Replaced 12v battery with Optima

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by F8L, May 2, 2009.

  1. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    I know many of your have already done this but I thought I would post about my experience. :)

    After nearly 4yrs of driving on the stock 12v battery and thoroughly abusing it with my rather large stereo system (high wattage) I figured it was time for an upgrade. I've had it go dead on me a total of 6 times throughout its lifetime and after the last event I felt it was time. Considering it almost made me late for a doctors appointment helped seal the deal. :eek:

    I ordered the battery from eLearnAid.com for a reasonable price. I realize I could have pieced the install kit together myself but I just wasn't in the mood to spend a day tinkering around with cables and walking back and forth to the parts store. I got it delivered to my door for $169.34 and it only took 2 days to ship and came well packaged.

    [​IMG]

    Installation was a breeze! I performed the install at school while waiting for a classmate to arrive to start our stream survey. It took approx. 20min and that is only because I had a hard time shifting the black plastic cargo box, that covers the spare tire, out of the way due to multiple amplifiers and wiring. The instructions supplied with the kit were very thorough but I found that I was just doing the battery swap 3 steps ahead of my friend who was trying to read them to me. :D

    After tighening all of the nuts and bolts, I fired up the car and got the standard warning triangle. I powered the car down then powered it back up again and the triangle was gone and everything worked great. As a bonus I have a sneaking suspicion my MPG may have gone up as well but since I currently have a bottle of injector cleaner in the tank AND I installed a new air filter I cannot be certain what caused the jump in MPH.

    Sorry if this was not real informative but when I was searching for battery replacements I was a bit wary of purchasing from eLearnAid.com but after their prompt service I would definately recommend this kit for anyone who needs to replace their battery and doesn't have the time or inclination to piece together their own kit. :rockon:
     
  2. PRIUS007

    PRIUS007 James Bond -007

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    Keep us posted on how it goes long term...
     
  3. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Sure thing. :)

    Since the 12v doesn't actually start the Prius, the Optima yellow top was an obvious choice. My stereo is just too hard on a standard tiny battery so I'm hoping this one will take the abuse in stride.
     
  4. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    Just curious, did the battery arrive fully charged? I've always had to properly charge a new battery before installing, as they barely had 30-40% charge
     
  5. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    Mine did. They say that they charge them immediately before shipping.
     
  6. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    I didn't have the time to run a diagnostic on the battery because I had people waiting on me. :(
     
  7. kohnen

    kohnen Grumpy, Cranky Senior Member

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    I did that same replacement in my '07 touring in Feb(?) 2008, so it's been about 14 months.

    I live in So. Cal, so no really cold temps to talk about.

    I've not had a single problem whatsoever with that Optima battery. I've been able to sit (upto an hour at times) listening to the radio with the car in ACC mode.

    I've been quite happy with that improvement over the stock battery.
     
  8. Sandy

    Sandy Hippi Chick

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    so is there anything else needed to make it fit?
     
  9. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Nope. What few parts you need are included in the kit. :)
     
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  10. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    The one possible problem is dis-assembling the Toyota positive terminal assembly. If you don't have a bench vise it may take a lot of hand strength.
     
  11. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Why do you have to disassemble it? There is only 1 nut that holds it to the positive battery terminal and that unscrewed rather easily. Once that piece is disconnected the rest is a snap. Just make sure you put the positive battery terminal on correctly. Since the terminal opening is tapered I messed up and was putting it on wrong (it was SUPER tight) until someone made me aware of my mistake so I flipped the terminal over and it slide right on. :D
     
  12. djasonw

    djasonw Active Member

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    I too had to eventually replace the OEM 12volt battery and prior to purchasing a replacement I did some research. I did read about the Optima battery but upon learning of the slight mod with respect to the positive terminal I decided to buy the OEM. I was able to get a new one delivered for $128.00 from a dealer in the midwest. At first it was difficult to have delivered because all the dealers I called refused to ship it as they claimed it was HAZMAT. Go figure!! Anyway, it was a pain to install but my friend who is very handy with tools assisted me with the surgery. Patient is doing fine.
     
  13. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Good to hear you eventually got what you needed. Shipping can be a pain sometimes. :)

    With the kit supplied by eLearning takes care of the issue with the positive battery terminal. In fact, it is such an easy swap that you are not doing any real extra work than you would installing an OEM battery. You simply remove 1 extra screw that connects the positive battery terminal to the distribution block (the piece under the red plastic cover).

    Since the 12v battery is not used for engine cranking purposes I felt a higher capcity deep cycle battery would give me bettery performance over the long haul compared to the stock unit. This has a lot to do with my stereo system and the depands it places on the battery.
     
  14. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    I was not so lucky: on mine that nut was virtually welded onto the bolt. Even with my big ape-ishly strong hands :_> a vise would have helped.
     
  15. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Ahh. I wonder if others have a similar problem. :(


    I bet Billy Mays sells something that would have loosened it for ya! :p
     
  16. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Please let us know which dealer you bought the battery from, because it is unusual to find one that will ship this item. Does $128 include the shipping cost? If not, what was the final price?
    I agree; when I did this on my 2001 a few years ago (without having access to a vise) it was not easy to remove the nut.

    I have an idea for those owners who also don't have a vise: what if you pull up the red plastic cover and loosen the large terminal nut prior to removing the positive terminal from the old battery? In other words, use the old battery as the equivalent of a vise.
     
  17. gussom1

    gussom1 New Member

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    I agree the old nut was a real bear to take off, your suggestion worked. For the person looking for the battery check out Amazon.com. The prices change right now it is around $141.00 including shipping. I have seen seen it as low as $129.00 shipping included.
     
  18. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    You might bugger up the + post, but since you're replacing the battery anyway, who cares
     
  19. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    Good idea and worth trying. (In my case it didn't work: the entire assembly twisted off the post.)
     
  20. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    I thought that was how you were supposed to do it? :confused: I took that whole assembly off before removing the positive battery terminal as the last step. Maybe that is why it came right off for me?
     
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