safety, disconnect the traction battery

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Technical Discussion' started by SonjainVictoria, Mar 14, 2014.

  1. SonjainVictoria

    SonjainVictoria New Member

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    I might make some people yawn, but I better ask one simple question:
    replacing the auxiliary battery at a dealership first time triggered it all,
    (My dealership explained high costs in labour due to having
    to 'discharge' the hybrid battery as a safety precaution.
    I highly guess, that there is/was a confusion of 'discharge' and 'disconnect' words, but the mechanic insisted of having had to discharge the hybrid battery and then charge it up again, was trained that way. ?.)
    I would love to find out, where I can find the safety precaution since the excerpt for replacement of auxiliary battery, that I gratefully received as a pdf, does not even state 'disconnect from traction battery' as a safety precaution. I guess, there must be a 'preface' page stating 'prior all work performed on hybrid systems, do xyz for safety measurements'.
    Does anyone please know about it or have this one safety/precaution page please? I really feel the urge to get this confusion out of the world, for other customers, for me when the next auxiliary battery or other work on my Gen II Prius lurks. THANK YOU!
     
  2. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    There is absolutely no need to do anything with the traction battery, when the 12V battery is replaced.
     
  3. pjc

    pjc Member

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    To add to that. I don't think there is any procedure that would require you to fully discharge the hybrid battery. In fact, that would be very harmful to it.

    Your dealership is either totally incompetent or ripping you off.

    You don't even have to disconnect the hybrid battery. When the car is off (not in "ready"), the battery is already "disconnected".
     
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  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i think you, your mechanic and his dealership are the only ones concerned/worried. no problem for the rest of the world. relax and enjoy. if you look at page 52 of the safety manual, you won't find any precautions regarding a change of the 12v auxiliarry battery.
     
  5. SonjainVictoria

    SonjainVictoria New Member

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    Yes, true, I understand that in general/theory, "the traction high voltage battery is isolated from the 12 volt battery by relay(s). When the car is turned off, these relays remain open, so there is no connection." Good.
    The mechanic(s) or training centres might still play it very safe and state something like
    'disconnect traction battery whenever working on a hybrid' to have no accidents, that could be sued.
    BUT my dealership said and confirmed 'discharge' AND I had to pay a lot of money for this unnecessary precaution (hence I cannot relax, I rather have a few good meals for that wasted money....).
    That's why I would love to find this 'safety' prompt of 'disconnect' in writing, no matter if necessary or not, while 'discharge' is for sure wrong, but I have no proof....

    The chief mechanic and manager got very upset with me how I dared to doubt their procedure back then when I was startled about 'discharge'....

    Since my Prius GenII is going in for a service next week, should I just leave a note inside the car asking for a copy of the page where a 'discharge hybrid battery' as safety precaution is mentioned? ;-)
     
  6. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    We've already told you that you've been cheated once regarding the need to discharge the traction battery. I do not understand why you continue to do business with that dealership.

    You can leave whatever notes you want in the car; they will probably be cheerfully ignored.
     
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  7. Britprius

    Britprius Senior Member

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    I would think a call to Toyota customer services explaining the situation, and where this "work" was carried out would do more good. I would further ask difficult questions like how did you recharge the HV battery after discharging it. This can only be done by the dealer by ordering in a special Toyota charger that is not part of the dealer equipment. Toyota will know if this equipment was used or not.
    Pulling out the HV battery service plug "totally unnecessary" would remove any possible danger from an already disconnected battery.

    John (Britprius)
     
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  8. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    The only time you really need to isolate the traction battery is when you're working on or near the high voltage components. And that only requires the service plug to be removed, it never requires the battery to be "drained". The whole point of this question is moot anyway. The time required to disconnect and reconnect the service plug is a few minutes at most, so whether or not the technician feels the need to isolate the HV battery is pretty much irrelevant to the time/cost of the service.


    Referring to your original thread on this, total discharge of hybrid battery performed, effects? | PriusChat , the total cost of your replacement was $375 Au. Though I haven't personally had this procedure done at a dealer, it really doesn't sound out of the ordinary to me. Compared to the US, we always pay about 50% more for parts here in Aus, and even more for labor/service. So the price doesn't sound that far out of line to me, it's just stupid that the dealer lied to you regarding the reason.

    BTW. There are legitimate reasons why the Prius 12V battery install involves a bit of extra labor compared with most conventional cars. Things such as disconnecting and reconnecting vents and ducts, and removing the brake capacitor. It just doesn't involve anything to do with isolating or discharging the HV battery.
     
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  9. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Forgot to add ...

    As others have previously said: If this dealer has lied to you before, if all previous attempts at communication to resolve the issue have been fruitless, then going back to this same dealer and leaving that note will be counterproductive if anything. Your best option is simply to find another dealer.
     
  10. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Haven't we been down this road before?
    I remember the original thread.
    I thought it was pretty well explained and established the first time around. There is no need to discharge the hybrid battery to replace the aux battery.

    Where can you find the safety precaution recommending doing this? Nowhere. Because..

    Whatever mechanic/dealership/service advisor is saying this is standard operational procedure? Is wrong, lying, or being misunderstood.

    Don't really know why we are having this discussion again. Thought this was all settled in a long thread back in Aug and September of 2013.

    total discharge of hybrid battery performed, effects? | PriusChat

    You're asking for documentation for a procedure that I think YOU are the only one that has ever had it recommended or been told it was necessary.

    The answer now, isn't obtaining more proof one way or another...the answer now, is seek a different dealer/service department. But I thought that was long ago settled.
     
  11. MTL_hihy

    MTL_hihy Active Member

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    X1000

    Never did anything with the traction battery when I replaced my 12V aux battery.......anything to the contrary is terrible advice.
     
