone ?
     
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  15. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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  16. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    it dumps the hot air onto the 12v, then exits the lower fender area. at least there's no water.:cool:
     
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  17. RRxing

    RRxing Senior Member

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    The black piece in the upper left of the photos is the vent to the 12V battery area. Back to square one...
     
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