  12. FreydNot

    FreydNot Member

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    I hope they drained the gas tank while they discharged the HV battery. That gas can be really dangerous too! :) :barefoot: (y)
     
  13. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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  14. SonjainVictoria

    SonjainVictoria New Member

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    True!
    Problem: I know the Toyota manager (who is NOT a mechanic at all) there and I signed/paid a 5 year capped service plan (1000 AUD), which binds you to a dealer. (so far though the services come back more than the cap due to 'extras'....but in a few years time the capped service fee might be very handy as the prices rise in no comparison to income).
    The other thing is, that there really seems to be misinterpretation of safety instructions, which they need to change in general!
    This is not so much about oral explanations between the dealership and me, it is about a correct procedure, about a proof, about correction of a wrong procedure.
    And they never ever should use this 'discharge' procedure as an argument for price either.
    If the total was justified or not, I am not happy with its explanation at all. (and no, I don't think 375 AUD is normal to expect, 300 at most)
    I don't want them to ever touch my hybrid battery again, the fuel consumption is rising again and I don't know the impact on hybrid of such unnecessary procedure, they might apply to ANY PRIUS that comes in.
    It needs to be clarified for the sake of the Prius and if I go via Japan and let the head office hit them, if they go on ignoring my request.
    Ignoring is so common in Australia....'it will go away if you ignore long enough'....
     
  15. SonjainVictoria

    SonjainVictoria New Member

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    Exactly! Nothing is settled. I am bound to the dealer (capped service plan, duh) and it is a general procedure that needs to be set straight for the sake of Prius performance on any Prius that goes in there. I am after the written evidence, the mechanic training manual, that one page, that states the safety precautions, which is not in the user manual. Don't worry, just don't read this treat anymore if you cannot understand my motivation and what I am after (a written proof out of the mechanic manual). I hope the mechanic only lied to keep his face, but I highly doubt it unfortunately; he described in detail, how he had to approach the hybrid battery and discharge it first and how much work that was. Unnecessary procedure he applies to every Prius, which can lead to other problems. Never touch anything that does not need to be touched. I want HIM to learn the correct procedure. Ignoring won't teach him and his co-workers. You don't need to discuss anything again here, don't bother please.
     
  16. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Sorry don't mean to be adversarial or upset you.

    But the problem I think is that you are asking for "documentation" about something that is so obviously NOT the procedure that finding specific statements that you DON'T need to do it...will be near impossible to get.

    It's like asking for the section in the Garbage Disposal operations manual that tells you that "You shouldn't put your hand in the disposal and turn it on".

    Also I think for whatever reason...you're dealing with a pretty unique and individual case. I've never read any other post where someone was being told the Hybrid Battery needed to be discharged before replacing the Aux Battery. So I question the "need" for documentation.

    There are plenty of posts and information about how you replace the Aux Battery in a Prius. I don't think you need a specific statement that discharge or disconnect of the Hybrid Battery is explicitly unneeded.

    But if this quest is entertaining to you....may your journey be fruitful.
     
  17. CTitanic

    CTitanic Member

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    I was going to recommend to drain the mechanic's brain before the battery replacement procedure as a safety precaution but then I concluded that my recommendation was to late. Nothing to drain there. ;)
     
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  18. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

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    SonjainVictoria | PriusChat

    Please take this with a grain of salt.

    I think what has happened in your case is that you have simply been taken advantage of. It is unfortunate for you that this has taken place.

    By purchasing the additional capped service plan and paying the extra money in essence you are letting the stealer rob you blind in more than one way.

    As other's have said, I would suggest you find a different mechanic or try an alternative dealer. I understand that down under sources of service/repair for the Prius can be difficult to find. However to allow the people you are dealing with to invoke tactics that they are using seems a little on the side of unwise or even foolish imo. In essence you are pouring good money into bad. It would be better if you cut your losses, and no longer do business with these folks.

    As everyone else has said, there is no reason and no documentation out there stating the battery pack/traction battery/hybrid battery (whatever you want to call it) has to be discharged and then recharged to service and or replace the 12 volt auxiliary battery. With that fact in hand, it becomes evident that the folks you are doing business with are not following correct procedures and furthermore are misrepresenting facts for the purpose of robbing you of your hard earned money. They did so with the $1000 you spent for the service plan. What do they have planned for you next? Only you will be able to answer that as long as you continue to do business with them.

    As others have said, cut the umbilical cord and move on. These folks are not the type to do business with. Find a better mechanic.

    Regards,
    Ron (dorunron)
     
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  19. uart

    uart Senior Member

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    Did you get quotes from other dealers to determine "what's normal", or is that just a guess?

    Like I said before, I've never had a dealer change my battery so I was just guessing, but there are a couple of other Aussies here who paid close to $300 just for the 12V (optimo) battery itself, and they did the installation themselves. I haven't checked the dealers price, but last time I checked online the OEM battery cost even more than the optimo (an aftermarket brand) here. Admittedly that was mostly due to some ridiculous $150 delivery cost, so maybe the dealers are actually cheaper on this. Without getting a few other serious quotes from other dealers though, I certainly would count on it.
     
  20. MTL_hihy

    MTL_hihy Active Member

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    X2

    I hate seeing stories like this where a dealer tried to take advantage of people. They have even tried it on me any I am an engineer and former mechanic, but they usually give up when it becomes clear the mechanics know less than you do. If you feel like contesting the bill you can print out this thread and bring it in (I have done that before with some success), but in reality if they are so dirty as to severely complicate the replacement of your 12V aux battery chances are you would be much better off just cutting ties and moving on to another dealer. I would also suggest making good use of forums like this which can prove invaluable for helping you solve prius issues yourself.
     
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